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Author Topic: A Way To Be Free - Robert LeFevre  (Read 5754 times)
hashman
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May 30, 2012, 09:15:15 AM
 #41

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I believe I have stated the position of my adversaries fairly.  There is invariably the same oversight.  If we have a government, it will be human beings who will be hired to restrain the evil in others.  Who are these persons who will be hired, either by popularity contests or by direct application?  They will be just as human and as much disposed toward evil as those to be restrained.

That is simply untrue. It fails at 3 levels:
- Whether its Genghiz Khan or Captain John Hawkins, human history shows that if a weak society exists, a large organised society will come along and enslave it.  Having your own democratic state is preferable to that.  Ask any Afghan or Iraqi...heck ask any Palestinian or Jew what happens when you are don't have an army that can protect you.

Ask who what?  What are you referring to as a large organized society and why?   


Question is very simple; what happens when you have the misfortune to live in a society without a state to protect you from bad guys?  Whether the answer you get is genocide, expropriation, slavery or what, its unpleasant compared to being in a society where you are free behind a decent military and judicial system.

Hmm what is a "decent military and judicial system" ?  Does this mean keeping a few percent of the population locked up with no rights?  Perhaps "decent military" refers to carte blanche for selected idiots to wreck their own lives and others, while robbing the citizenry?   
 
Can you think of some people who would tell you their misfortune to live in a society with a state to oppress them and maintain injustice?   

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May 30, 2012, 10:50:09 AM
 #42

...snip...

Question is very simple; what happens when you have the misfortune to live in a society without a state to protect you from bad guys?  Whether the answer you get is genocide, expropriation, slavery or what, its unpleasant compared to being in a society where you are free behind a decent military and judicial system.

Hmm what is a "decent military and judicial system" ?  Does this mean keeping a few percent of the population locked up with no rights?  Perhaps "decent military" refers to carte blanche for selected idiots to wreck their own lives and others, while robbing the citizenry?   
 
Can you think of some people who would tell you their misfortune to live in a society with a state to oppress them and maintain injustice?   



I assume you are talking about the US and its enthusiasm for incarceration and for invading countries in the Middle East? 

Can I answer your question with a question?  We all know that the excessive incarceration, the daft drug laws and the aggressive military reflect what Americans vote for.  Otherwise,  Ron Paul would be President. If you remove the checks and balances of a democratic state, won't you have the exact same thing but worse as it will be done on a freelance haphazard basis?

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May 30, 2012, 03:24:10 PM
 #43

...snip...

Question is very simple; what happens when you have the misfortune to live in a society without a state to protect you from bad guys?  Whether the answer you get is genocide, expropriation, slavery or what, its unpleasant compared to being in a society where you are free behind a decent military and judicial system.

Hmm what is a "decent military and judicial system" ?  Does this mean keeping a few percent of the population locked up with no rights?  Perhaps "decent military" refers to carte blanche for selected idiots to wreck their own lives and others, while robbing the citizenry?   
 
Can you think of some people who would tell you their misfortune to live in a society with a state to oppress them and maintain injustice?   



I assume you are talking about the US and its enthusiasm for incarceration and for invading countries in the Middle East? 

Can I answer your question with a question?  We all know that the excessive incarceration, the daft drug laws and the aggressive military reflect what Americans vote for.  Otherwise,  Ron Paul would be President. If you remove the checks and balances of a democratic state, won't you have the exact same thing but worse as it will be done on a freelance haphazard basis?


You answered my question with a false statement, then a question Smiley  First, the phrase "democratic state" is sadly ambiguous now and may or may not refer to the politics championed by Democritus depending on how it is used.  Again I am reminded of recent tax regime in North America whose representatives use that language.  So there's your example.  Many checks and balances are long since removed (habeus corpus, military active against citizenry, encarceration, torture, control of trade by monopolies, mandatory income taxes, forbidden secession, etc.)  so, is it the exact same thing but worse?

Your point is an important one.  In the absence of government, one will arise.  It is only through intelligent application and architecture of checks and balances, i.e. not giving anybody an opportunity at all to abuse the system, that such abuse will end.         



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May 30, 2012, 04:04:47 PM
 #44

...snip...
You answered my question with a false statement, then a question Smiley  First, the phrase "democratic state" is sadly ambiguous now and may or may not refer to the politics championed by Democritus depending on how it is used.  Again I am reminded of recent tax regime in North America whose representatives use that language.  So there's your example.  Many checks and balances are long since removed (habeus corpus, military active against citizenry, encarceration, torture, control of trade by monopolies, mandatory income taxes, forbidden secession, etc.)  so, is it the exact same thing but worse?

Your point is an important one.  In the absence of government, one will arise.  It is only through intelligent application and architecture of checks and balances, i.e. not giving anybody an opportunity at all to abuse the system, that such abuse will end.          


"We all know that the excessive incarceration, the daft drug laws and the aggressive military reflect what Americans vote for.  " - you think that is a false statement?  Really?  Perhaps you need to go to a local bar and see what people think of European style jail sentences, drug legalisation and shrinking the military.

Totally agree with you about checks and balances and that you just have to keep watching them to keep abuse in check.

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May 30, 2012, 10:38:40 PM
 #45


The problem with Anarcho-capitalism is that it has no way to provide private property rights, justice or defence.


For the third time, you make the false assertion that the marketplace cannot provide the services provided by the government. Yet all these services have at some point in history been successfully provided by private enterprise. You can buy insurance to protect your person and property, and use arbitration firms for resolving disputes.

There is plenty of literature and media on this subject (only a google search away). You seem to be blissfully unaware of it and have no interest in leaning.

Just because you can't think of a solution to a market need does not justify using violence and theft to solve the problem. Your whole argument is one big is-ought fallacy: the government is what there is, therefore it's what there ought to be.

I've read it.  We've discussed it in these forums.  It always comes out that a system with a state is more efficient for property rights.  You have to remember that human organisations evolve in a competitive environment.  The reason we have states is that societies that didn't have states got crushed by conquest and slavery or simply ceased to exist as people attached themselves to the prosperous states.

"a system with a state is more efficient for property rights" - i disagree. the state is immensely inefficient at everything it does, when compared with it's market based equivalent.

So you agree then, that a free society can produce defense services?

Is your only objection to a free society that it will be crushed and pillaged by non-free societies?

The real reason the state exists is because we believe it is a moral institution. As soon as society wakes up to the face that the state is nothing more than an opinion with a gun, it will be rejected.

You, for example, are pointing a gun at me and demanding I fund wars of aggression, against my will. Demanding I fund men in blue costumes to initiate force against me despite having infringed against no one. Demanding that I abide by an ever expanding set of laws which represent nothing more that the whims of some bureaucrats. Why? because you think it's better that way and therefore moral. Well, that's just your opinion. Can I disagree without having a gun pointed at me.
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May 31, 2012, 02:03:39 AM
 #46

"a system with a state is more efficient for property rights" - i disagree. the state is immensely inefficient at everything it does, when compared with it's market based equivalent.

There really is no such thing as property rights without a state.

Quote
The real reason the state exists is because we believe it is a moral institution.

Not really.

Quote
As soon as society wakes up to the face that the state is nothing more than an opinion with a gun, it will be rejected.

Explain.

Quote
You, for example, are pointing a gun at me and demanding I fund wars of aggression, against my will. Demanding I fund men in blue costumes to initiate force against me despite having infringed against no one. Demanding that I abide by an ever expanding set of laws which represent nothing more that the whims of some bureaucrats. Why? because you think it's better that way and therefore moral. Well, that's just your opinion. Can I disagree without having a gun pointed at me.

Your opinion is very cliched. Blue suits? Let me guess - you didn't make that term up, but instead have fallen victim to a meme.
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May 31, 2012, 06:47:58 AM
 #47


The problem with Anarcho-capitalism is that it has no way to provide private property rights, justice or defence.


For the third time, you make the false assertion that the marketplace cannot provide the services provided by the government. Yet all these services have at some point in history been successfully provided by private enterprise. You can buy insurance to protect your person and property, and use arbitration firms for resolving disputes.

There is plenty of literature and media on this subject (only a google search away). You seem to be blissfully unaware of it and have no interest in leaning.

Just because you can't think of a solution to a market need does not justify using violence and theft to solve the problem. Your whole argument is one big is-ought fallacy: the government is what there is, therefore it's what there ought to be.

I've read it.  We've discussed it in these forums.  It always comes out that a system with a state is more efficient for property rights.  You have to remember that human organisations evolve in a competitive environment.  The reason we have states is that societies that didn't have states got crushed by conquest and slavery or simply ceased to exist as people attached themselves to the prosperous states.

"a system with a state is more efficient for property rights" - i disagree. the state is immensely inefficient at everything it does, when compared with it's market based equivalent.

So you agree then, that a free society can produce defense services?

Is your only objection to a free society that it will be crushed and pillaged by non-free societies?

The real reason the state exists is because we believe it is a moral institution. As soon as society wakes up to the face that the state is nothing more than an opinion with a gun, it will be rejected.

You, for example, are pointing a gun at me and demanding I fund wars of aggression, against my will. Demanding I fund men in blue costumes to initiate force against me despite having infringed against no one. Demanding that I abide by an ever expanding set of laws which represent nothing more that the whims of some bureaucrats. Why? because you think it's better that way and therefore moral. Well, that's just your opinion. Can I disagree without having a gun pointed at me.

People do have a moral loyalty to their states, their religions and their football teams.  That's why a state can provide police and security more cheaply.

Your question about the men with guns misses the point about human nature.  All that stands between us and chaos is the rule of law.   Take away police protection and it takes an hour or so for looting to start.    Take away border protection and you get invaded, many lives will be lost and all property owners may be dispossessed.

Every human society has to live with this reality.  Given that mass violence is part of our nature, the only choice we have is whether we have men with guns that are tied up in rules and procedures and that work for us?

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May 31, 2012, 08:10:42 AM
 #48

Are you saying we are not perfect?  And that if we are not perfect, then we have to give up our lives in the most peaceful prosperous societies in history?

My car isn't perfect.  On your logic, I should walk barefoot everywhere.
I'm saying that our current societies are incredibly violent, but by social convention we all pretend not to see the violence and agree not to talk about it.

+1

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May 31, 2012, 08:30:21 AM
 #49

People do have a moral loyalty to their states, their religions and their football teams.  That's why a state can provide police and security more cheaply.

Your question about the men with guns misses the point about human nature.  All that stands between us and chaos is the rule of law.   Take away police protection and it takes an hour or so for looting to start.    Take away border protection and you get invaded, many lives will be lost and all property owners may be dispossessed.

Every human society has to live with this reality.  Given that mass violence is part of our nature, the only choice we have is whether we have men with guns that are tied up in rules and procedures and that work for us?

Saying they work for us is pretty much a joke when they force us to provide them their paychecks.

And given that, it becomes clear why, over time, governments act less and less as if they're "tied up" with any sort of limitations.

Yet you want to take a group of people with mass violence as part of their nature, and give them a socially-accepted monopoly on initiating violence.

Considering the millions that governments, even "democratic" governments have killed (especially in the 20th century) and continue to kill, I have a hard time seeing why you feel that a society without a centralized nation-state would be more dangerous overall than one without.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
...
ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
...
...
The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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May 31, 2012, 08:55:49 AM
 #50

People do have a moral loyalty to their states, their religions and their football teams.  That's why a state can provide police and security more cheaply.

Your question about the men with guns misses the point about human nature.  All that stands between us and chaos is the rule of law.   Take away police protection and it takes an hour or so for looting to start.    Take away border protection and you get invaded, many lives will be lost and all property owners may be dispossessed.

Every human society has to live with this reality.  Given that mass violence is part of our nature, the only choice we have is whether we have men with guns that are tied up in rules and procedures and that work for us?

Saying they work for us is pretty much a joke when they force us to provide them their paychecks.

And given that, it becomes clear why, over time, governments act less and less as if they're "tied up" with any sort of limitations.

Yet you want to take a group of people with mass violence as part of their nature, and give them a socially-accepted monopoly on initiating violence.

Considering the millions that governments, even "democratic" governments have killed (especially in the 20th century) and continue to kill, I have a hard time seeing why you feel that a society without a centralized nation-state would be more dangerous overall than one without.

Police and soldiers are employees.  You choose to hire them and you choose what to pay them.

I agree that societies with centralised nation states are far more dangerous than those with no state.  That is why I prefer to live in one with separation of powers, the rule of law and a decent border.  The alternative is that you live at the mercy of foreign states.  This is what you get if you don't have a strong state to defend you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/31/thousands-flee-extreme-violence-congo

Which do you choose?

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May 31, 2012, 10:16:00 AM
 #51

[quote author=Hawker link=topic=83760.msg930614#msg930614 date=1338393887

"We all know that the excessive incarceration, the daft drug laws and the aggressive military reflect what Americans vote for.  " - you think that is a false statement?  Really?  Perhaps you need to go to a local bar and see what people think of European style jail sentences, drug legalisation and shrinking the military.

Totally agree with you about checks and balances and that you just have to keep watching them to keep abuse in check.

[/quote]


I really do think its false, and most of my evidence comes from local bars and a lot of travel as opposed to popular media which often suggests otherwise.  Drug legalisation is championed by religious leaders, policemen, economists, lawyers, doctors, basically anybody who bothers to think about it and does not feel they are personally profiting from the corruption prohibition enables.  Even the military thinks we should be shrinking the military.  And I don't know many people proud of having the worst incarceration rate on the planet.   

Constant vigilance..  how to start that again? 
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May 31, 2012, 11:59:28 AM
 #52

Question is very simple; what happens when you have the misfortune to live in a society without a state to protect you from bad guys?  Whether the answer you get is genocide, expropriation, slavery or what, its unpleasant compared to being in a society where you are free behind a decent military and judicial system.

I don't get what you mean in general. In most circumstances, the suffering you describe comes upon people who don't assimilate (e.g. genocide) or resist (violent invasion), or they happen regardless of you living under military protection (expropriation, slavery). It's either you don't want to live under a certain power, or the power you live under can't protect you (you're safe only if both aren't the case). But why don't you want to live that way but this?

There's nothing separating bad guys from the good guys objectively. They are the good guys because you belong. You belong because you've already assimilated. There's no "generic" difference between accepting one over another.

Now, I'm sure ants think colonies are the best. Regardless of whether anarchy might work, I merely object to the importance of your dichotomy. If I will let a state indoctrinate my kids anyway, I really don't have strong opinions about which. They operate with similar principles anyway. Rules appear to be radically different, but they are usually reflections of same things.

(minor edit for clarification)
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May 31, 2012, 01:42:20 PM
 #53

Question is very simple; what happens when you have the misfortune to live in a society without a state to protect you from bad guys?  Whether the answer you get is genocide, expropriation, slavery or what, its unpleasant compared to being in a society where you are free behind a decent military and judicial system.

I don't get what you mean in general. In most circumstances, the suffering you describe comes upon people who don't assimilate (e.g. genocide) or resist (violent invasion), or they happen regardless of you living under military protection (expropriation, slavery). It's either you don't want to live under a certain power, or the power you live under can't protect you (you're safe only if both aren't the case). But why don't you want to live that way but this?

There's nothing separating bad guys from the good guys objectively. They are the good guys because you belong. You belong because you've already assimilated. There's no "generic" difference between accepting one over another.

Now, I'm sure ants think colonies are the best. Regardless of whether anarchy might work, I merely object to the importance of your dichotomy. If I will let a state indoctrinate my kids anyway, I really don't have strong opinions about which. They operate with similar principles anyway. Rules appear to be radically different, but they are usually reflections of same things.

(minor edit for clarification)

As you say, you can't separate the good guys from the bad guys.  Perhaps there is no difference except that some paid by you and some are paid by another nation. 

But you can put in place things like separation of powers and a bill of rights so that all guys with guns have to justify themselves before taking your property from you.  If you do that, you and your community can invest in your properties and you can create a vibrant economy.  If you don't have a well run state, you can't do that so you are condemned to poverty and oppression.


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May 31, 2012, 02:09:41 PM
 #54

What separation of powers are you talking about!? Just because some words were written on a piece of paper not signed by anyone does not separation of powers make, all it is is PR, a mere pretense to obscure the fact that a few people are using violence and the threat of violence to rule over the rest.

The only actual separation of powers can happen when there is no power to begin with, just a voluntary private contract between two or more consenting parties.




And before you make a delusional comeback comment think about how you're going to explain a mountain high of violations of this pretense of separation of powers, especially in those cases when separation of powers matters the most like all the unilaterally started and undeclared invading wars.

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"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
    - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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May 31, 2012, 03:07:18 PM
 #55

What separation of powers are you talking about!? Just because some words were written on a piece of paper not signed by anyone does not separation of powers make, all it is is PR, a mere pretense to obscure the fact that a few people are using violence and the threat of violence to rule over the rest.

The only actual separation of powers can happen when there is no power to begin with, just a voluntary private contract between two or more consenting parties.




And before you make a delusional comeback comment think about how you're going to explain a mountain high of violations of this pretense of separation of powers, especially in those cases when separation of powers matters the most like all the unilaterally started and undeclared invading wars.

Quote
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
    - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Separation of powers is where you have law making, law enforcement and legal arbitration done in 3 separate organisations.  Without it, you end up with a single organisation that can make its own rules, enforce them against and adjudicate in its own favour if you disagree.

If you live in a society without this split, you live in a very unpleasant place and you have no real rights. 

Your Goethe quote shows you are still making the same mistake of saying that if you don't live in a perfect state, then the state you live in needs to be abolished.  Its like saying that you want people to walk around barefoot because cars aren't perfect.  What you need to do is offer something better.

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May 31, 2012, 04:21:21 PM
 #56

What you need to do is offer something better.
Not at all.

The abolitionists declared that slavery must be ended because the ownership of human beings is immoral. Figuring out a better way of handling agricultural labor requirements was not a prerequisite for abolishing slavery.

Governing people via the implicit or explicit threat of violence is immoral therefore people should find other ways of solving their problems.
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May 31, 2012, 04:43:51 PM
 #57

People do have a moral loyalty to their states, their religions and their football teams.  That's why a state can provide police and security more cheaply.

Your question about the men with guns misses the point about human nature.  All that stands between us and chaos is the rule of law.   Take away police protection and it takes an hour or so for looting to start.    Take away border protection and you get invaded, many lives will be lost and all property owners may be dispossessed.

Every human society has to live with this reality.  Given that mass violence is part of our nature, the only choice we have is whether we have men with guns that are tied up in rules and procedures and that work for us?

Saying they work for us is pretty much a joke when they force us to provide them their paychecks.

And given that, it becomes clear why, over time, governments act less and less as if they're "tied up" with any sort of limitations.

Yet you want to take a group of people with mass violence as part of their nature, and give them a socially-accepted monopoly on initiating violence.

Considering the millions that governments, even "democratic" governments have killed (especially in the 20th century) and continue to kill, I have a hard time seeing why you feel that a society without a centralized nation-state would be more dangerous overall than one without.

Police and soldiers are employees.  You choose to hire them and you choose what to pay them.

But that's just not true, either on an individual level or on a societal level.

If I see that the police in my city are corrupt, and specifically that Officers Adams, Baker and Crowley are guilty of abusing their powers and hurting innocent people, I can't decide to fire them, or to start paying them $0. Yes, I could try to convince their bosses to do so, but the point is, it's not my decision as an individual.

And even if the entire society wants them gone, who's going to make it happen? As long as the people making the decisions an the people wielding the guns act in accord and protect each other, nothing can be done. In the U.S., over 90% of the populace was against the first round of bank bailouts. The rulers knew this. They ignored it, and nothing has happened to them. Even the voting is gamed. It may have been better in the past, and it may be better in other countries, but only because the ruling class wasn't inclined to be so brazen about flaunting their control, and the lack of the people's control. In any society, if the ruling class decides to stop pretending that the people have control, then the people will find out pretty quickly that they don't.


Quote
I agree that societies with centralised nation states are far more dangerous than those with no state.  That is why I prefer to live in one with separation of powers, the rule of law and a decent border.  The alternative is that you live at the mercy of foreign states.  This is what you get if you don't have a strong state to defend you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/31/thousands-flee-extreme-violence-congo

Which do you choose?

If I were to have a true choice, it wouldn't be from the alternatives you offer... I'd rather choose a society with no government, but with people choosing voluntary protection services (or self-protection,) and with enough wealth to defend themselves from foreign states too. If Afgahnistan can do it, then a government-less U.S. could easily repel foreign states, and likely several other advanced nations could too.

Now, I honestly doubt that'll ever materialize in my lifetime, or anytime in the near future, but it's the moral ideal, and the most practically effective in terms of providing security and allowing for prosperity, so of course I try to choose options that lead closer to that ideal.

Given an already advanced and wealthy nation, and the option of continuing its government or disbanding it (or at least disbanding the higher levels,) I'll always opt for the latter. And while I believe it'll lead to greater personal benefit for me, that's not why I'd choose it... I'd choose it because I believe that that is the moral option, because I believe that initiating force against someone who has not done so is wrong, and is one of the greater wrongs that mankind is capable of.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
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Hawker
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May 31, 2012, 05:19:24 PM
 #58

...snipping as the posts have gotten so damn long...

If I were to have a true choice, it wouldn't be from the alternatives you offer... I'd rather choose a society with no government, but with people choosing voluntary protection services (or self-protection,) and with enough wealth to defend themselves from foreign states too. If Afgahnistan can do it, then a government-less U.S. could easily repel foreign states, and likely several other advanced nations could too.

Now, I honestly doubt that'll ever materialize in my lifetime, or anytime in the near future, but it's the moral ideal, and the most practically effective in terms of providing security and allowing for prosperity, so of course I try to choose options that lead closer to that ideal.

Given an already advanced and wealthy nation, and the option of continuing its government or disbanding it (or at least disbanding the higher levels,) I'll always opt for the latter. And while I believe it'll lead to greater personal benefit for me, that's not why I'd choose it... I'd choose it because I believe that that is the moral option, because I believe that initiating force against someone who has not done so is wrong, and is one of the greater wrongs that mankind is capable of.


I grew up in an environment where people were being snatched off the street and killed for having the wrong religion so I believe allowing the bad guys to initiate force is bad.  We know that if you don't have police and an army in control of your street, bad stuff will happen.  Its immoral to allow that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shankill_Butchers

By the way, these guys were citizen justice at its finest.  Some of their victims were Protestants but their tongues were destroyed with pliers before they got a chance to say so and then they were tortured to death.  That's what happens when you don't have police, courts and the rule of law.

justusranvier
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May 31, 2012, 05:23:30 PM
 #59

I grew up in an environment where people were being snatched off the street and killed for having the wrong religion so I believe allowing the bad guys to initiate force is bad.  We know that if you don't have police and an army in control of your street, bad stuff will happen.  Its immoral to allow that.
You can't legitimately divide human beings into two categories and say it's immoral for the "bad guys" to initiate force while at the same time it's virtuous for the "good guys" to initiate force.

What's wrong for one person is wrong for everybody.
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May 31, 2012, 06:32:40 PM
 #60

I grew up in an environment where people were being snatched off the street and killed for having the wrong religion so I believe allowing the bad guys to initiate force is bad.  We know that if you don't have police and an army in control of your street, bad stuff will happen.  Its immoral to allow that.
You can't legitimately divide human beings into two categories and say it's immoral for the "bad guys" to initiate force while at the same time it's virtuous for the "good guys" to initiate force.

What's wrong for one person is wrong for everybody.

What an absurd statement.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_of_Jaycee_Lee_Dugard

It was wrong to abduct her.  When she was returned to her family, the Garridos were arrested/abducted and they remain abducted/imprisoned.  That is a good thing.

Really, you need to think things through before posting them.

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