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Author Topic: Just where do we live?  (Read 2527 times)
myrkul
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July 10, 2012, 09:36:45 PM
 #41

If it is, indeed, human nature to exploit these sorts of power relationships, does that not argue for an abolishment of the relationships themselves?
Taken to its extreme, you're suggesting abolishing a very central part of the human experience. We might as well just collectively eliminate ourselves altogether.  Actually, better off nuking the whole damn planet since the entire natural world is full of violent encounters.  Put the plants and animals out of their misery while we're at it.

You're suggesting that oppression is vital to being human? If that is the case, I agree. Better to nuke ourselves now than to subject the universe to our existence any longer.

Alternatively, we could come up with some kind of social contract, which would describe a minimum standard of good behavior to which all society's members are obliged to adhere. That way, we minimize the nasty aspects of humanity, while enjoying the pleasant aspects - like music and good wine to name a couple.

Indeed, such a social contract has been designed, and unlike the social contract I suspect you are referring to, it is entirely voluntary, if you decide not to sign the contract, you are not a member of the society, if you do, you are. You are not forced into the society by an assumed contract. http://shiresociety.com/

And I'd like you to think about wealth and power.  Do you think they are connected?

There are two types of power, which you may have confused. The power to, which wealth gives, and the power over, which is political power. The power to is similar to the scientific definition of power:
Quote
ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.

It is power over that I seek to abolish, not power to.

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fergalish
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July 11, 2012, 01:42:53 PM
 #42

You're suggesting that oppression is vital to being human? If that is the case, I agree. Better to nuke ourselves now than to subject the universe to our existence any longer.
Nature is violent and oppressive (A) - observe the underdog in a pack of wolves. We are born of nature (B). We have chosen to suppress our violent nature (C). Eliminate the suppression and our violent nature will re-emerge (D).
You might disagree with A, B, C or D, or even with all of them, and that's fine. There is no way to know without experimenting. Libertarians wax lyrical about how wonderful Somalia is, but it recently came last place in the global peace index.

Indeed, such a social contract has been designed, and unlike the social contract I suspect you are referring to, it is entirely voluntary, if you decide not to sign the contract, you are not a member of the society, if you do, you are. You are not forced into the society by an assumed contract. http://shiresociety.com/
The same can be said for any country on earth: if you don't like it, just leave. Saying things like that doesn't help anyone though (either pro or con), so your point about voluntary social contracts can be safely ignored as a pro-NAP argument.

There are two types of power, which you may have confused. The power to, which wealth gives, and the power over, which is political power. The power to is similar to the scientific definition of power:
Quote
ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
It is power over that I seek to abolish, not power to.
I'll use your terminology. Can "power to" lead to "power over"? If it can, does it happen automatically or do people with "power to" deliberately avoid developing a "power over"? I hate to say it, but if you think wealth doesn't eventually and inevitably lead to "power over" then you're ignoring pretty much all of recorded human history.
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July 11, 2012, 01:54:53 PM
 #43

I have read it, and it certainly got me thinking. Did you read the linked article? They took randomly selected students, screened them for any psychological issues, and placed them in a prisoner/guard setting. Within days the "guards", without any prompting from the researchers, were horribly mistreating the "prisoners". I shudder to think what might have happened had it continued. If it is, indeed, human nature to exploit these sorts of power relationships, does that not argue for an abolishment of the relationships themselves?
I have read about the Stanford experiments. Wikipedia is really just hearsay, but it does reflect the consensus of its contributors. On the page about the Stanford experiment, it says:
Quote from: wikipedia
Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. wrote in 1981 that the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment were frightening in their implications about the danger which lurks in the darker side of human nature.

Suppose it *is* human nature to develop abusive and authorative relationships.  Would you still think libertarianism, allowing each individual to decide what constitutes reasonable behavior, would be an ideal basis for society?
myrkul
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July 11, 2012, 03:45:05 PM
 #44

You're suggesting that oppression is vital to being human? If that is the case, I agree. Better to nuke ourselves now than to subject the universe to our existence any longer.
Nature is violent and oppressive (A) - observe the underdog in a pack of wolves. We are born of nature (B). We have chosen to suppress our violent nature (C). Eliminate the suppression and our violent nature will re-emerge (D).
You might disagree with A, B, C or D, or even with all of them, and that's fine. There is no way to know without experimenting. Libertarians wax lyrical about how wonderful Somalia is, but it recently came last place in the global peace index.

Somalia started out a shithole. It's still a shithole. But it's a better shithole that it was.

Indeed, such a social contract has been designed, and unlike the social contract I suspect you are referring to, it is entirely voluntary, if you decide not to sign the contract, you are not a member of the society, if you do, you are. You are not forced into the society by an assumed contract. http://shiresociety.com/
The same can be said for any country on earth: if you don't like it, just leave. Saying things like that doesn't help anyone though (either pro or con), so your point about voluntary social contracts can be safely ignored as a pro-NAP argument.

You are conflating country and society. A society is not geographical. A society is the people. You can leave the society without leaving the land you live on.

There are two types of power, which you may have confused. The power to, which wealth gives, and the power over, which is political power. The power to is similar to the scientific definition of power:
Quote
ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
It is power over that I seek to abolish, not power to.
I'll use your terminology. Can "power to" lead to "power over"? If it can, does it happen automatically or do people with "power to" deliberately avoid developing a "power over"? I hate to say it, but if you think wealth doesn't eventually and inevitably lead to "power over" then you're ignoring pretty much all of recorded human history.

Wealth does not automatically lead to power over other people. Any power over other people due to your wealth is voluntary, usually because they would like to have some of that wealth.

Suppose it *is* human nature to develop abusive and authorative relationships.  Would you still think libertarianism, allowing each individual to decide what constitutes reasonable behavior, would be an ideal basis for society?

Not only ideal, but the only just way to do it. Imagine if they told the prisoners in that experiment that they were free to leave at any time. How many would have stayed?

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fergalish
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July 11, 2012, 04:47:27 PM
 #45

Somalia started out a shithole. It's still a shithole. But it's a better shithole that it was.
It's easy for things to improve when you're in a shithole. Improving things when you're in a highly complex, functional and wealthy society... not so easy.

You are conflating country and society. A society is not geographical. A society is the people. You can leave the society without leaving the land you live on.
So any member of a NAP society can leave that society at any time? Therefore he is no longer bound by its rules or his prior contracts.  You're ignoring the fact that any significant NAP society must have some geographic extent. Otherwise it is meaningless - by what authority would a non-NAPster be subject to arbitration with a NAPster?

Wealth does not automatically lead to power over other people. Any power over other people due to your wealth is voluntary, usually because they would like to have some of that wealth.
Or perhaps the need to have some of that wealth, therefore not voluntary.

Not only ideal, but the only just way to do it. Imagine if they told the prisoners in that experiment that they were free to leave at any time. How many would have stayed?
They were free to leave:
Quote
Q: Were prisoners allowed to quit the experiment?
A: Yes, and some prisoners did discontinue their participation. For the most part, however, prisoners seemed to forget or misunderstand that they could leave "through established procedures," and they reinforced a sense of imprisonment by telling each other that there was no way out.
Will there be prisoners in NAPland so? If so, are you suggesting they will be free to leave at any time?
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July 11, 2012, 05:22:23 PM
 #46

So any member of a NAP society can leave that society at any time? Therefore he is no longer bound by its rules or his prior contracts.  You're ignoring the fact that any significant NAP society must have some geographic extent. Otherwise it is meaningless - by what authority would a non-NAPster be subject to arbitration with a NAPster?

That's been the point all along. NAP has no provision for enforcing NAPism on its population.
myrkul
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July 11, 2012, 05:56:17 PM
 #47

Somalia started out a shithole. It's still a shithole. But it's a better shithole than it was.
It's easy for things to improve when you're in a shithole. Improving things when you're in a highly complex, functional and wealthy society... not so easy.

Well, there is some truth to this. But should we shirk from seeking to improve because it is hard?

You are conflating country and society. A society is not geographical. A society is the people. You can leave the society without leaving the land you live on.
So any member of a NAP society can leave that society at any time? Therefore he is no longer bound by its rules or his prior contracts.  You're ignoring the fact that any significant NAP society must have some geographic extent. Otherwise it is meaningless - by what authority would a non-NAPster be subject to arbitration with a NAPster?

None whatsoever. Of course, it should be pointed out that by exiting the society, you're also exiting the protections of that society. Just as the non society member could not be subject to arbitration with a member, neither would a member be subject to arbitration with a non-member. The original definition of "outlaw" meant simply outside the law, neither bound nor protected by it. A person who has left the society would be an "outlaw" in that original sense.

Wealth does not automatically lead to power over other people. Any power over other people due to your wealth is voluntary, usually because they would like to have some of that wealth.
Or perhaps the need to have some of that wealth, therefore not voluntary.

You mean aside from the fact that other people have as much, if not more wealth, and if given freedom to choose, people will pick a better work environment over a higher wage?

Will there be prisoners in NAPland so? If so, are you suggesting they will be free to leave at any time?

Very rarely, and no. But there are restrictions on that, as my example will show. Only in instances of flight risk, or where there was sufficient harm done to warrant it. A good example of what such a case might look like is here. The incident which the arbitration is about starts here.

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FirstAscent
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July 11, 2012, 07:04:04 PM
 #48

None whatsoever. Of course, it should be pointed out that by exiting the society, you're also exiting the protections of that society. Just as the non society member could not be subject to arbitration with a member, neither would a member be subject to arbitration with a non-member. The original definition of "outlaw" meant simply outside the law, neither bound nor protected by it. A person who has left the society would be an "outlaw" in that original sense.

Not true. A wealthy individual can still have protection. Individuals can organize and devise a government. They are not outlaws, especially since NAP does not rule out the above examples. No doubt there are more examples as well.
myrkul
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July 11, 2012, 07:27:13 PM
 #49

None whatsoever. Of course, it should be pointed out that by exiting the society, you're also exiting the protections of that society. Just as the non society member could not be subject to arbitration with a member, neither would a member be subject to arbitration with a non-member. The original definition of "outlaw" meant simply outside the law, neither bound nor protected by it. A person who has left the society would be an "outlaw" in that original sense.

Not true. A wealthy individual can still have protection. Individuals can organize and devise a government. They are not outlaws, especially since NAP does not rule out the above examples. No doubt there are more examples as well.

Then that would be their society. And as long as it didn't attack the other society, there would be no conflict. I think you're beginning to grasp the concept.

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