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Author Topic: What's so special about the NAP?  (Read 18932 times)
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June 24, 2012, 06:38:50 PM
 #161

Money talks is not an argument.

I am a high net worth individual.  I will either own my own defence agency or have a contract for so many properties that they will be begging for my business.  Take a walk around London and you see the oligarchs, the dictators and the sheikhs all with private security escorts.  You really think they are somehow ethical in London despite being tyrants in their own countries? 

If you and I both believe that we own the same thing, then who is attacking and who is defending is a moot point.  I'd own my own defence agency and my own arbitration firm.  I would always say that (1) you refused arbitration and (2) you are the attacker.  I'm therefore justified in using my defence agency to take what I want off you.

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June 24, 2012, 06:48:15 PM
 #162

They are ethical in London, because their money will not protect them if they break British law. If they are protected, it is by the government, by diplomatic immunity.

And attacking/defending is not a moot point. it is the salient point, when discussing the NAP.

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June 24, 2012, 06:59:12 PM
 #163

And attacking/defending is not a moot point. it is the salient point, when discussing the NAP.

Exactly! Bigger guns win.
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June 24, 2012, 07:50:51 PM
 #164

They are ethical in London, because their money will not protect them if they break British law. If they are protected, it is by the government, by diplomatic immunity.

And attacking/defending is not a moot point. it is the salient point, when discussing the NAP.

No they are not ethical in London.  They are rich and the security firms need their money.  Kroll, Blackwater and Aegies and the like don't check your ethics - they check if you can pay them in advance.

If you and I both believe we own the same thing, for example in a boundary dispute, and you refuse arbitration, I am left with the fact that you have possession of land I think is mine.  I feel attacked.  If I try to take it back, you will feel attacked.  Then its only a question of which of us has the more money for fire-power.

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June 24, 2012, 07:58:01 PM
 #165

No they are not ethical in London.  They are rich and the security firms need their money. 

Oh? I was not aware there was a Market Anarchy in London. How's that working out for you?

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June 25, 2012, 07:26:11 AM
 #166

No they are not ethical in London.  They are rich and the security firms need their money. 

Oh? I was not aware there was a Market Anarchy in London. How's that working out for you?

Fine.  The foreign rich provide employment and taxes and the UK has always had an upper class so they fit in nicely.

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June 25, 2012, 07:41:43 AM
 #167

No they are not ethical in London.  They are rich and the security firms need their money. 

Oh? I was not aware there was a Market Anarchy in London. How's that working out for you?

Fine.  The foreign rich provide employment and taxes and the UK has always had an upper class so they fit in nicely.

Are they hurting anyone?

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June 25, 2012, 09:36:27 AM
 #168

No they are not ethical in London.  They are rich and the security firms need their money. 

Oh? I was not aware there was a Market Anarchy in London. How's that working out for you?

Fine.  The foreign rich provide employment and taxes and the UK has always had an upper class so they fit in nicely.

Are they hurting anyone?

Bernie Madoff, AIG, MF Global, all ripped off billions working from the City of London.  So, yes.

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June 25, 2012, 03:00:42 PM
 #169

I think NAP is a beautiful personal principle, but I also agree with the others here saying that it breaks down the second someone elects to use force or even in borderline cases.

Is a company polluting and causing cancer in your village aggression? Or their freedom? Do you even have hardcore scientific evidence you can show in a court or in public?
The money to take a day off to protest, hire lawyers or what ever?

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June 25, 2012, 03:28:17 PM
 #170

No they are not ethical in London.  They are rich and the security firms need their money. 

Oh? I was not aware there was a Market Anarchy in London. How's that working out for you?

Fine.  The foreign rich provide employment and taxes and the UK has always had an upper class so they fit in nicely.

Are they hurting anyone?

Of course they are.  You don't get to be a Russian oligarch or a dictator without hurting people.  Look at the news from Moscow, Bahrain or the Congo to see how many of the super rich get rich.  That's why they need security firms.

What does that have to do with anything?

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June 25, 2012, 06:39:13 PM
 #171


What does that have to do with anything?

Everything. Are they hurting people now, in London?

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June 25, 2012, 07:49:29 PM
 #172


What does that have to do with anything?

Everything. Are they hurting people now, in London?

They shoot one another and stuff.  There was a dramatic poisoning with Polonium a while back.  You would not want to be standing between the goons of the owner of Chelsea FC and the guy he stole the money to buy Chelsea with off Tongue  Pakistani "community leaders" are found dead and the killers have flown to Karachi. 

I'm not sure why you are asking.  These guys are what they are; products of lawless societies where a killer instinct and a sound grasp of accounting is what's needed for incredible success.  Moving to London doesn't change that.  Provided its not foreign states settling scores on the streets of London, its not really an issue to lose sleep over.



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June 25, 2012, 07:57:29 PM
 #173

What does that have to do with anything?
Everything. Are they hurting people now, in London?

They shoot one another and stuff.  There was a dramatic poisoning with Polonium a while back. 

Are they getting in trouble for it?

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June 26, 2012, 08:13:52 AM
 #174

What does that have to do with anything?
Everything. Are they hurting people now, in London?

They shoot one another and stuff.  There was a dramatic poisoning with Polonium a while back. 

Are they getting in trouble for it?

As it happens no.  The employees that do the actual killing are on a flight to Moscow, Karachi, wherever long before arrest warrants get issued.

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June 26, 2012, 11:30:36 PM
 #175

What does that have to do with anything?
Everything. Are they hurting people now, in London?
They shoot one another and stuff.  There was a dramatic poisoning with Polonium a while back. 
Are they getting in trouble for it?
As it happens no.  The employees that do the actual killing are on a flight to Moscow, Karachi, wherever long before arrest warrants get issued.

Well, then I would point out that one of the benefits of no government is no jurisdictions, and no concerns about extradition.

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June 28, 2012, 01:19:52 AM
 #176

The NAP as a moral axiom has a lot of severe and workable problems, it is basically moral philosophy for cavemen and really says a lot for the level of moral and intellectual degeneration in our present population.


*  The NAP acts as a perverted and inverted form of Golden Rule.  Where the Golden Rule is defined by positive action "treat others as you'd like to be treated" the NAP seeks to define morality as what is NOT done between individuals.  It was actually a huge leap forward for human morality when Jesus furthered the Golden Rule, while the NAP reflects the sort of dark age 10 commandments where nearly everything can be defined by what is called negative morality; that is, being virtuous by what you do NOT do rather than what you DO.  The moral degenerate nature of Libertarianism is that it attempts to please this side of man, that would rather not have any "skin in the game" by the complexity of making moral decisions in life, that he can be "good" simply by doing nothing.  It's funny, if you take the NAP to its logical conclusion that this is the "morality" of alienation and atomization; that is, that if you lived on a farm, completely off-the-grid and had no human interactions the NAP would claim that you are the paragon of virtue.  The perversion here is that the further you remove yourself from human interaction the more 'safe' you are with regard to this bizarre 'morality'.  For what is morality but justice between individuals?

*  The NAP ignores (quite willfully and for political reasons) the role of the modern state as a part of modern civilization, not some type of parasite sucking off the people but the collective will for justice among the people, at least this is what it has the potential to represent, and has represented in the past and can represent in the future; and that the existing oligarchy in any nation has nightmares about the Government being the servant of the people and not the ruling class.  And that the modern person is as much a product of civilization and therefore the Nation-State as much as it is a product of them.  Destroy the State and it will be recreated by the people, attempt to destroy the people and the State will retaliate.  People are no longer the romanticized Robinson Crusoe's or 'rugged individuals', as such, nor did such individuals ever actually exist.  The social system that historically predates what is considered the modern State was Feudalism, and the morality and laws and ideology of Libertarianism is really nothing but an attempted return to that "heyday" of oppression and elite dominion.  This type of atomization that the NAP ultimately is advocating for would lead to a new Dark Age as it attempts to destroy the complex nature of society by an inflamed use of the word "force" and "aggression"; as Hayek sought to destroy sociological discussion and history by the use of the word “collectivism” and as Fredric Bastiat sought to destroy the American System of Political Economy by use of the word “plunder”.  As much as the modern male in our emasculated culture dislikes to hear these words, they are true: "you are not wholly self-sufficient and owe your present life, culture, wealth, station, comfort and everything else to the society you live in to the existing society/culture and therefore its government ".  Sorry, you are not Robinson Crusoe or John Galt, those were both and always will be fictional characters.  You did not spring from the mud fully formed, but were once a helpless infant and had the culture, language, and social norms of this (or whatever) society instilled into you to some degree or another.  This gets at the non-idea of “self-ownership”, which is about as stupid of a ‘theory’ as Aristotle’s Identity Principle.

*  We ignore that the NAP and all the other Libertarian ideology is a political doctrine that was crafted for cynical political purposes.  It looks at Rothbard, Hayek, Hazlitt, Mises, Bastiat and others as if they had no political motives and simply were disinterested scholars floating above the earth.

It’s actually worse than this, but that’s all for now.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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June 28, 2012, 01:36:41 AM
 #177

The NAP as a moral axiom has a lot of severe and workable problems, it is basically moral philosophy for cavemen and really says a lot for the level of moral and intellectual degeneration in our present population.

You've clearly spent a great deal of time thinking about this, which is a shame, since you're totally wrong.

You make an interesting point about the golden rule being better because it imposes a positive obligation to to good. Interesting, but flawed. The NAP only prohibits initiation of the use of force, it does not prohibit, for example, charity. You can do good, but you cannot be forced to do good. Basic libertarian philosophy holds that only obligations which you yourself have agreed to are valid. Note that agreeing with the NAP does not preclude belief in the Golden Rule.

The rest is just BS. I do have one question though: If you do not own yourself, who does?

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June 28, 2012, 02:12:11 AM
 #178

The NAP only prohibits initiation of the use of force...

How so?
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June 28, 2012, 06:54:00 PM
 #179

The NAP as a moral axiom has a lot of severe and workable problems, it is basically moral philosophy for cavemen and really says a lot for the level of moral and intellectual degeneration in our present population.

I do have one question though: If you do not own yourself, who does?

The idea of self-ownership is just a brief little poem, a little blurb of sophistry, it has as much meaning or non-meaning as the person who wants to listen to it instills in it.  It is a sophism not only on the word "ownership" but also "self".  I think this term has four connotations, all of which are not even really false as much as the term 'self-ownership' doesn't mean anything in the only contexts in which it could potentially mean something; those being the individual, the mental, the societal and the moral.

That's why I brought up Aristotle's Identity Principle, it's another non-theory.  Simply restating your conclusion as the assumption (or vice-versa) is circular logic; the same exists in the idea of "self-ownership".  These arguments both are a type of rudimentary 'begging the question'.  {Edit}  It occurred to me that the worst thing about the Identity Principle, and SO is that they pretend to claim some level of Absolute Truth.  {Edit}

First the individual.  If you exist in society you 'belong' to many different relationships and many 'belong' to you.  You are your mother's son - see the ownership?  You are your child’s father - again do you see the ownership?  As a minor you are under their authority both legally and for all practical purposes - at what point are you fully 'your own'?  While none of these people own you in a literal sense, as such, you are not a slave; but your life, personality, and existence are largely (if not principally) influenced by these relationships.  You define who you are by the these relations.  So in the sense that the individual is 'free' from societal 'ownership' doesn't appear to be at all true.  That is to say nothing of the fact that language, culture, opportunity and many other things come the society you live in which belong to everyone (they are public) and simultaneously nobody 'owns' them in the individual sense.  So, in what sense do you fully have "self-ownership" in this context?

Then the mental.  Indeed, I am trying to convince you that your Libertarian ideology is flawed and that it is a menace to yourself and our society and you are trying to do the inverse because it clearly does matter what people other than yourself think.  And if I can change your mind (or vice versa) or even put an idea there that wasn’t there before, then there is an interplay of ideas in which nothing can be said to be fully 'yours' or fully someone else's (putting aside actual creativity for this argument).  I mean this in the following sense: take Plato's Forms; if we both imagine a circle, who does it belong to?  If ideas are not owned, then that aspect of your mind cannot be 'owned', as such, and therefore the main context of your subjective experience in this existence isn't something that you 'own'.  But, it is also something that you do not not own; it's just that the idea of 'ownership' in this sphere (which encompasses all others) is silly.  To what sense could you have "self-ownership" in this context?

Sociologically, if you mean that you are free as a slave is not free then that is something that doesn't rely on you, solely and personally as much as it does to do with the society and your ability to influence it.  Meaning that if you were a slave and slavery was socially acceptable then would you have "self-ownership"?  If slavery was illegal and shunned in the society you were in then you could be relatively certain of you not being a slave. Whether you own yourself in this literal sense depends not on you, but on the society you live in and your ability to influence it.  Your 'societal opportunity' is a combination of your willingness fulfill do and the societies ability to provide in which a distinctive line between to the two is near impossible to establish, yet is the interplay between these factors.  So do what sense do you fully have "self-ownership" in this context?

Morally if you were the last person alive on the planet the idea of ownership becomes worthless.  It would be a term no longer with any meaning.  Therefore ownership implies that there is another 'non-you', and in this sense the term 'self-ownership' means what exactly?  That which expresses ownership as a self-identifying moral property is fairly bizarre in this context.  I'm not even sure how to process it as both morality and ownership are broad inter-human interactions while the context of 'self-ownership' as it morality goes internal to the individual where ownership (something between individuals) and self (something that is defined by numerous things external to itself, as I illustrated above) cease to mean anything.  In this sense, "self-ownership" is a sophistical paradox.  So, as a moral argument, "self-ownership" doesn't actually seem to convey any meaning.

Also, in case there’s any confusion, I certainly don't own you.  Although by preaching such primitive garbage as "self-ownership" it appears that you are clearly not your own master.  In all these above areas it's not that "self-ownership" is false, it is just that it doesn't mean anything, or means whatever the ideologue wants it to mean; such is the nature of sophistry.  Such is the nature of ideology.  It, "self-ownership", is just another undigested shibboleth of the Libertarian dogma.  It is a confusing juxtaposition of words meant to confuse and befuddle its victim into a comatose state of 'non-think'.  Those forever unable to break down the term "self-ownership" actually represent a type of mental slavery to an ideology that you didn't create and was made just for the purpose of turning well-meaning people into inert political blobs.  The promoter of "self-ownership" thinks that he is proscribing solutions to the above facets of the human experience and yet he is not.  He thinks, by this token representation of faux moral philosophy, he has solutions for mankind's problems - he has them not.  By proclaiming "self-ownership" the Grand Conversation of policy and civics and morality are all aborted and brought to a premature halt; he that "owns himself" is unable to journey on the road to truth and self-discovery for he believes he has all the answers to that question by the imposition of two words stapled upon each other.  Cicero?  Plato?  Aristotle?  Machiavelli?  Jefferson?  Madison?  Hamilton?  Franklin?  These people have wrestled with the idea of moral philosophy and the role of the state over the millennia and we are to believe that someone has discovered the solution to all of this by the “NAP” and the principle of "self-ownership"?  

I’ve got a reading list about a mile long if you want to actually begin your civics discussion and break out of these ideological prisons.  A ‘prison break’ for all the captives of the Libertarian doctrine is long overdue, we need your help in saving our republic, and literally can’t do it without y’all.



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June 28, 2012, 07:50:36 PM
 #180

I'll address each of these points individually.

First the individual.  If you exist in society you 'belong' to many different relationships and many 'belong' to you.  You are your mother's son - see the ownership?  You are your child’s father - again do you see the ownership?  As a minor you are under their authority both legally and for all practical purposes - at what point are you fully 'your own'?  While none of these people own you in a literal sense, as such, you are not a slave; but your life, personality, and existence are largely (if not principally) influenced by these relationships.  You define who you are by the these relations.  So in the sense that the individual is 'free' from societal 'ownership' doesn't appear to be at all true.  That is to say nothing of the fact that language, culture, opportunity and many other things come the society you live in which belong to everyone (they are public) and simultaneously nobody 'owns' them in the individual sense.  So, in what sense do you fully have "self-ownership" in this context?

What is owned in the relationship between two people is not the person, but the relationship itself. I am my mother's son, to be sure, but that does not define me, only my relationship with my mother. Likewise, I do not own her, simply be cause she is "my" mother. Also, while this relationship has influenced my personality, probably to a greater degree than I am aware of, it is not the sole influence, nor probably even the greatest. I have self ownership because I can choose which relationships I allow to influence me, and indeed, which I allow to even exist.

Then the mental.  Indeed, I am trying to convince you that your Libertarian ideology is flawed and that it is a menace to yourself and our society and you are trying to do the inverse because it clearly does matter what people other than yourself think.  And if I can change your mind (or vice versa) or even put an idea there that wasn’t there before, then there is an interplay of ideas in which nothing can be said to be fully 'yours' or fully someone else's (putting aside actual creativity for this argument).  I mean this in the following sense: take Plato's Forms; if we both imagine a circle, who does it belong to?  If ideas are not owned, then that aspect of your mind cannot be 'owned', as such, and therefore the main context of your subjective experience in this existence isn't something that you 'own'.  But, it is also something that you do not not own; it's just that the idea of 'ownership' in this sphere (which encompasses all others) is silly.  To what sense could you have "self-ownership" in this context?

If I write a computer program, and sell or give it to you, and you run that program on your computer, do I own your computer while you run that program? or the section of the hard drive where you have it installed? Since you are now reading my words, do I now own a small section of your visual cortex? If you remember them, do I now own that part of your memory? No, of course not. You own the hardware, no matter the software you choose to run on it. I have self ownership because I can decide whether or not your arguments are persuasive enough to convince me, and if they are, it is I who changes my mind, not you.

Sociologically, if you mean that you are free as a slave is not free then that is something that doesn't rely on you, solely and personally as much as it does to do with the society and your ability to influence it.  Meaning that if you were a slave and slavery was socially acceptable then would you have "self-ownership"?  If slavery was illegal and shunned in the society you were in then you could be relatively certain of you not being a slave. Whether you own yourself in this literal sense depends not on you, but on the society you live in and your ability to influence it.  Your 'societal opportunity' is a combination of your willingness fulfill do and the societies ability to provide in which a distinctive line between to the two is near impossible to establish, yet is the interplay between these factors.  So do what sense do you fully have "self-ownership" in this context?

To answer this one, I refer you to a quote by Robert A. Heinlein:
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
I have self ownership because I control my actions, and no one else does. Even those things I do because I am forced to I, do, and not someone else. Duress does not remove choice, it merely makes one choice (or all others aside from one) extremely unpalatable.

Morally if you were the last person alive on the planet the idea of ownership becomes worthless.  It would be a term no longer with any meaning.  Therefore ownership implies that there is another 'non-you', and in this sense the term 'self-ownership' means what exactly?  That which expresses ownership as a self-identifying moral property is fairly bizarre in this context.  I'm not even sure how to process it as both morality and ownership are broad inter-human interactions while the context of 'self-ownership' as it morality goes internal to the individual where ownership (something between individuals) and self (something that is defined by numerous things external to itself, as I illustrated above) cease to mean anything.  In this sense, "self-ownership" is a sophistical paradox.  So, as a moral argument, "self-ownership" doesn't actually seem to convey any meaning.

Absent any other people on the planet, indeed self ownership does lose meaning. But since I am not the only person on the planet, and neither are you, then self ownership remains a valid concept. I own me, and by extension, you (and not I) own you. I have self ownership because I am not you, and you are not me. We are separate individuals.

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