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Author Topic: a question for left-liberals  (Read 20837 times)
NghtRppr
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May 29, 2011, 04:51:18 AM
 #121

So if I move into an unused house and grow my food in the backyard, you're not going to use violence against me just because a piece of paper says that you are God over that house, right? That would be initiating force against me.

So, if I go on vacation or go to work can you claim my house is unused? Do I have to be inside my house 24/7 to prevent you from claiming it's unused?
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May 29, 2011, 05:36:58 AM
 #122

So, if I go on vacation or go to work can you claim my house is unused? Do I have to be inside my house 24/7 to prevent you from claiming it's unused?

I'm not talking about someone's residence, but rather, say, a "rental property".

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May 29, 2011, 06:13:50 AM
 #123

So, if I go on vacation or go to work can you claim my house is unused? Do I have to be inside my house 24/7 to prevent you from claiming it's unused?

I'm not talking about someone's residence, but rather, say, a "rental property".

So, if I own a house I can't rent a room to someone without that person thereby owning the room?
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May 29, 2011, 06:31:17 AM
 #124

You're just dodging the question. You're also assuming your conclusion when you use the terms "own" and "rent". Why not look at the situation purely through the lens of the non-initiation of force?

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May 29, 2011, 06:48:28 AM
 #125

You're just dodging the question. You're also assuming your conclusion when you use the terms "own" and "rent". Why not look at the situation purely through the lens of the non-initiation of force?

What question am I dodging? By the way, are you going to answer my question? Can I rent a room in my house while retaining ownership of said room? Do I even own the room even though I never go in there?

Adherence to the non-initiation of force requires a theory of property rights. If I take the coat you are wearing, am I initiating force? Well, it depends. Did you steal the coat from me yesterday? If so, then you initiated force and I am just reclaiming my property. You can't ignore property rights to focus purely on the non-initiation of force.
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May 29, 2011, 07:18:02 AM
 #126

Quote from: bitcoins2cash
Adherence to the non-initiation of force requires a theory of property rights.

No it doesn't.

Quote from: bitcoins2cash
If I take the coat you are wearing, am I initiating force?

Yes, because there's no non-violent way to remove someone else's coat if they're not interested in removing it. You start to remove my coat; I go into the fetal position; what's your next move?

Quote from: bicoins2cash
Can I rent a room in my house while retaining ownership of said room?

You can't even converse with me without using all kinds of loaded terms. So I give you some money, and you let me sleep in a room inside your residence. In the morning I decide to go into the fetal position on the floor. You're not happy about the fact that I haven't left. What's your next move?

Quote from: bitcoins2cash
Did you steal the coat from me yesterday? If so, then you initiated force and I am just reclaiming my property.

That depends. Did I rob you, or steal it from a coat rack while you were eating out? If the latter, then it's an abuse of language to claim that I initiated force against you.

Quote from: bitcoins2cash
You can't ignore property rights to focus purely on the non-initiation of force.

Can't I? I'm forcing you to confront the fact that your oh-so-principled libertarian ideology is not really principled at all. I'm not saying that libertarianism is wrong or bad. I just find smug, holier-than-thou types annoying.

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May 29, 2011, 07:34:52 AM
 #127

No it doesn't.

Yes it does. (I can make baseless assertions too.)

Yes, because there's no non-violent way to remove someone else's coat if they're not interested in removing it. You start to remove my coat; I go into the fetal position; what's your next move?

You are asserting that it's your coat. Like I said, what if you stole the coat from me? Wouldn't you be the initiator of force?

So I give you some money, and you let me sleep in a room inside your residence. In the morning I decide to go into the fetal position on the floor. You're not happy about the fact that I haven't left. What's your next move?

Drag you out of there?

That depends. Did I rob you, or steal it from a coat rack while you were eating out? If the latter, then it's an abuse of language to claim that I initiated force against you.

You didn't initiate force against me but you did initiate force against my property. Do you really believe that the non-initiation of force only applies to your person? Do you think that I should be free to smash up your car that you left parked on the street or simply drive away in it? The non-initiation of force is inextricably tied to property rights because property rights tells us who owns what and therefore who is initiating force against another person or their property.
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May 29, 2011, 07:39:18 AM
 #128

There's no reason to continue this discussion, because you seem to literally not understand what I'm saying. (Cliff notes: libertarianism is as much a hodge-podge of sentiments and ad-hoc rules as any statist ideology.) It will be clear to any lurkers that I made my point.

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May 29, 2011, 07:50:35 AM
 #129

There's no reason to continue this discussion, because you seem to literally not understand what I'm saying.

You're right that I don't understand what you're saying. It might be because your views are nonsensical. Then again it might not be. That's why I asked you several questions to help clarify your position. Instead, you are choosing to ignore them. Therefore I'm inclined to think your views are nonsensical. If you had some kind of point to make, you'd make it.
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May 29, 2011, 07:57:22 AM
 #130

I'm not conversing with you in bad faith. I honestly thought that I pointed out where I think you're assuming your conclusion several times. Basically, you seem to have internalized an entire system of property rights which is in no way principled or even consistent (not to mention controversial), so your political ideology can't be principled, no matter how black and white it sounds. ("No initiation of force against a person (or his property).")

If you take a step back and try to look at reality as it is, instead of perceiving it through the filter of ideology, it becomes alarming how libertarianism elevates inanimate objects to the level of human beings. So I snatch your coat while you're not looking. You come after me and demand that I give it back. I refuse. At every turn I choose non-violence, attempting to hide, run away, or go limp. How far are you going to go to get this inanimate object back from me? If I'm clutching to something immovable and you're trying to drag me out of a room, are  you willing to dislocate my shoulders to get me out? Will you permanently injure me to remove me from a particular plot of earth, or to get your coat back? Will you kill me for your coat? How far does it go?

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May 29, 2011, 08:05:02 AM
 #131

I'm not conversing with you in bad faith. I honestly thought that I pointed out where I think you're assuming your conclusion several times. Basically, you seem to have internalized an entire system of property rights which is in no way principled or even consistent, so your political ideology can't be principled, no matter how black and white it sounds ("No initiation of force against a person or his property").

I'm not assuming my conclusion. We are assuming that I own the house prior to renting out a room. Then the question becomes, can I rent out the room and still retain ownership? How is the conclusion of "yes I can" contained within the fact that I already owned the house in the first place. It would seem that the argument is only relevant if I do in fact own the house in the first place. Otherwise, what's the point of contention?

Also, how can you know my views on property rights aren't principled when you haven't even investigated them? If you want the principles then just ask, don't assume.

My view of property rights rests on the prior-later distinction. If you homestead some unowned property then everyone else that tries to make a claim on it is a latecomer. If that's allowed then there's nothing stopping still another latecomer from making the same argument. In which case, the entire system fails to specify any property rights at all. To claim that some other person has a better claim to some property but no one else afterward presupposes the prior-later distinction.
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May 29, 2011, 08:20:06 AM
 #132

Homesteading is not principled. Locke believed that mixing your labor with something makes it a part of you--this is just gibberish. The newcomer vs. latecomer distinction is arbitrary. You could use it to justify pretty much any totalitarian law. ("We were here first; you were born into our society, so who are you to question our laws? You must remain a slave for life because this is our society.") Libertarians like to pretend that their political philosophy is based on pure logic while dirty "collectivists" are fuzzy-headed hippies who rely on emotion rather than reason. But taking a vote to decide what to do with resources, or appointing a (hopefully) benevolent dictator to decide, or letting a computer program decide--these are no more or less principled than libertarianism. Private property might be more efficient than other schemes, but if history has taught us anything it's that efficiency and morality have little to do with one another.

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May 29, 2011, 08:24:40 AM
 #133

Will you kill me for your coat? How far does it go?

Responses to crimes have to be proportional. The point of restitution is to make the victim as whole as possible. If you steal my coat, you owe me my coat, the cost of losing my coat for that amount of time, the cost of enforcing justice on you, plus any costs for emotional harm if you scared me or made me depressed because the coat had sentimental value, etc. The point is to make it as if you had never stolen my coat in the first place, insofar as that's possible. No, I can't kill you for a coat.
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May 29, 2011, 08:31:24 AM
 #134

"We were here first; you were born into our society, so who are you to question our laws? You must remain a slave for life because this is our society."

That's not how it works.

If I own property, I control how it is used. If I let you use my property under certain conditions, you have to adhere to those conditions or go somewhere else. That's got literally nothing to do with "society". If you don't like the rules that exist on my property. Go out and claim your own property. How is that totalitarian? It's not.

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May 29, 2011, 08:32:05 AM
 #135

Responses to crimes have to be proportional. The point of restitution is to make the victim as whole as possible. If you steal my coat, you owe me my coat, the cost of losing my coat for that amount of time, the cost of enforcing justice on you, plus any costs for emotional harm if you scared me or made me depressed because the coat had sentimental value, etc. The point is to make it as if you had never stolen my coat in the first place, insofar as that's possible. No, I can't kill you for a coat.

Ah, but you're assuming that I'm going to comply with the armed thugs you send after me. Ultimately, you will kill me for the coat, provided I (non-violently) resist restitution persistently enough. And you will rationalize it by thinking of me as "incorrigible" or "uncooperative". If I take your coat and run, and run from everyone you send after me, and simply refuse to cooperate with your system of private property altogether, I will eventually be killed in cold blood. Over a coat? Maybe not. Over the idea that I could be so arrogant as to think that I could live my life my way in your society.

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May 29, 2011, 08:34:30 AM
 #136

That's not how it works.

If I own property, I control how it is used. If I let you use my property under certain conditions, you have to adhere to those conditions or go somewhere else. That's got literally nothing to do with "society". If you don't like the rules that exist on my property. Go out and claim your own property. How is that totalitarian? It's not.

You're making it very difficult for me not to dissolve into outright mockery. I mean, are you listening to yourself? Private property has everything to do with society. It is a social norm. If your private property-based society encompasses the inhabitable world, you are literally saying, "Do what I (or we) say or die."

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May 29, 2011, 08:39:09 AM
 #137

Ah, but you're assuming that I'm going to comply with the armed thugs you send after me. Ultimately, you will kill me for the coat, provided I (non-violently) resist restitution persistently enough.

No, that's a straw man argument. If the only choice is to kill you or allow you to keep my coat then you will keep my coat. However, life is never black and white like that. There are many other ways that I can get my coat back. I could simply wait until you are asleep and take it then. There are many other ways that don't involve killing you or causing you physical pain. I'm sure you could think of some ideas on your own, if you were so inclined. I find that people usually can't see solutions to problems when their arguments depend on not seeing them.

Private property has everything to do with society. It is a social norm.

My point was that saying what you can and cannot do on my private property is not the same as saying you have to obey my laws, anywhere you go, even on unowned land. You must understand that, right?

If your private property-based society encompasses the inhabitable world, you are literally saying, "Do what I (or we) say or die."

It's really absurd to worry about the entire planet being homesteaded and none of that space being up for sale. That's so far from being likely that it's at best a theoretical objection. Of course, by the time we are even close to running out of space, there will be people on their way to the moon or other planets or orbiting space stations. If that's really all you've got, I consider Libertarianism to be on extremely solid ground.
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May 29, 2011, 09:15:43 AM
 #138

b2c, you can't handwave away the problem of mass ownership of land. It's already the case that you can't get a decent chunk of land that you can actually grow something on without shelling out a couple thousand bucks to some speculator who isn't even using it. Where I live, in the middle of a large city, there isn't anywhere that I can go and be self-sufficient and be left alone within a hundred-mile radius. This is not primarily due to "big government", but rather "big property".

Libertarianism is just a clever rationalization of the old children's rhyme, "Tick tock, the game is locked; nobody else can play."

Quote from: bitcoin2cash
No, that's a straw man argument. If the only choice is to kill you or allow you to keep my coat then you will keep my coat. However, life is never black and white like that. There are many other ways that I can get my coat back. I could simply wait until you are asleep and take it then. There are many other ways that don't involve killing you or causing you physical pain.

Such as? Other than snatching it back from me in the same way that I originally stole it from you, you can't really get the coat back without causing me harm, assuming I'm dead-set on keeping it. This doesn't require me to use violence, but just to be very stubborn. Ultimately violence must be used, no matter how much you distance yourself from it by burying it under layer upon layer of ritual. ("I didn't kill him over a coat. I just filed a police report. He should have answered the door when the cop knocked. He shouldn't have resisted arrest. I didn't kill him over a coat.")

Quote from: bitcoin2cash
My point was that saying what you can and cannot do on my private property is not the same as saying you have to obey my laws, anywhere you go, even on unowned land. You must understand that, right?

Small difference. I have to obey the "laws" of the landowners whom I am surrounded by, even though they're not "the government". This may sound like a nitpick, since surely I could find some landlord or business owner who would tolerate my presence and not do me harm--but imagine yourself suddenly transported to some nation whose very culture you find threatening. You would be surrounded by private owners who might think nothing of taking you hostage and chopping your hand off because you touched the wrong thing. But, hey, you were on their property, and you broke their rules. Why didn't you just go somewhere else? (Because, from your perspective, all of the property owners there are batshit crazy.)

Quote from: epi
If you insist on living your life in my society stealing from others it is probable that you will be highly disappointed, institutionalized and/or dead. This is highly self destructive behavior. It appears your beliefs are as deeply emotional and musterbatory as anyones. (that goes for me and bitcoin2cash also)

This might shock you, but I don't actually go around stealing people's coats. As for my beliefs, I'm not an "anti-libertarian" or a "leftist" or whatever. I don't cling to any political ideology. It can be disconcerting at times, but you have to grow up some time. Wink

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May 29, 2011, 09:36:02 AM
 #139

It's already the case that you can't get a decent chunk of land that you can actually grow something on without shelling out a couple thousand bucks to some speculator who isn't even using it. Where I live, in the middle of a large city, there isn't anywhere that I can go and be self-sufficient and be left alone within a hundred-mile radius. This is not primarily due to "big government", but rather "big property".

The current system isn't based on homesteading so it can hardly be used as an argument against it. However, assuming you have to go outside of a hundred-mile radius, so what? What's your point? That you shouldn't be inconvenienced?

Such as?

I just said that I could wait until you are asleep. Why are you ignoring that obvious example? Again, I'm certain you could come up with other solutions if you really wanted to. How about spraying some gas in your face that makes you unconscious temporarily or is that somehow causing you physical damage too? Also, I disagree that I can't cause you any pain, only that the pain I cause has to be proportional to the crime you've committed. If you steal my car rather than my coat, why shouldn't I be able to use a TASER on you or shoot you with a blow dart? I certainly shouldn't be able to kill you or break your legs but are you really arguing that I can't even touch you at all? How are you going to end up being killed by non-violently resisting? Going limp or rolling up into a ball? I can just have a few people restrain you. That's not going to kill you.

Small difference. I have to obey the "laws" of the landowners whom I am surrounded by, even though they're not "the government". This may sound like a nitpick, since surely I could find some landlord or business owner who would tolerate my presence and not do me harm--but imagine yourself suddenly transported to some nation whose very culture you find threatening. You would be surrounded by private owners who might think nothing of taking you hostage and chopping your hand off because you touched the wrong thing. But, hey, you were on their property, and you broke their rules. Why didn't you just go somewhere else? (Because, from your perspective, all of the property owners there are batshit crazy.)

Chopping someone's hand off for theft is never justified. It doesn't matter on whose property you stand. Your argument simply doesn't apply to the system I'm advocating. If you don't like the rules, you leave. You don't get physically harmed. So far you haven't made a cogent argument against Libertarianism, just a bunch of straw man arguments.
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