Differences in political views.
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25-09-2013, 02:52 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(25-09-2013 02:22 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Ok, if you're disagreeing with my assertion in the speed limit analogy that libertarians follow a set of rules, like a code of ethics, which are applied consistently and predictably, then prove me wrong. When has a 'classic libertarian', who claims adherance to the non-aggression principle, violated the basic rule that they avoid depriving one of free will, and if the ruling political party is going to force people to do something against their will, those laws need to have a limited jurisdiction so people are free to move if they find them too burdensome? If you can't find exceptions to the rule, then my analogy about libertarians holds, right?

And if you're disagreeing with my assertion that liberals make up their own rules and define their own morality on a case by case based on what they feel is right at the moment, then please explain to me what rules, or code of ethics, liberals were following in these cases:

EUGENICS:
Back in the 1920's American liberals said, just like @Chas, that we must be willing to "trade some amount of personal freedom" for society. Like the rich can be denied their free will if redistribution of their wealth benefits the greater good. A man's home can be taken (eminent domain) for something that benefits society. A man's life can be taken by force (such as a military draft) to protect others. And, since low IQ parents are scientifically proven to tend to produce low IQ children who are more likely to be a burden on society, then it's appropriate to remove inferior individuals from the gene pool since it benefits society as a whole. They were forced to "trade some amount of personal freedom (ie to procreate) for the greater good. Do you agree with all those positions, which liberals have advocated? If you find the last one particularly troubling, gven that it lead to the Holocaust and all, what "rule", or objective test, is it that you liberals follow which should have identified that last law as being a bad idea? Why is denying a man his balls substantially worse than denying him his life and home? Remember science backs up the claim; heredity is proven to play a significant role in intelligence, and thus removing inferiors from society's gene pool was for the greater good. And leading intellectuals of the day were quite in favor of it. The US Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of Eugenics. So what went wrong? If liberals do have a "rule" they follow, and don't just decide on a case by case basis what is an appropriate denial of free will, then why didn't they follow that rule? Do you dispute that if they followed the libertarian's creed to respect everybody's right to exercise free will that whole mess would have been avoided?

TRANSPORTATION: I wrote a post about how the US was the leader in public mass transit in the 1920's, with the fastest high speed trains in the world, every town with a population over 2,500 had a metro (electric light rail). But then the liberals believed that it was for the greater good to free the people from dependency on public transit, which at the time accounted for 90% of all trips. So they effectively ordered all the Metro systems destroyed and nationalized passenger rail, and subsidized the automobile (taxpayer funded initiatives like the New Deal to build roads and highways, and many other programs like cash for clunkers to get Americans to buy cars). In hindsight, was that such a good idea? Are we better off now that we have a nation entirely dependent on oil and cars? If not, what is the "rule" liberals should have followed to limit the damage? Do you dispute that if politicians the libertarian system this wouldn't have happened? If not, why?

EGYPT: The secular Egyptians in the North risked everything in their revolution to have a democracy, hoping to be a modern democratic country like Turkey. But, when they organized their government they put all the power at the national level, and the fundamental Islamists in the South got 51% of the vote and put in power a government that was starting to implement Sharia law. The secularists in the North felt disenfranchised and, since they had the support of the military, organized a military coup, and have now banned the Islamist fundamentalists from participating. However, since the fundamentalists hold the slight majority, this is expected to lead to civil war and much blood shed. So, a couple years ago when they were crafting a new constitution, what kind of government could they have put in place to avoid the violence? Do you have a better solution than restricting the government's power to coerce to the local level so the fundamentalists and secularists could live side by side in peace? And don't say that "in this case" they'd have been better off to have a system of local autonomous rule because you can't change the rules to the game only after you lost. You can't say that because the islamists won the winner takes all political system, THEN they should go back and change the rules. You can only agree upon the rules up front, before you know the outcome to the game.

DRUGS:
Do you agree that many liberals are opposed to the legalisation of cocaine? What is the "rule" that liberals are following to reach that conclusion given that scientifically speaking alcohol is more addictive and damaging than cocaine? Also, do you agree that 30 years ago a lot more liberals were opposed to the legalization of marijuana? If so, why did their view change over the years if they're following a "rule" or "code of ethics"? Why did their view on gay marriage change? Can you find one example at any point in history when a classic libertarian has been in favor of a national ban on drugs or gay marriage?

If you can't find examples where libertarians are "breaking their rules", or where liberals are following rules, then how can you dispute my analogy is correct? Note that I'm not saying here that the libertarians rules are right or better. In this post I'm simply arguing that libertarians do follow consistent, predictable rules or codes of ethics, and liberals do not. Prove me wrong, please.

The specific examples are irrelevant to the point being made, wall of text or no. But blaming "liberals" for, apparently, every thing that's ever happened would seem to be a little facetious.

"Note that I'm not saying here that the libertarians rules are right or better."
You've said exactly that on numerous occasions, and indeed, repeat the sentiment several times in the above post.

...

Let us return to the actual point. Society is individual sacrifice for collective gain. Do you accept this definition?

Maintaining society may require force. General opinion (of all but the strictest pacifist) holds that force is necessary as a last resort (in order to maintain basic rights, or common resources, or whatever the case may be). Disagreement lies in what constitutes necessary as a last resort. I guarantee with absolute certainty that you, frankksj, personally, believe force to be a necessary last resort in fewer situations than some people and more situations than some other people. Would you agree?

I don't know, that sentiment sounds really familiar to me for some reason...

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25-09-2013, 04:14 PM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2013 04:18 PM by frankksj.)
RE: Differences in political views.
@cjnr,

I challenged you to find an example where classic libertarians have been inconsistent in applying our 'rules' in a prectable and unbiased manner. You were unable to come up with one example. I gave you a list of challenging situations and asked you to come up with any 'rule' that liberals applied which was predictable and consistent. You ran from that challenge. I think that proves the validity of my speed limit analogy.

Quote:The specific examples are irrelevant to the point being made
They are VERY relevant because the reason I became a libertarian is when I realized that throughout history people who thought just like me ended up being wrong, despite their best intentions. And when their rules were forced on people violently, the consequences were disastrous. Therefore, I resist the natural temptation we all have to force our ways on others and accept that no matter how certain I am something is right, I need to understand my opinion is just that, an opinion, and respect other people's free will.

Quote:Disagreement lies in what constitutes necessary [use of a force] as a last resort.

Agreed 1 million %. That's what I've been saying all along. When to use force is VERY subjective. And very, very often people, with the best intentions, believe in something strongly and initiate force convincing themselves it's a last resort. And often the consequences are disastrous.

Quote:guarantee with absolute certainty that you, frankksj, personally, believe force to be a necessary last resort in fewer situations than some people and more situations than some other people. Would you agree?
No, I would be a hypocrite if I, like liberals, was drawing lines in the sand and saying 'force is ok in this particular situation'. If you allow yourself to make that judgement call, it's human nature that when you feel strongly about something you'll move that line. I am always in 100% of all cases opposed to forcing people to give up their free will, and not provide them a means of escape so there's a relief valve (ie allow them to escape by constraining the jurisdiction). If there's a gray issue, like, let's say a noise ordinance... Your neighbor is blasting his stereo all through the night and nobody can sleep, so, even though he is not initiating force in the strictest technical sense ("sound waves" aren't force), I am fine with a noise ordinance AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. Because I understand that even if the people in my city are convinced that 100db is the right place to draw the line, I realize it's just my opinion, so I shouldn't force it on other communities. Maybe the retirement town wants it lower, and the college town higher. Who am I to tell people who live 1,000 miles away what to do.

So, I follow this rule 100% of the time. I have never once come across a situation where there was a logical reason why force HAD to be initiated universally (ie at the national level) and you couldn't accomplish better results by (a) trying peaceful, voluntary means to reach the goal, and (b) as a last resort using force locally. The only time a cross-jurisdictional issue arises is if there's property damage across jurisdictions. Let's say a power plant in Nevada is spewing coal or poluting rivers that flow into Mexico. The air and waterways are "public property" for all jurisdictions to share. So, if one person in Nevada polutes his neighbor's yard, he should be able to sue for damages. If one town in Nevada polutes a California water source, Californians should be able to collectively sue Nevada for damages in a higher level court (ie Federal). And if Nevadans polute a river in Mexico, there still needs to be a higher level court to arbitrate that (like a global body). However, as a practical matter, it's impossible to have zero polution, and you don't want somebody suing his neighbor for farting and the odor wafted into his yard, so there needs to be some universal agreement on what is "acceptable" polution of shared resources (ie parts per million, etc.), so poluters are immune from prosecution if they keep their polution below this level. I believe the environment would be MUCH better off with enforcement of property rights than the current system. Thousands of kids in California are dying from thyroid failure due to the nuclear fallout from Japan. If those families had an international court to go to and recover damages, I'll bet Tokyo Electric wouldn't have been so careless as to leave the power plant in disrepair. But they got away with it because there's no enforcement of property rights; the government gave TE special privileges and immunity that we as individuals don't have. If _I_ as an individual was negligent and killed your child, I would be liable. But when the government grants some individuals in a certain group special protections the rest don't have, it's ripe for abuse. I think we would have much better environment controls with enforcement of property rights. But, I've said all along, it is appropriate to defend oneself if another initiates force on your person or property. So, protecting the environment is simply a matter of defending property rights, and is VERY different from sending armed police into someone's home because he's doing something you don't like (drugs, etc.).

PS. You said my claims are wild. Be specific. What claims do you think I made that are wrong? Be careful, because if you accuse me of being wrong about some past decision and the consequences that resulted, and it turns out I was right all along, I'll just point out that I decided to change from liberal to libertarian simply because I read the history books and was willing to have an open mind and admit that "yeah, my peeps fucked that one up big time. Let's not let it happen again."

I'll respond to the social contract issue tomorrow since it's the crux of the liberals argument.
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26-09-2013, 02:02 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
Depending on what you guys mean by liberal.

The term liberal in the U.S. has a completely different connotation and meaning than the term "liberal" outside of the U.S.

According to most people around the world the "neo-liberal" movement was a world wide thing that is associated with the modern capitalism that came about in the late 80's and early 90's. People that are conservative and liberal (US meaning) would fall into the "neo-liberal" camp.
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26-09-2013, 04:58 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
As for this social contract nonsense. You summed it up well:
Quote:Society is individual sacrifice for collective gain
Well what is society? Can you touch it? What color is it? Isn't it purely an abstract concept, merely a group of individuals, and the only thing that actually exist are individuals. So society = individuals. Therefore, when you say that some individuals must be sacrificed for the benefit of 'society', what you are actually saying is some individuals must be sacrificed for the sake of other individuals. That thinking has been used to justify every imaginable horrific injustice. Slave owners feel it's best to sacrifice some individuals free-will (the slaves) because it's for the greater good of the community. And who decides which individuals are sacrificed and which ones benefit? Whoever gets the majority in Congress. That's why liberals and conservatives will pull no punches and battle to death to get the majority so that they can force the other side to be sacrificed for the 'greater good' (ie their good). I find that concept repulsive. I firmly believe in what Jefferson said that ALL men are created equal and have INALIENABLE rights, meaning the majority can NEVER deprive them of their rights, such as exercising free-will. The only fault I have with Jefferson is that his definition of "men" was narrow and only included white males, and non-whites were categorized as animal livestock.
Quote:All my actions are justified by a social contract
Ok, so I want to rape your daughter. It's entirely justified by the social contract, right? Oh, you're saying the social contract has nothing to justify rape? Well, the debate we're having now is if, when you club-wielders deprive others of their free will, it should be done at the state/local level so the victims can flee, OR at the national level so they have no means of escape. Refer again to that link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract Copy/paste from there what exactly you think justifies your claim that your laws must be passed at the national level, not the local level. I see nothing at all in the social contract that even touches on the scope of jurisdiction. Therefore, you're using the social contract to justify denying free will at the national level is, imo, no different than me using it to justify raping your daughter.

Here's a perfect example of how this concept is distorted to a ridiculous level: http://pandodaily.com/2012/05/12/what-ed...verything/

First, remember the debate about Eduardo Saverin is NOT whether he should pay taxes on his facebook profits. To give up his citizenship he has to liquidate all his assets and is taxed on everything he did while he had US citizenship. In fact, the US is the only country that requires him to pay ANY taxes at all. In every other country you're taxed on your residency--not citizenship--so the fact that he had lived in Singapore for many years and hadn't been to the US, means that in every other country he'd have owed no taxes (except to Singapore). However, because of the US's definition, he had been paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the US even though he wasn't using any US services or on US soil. I'd say the US made out like a bandit. So the argument this article is making is that AFTER he's liquidated all his assets and paid US taxes on everything he profited from in the US, they object that by giving up his citizenship and never setting foot on US soil he won't be taxed for the rest of his life. This is about all his activity going forward, AFTER he's non-US. American liberals believe coming to the US is a one-way trap door, you can check in, but you can never check out, and they've called it a "loophole" that, because he was Brazilian, the US let him give up his US citizenship and return to be being Brazilian. Again, no other country besides North Korea and Cuba thinks like this.

Now read that article. Sure, the US is one entity that DID provide Eduardo 'services' that helped him make his fortune. But (a) his wealthy family PAID and actually overpaid for all those services, so why did this incur a long term debt? If your dentist cleans your teeth, and you pay him what he asks, does this mean you're indebted to the dentist for life? (b) There are actually thousands of entities, not just the US Fed govt, that provided Eduardo services, and unlike the US, many of them were NOT compensated for those services.

Most significantly, his parents: they gave him his genes, cared for him without any compensation, etc. Brazil gave his family the opportunity to make their fortune, and, unlike the US, placed no barriers preventing them from leaving. If it was the other way around (born in the US wanting to emigrate to Brazil) it wouldn't have been possible since the US doesn't let it's citizens leave the system. Then you have the local and state governments in Brazil, as well as in the US. There's Harvard, and the State of Mass. There's his professors. There's Zuckerberg. There's facebook's investors. On and on. Thousands upon thousands of entities provided services that contributed to his success.

Now, the liberal writing this article grants himself the authority to arbitrarily decide how Eduardo's wealth should be distributed amongst the thousands of entities that contributed to his success. His parents: ZERO. Brazil: ZERO. Massachusetts: ZERO Harvard: ZERO. Zuckerberg: ZERO. On and on. Out of the thousands of entities, all of them get ZERO and Eduardo has no obligations to them EXCEPT for one entity, which not concindentally is the only one of those thousands of entities which the liberal author himself is a part of: the US federal government. What share do the US federal government get? His words: NEARLY EVERYTHING. There's a list of thousands of entities that contributed to Eduardo, and this liberal author writes 0% next to each entity, EXCEPT for the entity he himself belongs to, and there he writes 100%.

And he argues that this debt is life long, and that Eduardo must NEVER be allowed to leave--meaning the debt can never be repaid. Even though he paid hundreds of millions of dollars in an 'exit tax' to buy his freedom, that's not enough. The US govt should take his money and not give his freedom no matter what. They use the concept of 'social contract' to imply that Eduardo has a life-long debt to some other entity that can never be paid, that he can never escape from, and that for his life, no matter where in the world he goes, Eduardo OWES everything, all the fruits of his labor, to this entity. As long as the entity in question is the US Fed govt, American liberals find this normal and natural and always claim it's the "social contract". Well since the US Fed Govt is nothing more than a group of individuals, how would they if it a different group made the same claim? What if I belong to the medical team that delivered you when you were a baby? Can I claim that because of this service, you are indebted to me for life, you can never leave, and till the day you die you must hand over to me all the fruits of your labor and I will decide how much I need for myself and how much to leave you? If I made this claim, would you say "Oh, yeah, of course. That's the social contract." Or, would you call it for what it is, call a spade a spade: "That's debt peonage, or bonded slavery, and an attrocious human rights violation". So then why is it that when American liberals do exactly that, with the same justificiation, instead of calling it what it is, namely slavery, they call it a "social contract", and they claim that somehow by agreeing to be born in the US, a baby has been bound to a lifelong contract. Why can't the state or town of your birth lay a similar claim? They're also government entities providing actually far more useful services to you than the Federal government. So why can't Los Angeles, or California, place similar demands?

Bottom line, yes, I do believe in the social contract. Like I've said many times, if you choose to live in a city or a state, that local jurisdiction has a right to collect taxes from you in exchange for the services it provides, and by voluntarily exercising your free will and deciding to live in that jurisdiction you are agreeing to those obligations, you are agreeing to the social contract. If you find the terms of the contract too much, fine, leave. The contract is then terminated since no services are being provided any more. But I can't stand the distorted meaning of social contract American liberals use to mean bonded slavery and the argument made that by being born you're bound to an unbreakable contract for life.
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26-09-2013, 07:46 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:You are referring to bonded slavery, I am referring to wage slavery. Allowing slaves to choose their masters and choose who gets to exploit them does not make one "free". that is a another topic though.

The US economic system was always based on good ole capitalism and exploiting many poor whites (wage slavery) and many poor black people (bonded slavery) co-existed.

I and I, I've been meaning to address this. First, bonded slavery is obviously the most extreme, harsh, evil and unbreakable form of slavery. It's physical and violent. "Wage slavery" is an abstract concept that's fuzzy and hard to identify. Even the Wikipedia page says it's "quasi-voluntary slavery". So, my problem with most communist implementations is that they trade the 'fuzzy/vague' quasi-slavery, with the real, hard, violent "bonded slavery". When Stalin says "You Russians have a lifelong debt to me so that I own all the fruits of your labor and you can never leave this prison (the Soviet Union) and I will kill you if you try to flee", well that's the harshest, strongest form of slavery around. So I find it insincere when people say they're opposed to "soft slavery" and their proposed solution is to replace it with violent "bonded slavery". I also don't see how you can say the Soviets didn't poorly implement communism and blame it all on the west. Stalin showed his colors as a violent oppressor early on, before the cold war, even when the US and Soviets were allies fighting the Germans. I agree with you that it's not fair to judge the abject failure of communism because the west did everything possible to ruin the system, when we should have instead offered friendly support to give it a fair chance. But I'm shocked you don't see a problem with the implementation of communism and don't object to the violent and oppressive tactics..

You say the US system was and is today based on wage slavery. Well, I work in the American system. Nobody's forcing me to work for anybody else. If I want to work for myself, I'm free to do so, and only the pro-regulation liberals get in the way. The free market system itself places no barriers on me working for myself. In fact, out of the thousands of people I've met from free-market countries I've never met anyone who was forced to work for someone against his will. This concept of 'wage slavery' in my opinion only exists in the very poor 3rd world countries where they have repressive governments that keep the people down. Go to a country like the US or Canada or Sweden, and not only is nobody forcing anyone to work, if you choose not to work and just sit at home watching TV all day, the state will even give you basic subsistence so you have food and a place to live.

Sure, there's "pressure" to work and make a better life. But are you suggesting that in your ideal system we should all have no pressure to work? Everybody should be able to sit around and do nothing and never work a day in their life? You don't see a problem with such a system?
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26-09-2013, 11:39 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  As for this social contract nonsense. You summed it up well:
Quote:Society is individual sacrifice for collective gain
Well what is society? Can you touch it? What color is it? Isn't it purely an abstract concept, merely a group of individuals, and the only thing that actually exist are individuals. So society = individuals. Therefore, when you say that some individuals must be sacrificed for the benefit of 'society', what you are actually saying is some individuals must be sacrificed for the sake of other individuals.

No. You seem to be incapable of reading what I write without ascribing ludicrous misinterpretations.

Premise: Society is individual sacrifice for collective gain.
Corollary: Society = individuals.
Conclusion: Society is sacrifice of individuals.

That's insane troll logic, right there.

A society is a group of individuals. Do you agree?

These individuals, in order to function as a society, agree on common rules of behaviour. Do you agree?

These individuals, in order to function as a society, agree on repercussions should someone hypothetically break one of their common, agreed-upon rules. Do you agree?

Depending on their rules, it may only be possible to uphold them against contravention through use of force. Do you agree?

(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  That thinking has been used to justify every imaginable horrific injustice.

The thinking of your straw men isn't relevant.

(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  I firmly believe in what Jefferson said that ALL men are created equal and have INALIENABLE rights, meaning the majority can NEVER deprive them of their rights, such as exercising free-will. The only fault I have with Jefferson is that his definition of "men" was narrow and only included white males, and non-whites were categorized as animal livestock.

What makes them inalienable?

Rights require safeguarding. Mere words on a document aren't going to stop another individual who wishes to deprive you of your rights.

(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:All my actions are justified by a social contract

Nobody in this thread said that, so right there, that's incredibly dishonest.

(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Ok, so I want to rape your daughter. It's entirely justified by the social contract, right? Oh, you're saying the social contract has nothing to justify rape? Well, the debate we're having now is if, when you club-wielders deprive others of their free will, it should be done at the state/local level so the victims can flee, OR at the national level so they have no means of escape. Refer again to that link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract Copy/paste from there what exactly you think justifies your claim that your laws must be passed at the national level, not the local level. I see nothing at all in the social contract that even touches on the scope of jurisdiction. Therefore, you're using the social contract to justify denying free will at the national level is, imo, no different than me using it to justify raping your daughter.

Please let me know where I did that. Not in your head, but in the actual words I wrote. I appreciate honesty. Thanks. Also the insults, however charming, don't seem productive.

A social contract is an agreement. If we agree "no raping", well, shucks, I guess that provides that basis. Our worst case scenario is, then, what to do if someone (you?) wants to go raping anyway. One might even reach the conclusion that force is a necessary last resort.

The division of powers and competencies between levels of government is not a God-given absolute. You seem to have a very hard time acknowledging that.

Let alone what happens when "local" governments decide to work together for whatever reason.

(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Here's a perfect example of how this concept is distorted to a ridiculous level: http://pandodaily.com/2012/05/12/what-ed...verything/

That's not germane, but thanks anyway? It's quite the wall of text you pump out.

I will be very generous and address its distillation:
"someone misapplied an idea, therefore the idea is bad".
Nope. That's not logic either.

(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Bottom line, yes, I do believe in the social contract.

Then might I ask what the above nonsense was supposed to accomplish?

(26-09-2013 04:58 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Like I've said many times, if you choose to live in a city or a state, that local jurisdiction has a right to collect taxes from you in exchange for the services it provides, and by voluntarily exercising your free will and deciding to live in that jurisdiction you are agreeing to those obligations, you are agreeing to the social contract. If you find the terms of the contract too much, fine, leave. The contract is then terminated since no services are being provided any more. But I can't stand the distorted meaning of social contract American liberals use to mean bonded slavery and the argument made that by being born you're bound to an unbreakable contract for life.

Some acts do not have a merely local remit. Jurisdiction necessarily varies from subject to subject.

Your bizarre fixation on specific modern interpretations of American politics is perplexing.

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26-09-2013, 12:28 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:But blaming "liberals" for, apparently, every thing that's ever happened would seem to be a little facetious
I'm not blaming liberals for everything, but I _AM_ saying that virtually all man-made tragedies throughout history ultimately boil down to the use of force to deprive individuals of their free will. Sometimes it's the left. Sometimes it's the right. You invited me to ask your opinion and committed to answer. So I listed several tragedies which were caused by the left. Rather than commenting on any of those issues, you just ignored them and said they're all irrelevant. So it appears you're answer is 'no contest' to my claims that liberals started the eugenics movement that was behind the holocaust, they destroyed the mass transit systems in the US leading to environmental damage, and (from my previous posts about monetary policy) liberals, who claim to be in favor of helping the poor, are actually wiping out the poor and middle class, creating huge inequality, and dooming the poor to a poverty trap.

The reason is always that whether liberals or conservatives are in charge, imo, they don't think through the possible ramifications of their actions, and are unwilling to ever consider a non-violent solution. Whereas libertarians, because we reject the use of violence, are forced to think through these issues much longer and harder to try to find voluntary alternatives to the primitive instinct to simply initiate force all the time.

Quote:Premise: Society is individual sacrifice for collective gain.
Corollary: Society = individuals.
Conclusion: Society is sacrifice of individuals.

First, you misquoted me. Your premise was: "Society is individual sacrifice for collective gain". I said that since you are advocating individual's make sacrifices for the sake of "society", and society is nothing but a group individuals, you are effectively saying you advocate some individual's make sacrifices for other individuals. Nothing in your reply refutes that. If you disagree, be specific, WHO is being sacrificed and WHO gains--and use tangible, material terms, not abstract concepts like "society". Second, you didn't answer my questions: In your system, WHO decides which individual's are called upon to make sacrifices?

Quote:These individuals, in order to function as a society, agree on common rules of behaviour. Do you agree?

These individuals, in order to function as a society, agree on repercussions should someone hypothetically break one of their common, agreed-upon rules. Do you agree?

Depending on their rules, it may only be possible to uphold them against contravention through use of force. Do you agree?

The ONLY thing we are disputing is if people who don't like the rules should be allowed to leave the group (ie society) and live in a different group (ie society) where the find the rules more palatable. I challenged you to copy/paste one thing in the social contract that says the jurisdiction of the contract must be universal (ie nationwide) so that permitted are not permitted to leave the contract, versus local/state jurisdiction so people have a choice whether to be a party to the 'social countract'. You can't come up with even one sentence in the social contract definition that in any way supports your notion that individuals should not have a choice in deciding which 'social contract' (ie jurisdiction) they choose to live under. This isn't a strawman. This _IS_ the entire debate!

Quote:What makes them inalienable?

Rights require safeguarding. Mere words on a document aren't going to stop another individual who wishes to deprive you of your rights.

Like I've said so many times, libertarians follow rules, such as that the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness are inalienable rights that the ruling political party cannot take away. I've challenged you to find any time a libertarian has broken the rule. You couldn't come up with one, conceding that we follow the rules whether it benefits or hurts us. This is like playing a game, and agreeing to a set of rules up front.

I've said many times that liberals and conservatives don't follow rules. They start playing the game and if it looks like they're losing, they change the rules on the fly. You guys balked at this charicterization, so I gave you lots of examples where liberals have been inconsistent in deciding what laws to allow, and I asked you to explain the 'rules' that liberals follow. Again, you ran from the challenge. So there seems to be no contest.

re: "All my actions are justified by a social contract". I didn't mean it as a direct quote. What I meant was that repeatedly when we disagree whether some denial of free will is appropriate, you guys regularly post links to the social contract as justification. But, as I pointed out, there's nothing in the social contract that justifies your use of force at the unversal level so that people cannot 'exit' the social contract.

It's a basic premise in the rule of law that for ANY type of contract to be valid it must be entered into voluntarily. If I hold a gun to your head and force you to sign a contract, every court will rule the contract is void. Similarly, for any type of "social" contract to be valid, it MUST be entered into voluntarily. If you state that someone is bound to the contract from birth and can never leave because the jurisdiction of the contract covers every place where he is authorized to live (ie national in scope), then it's NOT a voluntary contract and becomes void. Remember, the social contract was originally a classic liberal construct, and these same classic liberals believed, like I do, that governmental power should be as local as possible. The "social contract" concept originally had nothing to do with "debt peonage", as liberals use it today.

Quote:Please let me know where I did that [justify denying free will at the national level]. Not in your head, but in the actual words I wrote. I appreciate honesty. Thanks. Also the insults, however charming, don't seem productive.

Well that IS the entire crux of the debate. My whole point all along is that laws which deny one free will should be at the state/local level, not the national level, so one can leave if the laws are too burdensome. That IS our debate. Are you now saying you agree with me that such laws must not be at a national level? Or, you not the one said that there's no difference between the thin lines on the map (the lines we're free to move outside of) and the thick lines (the national lines which bound the area with which we're allowed to reside in). So, PLEASE, answer this: Do you believe that laws which deprive individuals' of their free will should be allowed at the national level, so individuals' have no choice to leave? Or do you believe that they should be restricted to the local level so that the "social contract" is entered into voluntarily?

Quote:Then might I ask what the above nonsense was supposed to accomplish? Your bizarre fixation on specific modern interpretations of American politics is perplexing.

Then you STILL don't understand what libertarianism is all about, and perhaps you're just not reading my posts because they're too long. Sorry, brevity is not my strength. I've stated repeatedly that libertarianism is about granting individuals free will. That means that any "social contract" they enter into which deprives them of free will, must be entered into voluntarily, meaning the jurisdiction is limited, not universal.

Why is this so complicated and impossible for you guys to understand? I know there's some intelligent people here, so you SHOULD be able to understand the concept and at least address it. If, instead of a social contract, we were talking about a mobile phone contract, wouldn't you agree that for the contract to be valid it must entered into voluntarily, meaning you have the choice of NOT subjecting yourself to the contract? If AT&T claims that you're bound to a contract merely because you exist and you have no choice in the matter, would you consider it a valid contract? So why can't you understand that libertarians want to apply the same common sense to a social contract?
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26-09-2013, 02:02 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I'm not blaming liberals for everything,

Just everything you've mentioned?

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  but I _AM_ saying that virtually all man-made tragedies throughout history ultimately boil down to the use of force to deprive individuals of their free will.

You seem to be under the impression that I disagree with that statement.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Sometimes it's the left. Sometimes it's the right. You invited me to ask your opinion and committed to answer. So I listed several tragedies which were caused by the left. Rather than commenting on any of those issues, you just ignored them and said they're all irrelevant.

They are.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  So it appears you're answer is 'no contest' to my claims that liberals started the eugenics movement that was behind the holocaust, they destroyed the mass transit systems in the US leading to environmental damage, and (from my previous posts about monetary policy) liberals, who claim to be in favor of helping the poor, are actually wiping out the poor and middle class, creating huge inequality, and dooming the poor to a poverty trap.

You are free to think so. I will say that it is not a consensus view and leave it aside (being, as I have mentioned, irrelevant).

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  The reason is always that whether liberals or conservatives are in charge, imo, they don't think through the possible ramifications of their actions, and are unwilling to ever consider a non-violent solution. Whereas libertarians, because we reject the use of violence, are forced to think through these issues much longer and harder to try to find voluntary alternatives to the primitive instinct to simply initiate force all the time.

Rather large accusations. But you know what? Sure. I don't need to defend your straw men.

This began because you said (paraphrasing) "never initiate force". It seems to me that there are some situations in which initiation of force is inevitable. You have not directly responded to that; you have stated both that you'd agree "only when everyone else does", and that in any disagreement your view is superior.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  First, you misquoted me. Your premise was: "Society is individual sacrifice for collective gain". I said that since you are advocating individual's make sacrifices for the sake of "society", and society is nothing but a group individuals, you are effectively saying you advocate some individual's make sacrifices for other individuals.

Individuals necessarily make sacrifices in order to form a society. Society is a restriction on behaviour; it is a sacrifice of some individual freedom. That is the cost. The benefits are obvious.

"Sacrifice" for the sake of the group is entirely distinct from sacrifice for the sake of some other individuals. That is a very dishonest conflation.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Nothing in your reply refutes that. If you disagree, be specific, WHO is being sacrificed and WHO gains--and use tangible, material terms, not abstract concepts like "society". Second, you didn't answer my questions: In your system, WHO decides which individual's are called upon to make sacrifices?

I hate to have to break this to you, but political theory is an abstract subject. I'm not proposing a system. I'm enumerating a principle. The details are left to the specific implementation. Personally I'd say as democratic a franchise as possible would be best; the exact mix of direct and representative democracy might vary. I don't claim to know that the optimal balance is.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  The ONLY thing we are disputing is if people who don't like the rules should be allowed to leave the group (ie society) and live in a different group (ie society) where the find the rules more palatable.

If I don't like the rules governing water management in my society, I can't just move farther upstream and keep dumping industrial waste - it hasn't ceased to be the first group's problem.

If I don't like the rules governing atmospheric pollution in my society, I can't just move across the ocean and keep operating factories - it hasn't ceased to be the first group's problem.

There are some actions which, by their nature, affect all societies. Some borders are, fundamentally, irrelevant. It is then worth considering appropriate responses to those actions. Do you agree?

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I challenged you to copy/paste one thing in the social contract that says the jurisdiction of the contract must be universal (ie nationwide) so that permitted are not permitted to leave the contract, versus local/state jurisdiction so people have a choice whether to be a party to the 'social countract'.

Which I ignored, because you didn't ask me that, you asked your straw man.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You can't come up with even one sentence in the social contract definition that in any way supports your notion that individuals should not have a choice in deciding which 'social contract' (ie jurisdiction) they choose to live under. This isn't a strawman. This _IS_ the entire debate!

Strawman. Again.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Like I've said so many times, libertarians follow rules, such as that the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness are inalienable rights that the ruling political party cannot take away.

Can other individuals take them away?

The answer to that is yes, unless you have a framework to stop them from doing so.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I've challenged you to find any time a libertarian has broken the rule. You couldn't come up with one, conceding that we follow the rules whether it benefits or hurts us. This is like playing a game, and agreeing to a set of rules up front.

No, what I said was that the rule was insufficient to cover all situations.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I've said many times that liberals and conservatives don't follow rules. They start playing the game and if it looks like they're losing, they change the rules on the fly. You guys balked at this charicterization, so I gave you lots of examples where liberals have been inconsistent in deciding what laws to allow, and I asked you to explain the 'rules' that liberals follow. Again, you ran from the challenge. So there seems to be no contest.

I declined to answer, because you didn't ask me that, you asked your straw man.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  re: "All my actions are justified by a social contract". I didn't mean it as a direct quote. What I meant was that repeatedly when we disagree whether some denial of free will is appropriate, you guys regularly post links to the social contract as justification. But, as I pointed out, there's nothing in the social contract that justifies your use of force at the unversal level so that people cannot 'exit' the social contract.

Unless - bear with me, since this is another abstract - the issue at hand has universal remit.

Slightly related - would you be willing to answer this question for me? What is the appropriate response to human rights abuses (violation of others' "inalienable" rights) occurring in other jurisdictions? What is the appropriate response to human rights violations period? I realize that your stock answer is "if it's so bad why don't they leave?", but that's not always applicable.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  It's a basic premise in the rule of law that for ANY type of contract to be valid it must be entered into voluntarily. If I hold a gun to your head and force you to sign a contract, every court will rule the contract is void. Similarly, for any type of "social" contract to be valid, it MUST be entered into voluntarily.

Yes. And?

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)fankksj Wrote:  If you state that someone is bound to the contract from birth and can never leave because the jurisdiction of the contract covers every place where he is authorized to live (ie national in scope), then it's NOT a voluntary contract and becomes void.

Indeed. And your straw man is wrong to say so. He's the only one who's said so, mind.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Well that IS the entire crux of the debate. My whole point all along is that laws which deny one free will should be at the state/local level, not the national level, so one can leave if the laws are too burdensome. That IS our debate. Are you now saying you agree with me that such laws must not be at a national level? Or, you not the one said that there's no difference between the thin lines on the map (the lines we're free to move outside of) and the thick lines (the national lines which bound the area with which we're allowed to reside in).

Your inability to understand the inherent arbitrariness in any government is rather incomprehensible. There's no difference in principle. The exact distribution of powers and competencies is entirely irrelevant to the point I was making. You have yet to understand the point, so I will keep trying.

Issues should be decided on the scale they affect.

Incidentally, what is your opinion of groups of 'local' governments who decide to team up?

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  So, PLEASE, answer this: Do you believe that laws which deprive individuals' of their free will should be allowed at the national level, so individuals' have no choice to leave?

No.

I don't believe in depriving free will at any level.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Or do you believe that they should be restricted to the local level so that the "social contract" is entered into voluntarily?

No.

I don't believe they should be enacted at any level.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Then you STILL don't understand what libertarianism is all about, and perhaps you're just not reading my posts because they're too long. Sorry, brevity is not my strength. I've stated repeatedly that libertarianism is about granting individuals free will. That means that any "social contract" they enter into which deprives them of free will, must be entered into voluntarily, meaning the jurisdiction is limited, not universal.

I'm discussing abstracts and principles. You are discussing specifics and details. Perhaps that is why we are talking past each other. I am not answering your specifics, and you are sidestepping my abstracts with specifics. But let us consider specifics, since you refuse to consider the abstract. Consider the following:

There are two 'states', Upriver and Downriver. I think you can work out their relative geographic positions. Downriver has laws against polluting the river. Upriver does not. I live in Downriver. I run a factory with the mindset of a Captain Planet villain, and as such, my factory dumps industrial waste into the river. Downriver says this is illegal, and I move to Upriver to avoid the restriction of my individual rights. I set up a factory in Upriver. It dumps industrial waste. I have changed jurisdictions, but it has not magically ceased to be Downriver's problem.

Let us then consider what happens if Upriver and Downriver, along with neighbouring state Tributary, join together in a national federation. Downriver and Tributary outvote Upriver within this new nation, and the laws against water pollution are extended to Upriver. As such, I have to retool my factory. Instead of dumping waste in the river, my factory now emits great quantities of CFCs and greenhouse gases.

And then the Hypothetical United Nations (where the HUN is a voluntary assocation of every nation on Earth, which are also conveniently enough all democratic) decides, through eminently democratic means, that CFC emissions need to be limited, because otherwise billions of people and their livelihoods will be harmed by climate change. The HUN shuts down my factory. Damn.

You might say that this is a 'universal' application of force. You'd be right. That is because it is a universal issue and cannot be addressed in any other way. If democratic decision-making processes are valid on a local level for local concerns, they must be valid at a larger level for larger concerns. That is my point for consideration.

This issue is not in any way solved by its happening somewhere else. A canned response of "just leave" is not applicable to any involved party. Borders are not always reflective of whose actions affect which other people.

I invite your response on this single hypothetical. I am well aware that it is a cartoonish simplification of real-world issues. Those issues nonetheless exist. I made it up for the sake of discussion. I endorse no other action in no other scenario. If your response extends beyond the scope of this example it is not relevant. If your response ascribes any other opinion to me it is not honest.

(26-09-2013 12:28 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Why is this so complicated and impossible for you guys to understand? I know there's some intelligent people here, so you SHOULD be able to understand the concept and at least address it. If, instead of a social contract, we were talking about a mobile phone contract, wouldn't you agree that for the contract to be valid it must entered into voluntarily, meaning you have the choice of NOT subjecting yourself to the contract? If AT&T claims that you're bound to a contract merely because you exist and you have no choice in the matter, would you consider it a valid contract? So why can't you understand that libertarians want to apply the same common sense to a social contract?

You keep arguing against straw men. I'm not sure why.

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26-09-2013, 06:35 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(24-09-2013 10:42 AM)frankksj Wrote:  @trulyx,
Say you have a town where the speed limit is 45 mph, enforced by a camera 100% of the time. OR, you have a town where there's no posted speed limits. The cops will write you a ticket, if, in their sole discretion they think you're driving too fast, and each cop has a different opinion, and the cop's opinions change over time so they make that determination on a case by case basis.

According to you the town with 45mpg is "arbitrary", and the other town is not! Sure, the 45mpg speed limit is arbitrary. But it's applied consistently, and the results are clear and predictable: If you drive 46 mph, you WILL get a ticket. Every time.

The same thing with this debate. The libertarian position is that we don't like to force people to do things against their will. So, all "classic" libertarians, whether they're far left like Noam Chomsky or far right like Ron Paul, whether it's 1880, 1980, or 2080, are entirely predictible on all key issues: Consistently opposing all laws that force people to do or stop doing things, such as laws banning drugs, banning gay marriage, etc. It's like the 45mph speed limit.

With liberals, however, there is no rule. It's just decided on a case by case basis. In the 1970's liberals thought gays were an abomination that should be locked in prison along with all the stoners. Now most of them have rethought the laws against gays, but not all, most are slowly starting to see that the ban on marijuana has been a total disaster, taking kids out of college and sending them to prison, doomed to a life of poverty. But cocaine, however, liberals generally want banned, even though stasticially it's less addictive and harmful than alcohol, which they don't want banned. However at one point in the past it was the other way around and they banned alcohol, and cocaine was a common food additive, like in Coca Cola. There's no rhyme or reason. Every liberal has a different opinion about when to force people to do things and when to let them have free will, and this changes over time.

And you say libertarians are "arbitrary" for saying we ALWAYS favor letting people exercise free will, and liberals are not arbitrary because they have no rules to guide their actions and make the rules up as they go? Bizarre definition of "arbitrary".

Morality is, of course, purely subjective, and you cannot prove it. But the fact is no human likes being forced to do something against his will. The libertarian position is "I don't like it when you do it to me, so I won't do it to you." The non-libertarian position is "I'll send the cops to tase you if you don't do what I tell you to do because I know best how you should live your life and am saving you from yourself."

I am SOOO over the silly distractions over semantics. Imagine if I did it to liberals:
"What do liberals believe?"
"Foremost we want an equal distribution of wealth"
"Define wealth"
"Money"
"So you don't mind if all the stocks and bonds are concentrated in one place, as long as the currency is equally distributed?"
"No, I'm referring to all items of value."
"Well beauty is valuable, so if you want equality in beauty I guess you want to throw acid on all the pretty girls' faces?"
"No, I'm referring to negotiable instruments."
"So, non-negotiable derivities don't apply."
"Yes, they apply, they're monetary instruments."
And this goes on for 12 pages. Is debating over symantecs useful? Isn't it better to ask useful questions like "Why do you think equal distribution of wealth is important?" "How are you going to redistribute it without disincentivizing it's creation?"

I've used other terms. I'm talking about it being complete bullshit, irrational, without reason, without justification, nonsense, junk, shit being thrown against the wall, subjective, made-up, baseless, and so on, in whatever way would equal you, as of right now, being completely full of shit and accepting something, completely without being rational, based on faith, ignorance and an inability to reason and think for yourself.

To me, if you (frankksj) have a position that is based on what you described as "the speed limit is 45 mph". There is a basis you've been describing, and you are also, as far as I can tell, accepting this standard be applied to people (or are okay with it at certain points); however, you have yet to move beyond that being irrational, bullshit, nonsense, etc.

I'm also, however, applying the exact same thing to what (cjlr) described.

(24-09-2013 06:22 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Applying the same rules regardless of circumstance is arbitrary. Attempting to analyze each situation as necessary is not arbitrary. That is the standard definition.

I'm calling (frankksj) arbitrary (maybe a euphemism for bullshit) based on the lack of rational foundation for the acceptance and application of such a rule.

I'm calling it the same way for (cjlr)'s description of a by situation analysis, based on the lack of guidance and principle for the situations, but I'm waiting for a description as well as the foundation for the acceptance and application.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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26-09-2013, 07:12 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(26-09-2013 06:35 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  I'm calling it the same way for (cjlr)'s description of a by situation analysis, based on the lack of guidance and principle for the situations, but I'm waiting for a description as well as the foundation for the acceptance and application.

I can't parse this.

Huh

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