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Author Topic: An Anti-Libertarian FAQ Worth Talking About?  (Read 11447 times)
grondilu
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February 13, 2011, 01:43:05 AM
 #21

I've not always been libertarian.  I'm sure at some point in my life I could have been offended by a sentence such as "tax is theft".  Indeed I used to tolerate taxation, because I thought that, globally, the government was doing more good than arm.

It seems to me that this is what this guy thinks.  To him, taxation is indeed technically a theft, but it is acceptable as an exception to a moral rule.  So to him, there is an acceptable amount of liberty that a government can take out from its citizens.

Now, this is just a quantitative question.  To him, governments has not yet overpassed this acceptable amount.  To me and other libertarians, it has.  It is a very subjective question, imo.

I could tolerate governments if it took me only some very small amount of my work, depending on what it does with it.  Just as I won't try too hard to fight against mosquitos sucking my blood.  But as soon as I think "enough is enough", I feel that I have to stand up and do whatever I can as an individual to make this stop.  And if my vote is not enough, then I'll try anything else.

And if to do so I have to say rethoric sentences such as "taxation is theft", I will.
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QuantumMechanic
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February 13, 2011, 03:47:22 AM
 #22

I think his rebuttals only really apply to minarchism, since a bottom-up legal order would likely, IMO, produce the food labeling laws, etc. which have such widespread support.  It would probably even produce laws in some places requiring mandatory contributions to some universal health care scheme!  Tongue

If he's arguing that we should be trying to aid the development of the good parts of government, then one might argue that government in its current form is hampering its own positive development, and that a more bottom-up approach to law would better achieve this end.  And it would be less prone to bad developments like corruption, police states, corporate welfarism, and rampant militarism.

And I'd definitely argue from within his moral framework.
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February 13, 2011, 03:54:46 AM
 #23

I think his rebuttals only really apply to minarchism, since a bottom-up legal order would likely, IMO, produce the food labeling laws, etc. which have such widespread support.  It would probably even produce laws in some places requiring mandatory contributions to some universal health care scheme!  Tongue

If he's arguing that we should be trying to aid the development of the good parts of government, then one might argue that government in its current form is hampering its own positive development, and that a more bottom-up approach to law would better achieve this end.  And it would be less prone to bad developments like corruption, police states, corporate welfarism, and rampant militarism.

And I'd definitely argue from within his moral framework.

I think he would say since there's no evidence that the market will produce its own food labeling laws, there's no reason to expect one in a free market society.

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February 13, 2011, 04:16:10 AM
 #24

I think his rebuttals only really apply to minarchism, since a bottom-up legal order would likely, IMO, produce the food labeling laws, etc. which have such widespread support.  It would probably even produce laws in some places requiring mandatory contributions to some universal health care scheme!  Tongue

If he's arguing that we should be trying to aid the development of the good parts of government, then one might argue that government in its current form is hampering its own positive development, and that a more bottom-up approach to law would better achieve this end.  And it would be less prone to bad developments like corruption, police states, corporate welfarism, and rampant militarism.

And I'd definitely argue from within his moral framework.

I think he would say since there's no evidence that the market will produce its own food labeling laws, there's no reason to expect one in a free market society.
His argument was that market demand and threat of boycott isn't sufficient to pressure producers directly to conform to their wishes, since not enough people gather the relevant information to persuade them to change their behavior and collectively make a difference.

A decentralized legal order can overcome this problem for the same reasons a centralized one can, only more effectively I would argue, since it can be much more accessible to those it serves.
Gavin Andresen
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February 13, 2011, 04:22:22 AM
 #25

Therefore, No.  There will always be some circumstances in which your right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationships should not be respected by all.  In a pride of lions, the top male decides.  In our society, at present, there are laws which decide, but in a stateless society... damned if I know who decides.  I have a big problem with libertarianism and conflict resolution.  Help me to understand guys.

I think you're confusing libertarian with minarchist or anarcho-capitalist.

Libertarians generally agree that police and a legal system to resolve disputes are a proper role for government.


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grondilu
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February 13, 2011, 06:38:54 AM
 #26

Therefore, No.  There will always be some circumstances in which your right to conduct only voluntary and consensual relationships should not be respected by all.  In a pride of lions, the top male decides.  In our society, at present, there are laws which decide, but in a stateless society... damned if I know who decides.  I have a big problem with libertarianism and conflict resolution.  Help me to understand guys.

I think you're confusing libertarian with minarchist or anarcho-capitalist.

Libertarians generally agree that police and a legal system to resolve disputes are a proper role for government.


True.  And as far as an anarcho-capitalistic society is concerned, conflicts are resolved by force.  Just as it is in the current society (policemen do have guns), except that this force is not monopolised by one entity.
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February 13, 2011, 07:07:40 AM
 #27

In our society, at present, there are laws which decide, but in a stateless society... damned if I know who decides.  I have a big problem with libertarianism and conflict resolution.  Help me to understand guys.

In a free society, there will be only one form acceptable violence; violence in defense. (1st and 2nd degree only).  Otherwise once reputation is what is built or destroyed. There is nothing stopping a free society from having a court and arbitration process for conflicts.  Except the only time that one would be 'required (forced)' to attend is when one makes an act of aggressive violence.

There are limited resources, that is what the free-market deals with.  The market will distribute the limited resources based upon who is going to give up the most 'good-will' aka money, for the good or service.

I like to think that in a free society people will in general be much more generous than in a taxation society. Even if it is less generous, the lack of violence (eg Tax), is much more important than any service supplied by tax.

One off NP-Hard.
QuantumMechanic
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February 13, 2011, 08:34:53 AM
 #28

I like to think that in a free society people will in general be much more generous than in a taxation society. Even if it is less generous, the lack of violence (eg Tax), is much more important than any service supplied by tax.
Why is it more important?  The FAQ's argument was that it's not.
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February 13, 2011, 08:48:34 AM
 #29

...  the lack of violence (eg Tax), is much more important than any service supplied by tax.
Why is it more important?  The FAQ's argument was that it's not.

On the one side you have tax extracted by violence, then spent (inefficiently) on whatever are the priorities of the government.

On the other side, you have society paying directly (and relatively efficiently) for what it actually wants and needs.

So the anarchist version has (a) less violence, and (b) better services.
kiba
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February 13, 2011, 02:29:09 PM
 #30

The FAQ author wants to keep coercion as a tool because he thinks it will lead to a more-good world when used correctly.

I think we can argue that no murder is better than murder, even if it is for self-defense. What we strive is for is the best-good version of society where we don't have to kill somebody in self-defense, at least according to our ethical framework.

It is true that there are failure like fisheries not being owned, because of the inherent difficulty of owning school of fishes. However, even if coercion is currently best solution now, we shouldn't stop searching for solution that is non-coercive.

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February 13, 2011, 08:25:41 PM
 #31

I think you're confusing libertarian with minarchist or anarcho-capitalist.
Good point, maybe I am.
dirtyfilthy
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February 14, 2011, 11:33:51 PM
 #32

The FAQ author wants to keep coercion as a tool because he thinks it will lead to a more-good world when used correctly.


If you think there's no such thing as economic coercion you're not living in the real world. Replacing one set of masters, the government, with another set of ultra-rich & powerful individuals and corporations doesn't really appeal to me. At least there's some kind of check on the power of government, the democratic check, flawed and manipulatable though it may be.

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.


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grondilu
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February 14, 2011, 11:58:56 PM
 #33

If you think there's no such thing as economic coercion you're not living in the real world. Replacing one set of masters, the government, with another set of ultra-rich & powerful individuals and corporations doesn't really appeal to me. At least there's some kind of check on the power of government, the democratic check, flawed and manipulatable though it may be.

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.

Well, if there are several sets of rich and powerful people using force, at least we can hope some balance will be created, and at least we can chose the side we want be part on.   With democracy, when you are in the minority you just have to obey and do whatever the majority tells you to do.  With anarcho-capitalism people just associate and organise their defense against the majority.
kiba
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February 15, 2011, 12:14:17 AM
 #34

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.

Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

grondilu
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February 15, 2011, 12:37:44 AM
 #35

Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

I'd say piranha.  Each of them take only a small bite, but when thousands of them do, they finally take everything except the bones.
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February 15, 2011, 01:15:00 AM
 #36

Some people say that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for dinner, but I tend to think of it as quite the opposite: two lambs and a wolf.

Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

There are always going to be more sheep than wolves. Power tends to get concentrated, look at the lorenz curve for the U.S. for instance. Richest 1/5 of households earn 50% of the income.

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dirtyfilthy
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February 15, 2011, 01:16:09 AM
 #37

Why would you think sheeps are the majority? Maybe the sheeps become wolves in a democracy.

I'd say piranha.  Each of them take only a small bite, but when thousands of them do, they finally take everything except the bones.


And yet despite this some people manage to become fabulously wealthy while others starve in the streets. Amazing.

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kiba
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February 15, 2011, 01:20:54 AM
 #38

And yet despite this some people manage to become fabulously wealthy while others starve in the streets. Amazing.

Some people become fabulous wealthy by enriching other people's life. Some gain their wealth by stealing from others and ruining people's lives.

Some homeless genuinely need help. Others choose this way of life.

Inequality doesn't mean anything.

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February 15, 2011, 01:36:14 AM
 #39

Inequality doesn't mean anything.

I guess this is what I mean about not living in the real world. In the real world people with power tend to screw over people who don't have it. In the real world wealth is not distributed to people entirely on their merits. In the real world inequality means a great deal, especially if you happen to be born, live, and die on the less equal side of the railway tracks.

I guess when all you have is laissez-faire capitialism everything starts to look like a market nail. It's this simple and elegant theory that you can apply to all sorts of incredibly complex problems and magically the invisible hand of the market will descend down from supply & demand heaven (likely on wires like some kind of hideous broadway show deus ex machina) and fix everything.

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Gavin Andresen
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February 15, 2011, 01:46:56 AM
 #40

I guess when all you have is laissez-faire capitialism everything starts to look like a market nail.

I'd just like a rational system where policy changes are proposed along with specific, testable predictions for those policy changes.

Then the policy change is adopted.  Evaluated after a little while.

And accepted or rejected based on whether or not the policy change had the intended effect.

Then maybe we could take turns adopting our favorite policies, and see if that nice liberal "inequality reducing" policy actually, you know, reduces inequality (and we could argue about whether it is OK to do if it reduces inequality by making rich people a lot less rich and poor people a little more poor).

Or if that nice libertarian "cost saving" policy actually, you know, saves money (and we could argue about whether the cost savings is worth it if it increases our chances of getting a scalp infection from an unlicensed barber).


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