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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: tinwatchman on May 31, 2010, 10:16:44 pm

Title: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: tinwatchman on May 31, 2010, 10:16:44 pm
So here's the thing... I understand how the nature of this recent arc is intended to show the kinds of abuses that are possible under a statist system. Got that point. What I don't understand is -- why couldn't a similar situation occur within the kind of anarchist system of Ceres?

For example*: a woman is dying from hunger. A man offers her food in exchange for sex. She agrees, in effect agreeing to a contract exchange - food for sex. She eats the food, but then refuses to have sex with the man. The man then attempts to rape her.

The question is, under the Ceres system, has the man done anything wrong? In a purely contractual sense, the man could argue that he was merely trying to take what he'd been promised -- which doesn't change that something horrible and morally repugnant just took place. So why wouldn't a Norman feel just as much at home on Ceres as he would on Terra?

* I apologize if I offend anyone with this example. I'm posing a counter-example to the comic's storyline at the time of this writing, which is in essence about an attempted rape.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 01, 2010, 10:13:47 am
I understand how the nature of this recent arc is intended to show the kinds of abuses that are possible under a statist system. Got that point.
Maybe I'm slow, but I didn't get that.  I thought that Robyn's backstory is being told to show her character (compare her actions with Carla's in panel 450), which will be important later.  Or maybe it's being told just because it's a fun story.

why couldn't a similar situation occur within the kind of anarchist system of Ceres?
It could.  Anarchy is not utopia.  As far as I know, most supporters of a market anarchist society think that it would have far less crime than, say, a modern social democracy (even ignoring crimes committed by agents of the state) for several reasons, but not that it would be crime-free.

For example*: a woman is dying from hunger. A man offers her food in exchange for sex. She agrees, in effect agreeing to a contract exchange - food for sex. She eats the food, but then refuses to have sex with the man. The man then attempts to rape her.

The question is, under the Ceres system, has the man done anything wrong? In a purely contractual sense, the man could argue that he was merely trying to take what he'd been promised --
This illustrates several points that might interest someone interested in the details of legal systems.  Are the usual "rules" modified in emergency situations?  I don't know the arguments for or against.

Would a court enforce (for some values of "court" and "enforce") a contract requiring a person to do something odious?  (An extreme example: would a court enforce a contract where someone sold himself into slavery?)  I've heard people argue that it would, provided that the person entered into the contract voluntarily.  I've heard people argue that such contracts are invalid, perhaps using the idea (held by Rothbard) that all valid contracts are actually transfers of property titles and the idea that a person's property title to himself is inalienable.  I've heard people argue that such contracts are valid but that no court would enforce them.

But Ceres doesn't have a formal legal system, so your question really comes down to what would the people of Ceres do in such a situation?  The obvious answer is that we don't know--people don't always do what we expect.  And I find it difficult to imagine such a situation on Ceres, which is a dangerous place where people who don't willingly help others are unlikely to live very long.

However, it isn't so hard to image a similar situation without the "dying from hunger" bit--the woman (a Celestial Body?) changes her mind (for a "good" reason) after getting and eating the food, and the man uses force to enforce the "contract".  I don't know what the people of Ceres would do.  (Normally, I'd guess that most people would do nothing except gossip, but if someone or something that they cared about was involved, who knows?)  Maybe Sandy could tell us.

So why wouldn't a Norman feel just as much at home on Ceres as he would on Terra?
Norman enjoys exercising arbitrary power over people.  With little opportunity for that on Ceres, I doubt that he would feel at home there.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 01, 2010, 10:20:42 am
For example*: a woman is dying from hunger. A man offers her food in exchange for sex. She agrees, in effect agreeing to a contract exchange - food for sex. She eats the food, but then refuses to have sex with the man. The man then attempts to rape her.

The question is, under the Ceres system, has the man done anything wrong? In a purely contractual sense, the man could argue that he was merely trying to take what he'd been promised -- which doesn't change that something horrible and morally repugnant just took place. So why wouldn't a Norman feel just as much at home on Ceres as he would on Terra?

The concept of the state is deeply imbued in all of us. For that reason, most of us try to recast anarchy into some sort of "system." It isn't. So first of all, there is no "Ceres system" to be under. So the real question is, what would individuals do in this situation?

The woman has breached her contract. So what are some of the man's possible remedies?

First of all, he can choose to do nothing. We have all had contracts and other promises broken. Usually we just chalk it up to experience.

He can talk shit about her and "write her name on the Luna City dome wall" (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress allusion). We do that sort of thing all the time when merchants cheat us. We tell our friends, picket, whatever.

He can initiate an arbitration dispute with her. She might not agree to arbitration, but that can have severe consequences in a society built on personal responsibility. Shunning might be the least of her worries. The analogy, here and now, is Community Boards:

   http://www.communityboards.org/

small claims court or a full-blown law suit.

He can try, what in law is euphemistically called, "self-help":

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-help_%28law%29

That is, he can just break into her house and "steal" enough money and property to repay the money he gave her. This is the initiation of force as would be rape, however. So she could then do all of the above to him.

He and she may do anything they want. The question is one of consequences. My guess is that in an anarchist setting, most people would draw the line at rape and others would draw it at self-help. If she shot him dead during the rape attempt, I doubt many people would be inclined to do much about it, though they might shun her for precipitating the unnecessary death by not honoring her contract. In which case, they might award his relatives a big settlement in arbitration. (Think. Fred Goldman and O.J. Simpson.)

Bottom line, I have my guesses as to what would happen, but in real life, we can be surprised. I do know this. If I were the man, I would think long and hard before resorting to self-help or worse. And isn't that how we calculate things in a statist world today? Most of us have enough impulse control to do a cost-benefit analysis when seeking redress of a wrong. The law is only seen as a cost, not an absolute or moral prohibition.

Murder is illegal and you could be sent to prison or even executed. But if you tracked down the monsters who tortured and killed your children, what would you do? I know what I would do.

I think I previously mentioned that a very pompous, self-important "anarcho-capitalist" gave me hell for having Emily Rose execute the bastards who burned her family to death. He wanted to sue Admiral Harris in a Xeer-based arbitration. Please.

A real anarchy will be messy. Mistakes will be made, but it is still morally superior to what we have now. Trying to dictate rules for an anarchist society is a fools errand.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NotDebonair on June 02, 2010, 04:19:53 am
Anarchy is not utopia.  As far as I know, most supporters of a market anarchist society think that it would have far less crime than, say, a modern social democracy (even ignoring crimes committed by agents of the state) for several reasons, but not that it would be crime-free.

An anarchic system will have less crime simply because so few acts will be perceived as crimes.  Today in the United States well over 90%* of prison populations are incarcerated for acts that were not criminal in 1900.  On Ceres nobody cares if you brew methamphetamine**, there are no drivers' licenses to drive without, if you were defrauded you merely trusted the wrong person, there are no building permits, and "it was a fair fight" is a functional defense of homicide.  Owners will never know that the model of shuttle they are using is lethal to many of its operators because of a fault in the life support system because there are no police organizations compiling the data, no government organizations collating the data,  and no government to compel manufacturer to make the data public. 

*the sources I encounter all say over 90%.  I do wonder if the number has increased by a few percent over the few decades people have been paying attention.  I am not willing to spend the time to do the research myself.

** ....unless, of course, the cooker is releasing the toxic byproducts into a shared environmental system.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Azure Priest on June 02, 2010, 07:40:12 am
Anarchy is not utopia.  As far as I know, most supporters of a market anarchist society think that it would have far less crime than, say, a modern social democracy (even ignoring crimes committed by agents of the state) for several reasons, but not that it would be crime-free.

An anarchic system will have less crime simply because so few acts will be perceived as crimes.  Today in the United States well over 90%* of prison populations are incarcerated for acts that were not criminal in 1900.  On Ceres nobody cares if you brew methamphetamine**, there are no drivers' licenses to drive without, if you were defrauded you merely trusted the wrong person, there are no building permits, and "it was a fair fight" is a functional defense of homicide.  Owners will never know that the model of shuttle they are using is lethal to many of its operators because of a fault in the life support system because there are no police organizations compiling the data, no government organizations collating the data,  and no government to compel manufacturer to make the data public. 

*the sources I encounter all say over 90%.  I do wonder if the number has increased by a few percent over the few decades people have been paying attention.  I am not willing to spend the time to do the research myself.

** ....unless, of course, the cooker is releasing the toxic byproducts into a shared environmental system.

Meth labs are also toxic bomb factories. I'm quite certain nearby neighbors would be VERY concerned. The entire community would also be concerned if said lab was near the outer hull. Families of meth addicts would likely be most displeased, considering how meth changes addict's behavior, personality and severely adversely affects both physical and mental well being. In a truly anarchist society, there would be no "crime" because there would be no "law." Such a condition can not last for very long though. Even Ceres which has no government per se, still has laws and regulations chosen by the society as a whole. People who knowingly put unsafe products on the market are punished, just like the "high stickers" Reggie mentioned to Guy near the beginning of the comic.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 02, 2010, 11:36:16 am
Anarchy is not utopia.  As far as I know, most supporters of a market anarchist society think that it would have far less crime than, say, a modern social democracy (even ignoring crimes committed by agents of the state) for several reasons, but not that it would be crime-free.

An anarchic system will have less crime simply because so few acts will be perceived as crimes.

I was unclear.  What you said is certainly true, either if selling morphine without a license is considered to be a crime (your usage) or if locking people in cages for selling morphine without a license is considered to be a crime (my usage).  I thought that my "(even ignoring crimes committed by agents of the state)" would make my usage clear.  I realize that many people consider "criminal" to be a synonym for "illegal" but didn't take that into account.  Sorry.

Anyway, for several reasons, I would expect that there would be far fewer acts (such as murder) that are malum in se (will Latin make it clearer?) in an anarchy than in a modern social democracy, but that there would still be some.  I could be wrong, of course.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: wdg3rd on June 02, 2010, 12:21:15 pm

Meth labs are also toxic bomb factories. I'm quite certain nearby neighbors would be VERY concerned. The entire community would also be concerned if said lab was near the outer hull. Families of meth addicts would likely be most displeased, considering how meth changes addict's behavior, personality and severely adversely affects both physical and mental well being. In a truly anarchist society, there would be no "crime" because there would be no "law." Such a condition can not last for very long though. Even Ceres which has no government per se, still has laws and regulations chosen by the society as a whole. People who knowingly put unsafe products on the market are punished, just like the "high stickers" Reggie mentioned to Guy near the beginning of the comic.

Actually, manufacturing methamphetamine using the standard industrial process is considerably less toxic and explosive than the methods that those making it "illegally" have to resort to since they can't get the proper raw materials.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: sams on June 02, 2010, 05:12:08 pm
this topic started in the wrong foot, the question is not wether this particular situation could happen in anarchy, but the situation is to examine the case in which the state violates individual rights and there is not legal remedy for it.

there is not contract between Robyn and the bastard, he want to frack her and he don't give a damn if she feel like she don't want to.

the story of this arc is about self defence and the right to one's person security of the person. In an anarchy you will be responsible for your safety at every time and we are not saying it will be easy ... but this is not a question of wether this can't happen in anarchy, but wether it is a good idea to give the state monopoly over justice and force ... bot of which nearly made Robyn a plastic fraking doll for that old pervert
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: quadibloc on June 02, 2010, 11:59:33 pm
On Ceres, anarchy has no choice but to exist in a vacuum. However, if we ignore the pun, in addition to government, two things that cause societies to depart from a libertarian ideal are religion and culture.

I would tend to expect that a libertarian society built by people from our culture would still retain taboos which would treat sex as something exempted from the ordinary principles of contractual relationships.

However, thinking about this leads me to realize that an anarcho-capitalist society may be lacking one thing that has usually been considered very important to human freedom: the rule of law. If the consequences of one's actions are determined by the vaguely defined feelings of one's peers, that means the mob is being granted the privilege of initiating force.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 03, 2010, 06:23:21 am
Back to the original post: would a Norman-type feel at home in an anarchist society? Doubtful. As an administrator in a statist system, he does not have to physically subdue his victims; he can rely upon statist police to disarm them, deliver them, and punish them for resisting.

None of these would happen in an anarchist society. The girls would often be armed; if they shot Norman in defense against rape, they would probably receive applause, not a prison sentence. No self-respecting anarchists would disarm the girls, kidnap them, and deliver them to Norman, for several reasons.

1) as anarchists, they would find such practices repugnant.
2) their life expectancy would be short.
3) their medical bills would be high.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Azure Priest on June 03, 2010, 07:36:53 am
TRUE anarchy, has historically unraveled into a tyranny where the Biggest gun, club, etc. makes the "laws."

Ceres works because it was founded as a TRUE democracy. The populace as a whole voted on the ground rules, approved them and then went their merry way. ("If you don't like it, you can leave" is one of those rules.)

Should the population of Ceres get much larger, or should the situations get considerably more complicated (ie, should Guy's "finance company" have to go collect on a rather large number of bad debts), the Ceres system of life COULD collapse under its own weight. For right now, there is no "high sticking" but should enough people decide that the rules "no longer apply" and decide to "high stick" anyway... well as the author said, things will get messy.

Illegal or no, "cooking" meth is inherently dangerous for "the lab workers," the immediate neighborhood, and any enforcement arm that goes to clean up the mess. It's dangerous due to the PROCESS not the "raw materials."
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 03, 2010, 09:34:16 am
I would tend to expect that a libertarian society built by people from our culture would still retain taboos which would treat sex as something exempted from the ordinary principles of contractual relationships.

Cultures don't "treat sex as something, blah, blah, blah." Only people make judgments and act. You really have to work on that group-think mentality. "Culture" is an arbitrary, statistical construct. "Cultures" do not do anything. People do.

So in the instant case, people might have different opinions about sex, but that is irrelevant. Sex is not the issue here. It is the concept of  specific performance as previously mentioned. Check it out. Specific performance is rarely required in any dispute resolution system. What usually happens is the requirement of some monetary or similar compensation. 

However, thinking about this leads me to realize that an anarcho-capitalist society may be lacking one thing that has usually been considered very important to human freedom: the rule of law. If the consequences of one's actions are determined by the vaguely defined feelings of one's peers, that means the mob is being granted the privilege of initiating force.

Though it is not black and white, there is nothing vague about murder, rape, theft, in any society. What you might be calling "vague" is nothing more than edge cases, which exist under any system or theory of justice. In our current state legal system, self-defense is a recognized exception to rules against killing people. However, police often make an on-scene decision as to whether or not a killing was self-defense. Sometimes it is not clear cut and the killer may be held until forensic evidence helps a prosecutor decide if the evidence brings self-defense into sufficient doubt to charge the killer with murder. Even then, the question is still one for the jury. So, in this case, the principle of self-defense is not vague in the least. What is in question is if it truly applies in the specific situation.

So back to anarchy. the same thing applies. Two men are in a bar. Able insults Baker. Baker pulls a gun and shoots Able dead. This is clearly murder, not self-defense. As I said above, the only time there is an issue is in edge cases. Even then the only real question is "what really happened here?" If the facts (forensic evidence, testimony of witnesses, content of video recordings, etc.) point to murder then Baker has a problem. If they suggest self-defense, he walks. This is no different than anything that exists in the real world today.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 03, 2010, 01:31:11 pm
TRUE anarchy...TRUE democracy
Writing words in all-caps doesn't make them clearer.  I have no idea what you think distinguishes a true anarchy from an untrue anarchy and what distinguishes a true democracy from an untrue democracy.

Ceres ... The populace as a whole voted on the ground rules, approved them and then went their merry way.
I don't think this has appeared in EFT.  (If it did, I apologize, and request that you tell me where.)

I'd hate to think that the early settlers on Ceres would be that foolish.  But it's possible that they learned by experience and eventually came to their senses.  Do you think that this is a dark secret in Reggie's past, something so awful that he represses the memory?

Illegal or no, "cooking" meth is inherently dangerous for "the lab workers," the immediate neighborhood, and any enforcement arm that goes to clean up the mess. It's dangerous due to the PROCESS not the "raw materials."
Different raw materials would mean different processes to turn them into the finished product.  There may be several significantly different reasonable processes even using the same raw materials.  When a substance is illegal, one crucial aspect of the entire process is how difficult it is to conceal.  This may dictate using a much more dangerous process than would be used if the substance is legal.

If the process used to manufacture a legal substance is dangerous--for example, I doubt that it is possible to manufacture large amounts of nitroglycerin without danger--then the operation would be carried out where that danger would not affect other people.  The only reason for methamphetamine to be manufactured in a residential area would be because it is illegal and trying to be hidden.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 03, 2010, 03:07:02 pm
The concept of the state is deeply imbued in all of us. For that reason, most of us try to recast anarchy into some sort of "system." It isn't. So first of all, there is no "Ceres system" to be under.

I disagree somewhat with this.  The term "system" can be descriptive, not only proscriptive.  Referring, for example, to the "solar system" does not imply design.

This ties fairly closely to Von Mises' Praexology.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: ZeissIkon on June 03, 2010, 04:58:07 pm
If the process used to manufacture a legal substance is dangerous--for example, I doubt that it is possible to manufacture large amounts of nitroglycerin without danger--then the operation would be carried out where that danger would not affect other people.  The only reason for methamphetamine to be manufactured in a residential area would be because it is illegal and trying to be hidden.

First, I can pretty readily envision a means of manufacturing arbitrary amounts of nitroglycerin with little or no risk to operators, by using stream production with a very large number of very tiny streams and proven detonation blocking technology in the outfeeds (loop the feed tube past itself, and if a detonation starts in the process reactor, it will cut its own path before it can reach the collector), coupled with tiny collectors and concentration of the product into useful quantities after it's left the production facility.

Second, the other reason to "cook" meth in residential neighborhood (in the absence of laws against production, sale, production and consumption of the substance) is if the demand is low enough to be easily supplied by cottage industry (a likely case in a healthy society).  In the absence of above legal restrictions, however, there's no reason the cottage producer couldn't have suitable protections for himself, his employees, his neighbors, and the local environment -- any more than, say, a Daguerreotype photographer need poison himself and his neighbors just because his chosen medium uses mercury vapor (a cold trap does a fine job of recovering mercury that would otherwise wind up in people's lungs).
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: KBCraig on June 04, 2010, 02:59:49 am
TRUE anarchy, has historically unraveled into a tyranny where the Biggest gun, club, etc. makes the "laws."

Ceres works because it was founded as a TRUE democracy. The populace as a whole voted on the ground rules, approved them and then went their merry way. ("If you don't like it, you can leave" is one of those rules.)

I believe you have your terms reversed. "TRUE democracy" consists of, "If you don't like  it, tough. The majority have decided for you." It's the very essence of those with the biggest gun, club, etc., making the laws.

Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: sams on June 04, 2010, 08:17:11 am
True democracy is essentially MOB RULE, being that the greater coalition possible will get you do what they want.

Anarchy would require to work an armed population, economically active in a vibrant free market. But most important you need people of virtue and you can only get them if the population is self selected, those who want get in or get out at will ... so those who can't keep up will get out instead of trying to parasitazing others
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Rocketman on June 04, 2010, 10:38:04 am
Just figured out my own question.  Ignore this post.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Montecristo on June 07, 2010, 11:34:53 am
For example*: a woman is dying from hunger. A man offers her food in exchange for sex. She agrees, in effect agreeing to a contract exchange - food for sex. She eats the food, but then refuses to have sex with the man. The man then attempts to rape her.

The question is, under the Ceres system, has the man done anything wrong? In a purely contractual sense, the man could argue that he was merely trying to take what he'd been promised -- which doesn't change that something horrible and morally repugnant just took place. So why wouldn't a Norman feel just as much at home on Ceres as he would on Terra?

The short answer: rape isn't sex.  If you have to take it, it isn't sex, which is the object of the contract.  The woman may be liable for the price of the meal, but typically, Occidental jurrisprudential tradition has shied away from coerced performance on contracts and favored reimbursement, possibly with damages.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: tinwatchman on June 07, 2010, 03:32:40 pm
The concept of the state is deeply imbued in all of us. For that reason, most of us try to recast anarchy into some sort of "system." It isn't. So first of all, there is no "Ceres system" to be under.

All right. The Ceres "culture," or "ecosystem," or "ethos." You know what I mean.

So the real question is, what would individuals do in this situation?

Okay. Albeit individuals operating under certain shared cultural principles or ideals, correct?

The woman has breached her contract. So what are some of the man's possible remedies?

Just to be clear here - you are certain that the woman is in the wrong in the described situation?

That is, he can just break into her house and "steal" enough money and property to repay the money he gave her. This is the initiation of force as would be rape, however. So she could then do all of the above to him.

Let's presume scarcity in this situation - in other words, that if the woman had property or other assets to trade for food, she would have done so.

He and she may do anything they want. The question is one of consequences.

Hm. As you say further below, isn't that essentially the case in a statist system, practically speaking? With the possible exception that a state can impose much harsher and much more definite consequences.

If she shot him dead during the rape attempt, I doubt many people would be inclined to do much about it, though they might shun her for precipitating the unnecessary death by not honoring her contract. In which case, they might award his relatives a big settlement in arbitration. (Think. Fred Goldman and O.J. Simpson.)

And if she has no property to pay said settlement? What then?
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: sams on June 07, 2010, 05:20:18 pm
The concept of the state is deeply imbued in all of us. For that reason, most of us try to recast anarchy into some sort of "system." It isn't. So first of all, there is no "Ceres system" to be under.

All right. The Ceres "culture," or "ecosystem," or "ethos." You know what I mean.

So the real question is, what would individuals do in this situation?

Okay. Albeit individuals operating under certain shared cultural principles or ideals, correct?

The woman has breached her contract. So what are some of the man's possible remedies?

Just to be clear here - you are certain that the woman is in the wrong in the described situation?

That is, he can just break into her house and "steal" enough money and property to repay the money he gave her. This is the initiation of force as would be rape, however. So she could then do all of the above to him.

Let's presume scarcity in this situation - in other words, that if the woman had property or other assets to trade for food, she would have done so.

He and she may do anything they want. The question is one of consequences.

Hm. As you say further below, isn't that essentially the case in a statist system, practically speaking? With the possible exception that a state can impose much harsher and much more definite consequences.

If she shot him dead during the rape attempt, I doubt many people would be inclined to do much about it, though they might shun her for precipitating the unnecessary death by not honoring her contract. In which case, they might award his relatives a big settlement in arbitration. (Think. Fred Goldman and O.J. Simpson.)

And if she has no property to pay said settlement? What then?

You are going in all circular non ending fallacious reasoning and sin at the basic : You don't postulate a problem twisted at your prefered answer and then make it more difficult as you go .... you might ''win'' the argument but only for the useless satisfaction of egocentric sentiments.

For your problem there are some important legal commonly accepted legal principle, which I believe are a necessary cultural and legal basis for anarchy : contract, proportionality and remedy.

1 - The fact is that the woman and the men had a contract, circumstance surrounding it are irrelevant ... all the merry talk about ''she had no property'' is irrelevant, the only question is wether she was in full possesion of her mental capacities and free of cohercion to make the decision.

2 - The is a common sense principle that punishment is proportional to the wrong doing, beating your kid into blood over a bean of rice is stupid has trying to kill someone over a 5 cent banknote. But in any case there is the presumption of sanctity of life and the man would be a murderer.

3 - The remedy in the case the woman refuse to get laid can't be a rape, since 2 wrong don't make right, most likely is restitution, and despite all your ''she has only sex and nothing else'', I'm pretty sure that maximun a working week in a bussines, with part of the wage given to the victim, is fairly more than enough. if she is a high end prostitute than sleeping with two more idiots is even quicker.

The question of rule of law in an anarchist commonwealth is important, and it can indeed exist,in the form of common law and decentralized voluntarized courts. this would require a minimun virtue of the population, who should have a minimun acceptance of common sense concept of murders, robery and contractual engagement. enforcement would be likely be done by interested members of society, friends, family or previously agreed parties.

You asked somewhere to sandy ''how do you know that the woman is wrong'' ... you almost seem to presupose that either the ''state is omniscient'' or that act are commited outside a phisical world ... so let me break it down to you : People, government or otherwise, investigate and after having common sense wise determined a ''reasonable'' acceptable set of proofs, might reach the conclusion that wrong doing was done or not
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 07, 2010, 05:56:50 pm
Okay. Albeit individuals operating under certain shared cultural principles or ideals, correct?

Literally, no. If the cultural principles or ideals were shared, there would be no crime. There are principle and ideals that a lot of people agree to (more or less), but that is not the same thing.

Here is an example of what really happens now and forever. Penn & Teller did a fake street survey in Washington, DC. They were passing around a petition that proposed that a law be passed saying protesters should not be allowed to protest within 300 feet of the capital building. Now, just about everyone says they believe in free speech. And the 1st Amendment and its case law could not be clearer. Yet lots of Americans signed the petition. because protesting in DC at government buildings is disrespectful to America. Others, (thank Chaos) refused to sign. Yet I am fairly confident that both sides would agree with your statement.

Just to be clear here - you are certain that the woman is in the wrong in the described situation?

Linguistically, there is a difference in the means of "in the wrong" and simply "wrong." Her wrong doing is clear. However, it is not mitigated by his subsequent wrong doing. Both parties have violated rights. If you believe what she did was not wrong, please explain how you arrived at that conclusion.

Let's presume scarcity in this situation - in other words, that if the woman had property or other assets to trade for food, she would have done so.

Why presume scarcity? "Scarcity" exists in every situation. It is really irrelevant in the instant case. Being poor does not justify theft or fraud. or is that not what you are arguing with your "scarcity" allusion?

More importantly, you are assuming facts not in evidence. She clearly does have assets, that is property in her own body. That is the asset the man was offering to rent in exchange for money. Even then, there were 3-4 other options she could have taken instead of the sexual offer.

He and she may do anything they want. The question is one of consequences.
Hm. As you say further below, isn't that essentially the case in a statist system, practically speaking? With the possible exception that a state can impose much harsher and much more definite consequences.

Possible exception? How can it not be intrinsic to State action? It is the defining sine qua non of the State. This is the crux of the problem. Freedom vs. serfdom. The government intervenes with force (including deadly force) every day in all sorts of victimless behavior or consensual relationships. They can send people to prison for having sexual intercourse with someone of their own sex, or sex for money, selling dope, or gambling.

Now if someone does not like homosexuality or dope smoking, et alia, they should not engage in those activities. However, they have no right to initiate force against others to stop them from doing these things. If you agree that individuals have no right to use force (including deadly force) to stop activities of which they disapprove, then it follows that the government has no power to do so either, since in theory, the government derives its powers from the people (unless you believe in the divine right of kings; I don't).

And if she has no property to pay said settlement? What then?

Well, we have already demonstrated that she does have property. Of course, we are not going to permit the use of force to compel specific performance. You really are stretching here with you increasingly unlikely suppositions. In any case, the man has a judgment against her for monetary damages. If she ever has any assets, then she will have to make good on her debt. If not, and she dies pennyless, the man is S.O.L. That's life. Sometimes you get cheated and there is nothing you can do about it. Welcome to Life.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 07, 2010, 07:01:08 pm
And if she has no property to pay said settlement? What then?
EFT is in the midst of a similar situation.  Robyn took food but couldn't pay.  So what did Babette and Emily do?  Investigate (by getting Robyn to tell her story) and write off the loss.  We'll find out what happens next, but I expect Babette and Emily to help her get back on her feet (assuming that they believe her story) or at least direct her to someone who will help.  I'd do something like that--wouldn't you?
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 08, 2010, 12:29:50 am
"Assume scarcity ..." -- in a technical sense, there is always scarcity; one can always imagine demands which are bigger than supply. If I were to win a million dollar lottery, perhaps I would want a multi-million-dollar yacht and/or a really kick-ass supercomputer. Life tends to be unfair that way.

But in a more practical sense, food and sex are easily available, especially in a genuinely free (voluntaryist) society. Hence, the hypothetical scenario is unlikely. But let us suppose a gal has escaped from a statist prison cell and needs a meal. Suppose she steals ... um, that was just covered in EFT.

Well, one method to make the gal pay, which might be attractive to any statists among us, would be rape or imprisonment. But there are other methods.

Years ago, at a sales seminar, the speaker asked "Does anyone here have a hundred dollar bill? Anyone have a really nice watch?" Within a minute, the speaker had both. The moral of the story: you only have to ask.

Lifeboat scenarios are not very useful for determining the ethics of daily life; more than 99% of our lives are spent under far less stressful conditions. We might possibly eat a fellow human being in a lifeboat situation, if absolutely nothing else would do; but outside of lifeboat situations, cannibalism would be unthinkable for the vast majority of us.

Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Shotgun Wedding on June 08, 2010, 08:22:52 am


One would hope that the male individual in question would have soul enough to not accept the womans offer and would attempt first to feed her, get her healthy and assist her in becoming independent. If she has a desire to accept money for sex the man in question would take a percentage of her earnings over a set period of time to recoup his investment. That's anarcho-capitalism.

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The question is, under the Ceres system, has the man done anything wrong? In a purely contractual sense, the man could argue that he was merely trying to take what he'd been promised -- which doesn't change that something horrible and morally repugnant just took place. So why wouldn't a Norman feel just as much at home on Ceres as he would on Terra?

* I apologize if I offend anyone with this example. I'm posing a counter-example to the comic's storyline at the time of this writing, which is in essence about an attempted rape.
[quote\]

The difference is that Norman was threatening both Robin and the blond girl with "horrible things" if they didn't put out. If he tried that on Ceres the girls could just leave and let it be known that Norman's a dangerous pervert. All bets were off when Robin said "NO" and he threatened to have her "spaced" if she injured him. The Moon being the Harsh Mistress she is, Norman got what he deserved.

Anarchy is not government. Centuries of social canalization has left you with the deep mindset of having to be told what to do and what not to do. In an anarchy all you really need is a simple understanding of what's right or wrong. Most of us know right from wrong and the concept of what is fair or unfair at about 6 years of age. A truly free individual knows this without question.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: tinwatchman on June 08, 2010, 01:23:04 pm
Linguistically, there is a difference in the means of "in the wrong" and simply "wrong." Her wrong doing is clear. However, it is not mitigated by his subsequent wrong doing. Both parties have violated rights. If you believe what she did was not wrong, please explain how you arrived at that conclusion.

Oh, I haven't. I just wanted to know what you think.

More importantly, you are assuming facts not in evidence. She clearly does have assets, that is property in her own body. That is the asset the man was offering to rent in exchange for money. Even then, there were 3-4 other options she could have taken instead of the sexual offer.

Such as?

Well, we have already demonstrated that she does have property. Of course, we are not going to permit the use of force to compel specific performance... In any case, the man has a judgment against her for monetary damages. If she ever has any assets, then she will have to make good on her debt. If not, and she dies pennyless, the man is S.O.L. That's life. Sometimes you get cheated and there is nothing you can do about it. Welcome to Life.

Okay. In an anarchist situation, who would be in charge of enforcing the payment of debts? Would it be the man himself? Would he be able to outsource this, perhaps, to some kind of collections agency?

... Also, when you say "we," I presume you mean to say that "I, as an individual, would not permit such an initiation of force in my presence."
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 08, 2010, 03:41:27 pm
I am bummed out. I spent over an hour composing a post about hypothetical issues about stateless societies in general, and starving women scenarios in particular. Then, POOF, it went away while I was editing it. So all you get is the really pithy short version. I think it addresses all of your major questions.

On the Creation of Scenarios:

Before you postulate some "hard hitting" scenario to put the fear of Chaos in anarchist everywhere, you might want to heed these suggestions:

Justify your scenario. Is it realistic? Don't write, “What if we eliminated all nuclear weapons and then we were invaded by space aliens?” unless you can point to evidence such a thing is even remotely likely.

If your scenario is demolished by realistic solutions, have the good manners to accept defeat and don't come back with even more outlandish, “what ifs.”

Try to solve your own scenario yourself. What would you do to fix the “flaw” you think you have discovered without resorting to the initiation of force (i.e., government)? If you can figure out a personal solution, there is no flaw. Case closed. If you cannot come up with a solution, what makes you think others cannot either?

Starving Woman:

Solution #1: She begs. I have read that beggars in NYC can live fairly well on the income from begging alone. There are even begging schools in NYC. What would lead anyone to believe that Cerereans would be less generous than New Yorkers? Would you give a starving woman a couple of bucks? Is so, problem solved. 

Solution #2: She asks someone to lend her money or give her credit until she is on her feet. Would you take a chance on her and lend her five bucks? Is so, problem solved.

Solution #3: She makes money the old fashioned way; she earns it. Jobs are everywhere is a free society. You just have to look. Once, some friends and I were helping another friend move a ton of books (literally) out of his apartment. A “street person” approached me and asked if I could use another hand. We negotiated a price and he not only moved boxes like a machine, he became the de facto load master. As boxes of books were brought to the truck, he did an amazing job of space allocation and weight distribution. This is how the guy lived. He would walk around the neighborhoods of San Francisco looking for moving trucks. There is aways a way. If you needed some extra help with a chore, would you hire someone who was down on their luck? Is so, problem solved.

Solution #4: She shows up at a charitable organization. Today, we have the Salvation Army. They will feed anyone, no questions asked. Everyday, Saint Anthony's Dining Hall serves hundreds (thousands?) of meals to anyone who gets in line, no questions asked. Ceres has the King's Court Unfortunates Fund, and probably other private institutions that will give out food, clothing and housing to those down on their luck. (“But what if nobody on Ceres was into charity?”). Would you help the very few needy persons in a free society? Is so, problem solved.

Solution Helper: In each of the above solutions, what if the woman said, “If you cannot help me, I will have to take the money-for-sex proposition, that fat, smelly guy over there [pointing] made to me. I am afraid of disease. It's against my religion. I'm a virgin. He looks like the Green River Strangler. Etc. I would think that story would help grease the skids for the some sort of help for her.

Are we beginning to figure it out now?

Linguistically, there is a difference in the means of "in the wrong" and simply "wrong." Her wrong doing is clear. However, it is not mitigated by his subsequent wrong doing. Both parties have violated rights. If you believe what she did was not wrong, please explain how you arrived at that conclusion.

Oh, I haven't. I just wanted to know what you think.

More importantly, you are assuming facts not in evidence. She clearly does have assets, that is property in her own body. That is the asset the man was offering to rent in exchange for money. Even then, there were 3-4 other options she could have taken instead of the sexual offer.

Such as?

Well, we have already demonstrated that she does have property. Of course, we are not going to permit the use of force to compel specific performance... In any case, the man has a judgment against her for monetary damages. If she ever has any assets, then she will have to make good on her debt. If not, and she dies pennyless, the man is S.O.L. That's life. Sometimes you get cheated and there is nothing you can do about it. Welcome to Life.

Okay. In an anarchist situation, who would be in charge of enforcing the payment of debts? Would it be the man himself? Would he be able to outsource this, perhaps, to some kind of collections agency?

... Also, when you say "we," I presume you mean to say that "I, as an individual, would not permit such an initiation of force in my presence."
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Slamlander on June 09, 2010, 04:42:26 am
For example*: a woman is dying from hunger. A man offers her food in exchange for sex. She agrees, in effect agreeing to a contract exchange - food for sex. She eats the food, but then refuses to have sex with the man. The man then attempts to rape her.

The question is, under the Ceres system, has the man done anything wrong? In a purely contractual sense, the man could argue that he was merely trying to take what he'd been promised. So why wouldn't a Norman feel just as much at home on Ceres as he would on Terra?

First off, can we leave morality out of this? I'm a secularist and hate arbitrary rules and values imposed by theologists. They are always arbbitrary and make no sense, sort of like most theologies.

The only thing repugnant in your scenerio is the woman promising something that she knew she wasn't going to deliver. Excuse me but, that happens all the time and it is a main weakness of an anarchaic state; conflict resolution.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 09, 2010, 09:03:09 am
Uh, what makes you think an anarchic society would not be able to resolve conflicts?

Are you seriously proposing that the statist method - hire two attorneys to duke it out under a monopolistic system of arbitrary and contradictory rules - is in any way superior to the market-based method, which might be as simple as "hire a competent arbitrator from decisions-r-us?"

Even today, many people prefer arbitration to state courts. Some people, such as the Amish and certain Jewish sects, avoid courts entirely. Document that rampaging problem of violent conflict resolution among the Amish, would you?

Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 09, 2010, 03:13:25 pm
Sex is not the issue here. It is the concept of  specific performance as previously mentioned. Check it out. Specific performance is rarely required in any dispute resolution system. What usually happens is the requirement of some monetary or similar compensation. 

While specific performance enforcement may be rare as a remedy in current terrestrial contract disputes, that is not an argument against them.  I contend that they are, generally, the best solution, since they avoid attempting to place an objective value on the performance which is in fact has a subjective value to the plaintiff.  In fact, one might wonder why these alternatives weren't raised by the defendant during the negotiation (perhaps they were, but were rejected by plaintiff).

I say "generally", since there are exceptions, such as bad faith on behalf of the plaintiff, or an inability of the defendant to fulfill the performance in question -- neither of which is evident here.  In fact, it appears that the defendant may have engaged in "bad faith".

There may be some points to question, such as the nature of the "sex" agreed to (a rather ambiguous term) which could perhaps lead to a "no meeting of the minds" argument, but basic contract seems valid on its face, and a specific performance resolution ideal.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 09, 2010, 04:35:04 pm
Pretty good legal analysis. My guess, though, is that you are not a lawyer... yet. Are you a law student, a well-read layman or a fallen-away lawyer? My sense of it is that you are not a practicing lawyer.

While specific performance enforcement may be rare as a remedy in current terrestrial contract disputes, that is not an argument against them.  I contend that they are, generally, the best solution, since they avoid attempting to place an objective value on the performance which is in fact has a subjective value to the plaintiff.  In fact, one might wonder why these alternatives weren't raised by the defendant during the negotiation (perhaps they were, but were rejected by plaintiff).

My belief is that specific performance should be required rarely, if at all. All value is subjective. The plaintiff and the defendant's subjective values are the least useful, since both think they are right. I would prefer to leave the judgment up to disinterested triers of fact.

In any case, we are both groping in the dark. As case law and cultural indicators evolve, who knows what direction the specific-performance-vs-damages debate may go?

Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 09, 2010, 05:22:59 pm
Pretty good legal analysis. My guess, though, is that you are not a lawyer... yet. Are you a law student, a well-read layman or a fallen-away lawyer? My sense of it is that you are not a practicing lawyer.

I'm a Software Engineer by trade, and a Philosopher by avocation; I have no formal legal training.  I have considered pursuing it, but looking at all the nonsense that in US Jurisprudence, I quickly realized that it would frustrate me far too much. I would also object at having to swear allegiance to a government court.

I have been mistaken for a lawyer before, and in any situation where it is important, I prepend a disclaimer.  I didn't do so here since we aren't talking about any concrete legal system.

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My belief is that specific performance should be required rarely, if at all. All value is subjective. The plaintiff and the defendant's subjective values are the least useful, since both think they are right. I would prefer to leave the judgment up to disinterested triers of fact.

In this case, I doubt strongly that the defendant was acting in good faith; there's no evidence of any change in circumstances, other than her immediate need/want being met, that would justify her apparently subsequent decision to renege.  Given this, I don't find her desire to avoid fulfilling her contract at all persuasive.

As a result, I don't really know that defendant believes she is "right".  Of course I also don't know that the plaintiff really believes he is "right" either, but unlike the woman, he has not shown any discrepancy between his statements and his actions.

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In any case, we are both groping in the dark. As case law and cultural indicators evolve, who knows what direction the specific-performance-vs-damages debate may go?

Are either of these necessarily of value?  Case law is far overrated in my view (I can see the underlying reasoning behind prior cases to be of some merit in many cases, but there is nothing magical about that reasoning or the conclusions drawn from it), and cultural indicators are simply a simplification of some aggregation of individual views.  Both have about as much significance as saying "but we've always done it that way before!"

I'm of the opinion that one's (uncoerced) word is binding.  The fact that a lot of folks don't think that such a deal should be made including "sex" is irrelevant -- if she felt that way she should have rejected the deal up front.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 09, 2010, 05:55:27 pm
but basic contract seems valid on its face, and a specific performance resolution ideal.
Enforcing specific performance means that the offender is treated as a slave to the extent required to compel that performance.  Perhaps you consider that someone who reneges on a contract has forfeited all rights, but I'd be very cautious before drawing that conclusion.  How far will you go to compel the performance?  Torture?  Torture to death?  If you won't go that far, but will go so far as to, say, take some of the offender's stuff, then why not decide that taking the stuff is the remedy in the first place?

What about freedom of contract?  In a free society, a person could agree to become a slave (perhaps as a penalty for failing to fulfill other conditions), but would a court (whatever that would be) enforce (whatever that means) such a contract?  Maybe not.  Rothbard argued that all valid contracts were exchanges of property titles, and if a person's self-ownership is inalienable then contracting to become a slave would not be a valid contract.  Of course, someone's reputation would suffer after breaking such an agreement (like breaking any other agreement).
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 09, 2010, 06:22:50 pm
but basic contract seems valid on its face, and a specific performance resolution ideal.
Enforcing specific performance means that the offender is treated as a slave to the extent required to compel that performance.  Perhaps you consider that someone who reneges on a contract has forfeited all rights, but I'd be very cautious before drawing that conclusion.  How far will you go to compel the performance?  Torture?  Torture to death?  If you won't go that far, but will go so far as to, say, take some of the offender's stuff, then why not decide that taking the stuff is the remedy in the first place?

What about freedom of contract?  In a free society, a person could agree to become a slave (perhaps as a penalty for failing to fulfill other conditions), but would a court (whatever that would be) enforce (whatever that means) such a contract?  Maybe not.  Rothbard argued that all valid contracts were exchanges of property titles, and if a person's self-ownership is inalienable then contracting to become a slave would not be a valid contract.  Of course, someone's reputation would suffer after breaking such an agreement (like breaking any other agreement).

Perhaps it appears similar to treating someone as a slave, but so does work for hire.  The difference is that the latter includes an agreed upon transfer of something of value to the one performing the service.

As for freedom of contract, if someone freely entered into a contract under which he or she became a slave, I contend that they have that right, and such a contract may indeed be enforced.  In general, I would consider that a rather foolish contract, but then again, it's not I who am agreeing to it, and to oppose it would be to impose my values on others.  Personally I cannot readily conceive of entering into a contract with someone who offered the consideration of becoming my slave.  I would also oppose a contract I was not a party to in which the consideration was the binding into slavery of a free third party, such as any children the slave might now have or have in the future.

If one does not have the right to sell him or herself into slavery, then that person is not truly free -- sovereignty over their person is not wholly theirs with such a restriction. 

BTW, I'm not Rothbard  ;) 
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 09, 2010, 06:28:45 pm
In this case, I doubt strongly that the defendant was acting in good faith; there's no evidence of any change in circumstances, other than her immediate need/want being met, that would justify her apparently subsequent decision to renege.  Given this, I don't find her desire to avoid fulfilling her contract at all persuasive.

As a result, I don't really know that defendant believes she is "right".  Of course I also don't know that the plaintiff really believes he is "right" either, but unlike the woman, he has not shown any discrepancy between his statements and his actions.

I agree with you, but that does not lead inevitably to specific performance. In fact, specific performance is impossible in this case. The guy was asking for consensual sex (probably, the GFE). If she resists, he is getting rape instead of consensual sex. Not the same thing at all, therefore not specific performance.

Let me take a second here, to possibly offend you and software engineers everywhere. Engineers of all types, like mathematical symmetry. It is the way their heads are wired. Many, also have a very stunted level of understanding of human relationships and empathy. Think, Sheldon, on "The Big Bang Theory."

Specific performance has an obvious symmetry, while damages do not. However, most people's empathy and abhorrence of rape, makes, so called, "specific performance,"  a social non-starter in this case.

Now if we were dealing with some nomads in the desert, rape might be a viable option, but not here and now, and probably not in an anarchist milieu. Just my 2¢ worth, YMMV.

Are either of these necessarily of value?  Case law is far overrated in my view (I can see the underlying reasoning behind prior cases to be of some merit in many cases, but there is nothing magical about that reasoning or the conclusions drawn from it)...

It does thing exceedingly well. It adds a reasonably high degree of predictability to "law" or whatever you want to call it. When application is patently unfair in a given case, a judge can always "distinguish" from the case law. Now, we have new precedent that refines the old precedent. A software engineer might see that a recursive process, yielding successively closer approximations of the correct legal thinking.   ???

... and cultural indicators are simply a simplification of some aggregation of individual views.  Both have about as much significance as saying "but we've always done it that way before!"

And you don't see that as a good thing? Just because someone says, "but we've always done it that way before!" doesn't mean we cannot change it, if necessary. It does tell us, "Hey, you'd better think long and hard before you go off on a new legal tangent. There were good reasons that 'rule' exists."

I'm of the opinion that one's (uncoerced) word is binding.  The fact that a lot of folks don't think that such a deal should be made including "sex" is irrelevant -- if she felt that way she should have rejected the deal up front.

Again, no argument there, but she did make the deal. We are only arguing about appropriate consequences. The guy did bargain for rape, he should not get it. He was looking for the GFE and he cannot get that either. Damages are his only option as far as I can see. If I were sitting in the judge's seat, the guy would not be allow to rape the woman. And again, YMMV.

One last thought for the day. There is a Latin expression in law that I like, "Damnum absque injuria." Roughly, it means, "Some injuries have no legal remedy." This just might be one of those cases.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 09, 2010, 07:39:39 pm
I agree with you, but that does not lead inevitably to specific performance. In fact, specific performance is impossible in this case. The guy was asking for consensual sex (probably, the GFE). If she resists, he is getting rape instead of consensual sex. Not the same thing at all, therefore not specific performance.

I'll agree that the default is GFE, but certainly it could be that the guy wanted PSE instead.  This would be a "meeting of the minds problem" if that's not what she thought she was agreeing to.  He might have also been thinking of "rough sex" -- which can be consensual, although such cases might not necessarily be obvious to an outside observer.

If it was rough sex that was bargained for the lack of clear consent on her part might be acceptable, and if it wasn't there certainly isn't an obvious reason that she could not engage in what appears to be consensual sex (it shouldn't surprise you that many guys can't tell if a woman is really into it  -- women have been even known to fake orgasms).

One option might be to let the guy name a secondary option in lieu of the sex, e.g., a Kg of gold within 180 terrestrial  days, and let her decide which to supply.  Since she's not acting in good faith, the value of the meal (which might, under other circumstances, be available for a few mg. of gold) is irrelevant -- she must compensate for the value of what she agreed to provide.

Quote
Let me take a second here, to possibly offend you and software engineers everywhere. Engineers of all types, like mathematical symmetry. It is the way their heads are wired. Many, also have a very stunted level of understanding of human relationships and empathy. Think, Sheldon, on "The Big Bang Theory."

Specific performance has an obvious symmetry, while damages do not. However, most people's empathy and abhorrence of rape, makes, so called, "specific performance,"  a social non-starter in this case.

I gladly admit to placing an extremely high value on symmetry; when evaluating such situations, I automatically invoke the Principle of Symmetry and Point of View Invariance as guides to a solution.

However, I do object to the question of empathy; in this case the empathy should lie with the man, not the woman.  By getting the food without the apparent intent to fulfill her end of the bargain, she is attempting theft through fraud.   She may subsequently claim some cultural objection to the sex, but she forfeited that position by agreeing in the first place.  There is also a significant probability, based on the evidence, that she offered it herself.

While I can (and often do) act empathetically toward those who have failed to complete contracts with me, I have no such right to do so for someone else.  That would make me an accomplice to theft.  This is the road to modern Liberalism.

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Are either of these necessarily of value?  Case law is far overrated in my view (I can see the underlying reasoning behind prior cases to be of some merit in many cases, but there is nothing magical about that reasoning or the conclusions drawn from it)...


It does thing exceedingly well. It adds a reasonably high degree of predictability to "law" or whatever you want to call it. When application is patently unfair in a given case, a judge can always "distinguish" from the case law. Now, we have new precedent that refines the old precedent. A software engineer might see that a recursive process, yielding successively closer approximations of the correct legal thinking.  ???

I contend it is exceeding poor.  There is an implicit assumption that an initial precedent was approximately correct, when it might not have any such legitimacy.  Now, the reasoning behind that precedent may be of value, and should be the real basis for its use; however without the underlying reasoning being available, and that reasoning being open to criticism at any subsequent point, such precedents become a wellspring of error.  Software Engineers would see this as a legal analog to "software rot".

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... and cultural indicators are simply a simplification of some aggregation of individual views.  Both have about as much significance as saying "but we've always done it that way before!"

And you don't see that as a good thing? Just because someone says, "but we've always done it that way before!" doesn't mean we cannot change it, if necessary. It does tell us, "Hey, you'd better think long and hard before you go off on a new legal tangent. There were good reasons that 'rule' exists."

There may or may not be a good reason.  If there  was a "good" reason when first proposed, the reasons for that "goodness" may no longer apply, or its import may have diminished.   Only by periodically going back to first principles and challenging each assumption made in the reasoning from day one to today can its reliability be assured.

Lawyers, who are often rather lazy (as are many Software Engineers, I will grant), tend over time to drop or forget the reasoning, and hence eliminate any real value the precedents may have.   Better to forgo the precedents altogether and rely solely upon the reasoning itself.
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I'm of the opinion that one's (uncoerced) word is binding.  The fact that a lot of folks don't think that such a deal should be made including "sex" is irrelevant -- if she felt that way she should have rejected the deal up front.

Again, no argument there, but she did make the deal. We are only arguing about appropriate consequences. The guy did bargain for rape, he should not get it. He was looking for the GFE and he cannot get that either. Damages are his only option as far as I can see. If I were sitting in the judge's seat, the guy would not be allow to rape the woman. And again, YMMV.

I think you mean "didn't bargain for rape" above.  That may be true; however, if he will accept the sex under some measure of coercion as payment, that's all that really matters at this point.  The woman is free to find and propose alternatives, but at this point she has no real bargaining position.  I could add that should she resist, she is guilty of committing a tort against the man.  Frankly, I think that calling it "rape" is an attempt to engage an emotional response rather than a rational one -- not that she would be adverse to doing so, given her prior history.  I'm a bit disappointed in you, Sandy, by raising this, given that you have already indicated that "sex is not the issue here."

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One last thought for the day. There is a Latin expression in law that I like, "Damnum absque injuria." Roughly, it means, "Some injuries have no legal remedy." This just might be one of those cases.

I don't think it is.  If she were unable to perform the service, or in another case someone's death were caused, there may not be a legal remedy.  I'm not convinced that is the case here.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NemoUtopia on June 09, 2010, 08:08:32 pm
Well, one method to make the gal pay, which might be attractive to any statists among us, would be rape or imprisonment. But there are other methods.

While amusing from time to time, shots at the very idea of statism and those who support it as monsters does get a tad old when it amounts to classism. Not all statists, or even an approximate majority of those actively pursuing statism, lack morals or common sense [much less and]. If you want people that out-of-touch with reality, find some neo-cons or nazis who actually make fallacious arguments. Also, while we're on the subject of other methods, there are quite a few supported by a state system that have nothing to do draconian tactics, such as civil litigation [i.e. arbitration] and general ideas of debt that have nothing to do with the system itself. This is not to mention what most people actually living in such a system would do: throw up their hands for a lost cause, ask for a lesser [and reasonable] repayment such as 'help me with chores', and move on either way.


First off, can we leave morality out of this? I'm a secularist and hate arbitrary rules and values imposed by theologists. They are always arbbitrary and make no sense, sort of like most theologies.

The only thing repugnant in your scenerio is the woman promising something that she knew she wasn't going to deliver. Excuse me but, that happens all the time and it is a main weakness of an anarchaic state; conflict resolution.

Two conflicts of interest here...first, if you think arbitrary rules and values, particularly morality, are solely the spawn of theology here's your reality check. I know plenty of atheist secularists, and while they are happy to argue specific morals they know that their own self-developed morality plays into any action they take or argument they make. One literally has to be a socio-path to belive morality irrevelant to such discussion, because empathy and sympathy are basic human emotions/reactions.

Second, conflict resolution looks like a weakness until you take into account practical Darwinism. A population has to be at a critically low population threshold for rule-by-biggest-stick individual tyranny. Once the system expands in population you will reach a point where anyone trying such tactics would be gunned down on prinicple by those taking matters into their own hands...and they would be applauded. Messy? Perhaps. But the idea that conflict resolution is weak in a large anarchy requires very specific conditions, and ignores the power of ostracision, being blacklisted for contracts, and simple threat of personal injury. This is not to say that such problems will be non-existant, but are likely to be less prevelant and damaging in an AnCap because there is no way simple for the bully to have 'the law on his side,' a source of power for many bullies in any kind of state. He'd have to be a particularly devious son-of-a-bitch with quite the epic plot going.



As to the original post, there's little I can add that hasn't been said: fallacious debate strategy in an artifical lifeboat situation simply doesn't change the reality. In particular, I don't think someone attempting rape under any circumstances would get sympathy in Ceres. The people around would almost definitely support a different form of conflict resolution as the amazingly simple 'work-for-food' principle and tell the man he was being a dumbass about the initial contract. Then again, they might surprise me...they'd think the contract was perfectly reasonable and the woman acted in bad faith, thereby requiring the equivalent of 'plus damages' repayment though work. I'm very doubtful most people living in Ceres would seriously attempt to enfore the contract literally.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 09, 2010, 08:12:23 pm
Perhaps it appears similar to treating someone as a slave, but so does work for hire.
Only if the penalty for not doing the work is specific performance.  There are reasons why specific performance is not generally enforced.

Perhaps an example will help.

Joe hears Fred singing "Rama Lama Ding Dong", considers his version unique, and pays him 25 grams of gold to walk through town the next day wearing a clown suit while singing that song.  The next morning, Fred says that Bog told him that his soul would be damned to hell forever if he wears a clown suit, and the longer he wears it the worse the level of hell.  Fred offers Joe 500 grams of gold to release him from the contract, but Joe declines.  A court rules that Fred must do as he promised, but Fred refuses.  The bailiffs take Fred away, and after 40 minutes of torture Fred agrees.  However, after a few minutes in the clown suit singing "Rama Lama Ding Dong", Fred tries to run away.  The bailiffs take Fred away again, and after 3 more hours of torture Fred dies.  The judge sums it up by saying that the case was unpleasant but that justice was done.

Would your ideal legal system work like that?

I can see some attractive features, but somehow it doesn't seem quite right.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 09, 2010, 08:58:00 pm
However, I do object to the question of empathy; in this case the empathy should lie with the man, not the woman....

Quod Erat Demonstrandum. You are confusing empathy with sympathy. Clearly, you can feel empathy with both of the parties in this scenario. 

I contend [common law] is exceeding poor.  There is an implicit assumption that an initial precedent was approximately correct, when it might not have any such legitimacy.  Now, the reasoning behind that precedent may be of value, and should be the real basis for its use; however without the underlying reasoning being available...

Huh? Where did you come up with that idea? You need to read more about the common law and how it actually works. How do you think a judge can distinguish a current case from a previous case finding? All of the underlying reasoning is available and is always consulted in common law courts.

, and that reasoning being open to criticism at any subsequent point, such precedents become a wellspring of error.  Software Engineers would see this as a legal analog to "software rot".

You are kidding, right? In my experience, techies do a piss poor job of documenting anything. In contrast, all the common law is, is extensive and detailed documentation. Every nuance of every decision going back over decades and even centuries is available for review and analysis. The rule against perpetuities and its interpretations and modifications go back half a millennium. Even today, concepts in future interests including "the fertile octogenarian" and "the unborn widow" (I am not making this up) play a part in modern law. Talk about extensive documentation...!

You know it's really unfair to criticize, if you don't offering a superior alternative. And your superior alternative to the common law is....?

There may or may not be a good reason.  If there  was a "good" reason when first proposed, the reasons for that "goodness" may no longer apply, or its import may have diminished.   Only by periodically going back to first principles and challenging each assumption made in the reasoning from day one to today can its reliability be assured.

Bingo! You have just described how the common law works.

Lawyers, who are often rather lazy (as are many Software Engineers, I will grant), tend over time to drop or forget the reasoning, and hence eliminate any real value the precedents may have.   Better to forgo the precedents altogether and rely solely upon the reasoning itself.

My friend, you still have the cart before the horse. It is not the lawyers who consult and apply the common law. It is the trier of law, the judge. Lazy lawyers have nothing to do with it.

....  Frankly, I think that calling it "rape" is an attempt to engage an emotional response rather than a rational one -- not that she would be adverse to doing so, given her prior history.  I'm a bit disappointed in you, Sandy, by raising this, given that you have already indicated that "sex is not the issue here."

Well, the reason I didn't call it apple pandowdy is because rape is the most clear and correct word, i.e., "any  act  of  sexual  intercourse  that  is  forced  upon  a  person." Sex is still not the issue. The issue is force and that force is the worst sort in that it violates the sanctity and ownership of one's own body.

Look, the man made a bad deal. He got screwed, but not in a good way. Sometimes these things happen. It does not create an automatic right to enact violence against someone.

I don't think it is [a case of damnum absque injuria].  If she were unable to perform the service, or in another case someone's death were caused, there may not be a legal remedy.  I'm not convinced that is the case here.

Okay, I'm comfortable with you not being convinced.   :)
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: quadibloc on June 09, 2010, 09:35:12 pm
First off, can we leave morality out of this? I'm a secularist and hate arbitrary rules and values imposed by theologists. They are always arbbitrary and make no sense, sort of like most theologies.

The only thing repugnant in your scenerio is the woman promising something that she knew she wasn't going to deliver. Excuse me but, that happens all the time and it is a main weakness of an anarchaic state; conflict resolution.
Morals are about what is "right" and "wrong". Promising something one won't deliver is an example of immoral conduct.

However, the value that sex is somehow "sacred" is not arbitrary. The level of psychological damage that women subjected to rape experience is well-attested, as is the profound emotional significance of the primary sexual relationship in most people's lives.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: dough560 on June 10, 2010, 02:24:06 am
The scenario sucks.  A real lack of imagination.

A female is;  A. Dying from hunger.  B. Offered food for sex.  C. The female eats the food.  D.  Refuses to have sex.  E. The male attempts rape.

Seems like a desperate attempt to prove Anarchy will not work.  Please remember Anarchy does not mean no rules.  Just a set of rules generally limited to natural law.  See my earlier posts on the subject.

Okay.....  Since it was wasn't stated, an otherwise healthy female is experiencing starvation. She has a meal.  A starvation victim experiencing a meal would be unable to digest the food.  Becoming violently ill, vomiting the just eaten food.  A starvation victim requires a liquid based diet as they regain their ability to digest regular food.  In this situation, the male attempts rape?  A starvation victim has the strength to fight off her attacker?  The female has a weapon and strength in-which to resist her attacker?  If so, why is she a starvation victim?   The male initiated an act which could result in the death penalty.  Sentencing, subject to immediate application, either by the intended victim or passerby.  If he was dumb enough, the male could seek adjudication.  Given the stated circumstances,  not a chance in a very hot place of collecting.  Additionally, once the facts of the situation became public knowledge.....  Do I really have to lay out the rest of it?
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 11, 2010, 03:31:21 pm
Back to the original post: would a Norman-type feel at home in an anarchist society? Doubtful. As an administrator in a statist system, he does not have to physically subdue his victims; he can rely upon statist police to disarm them, deliver them, and punish them for resisting.

None of these would happen in an anarchist society. The girls would often be armed; if they shot Norman in defense against rape, they would probably receive applause, not a prison sentence. No self-respecting anarchists would disarm the girls, kidnap them, and deliver them to Norman, for several reasons.

1) as anarchists, they would find such practices repugnant.

Would every individual in an "anarchist society" necessarily be an anarchist? Would such a society screen out non-anarchists? Would it perform tests to ensure that each "citizen" held anarchist beliefs? What would these tests be like? Who would administer them?
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2) their life expectancy would be short.
Presumably, by "they" you mean "Norman-types", i.e., rapists. You state baldly that "their life expectancy would be short" but supply no reason why this is so except that apparently your "anarchist society" would be full of "right-thinking" (that is to say, uniformly thinking) individuals who would exert force against such a person; or that the potential victims would "likely be armed" and somehow the putative rapist would be unable to cut the unarmed or unwilling to shoot out of the herd or be otherwise unable to manipulate them; and that a "Norman type" would necessarily be unable to pay some unsuspecting sucker to deliver females of some defined demographic to him on some plausible-sounding pretext, which pretext could be enhanced in persuasiveness by the sound of jangling gold coin.
Quote
3) their medical bills would be high.
Eh, see above.

As an unrelated note, my father was a deliberate racist.
He was born and raised in Washington, DC in the late 1940s, and left in the early 1960s to travel around the country. He was accustomed to living among a variety of people of various colors and creeds, and was constantly amazed at the flimsy pretexts which people could find to justify their hatred of one another. When I was in my early teens, he announced to all and sundry that he was a racist after all: his hated race was the Normans.
"If only they'd stayed out of England, those rotten bastards!" He'd exclaim. "Taking our land and jobs, raping our women..."
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 11, 2010, 04:20:19 pm
Exceedingly cute name.

Would every individual in an "anarchist society" necessarily be an anarchist? Would such a society screen out non-anarchists? Would it perform tests to ensure that each "citizen" held anarchist beliefs? What would these tests be like? Who would administer them?

Don't be silly. All of us currently live in statist societies. That doesn't make us statist. However, governments do try to kill off (metaphorically and often literally) people who do not kowtow to the State. Think of an anarchist society as one in which "live and let live" is an everyday reality. If you are a statist and you go to the anarchistic Belt, no one will bother you for your beliefs. However, if you initiate force, you will be stopped... and ended if necessary.

The rest of your post is either incomprehensible (to me, anyway) or is based on your flawed view of anarchy. Slow down, give it some thought and then posit a single specific case you think proves something. Support you case; i.e., is it realistic or some improbable based on an improbable underpinned by an unrealistic assumption? Then listen and think about how people respond.

As far as I can tell there are no dummies posting to this forum. Even the ones with whom I disagree are clearly intelligent (though misguided and confused). In most peoples' lifetimes, they rarely, if ever, get the opportunity to question the statist rhetoric that was pounded into them from an early age. Most people are afraid of change and anything that challenges their world-view. With EFT and this forum, you have a real opportunity to re-examine your life-long assumptions.

A final note. Those of us who deny the legitimacy of the State, did not spring forth, fully formed, from the forehead of Lysander Spooner. My guess is that everyone who now challenges the legitimacy of the State, at one time or another, held statist beliefs. I know I did. We came by our beliefs the hard way, we thought about them. It took a while, but now our eyes are open.

Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 11, 2010, 05:45:18 pm
Quote
Exceedingly cute name.
 

Thank you. It is among my favorites.

Would every individual in an "anarchist society" necessarily be an anarchist? Would such a society screen out non-anarchists? Would it perform tests to ensure that each "citizen" held anarchist beliefs? What would these tests be like? Who would administer them?

Quote
Don't be silly.
Exactly how am I being silly? Failing that, just how does calling me silly not descend to the level of ad-hominem argument?

Quote
All of us currently live in statist societies. That doesn't make us statist.
This is true as far as it goes. I submit to you that we all live in States, which are not necessarily societies.
How do you define "society"? Is it the same as a "community"? I am a member of several self-described "communities" which are not part of any State. (They may, however, possess a "state" as defined by set theory, game theory, or other mathematical structure. I will ignore those for the purpose of the present discussion.)
These communities include, for example:
The "Ubuntu Linux" community (I spend quite a bit of time on this one)
The  Open Street Map community
My neighborhood ( I have lived here a long time, and have a vested interest in making sure folks living here are not too poor)
My home ( I have several roommates- we share all expenses, and most are unaccounted among us- otherwise known as a "family" cf. 'The Moon is A Harsh Mistress'
My local wireless mesh network- I maintain a repeater node at some small expense to myself, so that others around may benefit from the network as a whole. This network may or may not tie into the "internet" at any given time. Its purpose is to provide secure digital communication within the area- anything else is an unexpected bonus.
Quote
However, governments do try to kill off (metaphorically and often literally) people who do not kowtow to the State. Think of an anarchist society as one in which "live and let live" is an everyday reality. If you are a statist and you go to the anarchistic Belt, no one will bother you for your beliefs. However, if you initiate force, you will be stopped... and ended if necessary.

By whom?
Again, the particular "Norman" I postulated might operate more akin to a pimp than to an Eric Prince (for example, and not meant to imply anything about that particular fracker) or a Catholic priest (again, for example, and not meant to accuse any particular charlatan.)
The initiation of force need not be public. The force itself need not be obvious. In the absence of ubiquitous surveillance, (a commonly cited 'statist' vice) such force can be initiated with impunity as long as the perpetrator is at least as intellingent as you or I.

Quote
The rest of your post is either incomprehensible (to me, anyway) or is based on your flawed view of anarchy.
Please expand upon the flaws in my view of anarchy which you have detected. I am only an egg.
Quote

 Slow down, give it some thought and then posit a single specific case you think proves something. Support you case; i.e., is it realistic or some improbable based on an improbable underpinned by an unrealistic assumption? Then listen and think about how people respond.

My comments so far have pertained to the thread.
If any unrealistic assumptions have been made, I suggest that they were made by those who crafted the story upon which the thread comments.
If I have made any unrealistic assumptions, or indeed any assumptions at all, please cite them and I will examine and change them as necessary.
Quote
As far as I can tell there are no dummies posting to this forum. Even the ones with whom I disagree are clearly intelligent (though misguided and confused). In most peoples' lifetimes, they rarely, if ever, get the opportunity to question the statist rhetoric that was pounded into them from an early age. Most people are afraid of change and anything that challenges their world-view. With EFT and this forum, you have a real opportunity to re-examine your life-long assumptions.
I have been at this for quite a while, and in my experience there are 'dummies' (valid for many meanings of that word) posting in nearly every forum.
Respectfully, it is not for you or for I to determine who is "misguided or confused" in this arena, at least until there exists a rigorous science of political philosophy such as Heinlein prognosticated (beginning with For Us, The Living, and continued in This Far Horizon, Fifth Column, and other works I am too much in a hurry to cite, as well as political articles going back to 1932).

Quote
A final note. Those of us who deny the legitimacy of the State, did not spring forth, fully formed, from the forehead of Lysander Spooner. My guess is that everyone who now challenges the legitimacy of the State, at one time or another, held statist beliefs. I know I did. We came by our beliefs the hard way, we thought about them. It took a while, but now our eyes are open.

I have, for many years, considered myself a 'non-statist'- in part of my larger philosophy of skepticism. I don't believe in states, I don't believe in anarchism- and I don't disbelieve in either.
I watch and wait. When I can, I test.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: SandySandfort on June 11, 2010, 07:52:45 pm
Would every individual in an "anarchist society" necessarily be an anarchist? Would such a society screen out non-anarchists? Would it perform tests to ensure that each "citizen" held anarchist beliefs? What would these tests be like? Who would administer them?
Quote
Don't be silly.
Exactly how am I being silly? Failing that, just how does calling me silly not descend to the level of ad-hominem argument?

If you just want to play word games (see my comments below), I never called you silly. (Though you may very well be.) Clearly it was an admonition and just as clearly, it was a reference to the peculiar notion that an anarchist society would somehow vet newcomers. You keep clinging to the statist group assumptions. Have you learned nothing from reading EFT?   ::)

What the fuck is the point of the following disquisition on the terms, state, community, etc.?
Sounds like word games to me. However, let me help you out. The usually accepted definition of a state is an organization that claims a monopoly of the use of force in a specified territory.  That was the claim that we all live in states (as defined above). You agreed to my simple observation, but somehow, you got focused on societies, communities, etc. WTF?

This is true as far as it goes. I submit to you that we all live in States, which are not necessarily societies.
How do you define "society"? Is it the same as a "community"? I am a member of several self-described "communities" which are not part of any State. (They may, however, possess a "state" as defined by set theory, game theory, or other mathematical structure. I will ignore those for the purpose of the present discussion.)
These communities include, for example:
The "Ubuntu Linux" community (I spend quite a bit of time on this one)
The  Open Street Map community
My neighborhood ( I have lived here a long time, and have a vested interest in making sure folks living here are not too poor)
My home ( I have several roommates- we share all expenses, and most are unaccounted among us- otherwise known as a "family" cf. 'The Moon is A Harsh Mistress'
My local wireless mesh network- I maintain a repeater node at some small expense to myself, so that others around may benefit from the network as a whole. This network may or may not tie into the "internet" at any given time. Its purpose is to provide secure digital communication within the area- anything else is an unexpected bonus.
Quote
However, governments do try to kill off (metaphorically and often literally) people who do not kowtow to the State. Think of an anarchist society as one in which "live and let live" is an everyday reality. If you are a statist and you go to the anarchistic Belt, no one will bother you for your beliefs. However, if you initiate force, you will be stopped... and ended if necessary.

By whom?

I think I will leave that and the rest of your "submissions" as an exercise for the student.

I have, for many years, considered myself a 'non-statist'- in part of my larger philosophy of skepticism. I don't believe in states, I don't believe in anarchism- and I don't disbelieve in either.

Okey-dokey. I guess you have one of those dictionaries from Bizarro World. Good luck.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 11, 2010, 10:59:06 pm
I didn't realize I would have to spell out "short life expectancy" in such detail, but let's try it this way: Norman tries to rape a girl. Girl shoots Norman. Norman dies. If it does not happen with girl #1, it happens with girl #2 or girl #3. This is a consequence of living in a society where people take responsibility for defending themselves and the people they care about.

People like Norman succeed when they monopolize the supply of violence. This is a fundamental difference between anarchy and statism; if you don't understand it, stop, slow down, and think it through. In a statist society, the State monopolizes the use of violence, and people like Norman exploit that monopoly. In an anarchy, the use of violence ( but not violence itself ) is widely distributed. Girls - and boys - are armed and able to defend themselves against grave bodily harm, including rape.

If you don't see that, you're not thinking.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: dough560 on June 12, 2010, 01:16:00 am
konehead and others with the same mind set.  Honest ignorance and open mind are always welcome.

An excellent way to develop libertarian views, is to spend a few years picking up the pieces, after the powers that be, deny individuals efficient means of self-defense.  It doesn't take long to realize the mess you're cleaning up, didn't have to happen and wouldn't have happened if the "Norman" hadn't been confident the intended victim is essentially helpless.   

Thought provoking reading material:  Heinlein, Norton and L. Niel Smith.  They've asked the question:  What If, as it applies to libertarian thought.  Why suggest materials based in science-fiction?  That's where views of the unborn society appear.  The society we're discussing is gestating.  It's arrival will occur in it's own time.  Said society will result from a desire for individual freedom and a rejection of TransProg ideals.

If you're not sure about ethics of self-defense I suggest Massad Ayoob's "The Truth About Self-Defense" and "In Gravest Extreme".  Review of actual cases:  "The Ayoob Files" and "Thank God I had A Gun".  Paxton Quigley's, "Armed and Female",  would be a good start.

If you don't already understand the difference and definitions of "Community", "Family", "Society", and "State", and "Statist".  Get a dictionary and a life..  You may get your jollies posing improbable scenarios.  So far you've just been another "individual" out to prove your superiority and the superiority of your beliefs.  Boring.

In the postulated society we are discussing, your beliefs and the probable rejection of same by this society's population and your probable reaction would have a predictable result.

You have been responsible enough to make your "Final Arrangements".  Haven't You?
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: wdg3rd on June 12, 2010, 03:02:15 am

A final note. Those of us who deny the legitimacy of the State, did not spring forth, fully formed, from the forehead of Lysander Spooner. My guess is that everyone who now challenges the legitimacy of the State, at one time or another, held statist beliefs. I know I did. We came by our beliefs the hard way, we thought about them. It took a while, but now our eyes are open.


Yup.  I was raised Republican (and Baptist).  Became atheist at 12, didn't become anarchist until past 30.  (Had been a relaxed mostly-libertarian until the IRS put me on the street --  I hold a grudge -- don't f u c k with me, I won't f u c k with you, they f u c k e d with me).
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NemoUtopia on June 12, 2010, 11:06:40 am
Have to back up Terry here, because a State capable of doing requires such monopolization of force. I've been looking heavily at the early political America, from the Revolution to Andrew Jackson's presidency. All the proof you need is in that pudding. Go ahead and look at what's shown in the history textbooks (or the statist propoganda, as it were). Any I've found mention the strengthening of the central goverment for defense and taxation. You don't need the skill to read between the lines here, that's an open centralization of use of force. The reason? The Congress of Confederation couldn't enforce anything. The language used tries to put the Confederation in the worst light possible, but are still unable to deny the lasting effects of the Land Ordinances of 1785 and 1789. In the end, a vicious cycle of economic depression, poor economic strategy, and differences between the individual colonies gave Hamilton the support he needed to get the gears grinding for the framing of the Constitution. In case you're wondering about the Congress of Confederation: they couldn't even reach quorum or debate productively. Human failings ensured the last 'session' had only one member in attendance. In case you're wondering about the views of the voters, here's the first four presidents of the U.S.:
-George Washingtion [essentially Federalist]
-John Adams [staunch Federalist]
-Thomas Jefferson [Anti-Federalist]
-James Madison [Federalist]
only check this out: Madison was a key player in the Bill of Rights, although he wrote a helluvalot of the Federalist Papers. Did he jump ship and become an Anti-Federalist like Jefferson? Evidence points to 'no.' He had key differences with Hamilton [noticing a theme here?].

So, short version:
People: -"We're in debt! Why can't you fix it?!"
AoC: -"What do you expect us to do, print more Continentals?"
*poof* Constitution

That's the one-minute, simplistic version, but read above for details. A State functions by monopolizing force, and thinking otherwise is just plain silly.

----------------------------------------------------------

Throwing in to put perspective on the arguments I do make and the fact that I'm usually willing to take the role of 'Devil's Advocate':

In terms of personal politics, I'm a moderate in all things and essentially a 'Madisonian' for lack of a better eponym. Madison ajdusted to the realities of given times and it's easy to call him a waffler (position swapper) when you don't know the specifics...he was consistent in his positions, but when you're in the middle that tends to make you everybody's political opponent at some given time. He built coalitions (i.e. 'got shit done'), was a pluralist, objected to the Bill of Rights being amendments (and therefore repealable) instead of integrated into the Constitution's main body (i.e. 'if you're going to do it, do it RIGHT, dammit'), wanted what is now the 27th Amendment in from day 1, wanted to restrict individual States' power over individuals in all of the same ways as the Central/Federal's power was [supposed to be >:(] restricted over them (think of this as the Fourteen and One-Halfth Amendment if you're crazy like me), and opposed Hamilton tooth and nail in almost all cases after the actual ratification of the Constitution.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Rocketman on June 14, 2010, 09:14:39 am
NemoUtopia:  I always thought that I knew quite a bit about the founding fathers and the Revolutionary War, but I have never heard of Madison objecting to the Bill of Rights not being incorporated directly into the Constitution.  Could you sight your source for me?
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NemoUtopia on June 14, 2010, 12:48:29 pm
Look him up on Wikipedia. The article on Madison has relevant info from credible sources, and I actually am having trouble finding web bios about him that DON'T mention it except for the actual White House presidency pages.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: quadibloc on June 14, 2010, 10:02:32 pm
Supposedly - say, using Ayn Rand's definition of a state society - a state doesn't need to monopolize all use of force. Just uses of force other than:

Reasonable force in self-defense, and
Minimal force to apprehend suspects during a citizen's arrest.

And the United States did respect the Second Amendment for a long time, at least for its ordinary citizens.

The problem is, though, that when a citizen uses force in self-defense, often he can't prove afterwards that his use of force was for that purpose, instead of for aggression. Even in a non-state society where aggression is sanctioned in other ways in addition to self-defense, I would think this still remains a problem. (Bonded security firms, as depicted in one comic here, are, of course one possible non-state answer.)
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 15, 2010, 07:17:18 am
An Anarchistic society is not a utopia; there are no promises that no bad things would ever happen. Therefore, to complain that somebody might possibly get away with an act of aggression is no argument; it's just an observation that life is not always fair. We don't imagine that everyone in AnCap society will be perfect; you don't get to pretend that magically angelic beings will direct the doings of the State. 
 
In any State, with a monopoly or near-monopoly of justice the use of force, the State exempts itself from scrutiny. A policeman has to be caught on video doing something really horrible before any action is ever taken against him - and even then, the outcome of the trial would be uncertain - the Judge, the Prosecutors, and many of the witnesses all work for the same monopolistic agency, and are all supported by tax dollars and other forms of confiscation regardless of any market forces. Hence, someone like Norman can get away with raping young girls; sadistic guards get away with beating prisoners. The Normans and the guards have a special position, like samurai in Japan - they are permitted to use weapons to aggress against the rest of us, and we are permitted to submit.

In an AnCap society, bad people are more likely to get their comeuppance in fairly short order. This won't lead to a perfect society; there will always be people who prefer to take advantage of others; but it will be more likely to punish such acts of aggression. That's all we can hope for.

I notice many competing services which provide armed guards and secure transport of valuables in today's cities. All are private firms, heavily armed, and motivated by profit. Would the statist theorists care to explain why Brinks does not wage battle against Pinkerton? In the naive "Greed uber alles" theory, it would make sense to shoot up an "enemy" armored car and seize the loot.

In the real world, shooting up other security firms is a high-risk business; it is much easier to make profits honestly, by simply picking up the loot from willing customers, delivering it as promised, and collecting a reasonable fee. This leads to repeat business and profits, and reduces expenses for medical insurance, damage to equipment, risk premiums, and so forth. It's not a hard economic decision to make, unless one is a slightly deranged statist theorist.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: pendothrax on June 15, 2010, 07:37:26 pm
I think the statist argument would revolve around the force wielded by the government being the only thing preventing companies from going to war with each other over an extremely short term vision of profit.  Just seems to follow the vien of previous arguments that i have seen in these forums and elsewhere.  I do find it interesting that even most vohement supporters of the concept of government still use the terminology of a nessisary evil, acknowledging the inherent problems involved ;)

my two cents from work.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 15, 2010, 08:21:31 pm
I think the statist argument would revolve around the force wielded by the government being the only thing preventing companies from going to war with each other over an extremely short term vision of profit.
I'd guess that most of us have heard a similar argument many times.  Do you think that it's valid?
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: quadibloc on June 15, 2010, 09:28:46 pm
An Anarchistic society is not a utopia; there are no promises that no bad things would ever happen. Therefore, to complain that somebody might possibly get away with an act of aggression is no argument; it's just an observation that life is not always fair.
That is quite true. The implied argument is presumably that state societies are pretty good at preventing aggression against people who can't afford the services of a private security company - and it's not clear a non-state one wouldn't do much worse.

There may be a high incidence of wrongful convictions in some U.S. states (and this affects everyone there to some degree, being in the same country) but while we have our problems in Canada, including less freedom in a number of areas, winding up in prison because of a cop abusing his authority is something we spend as much time worrying about... as being struck by a meteorite. (As long as we're not planning a vacation in the U.S., at least.)

So if the cops were sent packing, and we were all instead expected to buy guns and defend ourselves... we would expect to be robbed at gunpoint by the criminals who already have guns before we even get to the Canadian Tire store to buy any. There are definitely Canadian opponents of our gun control laws, and I'm sure there are Libertarians and anarcho-capitalists here too, but it would be exceedingly hard to convince most Canadians that a non-state society would deliver a higher level of freedom from violent aggression than that we already enjoy.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 15, 2010, 10:10:28 pm
I can't speak for Canada, but I can say that in the US of A, about 70 million people are already armed. If the more guns => more crime argument were even halfway true, the streets would already be running in blood. That is not the case. If the police (and particularly the DEA and BATF ) were to disappear, this would be a safer country. Ask the shades of the women and children who were flamebroiled in Waco by Janet Reno's goons.

I don't advocate simply abolishing the State one fine Sunday morning. For many years now, I have been advocating that we take up the functions traditionally usurped by the State: self defense, education of one's children and oneself, and providing for the financial security of oneself and those one cares about. If enough of us do these things, we'll some day find no need for the State.

This is a good thing, because the State is rapidly going bankrupt. Greece is but a canary in a coal mine; there is a "end of the world in 3 minutes" vid on youtube which very nicely explains that European debt is nothing but a complex shell game - and the US situation is no better.

Back to the "why don't Brinks and Pinkerton engage in warfare" scenario - given how low the conviction rate is, I suspect that the State does not serve as a real deterrent for any determined professional criminal. The prospect of being shot at by one's intended victims does, however, serve as a severe deterrent. This has been confirmed by surveys of career criminals; they fear an armed homeowner more than a policeman.

Notice how the State likes to play the odds: SWAT teams with ten or more people will break down the doors of a home at oh dark hundred when their intended victims are asleep. Armchair pilots in Colorado bunkers drop bombs on Afghan wedding parties on the other side of the world. People try to avoid a fair fight, a lesson which Robert Williams, founder of Deacons for Defense and author of Negroes With Guns put to good use. When the KKK risked being shot at by armed blacks, the KKK lost interest in putting their "superior" lives at risk.

Exceptions exist; some people will attack even when their own lives are at risk; but by and large, a determined self-defense does deter attacks. Most aggressors are merely bullies looking for a cheap win at somebody else's expense, not at all interested in putting their own lives at risk.


Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: quadibloc on June 16, 2010, 08:17:47 am
I don't advocate simply abolishing the State one fine Sunday morning.
I accept that, and thus I should explain why, in some of my posts, I am arguing against doing precisely that, so as to avoid the charge that I am arguing against a strawman.

Many times, when people, here and elsewhere, argue against our current system of states with the power to tax and conscript, one of the arguments they use - and, often, the argument they present as the most telling - is the claim that for even a majority of voters to tax or conscript is morally wrong. As inherently and fundamentally wrong as theft, murder, or slavery.

When something is wrong in that sense, it is generally believed that one's only choice upon realizing that fact is to stop doing that. Right now. Because the only permissible stance in relation to the moral code of right and wrong is absolute, inflexible adherence. None of this new-fangled lily-livered situational ethics nonsense now.

So, my point is - perhaps - that if one is going to claim that taxation and conscription are inherently morally wrong, if it is also the case that "morally wrong" doesn't quite have the same force and effect in your worldview as it does in the common understanding, which has its roots in organized religion, it might be advisable to point that out.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 16, 2010, 11:01:08 am
the claim that for even a majority of voters to tax or conscript is morally wrong. As inherently and fundamentally wrong as theft, murder, or slavery.
For an anarchist, the claim is not quite that.  The claim is that taxation is theft (backed up by the threat of murder) and that conscription is slavery (backed up by the threat of murder).  For example, stripped to essentials, a modern tax collector says "For the glory of the state, give me money!  If you don't, you will be locked in a cage!  If you resist, you will be killed!"  (An old-time tax collector leaves out the "locked in a cage" bit.)

So, I would guess that a typical anarchist would not collect taxes or conscript people if there is almost any other alternative.  (Like anyone else, an anarchist might do something immoral if the alternative was something worse, such as being killed or having people tortured.)

if it is also the case that "morally wrong" doesn't quite have the same force and effect in your worldview as it does in the common understanding,
Actually, "morally wrong" has more force and effect in many anarchists' worldviews.  The common understanding could be expressed as "theft and murder and slavery are wrong, but we won't object if done by agents of the state."  Anarchists object to theft and murder and slavery regardless of the perpetrators.

Taxation and conscription are not nebulous clouds of badness--they are specific acts of aggressive violence.  So, if someone says "would you support the immediate abolition of the state?", the answer should depend on the details:  would the particular actions proposed lead to less aggressive violence, or to more aggressive violence?  For example, if the actions proposed would probably lead to the state immediately being reestablished, with the reestablishment requiring more taxation, then an anarchist is likely to oppose those actions.  But if the actions proposed would probably lead to the state being eliminated for the foreseeable future (with a corresponding massive reduction in aggressive violence) then an anarchist is likely to support those actions.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: dough560 on June 17, 2010, 02:04:08 am
The state doesn't prevent crime.  The perceived threat of criminal activity is used as justification for expansion of the state's powers.  The state actively classifies an expanding class of activities, as criminal acts, in order to expand their power.

Amateur and professional criminals go out of their way to avoid intended victims who are capable of effective resistance.  Occasionally, a failure in the selection process results in the criminal being forcibly retired. This is not the outcome desired by our criminal class.  They go out of their way to avoid injury.  They don't work under the stigma of a "Fair Fight", always seeking advantage....  Additionally certain types of criminals will organize, attempting to deter or prevent defensive actions.  The criminal class sees the police and security agencies as part of the price of doing business.  If caught during their activities with no hope of escape, a quick surrender limits their chance of injury and insures three hots and a cot, until they are able to return to their preferred lifestyle.

The state agents' criminal acts during Ruby Ridge and Waco are shining examples of the freedoms lost due to prohibitions of property (especially guns) and speech. 

Ruby Ridge resulted in a boy being shot in the back as he was running from the marshals, the father being shot in the back as he opened a shed where his son's body was stored.  The wife being shot in the head as she held a newborn in her arms and held open the cabin door as her husband ran for cover.

At Waco, the majority of the people died from poison gas, not fire.  Their bodies were burned after their deaths.  CS powder was pumped into a building with full knowledge the induced concentration would be deadly to unprotected people, especially children.  There was no children's protective gear at Waco.  The CS powder concentration was also subject to particulate explosion, resulting in flash fires.  Once exposed to open flame, CS Powder turns into Cyanide Gas.  (We used to execute criminals with cyanide gas.)  If the fire department had added water, before the CS/Cyanide had been consumed by the fire, it would have changed into Hydrogen Cyanide.  By the time the fire department responded and been permitted inside the perimeter, everyone who was exposed to the gas was dead.  This doesn't count the people who died when the buildings were strafed with machine-gun fire from an overflying helicopter, and from the initial ground assault.

I've researched everything I could about both incidents.  One thing was abundantly clear.  If I had managed similar incidents on a military base, in the manner the feds did.  I would have been in Leavenworth for the rest of my life, if not executed.

All of these people died due to an allegedly unpaid $200.00 Tax.  To date, no one has been able to verify a tax was even owed.  These incidents are the visible tip of the iceberg.  Please see my other posts regarding these and other incidents.


Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 17, 2010, 06:49:01 am
The largest class of organized criminals is the State itself. I do view the State as fundamentally immoral. The reason I do not hope for immediate abolition is that too many people would simply create a new version.

That's why I advocate a slower process: people taking responsibility for matters such as self-defense, education, financial safety nets. Politicians, in response to changing public opinion, will back off. People will resist the more egregious acts of theft and aggression by the State, in the same manner that we resist the actions of other criminals.

Resistance takes many forms. Note the low levels of compliance with the census snoops, for example; the rising number of home schoolers; the number of people who have armed themselves, regardless of whether they have permission from the organized criminals who call themselves the Government. Consider the many videos of those organized criminals in action. The veneer is being chipped away.
 


Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Rocketman on June 17, 2010, 10:51:39 am
...The veneer is being chipped away.
True, as far as it goes but you have to remember that they can see this as well and are determined to stop it.  Such measures include controlling the internet.  Putting laws in place that will prevent small organizations from speaking out against big government.  The California ballot law recently passed that will prevent 3rd parties from having any chance at the polls and trying to stomp on Fox news because they are starting to put pro libertarian people like Glen Beck, Judge Andrew Napolatono and John Stossel on.  This fight is not over by a long shot.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: dough560 on June 18, 2010, 01:27:54 am
Not so much a fight at this point, but spreading ideas and an ideal.  Political consequences....  Here's to a quiet revolution, such as we experienced over the last hundred years.  However I don't expect ours to take as long, and be more effective.

Two factors we have in our favor;  1.  Most people want to be left alone.  2. The average person is beginning to understand how the TransProgs are interfering with their lives.

While we have internet freedom, information spreads in a nonlinear fashion.  Not linearly, as it did when the big three controlled the information flow.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 18, 2010, 07:54:38 am
The internet is a powerful tool, but it is not the only tool. The former USSR collapsed due in no small part to "samizdat" - newsletters and cassette tapes passed hand-to-hand. In today's world, USB flash drives could easily travel even if the internet were shut down.

Even China is not able to completely censor the internet, and they have certainly tried; it is estimated that 2-5% of Chinese know how to "climb the wall" of censorship, and another 20% know and rely upon someone with those skills.

The idea of liberty has already become pandemic; it is being passed hand to hand, people in all walks of life are seeking to implement it directly. The political route to freedom was, if anything, a distraction - I speak as one who was a big-L Libertarian for over a decade. The State will wither away when we re-develop the institutions, customs, and habits needed to supplant the State.
 
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 18, 2010, 01:04:23 pm
I didn't realize I would have to spell out "short life expectancy" in such detail, but let's try it this way: Norman tries to rape a girl. Girl shoots Norman. Norman dies. If it does not happen with girl #1, it happens with girl #2 or girl #3. This is a consequence of living in a society where people take responsibility for defending themselves and the people they care about.

People like Norman succeed when they monopolize the supply of violence. This is a fundamental difference between anarchy and statism; if you don't understand it, stop, slow down, and think it through. In a statist society, the State monopolizes the use of violence, and people like Norman exploit that monopoly. In an anarchy, the use of violence ( but not violence itself ) is widely distributed. Girls - and boys - are armed and able to defend themselves against grave bodily harm, including rape.

If you don't see that, you're not thinking.
"monopolizing the the use of violence" is a rather tall order. Strictly speaking, it means that the aggressor has somehow managed to prevent anyone else from doing any violence whatever.
I'm going to assume that what you mean is, instead, that such aggressors rely upon an asymmetrical distribution of force; that is to say, they prey upon those they consider weaker than they.
In the given example, Norman has an entire infrastructure of force to use to enforce his will upon these young women. However, his use of this infrastructure seems to be predicated on his ability to keep his activities secret from his superiors (I stipulate that this last may be unusually easy if his superiors are not located on the Moon.)
In an anarchist society, such a person might still rise to the leadership of a gang or even such a thing as a "corporation", controlling vast assets outside the ken of the society within which it exists. The imbalance of power would be identical in such a case, and Norman might maintain his depredations as long as he can maintain secrecy from those who would stop him.
My objection to Norman's "short life span" initially was that I thought my interlocutor had assumed that Norman was so stupid that he would be unable to choose his victims according to the same basic criteria that today's inner-city muggers use. Upon further reading, I have gathered that this was not what was suggested. I apologize for the misapprehension.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 18, 2010, 01:11:09 pm
konehead and others with the same mind set.  Honest ignorance and open mind are always welcome.

An excellent way to develop libertarian views, is to spend a few years picking up the pieces, after the powers that be, deny individuals efficient means of self-defense.  It doesn't take long to realize the mess you're cleaning up, didn't have to happen and wouldn't have happened if the "Norman" hadn't been confident the intended victim is essentially helpless.   

Thought provoking reading material:  Heinlein, Norton and L. Niel Smith.  They've asked the question:  What If, as it applies to libertarian thought.  Why suggest materials based in science-fiction?  That's where views of the unborn society appear.  The society we're discussing is gestating.  It's arrival will occur in it's own time.  Said society will result from a desire for individual freedom and a rejection of TransProg ideals.

If you're not sure about ethics of self-defense I suggest Massad Ayoob's "The Truth About Self-Defense" and "In Gravest Extreme".  Review of actual cases:  "The Ayoob Files" and "Thank God I had A Gun".  Paxton Quigley's, "Armed and Female",  would be a good start.

If you don't already understand the difference and definitions of "Community", "Family", "Society", and "State", and "Statist".  Get a dictionary and a life..  You may get your jollies posing improbable scenarios.  So far you've just been another "individual" out to prove your superiority and the superiority of your beliefs.  Boring.

In the postulated society we are discussing, your beliefs and the probable rejection of same by this society's population and your probable reaction would have a predictable result.

You have been responsible enough to make your "Final Arrangements".  Haven't You?

Are you threatening me? If so, why?
What assertions have I made in this thread that bother you? I have mostly only asked questions, and attempted to clarify things I did not at first understand.
I have many dictionaries. Ofttimes they differ in specific definitions. I have a scientific background, so definitions are important. I am not and have not been "out to prove" anything. What makes you say so?

I have read all of Robert A. Heinlein's published works. Norton is a fairly common name, so I don't know to which author you refer. As for the others, I lost interest as soon as you started coming across as Internet Tough Guy and patronizing me as though you were my intellectual superior. I will take a certain amount of that from Mr Sandfort since he has at least published something. I see no reason to take it from you.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 18, 2010, 01:55:54 pm


 I advocate a slower process: people taking responsibility for matters such as self-defense, education, financial safety nets. Politicians, in response to changing public opinion, will back off. People will resist the more egregious acts of theft and aggression by the State, in the same manner that we resist the actions of other criminals.


I fully endorse this statement.
I believe that personal responsibility is the only way in which an anarchic society can work; I spend a great deal of my time working with those who are making the tools which will give power to individuals *while requiring them to understand the problem domain*. It's very important to me that people use certain tools (such as firearms, or machine tools, or packet-switched networks) only and always with an understanding of what they are doing.
In my opinion, a working knowledge of such tools constitutes adulthood. Only those who understand the use of such tools should be considered adults.
Again, this is my opinion. I don't expect my opinion to control or to influence others. I only ask that folks consider such things on their own merit.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 18, 2010, 02:01:29 pm
...The veneer is being chipped away.
True, as far as it goes but you have to remember that they can see this as well and are determined to stop it.  Such measures include controlling the internet.  Putting laws in place that will prevent small organizations from speaking out against big government.  The California ballot law recently passed that will prevent 3rd parties from having any chance at the polls and trying to stomp on Fox news because they are starting to put pro libertarian people like Glen Beck, Judge Andrew Napolatono and John Stossel on.  This fight is not over by a long shot.

As far as the control of the Internet is concerned, the best tool I have found for opposing the gatekeepers is the various Personal Telco Projects (there are many of these centered round various municipal areas- the name I have used comes from Portland, OR).
These are community - owned, decentralized wireless mesh networks. Some connect to the wired Internet (which is fundamentally subject to gate-keeping due to its wired nature) and some do not. All 802.11x based networks are capable of interoperability, so we need not depend on the existing Internet to connect them.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 18, 2010, 02:20:28 pm


One would hope that the male individual in question would have soul enough to not accept the womans offer and would attempt first to feed her, get her healthy and assist her in becoming independent. If she has a desire to accept money for sex the man in question would take a percentage of her earnings over a set period of time to recoup his investment. That's anarcho-capitalism.

Quote
The question is, under the Ceres system, has the man done anything wrong? In a purely contractual sense, the man could argue that he was merely trying to take what he'd been promised -- which doesn't change that something horrible and morally repugnant just took place. So why wouldn't a Norman feel just as much at home on Ceres as he would on Terra?

* I apologize if I offend anyone with this example. I'm posing a counter-example to the comic's storyline at the time of this writing, which is in essence about an attempted rape.
[quote\]

The difference is that Norman was threatening both Robin and the blond girl with "horrible things" if they didn't put out. If he tried that on Ceres the girls could just leave and let it be known that Norman's a dangerous pervert. All bets were off when Robin said "NO" and he threatened to have her "spaced" if she injured him. The Moon being the Harsh Mistress she is, Norman got what he deserved.

Anarchy is not government. Centuries of social canalization has left you with the deep mindset of having to be told what to do and what not to do. In an anarchy all you really need is a simple understanding of what's right or wrong. Most of us know right from wrong and the concept of what is fair or unfair at about 6 years of age. A truly free individual knows this without question.

This is an excellent answer, as long as the lady involved is not so desperate (i.e., dying of thirst or extreme hunger or (somehow) oxygen deprivation) as to be effectively "forced" to take the first offer that comes along. (Sure a drowning woman will grasp any straw!)
As you point out, an anarcho-capitalist male (I would submit that this is true of *any* anarchist, 'left' or 'right', male or female, who took sufficient thought to determine their best interest) would nurture the affected person (yes, it's a lady in the example, but I think it would be valid regardless of gender) until such person  was able to return value back into the system.
This is because I think that a functional anarch must necessarily act from not only its own self interest (though this must not be neglected) but the interest of its external support system, whether this be a society or a system of machinery.
In the case of the EFT storyline, value is available to those who would pay for the young woman's meal in the form of the story she tells. It need not be true, just so long as it's worth the price of a meal to them. If her true story is interesting, then it is in her interest to tell the truth. If her story is interesting, truthful, and pitiful, then it may well be worth the efforts of many skilled people to help it to a satisfactory conclusion- as long as no one person has to work too hard to effect it.
This last ignores the possible future productivity of the young lady in question to the community involved, which is essentially a gamble, albeit an unusually transparent one with unusually favorable odds.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 18, 2010, 02:27:55 pm
Pretty good legal analysis. My guess, though, is that you are not a lawyer... yet. Are you a law student, a well-read layman or a fallen-away lawyer? My sense of it is that you are not a practicing lawyer.

I'm a Software Engineer by trade, and a Philosopher by avocation; I have no formal legal training.  I have considered pursuing it, but looking at all the nonsense that in US Jurisprudence, I quickly realized that it would frustrate me far too much. I would also object at having to swear allegiance to a government court.

I have been mistaken for a lawyer before, and in any situation where it is important, I prepend a disclaimer.  I didn't do so here since we aren't talking about any concrete legal system.

I am guessing, on no evidence, that you also have no formal training as a Philosopher.
Fortunately, I think that no such formal training is available any more. What could be worse for the development of a Philosopher than formal training in that "field"?
I am curious, and if you can tell us, I would like to know which software you have made happen. I understand that you may be restrained by certain legal agreements from divulging this. I do not wish to make any trouble for you in order to satisfy my curiosity.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 18, 2010, 03:07:18 pm
I'm a [...] Philosopher by avocation [...]

I am guessing, on no evidence, that you also have no formal training as a Philosopher.
Fortunately, I think that no such formal training is available any more. What could be worse for the development of a Philosopher than formal training in that "field"?

I have a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics; that could certainly be considered formal training in Philosophy (I've found very few (published) Philosophers without a background in Mathematics (and possess what is sometimes referred to as "Mathematical maturity") whose arguments could not easily be punctured.

Beyond that, I am pretty much self-generated.  I have always tended to avoid reading a given Philosopher's work (other than perhaps to pick up some terminology) until I have addressed the topic in question first and independently.  Then I can approach the work as an equal, not as a follower.  This leads to "doing Philosophy" as opposed to "studying Philosophy".  I suspect that is what you are picking up.

Quote
I am curious, and if you can tell us, I would like to know which software you have made happen. I understand that you may be restrained by certain legal agreements from divulging this. I do not wish to make any trouble for you in order to satisfy my curiosity.

Most of the software I have worked on few have ever heard of.  It's software used mostly to build other software; libraries, frameworks, DBMS software, and a bit of OS work.  The only work that folks might have heard of is DataBlitz, a DBMS that runs (almost) entirely in memory (the exception is that redo logs and checkpoints must be written to disk to ensure persistence), which was based on the Dali DBMS research prototype; both were done at Bell Labs back in the '90's.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: koanhead on June 18, 2010, 03:20:41 pm
I'm a [...] Philosopher by avocation [...]

I am guessing, on no evidence, that you also have no formal training as a Philosopher.
Fortunately, I think that no such formal training is available any more. What could be worse for the development of a Philosopher than formal training in that "field"?

I have a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics; that could certainly be considered formal training in Philosophy (I've found very few (published) Philosophers without a background in Mathematics (and possess what is sometimes referred to as "Mathematical maturity") whose arguments could not easily be punctured.
I can think of a great many so-called philosophers off the top of my head with little or no mathematical background.
I will not mention them because I have little or no interest in philosophical arguments which are not grounded in mathematical logic *at minimum*.
[/quote]

Beyond that, I am pretty much self-generated.  I have always tended to avoid reading a given Philosopher's work (other than perhaps to pick up some terminology) until I have addressed the topic in question first and independently.  Then I can approach the work as an equal, not as a follower.  This leads to "doing Philosophy" as opposed to "studying Philosophy".  I suspect that is what you are picking up.
[/quote]

Yes, although I think I failed to express myself adequately.
Philosophy, in my opinion, needs must be explored, and cannot truly be taught.

Quote
I am curious, and if you can tell us, I would like to know which software you have made happen. I understand that you may be restrained by certain legal agreements from divulging this. I do not wish to make any trouble for you in order to satisfy my curiosity.
Quote
Most of the software I have worked on few have ever heard of.  It's software used mostly to build other software; libraries, frameworks, DBMS software, and a bit of OS work.  The only work that folks might have heard of is DataBlitz, a DBMS that runs (almost) entirely in memory (the exception is that redo logs and checkpoints must be written to disk to ensure persistence), which was based on the Dali DBMS research prototype; both were done at Bell Labs back in the '90's.
Thanks- I have heard of DataBlitz, but have not had opportunity to look into it until now. It sounds interesting, and you have given me something to check out tomorrow when work is slow.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: Brugle on June 18, 2010, 05:46:34 pm
...
People like Norman succeed when they monopolize the supply of violence. ...
"monopolizing the the use of violence" is a rather tall order. Strictly speaking, it means that the aggressor has somehow managed to prevent anyone else from doing any violence whatever.
I'm going to assume that what you mean is, instead, that such aggressors rely upon an asymmetrical distribution of force; that is to say, they prey upon those they consider weaker than they.
While I can't speak for terry_freeman, I don't think that's right.

What I (and I think most of us here) object to is aggressive violence (including threats of aggressive violence).  Defensive violence is morally OK, although sometimes not wise.  A state is an institution that is generally considered to have a monopoly on the legitimate use of aggressive violence.  For example, where I live, a government agent saying "give me $2000 in taxes or I will lock you in a cage or kill you" might be considered legitimate, but someone who is not a government agent saying "give me $2000 protection money or I will lock you in a cage or kill you" would not be considered legitimate.  Some of us do not consider any use of aggressive violence to be legitimate, but we are greatly outnumbered.

In many places, government claims to monopolize the legitimate use of all violence (including defensive violence), as terry_freeman indicated.  But since forbidding the use of defensive violence is aggressive violence (at least for those who consider self-defense to be a right), that's just another example of state behavior.

In the given example, Norman has an entire infrastructure of force to use to enforce his will upon these young women. However, his use of this infrastructure seems to be predicated on his ability to keep his activities secret from his superiors (I stipulate that this last may be unusually easy if his superiors are not located on the Moon.)
While that might be true, I don't see any reason to assume that it is.  It may be that his superiors know about and encourage that sort of behavior so they can profit from it in some way.  If I had to, I'd guess something in between: Norman's superiors know (or suspect) and disapprove, but as long as it isn't officially brought to their attention they tolerate it.  Of course, it doesn't make any difference to the story (unless there are other people involved that we don't know about).

In an anarchist society, such a person might still rise to the leadership of a gang or even such a thing as a "corporation", controlling vast assets outside the ken of the society within which it exists. The imbalance of power would be identical in such a case, and Norman might maintain his depredations as long as he can maintain secrecy from those who would stop him.
Sure it is possible, but very unlikely.  In an anarchist society, any aggressive violence immediately causes the perpetrator to be considered a criminal.  "I was following orders" is not an excuse; "He gave me lip" is not an excuse; "I wear a funny hat and a badge" is not an excuse.  For most people, the decision to become a criminal would be difficult.

If enough people join a criminal gang, any society (including an anarchy) will have problems.  However, anarchy has the advantage that calling a criminal gang "the state" won't make its criminality easier--if the people are educated it would probably make its criminality more difficult.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: quadibloc on June 18, 2010, 07:10:00 pm
"monopolizing the the use of violence" is a rather tall order. Strictly speaking, it means that the aggressor has somehow managed to prevent anyone else from doing any violence whatever.
The way I understand what was said in that context was simply this: in a society where only police and soldiers can legally own guns, criminals who have illegal guns have a great amount of power to threaten and intimidate normal law-abiding citizens.

So, where people aren't used to defending themselves, and might face serious criminal charges if they attempt to defend themselves, and are denied the means of defending themselves - criminals who have no particular connection to the state still have an advantage they can exploit.
Title: Re: Okay... so here's what I don't get...
Post by: terry_freeman on June 18, 2010, 10:13:12 pm
Today's inner-city muggers - in places such as Chicago and Los Angeles - can safely assume that their intended victims are unarmed. This is not true in, for example, Florida, which experienced a sharp drop in rapes after women were encouraged to train in the use of firearms to defend themselves.

In an anarchistic society such as Ceres, most gals would be packing heat. The story line posits Norman where - on the streets? In a factory? No - in a prison - an environment devised by the global government, where the victims, AKA prisoners, are disarmed.

If you think that such an artificial environment, created by the government, is closer to an anarchic society than the streets of Florida, where many would-be rapists have learned to leave women alone, you are going to have to enlighten me as to why this is so. It doesn't get any more asymmetrical than "Put all your belongings in this box, including any weapons" and "if you in any way harm one of our Most Important and Sacred Guards and Wardens, you will be punished, and they will not."