Differences in political views.
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05-09-2013, 07:04 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  IMHO the problem is just that the labels are not used consistently, so the original meaning is lost.

All creatures on earth are born with the natural instinct to use force to get what we want, whether it be to make someone do something we want, to stop doing something we don't want, or to give us something we want. If you focus on using force to achieve economic goals, like redistribution of wealth, that is 'left'. If you use force for moral/social goals, that is 'right'. Most favor democracy, where whoever gets 51% of the vote decides and the role of the government is to use force to coerce people into doing the will of the majority.

Liberal and libertarian, like “liberty” all come from the latin word “liber” meaning “free”, as in free to do what you want with your life without being coerced through the threat of force and violence. Thus they believe the role of government is the opposite: government should play a defensive role and protect individuals against the use of force. They favor the concept of a 'constitutionally-limited republic', which means the government has a limited set of enumerated powers, all of which are defensive in nature, namely protecting people from the initiation of force both domestic and abroad.

From the liberal movement were a group that believed that enforcement of private property rights was, in itself, a more subtle form of coercion. So, they wanted to take it one step further and ban private property, where everything is collectively owned. This is communism. Socialism was merely a halfway point on the way to communism since it still allowed private personal property, but required all property used in the means of production be collectively owned.

The problem is all the meanings have changed. Technically, only Cuba and North Korea are socialist, and they are also communist, since only they ban private ownership of the means of production. However, this hasn't worked out well, so all communist countries eventually abandoned the rejection of the use of force (the non-aggression principle), which was supposed to be the goal of communism in the first place. However few people today think of socialism anymore as a ban on the means of production, and it's used in more vague terms to describe governments that invest on social programs, like Sweden.


Similarly, those today who call themselves 'liberal' generally no longer believe in the non-aggression principle, but are actually 'left' and favor using force to achieve economic goals, like a redistribution of wealth. Thus classic liberals switched to use the term 'libertarian', however that too has lost it's meaning since today, many self-proclaimed libertarians do not even know what the non-aggression principle is, and do not reject the use of force, and are actually 'right'.

Thus, the problem is that the meaning of the labels have gotten all mixed up. However, if you ask questions, it's generally easy to see which side is which.

1. Take a case where the use of force is accepted by both the left and right and ask: Do you believe in eminent domain, that, if it benefits the greater good, an individual should be forced to give up his property or do something against his will? If 'no' then you are a classic liberal/libertarian, or a possibly a socialist/communist in the original, classic sense.


2. Do you believe in the concept of private property, that individuals should be able to own things, and that the government should defend their property rights? If 'yes' go to #3. If 'no', then you are communist. If you also answered 'no' to 1, then you are a communist in the classic sense in that you still adhere to the non-aggression principle, otherwise you're more of a 'modern communist' that believes in using force.

3. Do you believe in the concept of private ownership of the means of production, namely privately owned businesses? If 'yes', continue to #4, if 'no', then you are a socialist.

4. If someone answered 'no' to #1, but 'yes' to #2 and #3, meaning a classic liberal/libertarian who rejects the use of force, I've found that, whether they are a religious conservative or a secular atheist, you can accurately predict their views on monetary policy, foreign policy, drug policy, marriage equality, and most other hot button issues because, in every case, their position boils down to a rejection of the use of force. They will back the libertarian party. If someone answered 'yes' to #1 and accepts the use of force, the question is how do they want to use it. So, ask: Do you believe in the forced redistribution of wealth, regulation of business transactions between private parties, and that the majority should have a say in an individual's economic affairs? You can also ask a variety of social questions, like if they believe in the war on drugs, marriage equality, an interventionist foreign policy, etc. Here, the results are more subjective, with some people focusing the use of force more on economic issues, usually Democrats, others more on social issues, usually Republicans, others on both, so it becomes more of a gradient on the left/right political spectrum and harder to predict.

At least in the US, it seems 95+% of the population believe in the use of force, so they fall somewhere on the left/right political spectrum and are either Democrats or Republicans, and I can see where it's hard to put the left/right into distinct buckets since it's a subjective gradual line where they want to use force. My experience is that the left and right today are unaware what classic liberalism/libertarianism is and that the only defining difference between them is that they oppose the use of force. And generally the classic liberal/libertarian sees the left and right as being mostly the same, just fighting over who gets to wield the club and what to use force on.

But if you oppose the use of force altogether (classic liberal/libertarian), then to me that is completely different than being left or right, and there's a completely different view of the role of government (ie a defensive role, rather than an offensive). However the left and right often resist accepting that the only difference between them and a libertarian is that the latter rejects the use of force, or get it confused with anarchism, a rejection of government completely, and suggest Somalia must be a libertarian paradise since it has no functioning government. This is silly, imho, since libertarians are the most vigorous defenders of the constitution, which is the very foundation upon which the government was built, and they are actually very much pro-government, they just believe it should play a defensive role rather than an offensive one.

The US was considered the model of classic liberalism/libertarianism during the Age of Enlightenment up until the early 20th century. However Hong Kong is the closest modern example of pure libertarianism. In 1971, it was a tiny, poor fishing village, owned by the British when the finance secretary, Cowperthwaite, petitioned the British to allow a modern libertarian experiment where the government had an official policy of positive non-interventionism, meaning it actively prohibited passing 'offensive' laws and it played no role in the economy, imposed no restrictions on economic activity, but also imposed no restrictions on social activity and vigorously defended freedom of speech, religion, and other purely defensive laws. The British agreed, particularly since they had no long term interest in Hong Kong—it was to be handed back to the Chinese in only 26 years anyway.

It should be noted in those 26 years, it was transformed from a tiny, poor fishing village with a per capita income of $180/year, into the world's most successful trading hub, the harbor became the busiest in the world, the airport had the highest volume of freight of anywhere in the world, gdp rose 28,000% so that it had an equivalent per capita income to the US, their stock market is #6 in the world in total volume, but if you factor in the size of the country, it was #1. And they also had such a huge flood of people 'voting with their feet' and flocking to it that the population density also became #1.

This is Hong Kong in 1971. Tiny, poor fishing village?

[Image: hongkong_1971.jpg]

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05-09-2013, 07:35 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:@cljr: define 'force'

From the dictionary:
strength or power exerted upon an object; physical coercion; violence:

In other words, if you want someone to do something against his will, what happens if he continues to resist? Will physical force be used to coerce him? Example: Many people think that it's bad to smoke pot or hire a prostitute, and they persuade legislators to pass laws prohibiting that behavior, and pay taxes to support armed police to use physical force (ie guns and tasers) to coerce people into complying. That is what I mean by using force.

In contrast, one who adheres to the non-aggression principle would accept that because that individual is not himself initiating force against another, it is wrong to use force against that individual. That doesn't mean he approves of the behavior--he can be just as opposed--he just rejects the use of force. If he is adamant that it's really important to make someone change his behavior, he will try methods that do not involve the use of physical force and threats of violence, like running ads warning of the effects.
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05-09-2013, 07:41 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(05-09-2013 07:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ...

Thank you for the response.

Define 'initiation'.

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05-09-2013, 07:52 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:Thank you for the response.
Define 'initiation'.

All these terms are defined on wikipedia. There's a whole article on what constitutes "Initiation of force": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initiation_of_force

You'll see it says: "Moral opposition to initiation of force is complementary with the non-aggression principle which supports force only in self-defense", and it links to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle, which explains it in detail, including that it "is the foundation of most present-day libertarian philosophies".

And if you look up libertarian-ism, it says: "In the United States, where the meaning of liberalism has parted significantly from classical liberalism, classical liberalism has largely been renamed libertarianism".

Thomas Jefferson wrote: "No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him."
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05-09-2013, 08:16 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(05-09-2013 07:52 PM)frankksj Wrote:  All these terms are defined on wikipedia. There's a whole article on what constitutes "Initiation of force": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initiation_of_force

You'll see it says: "Moral opposition to initiation of force is complementary with the non-aggression principle which supports force only in self-defense", and it links to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle, which explains it in detail, including that it "is the foundation of most present-day libertarian philosophies".

And if you look up libertarian-ism, it says: "In the United States, where the meaning of liberalism has parted significantly from classical liberalism, classical liberalism has largely been renamed libertarianism".

Thomas Jefferson wrote: "No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him."

I can read Wikipedia any time, thanks. I asked you. Unless you wrote that Wikipedia page [initiation of force] I assume it does not contain your exact personal views. That article is unsourced and unattributed regardless; it makes several broad and unsubstantiated assertions.

What I was actually getting at were several questions; first, if another's behaviour cannot be affected but with physical force? In recognizing private property, one is necessarily and implicitly acknowledging and sanctioning the use of force in order to maintain it.

Consider the tragedy of the commons. How is it to be prevented?

You further defined force as strictly physical; what distinction is made between physical coercion and non-physical coercion?
(yes, that is asking for another definition Thumbsup )

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05-09-2013, 09:51 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
This is digging in to philosophical details a lot more than I intended with my original, broad, sweeping generalization of political positions. At this level of detail, this could go on for hundreds of pages. Smile But, to answer your questions:

Quote:if another's behavior cannot be affected but with physical force?

Sure, there are varying degrees of coercion. Physical force is the only absolutely insurmountable form of coercion. For example, if we are in the dessert and you are starving and near death, and I tell you that I will give you food only if you stand on your head, it is very compelling coercion to make you do something you don't want (stand on your hand). But it is not 100% absolute. You have the option of dying of starvation. This, one could argue you voluntarily stood on your head since the coercion wasn't 100%, but, I would agree pretty strong coercion (say 99%) was used. What is absolute, is if I use physical force to overpower you and force you on your head, with a level of physical force you cannot resist. That is 100%.

So, I agree with you that there are varying degrees of coercion. Physical force exists at the absolute extreme as the only coercion that is 100% effective and unavoidable. Below physical force, there other strong coercion forms of coercion, all the way down to weak forms of coercion, like whispering a suggestion.

But this seems like getting mired in silly semantics. Generally those who adhere to the non-aggression principle and promote liberty, try to resist all forms of strong coercion--not just physical force. But physical force is the place to start since it's the only form of absolute 100% unavoidable coercion.

Thus in answer to "what distinction is made between physical coercion and non-physical coercion?", they are all degrees on a "spectrum of coercion", and the only distinction is that physical coercion is at the "100%" end since it's the only type that's totally unavoidable. There are other forms of coercion at the '99%', which I tend to reject as well. If you're opposed to coercion, obviously you'll start by rejecting the "100% coercion", and then as you go down the spectrum, you'll probably draw an arbitrary line at some point where you say that coercion below this level becomes weak enough that it is acceptable. Some people draw the line at 99% and say that only physical coercion is unacceptable, and all other forms, even the most extreme, are acceptable. Personally, I draw the line further down. But I concede that where you draw the line is a purely subjective call. However, what I feel is pretty obvious, is that if you use the "100% coercion", namely physical force, you can't possibly claim to be against the use of coercion (ie adhere to the non-aggression principle).

Quote:In recognizing private property, one is necessarily and implicitly acknowledging and sanctioning the use of force in order to maintain it.

Correct. Many philosophers have made that point, and I agree that it's a valid point. They propose that coercion could be reduced even more if the concept of private property was eliminated and all property was jointly owned and shared (ie communism).

I think it's a great idea, and that if they could find a way to make it work, a lot of people would be happy with that system. That is why I would never oppose any attempts to form a communist society--provided people were not forced to participate against their will.

Assume you and I each obtain plots of land in an uninhabited area and decide to form new towns. I may choose to have a system of private property, where people who come to my town have to buy their property, and everybody who comes to the town agrees that deeds will be issued to the land and that police will enforce property rights, and they choose to come voluntarily and subject themselves to private property laws. In your town, maybe you have a communist system where all the land belongs to the town, and people who want to reside in your town have to agree that all property will be held by the town, and agree to surrender whatever property they have to the town as a condition of living there. That's fine. I see no reason why we both cannot peacefully co-exist. The only requirement I feel is critical is that both of us have to agree that if someone doesn't like it in our town, they are free to leave without restrictions. So, if someone is born in your communist town, but thinks it's better in my capitalist town, he should be free to move. And vice-versa.

Quote:Consider the tragedy of the commons. How is it to be prevented?

This is one area where, as much as I would like to avoid the use of force, at times it's virtually impossible. It's a well-observed problem that when something is a shared resource that nobody owns, people deplete it and nobody takes care of it. For this reason, I think that communism is a great idea, but it just doesn't work in real life. In a communist society, nobody owns anything, so everything gets polluted and depleted. So, whenever possible, the solution to avoid the tragedy of the commons AND avoid using force, is to allow for things to be privately owned and used based on voluntary exchange that is mutually beneficial, so someone has an invested interest in maintaining the property that others want to use.

However, I concede that some things must be shared resources, commonly owned, like the oceans, the air, and other environmental concerns. So, when some libertarians argue that agencies such as the EPA are using force and coercion and should be eliminated, I agree that, in principle, I would like people to be free of the EPA's coercion. However, in practice, I just don't see a reasonable way to eliminate the use of force in such a case, and, will accept the use of force because I don't see an alternative.

Thus, to me, the non-aggression principle is not 100% absolute because there will always be exceptions. However, what I don't like is when people focus on a handful of rare exceptions where it does seem force is unavoidable, and therefore conclude that proves there's no reason to avoid using force at all, and that we should just use force for everything, even if there is a peaceful alternative.

For example, the war on drugs. It's a use of force and there most definitely ARE peaceful alternatives. And, in fact, those peaceful alternatives have actually worked BETTER than the use of force. Look at the positive changes in Portugal since they decriminalized the use of ALL drugs. But many people never consider the peaceful alternative, and they just see something they don't approve of, like someone shooting up in the street, and they immediately jump to the use of force without even considering alternatives.
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06-09-2013, 04:33 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
There's only 2 political ideologies in the whole world.
Right wing libertarianism and wrong.

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06-09-2013, 05:17 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(05-09-2013 07:04 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ...
However Hong Kong is the closest modern example of pure libertarianism. In 1971, it was a tiny, poor fishing village, owned by the British
...
It should be noted in those 26 years, it was transformed from a tiny, poor fishing village with a per capita income of $180/year, into the world's most successful trading hub,
...

This is Hong Kong in 1971. Tiny, poor fishing village?

[Image: hongkong_1971.jpg]

Yabut, you should see the size of the fish!

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06-09-2013, 06:39 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  IMHO the problem is just that the labels are not used consistently, so the original meaning is lost.

All creatures on earth are born with the natural instinct to use force to get what we want, whether it be to make someone do something we want, to stop doing something we don't want, or to give us something we want. If you focus on using force to achieve economic goals, like redistribution of wealth, that is 'left'. If you use force for moral/social goals, that is 'right'. Most favor democracy, where whoever gets 51% of the vote decides and the role of the government is to use force to coerce people into doing the will of the majority.

Liberal and libertarian, like “liberty” all come from the latin word “liber” meaning “free”, as in free to do what you want with your life without being coerced through the threat of force and violence. Thus they believe the role of government is the opposite: government should play a defensive role and protect individuals against the use of force. They favor the concept of a 'constitutionally-limited republic', which means the government has a limited set of enumerated powers, all of which are defensive in nature, namely protecting people from the initiation of force both domestic and abroad.

From the liberal movement were a group that believed that enforcement of private property rights was, in itself, a more subtle form of coercion. So, they wanted to take it one step further and ban private property, where everything is collectively owned. This is communism. Socialism was merely a halfway point on the way to communism since it still allowed private personal property, but required all property used in the means of production be collectively owned.

The problem is all the meanings have changed. Technically, only Cuba and North Korea are socialist, and they are also communist, since only they ban private ownership of the means of production. However, this hasn't worked out well, so all communist countries eventually abandoned the rejection of the use of force (the non-aggression principle), which was supposed to be the goal of communism in the first place. However few people today think of socialism anymore as a ban on the means of production, and it's used in more vague terms to describe governments that invest on social programs, like Sweden.


Similarly, those today who call themselves 'liberal' generally no longer believe in the non-aggression principle, but are actually 'left' and favor using force to achieve economic goals, like a redistribution of wealth. Thus classic liberals switched to use the term 'libertarian', however that too has lost it's meaning since today, many self-proclaimed libertarians do not even know what the non-aggression principle is, and do not reject the use of force, and are actually 'right'.

Thus, the problem is that the meaning of the labels have gotten all mixed up. However, if you ask questions, it's generally easy to see which side is which.

1. Take a case where the use of force is accepted by both the left and right and ask: Do you believe in eminent domain, that, if it benefits the greater good, an individual should be forced to give up his property or do something against his will? If 'no' then you are a classic liberal/libertarian, or a possibly a socialist/communist in the original, classic sense.


2. Do you believe in the concept of private property, that individuals should be able to own things, and that the government should defend their property rights? If 'yes' go to #3. If 'no', then you are communist. If you also answered 'no' to 1, then you are a communist in the classic sense in that you still adhere to the non-aggression principle, otherwise you're more of a 'modern communist' that believes in using force.

3. Do you believe in the concept of private ownership of the means of production, namely privately owned businesses? If 'yes', continue to #4, if 'no', then you are a socialist.

4. If someone answered 'no' to #1, but 'yes' to #2 and #3, meaning a classic liberal/libertarian who rejects the use of force, I've found that, whether they are a religious conservative or a secular atheist, you can accurately predict their views on monetary policy, foreign policy, drug policy, marriage equality, and most other hot button issues because, in every case, their position boils down to a rejection of the use of force. They will back the libertarian party. If someone answered 'yes' to #1 and accepts the use of force, the question is how do they want to use it. So, ask: Do you believe in the forced redistribution of wealth, regulation of business transactions between private parties, and that the majority should have a say in an individual's economic affairs? You can also ask a variety of social questions, like if they believe in the war on drugs, marriage equality, an interventionist foreign policy, etc. Here, the results are more subjective, with some people focusing the use of force more on economic issues, usually Democrats, others more on social issues, usually Republicans, others on both, so it becomes more of a gradient on the left/right political spectrum and harder to predict.

At least in the US, it seems 95+% of the population believe in the use of force, so they fall somewhere on the left/right political spectrum and are either Democrats or Republicans, and I can see where it's hard to put the left/right into distinct buckets since it's a subjective gradual line where they want to use force. My experience is that the left and right today are unaware what classic liberalism/libertarianism is and that the only defining difference between them is that they oppose the use of force. And generally the classic liberal/libertarian sees the left and right as being mostly the same, just fighting over who gets to wield the club and what to use force on.

But if you oppose the use of force altogether (classic liberal/libertarian), then to me that is completely different than being left or right, and there's a completely different view of the role of government (ie a defensive role, rather than an offensive). However the left and right often resist accepting that the only difference between them and a libertarian is that the latter rejects the use of force, or get it confused with anarchism, a rejection of government completely, and suggest Somalia must be a libertarian paradise since it has no functioning government. This is silly, imho, since libertarians are the most vigorous defenders of the constitution, which is the very foundation upon which the government was built, and they are actually very much pro-government, they just believe it should play a defensive role rather than an offensive one.

The US was considered the model of classic liberalism/libertarianism during the Age of Enlightenment up until the early 20th century. However Hong Kong is the closest modern example of pure libertarianism. In 1971, it was a tiny, poor fishing village, owned by the British when the finance secretary, Cowperthwaite, petitioned the British to allow a modern libertarian experiment where the government had an official policy of positive non-interventionism, meaning it actively prohibited passing 'offensive' laws and it played no role in the economy, imposed no restrictions on economic activity, but also imposed no restrictions on social activity and vigorously defended freedom of speech, religion, and other purely defensive laws. The British agreed, particularly since they had no long term interest in Hong Kong—it was to be handed back to the Chinese in only 26 years anyway.

It should be noted in those 26 years, it was transformed from a tiny, poor fishing village with a per capita income of $180/year, into the world's most successful trading hub, the harbor became the busiest in the world, the airport had the highest volume of freight of anywhere in the world, gdp rose 28,000% so that it had an equivalent per capita income to the US, their stock market is #6 in the world in total volume, but if you factor in the size of the country, it was #1. And they also had such a huge flood of people 'voting with their feet' and flocking to it that the population density also became #1.

There is really so much to deal with that in that, but it is all very subtly wrong and hard to explain, especially tersely. I'll try, as efficiently as I can, to address this.

The statement, "All creatures on earth are born with the natural instinct to use force to get what we want", is an unsupported assertion, that also, in itself, doesn't support any thing.

Your description of the left-right is wrong. The left-right distinction is between institutions and opposition to those institutions. On the right, you have institutions, e.g., slavery, wage labor, capitalism, states, kings, rulers, sexism, racism, elitism, etc., different forms of hierarchical order and inequality (depending on how you want to look at it), and on the right you have the support of such institutions, to whatever extent, and on the left, to whatever extent, you have the opposition to those institutions and/or the view that any of those are unjustified or need justification. On the left you have positions like anarchism, libertarianism, liberalism, things relating to Marxism. etc. Then on the right you have statism, authoritarianism, conservatism, capitalism, etc. Then there are obvious ways in which those things can cross paths, when dealing with different views on separate institutions. That is how you get inconsistent and/or self-serving views, such as libertarian capitalism (right-wing libertarianism) (limited statism) or capital "C" Communism (which isn't even communism), state socialism, etc-- about as philosophically inconsistent and/or arbitrary as you can get without calling a square a circle or red, black.

Bringing in the non-aggression principle, use of force, a view of liberty, a role of government, etc. is just that: those things are added elements, only good as the philosophical grounds and rational basis upon which they are founded, which in the case of a lot of nonsense is nonsense, and those things never were a part of libertarianism and/or classical liberalism, which are not even close to being the same. Classical liberalism, just looking at liberals prior to the 19th Century/late 19th Century really, was dealing with a unique set of problems, as compared to what people would have been dealing with in the 19th early 20th Century. You have to look at things that have came and went, like the English Civil War, the American Revolution/French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, etc. Different views, in specific ways, were responding to extremely dynamic problems, in whatever ways. When drawing the line, which is something I'd say you should not do because of all of those differences (as you would really be attempting to interpret how people would have respond to situations they have never had to experience) you would have to take into account a lot of different variables.

Terms like socialist and libertarian, for example, are far from mutually exclusive, in the same way that libertarianism and classic liberalism are not the synonymous. And Marxism, in general, was responding to something specific, just allowed to be open to different interpretations-- if the interpretations are full of shit, they are full of shit, not a change in definition. There, also, isn't any thing with that against ownership, against personal property or for a ban on private ownership-- those terms have to be explained, defined, etc.

Anarchism, also, falls in line with libertarianism perfectly and consistently, as does communism and socialism. Anarchism is definitely not without rules, without leaders, without organization, etc. Again, you would have to define things like government, in the same way you would have to define god before an atheist could reject it.

The US Founding Fathers, just looking at the Constitution, those times, etc.-- reading it, looking at it more objectively, not viewing it how they explain in in 8th grade or in the media-- threw liberalism completely under the bus. The Soviet Union, at a later time, threw Marxism completely under the bus, and was the best friend of the US in that regard. If you are looking for the left-wing, libertarianism, liberty, or whatever you want to call it, it is all down there. If what you have right now feels pretty nice and free, then lucky you.

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06-09-2013, 06:58 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2013 07:09 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Differences in political views.
(18-08-2013 06:38 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Liberal vs. Conservative. Libertarian. Socialism. Capitalism.

I'm now starting to doubt that there are any significant differences, in a generalized sense. Obviously there are cases where people hold to conflicting views, but I'm starting to think that maybe majority (of differences) are superficial and/or arbitrarily and irrationally constructed.

I think that as everyone honest, reasonable and wise would be an agnostic atheist, the same methods, or means, applied there, would draw, in other forms of ideology, to the same, or similar, end.

My mind has sort of hit a brick wall. Once I rejected theism long enough, I kind of forget that people actually believe in god and/or religions, and when reminded of it, I sometimes feel like life is just a dream. I'm starting to feel the same way about political ideologies.

With god(s), I reached the point where if someone labels me an atheist, that is okay, they can just explain to me what it is they believe and why, and I'll shake my head no if it is all bullshit, sort of sensing that they don't really, honestly believe any of what they are saying.

I think I have reached that point with other ideologies. I have to watch CNN or Fox News, just to remind myself that this reality seems to exist, and I try to wake myself up to no avail.

So, is it just me? Or are political ideologies just a complete sham?
ClapClapClap Yes! Exactly! That's it! Political ideologies (isms) are a complete sham. They are mere partial solutions at best, sold to people as complete solutions of all their problems. Any bullshit or partial solution will work long enough if enough people obey it. Enough people obeyed Communism and so Soviet Union lasted for whopping 40 years after WW2, despite it being a complete failure in all aspects.

If you don't know what to look for, anyone can sell you a sham.
There is the great need to be atheists of political ideologies, to have none. We must embrace reality, accept that in reality problems need to be addressed specifically and have their ad-hoc solutions according to areas of science. We need to apply the methods of science to social problems.

This is how a non-ideology looks like. It is a holistic system of applying both social (behavioral) and natural sciences through technology and design of environment. I study public law and my knowledge says it has no legal or political or coercive dimension. Which is unique. It does not define such fundamental concepts as "ownership" - it neither confirms or denies the law, most thing there seem GPL, not ©. It is fascinating for me as an involuntary lawyer and it is absolutely unimaginable to Libertarians and everyone else who believes in laws.
Whether people steal or don't steal is not determined by laws, it is determined by abundance or scarcity of the item. It is determined scientifically - behaviorally - environmentally. Environment is the key to human behavior, not laws and punishments, bribes and wants and loyalty to institutions.








(19-08-2013 09:37 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  I don't refuse ideologies. Atheism, is a kind of ideology, dependent on other ideologies that were forced on society, being continually rejected.
You're right. It is all right to be an atheist, as long as you recognize that it is just one small answer on one small question, do you believe in god? Isms can be handled safely if you know their limitations. You know that atheism does not contain morality, you take your morality from elsewhere.

(20-08-2013 10:44 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  Libertarianism, isn't even a "small a government as possible philosophy", it is one, with regard to liberty. Government by its authoritarian nature, can have qualities of infringing on liberty. It is a broad philosophy, however. For some libertarians they see certain economic institutions as also infringing on liberty, and thus left in that regard also, while others don't and are right-wing with regard to economics. Some are opposed to government completely.
See how Libertarianism is like atheism, a negative definition? No-governmentism. No-godism. I can appreciate those who realize, that certain economic institutions (like money) also infringe on liberty. Hear, hear!
But these isms only say what should not be, not what should be. They don't say how to get things done. They have no idea. Libertarians usually assume that claiming any objective truth or collective goal is dictatorship. We can not know the truth about anything, much less human beings. If anything is true, it will surely emerge successfully on top in free competition of ideas on a free market! (bullshit. Big, big bullshit.)
I have met some very stupid Libertarians in my country. In any case, my country needs them to cut down the taxes, debts and corruption. We really need that.

And Libertarians need to get educated about science. Science is objective and obligatory for all rational people and no, it is not fascism. Scientific method is the most reliable thing we have, more than democracy or "free" market. Science is not coercion. It warns us before reality kills us.

Once I fired up my philosophic mind and came up with a definition of liberty (freedom) that was quite difficult and unpleasant and which explained why people sell it to politicians sooner or later.

(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  From the liberal movement were a group that believed that enforcement of private property rights was, in itself, a more subtle form of coercion. So, they wanted to take it one step further and ban private property, where everything is collectively owned. This is communism. Socialism was merely a halfway point on the way to communism since it still allowed private personal property, but required all property used in the means of production be collectively owned.
Sorry for the long text, but this is actually back on topic.

How would you name or define a... belief system, which is non-legal, non-political, without rights? Where rights are informally known, but not considered important? A belief system which stresses the importance of technical knowledge how to practically achieve these rights for everyone? Let's say I believe rights are a mere illusion, unless supported by abundance of resources. In scarcity of resources, rights will be inevitably and frequently violated. So we have to avoid scarcity and it's important to know how. This how, that's science and engineering. But how do you call this intention to do it? Is it humanism, charity or something? Fresco says, he doesn't understand the words, what is true Christianity, what is love or what is spiritual. He doesn't understand them, except as this. There is no real love, no spirituality promised in religious books, unless we use the science and engineering to solve human problems in a holistic way. Two complementary isms (like capitalism and law) do not make one full solution.
Is there any ism on that? Or is it just reason and love?

(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  1. Take a case where the use of force is accepted by both the left and right and ask: Do you believe in eminent domain, that, if it benefits the greater good, an individual should be forced to give up his property or do something against his will? If 'no' then you are a classic liberal/libertarian, or a possibly a socialist/communist in the original, classic sense.
What if I just avoid this whole question through educating adults and children in how things work, so that they know there is no property? It's all stolen from Earth, stolen like America from Indians. So we better manage the resources in a sustainable, global way with best technology we have to achieve peak efficiency. I purposefully avoid this question. I am against both, property and violence, but deeply in favor of education. A non-authoritative education.

(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  2. Do you believe in the concept of private property, that individuals should be able to own things, and that the government should defend their property rights? If 'yes' go to #3. If 'no', then you are communist. If you also answered 'no' to 1, then you are a communist in the classic sense in that you still adhere to the non-aggression principle, otherwise you're more of a 'modern communist' that believes in using force.
Neither. People must have access to things, they don't need things, they only need a car because they want to get somewhere or attract girls and that can be accomplished with public maglev transport and counseling. Not that everyone buys Porsche for himself. People think they want something, but that's just a delusion. I am in favor of educating people out of delusions, not suppressing them, nor going along with them.

(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  3. Do you believe in the concept of private ownership of the means of production, namely privately owned businesses? If 'yes', continue to #4, if 'no', then you are a socialist.
No, I don't believe anyone can own the means of producion. Earth belongs to itself. The matter of our bodies comes from soil nutrients and oil fertilizers. We do not have anything of our own, except knowledge and technology.

(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  But if you oppose the use of force altogether (classic liberal/libertarian), then to me that is completely different than being left or right, and there's a completely different view of the role of government (ie a defensive role, rather than an offensive). However the left and right often resist accepting that the only difference between them and a libertarian is that the latter rejects the use of force, or get it confused with anarchism, a rejection of government completely, and suggest Somalia must be a libertarian paradise since it has no functioning government. This is silly, imho, since libertarians are the most vigorous defenders of the constitution, which is the very foundation upon which the government was built, and they are actually very much pro-government, they just believe it should play a defensive role rather than an offensive one.
I don't oppose force, I just think of prevention and replacing it with a better system. If I get mugged, I'll use force, but I'd rather have economic infrastructure in place to take care of people, so that they don't even have to think of mugging me or the Constitution. It's the environment that truly shapes human behavior, not Constitution nor government. It is proven that nobody steals water near waterfalls of fresh water. And nobody steals food on luxurious ocean liners - they just take it off the table. Don't give people property, property is wasteful and expensive. Property means they use it 8 hours a day and 16 hours it's useless. Give people access. We don't want the thing itself, to keep it in our house and dust it off, we want to use it and leave it. What is more efficient, to use one shared thing and wear it out quickly, or let 20 people buy 20 things and let them wear them out slowly? If we used the resources to design one almost indestructible military-grade thing to share, it would be still cheaper resource-wise than each to their own whatever cheap equipment they can afford.

(05-09-2013 09:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Thus in answer to "what distinction is made between physical coercion and non-physical coercion?", they are all degrees on a "spectrum of coercion", and the only distinction is that physical coercion is at the "100%" end since it's the only type that's totally unavoidable. There are other forms of coercion at the '99%', which I tend to reject as well. If you're opposed to coercion, obviously you'll start by rejecting the "100% coercion", and then as you go down the spectrum, you'll probably draw an arbitrary line at some point where you say that coercion below this level becomes weak enough that it is acceptable. Some people draw the line at 99% and say that only physical coercion is unacceptable, and all other forms, even the most extreme, are acceptable. Personally, I draw the line further down. But I concede that where you draw the line is a purely subjective call. However, what I feel is pretty obvious, is that if you use the "100% coercion", namely physical force, you can't possibly claim to be against the use of coercion (ie adhere to the non-aggression principle).
What makes people draw the line? How do they know where to draw it? Is it just a personal impression? Because then, as TrulyX says, it's really a sham. It doesn't matter at all where the line is drawn. It matters why is it the best choice in a given situation and means, what is it good for, and how is the line drawn.

I have met many Libertarians who believe that if government throws you into prison and lets you starve, it's violence. But if Mother Nature throws you out of house and then you go hungry on the streets and there is food with too high prices and nobody gives it to you, it's not violence. I find them no different to Christians, who say that to reject God and burn in hell forever is a choice. It's a dictionary choice.

I'd say I draw the line very, very very low. I recognize not only coercion from one's government, but also from nature (and business opportunism) and from the culture itself, from mass media. More coercion from one's environment - authorities, relatives, peer pressure and of course, parents. Parents can beat or brainwash a kid. And finally, we can brainwash and mistreat ourselves. We can have ideas that are harmful to us, we can lie to ourselves with our own opinions. I do draw the line inside the human being, between him and his own thoughts and wants. From this line up, shit happens. From this line up, the society as we have it today is corrupt and full of shit. There is so much shitfall in our society that sometimes shit hits the fan and we call that a crime, poverty and war and we write laws against it and make other shit to bounce it away from the fan for a while. These are the isms, the ideologies, the pieces of thought. Politics is the big unspoken lie that there is a line, the line is a lie that what happens above it is wrong, but what happens below it is all right. Politics and legal line are very crude tools and are necessarily out of touch with reality.

So I find it right that Libertarians reject politics, but I find it very wrong that they're mostly a very uneducated bunch, they draw the line just a bit lower. I have drawn the line so low, that I doubted my own thoughts and ideas. I'm not smug, I felt very stupid and ideologically destitute for years and in many areas I still feel like that.
Let's just say I draw the line where stupidity, ignorance and personal opinion begins. These things hurt the society. What is ownership? Do we own anything? I say, nope. People do not have the right even to own their opinion. If they don't know exactly, they must say "I don't have the information, let's find it out." This is where Fresco draws the line and I find that very reasonable. How does he draw the line? By 75 years worth of work to design a global infrastructure and new emergent, evolving model of society, education, human conduct and so on. It will even take a redesign of language, proper use of semantics. We need a new language with no overtones, that is like blueprint or mathematics, it says only precisely defined things. In English we have lots of different pronunciation and shades of meaning and it's beautiful to make poetry with it - but it's terribly dangerous to use it for a negotiation about nuclear weapons, military invasions and differences of opinion. We can't even talk to each other without lying, lying is part of the language.

(05-09-2013 09:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Assume you and I each obtain plots of land in an uninhabited area and decide to form new towns. I may choose to have a system of private property, where people who come to my town have to buy their property, and everybody who comes to the town agrees that deeds will be issued to the land and that police will enforce property rights, and they choose to come voluntarily and subject themselves to private property laws. In your town, maybe you have a communist system where all the land belongs to the town, and people who want to reside in your town have to agree that all property will be held by the town, and agree to surrender whatever property they have to the town as a condition of living there. That's fine. I see no reason why we both cannot peacefully co-exist. The only requirement I feel is critical is that both of us have to agree that if someone doesn't like it in our town, they are free to leave without restrictions. So, if someone is born in your communist town, but thinks it's better in my capitalist town, he should be free to move. And vice-versa.
Very reasonable. If people want to leave, it's not their fault, it's because the town doesn't meet their needs.

The one objection I have against Communism is, that Communism says nothing about how to make Communism work. Earliest Christians were like Communists, just read the Sermon on the mountain, but they relied on God and nature. Actual Communists relied on force. They were both bereft of social and natural sciences and engineering knowledge to make it work.

(05-09-2013 09:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  This is one area where, as much as I would like to avoid the use of force, at times it's virtually impossible. It's a well-observed problem that when something is a shared resource that nobody owns, people deplete it and nobody takes care of it. For this reason, I think that communism is a great idea, but it just doesn't work in real life. In a communist society, nobody owns anything, so everything gets polluted and depleted. So, whenever possible, the solution to avoid the tragedy of the commons AND avoid using force, is to allow for things to be privately owned and used based on voluntary exchange that is mutually beneficial, so someone has an invested interest in maintaining the property that others want to use.

However, I concede that some things must be shared resources, commonly owned, like the oceans, the air, and other environmental concerns. So, when some libertarians argue that agencies such as the EPA are using force and coercion and should be eliminated, I agree that, in principle, I would like people to be free of the EPA's coercion. However, in practice, I just don't see a reasonable way to eliminate the use of force in such a case, and, will accept the use of force because I don't see an alternative.
You see, communism is not an idea, it's an ism. It has zero explanatory power to tell why people behave as they behave.
I'd say, people have a great but limited capability to feel attachment, a relationship to things. Since the earliest age, this capability is filled with attachment to nonsense. Love and loyalty to parents and family, fairy tales, nation, king, women, men, pop stars, products, sport teams, political parties - the culture, or clutter of society. Unreal things. So if we feel so attached to unreal things, there is no place left to feel relationship to real things - to the air which keeps us alive, the soil which makes things grow, to a healthy body which is vital to feel good, and to real knowledge which allows us to solve problems and improve our life.
People have their capacity filled with bullshit and they regard the environment as no-man's land. They do not feel a relationship to it, they do not have anything invested in it. If they felt that clean water in lakes and streams is their investment, their right, property and heritage, their freedom to jump in and swim any time they want and drink from it directly without dying, they wouldn't pollute it. If they're given a choice of keeping a job and supporting their family by pouring some barrels of toxic waste into a river, they'll choose their family, because they have invested a lot in their family, more than in the environment.

Of course, force, law and politics are very, very crude instruments. If politicians draw the line low and say, alcohol must be prohibited, marijuana must be prohibited, they have only very crude, ineffective means to do it. Laws and policemen. They won't stop the drug trade, they will only make it a bit more difficult, but a lot more profitable. And lots of people will get hurt. So it is right to draw the line very high, to leave most of the society unregulated by the government. Government can't fix every wrong, in fact it can't fix almost anything. So it shouldn't do almost anything Smile But at the end of the day, there is so much wrong with our society that we need to do something about it. What is that something? That's the rest of the post.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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