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Author Topic: What's so special about the NAP?  (Read 18538 times)
niemivh
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July 09, 2012, 05:53:24 PM
 #501

Is that your opinion?  Or is that somehow, like Moonshadow thought, a non-arbitrary definition?  Just to be clear: I disagree, so what you say can only be your opinion. I genuinely would be scared shitless if I saw some random stranger walking down the road carrying an A.A.R.  I would *very definitely* consider it a direct threat to my safety, and would *very definitely* hit him very hard over the head with an iron bar if I thought I could do so safely.  I would then disarm him, and confiscate or destroy the weapons.  How exactly is this not consistent with the NAP, given that I genuinely perceive a threat to my safety?
It doesn't really matter what you actually did perceive because only reasonable perceptions justify the pre-emptive use of force. Whether your perception of a threat is reasonable or not would depend on the full context. But if it's not objectively reasonable, it doesn't matter that you actually felt threatened. Someone might actually feel threatened around tall men on dark streets, but that doesn't justify using force against them.

What if they are waving the gun around?

Then what?

What if they are shooting rounds into the air or into the ground?

Then what?

What if they are pointing the gun at people as a 'joke'?

Then what?

At what point does me carrying around a bazooka and driving my APC seem like a threat to you and your families life?

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

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niemivh
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July 09, 2012, 05:56:42 PM
 #502

That logic has not been refuted or Friedman would have recanted.  If he has recanted, link to it and I'll see what changed his mind.  Otherwise you are only repeating the arguments he refuted.

1) Friedman is not the be all and end-all of Libertarian thought. I felt he had a particularly cogent description of market law, and since that is what we were discussing at the time, That book came first. Perhaps I should have specified which chapters to read.

2) if you would like a completely rational, secular explanation of my arguments, I refer you to Universally Preferable Behaviour, by Stephan Molyneux (whole book, right there on the webpage. Enjoy!)

Sorry, I just barfed a little bit in the back of my throat at the sight of the name "Steven Molyneux".

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

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July 09, 2012, 05:57:32 PM
 #503

What is wrong with Majority Rule with Rights of Individuals Constitutionally Protected?  This is the system of the American Revolution and it's the better system than the options between the above two that you seem to pretend are the only options.

What, you mean aside from the fact that the two concepts are antithetical?

You cannot have majority rule, and still protect the rights of the individual. Majority rule means that the minority is oppressed.

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July 09, 2012, 05:59:10 PM
 #504

I have read his conclusions and have to say he doesn't' seem to see that states have evolved in the free market of global competition for the right to govern.  That makes pretty well everything he says bogus doesn't it?

Or....

Your contention that they did is.

He goes down to first principles, and assumes he is wrong. Can you say the same?

Of course not. Its a matter of historical record that states greedily compete for the right to govern.  Free areas get occupied.  Weak states get conquered.  Its a Darwinian struggle and the states we have today are ones that have proved very competitive.  The older a state, the more likely it is that they have found a reliable system of government.

We don't need to theorise this.

But that doesn't specify where states come from, only how they got better over time. The nicest mafia is still a mafia.

You'll also notice that they ALL seem to be kinda... I donno... falling apart right at the moment?

Falling apart?  No.

Being eroded, corrupted and rotted by Imperialist forces?  Yes.

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

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July 09, 2012, 06:16:07 PM
 #505

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Which brings us to an interesting point. Which system do you propose as better than both the current mess and market anarchy?

The general answer is: The American System of Political Economy.

Can you briefly summarize its tenets? for example, Market anarchy holds that there is no need for a regional monopoly on any service, and the market can provide them all, better and cheaper than forcing people to pay a single organization.

Well, I would describe it as follows in a single sentence:

"The American System seeks the total mobilization of the productive and technological forces of the Nation for the betterment, welfare, progress and prosperity of the people of the United States and the world."

That isn't actually printed anywhere, that is what I see this system to reflect.  The difference is that it isn't fixated on procedural means of accomplishing this.  That is, that the means of getting to this goal can and have changed.  This is the reason I don't consider this system ideological, because there is no rigorous method, in terms of action to accomplish this and every policy has to be analyzed in view of it moving this goal forward or not - given the present conditions.  Simply put, the goal is not any specific thing in the physical reality we inhabit, per se, it is a dedication to that principle that I illustrated in that single sentence quoted above.

For example, presently I'm in favor of repealing NAFTA and implementing a protective import tariff.  The goal of this tariff would be to protect American labor against the foreign slave-sweat shops by increasing the cost of goods bought by slaves or foreign monopolies.  This would foster domestic production and rising standards of living in this country.  Abroad it would direct that wage-slave labor into something more net productive and beneficial to the people of that nation.

Domestically, rising standards of living would greatly reduce crime, cultural pessimism, degeneracy, and other social ills.

These import tariffs would need to be adjusted in order to changing world conditions.  Sometimes they would need to be increased, sometimes lowered, sometimes countries would need to be added or removed from various "tiers" with regard to their standard of living.  So that the American worker would only be competing on a level playing field and not with factory-slave 12 year olds that are worked 18 hours a day, basically worked to death.

There are many more policies (obviously) but that is always the question that should be posed.  Does this policy move us in alignment with that principle or does it not?  That is, or should be, the only litmus test for what constitutes good governance.

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

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July 09, 2012, 06:23:24 PM
 #506

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The right for you to choose your leader is valid. The right for you to choose my leader is not. It really is that simple.

We've been through this; Paris Hilton has the right to a gazillion dollars and the right to vote.  You have no rational basis to say that one right is "valid" and another is not.  

Yes, we have. I don't give a flying shit how much money Paris Hilton has. Nothing gives her the right to say what I can or cannot do with mine. I do not try to tell her what to do with hers.

Are you aware that what the rich do with their money affects what you can do with yours?  Also are you aware that once a group of people start unduly gaining money in the system they typically turn that undue money into undue power by buying political influence?  And if you are aware of that, how does the solution become "ok, we due away with government" rather than "ok, we due something to curb the appetites and corrupting potential influence of our elites"?

No political system, no way for anyone to get undue political influence.

*sigh*

That's clearly the easy answer.  That requires fewer words and basically no thoughts.  It is much harder to fix something than to simply throw it in the garbage, but since this system is inclusive of modern civilization I don't know how or why you think that this is something that can be discarded, or would be preferable if it could be discarded.

As much as I hate going this direction, this is really a psychological issue at this point; that is, if I knew thee personally I'm fairly sure I would be able to categorize your mental state and ascertain why it is that you find this synthetic ideology so appealing.  I know a many Libertarians and the back stories are all very similar.  Heck, I used to be one, so I know its allure first hand.

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

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July 09, 2012, 06:27:07 PM
 #507


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in order to eliminate racism, all racist people must suddenly stop acting racist
Well, they can act racist all they want, so long as those acts are limited to non-aggressive ones.

Quote
any person can take violent action to eliminate (or perhaps even prevent?) any perceived violation of NAP, even if they themselves are not the victim?
Yes, But be careful with "prevention"... It's easy to get carried away, as your "OMG he has a AR, Keeeel heeeem!" response shows....

Quote
In case the driver has no insurance, which insurance company pays?
The victim's, who has a vested interest in discovering who harmed their client.

Quote
Are you suggesting that people will need to travel armed like that under NAP?
Need to? No. But there's nothing stopping them. As long as they don't point the gun at you, they're not a threat. If you perceive one anyway, you can act on it... be be aware that might end up making you the aggressor...

As to the rest of your points, Might I suggest UPB as a valid secular, rational, damn near mathematical, proof of the NAP. I'm working on getting it into epub format, and at that point, it will show up in the "book club" thread. In the meantime, the full text is at that link.
Let me try to summarize.

The elimination of racism requires only that racists cease to engage in racist behavior. Tell me, what about paying redheads less than brownheads for the same work? Assume that the redheads have signed a contract. Racism such as this has led to all sorts of social problems all over the world. Will NAP somehow prevent that?

Also, any uninvolved person or entity may act violently in order to prevent or eliminate any violations of the NAP, even where he himself is neither the perpetrator nor the victim, nor even related or known to the victim.  He must, however, hope that the perpetrator's defense agency will view his acts as honorable and choose to uphold the NAP and publicly act against the interests of its client.

You do not refute my claim that it would be cheaper for all drivers to collectively not buy insurance. Therefore, it is now economically rational for a society to not have insurance, both at the group and individual levels. Even worse, you'll also have to pay an additional premium for those cases in which you are the victim of an unsolved hit-n-run.

Now, any individual is entitled to defend themselves against perceived threats; but must consider the possibility that no threat was intended and that he himself is the initial agressor and so be judged a NAP violator despite his best pro-NAP intentions.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that you're probably from the U.S.A. where people have been conditioned to think they have a God-given right to bear any arbitrary arms.  Can you see that your opinion (that people can carry AARs) is geographically influenced?  For example, I come from a country where even the police do not carry firearms.

Other crucial questions that you missed were:
1. Does the elimination of slavery then rely on the kindness of strangers?
2. Is [shady repair man] obliged to carry out checks before [repairing cars] or is he free to conduct his business as he wishes? Are the victims of hit-n-runs entitled to engage in violence against him on the possibility that one of his clients is a hit-n-runner?
3. A bonus question: were you here for the raindrop-triggered-nuclear-weapons discussion?

I'm trying to find the time to read UPB; but I think I can already tell when my opinion will differ from the author's - I'm pretty sure that soon he will imply that, once regulations and majority-endorsed government violence is removed, people will suddenly, magically, start being nice to one another.
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July 09, 2012, 06:29:38 PM
 #508

What is wrong with Majority Rule with Rights of Individuals Constitutionally Protected?  This is the system of the American Revolution and it's the better system than the options between the above two that you seem to pretend are the only options.

What, you mean aside from the fact that the two concepts are antithetical?

You cannot have majority rule, and still protect the rights of the individual. Majority rule means that the minority is oppressed.

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

What, you think you don't have these rights in spite of the majority?  It isn't something is a set-and-forget system, this system requires your participation - and even with the amazing lack of participation with so much of our population (being slaves to politically concocted ideologies) we still have reasonable protection of these rights.  

Imagine how defended they would be, and how many other rights could be established (Internet Free Speech, could be a constitutional amendment, for example) if we had a population that fought for them.

Here is the thing that you can't seem to understand: that with greater union and combination of action the MORE freedom we all have, not less.  The more advanced our civilization is, the more it protects the rights of individuals and the more we protect these rights the more our civilization advances.


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

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July 09, 2012, 06:30:42 PM
 #509

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Which brings us to an interesting point. Which system do you propose as better than both the current mess and market anarchy?

The general answer is: The American System of Political Economy.

Can you briefly summarize its tenets? for example, Market anarchy holds that there is no need for a regional monopoly on any service, and the market can provide them all, better and cheaper than forcing people to pay a single organization.

Well, I would describe it as follows in a single sentence:

"The American System seeks the total mobilization of the productive and technological forces of the Nation for the betterment, welfare, progress and prosperity of the people of the United States and the world."

That says absolutely nothing, but the rest of your post adequately describes what you feel is the proper way to run trade and commerce... What about the internal policies?

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July 09, 2012, 06:39:00 PM
 #510

<big snip>  Heck, I used to be [a libertarian], so I know its allure first hand.
Oh?  Tell us more.  What changed your mind?
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July 09, 2012, 06:58:19 PM
 #511

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Which brings us to an interesting point. Which system do you propose as better than both the current mess and market anarchy?

The general answer is: The American System of Political Economy.

Can you briefly summarize its tenets? for example, Market anarchy holds that there is no need for a regional monopoly on any service, and the market can provide them all, better and cheaper than forcing people to pay a single organization.

Well, I would describe it as follows in a single sentence:

"The American System seeks the total mobilization of the productive and technological forces of the Nation for the betterment, welfare, progress and prosperity of the people of the United States and the world."

That says absolutely nothing, but the rest of your post adequately describes what you feel is the proper way to run trade and commerce... What about the internal policies?

Actually, that says just about everything.  This is the difference between having a procedural ideology and making your decisions based on principle.  Do you think it would be easier to perfectly define a perfect, fixed, unmoving utopia and then try to bridge that gap between (A) where we are, and (Z) where that utopia supposedly lies with a bunch of in-between steps?

That's the point, we have no idea what the future will look like in the typical Libertarian-utopia model, and trying to rigorously define morality in terms of procedure will always fail because the world is always changing.

If one looks at every possible policy through a principled-lens, that I have illustrated above, then one sees what is 'good' and what is harmful to the population.

But what else could you infer to my 'trade and commerce' polices other than what I said?  How do you know anything else about what my polices would be if that's the only litmus test I perform to determine if a policy is good or bad?  That's a rather bold leap for you to take.

Regarding internal policies I'm for, and I'm putting this simply for the sake of brevity:

*  Collecting the Corporate Income Tax
*  Taxing Wall St.'s financial transactions (between 0.15% and 0.5%)
*  Nationalize the Federal Reserve
*  Creating a new TVA for projects of national interest
*  Funding nuclear research and overhauling the Energy Department (funding Fusion and building LFTR in the next 5 years)
*  Building a national grid of state-of-the-art mag-lev trains
*  Close the tax-havens here and abroad and collaborate with other nations in a new Bretton Woods style system of fixed exchanges
*  Collaborate with China and Russia on building a moon base with the idea to land a man on Mars
*  Subsidize college education either by 0% loans and/or allotments of credits or vouchers to get everyone at least a bachelors degree or equivalent of education
*  Reform bankruptcy law to permit more entrepreneurship and small business innovation
*  Tilt the favor of tax law and code in favor of small business over mega-corporations (basically the reverse of what it is now)
*  Begin selling off the international imperial bases abroad in an organized fashion (not a fire sale)
*  Regulate commodities markets with severe position limits (5% - 10% tops)
*  Create a government owned National Oil Company that has sole permission to drill oil on national lands, that oil will smash the Oil cartels control on oil prices and the revenue will go to the public, lowering the need for other taxes
*  Cut income taxes (for the lower and middle classes) in half or more with these increased revenues from those that presently don't pay taxes (Wall St., the Fortune 500)
*  Implement a 52 week minimum for paid-maternity leave and at least half that for fathers
*  Regulate mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and other worthless, debt increasing, pirate Capitalist style shenanigans that Mitt Romney is known for
*  Aim at (after the economic crisis has been defeated by the indication of Full Employment) changing the maximum workweek to 36 hours and a minimum 3 week vacation as part of labor law

This is not all inclusive, and I'm prepared to argue any of these polices in depth.

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

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July 09, 2012, 06:59:28 PM
 #512

<big snip>  Heck, I used to be [a libertarian], so I know its allure first hand.
Oh?  Tell us more.  What changed your mind?

I read some of those books that survived the Libertarian book-burning; you know, history books.

 Cheesy

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

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July 09, 2012, 07:42:43 PM
 #513

Let me try to summarize.

The elimination of racism requires only that racists cease to engage in racist behavior. Tell me, what about paying redheads less than brownheads for the same work? Assume that the redheads have signed a contract. Racism such as this has led to all sorts of social problems all over the world. Will NAP somehow prevent that?

Prevent redheads from contracting freely for their services? No, why should it? Oh, you mean the actual payment of less for a redhead's services than for a blonde or brunette. The Non-Aggression Principle only puts forth that the initiation of force is wrong, and leaves everything else up to the individuals involved. Just as the shopkeeper is free to turn away the redhead for being a redhead, so too is the redhead free to turn down a contract offering him less than what he feels he is worth.

Also, any uninvolved person or entity may act violently in order to prevent or eliminate any violations of the NAP, even where he himself is neither the perpetrator nor the victim, nor even related or known to the victim.  He must, however, hope that the perpetrator's defense agency will view his acts as honorable and choose to uphold the NAP and publicly act against the interests of its client.

Well, let's do a hypothetical. You see a violent mugging, so you act to stop it. For ease of discussion, A is the victim, B is the mugger, and you are C. Hopefully you can avoid killing B, so we can have both sides of the story, but if not, we'll just have to act from the facts as presented by A and C. We already know what C's story will be: "I saw a violent altercation, and acted to end it. B was about to stab A, so I attacked him in defense of A, unfortunately fatally." A's story should probably go something like this: "I was walking along, when B came up, and demanded all my money. I gave him everything I had, but he didn't believe me. He was about to stab me, when C came along and stopped him."

Lacking video evidence, we have to take their stories at face value. Since they corroborate each other, we can (probably) believe them. Crime scene investigation will provide more information, perhaps even enough to recreate the scene, to see if the evidence supports the stories as well. So, assuming no inconsistencies in the stories, and that the evidence doesn't contradict them, it's likely that the stories are truth. Given that, C's actions would be considered honorable, and the protection agency (which likely would have been the one conducting this investigation) would not act against him.

You do not refute my claim that it would be cheaper for all drivers to collectively not buy insurance. Therefore, it is now economically rational for a society to not have insurance, both at the group and individual levels. Even worse, you'll also have to pay an additional premium for those cases in which you are the victim of an unsolved hit-n-run.

Because I ignored something for the sake of brevity does not mean that I did not refute it, simply that I chose not to. I answered one question from each paragraph. Tell me, do you have auto insurance? Health insurance? Is it because the state requires you to, or because it is cheaper than paying for your repairs at time of delivery?

Now, any individual is entitled to defend themselves against perceived threats; but must consider the possibility that no threat was intended and that he himself is the initial aggressor and so be judged a NAP violator despite his best pro-NAP intentions.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that you're probably from the U.S.A. where people have been conditioned to think they have a God-given right to bear any arbitrary arms.  Can you see that your opinion (that people can carry AARs) is geographically influenced?  For example, I come from a country where even the police do not carry firearms.

It would behoove a person to carefully weigh the consequences of their actions prior to doing something they might regret, then, hmm? Tell me, what do your police do when confronted with an armed criminal? It seems to me that you've created a bit of a "kingdom of the blind" type situation, where even a one-eyed man has a tremendous advantage... I mean, what happens if you get invaded? not even your police will be able to fight back effectively.

Other crucial questions that you missed were:
1. Does the elimination of slavery then rely on the kindness of strangers?
2. Is [shady repair man] obliged to carry out checks before [repairing cars] or is he free to conduct his business as he wishes? Are the victims of hit-n-runs entitled to engage in violence against him on the possibility that one of his clients is a hit-n-runner?
3. A bonus question: were you here for the raindrop-triggered-nuclear-weapons discussion?
1. No more, and potentially less, than in any other system, for in a society where aggression is never OK, evidence of aggression should be as abhorrent as the sight of an assault rifle is to you.
2. Well, he's free to conduct is business as he sees fit, but keep in mind that if it comes to light that he knowingly helped cover up a hit-and-run, he'll be liable for part of the damages (which are now higher, due to the cost of the investigation). Have you ever heard of the concept of "accessory after the fact"?
3. No, I was not, or if I was, I don't recall it. Could you point me in the right direction?

I'm trying to find the time to read UPB; but I think I can already tell when my opinion will differ from the author's - I'm pretty sure that soon he will imply that, once regulations and majority-endorsed government violence is removed, people will suddenly, magically, start being nice to one another.

No, he never said that.

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July 09, 2012, 07:43:34 PM
 #514

Is that your opinion?  Or is that somehow, like Moonshadow thought, a non-arbitrary definition?  Just to be clear: I disagree, <snip>
It doesn't really matter what you actually did perceive because only reasonable perceptions justify the pre-emptive use of force. Whether your perception of a threat is reasonable or not would depend on the full context. But if it's not objectively reasonable, it doesn't matter that you actually felt threatened. Someone might actually feel threatened around tall men on dark streets, but that doesn't justify using force against them.
Please CLEARLY define "reasonable" in this context, in such a way as it is clear to EVERYONE when there is, or is not, a threat - let's be honest, we're talking about mortal threats here, it would be a terrible thing if someone got it wrong and two NAPsters ended up, you know, killing each other over a misunderstanding.

When you have done that, please explain how that is not like a "law", and why what *you* think should trump what *I* think (I happen to think my perception is perfectly reasonable).
I don't think I can define it any better than "reasonable". You can read any number of books on what constitutes a "reasonable belief" in law, and I'm hardly an expert on the subject. Law is messy. That's why you need courts. Sure, two people can kill each other over a misunderstanding, but all parties have an incentive to avoid that. But that's really independent of NAP or not -- justifiable homicide laws in pretty much every system on the surface of the planet have these same rules. If you know a better way, write it up in a book and you'll be famous.

That's a perfectly valid opinion.  If I say my opinion is that "all property is theft" does that make it OK to take her money?  If not, why are your opinions special?
If you want to try to make a reasoned case that "all property is theft", I'll be happy to listen to it. But you can't respond to a reasoned argument with "That's what you think".  My opinions are special because I present reasoned arguments to back them up. You are welcome to engage those arguments or ignore them, but if you aren't going to engage them, I request that you not pretend to.
Ok.  Here is an argument.  Natural law would suggest there is no such thing as private property, save what you can actually carry on your back and actively defend.  Think about it - humans are the only species with such extensive property rights. All other animals must individually defend their property, be that a fresh kill, or a nest.  Therefore, I reject private property.  If I find your Ferrari undefended, I may claim it.  Your opinion is different, but that is of no consequence.
That's kind of the basis of modern society and the reason that all property is defended. It's not practical to have armed guards every place you go, so instead we keep the armed guards at police stations and deploy them only when we need them. Essentially, civilized societies recognize that they need private ownership (even if some think it's a fiction, even if you don't think it's a natural right) because you can't have modern society without things like semiconductor plants and nobody will build them if anyone can come along and take them.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 10, 2012, 01:42:52 AM
 #515

What if they are waving the gun around?

Then what?

What if they are shooting rounds into the air or into the ground?

Then what?

What if they are pointing the gun at people as a 'joke'?

Then what?

At what point does me carrying around a bazooka and driving my APC seem like a threat to you and your families life?
There is no known solution to this problem, and every system of laws suffers from it. If someone does something that would cause a reasonable person to fear that their life or property was in significant, imminent danger, then they will suffer the consequences. But there is no perfect rule for where to draw the line. But this really has nothing to do with the NAP. You have to work out when using force prior to injury is justified in any system. I suppose the exception would be if you reject pre-emptive force and permit only retaliatory force. But I think that's a recipe for disaster.

I agree it's a problem. I don't think anybody knows the solution. I think it applies to every proposed political system (other than ones that are obviously truly awful).

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July 10, 2012, 09:39:34 PM
 #516

I don't think I can define [reasonable perception of threat] any better than "reasonable". You can read any number of books on what constitutes a "reasonable belief" in law, and I'm hardly an expert on the subject. Law is messy. That's why you need courts. Sure, two people can kill each other over a misunderstanding, but all parties have an incentive to avoid that. But that's really independent of NAP or not -- justifiable homicide laws in pretty much every system on the surface of the planet have these same rules. If you know a better way, write it up in a book and you'll be famous.
You can't define "reasonable" in any way other than something that you (you personally) are comfortable with. This willl certainly different from many many many people's opinion on the matter. Baseing a society on a principle that says everyone should behave "reasonably" is inherently contradictory. One man's meat is another man's poison.
I agree - law *is* messy. We *do* need courts.  But maybe law is messy, not because govts have made it so (though I agree that is a large problem), but because the sheer variety and nature of human interactions is messy.
In most circumstances, I agree that it is convenient to avoid killing someone over a misunderstanding; but not in all circumstances.

Ok.  Here is an argument.  Natural law would suggest there is no such thing as private property, save what you can actually carry on your back and actively defend.  Think about it - humans are the only species with such extensive property rights. All other animals must individually defend their property, be that a fresh kill, or a nest.  Therefore, I reject private property.  If I find your Ferrari undefended, I may claim it.  Your opinion is different, but that is of no consequence.
That's kind of the basis of modern society and the reason that all property is defended. It's not practical to have armed guards every place you go, so instead we keep the armed guards at police stations and deploy them only when we need them. Essentially, civilized societies recognize that they need private ownership (even if some think it's a fiction, even if you don't think it's a natural right) because you can't have modern society without things like semiconductor plants and nobody will build them if anyone can come along and take them.
A NAP society would have a helluva lot more armed guards every place you go than the current western paradigm of society. Personally, I think that modern society is dependent on private property, but also on lots more things, like an independent judiciary with the power to enforce its rulings.  In short, you can't argue that all aspects of society be removed except the NAP, because, as in the thread title, there's nothing special about it. It's just what *you* happen to like.

There is no known solution to this problem, and every system of laws suffers from it. If someone does something that would cause a reasonable person to fear that their life or property was in significant, imminent danger, then they will suffer the consequences. But there is no perfect rule for where to draw the line. But this really has nothing to do with the NAP.
I fully agree with this. If you put 1000 people in a room and ask them to define what constitutes a 'reasonable' perception of threat, you'll get 1000 different answers - it would be a huge vast gray area of what's nice and what's nasty, with some black on one side, and white on the other. Wouldn't it be therefore advantageous if we could somehow convince them all to accept a single unique definition?  For example, you could say "Guns are illegal - the only people who should have guns are those who wish to do harm".  Then, at least, those 1000 opinions will start to converge. The gray area would start to shrink.

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July 10, 2012, 09:43:07 PM
 #517

For example, you could say "Guns are illegal - the only people who should have guns are those who wish to do harm".  Then, at least, those 1000 opinions will start to converge. The gray area would start to shrink.

As would they if you said "the possession of a gun does not constitute a threat. Pointing it at someone does". You're setting their expectations, either way. You're defining "reasonable."

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July 11, 2012, 04:48:50 AM
 #518

For example, you could say "Guns are illegal - the only people who should have guns are those who wish to do harm".  Then, at least, those 1000 opinions will start to converge. The gray area would start to shrink.

As would they if you said "the possession of a gun does not constitute a threat. Pointing it at someone does".

At what point do you start to get nervous?

1. He has no gun.
2. He has an unloaded gun.
3. He has a holstered loaded gun.
4. He has an unholstered loaded gun.
5. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off.
6. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper.
7. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper and he's angry at you.
8. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper and he's angry at you and the gun is pointed at you.
9. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper and he's angry at you and the gun is pointed at you and his finger is on the trigger.
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July 11, 2012, 04:55:22 AM
 #519

Actually, that says just about everything.  This is the difference between having a procedural ideology and making your decisions based on principle.  Do you think it would be easier to perfectly define a perfect, fixed, unmoving utopia and then try to bridge that gap between (A) where we are, and (Z) where that utopia supposedly lies with a bunch of in-between steps?

That's the point, we have no idea what the future will look like in the typical Libertarian-utopia model, and trying to rigorously define morality in terms of procedure will always fail because the world is always changing.

If one looks at every possible policy through a principled-lens, that I have illustrated above, then one sees what is 'good' and what is harmful to the population.

But what else could you infer to my 'trade and commerce' polices other than what I said?  How do you know anything else about what my polices would be if that's the only litmus test I perform to determine if a policy is good or bad?  That's a rather bold leap for you to take.

Regarding internal policies I'm for, and I'm putting this simply for the sake of brevity:

*  Collecting the Corporate Income Tax
*  Taxing Wall St.'s financial transactions (between 0.15% and 0.5%)
*  Nationalize the Federal Reserve
*  Creating a new TVA for projects of national interest
*  Funding nuclear research and overhauling the Energy Department (funding Fusion and building LFTR in the next 5 years)
*  Building a national grid of state-of-the-art mag-lev trains
*  Close the tax-havens here and abroad and collaborate with other nations in a new Bretton Woods style system of fixed exchanges
*  Collaborate with China and Russia on building a moon base with the idea to land a man on Mars
*  Subsidize college education either by 0% loans and/or allotments of credits or vouchers to get everyone at least a bachelors degree or equivalent of education
*  Reform bankruptcy law to permit more entrepreneurship and small business innovation
*  Tilt the favor of tax law and code in favor of small business over mega-corporations (basically the reverse of what it is now)
*  Begin selling off the international imperial bases abroad in an organized fashion (not a fire sale)
*  Regulate commodities markets with severe position limits (5% - 10% tops)
*  Create a government owned National Oil Company that has sole permission to drill oil on national lands, that oil will smash the Oil cartels control on oil prices and the revenue will go to the public, lowering the need for other taxes
*  Cut income taxes (for the lower and middle classes) in half or more with these increased revenues from those that presently don't pay taxes (Wall St., the Fortune 500)
*  Implement a 52 week minimum for paid-maternity leave and at least half that for fathers
*  Regulate mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and other worthless, debt increasing, pirate Capitalist style shenanigans that Mitt Romney is known for
*  Aim at (after the economic crisis has been defeated by the indication of Full Employment) changing the maximum workweek to 36 hours and a minimum 3 week vacation as part of labor law

This is not all inclusive, and I'm prepared to argue any of these polices in depth.

It's interesting. I really think you should study Herman Daly's SSE (steady state economy), and his suggestions for changing the way taxes work.
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July 11, 2012, 05:16:48 AM
 #520

At what point do you start to get nervous?

1. He has no gun.
2. He has an unloaded gun.
3. He has a holstered loaded gun.
4. He has an unholstered loaded gun.
5. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off.
6. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper.
7. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper and he's angry at you.
8. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper and he's angry at you and the gun is pointed at you.
9. He has an unholstered loaded gun with the safety off and he has a bad temper and he's angry at you and the gun is pointed at you and his finger is on the trigger.

Well, 1-3 ain't hurting nobody.
4-5 I would certainly start paying more attention to them.
6 they now have my full attention.
7 they now will be told to put down the weapon.
8-9 they don't make it that far.

Ideally, at no point am I "nervous," or "afraid." These emotions get you killed. Or worse, get someone else killed unnecessarily. You have your breakdown after the incident, not during.

To be clear, in between 7 and 8, he is swinging the barrel toward me. At that point, I consider him to be initiating a threat of force, and I respond in kind.

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