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Author Topic: Did the cryptography revolution begin too late?  (Read 10161 times)
kiba
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January 13, 2011, 07:46:47 PM
 #21

Your last sentence articulates well the contempt for democracy inculcated by western "liberals" education. This thinking leads to centralization of power and capital, which are exactly what frameworks like bitcoin are designed to dismantle.

Bitcoin is an idea that originated from cypherpunk context, and by extension, libertarianism. Bitcoin does not dismantle the accumulation of wealth, nor does it democratize money. Inequality is inherent in bitcoin.

Yet, everybody have the freedom to accept or deny bitcoin.

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January 13, 2011, 08:25:14 PM
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I can say this much.  If it is a satillite that you are aware of, it's not really a military satillite.  It's probably a honeypot, and any attempt to do anything with it will draw the very kind of attention that you do not want.  If you are a particularly talented ham radio operator, with much experience with satillite tracking (or a foreign government geek who's job this would be) you can find real military satillites.   You might even be able to track them adaquately, but most military satillites spend most of their time 'dark', just listening.

I would not consider it realistic to hijack either a honeypot or a real military satillite for any purpose.

Those are old satellites that they don't really use for military purposes anymore, and they don't have any sort of encryption or whatever. People are already hijacking them to made radio communication, even for chatting.
I've posted a link on the other topic I linked above. There are some videos on youtube too.
Hijacking them seems simple. The question is whether it's feasible to pass data channels through them...

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gene
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January 13, 2011, 09:00:16 PM
 #23

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Bitcoin is an idea that originated from cypherpunk context, and by extension, libertarianism. Bitcoin does not dismantle the accumulation of wealth, nor does it democratize money. Inequality is inherent in bitcoin.

I hesitate entering into discussions where terms like "libertarianism" start getting thrown around. At least in the US, the term has been reclaimed by far right-wing elements and is associated with the myth of the rugged individual that lives on the frontier and can survive all alone. If you look at what the cypherpunks actually wrote, they were anarchists with strong socialist undercurrents. Their ideas of online p2p communities and strong collaborations rooted in solidarity have basically nothing to do with what people think of libertarians today. Also, "free markets" now essentially mean socialism for large corporations, paid for by normal people and assisted by favorable policies as enforced by central banks. Capitalism, as envisioned by Adam Smith, does not exist today. I encourage anyone here who disagrees with me to go and read the writings of the cypherpunks in the 90s and Adam Smith. Digital cash may facilitate a true free market by disallowing a corrupt central banking authority that favors the interests of large corporations. This is indeed a strong democratizing force - one which forces all to play by the same rules. I also suspect (and this is conjecture) that simply by forcing all to play by the rules, wealth will be less likely to accumulate into the hands of very few, as it has so many time before. The extent to which wealth is accumulated by the very few is largely the result of what I regard as unjust "socialism for the rich and tough love for everyone else." Social libertarianism and social anarchism are not contradictions in terms.

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kiba
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January 13, 2011, 09:12:36 PM
 #24

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Bitcoin is an idea that originated from cypherpunk context, and by extension, libertarianism. Bitcoin does not dismantle the accumulation of wealth, nor does it democratize money. Inequality is inherent in bitcoin.

I hesitate entering into discussions where terms like "libertarianism" start getting thrown around. At least in the US, the term has been reclaimed by far right-wing elements and is associated with the myth of the rugged individual that lives on the frontier and can survive all alone. If you look at what the cypherpunks actually wrote, they were anarchists with strong socialist undercurrents.

Well geez, you must have your head into the ground with regard to the current community. This is mostly a libertarian forum with a significant number of us are anarchists. I would think that the support of democracy or equality is taboo around here.

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January 13, 2011, 09:27:28 PM
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Well geez, you must have your head into the ground with regard to the current community. This is mostly a libertarian forum with a significant number of us are anarchists. I would think that the support of democracy or equality is taboo around here.

I cannot tell if the last sentence is meant seriously or in jest.

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kiba
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January 13, 2011, 09:34:38 PM
 #26

I cannot tell if the last sentence is meant seriously or in jest.

These ideas are discussed with disdain.

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January 13, 2011, 09:49:24 PM
 #27

It is pointless to use terms like liberal, conservative, libertarian, anarchist, left, right, blue, red, progressive, democracy, republic, etc., as all of them have been rendered meaningless by overuse and misuse in the media.  Either you are in favor of centralized control of the economy by government, banks and large corporations or you are opposed to it.  That will determine whether or not you belong here.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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January 13, 2011, 10:04:21 PM
 #28

This is all true, but real democracy doesn't scale well, and is far from conflict free.
It depends which point of view you take. If you take the point of view of a rich landowner, then democracy sure doesn't scale well. If you are a regular person, it scales a bit better.

No.  I wasn't being coy or relative.  Democracy doesn't scale beyond 1000 voting members.  I've seen in on many occasions.  Attend a full church business meeting sometime, there is a reason that they don't do such things except under dire need.

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The US isn't a democracy now, and never has been, because the framers knew that democracy was flawed, and didn't trust that it was sustainable in any context.
Quite true. They knew that they needed to establish a government that would protect the interests of rich landowners from regular people. They were very explicit about how they regarded non-property holders - as dangerous and stupid masses from which the rich needed to be protected. Madison and Hamilton both were shockingly open about it.

That was only two out of hundreds, and Madison was conflicted in this regard.  Try actually reading the Federalist Papers and the full text of the US Constitution, it was certainly not intended to protect landowners.  Hamilton was functionally a loyalist and an elitist, but his particular viewpoint was not widely held by '76ers or framers.

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Many of the founding fathers greatly admired the British government. At the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton called the British government "the best in the world,"


Understandable considering their background.  The US would still be a British territory if King George could have managed to compromise.

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The same ideas are now working for the interests of large corporations, which essentially own governments. Incidentally, none of what I am writing here is particularly controversial, but I encourage anyone who is interested to investigate these matters on their own (i.e. don't take my word for anything).
I don't contest this assesment of the current situation, but it was not because of the framers or the government that they designed that this is so, but despite it.  If we can blame the constitution for any of this, it would be because the public has put too much faith in a document that following generations of Americans have too long ignored.
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Our history has proven them correct.
Yes. If there is great inequality, then a democracy will tend to eliminate the inequality. To maintain inequality, democracies must be avoided at all costs. This is not just US history. This is the history of western civilization.
I say democracy is a tyranny of a majority, and any inequality in life will be maintained or increased by one, not limited by one.  I have the history of civilizations to support my position, you have the limited retoric of the past 200 years or less.
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Keep in mind that prior to 1913, we didn't have central banking, franctional reserve banking, Senators were not elected, and there was no federal income tax.  We still don't directly elect the US president.  The US is a federated republic quite intentionally, and most of Europe are parlimentary republics for similar reasons.
And you are saying these are good things? I think you must be on the wrong forum.

I'm saying these are better than democracy.  I'm certainly not on the wrong forum.  Perhaps you don't fully understand what democracy leads too?
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Anyone who advocates for increased democracy at the state or national level is advocating for majority rule, and the rights of a minority have no meaning in that context.  Such a person is either a fool or a Sith Lord.
Your last sentence articulates well the contempt for democracy inculcated by western "liberal" education. This thinking leads to centralization of power and capital, which are exactly what frameworks like bitcoin are designed to dismantle.

Democracy is great in theory, but I care only about the practice.  A democracy requires much work on the part of the electorate to maintain itself.  Inevitablly the electorate becomes distracted by their own lives, and leaves such things to people who are more interested in the political process than themselves, which leads to the consolidation of power by fiat, corruption or simple neglect.  It happens every time.  A republic isn't better in this regard, but they are more sustainable because the process of representative governance slows down the processes that lead to rot.  Thomas Jefferson, himself, expressed doubt that a generation could impose a social contract on those that followed, but also doubted that there was a better solution.  The root problem with democracy is the human component.

"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'
kiba
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January 13, 2011, 10:10:33 PM
 #29

Democracy is great in theory, but I care only about the practice.  A democracy requires much work on the part of the electorate to maintain itself.  Inevitablly the electorate becomes distracted by their own lives, and leaves such things to people who are more interested in the political process than themselves, which leads to the consolidation of power by fiat, corruption or simple neglect.  It happens every time.  A republic isn't better in this regard, but they are more sustainable because the process of representative governance slows down the processes that lead to rot.  Thomas Jefferson, himself, expressed doubt that a generation could impose a social contract on those that followed, but also doubted that there was a better solution.  The root problem with democracy is the human component.

The theory is wrong if the practice is wrong. The map is not the territory. The map must be fixed. Therefore the theory must be rejected as it is not in agreement with reality.

I would also conclude that a republic also have the same failing of a democracy. I defer to creighto's analysis of electorate incentive and behavior to make my argument.

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January 13, 2011, 10:16:52 PM
 #30

Democracy is great in theory, but I care only about the practice.  A democracy requires much work on the part of the electorate to maintain itself.  Inevitablly the electorate becomes distracted by their own lives, and leaves such things to people who are more interested in the political process than themselves, which leads to the consolidation of power by fiat, corruption or simple neglect.  It happens every time.  A republic isn't better in this regard, but they are more sustainable because the process of representative governance slows down the processes that lead to rot.  Thomas Jefferson, himself, expressed doubt that a generation could impose a social contract on those that followed, but also doubted that there was a better solution.  The root problem with democracy is the human component.

The theory is wrong if the practice is wrong. The map is not the territory. The map must be fixed. Therefore the theory must be rejected as it is not in agreement with reality.


I don't think that we are in disagreement.  Just different ways of saying it.
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I would also conclude that a republic also have the same failing of a democracy.

True, but in a representative republic, the edicts take longer to march through the process towards enforcement.  In a true democracy, if one could even exist on a level larger than the small town, the decisions of the electorate are effective immediately.

"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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January 14, 2011, 03:55:05 AM
 #31

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Of course having a democratic government take over the internet from the corporations would probably make things worse.

I'm in favor of democracy. A truly democratic government by definition would tend to decentralize control and would look very little like what we currently regard as governments. Don't mistake what we have in western countries with democracy. That is all just garbage they teach kids in school - what we have are republics and parliaments. As FatherMcGruder mentioned, a democratically controlled infrastructure may look like a co-op. There are small manufacturing shops in the US that take this form. The workers and engineers own the factory and manage it democratically, not like most companies. Caveden, it is certainly possible for networks to be organized at the local level and extended, using a co-op or even volunteer model. Some networks like this already exist. Bitcoin can be a complementary tool to raise capital and establish more and more reliable networks. I'm not smart enough to foresee how this would happen, but history shows that these sorts of societal structures are at least possible. Pre-Columbian Native American cultures in North America give a good example.

My apologies everyone for using that horribly misunderstood term "democracy".  I should have instead used the term "democratic State" instead of "democratic government", since a democratic government formed entirely by consenting adults is perfectly permissible (and may even be a more efficient form of government for a business enterprise or management of shared resources than the typical hierarchical dictatorship with CEOs and board members running everything top down), while a democratic state is by its very nature must initiate violence against unconsenting inhabitants inside its territory.  Indeed, I am very much open to the concept of democratically controlled infrastructure at the local level.  For instance, each of us could go around our local neighbored, solicit money to fund a local high speed internet loop on our local road, form a democratically-governed contract detailing how decisions about purchasing and maintaining of the network routers, switches, and fiber cables on our little neighborhood should be determined, and what routing protocols should be used to ensure fairness (and how fairness of bandwidth usage should be defined).  For every neighborhood road, there is likely to be at least one geek/nerd like us who would be competent in setting up such a network.  And then connect each local highspeed networks to neighboring networks to build up a new internet in an decentralized mesh-like fashion, rather than have big ISP control the passage of your bits between your home and the centralized Internet Exchange Point which connects to the rest of the network.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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January 14, 2011, 02:11:34 PM
 #32

Hi again guys,

Very happy at how this post is turning out Grin

I started skimming over the last few posts since they seem to debate specifics regarding what would constitute freedom.

A lot of people I talk to are very "libertarian" although don't go into full blown anarcho-whateverism. Most of these people actually have no conscious political interest but get quite excited when they begin to see that our present form of government would do better by getting out of the way and allowing people to solve their own problems.

If I can throw in a uniting cry "the freedom to solve out own problems" I think we can go a long way to identifying people and organizations that are useful and not so useful to reaching the desired ends. But also it is necessary for people to debate until they can settle on a well formed view that has withstood debate.

What I find a little disturbing about many of the "freedom minded" is how much they focus on the decay of freedom. They go on and on about how everything will lead us into the dark ages and ignore incremental progress like the collapse of communism, the liberalization of China, the end of Apartheid, the changes in Swedish socialism since the 1990s. I personally believe and hope that most people, even those in government, are open to "the freedom to solve our own problems". People also become very open when it becomes abundantly obvious that the gov. is in the way.

A great mercy from the Most High is that the market eventually wins. Even if the government wins for a period of time, eventually the market will overwhelm their policies through economic forces. Unfortunately that might be proceeded by a few decades, or even centuries of regression.

Another encouraging idea is that there are always pockets of freedom. During the Soviet Union there were black markets, I'm sure that even if we "lose" there will be a remnant where ideas can be debated freely even if it is only the super geeky.

I suppose the next questions are:
*How do we get members for the cryptography revolution?
*How do we complete the cryptography revolution?

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gene
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January 14, 2011, 02:12:09 PM
 #33

What I see here are several people who imagine themselves as lords over their own private domains who can exist completely independently of others. What utter nonsense. The limiting case of these kinds of hallucinations is a situation where everyone is in a race to the bottom to abandon the very qualities that make them human. It doesn't take much thinking to anticipate what a world based on values of absolute greed and selfishness would be. As a matter of fact, we can see what such a world would look like. Check out Somalia. Tell us how nice it would be to raise a family there.

Thankfully, normal humans understand that we require cooperative efforts to survive and improve our condition. Sure, democracy isn't perfect. It just happens to be far better than anything else we know of. Compromises are obviously required. The question we should be asking is: do we wish to make our lives better individually at the expense of others, or do we try to take the concepts of solidarity and basic human decency seriously? What kind of world do we wish to live in? To see our children live in?

You may all go back to your regularly scheduled Ayn Rand readings. Good day.

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January 14, 2011, 03:09:22 PM
 #34

What I see are people showing that you dont need a coercive state to trade peacefully with anyone or produce an egalitarian currency.
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January 14, 2011, 03:17:35 PM
 #35

What I see here are several people who imagine themselves as lords over their own private domains who can exist completely independently of others. What utter nonsense. The limiting case of these kinds of hallucinations is a situation where everyone is in a race to the bottom to abandon the very qualities that make them human. It doesn't take much thinking to anticipate what a world based on values of absolute greed and selfishness would be. As a matter of fact, we can see what such a world would look like. Check out Somalia. Tell us how nice it would be to raise a family there.

Thankfully, normal humans understand that we require cooperative efforts to survive and improve our condition. Sure, democracy isn't perfect. It just happens to be far better than anything else we know of. Compromises are obviously required. The question we should be asking is: do we wish to make our lives better individually at the expense of others, or do we try to take the concepts of solidarity and basic human decency seriously? What kind of world do we wish to live in? To see our children live in?

You may all go back to your regularly scheduled Ayn Rand readings. Good day.

^^^ Alert: This post is full of many logical fallacies and false claims about anarchists.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
kiba
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January 14, 2011, 05:37:27 PM
 #36

What I see here are several people who imagine themselves as lords over their own private domains who can exist completely independently of others. What utter nonsense. The limiting case of these kinds of hallucinations is a situation where everyone is in a race to the bottom to abandon the very qualities that make them human. It doesn't take much thinking to anticipate what a world based on values of absolute greed and selfishness would be.

At the end of the day, incentive matters. Greed, selfishness, and altruism and all that are second fiddle to economics.

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Thankfully, normal humans understand that we require cooperative efforts to survive and improve our condition.

Any educated libertarian understood that cooperation is the pillar of economic progress because they understood the principle of comparative advantage and division of labor.


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Sure, democracy isn't perfect. It just happens to be far better than anything else we know of. Compromises are obviously required. The question we should be asking is: do we wish to make our lives better individually at the expense of others.

Democracy make life worse for the minority, and better for the majority. There's no cooperation, but the iron fist of the majority. In any case, democracy have no built in protection against the election of tyrants, idiots and so on. If they can elect Napoleon and Hitler, what's there to prevent the election of a tyrant even worse than the two of them?

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or do we try to take the concepts of solidarity and basic human decency seriously? What kind of world do we wish to live in? To see our children live in?

You may all go back to your regularly scheduled Ayn Rand readings. Good day.

Had anybody ever tried to act against basic human decency, defraud anybody, and so on? I assure you that's only the minority of posters here. If they are identified, they are either banned or ostracized.

I would also dare to argue that this community is in solidarity with one another.  We also have no qualm about donating to others, helping others, and making act of altruism. Libertarians are individualists, not anti-altruists.

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January 15, 2011, 12:00:02 PM
 #37

What I see here are several people who imagine themselves as lords over their own private domains who can exist completely independently of others. What utter nonsense. The limiting case of these kinds of hallucinations is a situation where everyone is in a race to the bottom to abandon the very qualities that make them human. It doesn't take much thinking to anticipate what a world based on values of absolute greed and selfishness would be. As a matter of fact, we can see what such a world would look like. Check out Somalia. Tell us how nice it would be to raise a family there.

Thankfully, normal humans understand that we require cooperative efforts to survive and improve our condition. Sure, democracy isn't perfect. It just happens to be far better than anything else we know of. Compromises are obviously required. The question we should be asking is: do we wish to make our lives better individually at the expense of others, or do we try to take the concepts of solidarity and basic human decency seriously? What kind of world do we wish to live in? To see our children live in?

You may all go back to your regularly scheduled Ayn Rand readings. Good day.

Ayn Rand was an objectivist and she did believe in limited government but not in Anarchy. She said Anarchy would destroy civilization and freedom, much like you are stating now. On the other side many Anarchists are not Anarcho-Capitalists and Anarcho-Capitalists are not necessarily Objectivists. Most Libertarians are not devout Anarcho-Capitalists and would not favour a Somalia like situation.

So exactly who of us are you attacking Huh
If all these groups of us can find an amicable way to debate why not rather join the amicable debate?

"Thankfully, normal humans understand that we require cooperative efforts to survive and improve our condition."

The entire point of Austro-Libertarianism (The view espousing limited government as a logical outflow from economic understanding) can almost be summed up by this sentence of yours. The more freely and the more easily that can happen the more civilized civilization becomes.

Within democracy you actually get so varied a set of views of what is a government and such a large variety of outcomes that there is actually choice as to which type of democracy is the best type of democracy. So to correct Churchill; a constitutional democracy based on limited style of government is not perfect but it's the best type of democracy we know about. Besides if you are an American and are referring to how well it seems to have worked there, remember that you are in a constitutional republic (or at least you used to be) and not in a pure democracy that is part of why it worked out so well.

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January 15, 2011, 12:18:03 PM
 #38

Gene, after reading some of your previous posts I can see where you are coming from. If I understand your view correctly you are concerned that government and libertarian arguments are used in favour of rich entrenched interests and do not end up improving the lives of everyone. I can totally respect that view.

However if we ever did have your kind of world, and there were plans to improve life in some way and I chose not to participate. Would someone need to force me to or could I go my merry way in peace?

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January 15, 2011, 01:37:57 PM
 #39

Thankfully, normal humans understand that we require cooperative efforts to survive and improve our condition.

Cooperation and improvment of each other condition is just what free volontary trade is about.

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The question we should be asking is: do we wish to make our lives better individually at the expense of others, or do we try to take the concepts of solidarity and basic human decency seriously? What kind of world do we wish to live in? To see our children live in?

Why do want it to be "at the expense of others" ?   Free trade is volontary : it's a win-win game.
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January 15, 2011, 03:58:23 PM
 #40

Gene, after reading some of your previous posts I can see where you are coming from. If I understand your view correctly you are concerned that government and libertarian arguments are used in favour of rich entrenched interests and do not end up improving the lives of everyone. I can totally respect that view.

That is a fair assessment. I think a good case can be made that historically what are now called "libertarian" views have been co-opted by powerful interests. Is it really that surprising that fundamentally selfish motives can be leveraged to construct large scale injustice?

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However if we ever did have your kind of world, and there were plans to improve life in some way and I chose not to participate. Would someone need to force me to or could I go my merry way in peace?

I don't think anyone should (or even can) be forced to partake in any society against his or her will. Hermits have always existed. However, if a person wishes to enter society (a relationship of some sort with at least another person) then compromises must necessarily be made. A democratic community should decide (yes - likely though difficult deliberation) what that standards and social contracts are based on their values and goals. Again, a person may be cast out of society for failing to meet some social obligation, or leave voluntarily. This seems elementary to me.

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Why do want it to be "at the expense of others" ?   Free trade is volontary : it's a win-win game.

You assume it is voluntary. Consider a farmer forced off his land and into a city by a powerful landowner. He can choose to work in a factory in basic slavery. Or he can choose to starve. Some would consider that "voluntary" free trade. This is not a hypothetical example, by the way.

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