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Author Topic: George ought to help.... (should we use violence on him if he chooses not to?)  (Read 4295 times)
bb113
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February 05, 2012, 10:47:11 PM
 #61

I see what you are saying and agree. Do you think there is reason to believe that just because this is how it has been done in the past, there is no alternative?

A libertarian society would be a qualitatively different society than any I have ever learned about. The current state-based system has alot of robustness (or else it would not have worked for so long), but that does not mean it is perfect, or even the best option under all possible conditions.

A libertarian society assumes that some people only exist so that the misery they suffer is a warning to others on the perils of fecklessness.  That might work in a poor world where food and medicine is in short supply.  But in our rich countries where superabundance means that no child should ever be hungry and no-one should die of a preventable illness, I don't see how a libertarian society could even be attempted. 

This is the first time I have ever seen a claim like that. Granted, I've only been interested in this stuff for about a year. Do any libertarians claim that? In a libertarian society, what would be stopping you from organizing the members of your community to feed/treat the poor?
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February 05, 2012, 10:57:35 PM
 #62

I see what you are saying and agree. Do you think there is reason to believe that just because this is how it has been done in the past, there is no alternative?

A libertarian society would be a qualitatively different society than any I have ever learned about. The current state-based system has alot of robustness (or else it would not have worked for so long), but that does not mean it is perfect, or even the best option under all possible conditions.

A libertarian society assumes that some people only exist so that the misery they suffer is a warning to others on the perils of fecklessness.  That might work in a poor world where food and medicine is in short supply.  But in our rich countries where superabundance means that no child should ever be hungry and no-one should die of a preventable illness, I don't see how a libertarian society could even be attempted. 

This is the first time I have ever seen a claim like that. Granted, I've only been interested in this stuff for about a year. Do any libertarians claim that? In a libertarian society, what would be stopping you from organizing the members of your community to feed/treat the poor?


I've had it told to me when I point out that not all people are really fit to be self-sufficient and a safety net is needed for them.

If organising people as a charity to feed/treat the poor is efficient, of course its the best way to do things.  The point is that the things that the community's representatives have decided should be done by the state have to be paid for by taxation and its not wrong to tell George to pay his share.

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February 05, 2012, 11:06:47 PM
 #63

If organising people as a charity to feed/treat the poor is efficient, of course its the best way to do things.  The point is that the things that the community's representatives have decided should be done by the state have to be paid for by taxation and its not wrong to tell George to pay his share.

But taxation was not necessary in a tribal society, because shame (I realize this was my word and not yours) would work most of the time. Therefore if communities (probably 150 people or so... based on dunbar's number) would take responsibility for their own, taxation would be unnecessary.

So I guess the question is: why doesn't this occur?

Because people naturally don't feel responsible for those around them?
Because of the diffusion of responsibility (Kitty Genovese) problem?
Because they think the state will take care of it?
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February 05, 2012, 11:14:55 PM
 #64

If organising people as a charity to feed/treat the poor is efficient, of course its the best way to do things.  The point is that the things that the community's representatives have decided should be done by the state have to be paid for by taxation and its not wrong to tell George to pay his share.

But taxation was not necessary in a tribal society, because shame (I realize this was my word and not yours) would work most of the time. Therefore if communities (probably 150 people or so... based on dunbar's number) would take responsibility for their own, taxation would be unnecessary.

So I guess the question is: why doesn't this occur?

Because people naturally don't feel responsible for those around them?
Because of the diffusion of responsibility (Kitty Genovese) problem?
Because they think the state will take care of it?


Perhaps no-one asked.  Some societies were voluntary and some used taxation.  The more efficient ones conquered the less efficient so there was never really a choice.

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February 05, 2012, 11:18:11 PM
 #65

I agree that a statist society would have an advantage over its libertarian neighbor. I just don't think this has anything to do with quality of life or efficiency. I don't have much background in this so if you have historical examples I'd like to study them.
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February 05, 2012, 11:33:49 PM
 #66

And sorry if I am being annoying. It is just I learn best by asking questions...
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February 06, 2012, 12:44:01 AM
 #67

So I guess the question is: why doesn't this occur?
Because people naturally don't feel responsible for those around them?
Our brain has not evolved very much since the stone age.
When we see someone we still make an unconcious decision:
"tribe member" or "not a tribe member"
Unfortunately most people are in the category "not a tribe member"

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Hawker
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February 06, 2012, 09:53:58 AM
 #68

I agree that a statist society would have an advantage over its libertarian neighbor. I just don't think this has anything to do with quality of life or efficiency. I don't have much background in this so if you have historical examples I'd like to study them.

Examples of societies that don't have a cash economy and don't have a tax system?  Sorry I can't think of one. 

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February 06, 2012, 05:40:11 PM
 #69

I agree that a statist society would have an advantage over its libertarian neighbor. I just don't think this has anything to do with quality of life or efficiency. I don't have much background in this so if you have historical examples I'd like to study them.

Examples of societies that don't have a cash economy and don't have a tax system?  Sorry I can't think of one. 

I don't follow why you're mentioning cash economy.

Some societies were voluntary and some used taxation.  The more efficient ones conquered the less efficient so there was never really a choice.

My purpose was to find out what you were referring to with this statement.
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February 06, 2012, 08:01:45 PM
 #70

Tax generally is charged against property and cash and is paid in cash. 

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February 06, 2012, 08:54:01 PM
 #71

Quote
Videos are a waste of time.  If the person has an idea worth taking seriously, they'd have it written down somewhere.

Hawker is a speed-reading British lawyer; if you want him to consider your arguments you have to provide them in written form.

We are all speed readers.  Reading is something like 4 times faster than listening and that assumes the video isn't packed with atmospheric music and still scenes. 

I'm not British and I am not a lawyer but at least you got 1 out of 3 correct.

Nice.  Two strikes at one go.  I seem to recall reading somewhere on this forum about your nationality and occupation, but apparently I remember incorrectly.

Reading can be much faster than listening to or watching a video, but is only useful if comprehension can keep up.  My comprehension speed varies with the content I am reading.  I can read novels quite quickly, but slow down when reading economic essays.

Quote from: Hawker
Yes.  We exist in societies and our societies have invented concepts like property rights, human rights and money.  These concepts allow us to live a lot more comfortably than our hunter gather ancestors. Taxation is the way that the collective needs of our society get paid for.  Instead of saying "Taxation is taking what is mine" its more logically to say "Society has decided to distribute property and money in this way and of the amount I got, society is taking a percentage back."

Libertarians seem to work on the premise that the money and the property exists outside of society - thats an interesting idea but false.  Both are social creations.

I don't agree that it is more logical to say "society has decided" because society can't decide anything.  I realize the term "society" is simply a metaphor used to describe the net result of a number of individual actions, but I feel that it can be misleading to use that term.  When you say "society has decided" you mean that the majority of the individuals in a society support an action, or at least, do not actively oppose it.  It may in fact only be a minority who actively support the decision, but if the majority of the populace aren't willing to actively oppose it and accept it passively or with only minor opposition the minority may still have their way.

The occasional 18-year-old male internet libertarian may work on the premise that money and property exist outside of society, but that surely cannot be said of many of the influential libertarian writers and thinkers.  Rothbard, for example, very thoroughly and carefully describes property and money by stepping through the logical implications of the simple two-person island economy and then moving up the chain through more and more complex societies.

Saying that money and property are both social creations doesn't preclude the possibility that different people believe there are different ways of approaching their ownership and distribution.   
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February 06, 2012, 09:03:18 PM
 #72

...snip...

Saying that money and property are both social creations doesn't preclude the possibility that different people believe there are different ways of approaching their ownership and distribution.   

Absolutely agree.  some people believe in equal distribution of wealth, some people believe in equal distribution of opportunity, some believe in plutocracy and there are endless permutations where people believe partly in one idea and partly in safety nets.

The question is, how can these disagreements be resolved peacefully?  My preferred answer is that a system that the majority of people vote for and support. 

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February 06, 2012, 09:22:49 PM
 #73

...snip...

Saying that money and property are both social creations doesn't preclude the possibility that different people believe there are different ways of approaching their ownership and distribution.   

Absolutely agree.  some people believe in equal distribution of wealth, some people believe in equal distribution of opportunity, some believe in plutocracy and there are endless permutations where people believe partly in one idea and partly in safety nets.

The question is, how can these disagreements be resolved peacefully?  My preferred answer is that a system that the majority of people vote for and support. 

That's fair.  I don't share your belief that it works the way in reality that its supposed to in theory, but I can respect your position. 

All governments rest upon the consent of the people when you get down to the most fundamental level.  Often people will put up with a very large amount of oppression before they finally have had enough (see Egypt), but ultimately the State requires the intellectual sanction of the populace.  Libertarians, anarchists, socialists and everyone else should approach the matter by attempting to peacefully persuade others to their position.  By and large, this is what happens. 

From my perspective the arguments usually boil down to arguments over economics and arguments over value scales.  The economic arguments are a shame, as economics is something that should be able to be objectively decided, but arguments over value scales are usually completely pointless due to the subjectivity of the subject matter. 
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February 07, 2012, 04:55:42 PM
 #74

...All governments rest upon the consent of the people when you get down to the most fundamental level.  Often people will put up with a very large amount of oppression before they finally have had enough (see Egypt), but ultimately the State requires the intellectual sanction of the populace.  Libertarians, anarchists, socialists and everyone else should approach the matter by attempting to peacefully persuade others to their position.  By and large, this is what happens....

If the state commits an act of aggression against the very people it was entrusted to protect, why should we give them a pass? I like debating the issue of liberty and what it means in a peaceful manner as much as the next person, but if the government plunders (involuntary imposts and ingratiating emoluments etc.) why don't we punish them for theft? To wit, I can't come into your home and steal your things. Were I attempt to do so, it would be extremely likely I'd end up in prison. However, when the state does it (legalized or legislated theft), we bless it.

Utterly bassackwards. It seems our benevolent and ingenious overlords have pulled the wool over our eyes. Either that, or we're so pathetic, ignorant and lazy to even care anymore.

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February 07, 2012, 06:03:30 PM
 #75

...All governments rest upon the consent of the people when you get down to the most fundamental level.  Often people will put up with a very large amount of oppression before they finally have had enough (see Egypt), but ultimately the State requires the intellectual sanction of the populace.  Libertarians, anarchists, socialists and everyone else should approach the matter by attempting to peacefully persuade others to their position.  By and large, this is what happens....

If the state commits an act of aggression against the very people it was entrusted to protect, why should we give them a pass? I like debating the issue of liberty and what it means in a peaceful manner as much as the next person, but if the government plunders (involuntary imposts and ingratiating emoluments etc.) why don't we punish them for theft? To wit, I can't come into your home and steal your things. Were I attempt to do so, it would be extremely likely I'd end up in prison. However, when the state does it (legalized or legislated theft), we bless it.

Utterly bassackwards. It seems our benevolent and ingenious overlords have pulled the wool over our eyes. Either that, or were so pathetic, ignorant and lazy to even care anymore.

Fred you are making the same error as the video maker.  You have property rights and cash because the state creates property rights and cash.  If the state limits those rights and you feel that the state is being oppressive to you, rebel. 

Look at the Syrian majority.  They are being killed like chickens yet they are resisting an oppressive state.  But unlike you, they don't jump from "Assad and the state he runs are oppression" to "All forms of government are oppression." 

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February 07, 2012, 07:12:59 PM
 #76

Fred you are making the same error as the video maker.  You have property rights and cash because the state creates property rights and cash.  If the state limits those rights and you feel that the state is being oppressive to you, rebel. 

Look at the Syrian majority.  They are being killed like chickens yet they are resisting an oppressive state.  But unlike you, they don't jump from "Assad and the state he runs are oppression" to "All forms of government are oppression." 

The state creates no rights (there's is inherently nothing to create in the first place). That would be impossible. And even were it true, the state is still comprised of individuals. So individuals such as myself, could just as likely "create" rights.

States recognize some human/civil rights, they may even defend them from time to time, but rest assured, they are not the creators thereof.

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February 07, 2012, 07:30:40 PM
 #77

Fred you are making the same error as the video maker.  You have property rights and cash because the state creates property rights and cash.  If the state limits those rights and you feel that the state is being oppressive to you, rebel. 

Look at the Syrian majority.  They are being killed like chickens yet they are resisting an oppressive state.  But unlike you, they don't jump from "Assad and the state he runs are oppression" to "All forms of government are oppression." 

The state creates no rights (there's is inherently nothing to create in the first place). That would be impossible. And even were it true, the state is still comprised of individuals. So individuals such as myself, could just as likely "create" rights.

States recognize some human/civil rights, they may even defend them from time to time, but rest assured, they are not the creators thereof.

Sorry without legal protection, rights are fairy tales.  Simple things like how assets get divided in divorces, how shares get traded in public companies and how leases are regulated all require a set of laws and a state to enforce them.  Saying that the state only recognises rights ignores the fact that rights don't exist at all without a state to enforce them.

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September 30, 2012, 08:05:23 AM
 #78

Sorry without legal protection, rights are fairy tales.  Simple things like how assets get divided in divorces, how shares get traded in public companies and how leases are regulated all require a set of laws and a state to enforce them.  Saying that the state only recognises rights ignores the fact that rights don't exist at all without a state to enforce them.

Implicit to your comment is the claim that law can only be provided by a state (a large territorial monopoly on the right to use violence and ultimate decision making authority). It's far from clear that this is true. And you certainly don't know that it is. Can you acknowledge that?

See The Machinery of Freedom for an example of how people have envisaged a modern stateless legal order. Or this introductory talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTYkdEU_B4o
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October 01, 2012, 07:04:00 AM
 #79

Sorry without legal protection, rights are fairy tales.  Simple things like how assets get divided in divorces, how shares get traded in public companies and how leases are regulated all require a set of laws and a state to enforce them.  Saying that the state only recognises rights ignores the fact that rights don't exist at all without a state to enforce them.

Implicit to your comment is the claim that law can only be provided by a state (a large territorial monopoly on the right to use violence and ultimate decision making authority). It's far from clear that this is true. And you certainly don't know that it is. Can you acknowledge that?

See The Machinery of Freedom for an example of how people have envisaged a modern stateless legal order. Or this introductory talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTYkdEU_B4o

Thankfully Hawker left around the time the Olympics were getting geared up, but he'd already read that, and managed to distort it all to hell.

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