Differences in political views.
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19-09-2013, 04:14 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(19-09-2013 01:37 PM)frankksj Wrote:  @I and I

I think you're guilty of doing the same thing to the free-marketers that you hate so much when they do to you. They will tell you “Communism has been tried, and everywhere it's failed. Only 2 countries still have a communist economy, N Korea and Cuba, and the people are destitute and miserable. Communism is an unworkable system.” You'll counter and say “But wait, that's only because of some problems with the way it's been implemented. The system can work well if it's implemented properly.”

So how you can then do the exact same thing to the other side?! You're saying the same thing they are, that because the free-market system has resulted in exploitation in a lot of places where it's been tried, therefore the system is unworkable.

I think you're both wrong. BOTH communism and free-market capitalism are perfectly viable systems that can and have worked. For example, the Kibbutz really is a communist system. And the people who live there have done well and been happy. And the Swiss have a free-market system where nobody is subject to 'wage labor', nobody has to work for anybody else, there are no barriers at all to them choosing to work for themselves. And they're doing well and happy.

But, BOTH systems have suffered in problems with implementation, and, in my opinion, BOTH systems have made the same mistakes in implementation, and the solution to FIX both systems is exactly the same.

In BOTH systems, violence is used to force everyone to live by the system. In the communist countries, when some people tried to leave to go to capitalist countries, they closed the borders and killed anybody who tried to escape. In the US, when a lot of intellectuals in the 1950's were trying to form a communist system, the government hauled them off at gunpoint and locked them up (McCarthyism). BOTH systems suffer because so much power is transferred to a central authority that nobody can escape from, instead of keeping the power at the local, more manageable level. In the Soviet Union, all the wealth of the nation was transferred to a small group of men in Moscow. I'm sure in the beginning many of their intentions were pure. But power corrupts, and with such incredible power, and all the riches of a huge country at their disposal, they became completely corrupt and used their power to enrich themselves. In the communist Soviet Union the inequality between the communist leaders and the common man was vast.

In the US, we're repeating the SAME mistakes of the Soviet Union. We've transferred absolute power to a small group of men in Washington. In 2013 with the NDAA, we gave up the rights of habeas corpus, which have been a pillar of civilized society for nearly 1,000 years since the signing of the magna carta. Now, at the sole discretion of the President, he can secretly 'kidnap' anyone off the street and keep them locked up indefinitely with no access to a judicial process or trial, and he even can kill his own people without a trial using drones. link We gave up our right to free speech by letting the central government issue gag orders (see lavabit). We gave up a free press, letting the government arrest reporters. We've created an out of control monster that monitors all our private thoughts and actions, acting with absolute impunity.

But in both cases, I think the solution is to strip the massive, centralized monster of it's power, and return all the power to the local level, where there's natural checks and balances because people can simply move away if the power is abused. I'm totally fine living side-by-side with you, as a communist. You can live in a communist community, I in a capitalist community. I see no reason why we can't be friends, genuinely help each other, trade goods and services, and lead by example, never forcing the other to do it our way.

I have given you historical examples that show that capitalism never was and never will be a "free market" it is a market where the few exploit the many. You are claiming that capitalism was supposed to be a certain way but was corrupted in its implementation. I do not make that argument about the failure of certain communist states.
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19-09-2013, 07:36 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
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19-09-2013, 08:00 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
@I and I,

Quote:I do not make that argument about the failure of certain communist states (that they failed because of poor implementation)

Then why do you think the communist states collapsed? You don't see a problem with the way the communist system was implemented by the likes of Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. who ruled with an iron fist and violently suppressed dissent?
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19-09-2013, 08:35 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
@cjlr,

Quote:Is it "95% of the population advocates always using violence to get their way"? Because then I would say it's ludicrously high.

Is it "95% of the population advocates never fully renouncing using violence to get their way"? Because then I would say it's too low.

The latter. 95% of the population advocates using violence to get their way on whatever issues they feel strongly about (moral issues, economic issues, etc.). I picked that 95% number out of the air because there are generally 3 or 4% who vote libertarian and reject the use of violence.

However, this is all irrelevant anyway. Whether it's 95%, 99.9% or 40%, I understand that in any democratic system there will always be laws that are enforced with threats of violence, even though I personally don't like them. It's inescapable that people will try to impose their moral code on their neighbors. Therefore, the ONLY thing I'm complaining about is when those laws get passed at the national level so that nobody can escape.

Every time I disagree with someone about some law, it's always because it's a national law. And every time I say “Why can't you do this at the state level?”, the response is generally “Well I can't let those ignorant people over in [some place 1,000 miles away] get away without following my law! It has to be universal and everybody must be subjected to it.” They just can't accept that their opinion is an opinion and that other people far away may choose to live by a different moral code.

Thus, all these discussions about what is and is not violence and semantics are really irrelevant. I've never once seen a 'classic libertarian' like myself ever disagree about a policy and NOT be on the side of 'don't use violence'. So whether a libertarian would accept violence in some extreme cases is really moot because if that ever happened, it would be such an extreme case that surely all non-libertarians would also endorse violence, and thus it would never be a point of disagreement. And, it's also irrelevant because all libertarians I know have accepted that, given man's natural instinct to use, violence is inevitable in any democratic society. Therefore, the only compromise we ask for is to limit the jurisdiction to the local level, as our Founders specified in the Constitution. The Constitution gives the federal government a very small list of enumerated powers, none of which involve the initiation of force, only the use of force in very clear defensive manners, and it states that "The powers not delegated to the [federal government] are reserved to the States”. All issues of morality and subjective laws are left to the states. Even the hard stuff, like murder, rape, burglary, etc. are entirely left to the states, and the federal government has zero authority to impose any laws on morality. If the Supreme Court did it's sworn job to uphold the Constitution and nullify any laws that strayed from those small list of enumerated, this wouldn't be an issue.
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19-09-2013, 08:50 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
@Chas,

Quote:If someone breaks into my house, I will use force against them. What would you do? You didn't answer my question.

Personally I would take my family and pets into the basement and hide and let the burglars take what they want. I don't think my TV is worth getting shot over. BUT, I understand others may feel differently, and that my opinion is really unimportant. It's very subjective what is the appropriate reaction. Therefore, let each local community establish their own rules, and don't try to change another community to get them to abide by your moral code. If you live in a community and hate the rules that the 51+% of voters have put in place, then move to another community. In Texas, when someone breaks in they let the bullets rain and the bodies hit the floor. In other states you can be sued for leaving a rake in the yard if a burglar trips over it while robbing your house. Some areas, like Romania, have laws that you can use force defensively ONLY if your defensive force is LESS than the offensive force (ie if you're attacked with a 10” knife, you can only defend yourself with a knife that is <10”). So I say live and let live. Californian's shouldn't try to change Texans, and vice versa. If you live in Texas and find the system put in place by 51% of the voters to be too violent, move.

The ONLY thing I hate is when someone says “Where I draw the line is exactly where it needs to be. I cannot possibly be wrong. We need a national law that forces everybody to respect my line in the sand with no means of escape.”

Quote:I am saying that we must isolate those whose will is to commit violence, and that requires force.

Aren't you one of those guys whose will it is to commit violence? Are you saying that you do not endorse any rules which, if I refuse to comply, will result in the initiation of violence against me (ie a gun to my head and a handcuff on my wrists)?

Are you saying you're against laws on drugs and other vices, you're against regulations that threaten people with arrest if they don't comply with rules, you're against arresting people for tax evasion, etc., etc.?

If you support the use of violence (physical force) to implement any of those laws, then YOU ARE one of those guys you just said should be isolated, and you're call to 'isolate them' is much harsher than my request to 'just let people leave if they don't like it'.

Personally, I'm opposed to the use of violence in all those areas. But I know that we libertarians have no chance of persuading the rest not to use violence. So all I'm saying is that IF you're going to use violence, THEN allow people to escape the violence by simply moving.

Quote:You oppose initiation of force unless it is necessary. The matter of what constitutes necessary being the core of almost all political disagreements.

No, I oppose the initiation of force altogether. I've never disputed a policy with someone where I've been the one advocating the initiation of force. Never, ever happened. I only said I will TOLERATE others' use of force IF they let people leave who find that force too excessive (namely make it a local law, not a national one).

Say you want a law to ban drugs. Even though I have never used drugs and don't want drugs in my community, I would vote against it just because I don't want to initiate force on others. If the law passes anyway, fine. I probably won't move because, frankly, the law doesn't effect me anyway. All I say is 'do it the state level'. I find it abhorrent that when the people of Colorado decide they want to allow pot in their community, Obama, from 2,000 miles away, sends in DEA agents to arrest them.

It's especially hypocritical because he admitted that as a young man he was stoned all the time. The only reason he got where he did is because he was lucky enough to not get caught. If he had been caught and pulled out of college to server prison time for drug possession, what would have become of him? Seriously, what do you think a black ex-con with a prison record and no college would have become? He'd probably be living on food stamps now if, as a young man, he had been subjected to the same treatment he is subjecting other young men too. He knows fully well that for most young people getting stoned is a phase they grow out of and go on to be successful anyway, like he did. But he is trying his best to make sure that anybody who is following in his footsteps ends up in jail and never has the opportunities he had. To me it's abhorrent that what is purely a subjective, moral issue, like drug use, becomes a national "war", and that they won't let anybody escape their jurisdiction, and even if a whole state is 100% in favor of legalization, some politicians in Washington insist on sending in armed troops to enforce their moral code. Regulating drugs is NOT one of the federal government's enumerated powers, so the Supreme Court should have nullified all those laws as unconstitutional and left it to the states to figure out what was morally acceptable in their local communities.
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19-09-2013, 09:12 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(19-09-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  The latter. 95% of the population advocates using violence to get their way on whatever issues they feel strongly about (moral issues, economic issues, etc.). I picked that 95% number out of the air because there are generally 3 or 4% who vote libertarian and reject the use of violence.

Well, at least you admit to picking it out of thin air.

(19-09-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  However, this is all irrelevant anyway. Whether it's 95%, 99.9% or 40%, I understand that in any democratic system there will always be laws that are enforced with threats of violence, even though I personally don't like them.

Total freedom of action is freedom to infringe on others' rights; a framework to safeguard those rights, up to and including physical force, is necessary and inevitable.

(19-09-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  It's inescapable that people will try to impose their moral code on their neighbors. Therefore, the ONLY thing I'm complaining about is when those laws get passed at the national level so that nobody can escape.

This does not follow.

(19-09-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Every time I disagree with someone about some law, it's always because it's a national law. And every time I say “Why can't you do this at the state level?”, the response is generally “Well I can't let those ignorant people over in [some place 1,000 miles away] get away without following my law! It has to be universal and everybody must be subjected to it.” They just can't accept that their opinion is an opinion and that other people far away may choose to live by a different moral code.

That's not a useful statement. What about other people far away without choice?

(19-09-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Thus, all these discussions about what is and is not violence and semantics are really irrelevant.

No. When someone is saying something along the lines of "don't use violence" then the definition of violence could not be more relevant. The phrase has no meaning otherwise.

(19-09-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I've never once seen a 'classic libertarian' like myself ever disagree about a policy and NOT be on the side of 'don't use violence'. So whether a libertarian would accept violence in some extreme cases is really moot because if that ever happened, it would be such an extreme case that surely all non-libertarians would also endorse violence, and thus it would never be a point of disagreement.

That is not a useful statement either, because it in no way addresses anything.

Q: Under what circumstances would you accept the use of violence?
A: When everyone else would anyway.

Nope.

(19-09-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And, it's also irrelevant because all libertarians I know have accepted that, given man's natural instinct to use, violence is inevitable in any democratic society. Therefore, the only compromise we ask for is to limit the jurisdiction to the local level, as our Founders specified in the Constitution. The Constitution gives the federal government a very small list of enumerated powers, none of which involve the initiation of force, only the use of force in very clear defensive manners, and it states that "The powers not delegated to the [federal government] are reserved to the States”. All issues of morality and subjective laws are left to the states. Even the hard stuff, like murder, rape, burglary, etc. are entirely left to the states, and the federal government has zero authority to impose any laws on morality. If the Supreme Court did it's sworn job to uphold the Constitution and nullify any laws that strayed from those small list of enumerated, this wouldn't be an issue.

Sure, but don't half-ass it. State government is no less arbitrary and corruptible than federal government. The lines on a political map don't change their nature just because they're thicker or thinner. Cough cough Jim Crow cough states' rights cough. Ahem.

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19-09-2013, 09:30 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:the definition of violence could not be more relevant.

I've said this so many times. Why do I have to keep repeating? As explained in the dictionary, violence is the use of physical force against an individual to coerce that individual into doing or not doing something. Physical force means force involve matter (atoms), like a handcuff on a wrist, a bullet in the leg, a taser barb in the leg. This could not be more clear an obvious.

Quote:That's not a useful statement. What about other people far away without choice?

There's no such thing as having no choice. I've always said that one unbreakable rule in the constitution, which I wholeheartedly support, is freedom of movement. The right to leave unencumbered. If you live in a repressive state, even if you're totally destitute, homeless, and hungry, there is nothing blocking you from walking to another state that will treat you better. You always have the choice to move.

Quote:State government is no less arbitrary and corruptible than federal government. The lines on a political map don't change their nature just because they're thicker or thinner.

Of course they do. You are guaranteed the right to cross any thin line (state line) you want. If you hate the rules within your thin/state line, you are completely free to cross any and all state lines and live in any state you want. That is NOT true of the 'thick/national' lines. If a national law is passed and you find it too oppressive, there is no treaty with Canada or Mexico granting you the right to cross those thick lines and live in their country. The thick line is a significant barrier with lots of obstacles to pass it (border patrols, customs, etc.). The thin line is a line in the dirt that you can walk back and forth uninhindered.

You seriously can't see the difference?

Quote:Jim Crow cough states' rights

Yeah, perfect example. Imagine how much worse they would have been if the white supremists of the day were able to get 51+% of the vote and pass all those laws on the national level. Keeping these laws to the local level was crucial for providing a 'relief valve' or a means of escape for those minorities who couldn't bear them, and allowed them to see that it really WAS possible for whites and blacks to live together peacefully, and the North was able to set a (more) positive example. I believe that if the Jim Crow laws were passed at the national level things would be much worse for minorities today.
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19-09-2013, 09:50 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(19-09-2013 09:30 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I've said this so many times. Why do I have to keep repeating? As explained in the dictionary, violence is the use of physical force against an individual to coerce that individual into doing or not doing something. Physical force means force involve matter (atoms), like a handcuff on a wrist, a bullet in the leg, a taser barb in the leg. This could not be more clear an obvious.

Or insufficient. (I'd make the joke that all forces are physical, but that might be too semantic)

Disrupting sleep through noise. Not violence? Theft. Not violence? Breaking goods. Not violence? Dumping hazardous materials on your property. Not violence?

You can draw the line at contact with a person's body, if you like, but to me that doesn't seem a very useful place for it.

(19-09-2013 09:30 PM)frankksj Wrote:  There's no such thing as having no choice.

Slaves don't seem to have had much.

(19-09-2013 09:30 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I've always said that one unbreakable rule in the constitution, which I wholeheartedly support, is freedom of movement. The right to leave unencumbered. If you live in a repressive state, even if you're totally destitute, homeless, and hungry, there is nothing blocking you from walking to another state that will treat you better. You always have the choice to move.

Well, except the slaves.

(19-09-2013 09:30 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Of course they do. You are guaranteed the right to cross any thin line (state line) you want. If you hate the rules within your thin/state line, you are completely free to cross any and all state lines and live in any state you want. That is NOT true of the 'thick/national' lines. If a national law is passed and you find it too oppressive, there is no treaty with Canada or Mexico granting you the right to cross those thick lines and live in their country. The thick line is a significant barrier with lots of obstacles to pass it (border patrols, customs, etc.). The thin line is a line in the dirt that you can walk back and forth uninhindered.

You seriously can't see the difference?

wut.

That there is a difference under present geopolitical conditions is hardly the point. I'm well aware that crossing the St Lawrence is more of an endeavour than crossing the Ottawa. I hardly you to tell me what is (but thanks?). I was interested in your opinion as to what should be and why.

Why is there a difference? A government is a government. Its powers are either those it grants itself or those it receives from a more powerful government. Is the only relevant distinction for you, then, merely that one sort has (in America, presently) more ability to restrict your movement than the other?

(19-09-2013 09:30 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Yeah, perfect example. Imagine how much worse they would have been if the white supremists of the day were able to get 51+% of the vote and pass all those laws on the national level. Keeping these laws to the local level was crucial for providing a 'relief valve' or a means of escape for those minorities who couldn't bear them, and allowed them to see that it really WAS possible for whites and blacks to live together peacefully, and the North was able to set a (more) positive example. I believe that if the Jim Crow laws were passed at the national level things would be much worse for minorities today.

Yes. And they were only gotten rid by a majority of the vote passing laws at a national level. The larger part of a polity enforcing its will on a smaller part. That's an inevitable consequence of democracy (no matter the scale), as you have several times acknowledged!

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19-09-2013, 10:05 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
@cjlr,
Quote:Well, except the slaves.
I discussed this already. Yes, it was a huge tragedy that only white males were considered humans, and all others were livestock. This has nothing to do with whether force should be used at the national or local level. Once minorities were properly classified as "humans" according to the Constitution, they SHOULD have been guaranteed the right to freely move unencumbered out of slave states into free states, and that would have been the end of slavery. This is a complex issue, but it's not the issue at hand now.
Quote:Why is there a difference? A government is a government. Its powers are either those it grants itself or those it receives from a more powerful government. Is the only relevant distinction for you, then, merely that one sort has (in America, presently) more ability to restrict your movement than the other?
Provided you're guaranteed the right to leave a state, it's a huge difference. State laws are thus voluntary since you have the choice of leaving. Remember, Hitler and the Nazis were democratically elected, and all those eugenics laws were at the national level with no way for Jews to escape. _IF_ Germany followed the rules in the US Constitution so that all the power was at the local level and every German was guaranteed the right to leave, then worst case, Hitler would been elected to a local state and have passed a law saying "Here in Berlin, we're going to execute all Jews. If you don't want to be executed, you have 30 days move." There would never have been Holocaust if Germany had a Constitution (and a system to ensure it was enforced) which limited the power to the local level and guaranteed freedom of movement.
Quote:Yes. And they were only gotten rid by a majority of the vote passing laws at a national level. The larger part of a polity enforcing its will on a smaller part. That's an inevitable consequence of democracy (no matter the scale), as you have several times acknowledged!
I will grant you that out of the hundreds of thousands of coercive laws passed at the national level, there are a couple that did good, and the civil rights laws are one of them. BUT, there are a lot more examples where horrific laws got passed at the national level, and with no means of escape, the results were tragic. For example, in 1942 slavery was re-implemented in the US, but this time at the national level, with the forced arrest of all Americans of Japanese decent. There was no means of escape for them--it was a national law. It would have been a HUGE improvement if the jurisdiction was kept local (say to California) and they were guaranteed the right to leave and move to Nevada if they didn't want to be imprisoned in a concentration camp.
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19-09-2013, 10:23 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(19-09-2013 08:00 PM)frankksj Wrote:  @I and I,

Quote:I do not make that argument about the failure of certain communist states (that they failed because of poor implementation)

Then why do you think the communist states collapsed? You don't see a problem with the way the communist system was implemented by the likes of Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. who ruled with an iron fist and violently suppressed dissent?

I didn't know that pol-pot was a communist.

states fail for many different reasons. When the US overthrew democratically elected marxist president in Chile in the 70's you certainly wouldn't say the failure of communism in that country was due to communism would you? Look at Vietnam, France and the US bombed and destroyed the fuck out of it for 20 years (during the wars you certainly can't say that it was failing because of communism. After 20 years of war the west imposed sanctions on it (the humanitarian west :roll eyes: ) the sanctions and rebuilding after a long war during sanctions surely will be next to impossible no matter what system one is using.

Cuba is the same way, Cuba has some of the best living standards compared to the capitalist latin american countries, however it has been under severe sanctions for more than 50 years. Yugoslavia was a successful communist country yet it was attacked by NATO and divided up by western powers in 90's

It is dishonest to use the example of a country that is being attacked by sanctions or has been overthrown by the west. Husseiens capitalist Iraq was also severely weakened by western sanctions, it would be dishonest of me t say "hey look at capitalism in Iraq, it failed"
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