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Author Topic: GOP Tea Party Debate: Audience Cheers, Says Society Should Let Uninsured Die  (Read 5981 times)
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September 14, 2011, 05:28:00 PM
 #41

Then it won't be theft.  Theft by definition is illegal.  

The problem you and Fred have is that you both equate solitary individuals with states.  An individual is one person in a society and if he wants something, he has to persuade the society its a good idea.  A State is the embodiment of a society; all your rights and freedoms are provided by the state.  Therefore its bad logic to try to redefine "tax" to be illegal and "theft" to be legal.  Its the law of the State that provides the meaning of both words.

I have a neighbor girl who has 50 pieces of gold. I want it. However, I don't want to steal it. I go to my local politician (a legally elected representative) and tell him I want the girl's gold. He passes a law permitting me to abscond with it. It is no longer theft. I take the 50 pieces.

Amazing how my conscience is assuaged. Very interesting concept.

P.S. I also have an idea for an assassination... You wouldn't mind helping me out with that would you?

So far you have described taxation and capital punishment. You must be a fan of Ben Franklin who said that death and taxes are unavoidable.

I suppose there is also the capital punishment debate.  In the UK, the vast majority of people support the death penalty but parliament won't enact it.  Having laws we disagree with is a pain.

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FredericBastiat
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September 14, 2011, 05:30:53 PM
 #42

I guess I did miss a few steps after all.

Societal Voting => State => State Definitions => collective coercion => Gang => fear of physical threats = involuntary force = theft = expropriation = plunder = tax = violation of contract = violence = lack of liberty = injustice.

Sorry, the last version was a bit off-the-cuff. This ought to be more or less complete.

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September 14, 2011, 05:33:56 PM
 #43

So far you have described taxation and capital punishment. You must be a fan of Ben Franklin who said that death and taxes are unavoidable.

I suppose there is also the capital punishment debate.  In the UK, the vast majority of people support the death penalty but parliament won't enact it.  Having laws we disagree with is a pain.

The assassination comment was a tongue-in-cheek joke and had nothing to do with capital punishment. Answer the 50 pieces of gold problem.

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September 14, 2011, 05:42:16 PM
 #44

So far you have described taxation and capital punishment. You must be a fan of Ben Franklin who said that death and taxes are unavoidable.

I suppose there is also the capital punishment debate.  In the UK, the vast majority of people support the death penalty but parliament won't enact it.  Having laws we disagree with is a pain.

The assassination comment was a tongue-in-cheek joke and had nothing to do with capital punishment. Answer the 50 pieces of gold problem.

Was there a problem?  You described a rubbish way to collect tax.  I can't see it working if applied to large groups of people.

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September 14, 2011, 05:59:56 PM
 #45

Was there a problem?  You described a rubbish way to collect tax.  I can't see it working if applied to large groups of people.

Yes, but you described it perfectly. It's rubbish. My hypothetical version just makes it more out in the open, where yours conceals it in legalese and societal norms.

Taxing is a concealed means of stealthily plundering from those who don't know you personally, and who are separated by many persons; and when questioned about the acts they commit, summarily state that they are legally empowered by their "authorized agents" whose so-called representatives of the people were voted into office in some "official" manner to create legislation purporting to protect the best interests of the majority.

All in all, it's merely a convenient way to separate the thief from the theft.

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September 14, 2011, 06:37:16 PM
 #46

Was there a problem?  You described a rubbish way to collect tax.  I can't see it working if applied to large groups of people.

Yes, but you described it perfectly. It's rubbish. My hypothetical version just makes it more out in the open, where yours conceals it in legalese and societal norms.

Taxing is a concealed means of stealthily plundering from those who don't know you personally, and who are separated by many persons; and when questioned about the acts they commit, summarily state that they are legally empowered by their "authorized agents" whose so-called representatives of the people were voted into office in some "official" manner to create legislation purporting to protect the best interests of the majority.

All in all, it's merely a convenient way to separate the thief from the theft.

Again, you are confusing yourself.  The administration of a taxation system may be rubbish but its is still a taxation system.  Tax is taking legally; theft is taking illegally

I think what you are trying to say is that you don't like the idea of law and therefore all actions that are "legal" under the present system are outside the law for you.  Its a valid viewpoint but you can't use words like "theft" or "property" if you don't like the idea of law.  They are legal creations.

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September 14, 2011, 07:32:06 PM
 #47

Again, you are confusing yourself.  The administration of a taxation system may be rubbish but its is still a taxation system.  Tax is taking legally; theft is taking illegally

I think what you are trying to say is that you don't like the idea of law and therefore all actions that are "legal" under the present system are outside the law for you.  Its a valid viewpoint but you can't use words like "theft" or "property" if you don't like the idea of law.  They are legal creations.

The concepts of property and theft existed long before the concepts of legality and law.





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September 14, 2011, 07:40:42 PM
 #48

Again, you are confusing yourself.  The administration of a taxation system may be rubbish but its is still a taxation system.  Tax is taking legally; theft is taking illegally

I think what you are trying to say is that you don't like the idea of law and therefore all actions that are "legal" under the present system are outside the law for you.  Its a valid viewpoint but you can't use words like "theft" or "property" if you don't like the idea of law.  They are legal creations.

The concepts of property and theft existed long before the concepts of legality and law.






I've never heard of a human society that didn't have laws.  Can you tell me specifically where and when such a society existed?

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September 14, 2011, 07:52:48 PM
 #49

Homo Sapien humans have been around for a lot longer than there have been nation states. Earlier in human history, people would travel, looking for food and protecting themselves from the elements etc. It was agriculture that apparently allowed humans to begin to settle easier and from this societies grew.

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September 14, 2011, 07:55:08 PM
 #50

THis is what Ron Paul said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6n51UEt1F4&t=4m40s

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September 14, 2011, 07:55:53 PM
 #51

Homo Sapien humans have been around for a lot longer than there have been nation states. Earlier in human history, people would travel, looking for food and protecting themselves from the elements etc. It was agriculture that apparently allowed humans to begin to settle easier and from this societies grew.

Nomadic tribal societies have laws.  Historically, some, for example, the Australian tribes, had no concept of personal property.  But all have codes of behaviour that involve duties to the group and rights within the group.

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September 14, 2011, 08:13:22 PM
 #52

Homo Sapien humans have been around for a lot longer than there have been nation states. Earlier in human history, people would travel, looking for food and protecting themselves from the elements etc. It was agriculture that apparently allowed humans to begin to settle easier and from this societies grew.

Nomadic tribal societies have laws.  Historically, some, for example, the Australian tribes, had no concept of personal property.  But all have codes of behaviour that involve duties to the group and rights within the group.
There are several examples of pre-human hominid skeletons showing serious injuries/disease. These "people" would have not been able to take care of themselves. Someone chewed their food, set their bones, cared for them. Taking care of each other goes way back.

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September 14, 2011, 08:30:24 PM
 #53

Again, you are confusing yourself.  The administration of a taxation system may be rubbish but its is still a taxation system.  Tax is taking legally; theft is taking illegally.  

I think what you are trying to say is that you don't like the idea of law and therefore all actions that are "legal" under the present system are outside the law for you.  Its a valid viewpoint but you can't use words like "theft" or "property" if you don't like the idea of law.  They are legal creations.

I'm not confused. My logic is sound. I know exactly what the definitions of property and theft are. I've got a treatise on law that I spent much time perfecting. It has very few flaws, if any. For the most part, property can only exist if one man may possess, own, or control an object independent and exclusive of another person.

The second you violate that principle, and despite your reasoning (collectivism, majority rule, taxation, norms, societal coercion), the concept of property goes away. It dissolves into some version of "might makes right" or the "strongest survive". If you believe in such things, then there is very little need for laws.

Laws are created out of the need to protect the individual life, liberty and property of man. If you wish to play the game of prey and predator, then we can argue the finer points of superior species or top-of-the-food-chain animal behaviour characteristics.

EDIT: A law ceases to be a law when it conflicts with itself and its own principle.

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September 14, 2011, 08:52:53 PM
 #54

A State is the embodiment of a society; all your rights and freedoms are provided by the state.

I disagree with that point. Human beings already have universal rights, and most states protect them. But no state can grant or take away your rights; only respect or abuse them.

That being said I still agree with your central thesis. Laws are just societal norms that have put down on paper. I wouldn't go so far as to argue for/against strong property rights either, although some people on this forum might.


The girl with 50 gp is a bad example because that would essentially be a selective head tax, which are generally frowned upon by society at large. Taxing some gold while she engages in state-protected commerce is a whole different story; she never agreed to the tax, but her purchases are partially enabled by the people around her and she was aware of local taxes when she decided to spend her gold there. So I'd consider the arbitrary seizure of her gold to be far worse than most real-life taxes.
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September 14, 2011, 09:31:24 PM
 #55

Again, you are confusing yourself.  The administration of a taxation system may be rubbish but its is still a taxation system.  Tax is taking legally; theft is taking illegally.  

I think what you are trying to say is that you don't like the idea of law and therefore all actions that are "legal" under the present system are outside the law for you.  Its a valid viewpoint but you can't use words like "theft" or "property" if you don't like the idea of law.  They are legal creations.

I'm not confused. My logic is sound. I know exactly what the definitions of property and theft are. I've got a treatise on law that I spent much time perfecting. It has very few flaws, if any. For the most part, property can only exist if one man may possess, own, or control an object independent and exclusive of another person.

The second you violate that principle, and despite your reasoning (collectivism, majority rule, taxation, norms, societal coercion), the concept of property goes away. It dissolves into some version of "might makes right" or the "strongest survive". If you believe in such things, then there is very little need for laws.

Laws are created out of the need to protect the individual life, liberty and property of man. If you wish to play the game of prey and predator, then we can argue the finer points of superior species or top-of-the-food-chain animal behaviour characteristics.

EDIT: A law ceases to be a law when it conflicts with itself and its own principle.

You are funny.  You have your little theory based on excluding reality and within the reality free bubble your "logic is sound."

In reality, property is a legal concept.  It comes from the society that you are in.  It doesn't exist in a vacuum.  What is the point is talking about some other unreal version of property that only exists in your head?

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September 14, 2011, 09:40:23 PM
 #56

The girl with 50 gp is a bad example because that would essentially be a selective head tax, which are generally frowned upon by society at large. Taxing some gold while she engages in state-protected commerce is a whole different story; she never agreed to the tax, but her purchases are partially enabled by the people around her and she was aware of local taxes when she decided to spend her gold there. So I'd consider the arbitrary seizure of her gold to be far worse than most real-life taxes.

I can give 50 gp to my neighbor right now. You taxing me didn't enable me to do so. That's a non sequitur. If I want to acquire personal security or voluntarily pay into a system that protects my rights, I don't have a problem with that.

Taxes are not voluntary. And even if I were aware that taxes in my locale existed, still doesn't justify its application. I've had robbers in my neighborhood too, but that doesn't justify theft does it?

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September 14, 2011, 09:50:01 PM
 #57

The girl with 50 gp is a bad example because that would essentially be a selective head tax, which are generally frowned upon by society at large. Taxing some gold while she engages in state-protected commerce is a whole different story; she never agreed to the tax, but her purchases are partially enabled by the people around her and she was aware of local taxes when she decided to spend her gold there. So I'd consider the arbitrary seizure of her gold to be far worse than most real-life taxes.

I can give 50 gp to my neighbor right now. You taxing me didn't enable me to do so. That's a non sequitur. If I want to acquire personal security or voluntarily pay into a system that protects my rights, I don't have a problem with that.

Taxes are not voluntary. And even if I were aware that taxes in my locale existed, still doesn't justify its application. I've had robbers in my neighborhood too, but that doesn't justify theft does it?

You are still confused between individuals and the State.  A robber acts in the knowledge that he is breaking the law and going against the society he is preying upon.  A democratic state acts on behalf of its citizens, it acts within the law and tax is an agreed part of the system.

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September 14, 2011, 10:00:10 PM
 #58

You are funny.  You have your little theory based on excluding reality and within the reality free bubble your "logic is sound."

In reality, property is a legal concept.  It comes from the society that you are in.  It doesn't exist in a vacuum.  What is the point is talking about some other unreal version of property that only exists in your head?

And you're a cutie. Cooool duuude, whatever!!

Your logic is more fallible than mine. I accept the fact that property and liberty are concepts invented by humans to bring order and civility to their actions. It's one of the reasons I believe the way I do. I believe in basic principles of law, not the arbitrariness of their meaning and application by society as a whole.

By being arbitrary you create the possibility where the division in classes of individuals, special privilege, monopoly and a whole host of manipulatory behaviour springs forth from "special circumstances". The second your law violates its original purpose and intent, it no longer is law but the violation of law.

The purpose and mission of law is to prevent injustice, not cause it.

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September 14, 2011, 10:11:25 PM
 #59

You are funny.  You have your little theory based on excluding reality and within the reality free bubble your "logic is sound."

In reality, property is a legal concept.  It comes from the society that you are in.  It doesn't exist in a vacuum.  What is the point is talking about some other unreal version of property that only exists in your head?

And you're a cutie. Cooool duuude, whatever!!

Your logic is more fallible than mine. I accept the fact that property and liberty are concepts invented by humans to bring order and civility to their actions. It's one of the reasons I believe the way I do. I believe in basic principles of law, not the arbitrariness of their meaning and application by society as a whole.

By being arbitrary you create the possibility where the division in classes of individuals, special privilege, monopoly and a whole host of manipulatory behaviour springs forth from "special circumstances". The second your law violates its original purpose and intent, it no longer is law but the violation of law.

The purpose and mission of law is to prevent injustice, not cause it.

If you accept "the fact that property and liberty are concepts invented by humans to bring order and civility to their actions", than you must accept that society has to defend the property and liberty of its citizens.  Even if you limit the defence to mental homes for the violently mentally ill and jails for violent robbers.  That defence must be paid for - its called tax.

I'm glad you've compromised with reality at last.


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September 14, 2011, 10:16:13 PM
 #60

You are still confused between individuals and the State.  A robber acts in the knowledge that he is breaking the law and going against the society he is preying upon.  A democratic state acts on behalf of its citizens, it acts within the law and tax is an agreed part of the system.

The "STATE" is a group of individuals elected by voters, a coup de'tat, or a succession of "royal blood". It's likely that they may not even represent a majority as this is rare, even today. At best, a democratic state should only legally act on behalf of only those voters who expressly gave their consent.

If I haven't contracted for services, or at the very least voted for you and your "highwaymen", you don't represent me (this is unequivocal as my life is mine and not state owned). You may have superior forces and may apply those betimes, but superior force does not a legal state make.

Legal does not equal most powerful. I'm sure you'll disagree with this, but it isn't much of a stretch.

Again, as I've said in the past, if "might makes right" then why not just dispense with the laws? Who are you trying to kid anyway? That's the entire sum total of your argument.

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