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Author Topic: This is where I stop believing Obama is possibly a rational, intelligent man.  (Read 11103 times)
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June 22, 2011, 10:28:39 PM
 #141

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June 22, 2011, 10:52:30 PM
 #142

Imagine Able and Infirm living alone on an abandoned island. They have access to three huge coconut trees (resources) which provide them with coconuts (welfare). Able is strong and healthy, and can therefore work long hours, each day, on more than one tree. (What authority defines this?) Infirm can only work a limited number of hours per day and cannot climb up the trees for coconuts.(Again, what authority defines this?) His (opportunity for) welfare is therefore limited to coconuts immediately accessible on
the ground. (Can this really be objectively defined? Could he not facilitate the construction of a machine to help with his coconut collection?)

The non-socialist, left-libertarian strategy for achieving justice in distribution between Able and Infirm involves giving Infirm a private property share (How? By stealing it from somebody or claiming it in the first place?)in the coconut trees sufficient to induce Able to engage in unforced, uncoerced, voluntary exchange with Infirm, in a way that produces (appropriately construed) equality (What entitles equality? Who is to define this is fair?) between the two.


At the same time, Able must be guaranteed effective self-ownership, so that he is not forced to sacrifice life, limb or labour for Infirm. To this end, Able is granted private ownership rights over an adequate amount of physical space and over one coconut tree. Infirm is granted property rights to two coconut trees.

This is where this becomes a load of horse shit in terms of rights to oneself. It totally throws away who owned the trees before. Able may have possessed these trees but then some "collective" authority takes them away and gives them to Infirm. Oh, but the collective sees this as 'fair' and 'good'. This is statism. No doubt about it. I can't have my trees because Infirm only wants to leave his recliner and grab so many a day.

I thought there would be sounder logic for all this but I am only left disappointed. It's people who just can't accept some organisms are stronger than another and can achieve more than another. It's pure parasitism in the name of a subjective common good.
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June 22, 2011, 10:53:44 PM
 #143

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June 22, 2011, 11:03:33 PM
 #144

To those who say I have no use than more than one coconut tree, you are wrong. I could start a coconut farm, increase efficiency and sell to more lazy people like Infirm, instead of having them pick them off the ground.

Oh, but that would be food for profit! I will profit as much as I damn well please. It takes a lot of work creating a coconut farm, thank you.

In the end, I think it would achieve a better result than having men with guns divide up trees.
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June 22, 2011, 11:10:02 PM
 #145

Quote
This is where I stop believing Obama is possibly a rational, intelligent man.

This quote would make a lot of sense in 2008. When he became the clear mainstream candidate....

Imean they all do, don't they ? After a while it becomes more and more evident their politics is == their campaign/lobbying money. This latest thing which the OP brings up, to me is no surprise, he wants to defend his ratings, great isnt it ? (afterall it's exactly how democracy works, just get re-elected dude and nothing else matters! Just save those jobs now! It will improve our stats!)

Welcome to Disneyland, I mean long live democracy!

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June 22, 2011, 11:29:27 PM
 #146

http://desertislandgame.com/

I'll just leave this here....

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
AyeYo
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June 23, 2011, 01:15:07 AM
 #147


That's completely untrue.  I'm being forced under threat of violence to conform to a society whose rules I do not agree with and whose "coercive" market forces (your definition, not the real one) affect my daily life even though I do not agree with the policies that created them - just like you living in our current society.

Care to present an actual example of this?

An actual example of what?  The fact that, if defined as you people define it, ANY system of social contruction is "coercive" to those that do not 100% agree with it and ALL are enforced under threat of violence to one extent or another?

I'm not sure which part of that you're having a difficult time wrapping your mind around.  Perhaps it's because you think Liberland would be a flawless utopia that no person could do anything but love with all their heart.


Wow.  You really have no clue what a libertarian believes.


I guess it really would just kill you to stop dodging and just address what's being presented to you.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
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June 23, 2011, 01:39:12 AM
 #148

I thought there would be sounder logic for all this but I am only left disappointed. It's people who just can't accept some organisms are stronger than another and can achieve more than another. It's pure parasitism in the name of a subjective common good.

That is just conjecture. One could paint right-libertarianism as being pure selfishness without regard for any other person. As part of a community, people could define a different set of norms regarding ownership and distribution that hold equality of opportunity as a higher good. (Yes, I realize there is nothing inherently opposing some people coming together in anarcho-capitalist land and deciding to live this way -- in fact I believe that in a pure anarcho-capitalism, it would evolve towards most workers working in collectives).

Also, you neglected the explanation of sufficiency vs surplus and when each was entitled to sufficiency and when each was entitled to surplus.

Regardless of what you think about the contrived coconut example in one essay, there is a larger question of land ownership and resource ownership. Most left-libertarians would assert that natural resources are, a priori, held in common trust. Therefore, they either must stay in common trust, or if they are taken out of common trust some benefits need to be paid to everyone for taking their inheritance. (This for example, is the backbone of Thomas Paine's Agrarian Justice pamphlet where he argues that every person born in the United States should be guaranteed a basic level of subsistence income/goods). (I would go further and say that any surplus created from labor belongs to labor equally as well as the owner of the means of production)

This is fundamentally opposed to the right-libertarian notion that natural resources are "unclaimed" until someone claims them by improving them.

Whether or not natural resources belong to the world or belong to no-one is an axiomatic declaration. You can build a set of internally consistent ethical rules on top of that supposition, but it is hard to argue one is inherently "truer" than the other.

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June 23, 2011, 01:41:52 AM
 #149

http://desertislandgame.com/

I'll just leave this here....

Sorry but asserting Comparative Advantage (which, BTW, assumes immobility of capital - bitcoins in particular should move us towards absolute advantage) has little to do with the philosophy between reconciling strong ideas of self-ownership with egalitarian preferences
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June 23, 2011, 01:44:10 AM
 #150

Then we need to get even more basic.  What defines "ownership"?  What does it mean that an individual believes that he "owns" a thing, whether or not others recognize his claim?

It means that the individual believes she has the exclusive say over how such "thing" is used.
Anonymous
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June 23, 2011, 02:14:36 AM
 #151

1. Make everything illegal
2.Arrest everyone
3.Put them to work in prison labour camps
4.Full employment
5.Profit$$$
NghtRppr
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June 23, 2011, 02:23:47 AM
 #152

I'm being forced under threat of violence to conform to a society whose rules I do not agree with and whose "coercive" market forces (your definition, not the real one) affect my daily life even though I do not agree with the policies that created them - just like you living in our current society.

The only thing you're being forced to do is keep your paws off of other people and their stuff.

We can debate whether or not you should be allowed to rob, rape and murder all day but as soon as you try to do any of those things, the debate is over and we settle this with violence. It's your call. I'd prefer peaceful means but if you touch me or my property, you do so at your own peril.
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June 23, 2011, 02:28:27 AM
 #153

The only thing you're being forced to do is keep your paws off of other people and their stuff.

1) How did they get that stuff? What if that stuff belongs to everyone like clean air? Can I shoot you for polluting my air with your wood stove?

2) Who decided that taking a human life was a morally acceptable way of defending property that can be made whole through restitution on other ways?
MoonShadow
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June 23, 2011, 02:35:17 AM
 #154

Then we need to get even more basic.  What defines "ownership"?  What does it mean that an individual believes that he "owns" a thing, whether or not others recognize his claim?

It means that the individual believes she has the exclusive say over how such "thing" is used.

Not quite.  The delivery truck driver in the former Soviet Union had exclusive say over how the truck was used, so long as he was still the driver.  This is because he had possession, but he did not have ownership.  One of the necessary conditions of ownership is the right to destroy the thing.  The truck driver didn't have the right to destroy the truck, even though he certainly had the access necessary to do so if he had the will.  I will presume that you would agree that only you should have the right to decide to destroy the fleshbag that your mind resides within.  So would you agree that you own your own body?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 23, 2011, 02:38:18 AM
 #155

The only thing you're being forced to do is keep your paws off of other people and their stuff.

1) How did they get that stuff? What if that stuff belongs to everyone like clean air? Can I shoot you for polluting my air with your wood stove?

2) Who decided that taking a human life was a morally acceptable way of defending property that can be made whole through restitution on other ways?

Also, I guess the first part of the first question we have already agreed to disagree on w/rt proving breach of contract, but the second part I'm interested in. Presumably you think that if I come to your house and you catch me attempting to steal your car, you can threaten with with force (as I initiated force by trespassing and attempting to steal your car), I ignore you and continue to work on hot-wiring your car. So somewhere along the line you can use physical force right? Does that apply to people being trespassed on by polluters? or do they have to go through the arbitration courts to prove harm? Is there any rule of proportionality? (ie you could shoot me if I was trying to kill your kid, but not if I was trying to steal your money)
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June 23, 2011, 02:38:23 AM
 #156

The only thing you're being forced to do is keep your paws off of other people and their stuff.

1) How did they get that stuff?


Lacking evidence to the contrary, it is presumed that they came by it honestly, via their own labors.  Either they made themselves, or they traded for it.  You seem to insist that the basic assumption is that those who posses an object or real estate came by it dishonestly.

Quote

2) Who decided that taking a human life was a morally acceptable way of defending property that can be made whole through restitution on other ways?

No one decided this, because no one can.  Where did you come up with this idea?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 23, 2011, 02:45:09 AM
 #157

1) How did they get that stuff?

Homesteading or legitimate title transfer.

What if that stuff belongs to everyone like clean air? Can I shoot you for polluting my air with your wood stove?

No, restitution and punishment have to be proportional. If you point a gun at me and demand my wallet, I can shoot you. If you just grab my wallet and run, I can't shoot you. However, once I capture you, you owe me my wallet, plus another wallet, plus the cost of capture, plus the cost of how scared you made me.

Have you read up on Libertarian punishment theory?

2) Who decided that taking a human life was a morally acceptable way of defending property that can be made whole through restitution on other ways?

Nobody because you're making a straw man argument.
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June 23, 2011, 02:48:56 AM
 #158

Is there any rule of proportionality? (ie you could shoot me if I was trying to kill your kid, but not if I was trying to steal your money)

Yes, there is.  It's called escalation of force.  I have the right to try and prevent you from continuing to damage my property.  I can, if I see fit, lay hands on your person to attempt to physically eject you from my property.  If you are harmed in the doing so, I might be liable for that or I might not, but that depends on both the degree of the harm and the intent of action.  If you bumped your head because you tripped while being pushed off my property, but the bump was neither long term brain damage and a reasonable third party observer wouldn't have assumed that I intended to cause you harm, nor that same observer believe that I had used a level of force that was unnecessary towards the goal (protect the property, eject the thief) then I have done nothing wrong.  If you resist my interference (or the interference of my hired thug) and then either take a swing at me or threaten to do so, then that is the initiation of force that escalates the conflict, not me protecting my own property from harm.  If you pull out a knife, a deadly threat has been issued even if nothing was said.  At this point, I'm within my rights to pull out a firearm, but I can't shoot you in the back.  If you are trying to escape, I must let you leave, no matter the harm already done to my property. 

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
lemonginger
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June 23, 2011, 02:54:52 AM
 #159

Not quite.  The delivery truck driver in the former Soviet Union had exclusive say over how the truck was used, so long as he was still the driver.  This is because he had possession, but he did not have ownership.  One of the necessary conditions of ownership is the right to destroy the thing.  The truck driver didn't have the right to destroy the truck, even though he certainly had the access necessary to do so if he had the will.  I will presume that you would agree that only you should have the right to decide to destroy the fleshbag that your mind resides within.  So would you agree that you own your own body?

Yes I'm quite aware of the possession/ownership distinction. And I've read Nozick, so I get where this goes. But for the sake of argument, yes, I would agree that in general you and only you have the right to destroy your body. (But I'm also a postmodernist/social constructionist as well as a Buddhist so I think the boundary of the "self" is a bit blurry, but we can set that aside for now).

But as I said, whether you want to regard it as semantic or not, I would argues that only alienable "things" can be owned. Selves cannot be owned, even by themself, but they can by sovereign over themselves or autonomous.

(Other sentient beings are a stickier question - I think they can be partially owned, but only partially, so that, for example if you have a dog, no one has the right to take that dog, but you don't have the right to torture the dog, in that case the dog's partial selfhood/partial autonomy overrides your ownership.)

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June 23, 2011, 02:55:51 AM
 #160

Amazing how the desert island game only works by initially dividing up all the property and not allowing it to be traded...

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