Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
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04-02-2014, 12:36 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 09:58 AM)cjlr Wrote:  There is a difference between the actions of a society and the actions of an individual.

This statement proves that the problem is your ignorance of libertarianism. If you knew what classic liberalism was, you'd realize that early liberal philosophers like Locke and Bastiat disputed that assertion. They ask "what does a society look like? what color is it?" When you think that way, you realize society is nothing but a group of individuals. Society is an abstraction, a group, it doesn't exist. And so when whatever individuals within the group (society) have the power to make laws that force others to do things against their will, that means some individuals are forcing others.

Sacrificing individual liberties for the sake of "society" means sacrificing some individuals for the sake of other individuals. It means those individuals who have more power, be it because of military might or sheer voting numbers, are exploiting others who have less power. And the whole basis of libertarianism thinking is that all individuals are created equal with the same rights. It doesn't matter whether you belong to a group that represents 90% of the population and you call yourself "society", or a fringe extremist group. They're all individuals.

IF you understood libertarianism, you would be refuting this position, not just blindly repeating the excuse that actions of society are not actions of individuals.
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04-02-2014, 12:40 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 12:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 12:00 PM)toadaly Wrote:  Society, is just a collection of individuals. It isn't something more.

Of course it is. It is the relationships and interactions between and among individuals.

Fine then, it's simply a collection of individuals interacting. It's not something more than that.

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04-02-2014, 12:47 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 09:58 AM)cjlr Wrote:  There is a difference between the actions of a society and the actions of an individual.

This statement proves that the problem is your ignorance of libertarianism. If you knew what classic liberalism was, you'd realize that early liberal philosophers like Locke and Bastiat disputed that assertion. They ask "what does a society look like? what color is it?" When you think that way, you realize society is nothing but a group of individuals. Society is an abstraction, a group, it doesn't exist.

I would say this is basic reasoning, it doesn't even require knowledge of libertarianism, nor Locke et. al. It seems to me, that underlying collectivism in general, is a tendency to anthropomorphise 'society', as if it were some separate conscious entity, rather than simply the sum of its parts.

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04-02-2014, 12:57 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 12:47 PM)toadaly Wrote:  It seems to me, that underlying collectivism in general, is a tendency to anthropomorphise 'society', as if it were some separate conscious entity, rather than simply the sum of its parts.

Absolutely. Very well put. "Society" is an excuse that some people use to justify coercing other people into doing things against their will.

Where you really see it is when discussing moral issues like prostitution. There was a thread debating if being a prostitute is moral, and like any other job, and whether women should be allowed to sell sex. This is naturally subjective. When I defend a woman's right to choose, I'm not saying I approve of her choices. I may object to prostitution more than most. I'm just saying the woman is an individual, it's her body, it's her life, and I don't feel other individuals have a right to tell her what to do. That's not the same as saying you approve of prostitution. But then statists will say her freedom needs to be sacrificed for "society", which means "I do not like prostitution, I want her to stop, so I'm going to use society as a cover so I don't sound like a club-wielding brute telling other people how to live their lives."
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04-02-2014, 02:27 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  This statement proves that the problem is your ignorance of libertarianism. If you knew what classic liberalism was, you'd realize that early liberal philosophers like Locke and Bastiat disputed that assertion. They ask "what does a society look like? what color is it?" When you think that way, you realize society is nothing but a group of individuals. Society is an abstraction, a group, it doesn't exist.

Abstractions and groups are very much things that exist.

(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And so when whatever individuals within the group (society) have the power to make laws that force others to do things against their will, that means some individuals are forcing others.

Which is not related to my earlier statement.

You are quite capable when you are arguing against things nobody has said.

Society is "just" individuals in aggregate the same way an individual is "just" molecules in aggregate.

(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Sacrificing individual liberties for the sake of "society" means sacrificing some individuals for the sake of other individuals.

That's nonsensical.

Implicit in participation in a society is agreement to accept the rules of that society. This is a restriction of total freedom of action. This is literally exactly what philosophers such as Locke actually said. Do you listen to yourself?

(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  It means those individuals who have more power, be it because of military might or sheer voting numbers, are exploiting others who have less power.

Those strawmen sure are wrong to do so.

(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And the whole basis of libertarianism thinking is that all individuals are created equal with the same rights. It doesn't matter whether you belong to a group that represents 90% of the population and you call yourself "society", or a fringe extremist group. They're all individuals.

Enforcing the precepts of legal system is not the same as enforcing the will of an individual. Let us recall for the moment that you also believe in having a legal system.

(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  IF you understood libertarianism, you would be refuting this position, not just blindly repeating the excuse that actions of society are not actions of individuals.

I did not "repeat the excuse". I was not excusing excusing anything.

Do you understand how a legal system works?

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04-02-2014, 02:29 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 12:40 PM)toadaly Wrote:  Fine then, it's simply a collection of individuals interacting. It's not something more than that.

... which is not equivalent to reductionism.

Do recognize that there is a difference in kind between a person acting purely of their own accord, and a person acting to enforce the mutually agreed upon precepts of a community?

(04-02-2014 12:47 PM)toadaly Wrote:  I would say this is basic reasoning, it doesn't even require knowledge of libertarianism, nor Locke et. al. It seems to me, that underlying collectivism in general, is a tendency to anthropomorphise 'society', as if it were some separate conscious entity, rather than simply the sum of its parts.

Sure. And?

That does not appear to relate to the statement I made.

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04-02-2014, 04:45 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 02:29 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Do recognize that there is a difference in kind between a person acting purely of their own accord, and a person acting to enforce the mutually agreed upon precepts of a community?

Sure, if it's mutually agreed upon. It's certainly not clear that people make such mutual agreements in the context of laws. I think some people do, when they embrace the political system and become part of it. But many (most?) others are simply born into it, essentially forced into it, and there is no mutual agreement.

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(04-02-2014 12:47 PM)toadaly Wrote:  I would say this is basic reasoning, it doesn't even require knowledge of libertarianism, nor Locke et. al. It seems to me, that underlying collectivism in general, is a tendency to anthropomorphise 'society', as if it were some separate conscious entity, rather than simply the sum of its parts.

Sure. And?

That does not appear to relate to the statement I made.

...why would you expect it to?

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04-02-2014, 04:49 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
You seem confused. You're actually arguing my point.

(04-02-2014 02:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Society is "just" individuals in aggregate the same way an individual is "just" molecules in aggregate.

YES!!! SOCIETY = GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS

(04-02-2014 02:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 12:36 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Sacrificing individual liberties for the sake of "society" means sacrificing some individuals for the sake of other individuals.

That's nonsensical.

No, you're confused. It's called substitution. If we're debating if a=2, and we know that a=b, we're also debating if b=2. You just conceded that SOCIETY=INDIVIDUALS, therefore the statement "Sacrifice individuals for the sake of society" IS THE SAME AS "Sacrifice individuals for the sake of other individuals".

(04-02-2014 02:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  This is a restriction of total freedom of action. This is literally exactly what philosophers such as Locke actually said. Do you listen to yourself?

YES!!!! He argued that all individuals should be restricted from initiating force or making threats of violence on others to coerce them into doing something against their will! That's MY argument. The opposing argument I'm fighting is "might makes right", namely, if you have the power to make somebody do something, such as getting 51% of voters to agree with you or lobbying politicians, then you automatically have the right, because all laws are legitimate, and there is no freedom of action. I argue, as Locke did, that NO, there actually ARE limits, and laws which force other people to do things against their will are immoral.

(04-02-2014 02:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Implicit in participation in a society is agreement to accept the rules of that society.... Do recognize that there is a difference in kind between a person acting purely of their own accord, and a person acting to enforce the mutually agreed upon precepts of a community?

YES!!! If coercive the jurisdiction of coercive laws are restricted so that people have the right to leave, then YES, they have 'AGREED' to subject themselves to those laws. Therefore, while I don't like any coercive laws, the only ones I fight against are those that are passed at the national level so that people cannot leave, because the jurisdiction covers every place one can legally live. In such a case, you are BORN INTO a set of laws that you cannot escape. And nobody AGREED to be born, let alone born in some specific place. I'd actually rather have open borders globally and let everyone live and work anywhere they want. But until that happens, the only way that people can AGREE to "precepts of community", is if the jurisdiction is limited and you have the choice of leaving. Otherwise, the "social contract" is null and void since it wasn't entered into voluntarily.

(04-02-2014 02:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Enforcing the precepts of legal system is not the same as enforcing the will of an individual. Let us recall for the moment that you also believe in having a legal system. Do you understand how a legal system works?

YES!!! That is what I'm arguing. In the US, the law of the land is the constitution, which states the Federal government has a narrow set of enumerated powers, all of which are to defend liberty, and any coercive laws MUST be passed at the state level so people can leave. And the supreme court must invalidate federal laws that go beyond that set of powers. That is the rule of law. That is the legal system. YES, I am in favor abiding by it.

Q: Are you willing to accept the framework in the constitution with limited enumerated powers at the federal level? Or, do you want to be able to pass coercive laws at the national level which force people to do things against their will, and which people cannot escape from?

Please go on the record and state what side of the fence you're on. Attacking others without revealing your own position and subjecting it to criticism is cowardly.
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04-02-2014, 04:53 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 04:45 PM)toadaly Wrote:  Sure, if it's mutually agreed upon. It's certainly not clear that people make such mutual agreements in the context of laws. I think some people do, when they embrace the political system and become part of it. But many (most?) others are simply born into it, essentially forced into it, and there is no mutual agreement.

"Things can be flawed" is not something I was contesting. That there is in fact a difference between individual initiative and societally endorsed actions is.

(04-02-2014 04:45 PM)toadaly Wrote:  ...why would you expect it to?

I wouldn't, seeing as how you were following on from a response that was itself a non sequitur.

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04-02-2014, 05:15 PM
RE: Why are American liberterians so absurdly insane?
(04-02-2014 04:49 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You seem confused. You're actually arguing my point.

Which makes you delusional, because I have not been inconsistent.

(04-02-2014 04:49 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 02:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Society is "just" individuals in aggregate the same way an individual is "just" molecules in aggregate.

YES!!! SOCIETY = GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS

You appear to have missed the actual substance of the analogy.

I invite you to consider the concepts of emergence and reductionism.

(04-02-2014 04:49 PM)frankksj Wrote:  No, you're confused. It's called substitution. If we're debating if a=2, and we know that a=b, we're also debating if b=2. You just conceded that SOCIETY=INDIVIDUALS, therefore the statement "Sacrifice individuals for the sake of society" IS THE SAME AS "Sacrifice individuals for the sake of other individuals".

Insofar as a society is necessarily composed of individuals, yes. Insofar as a society is not merely composed of individuals, no.

I invite you to consider the concepts of emergence and reductionism.

(04-02-2014 04:49 PM)frankksj Wrote:  YES!!!! He argued that all individuals should be restricted from initiating force or making threats of violence on others to coerce them into doing something against their will! That's MY argument. The opposing argument I'm fighting is "might makes right", namely, if you have the power to make somebody do something, such as getting 51% of voters to agree with you or lobbying politicians, then you automatically have the right, because all laws are legitimate, and there is no freedom of action. I argue, as Locke did, that NO, there actually ARE limits, and laws which force other people to do things against their will are immoral.

One of your problems, however, is that you are so eager to make that argument that you launch into it regardless of what you are responding to.

It's actually kind of a serious problem.

(04-02-2014 04:49 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 02:27 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Implicit in participation in a society is agreement to accept the rules of that society.... Do recognize that there is a difference in kind between a person acting purely of their own accord, and a person acting to enforce the mutually agreed upon precepts of a community?

YES!!! If coercive the jurisdiction of coercive laws are restricted so that people have the right to leave, then YES, they have 'AGREED' to subject themselves to those laws. Therefore, while I don't like any coercive laws, the only ones I fight against are those that are passed at the national level so that people cannot leave, because the jurisdiction covers every place one can legally live. In such a case, you are BORN INTO a set of laws that you cannot escape. And nobody AGREED to be born, let alone born in some specific place. I'd actually rather have open borders globally and let everyone live and work anywhere they want. But until that happens, the only way that people can AGREE to "precepts of community", is if the jurisdiction is limited and you have the choice of leaving. Otherwise, the "social contract" is null and void since it wasn't entered into voluntarily.

To which I add - as I have so many times - that the existence, location, and nature of national borders is no less arbitrary than for any other borders.

(04-02-2014 04:49 PM)frankksj Wrote:  YES!!! That is what I'm arguing. In the US, the law of the land is the constitution, which states the Federal government has a narrow set of enumerated powers, all of which are to defend liberty, and any coercive laws MUST be passed at the state level so people can leave. And the supreme court must invalidate federal laws that go beyond that set of powers. That is the rule of law. That is the legal system. YES, I am in favor abiding by it.

So you recognize the difference between an agent of the legal system performing a certain act (an agent who is "just an individual") and an individual who is not an agent of the legal system performing the same act?

Which is to say, exactly what I originally said? And you went on some bizarre tangent attempting to refute a complete mischaracterisation of? That?

(04-02-2014 04:49 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: Are you willing to accept the framework in the constitution with limited enumerated powers at the federal level? Or, do you want to be able to pass coercive laws at the national level which force people to do things against their will, and which people cannot escape from?

Please go on the record and state what side of the fence you're on. Attacking others without revealing your own position and subjecting it to criticism is cowardly.

That's not one question, it's two. And both are laden with implicit definitions and assumptions which you do not adequately specify.

I have explained to you several times that I do not begin from exactly the same moral premises and conceptions that you do. This is because I am a different person. You have set up a dichotomy whose parameters I disagree with. Now, from experience, if I attempt to explain why and how I differ on those parameters, you will be upset that I "didn't answer".

I will say to you once again that all laws are coercive insofar as they limit one's ability to act freely, and do so under threat of consequence. Do you accept this statement?

One's own beliefs are furthermore irrelevant when pointing errors made by others. So there's that.

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