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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: SandySandfort on February 15, 2011, 08:58:34 am

Title: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: SandySandfort on February 15, 2011, 08:58:34 am
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago and most everything fell into place. This video is a cogent synopsis of the books premise. For those of you who hate "capitalism," you will enjoy it. For those of you who understand capitalism, you should enjoy it to:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/1036.html
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 15, 2011, 09:56:26 am
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago and most everything fell into place. This video is a cogent synopsis of the books premise. For those of you who hate "capitalism," you will enjoy it. For those of you who understand capitalism, you should enjoy it to:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/1036.html

Y'know Sandy, you could just tell me.  You dont have to say "those of you".

I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.

Do you know why the government started trust-busting?  Because the free market anarchy had gotten out of hand and was not self-correcting.

I know why *you* think the govt got involved, but we're talking history not paranoid delusions of the militia variety.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 15, 2011, 10:02:41 am
I know why *you* think the govt got involved, but we're talking history not paranoid delusions of the militia variety.

You should be more respectfull, because you are the one lagging on the fact side.

I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.

Wrong facts read some history, some ''Barons'' got their wealth by genuine work others had Daddies to get subsidies and Handouts.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 15, 2011, 10:52:21 am

I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.

No, it wasn't. There has been government intervention as long as there has been government. At least back to the neolithic.

Quote
Do you know why the government started trust-busting?  Because the free market anarchy had gotten out of hand and was not self-correcting.

Just like the government hands out tobacco subsidies and then tries to get people to stop smoking, it was playing both sides of that one too.

It's hard to build a system that can't get into some stable balance you don't like. Fishponds tend to eventually get full of lots of small bluegills or lots of small bass. Governments tend to get full of bureaucrats who demand small bribes to do the paperwork you need them to do that is supposed to be done for free. Economic systems in general tend to eventually get pwned  by winners who own pretty much everything and who dole out jobs etc stingily and by whim.

OK, that's life. Things tend to fall apart. What do you do about it? Sometimes you can fix it up. You can drain the fishpond and restock it, and it will go awhile before it has to be drained again. Sometimes it's slow and risky to change the system. "In Soviet Russia the fishpond drains you." I don't think we can depend on corrupt bureaucrats to ride herd on corrupt capitalists. That's something which can work sometimes and fail sometimes, and when it fails the system is more stable than when it succeeds.

We need some other method, and you won't get very far arguing with AnCaps that the system won't take care of itself until you have a candidate proposal for a better alternative.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 15, 2011, 12:13:22 pm
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago
Do you mean Confessions of an Economic Hit Man?  As I recall (from reading it a few years back), there wasn't anything very surprising but it had lots of interesting details.

According to Amazon, John Perkins has written 3 more books with either "Economic Hit Man" or "Economic Hit Men" in the title or subtitle.  I suppose one of them might be even better, but I haven't read them.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 15, 2011, 12:16:05 pm
Good one Sandy, thanks

The site mentioned War is a Racket by Gen. Smedley Butler, a retired Marine with 2 Medals of Honor. Maybe he knew his stuff

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

And then there's this guy, Mr. David Crockett, talking about government handouts.

http://www.constitution.org/cons/crockett.htm



Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: SandySandfort on February 15, 2011, 12:34:24 pm
I read The Economic Hitman a few years ago
Do you mean Confessions of an Economic Hit Man?  As I recall (from reading it a few years back), there wasn't anything very surprising but it had lots of interesting details.

Yes, my bad.  Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 15, 2011, 12:50:22 pm
As I recall from a 20 year old ecconomics class, incorporation is one of 3 ways to organize a business, along with partnership and sole propriatorship. It has the advantages of many owners with limited liability and less risk to each and a potentially huge financial resource base. This can let it get huge though most corporations are mom and pop scale tax dodges.

Where did it go wrong, become so malignant?

Confused here because I am naturally well disposed towards business in general and have a hard time with the stated evil of the DuPont end of the scale.  Is it the ability to apply so much political/ecconomic power? 

Confused.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 15, 2011, 02:33:31 pm
It certainly is true that we make loans to corrupt dictators, and instead of holding the dictators responsible, we hold the country responsible.

Responsible opposition to this would consist of opposing just this injustice, ensuring that our dealings with poor countries are helpful instead of harmful to the people there. And, of course, recognizing the principle that, yes, we still have to deal with the existing governments as they are, if we aren't going to overthrow them.

But without going to the extreme of claiming that the United States is evil and exploits the poor people of the world. Some reforms to the IMF and the World Bank may be needed. But it's still the United States that leads humanity to the future, and its enemies that wish to destroy the world.

Basically, the picture shown by that video takes the past misbehavior of the U.S. in a few places like Guatemala, and generalizes it to the whole Third World. I'm sorry, but people aren't dying of thirst in Sa'udi Arabia because Coca-Cola took all their water away. Or Nestle poisoned their infant formula or something.

Even the Shining Path isn't made up of "desperate people" - they may have started to grow initially by exploiting a few desperate people, but it's largely evil people that made it what it is.

This is a distorted oversimplification aimed at encouraging hatred of the bastion of freedom. It serves, therefore, the cause of slavery, not the cause of freedom or of truth.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 15, 2011, 03:20:35 pm
Quote
Even the Shining Path isn't made up of "desperate people" - they may have started to grow initially by exploiting a few desperate people, but it's largely evil people that made it what it is.

How do you know the Shining Path people?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 15, 2011, 04:14:01 pm
[
I dont hate capitalism; without it, how would I make a living?  But I'm not sure I would like the "AnCap" version of capitalism.  Hasnt that been tried before?  I think they called it Laissez-Faire.  Or The Gilded Age,  or The Age of the Robber Baron.
And this was before government intervention.
You sure do like to parade your ignorance as if it were fact, do you not? Do you think that nobody in your audience is educated enough to know the difference?

The "Robber Barons" of whom you speak were sucking at the taxpayer teats. One of the great projects of that age was the building of "the" transcontinental railroad, at taxpayer expense. I put "the" in quotes because another, much lesser-known transcontinental railroad was built at about the same time, without taxpayer subsidies, government bonds, and eminent domain.

Guess what? The government-sponsored project attracted thieves and scoundrels as manure draws flies. These were the "Robber Barons" of whom you speak - not a product of Laissez Faire, but of mercantilism/cronyism/fascism/socialism - pick a name, they're all flavors of state-sponsored violence being used to enrich the favored few.

Meanwhile, James Hill, who built the other transcontinental railroad, did not use eminent domain, did not suck at the taxpayer teats, and built a profitable railroad. The government-sponsored railroad managed to lose money, just as today's Amtrak does.

Quote


Do you know why the government started trust-busting?  Because the free market anarchy had gotten out of hand and was not self-correcting.

Once again, the paranoid ravings of the ill-informed. Attempts to create trusts collapsed of their own weight. So-called "regulations" were created to stabilize cartels. Even trust-busting was a device used by some large corporations to defend against any possible encroachment. You witnessed a war among titans who were all dependent upon government support, and you believed it was a war of government against business.

If you are that gullible and uninformed, you probably believe that studio wrestling is authentic.

Ignorance is curable, but you have to want the cure.

Have a gander at, among other sources,
The Myth of the Robber Barons by Burton W. Folsom.

In more recent times, many of us remember the breakup of Ma Bell. What most of us are not old enough to know from first-hand experience is that Ma Bell was a creation of government privilege. When Bell's patents expired after 17 years, a thousand competitors sprang up. Ma Bell promoted a bullshit theory of "natural monopoly" in order to convince governments to grant monopolies to Ma Bell, supposedly for the benefit of the consumers.

Many years later, the Justice Department finally ordered the breakup of a monopoly which was created by and sustained by government force, not by the market itself.

Compare and contrast with the market for ISPs, which is much more competitive. This too is only partly market-driven, since many of the players - cable and phone companies - still have government-issue grants of monopoly. If you are not in an area where Verizon is allowed by the government to offer FIOS service, and you want it, you are just plumb out of luck. Same with your cable provider; if your government awarded the contract to Comcast, and you prefer Time Warner, or vice versa, tough titty, you don't get to make that choice. Fortunately, some competition is still permitted by our <sarcasm>Wise and Benevolent </sarcasm> Government in the area of cell phone and satellite services.

 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: SandySandfort on February 15, 2011, 04:26:30 pm
... But it's still the United States that leads humanity to the future, and its enemies that wish to destroy the world.

Balderdash. The "United States" (i.e., the governing state of states) is just as evil any other government. America, on the other hand, is who "leads humanity to the future..." Do you understand the distinction?

Basically, the picture shown by that video takes the past misbehavior of the U.S. in a few places like Guatemala, and generalizes it to the whole Third World. I'm sorry, but people aren't dying of thirst in Sa'udi Arabia because Coca-Cola took all their water away. Or Nestle poisoned their infant formula or something.

First, for crying out loud. It's a two minute precis of the issue.
 
Second, read the damned book and get a clue. ("Bastion," my pink posterior!)

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 15, 2011, 04:39:16 pm
As I recall from a 20 year old ecconomics class, incorporation is one of 3 ways to organize a business, along with partnership and sole propriatorship. It has the advantages of many owners with limited liability and less risk to each and a potentially huge financial resource base. This can let it get huge though most corporations are mom and pop scale tax dodges.

Where did it go wrong, become so malignant?

Confused here because I am naturally well disposed towards business in general and have a hard time with the stated evil of the DuPont end of the scale.  Is it the ability to apply so much political/ecconomic power? 

Confused.

The Myth of the Robber Barons would be a great place to start. The author examines a number of large corporations, of two different categories. One is the "political entrepreneurs", who use the government to their advantage. An example would be the greedy, corrupt, and incompetent people who got the government to underwrite "the" transcontinental railroad. Another example would be Ma Bell.

The other category would be those, like James Hill, who avoided entanglement with the government, and simply strove to deliver an honest product at an honest price.

Some corporations have given in to temptation and moved from the market-driven to politics-driven sector.

War is a Racket is about a whole industry sector which is driven much more by politics than by voluntary market transactions.

The financial sector, by and large, is very heavily dominated by politics, not by voluntary market transactions - especially since the creation of the Federal Reserve, but that was not the first example of political corruption in the United States, by far.

Indeed, Jesus Huerta de Soto, Murray Rothbard, and others make the case that fractional reserve banking is itself a fraud, a kind of politicization of money, which governments permit in order to stuff their own coffers with "elastic" currency - a process which began hundreds of years ago, and which accelerated greatly in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve, in 1934 with the confiscation of private gold in America, and in 1971 with the closing of the "gold window."

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 15, 2011, 10:13:38 pm
Guess what? The government-sponsored project attracted thieves and scoundrels as manure draws flies. These were the "Robber Barons" of whom you speak - not a product of Laissez Faire, but of mercantilism/cronyism/fascism/socialism - pick a name, they're all flavors of state-sponsored violence being used to enrich the favored few.

Meanwhile, James Hill, who built the other transcontinental railroad, did not use eminent domain, did not suck at the taxpayer teats, and built a profitable railroad. The government-sponsored railroad managed to lose money, just as today's Amtrak does.


Is sale of Bonds objectionable?

Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 16, 2011, 07:38:32 am
Is sale of Bonds objectionable?

Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482

If the sale of the bonds is guaranteed by the Tax payers, ie whether the train exist or not, make a profit or go on empty, the tax payers will foot the bill to pay ''investors''.

This is why the sale of bonds is objectionable and I nothing more than making it easy for politicians to raise money without the trouble of raising tax now.

Private companies and individuals could sell bonds on their ventures, but any one putting their money into it would do it willingly knowing the risk
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 16, 2011, 08:08:44 am
Is sale of Bonds objectionable?

Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482

If the sale of the bonds is guaranteed by the Tax payers, ie whether the train exist or not, make a profit or go on empty, the tax payers will foot the bill to pay ''investors''.

This is why the sale of bonds is objectionable and I nothing more than making it easy for politicians to raise money without the trouble of raising tax now.

Private companies and individuals could sell bonds on their ventures, but any one putting their money into it would do it willingly knowing the risk

Yes, Sam is correct; these were tax-funded bonds. In addition, the railroads were given huge land grants. Furthermore, railroads were paid by the mile to construct the road, so they had an incentive to make it longer than it needed to be. There is a long history of corruption on government-sponsored projects.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 16, 2011, 09:10:45 am
Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482

Actually, Lincoln picked Council Bluffs, Iowa (across the river from Omaha) to be the eastern terminus.
http://cprr.org/Museum/Lincoln_1864.html
Does it surprise anyone that before doing that, Lincoln bought land in Council Bluffs, Iowa?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 11:33:15 am

Private companies and individuals could sell bonds on their ventures, but any one putting their money into it would do it willingly knowing the risk

I had supposed that was what Plane was talking about. Buy a bond and you get a cap on your possible income, but surely nobody would hold you responsible for what somebody else does with your money, right? You assumed they would only do good things with it, based on what they said they would do when they sold you the bond.

I could imagine that there might still be a degree of judgement involved.

Like, say somebody wants to start a mercenary company, and you think they'll  make money so you buy their bonds. Then after they're all equipped they go out and rob a bank, and then start a series of hit-and-run strikes against various entities who have gold etc. It wasn't your fault! You couldn't have known they'd do that. And if somebody anonymously gives you more than enough gold to pay off the bonds, that's your money and nobody else has any say in it, right?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 16, 2011, 11:41:02 am
Railroad, quality of,

Being paid by the mile laid, they ran the track in long lazy curves along the flat eastern end then cut corners on bridges in the bumpy western end. Not nice.

I ride Hill's free market rail line every year or 2 between Seattle and Chicago and think of him as I do. Just to pick a feature, he used treated high quality wood for his ties, the government sponsored people used green cottonwood if they could get it cheap. It rotted, spikes fell out, rails moved and the trains got broken. Not nice either.

But don't worry, the feds NEVER subsidizes business these days. :)
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 16, 2011, 12:36:56 pm
You assumed they would only do good things with it, based on what they said they would do when they sold you the bond.

I could imagine that there might still be a degree of judgement involved.

Nope there isn't any, the bond/Stock holder have a contract with the bond issuer, unless the contract include killing kittens or robbing banks, the holder is not accountable.

After all he gave ressource under contract to the issuer and not for them ''make good things for you'', but give you a return.

If the issuer goes on a Dr Evil rampage, he alone is responsible for it and will pay for it. If the rampage was done with your assets, then they might be used to cover damage.

I don't see why the bond holders should be held accountable unless the contract is explicit about robery and rampage at which point you are guilty
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 02:29:19 pm
You assumed they would only do good things with it, based on what they said they would do when they sold you the bond.

I could imagine that there might still be a degree of judgement involved.

Nope there isn't any, the bond/Stock holder have a contract with the bond issuer, unless the contract include killing kittens or robbing banks, the holder is not accountable.

That's how it is. How should it be in an AnCap society with arbitration?

If there's strong reason to suspect that the bond holder is actually complicit, then is it worth investigating that?

Say for example that the bondholder is actually the one who planned things and he got some poor guy to officially take responsibility, isn't it better to actually catch the perp if somehow it's provable?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 16, 2011, 02:46:55 pm
That's how it is. How should it be in an AnCap society with arbitration?

I suspect it would heavily rely on contract terms and personal responsibility.

If there's strong reason to suspect that the bond holder is actually complicit, then is it worth investigating that?

I believe there is nothing holding back investigation during an arbitration.

Say for example that the bondholder is actually the one who planned things and he got some poor guy to officially take responsibility, isn't it better to actually catch the perp if somehow it's provable?

You mean the poor guy is paid to held any civil responsibility and damage of the enterprise ?

I wouldn't cry if such a person get creamed on arbitration, he knew what he was expected.

The question of whether you go against bond holder who is ''Dr Evil'' behind the scenes depends exactly on making the connection between the two.

But random person who buy bond under contract to have a return on perfectly legal operation is not accountable, especially if is contract is limited and the company advertise it.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 03:37:53 pm

Say for example that the bondholder is actually the one who planned things and he got some poor guy to officially take responsibility, isn't it better to actually catch the perp if somehow it's provable?

You mean the poor guy is paid to held any civil responsibility and damage of the enterprise ?

I wouldn't cry if such a person get creamed on arbitration, he knew what he was expected.

Sure. But is it right for him to be the ablation shield for the real perp?

Quote
The question of whether you go against bond holder who is ''Dr Evil'' behind the scenes depends exactly on making the connection between the two.

But random person who buy bond under contract to have a return on perfectly legal operation is not accountable, especially if is contract is limited and the company advertise it.

Sounds good to me. If you're one of hundreds or thousands of people who put some money into "corporate" bonds, and you had no particular reason to think the company was going to do anything awful, you might not be at the top of the list to get your money back from them but why should you be liable for any more than that?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 16, 2011, 03:53:23 pm
Sure. But is it right for him to be the ablation shield for the real perp?

I think there is a difference between willing accomplice and innocent human-shield, being paid to serve has someone else legal liability insurance doesn't diminish one participation into a criminal schemes.

Sure you might ask how an AnCap society will protect some one who betray the ''insurance'' agreement ... well if the dude accepted to be with criminals he knew what was coming.

Secondly I don't see a corporate entity being used for criminal endeavour with a lot of small investors ... I mean why not just run away with the money to begin with ?

I can accept a Dr Evil financing a bunch of criminals and holding them accountable because he have more power over them. Having stocks in Crime Inc has you have in Coca-Cola inc is unlikely, because wolf and sheep can't vote on what to have for dinner
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 12:01:16 pm
As I recall from a 20 year old ecconomics class, incorporation is one of 3 ways to organize a business, along with partnership and sole propriatorship. It has the advantages of many owners with limited liability and less risk to each and a potentially huge financial resource base. This can let it get huge though most corporations are mom and pop scale tax dodges.

Where did it go wrong, become so malignant?

Confused here because I am naturally well disposed towards business in general and have a hard time with the stated evil of the DuPont end of the scale.  Is it the ability to apply so much political/ecconomic power? 

Confused.

Generally? It's greed and removing the ability of others to stick their nose in peoples business.
Corporations don't have to say much about what they plan to do or what their high level meetings discuss. Many can get away with nobody even asking who their leaders are with them instead trumpeting a puppet CEO. Investors can dictate the actions of a company without being revealed.

The reason smaller businesses tended to not be as dickish was because other people kept looking in. Meddlers meddled.
If they did get caught doing something then the consequences were immediate and personal.
A big company however can get away with anything and all it has to do is throw some poor puppet to the wolves and appoint a new one. You'll never have a shortage of people who will be happy to take a few million each year in exchange for being the fall guy if something bad happens.

Look at my country. The UK. Our government is built on the premise of getting too many people who all hate each other involved. We formed parliament to get in the monarchs business and butt heads with him, we formed the lords to get in parliaments business and piss them off, we brought back the monarch to get in both parliament and the lords business. We built our system in a way that kept corruption to a manageable level by simply making it too expensive and dangerous to do. Are there drawbacks? You bet. But it works well enough for us.

The USA has a system of centralising power. They put too much in the hands of too few or they put it in the hands of a majority who agree with each other whereas we put it in the hands of a majority who are at each others throats.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on February 17, 2011, 02:13:50 pm

The USA has a system of centralising power. They put too much in the hands of too few or they put it in the hands of a majority who agree with each other whereas we put it in the hands of a majority who are at each others throats.

I'm not going to try to argue how well the British system works, but a quick study of how the U.S. government is organized into three branches and a quick look at "separation of powers", plus the concept of federalism should be enough to show that it is clearly not designed or intended to be a system of centralizing power.    I'd certainly agree that it's messed up and out of balance, but that's really a different kind of point.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 02:27:32 pm

The USA has a system of centralising power. They put too much in the hands of too few or they put it in the hands of a majority who agree with each other whereas we put it in the hands of a majority who are at each others throats.

I'm not going to try to argue how well the British system works, but a quick study of how the U.S. government is organized into three branches and a quick look at "separation of powers", plus the concept of federalism should be enough to show that it is clearly not designed or intended to be a system of centralizing power.    I'd certainly agree that it's messed up and out of balance, but that's really a different kind of point.


Well yes and no.
You have some division but it's not great.
You focus a lot into the office of President. More than we do in any one place. He also isn't beholden to his party in the same way our leaders our. The best way I've ever seen is put is: The USA elects the individual, Britain elects the party.

Your political theatre is also more of a farce. A lot of your politicians actually hold the same overall beliefs just with a few meaningless differences. Oh sure they'll say anything to get elected (a lot like the Lib Dems, dohohoho) but once they're in office? They tend to follow the same patterns. Here on the other hand for better or worse our parties tend to stick to their message. As was the case with Labour where it was a definite worse.

Finally the Lords and Senate can be compared but the key difference here is that both parliament and the monarch try to come to an agreement on new members of the Lords who then hold the position for life (or in the case of the lords spiritual as long as they hold their position within the church). They effectively exist beyond the scope of individual governments meaning you get a mix of viewpoints some of which very old while others are newer. In the case of the Senate what is it that is the maximum? Six years as I recall?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 17, 2011, 04:45:34 pm
Finally the Lords and Senate can be compared but the key difference here is that both parliament and the monarch try to come to an agreement on new members of the Lords who then hold the position for life (or in the case of the lords spiritual as long as they hold their position within the church). They effectively exist beyond the scope of individual governments meaning you get a mix of viewpoints some of which very old while others are newer. In the case of the Senate what is it that is the maximum? Six years as I recall?
The House of Lords is like Canada's Senate - it has no legitimacy, and thus for it to overrule the Commons is normally seen as undemocratic. So it very seldom happens.

The U.S. Senate is elected, so it is a full participant in whether or not any bill is passed.

As well, although each Senate member goes up for re-election in six years, this does not mean that there is no "mix of views" - that one party would sweep in along with a new President with perhaps a delay of a few years. This is because of the American committee system.

Government spending is largely controlled by committees, and appointment to them is done by seniority. As a result, districts (as well as states - so this applies even to the House of Representatives) will tend to keep re-electing their incumbent representatives, regardless of their politics... so as to keep defense plants and the like located in their area.

Thus, if anything, the weakness of the U.S. political system is the opposite of the one you advance. Instead of one party sweeping into power with a new election, individual representatives will hold on to power regardless of their merits or the merits of their policies for an inordinate time.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 17, 2011, 05:47:44 pm
I like it,
a Canadian moderating a political dispute between a brit and the yanks.

One big happy family. :D :D :D
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 06:01:32 pm
Finally the Lords and Senate can be compared but the key difference here is that both parliament and the monarch try to come to an agreement on new members of the Lords who then hold the position for life (or in the case of the lords spiritual as long as they hold their position within the church). They effectively exist beyond the scope of individual governments meaning you get a mix of viewpoints some of which very old while others are newer. In the case of the Senate what is it that is the maximum? Six years as I recall?
The House of Lords is like Canada's Senate - it has no legitimacy, and thus for it to overrule the Commons is normally seen as undemocratic. So it very seldom happens.

The U.S. Senate is elected, so it is a full participant in whether or not any bill is passed.

As well, although each Senate member goes up for re-election in six years, this does not mean that there is no "mix of views" - that one party would sweep in along with a new President with perhaps a delay of a few years. This is because of the American committee system.

Government spending is largely controlled by committees, and appointment to them is done by seniority. As a result, districts (as well as states - so this applies even to the House of Representatives) will tend to keep re-electing their incumbent representatives, regardless of their politics... so as to keep defense plants and the like located in their area.

Thus, if anything, the weakness of the U.S. political system is the opposite of the one you advance. Instead of one party sweeping into power with a new election, individual representatives will hold on to power regardless of their merits or the merits of their policies for an inordinate time.

That's a very good counter point. I guess the bigger difference is what they traditionally do. The Lords mostly debate legislation and propose changes which still have to be signed off by parliament. They're an extra sounding board for ideas. They have powers to debate and amend legislation but generally are very tightly restricted in what they can do if something is passed by the House of Commons. They are also almost completely banned from anything to do with taxation.

It is worth noting however that we don't see the rampant corruption the USA does. When it does occur it is the source of much scandal and in recent times (the expenses scandal) almost resulted in the dissolution of parliament. The only corruption case where the guilty party has got away with it in recent years was the recent fiasco involving those two aircraft carriers. Instead of paying for the carriers themselves the yard time was paid for meaning that even if they were not built or cancelled we would still be paying for the shipyards production time. This was done by the former PM to ensure the job security of the shipyard workers. Something that normally you would never see in the UK but is common in the USA.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 17, 2011, 06:18:04 pm
The House of Lords is like Canada's Senate - it has no legitimacy, and thus for it to overrule the Commons is normally seen as undemocratic. So it very seldom happens.

I don't know about the Canadian senate, but I'm not sure your statement about the Lords is entirely true. While their power to block, delay, and amend legislation has been gradually restricted more and more over the last century the Lords can and do still do so. In fact, I've heard it suggested that one of the reasons that successive governments have tried to reform the Lords (with varying degrees of success) is the Lords tendency to occasionally frustrate government plans.

I've not managed to track down actual stats on how often it happens, but I did find this news report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_8829000/8829244.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_8829000/8829244.stm) that suggests that when the Lords do amend legislation they can make it stick about 40% of the time (although it does also suggest that they might do it more if they felt they had more democratic legitimacy).

I like it,
a Canadian moderating a political dispute between a brit and the yanks.

One big happy family. :D :D :D

Well quite.  :)

Hopefully I can do rather more for our reputation for politeness than my fellow Brit - he does rather seem to be letting the side down somewhat (admittedly mostly in other threads than this one). Bad show and all that, what?
 ;)
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 17, 2011, 06:54:30 pm
Xavin,

Your countryman in question is a cranky fellow at times and has been called on it before. Likely he means well. His base concept, as I recall, is an overwhelming desire for the long term survivial of Homo SapSap. Damned hard to disagree with humanity having a future. And harder is seeing how ecconomics or politics can encourage or discourage people from pumping out babies.  Seems like it happens everywhere, Capitalists do it, Commies, Socialists, Muslims, Mormons and Methodists do it. As long as our women folk keep squirting out screaming little bundles of joy, the future of Mankind is secure.

Some people would rather argue than discuss and if disagreed with drop to the level of crude insults in about half a second. I ignore the fellow myself, have no time for noise and negativity.

It is a waste, good people with good minds are having an extraordinary dialog despite being spread out across the planet. A shame if it devolves into name calling. 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 17, 2011, 09:13:04 pm
I suspect that one of the biggest flaws of American government is the majority-takes-all principle. I gather that other countries use proportional representation instead - if party A gets 10% of the votes, it gets 10% of the seats, more or less.

This makes a profound difference in how political decisions are made. Winner-takes-all systems tend to marginalize all but two political parties, which do their best to divide the voters into two warring camps.

Britain has many parties, and some of them usually must work together in order to form a government.

Google Hotelling Theorem ( or is it law? ) and political science for more.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 18, 2011, 05:31:31 am
I suspect that one of the biggest flaws of American government is the majority-takes-all principle. I gather that other countries use proportional representation instead - if party A gets 10% of the votes, it gets 10% of the seats, more or less.

This makes a profound difference in how political decisions are made. Winner-takes-all systems tend to marginalize all but two political parties, which do their best to divide the voters into two warring camps.

Britain has many parties, and some of them usually must work together in order to form a government.

Google Hotelling Theorem ( or is it law? ) and political science for more.

Actually, Britain currently also operates a "winner-takes-all" system - it's usually referred to here as "First Past the Post".
In a general election, for each of the 650 constiuencies the candidate with the most votes is elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) - an overall majority of the votes (i.e >50% of those cast) is not required, just a plurality.
The two largest parties - Conservative and Labour - each generally attract about 30-40% of the vote nationally. The third party - the Liberal Democrats - typically gets ~20% of the vote nationally. The other parties split the remainder of the votes in usually tiny percentages.
This is somewhat simplified and refers mainly to the 533 English constituencies. Within Wales (40 constituencies) and Scotland (59 constiuencies) the respective nationalist parties - Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalist Party - are competitive with the 3 main parties; Northern Ireland (18 constiuencies) has its own set of parties. This complicates matters somewhat, but note that the majority of the national share of the vote for "other" parties is accounted for by these local effects.

Anyway, you will note that if the voters for the 3 main parties are roughly equally distributed then almost all MPs will be either Labour or Conservative (getting 20% as a LibDem gets you nothing if the remaining 80% of the vote is split between Con and Lab - one of them is certainly going to get more than you, and quite possibly both of them will).
In reality it's not quite that bad - the distribution of party support is somewhat uneven, so some constituencies are two-way fights between Con and LibDem, or Lab and LibDem etc.; some are even 3-way fights; others are overwhelmingly for one party. Note that even with 20%+ of the vote nationally the LibDems have typically picked up only about 50 seats (i.e <8%).

The end result, however, is that it is very unusual for a general election not to result in one of Lab or Con holding more than 325 seats - and thus being able to command an overall majority in the House of Commons, so no coalition is necessary.
The current coalition is the first to occur since World War 2.

This may all be about to change - there is a referendum in May over a proposed change to use the Alternative Vote system, whereby within each consituency the voter ranks the candidates in order of preference. If no candidate has over 50% of the first choice votes then the lowest ranked candiate is eliminated and their 2nd choice votes allocated to the remaining candiates. Rinse and repeat until someone has >50% of the votes - they get elected as an MP.

It's not true Proportional Representation, but it is likely to help the smaller parties get a few more MPs - which may make coalitions more likely.

Whether not that would be an improvement over the current system from a libertarian point of view is a complicated question, however, and I'm going to have give it some more thought before May.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 18, 2011, 06:14:37 am
How do you account for the minority parties getting any representation at all in the UK?

In the United States, so-called "3rd party" candidates are almost never elected, especially at the Federal level; it's all Democrats and Republicans.

Many an American voter will say "I agree with you Libertarians, but I won't waste my vote" - and will then proceed to waste their vote on a candidate who will never in a million years vote to repeal any government program, reduce funding, or cut taxes in any meaningful way. Voter behavior resembles a mass psychosis.

Recent polls show strong support for "cutting taxes" and "cutting spending" and even for "cutting services" - but when specific services are named, general support disappears. We could get strong voter support for "cutting foreign aid" - which is what, less than 1% of the federal budget?

On "defense" spending, voters split three ways - one third wish to increase, one third wish to decrease, one third would keep it the same. Yet when asked if "3 times as much as the nearest competitor" is too much, not enough, or about right, most people lean toward "too much" or "about right". Since we actually spend about six times as much as the nearest competitor, there is a serious incongruity here.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 18, 2011, 08:17:54 am
How do you account for the minority parties getting any representation at all in the UK?
Actually, it's quite simple.

With first past the post voting, it is indeed true that a vote for a third party is wasted. However, in Canada and the U.K., that means the third party in your riding (or constituency: what you Americans would call a district), not the third party nationally.

So third parties with a strong regional component in their appeal do well enough - third parties with merely a political or ideological slant do as badly as in the United States.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 18, 2011, 08:18:39 am
How do you account for the minority parties getting any representation at all in the UK?

As I alluded to in my previous comment, the distribution of party support in the UK is not even - but I wasn't sure how much detail you'd be interested in.

edit: if you're interested in detailed stats then see the link below for 2010 election results on national, regional, and constituency level:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/default.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/default.stm)

PC (Plaid Cymru - the Welsh nationalists) and the SNP (the Scottish nationalists) are relatively easy to explain - they only field candidates in their respective regions so their national share of the vote doesn't really indicate their true support.

The SNP got just under 0.5 million votes in the 2010 election, out of 29.7 million cast (i.e 1.7%). But they were all in Scottish constituencies - which means they were really out of just the just under 2.5 million Scottish votes (i.e 20%).
The Conservatives are wildly unpopular in Scotland (largely as a result of the Thatcher government in the 1980s) - they only got 16.7% of the vote in Scotland as a whole, which put them in 4th (Labour got 42%, LibDems 19%), despite the fact that they actually came 1st in the UK as a whole.
But it's also uneven within Scotland. Labour's strength is in the cities - the populous central lowlands around Glasgow and Edinburgh, plus Dundee and Aberdeen - and their victories there tended to be huge; but what that means is that a lot of their votes were effectively "wasted" (in the sense that, once you have more votes than the 2nd place candidate, the rest don't do you or your party any more good - you've already won the seat).
The LibDem voters are more concentrated in the rural regions - the highlands and the southern uplands - which is where you also find what support for the Conservatives remains. The SNP support is more evenly distributed.
This means that the LibDems tend to win those highlands seats in which they are highly popular and the SNP only win those seats where there is a more even fight going on (they only got 6 seats to the LibDems 11, despite getting 26,000 more votes than them in Scotland as a whole).

Similar factors work in Wales, although the Conservatives are not quite so massively unpopular there and the nationalists only pick up about 11% of the vote. Labour win the urban areas, LibDems and Conservatives fight over the rural areas, PC pick up a couple of seats where their support is particularly concentrated.

Northern Ireland is a special case - the main UK parties don't even stand, although they do each traditionally associate with one or two of the Northern Irish parties, but that's 18 seats that are automatically going to go to a minority party.{1}

In England there is also regional and local variation - once more, Labour votes tend to pile up in the big cities, Conservatives take the suburbs and rural areas. The Lib Dems pick up seats in areas where their votes get particularly concentrated - mostly in the south-west and East Anglia.

Much of UK voting seems to be tribal - people vote Labour (or conservative, or LibDem) because that's what they've always done, and it's what their parents did, and so on. There are plenty of constituencies where'd they'd elect a monkey if you pinned the right colour rosette on it, and elections tend to get decided by relatively few constituencies - the "marginals" where 2 or more parties share of the vote is reasonably close.

In the United States, so-called "3rd party" candidates are almost never elected, especially at the Federal level; it's all Democrats and Republicans.

Many an American voter will say "I agree with you Libertarians, but I won't waste my vote" - and will then proceed to waste their vote on a candidate who will never in a million years vote to repeal any government program, reduce funding, or cut taxes in any meaningful way. Voter behavior resembles a mass psychosis.

It's not that different here - a vote for a candidate or party that is seen as having no chance of winning is seen as a wasted vote. We've managed 3 parties rather than 2 because the LibDems{2} have always managed to cling on to at least some seats since the rise of Labour a hundred years ago - so they are not viewed as completely hopeless (at least not be everyone), but it's a bit of a shock to the system for many people to actually find them in government (albeit as the junior partner of a coalition).
This one is another example of mass psychosis amongst voters - lots of past labour voters abandoned their party this time around and voted LibDem (the previous Labour government had become outstandingly unpopular, especially in England), then reacted with surprise when that resulted in Labour losing a bunch of seats, the LibDems gaining some, and the Conservatives being the largest party overall. Then they were absolutely furious when the LibDems allied with the Conservatives to form a government.  Quite why they expected a different result is beyond me.
Note that the election maths worked out so that Con+LibDem=majority and Lab+LibDem didn't - so the Lab/Lib coalition that they presumably wanted would have also had to include a bunch of other small parties in a "rainbow alliance" to form a government. I was utterly unsurprised when we got the deal that involved the least possible amount of horse-trading, but apparently that was a shock to some people.

Recent polls show strong support for "cutting taxes" and "cutting spending" and even for "cutting services" - but when specific services are named, general support disappears. We could get strong voter support for "cutting foreign aid" - which is what, less than 1% of the federal budget?

On "defense" spending, voters split three ways - one third wish to increase, one third wish to decrease, one third would keep it the same. Yet when asked if "3 times as much as the nearest competitor" is too much, not enough, or about right, most people lean toward "too much" or "about right". Since we actually spend about six times as much as the nearest competitor, there is a serious incongruity here.

Again, you get the same here - people are in favour of cutting spending in the abstract, but not of any actual specific cut, and the general understanding of the amounts actually involved is decidely poor.

futher edit, to add footnotes:
{1} Minor wrinkle - Sinn Fein MPs do not take their seats, because that involves swearing a oath of allegiance to the monarch. So their seats (currently 5) don't actually count in the elctoral maths - in effect they reduce the number of seats to 645. They do still get to claim expenses though...
{2} Technically the Liberal Democrat party is fairly new, formed from the merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party in 1988, the SDP itself being a splinter from the Labour party. In practice it is essentially a continuation of the old Liberal party, which itself grew out of the 19th century Whigs{3}
{3} The Conservative party, on the other hand, formed as a splinter group of the 18th century Whigs...
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 18, 2011, 09:22:21 am
Many an American voter will say "I agree with you Libertarians, but I won't waste my vote" - and will then proceed to waste their vote on a candidate who will never in a million years vote to repeal any government program, reduce funding, or cut taxes in any meaningful way. Voter behavior resembles a mass psychosis.

I realised there was another point I wished to make on this that I forgot in my last post, and I didn't want it to get missed if i just added it in as an edit.

This is one of the things that the Alternative Vote system theoretically addresses - you can express your first preference vote for the Libertarian candidate, but your vote needn't be wasted if he doesn't win because you can give your second preference to your 2nd best (or least worst) option and so on. Thus you should get a truer picture of the real levels of support for those minority candidates.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Holt on February 18, 2011, 09:58:29 am
It is a waste, good people with good minds are having an extraordinary dialog despite being spread out across the planet. A shame if it devolves into name calling. 

Actually for the most part it is people who believe in anarchy patting themselves on the back and engaging in circular masturbation.
I've yet to see you people actually discuss any of the potential flaws of your proposed system or even acknowledge they exist.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 18, 2011, 10:45:50 am
Many an American voter will say "I agree with you Libertarians, but I won't waste my vote" - and will then proceed to waste their vote on a candidate who will never in a million years vote to repeal any government program, reduce funding, or cut taxes in any meaningful way. Voter behavior resembles a mass psychosis.

This is one of the things that the Alternative Vote system theoretically addresses - you can express your first preference vote for the Libertarian candidate, but your vote needn't be wasted if he doesn't win because you can give your second preference to your 2nd best (or least worst) option and so on. Thus you should get a truer picture of the real levels of support for those minority candidates.

I have become convinced that Approval Voting is better. But I don't think the difference is worth delaying an improved vote.

Here's the argument -- let's say in the USA we have 3 parties, Democrat, Republican, and Libertarian. All Libertarians would prefer Republican over Democrat, if a Libertarian can't win.

Each year the number of Libertarian first, Republican second votes goes up. Then one year there are more Libertarian votes than Republican votes. The stupid Republicans though never thought to vote Libertarian as the second choice. They didn't vote a second choice. And so the Democrats win, something only a minority of the public -- maybe as low as as 35% -- wanted. Fail.

Libertarians who knew what was coming could fix it by voting Republican first and Libertarian second. Then they could at least get a Republican win even though in a good world their own candidate would win.

Approval voting keeps this sort of thing from happening. You vote for every candidate you're willing to vote for. The one who gets the most votes, wins. Simple, easy, workable. Nobody ever wins when somebody else gets more votes.

But is Alternative Vote really so bad? After a loss like this, everybody will know that Libertarians are now the second party. Republicans will have to face reality the next time. It can lose you one election, but it won't lose a lot of them.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 18, 2011, 10:54:49 am
Did I hear something about flaws? Hard to tell with all the noise sometimes.

Three conceptual flaws in 3 scenarios.

Guns all over the place, what if they all go nuts at once. OK what if a pair of drunks shoot it out, hit innocent bystanders and they or their friends retaliate? What stops that. For one thing, not everyone is drunk and stupid so it is self limiting. Like a fire the peculiar conditions are hard to maintain. They run out of drunks stupid enough to shoot it out. Or the escalation is stopped cold as soon as it is recognized, the bartender has a shotgun, in the Iron Rock it looked like some M16 variant up on the wall. That'll work.

The one that scares me in a libertarian culture, rule of lawyers. Everyone starts arbitrating every damned thing, precedents are set, they become traditions, de facto laws, Pablo lets people redefine their contracts so Reggie feels a pressure to do the same, then 20 other arbiters. Like my understanding of the UK constitution, traditional ways of doing things become set in stone.

This scares me way more with real world attorneys here and now, they'd sue everyone for everything until everything became up to them. A cure worse than the disease, but I am sure it can be fixed. Perhaps The Bard's advice about lawyers?

Third, some jerk gets a monopoly on some crucial tech, cranks up the cost of air 100 fold maybe, that is so clearly self limiting I won't even bother.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 18, 2011, 11:04:43 am
Third, some jerk gets a monopoly on some crucial tech, cranks up the cost of air 100 fold maybe, that is so clearly self limiting I won't even bother.

How is it going to happen without Patents enforcement ?

Monopoly means high cost, which means high price which means many people will be induced to jump into de bandwagon.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 18, 2011, 11:15:28 am
Just whipped out 3 quickies on my first cup of joe trying to placate that guy.

That's why I didn't bother with the last. Silly easy.

Patents are controlled there by licensing and nondisclosure agreements, I guess. Dunno.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 18, 2011, 11:33:51 am
Just whipped out 3 quickies on my first cup of joe trying to placate that guy.

That's why I didn't bother with the last. Silly easy.

Patents are controlled there by licensing and nondisclosure agreements, I guess. Dunno.


No problem, I'm not playing the smart ass either m8

Just there is no product who have no substitute, so difficult to acquire that no one can manufacture it without government forcing monopoly on it.

Sure private non-disclosure agreement might be legal in think ... problem is how it works in pratice
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 18, 2011, 11:43:38 am
Patents are controlled there by licensing and nondisclosure agreements, I guess. Dunno.
Patents are grants of monopoly privilege enforced by governments on third parties that are not party to any agreement.  I'd guess that NDAs would be used in a free society, but they have nothing to do with patents.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 18, 2011, 12:19:41 pm
First off, thanks for all the thoughts and perspective Xavin.

I have a patent which I got as an employee so I saw the process up close. My employer had lots of NDAs for everyone to sign. It is a tent and I was not allowed to field test it in a camp ground until the ducks were in a row. Someone might see it. No biggie, the Rockies are nice and empty.

But I see no reason why a non government entity couldn't do what the Patent Office ended up doing, guarantying exclusivity. Maybe sort of like listing something in the public record in the paper, X is divorced form Y and no longer responsible for their debts I mean,

Call it insurance. if they can insure Tina Turner's legs and satellites they can insure anything
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 18, 2011, 12:37:03 pm
But I see no reason why a non government entity couldn't do what the Patent Office ended up doing, guarantying exclusivity.
"Guaranteeing exclusivity" means aggressive violence.  For example, let's say the Patent Office issues a patent for a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow.  That means (among other things) that government thugs will be sent to stop someone who rearranges his own property into a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow without the permission of the patent holder.  In a free society, people are allowed to do what they please with their own property (unless, of course, they contract to not do certain things).

Maybe sort of like listing something in the public record in the paper, X is divorced form Y and no longer responsible for their debts I mean,
Maybe sort of, but not really.

Call it insurance. if they can insure Tina Turner's legs and satellites they can insure anything
Calling aggressive violence "insurance" does not make it insurance.

If a business wants to insure the inventor against someone else building a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow, that's fine, but that would mean the insurance business pays the inventor whatever is  in the insurance contract, not that the insurance business sends thugs to prevent the assembly of 7-wheeled wheelbarrows by other people.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 18, 2011, 01:28:51 pm
But I see no reason why a non government entity couldn't do what the Patent Office ended up doing, guarantying exclusivity.
"Guaranteeing exclusivity" means aggressive violence.  For example, let's say the Patent Office issues a patent for a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow.  That means (among other things) that government thugs will be sent to stop someone who rearranges his own property into a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow without the permission of the patent holder.  In a free society, people are allowed to do what they please with their own property (unless, of course, they contract to not do certain things).

Maybe sort of like listing something in the public record in the paper, X is divorced form Y and no longer responsible for their debts I mean,
Maybe sort of, but not really.

Call it insurance. if they can insure Tina Turner's legs and satellites they can insure anything
Calling aggressive violence "insurance" does not make it insurance.

If a business wants to insure the inventor against someone else building a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow, that's fine, but that would mean the insurance business pays the inventor whatever is  in the insurance contract, not that the insurance business sends thugs to prevent the assembly of 7-wheeled wheelbarrows by other people.


Patents, copyrights(and the distribution right that are implied), and trademarks are if not impossible, then very difficult in an AnCap society.
Because these things are granted(and enforced) by a central governing authority, of which there is non in AnCap, how might these things be handled.

In a small area, everyone would be able to know whose stuff is whose; but in a large area, who keeps person B who has extra money from stealing the stuff/idea/trademark/etc. from person A ?

These things (patents etc) are a government guarantee of exclusivity for the purpose of making money.

If the is no guarantor of exclusivity, or even of credit for invention, what is the motivation for creativity?

Yes, some people will keep creating no matter what; but, people who want to make money from their invention or ideas will tire quickly if other people steal said idea/invention and get it to market first or cheaper of whatever.

People on this board have said before that individual and property rights are the foundation of a market society.  but, there has always some overarching authority that provides the security for such a market to flourish.  What happens to the marketplace when those rights are no longer guaranteed except at the point of self-defense?

Yes, yes, the personal protective services... I had almost forgot about them.  But who protects against the protectors?

I've gotten a little off-topic there, but everything is so intertwined.  I hope I can get an intelligent (or at least a not-bashing me) response to the question of granting or enforcing patents, copyrights, etc.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 18, 2011, 01:59:41 pm
Yes, yes, the personal protective services... I had almost forgot about them.  But who protects against the protectors?

No political system can survive without the intellectual backbone of its members. The US constitution was the ''best'' ever created, but it didn't survive the fact that the around the 1920 the ideals of the founding fathers was all but lost.

Think about it, most of the US current Libertarian and free market ideals in part survived because lots of European refugee fled Europe during the last century. Friedman, Voergelin, Hayek and Mises were all people who had to flee Europe, most to escape Nazi's and ended up providing the US and UK with a dose of the tradition they lost.

Brazil for example was once a great parlamentarian monarchy and got rid of slavery in more humane way than the US, without a civil war, but once they lost the battle of ideas they are on long down road to irrelevancy ... even the once ultra-conservative military are nothing more than a bunch of sissies.

In the same way anarchy will not survive or strive without the intellectual backbone needed. Militarely an AnCap could be invaded like the arc shows, but no occupation force can defeat well entrechend ideals ... but sure that if Nazi Germany came back from the dead and launched a genocidal war it will be almost impossible to survive ... just like Poland, Russia and Czech discovered despite their government.

An AnCap culture is the guarantor of an AnCap system.

I don't think patents will exists, but I think a lot of non-disclosure agreements and some high security manufacturing plants will ensure advantage over competitors ... but at least nobody else would be paying it for you.

ETA:

The free market is self reinforcing, the more you have of it, the more you will get. Because you ''don't make a free market'' you barely refrain yourself of destroying it.

Sure there are some values needed for a free market to exist, which require some shared cultural elements, but it can go working in pilot mode ... because it is not a ''thing'', it is people acting.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 18, 2011, 02:20:42 pm
Thanks for the explanation. I think your "first past the post" districts are similar to our Congressional districts - whichever candidate gets the majority vote in the district gets the seat.

We don't have strong regional parties at all.

I suspect the biggest difference is the concept of "forming a government" - you folks assemble a coalition which then appoints certain offices - please excuse my ignorance - including the Prime Minister, I believe.

In our Congress, the majority party elects a House Leader or Senate Leader ( depending on which house ) who sets the agenda. The President of the United States, however, is decided by a different process, the Electoral College, which is only roughly equivalent to the national vote. Most Americans are surprised to learn about the Electoral College. Each State gets two votes, one for each Senator, and one for each Representative, so smaller states are slightly better represented in proportion to more populous states.

In my memory, there has never been any third party worth mentioning, electorally speaking. Things were different a hundred years back. Come to think of it, I believe there were strong 3rd party showings during the last Great Depression.

 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 18, 2011, 02:59:58 pm
Friedman, Voergelin, Hayek and Mises were all people who had to flee Europe,
If you mean Milton Friedman, according to Wikipedia he was born in Brooklyn.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 18, 2011, 03:03:01 pm
Friedman, Voergelin, Hayek and Mises were all people who had to flee Europe,
If you mean Milton Friedman, according to Wikipedia he was born in Brooklyn.

Mistake, but all the other were Nazi Germany fleeing intellectuals
ETA : Another in that category is Otto Maria Carpaux, who fled Austria ... but he was unlucky enough to go to Brazil instead of the US. ;D
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 18, 2011, 03:10:59 pm
There are disputes about "intellectual property". I am a fan of Stephan Kinsella, who maintains that the idea is nonsense, that authors would fare better without IP, that it actually benefits publishers, not authors, and that it retards innovation.

Other anarchists differ. They posit that, when you purchase a book, you'd also agree to a contract, sort of like the shrinkwrap contracts which come with some computer software. Being a party to such a contract, you'd agree not to make copies or give them to others.

There is nothing special about "national" registries that cannot be solved as well or better by voluntary registries. Government agencies are comprised of human beings who put their pants on one leg at a time, unless they are in microgravity, where any human being may leap into a pair of pants with both feet, regardless of government authorization. The state, contraryguy, is nothing but a solution in search of a problem.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 18, 2011, 04:06:53 pm
Ya know, there are no patent police. Infringe on one and get sued for damages, dragged in front of our version of Reggie or Pablo. In that regard the government acts as a reposetory for information, like the posting in the paper I mentioned. It could be made to work.

Public information about patents exists. say Edison and the light bulb, since he and the patent are expired. I say my grandfather invented the thing. Then I sue the Edison museum and every one else I can, and get laughed out of court.

Why, because we all know different.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Holt on February 18, 2011, 04:23:50 pm
The state, contraryguy, is nothing but a solution in search of a problem.

I'd say Anarchists are people proposing a solution to their problem but nobody else's.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 18, 2011, 04:26:41 pm
In a small area, everyone would be able to know whose stuff is whose; but in a large area, who keeps person B who has extra money from stealing the stuff/idea/trademark/etc. from person A ?
Person B with extra money would be prevented from stealing stuff the same way that Person C without extra money but with a great personality would be prevented from stealing stuff.  There are many possible ways, and we don't know which one would be chosen by voluntarily cooperating people.  (And, as I'm sure you realize, there probably would be some theft, just as there is theft in a statist society.)

Stealing the records of a hidden idea (say, the plans for an invention locked in a safe) would be handled like any other theft.  I don't know the appropriate restitution for revealing a hidden idea--I don't even know whether legal experts would consider that a tricky problem or not--but such things would be worked out.

As far as I can tell, trademarks can't be stolen in a free society.  Someone who commits fraud using a fake trademark would be handled the same as a person who commits fraud without using a trademark--the crime is fraud; the trademark is incidental.

If the is no guarantor of exclusivity, or even of credit for invention, what is the motivation for creativity?
There can be many motivations for creativity.  I suspect that the usual one would be to make money.

A good discussion of how intellectual property stifles creativity is Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine.  It is online.

People on this board have said before that individual and property rights are the foundation of a market society.  but, there has always some overarching authority that provides the security for such a market to flourish.
Not true.  People voluntarily cooperate without any "overarching authority".

What happens to the marketplace when those rights are no longer guaranteed except at the point of self-defense?
If necessary, voluntarily cooperating people will create institutions that serve their needs without aggressive violence.  Look up "law merchant".

There are disputes about "intellectual property". I am a fan of Stephan Kinsella, who maintains that the idea is nonsense, that authors would fare better without IP, that it actually benefits publishers, not authors, and that it retards innovation.
I agree.  I thought his Against Intellectual Property (available online) was quite good, but it might be heavy going for those who don't have enough background to understand the terms.

Other anarchists differ. They posit that, when you purchase a book, you'd also agree to a contract, sort of like the shrinkwrap contracts which come with some computer software. Being a party to such a contract, you'd agree not to make copies or give them to others.
But the problem with those arguments (such as those made by J. Neil Schulman) is making them binding on third parties who have not made any contract.

For example, X writes a song and gives a concert that Y attends and agrees that he will not reveal that song to anyone else (under penalty of severe damages).  However, Y sings that song in his backyard, not knowing that Z is listening on the other side of the fence.  Z then gives a concert where he sings the song (and admits that he did not write it).  X can sue Y and recover damages.  In a statist society where the song is copyrighted, X can also sue Z and recover damages.  However, in a free society, how can X sue Z?  There is no fraud, no theft (except metaphorically), no breach of contract.  Z has simply used the contents of his brain.  Does X own that part of Z's brain?  I don't think so.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 18, 2011, 05:02:31 pm
Quote
I've gotten a little off-topic there, but everything is so intertwined.  I hope I can get an intelligent (or at least a not-bashing me) response to the question of granting or enforcing patents, copyrights, etc.

CG!  No, hey, it's a good question!  And asked as though you'd really like to know, instead of being a kind of indirect bash on us anarchs.

So, here's a story:

I was given a pirated copy of a CD.  I loved it.  Played it to death.  Loved it so much that -- I went to the store and bought 3 (THREE) legit copies:  one to keep and two as gifts.  Why?  Because I want the artists to be able to make even more!  Now, I know another guy (online only) whose wife is a musician, and who does provide a few small samples of her work, but he's so anti-"piracy" there will never be any more than these few samples.  I won't buy her albums -- because I don't know if the sample I like is maybe the only one of her songs I'll like; I don't know if the one I don't like is just the odd one that doesn't match my taste.  By protecting his wife from having her stuff "stolen" or copied, he's forcing people like me to "buy a pig in a poke" -- or, well, just not to buy.

Second story, current:
http://tinyurl.com/67kfvmj
Gizmodo reports:  "Monty Python started a YouTube channel with tons of their sketches streaming for free. The included links to their DVDs at Amazon. The result was a whopping 23,000% increase in sales."

Genius artist Jonathan Coulton "copyrights" his stuff with Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org) and still supports himself musically.

Publishing house Baen has a whole bunch of their titles available for free -- and the site is growing, so I guess it's working out for them.  Here's a link to why they're doing it:
http://www.baen.com/library/defaultTitles.htm

I probably spend more on donations to any given online comic ($5 or $10 here and there as the mood strikes) than I would be willing to pay as an annual subscription.

My own stuff is available free online -- no sales, because I haven't told anybody about it, because I haven't quite got set up yet because I'm a chicken shit, but that's where I'm going.  Run with my fantasy for a moment:  imagine that my stuff is awesome and becomes the next must-have.  Monty Python's experience above, and Baen's, suggests that I'll get some sales out of it.  Will everybody who reads my stuff pay me for the privilege?  Ha -- that's as close to "impossible" as I can well imagine.  But so what?  I expect I will wind up earning more making it available for free than I would if I tried to exact a price from every reader.  Thanks to the internet, it will be hard for someone to present my stuff as if he had written it himself, and the attempt will cost him credibility. 

But maybe someone will, say, base a movie or other work on mine.  My thinking is, AWESOME!  His work will in effect advertise for mine (and vice versa).  It would be nice if he offered me a piece of his action, in gratitude for my being the originator -- but you know what?  I don't think I get to demand it.  I do think I get to demand that my name get mentioned somewhere in his credits, and I could make a public fuss and embarrass him if he left it out -- that's just honesty.

In this current real world, I could slap a conventional copyright on and ask existing government to protect my "intellectual property".  I will not.  And I'm telling you all this as a case of real-life practical application of principle, as opposed to airy theorizing:  I am putting my own creative work (err, once I actually get it online)  "at risk" -- because I know I will get way more out of doing so than I could hope to achieve with a conventional copyright.  I am, if you will, "putting my money where my mouth is."
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Holt on February 18, 2011, 05:13:10 pm

Not true.  People voluntarily cooperate without any "overarching authority".


You ever see or hear of those old bazaars you used to get back in the far and middle east?
You'd have all these merchants peddling their wares and giving a share to the guy who ran the bazaar. Why? Because he provided a nice, safe environment for them to peddle their wares. He made sure thieves were dealt with, he made sure disputes were resolved and just generally ensured things ran smoothly. in that bazaar his word was law. Merchants would flock to these places rather than set up shop just anywhere. Why? Because people went there, because it was safer and because there was order.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 18, 2011, 05:39:30 pm

Not true.  People voluntarily cooperate without any "overarching authority".


You ever see or hear of those old bazaars you used to get back in the far and middle east?
You'd have all these merchants peddling their wares and giving a share to the guy who ran the bazaar. Why? Because he provided a nice, safe environment for them to peddle their wares. He made sure thieves were dealt with, he made sure disputes were resolved and just generally ensured things ran smoothly. in that bazaar his word was law. Merchants would flock to these places rather than set up shop just anywhere. Why? Because people went there, because it was safer and because there was order.

Exactly.  Voluntary cooperation.  No government aggression.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 18, 2011, 05:42:27 pm

I was given a pirated copy of a CD.  I loved it.  Played it to death.  Loved it so much that -- I went to the store and bought 3 (THREE) legit copies:  one to keep and two as gifts. 

http://tinyurl.com/67kfvmj
Gizmodo reports:  "Monty Python started a YouTube channel with tons of their sketches streaming for free. The included links to their DVDs at Amazon. The result was a whopping 23,000% increase in sales."

....

My own stuff is available free online -- no sales, because I haven't told anybody about it, because I haven't quite got set up yet because I'm a chicken shit, but that's where I'm going.  Run with my fantasy for a moment:  imagine that my stuff is awesome and becomes the next must-have.  Monty Python's experience above, and Baen's, suggests that I'll get some sales out of it.  Will everybody who reads my stuff pay me for the privilege?  Ha -- that's as close to "impossible" as I can well imagine.  But so what?  I expect I will wind up earning more making it available for free than I would if I tried to exact a price from every reader.  Thanks to the internet, it will be hard for someone to present my stuff as if he had written it himself, and the attempt will cost him credibility. 

But maybe someone will, say, base a movie or other work on mine.  My thinking is, AWESOME!  His work will in effect advertise for mine (and vice versa).  It would be nice if he offered me a piece of his action, in gratitude for my being the originator -- but you know what?  I don't think I get to demand it.  I do think I get to demand that my name get mentioned somewhere in his credits, and I could make a public fuss and embarrass him if he left it out -- that's just honesty.

In this current real world, I could slap a conventional copyright on and ask existing government to protect my "intellectual property".  I will not.  And I'm telling you all this as a case of real-life practical application of principle, as opposed to airy theorizing:  I am putting my own creative work (err, once I actually get it online)  "at risk" -- because I know I will get way more out of doing so than I could hope to achieve with a conventional copyright.  I am, if you will, "putting my money where my mouth is."

When I look at that as an economic choice rather than a moral one, it looks plausible but not in general a good business model.

A few things will be wildly popular, and a lot nobody will notice much. Releasing them for free is a start toward free publicity. Probably not as good as an expensive advertising program, but a whole lot cheaper. It will only work for a relatively few published works. If it doesn't work for you, does that mean your stuff wasn't the best? No. Everything that gets popular has to be good enough for a lot of people to like, but lots of better stuff they'd have liked even better might get lost by accident.

The way it works now, lots of people try to "write" and even finish products that they can't publish. Some of them are better than lots of things that do get published and would probably sell well except that the author doesn't have name recognition, but publishers only satisfice rather than optimise.

It's possible that in a world where self-publishing is cheap, a few writers will make lots of money and a whole lot will make nothing or way below minimum wage, because for whatever reason they just don't get the attention they might deserve.

Maybe the most important thing for success as a "writer" etc will be not "writing skill" or essential quality, but some other skill that's hard to define. The quality has to be adequate, but the other skill has to be superb. Or perhaps someone might occasionally be lucky without that skill.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 18, 2011, 06:20:07 pm
An honesty question related to the latest strip. A dozen guns are sitting on a table, say they are worth a thousand modern dollars each. Why isn't that $12,000 being stolen and don't say the cameras that happen to be on them right now, not normal circumstances. A lot of money sitting there, why is it safe?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 18, 2011, 07:56:23 pm
Quote
A lot of money sitting there, why is it safe?

My first thought is that, well, the owners are pretty much right there, a few yards away at most.  If someone's going to steal a weapon, they'd need to be prepared to either run like hell or shoot, or both -- and then what have they got?

My second is that there are other citizens around.  Are they friends of the owners?  Are they Ed-clones, who would interfere just because that's what civilized fellow-citizens do?  Are they perhaps thief-wannabes themselves, just waiting for another thief to make the first move (and then maybe poaching what he took)?  Lots of stuff for a potential thief to take into account.

Sort of on this note, there was recently a video, sadly sadly pulled by the owner, from some British news story:  someone filmed a robbery in progress, broad daylight, the 6 thugs had sledgehammers and were breaking into a jewelry store.  Voiceover (from long after the fact) says the store employees were trying to lower the steel barricades and were calling police, but the thieves were still getting to some of the jewels.  Other people are just standing back.

Then this stout, short woman, described as a "pensioner" (her face blurred for privacy), comes charging up and starts swinging this massive pocketbook at the thieves -- who panic (I say panic because she's not terribly successful at actually hitting them) and flee, some of them on their scooters.  One scooter wipes out and then other people mob the rider and hold him for police.  Last word is that 5 of the 6 were in custody.

One little old lady with a pocketbook vs. six brash young men armed with sledgehammers.  Beware little old ladies with giant pocketbooks?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 18, 2011, 08:05:53 pm
Thanks for the explanation. I think your "first past the post" districts are similar to our Congressional districts - whichever candidate gets the majority vote in the district gets the seat.

We don't have strong regional parties at all.

I suspect the biggest difference is the concept of "forming a government" - you folks assemble a coalition which then appoints certain offices - please excuse my ignorance - including the Prime Minister, I believe.

Yes, that's one of the places where the systems differ significantly.

Each UK political party  selects a leader by its own method - I'm a little vague on those processes, but I think pretty much all have a membership system (anyone can join - with the exception of a few like the British National Party, who our bunch of fascist thugs - on payment of an annual membership fee) and those with actual MPs tend to distinguish between those people ("the parliamentary party") and the other members. As far as I know the LibDems elect their leader by vote of the whole membership (or possibly just those who show up to the convention). The Conservatives I think have a 2 stage process where the parliamentary party selects a small number of candidates and the wider membership then elects one of those. The Labour party has some system whereby the membership gets some votes, the parliamentary party gets some votes, and the unions get some votes.

The Prime Minister is the person who can "command the confidence of the House of Commons". In practice this means the leader of a party who can win a vote of confidence in the house - i.e. can rely on more than half the MPs voting in his favour on a vote of confidence. A Prime Minster who loses a confidence vote pretty much has to resign.

Since most general elections result in one party having more than half the seats that usually makes it pretty straightforward - the leader of that party is the Prime Minister (although some MPs may rebel and vote against the party line, they will generally not do so on a vote of confidence as that tends to result in a general election and the potential loss of their jobs - turkeys voting for Christmas).

Note that this means that a party in government can replace their leader mid term - so it's possible to become the Prime Minister without winning a general election, and this does, in fact, happen. Gordon Brown became PM in 2007 when he replaced Tony Blair as leader of Labour but didn't call a general election until 2010. Similarly with John Major in 1990 when he replaced Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Conservatives (although he then went on to win the general election in 1992)

Where no party has an overall majority (as happened last year) some deals generally have to be made.
A party that is only a little short of an overall majority might try to form a minority government - either doing deals on an ad hoc basis with other parties to get legislation through and survive confidence votes, or by arranging a "supply and confidence" deal with one or more smaller parties (the smaller party doesn't form part of the government, but does agree to vote in the government's favour in confidence votes and certain legislation - generally in return for an agreement on the type and content of such legislation). The latter is what quite a lot of commentators expected to happen last year.
Alternatively there may be a formal coalition agreement (as actually happened) whereby one or more smaller parties actually joins the larger party in government - gaining ministerial positions and probably a bigger say in the legislative agenda (for a "supply and confidence" agreement the minority government will probably just agree to restrict its legislative agenda to stuff that is acceptable to the minor party. In a coalition they may actually promote legislation that the minor party wants but that the larger party wouldn't otherwise put forward.)

Note that when there is no single party with an overall majority it is not necessarily the largest party that gets to form the government - the sitting Prime Minister is given first opportunity to do so. So, after the 2010 election Gordon Brown, as leader of the Labour party, remained Prime Minster for several days while he tried to organise a deal, even though the Conservatives had won more seats. When it became clear that he couldn't, and that the Conservative could, he resigned and David Cameron, as leader of the Conservatives and having a coalition agreement with the LibDems meaning that he could command the confidence of the Commons, got to become PM.

The Prime Minister (technically the monarch, but on the PM's advice) appoints ministers and forms a cabinet from a subset of those - exactly which jobs exist and which are part of the cabinet can vary (usually 21-24 jobs, plus the PM), but the main positions are Foreign Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Chancellor (aka Secretary of State for Justice), Home Secretary, and Defence Secretary. All members are either MPs or members of the House of Lords (who get called Privy Councillors in this context). In the rare event of someone from outside parliament being appointed to a cabinet position they get granted a peerage and thus become Privy Councillors.
In a formal coalition some of those jobs will go to MPs from the smaller party. The PM and the cabinet set the legislative agenda.

I believe in the US these jobs are presidential appointments, subject to senate approval?

In our Congress, the majority party elects a House Leader or Senate Leader ( depending on which house ) who sets the agenda. The President of the United States, however, is decided by a different process, the Electoral College, which is only roughly equivalent to the national vote. Most Americans are surprised to learn about the Electoral College. Each State gets two votes, one for each Senator, and one for each Representative, so smaller states are slightly better represented in proportion to more populous states.

If I understand the US system correctly, each state has 2 senators, but the congressional districts are based on population (so there is equal representation for each state in the upper chamber, but the more populous states have proportionally greater representation in the lower chamber - i.e. California has a bunch more congressmen than North Dakota does)?
Meanwhile for the Presidential election each state has a number of Electoral College votes proportional (roughly) to population, and each state awards all of its Electoral College votes to the candidate with the most votes in that state? I have some memory that historically some states split their Electoral College votes in proportion to the votes cast for the candidate in the election - and also that one or two may have based their Electoral College votes on a vote of the state legislature rather than of the entire voting populace of the state. But one or both of those ideas may be my memory playing tricks on me. I also believe that not all states legally require the electoral college voters to actually vote for the candidate that they said they would?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 18, 2011, 08:33:52 pm


I believe in the US these [Cabinet] jobs are presidential appointments, subject to senate approval?


Correct - the Cabinet is appointed by the President. Things are a bit tricky with regard to the agenda; the President proposes, Congress disposes. The House and Senate have their own leadership, which may accept the President's agenda, or may not. Sometimes the White House is in the hands of one party, and Congress in the hands of the opposition; in fact, many Americans prefer this to the situation where a single party controls both.

Quote
If I understand the US system correctly, each state has 2 senators, but the congressional districts are based on population (so there is equal representation for each state in the upper chamber, but the more populous states have proportionally greater representation in the lower chamber - i.e. California has a bunch more congressmen than North Dakota does)?
Correct.
In the Electoral College, each state gets two electors who correspond to the two Senate seats, and one per Representative, which is roughly proportional to population, with that n+2 bit of small-state advantage.
 
States decide how to award those electoral votes. In some, voting may be district-by-district; in other states, representation may be proportional to the state's popular vote. In still others, it may be winner-takes-all. Lastly, some states have proposed a sort of "national popular vote" method - that state's electoral votes will be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote is declared. Certain populous states totally love this last idea, since it circumvents the current n+2 bias toward smaller states. The practical effect of that bias is that candidates cannot afford to ignore smaller states; they would lose too many electoral college votes. California, of course, would prefer to have even more influence on elections than it already has.

It is possible for electors to vote their own conscience; this is part of the original intent; in the case of a deadlock, or some misadventure which prevents a candidate from fulfilling office, the electoral college should not be prevented from exercising good judgement. The only electoral vote ever cast for a Libertarian candidate was by Roger MacBride in 1972.

Used to be that federal Senators were appointed by, and beholden to, State legislators. The 17th Amendment changed that topopular elections. In theory, this gave The People greater voice in the government. In practice, it gave K Street (as we call the lobbyists) greater voice in the Senate, and diminished the sovereignty of the States, which led to massively more powerful and expensive federal government.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Holt on February 18, 2011, 10:08:42 pm
Exactly.  Voluntary cooperation.  No government aggression.

Oh? These people were pretty aggressive. You get caught stealing on old Hakim's bazaar and you were going to get fucked up. You were lucky if you just lost a hand. And woe betide you if you got caught setting up outside his bazaar but nearby.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 18, 2011, 10:16:51 pm
Before there were Patents , inventors would keep their ingredients and processes closely grarded secrets, the best innovations you would only tell to your son.

Has this changed in modern times?

If there were no patent protection would inventors be generous with their innovations?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 19, 2011, 08:26:30 am
It isn't "initiation of force" when you defend your property.

Don't misuse the word "aggression" - "to aggress" is the opposite of "to defend."

Thieves aggress. Those who stop thieves defend.

Furthermore, in a bazaar, those who defend claim no monopoly on the use of force, which would be the defining characteristic of a government.

You made two grave logical errors in one post, leaving nothing of substance. Why waste electrons to say nothing?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 19, 2011, 10:02:22 am
Quote
And woe betide you if you got caught setting up outside his bazaar but nearby.

It isn't "initiation of force" when you defend your property.

Don't misuse the word "aggression" - "to aggress" is the opposite of "to defend."

Thieves aggress. Those who stop thieves defend.

Furthermore, in a bazaar, those who defend claim no monopoly on the use of force, which would be the defining characteristic of a government.

You made two grave logical errors in one post, leaving nothing of substance. Why waste electrons to say nothing?

So, it's OK for Hakim to defend his market by attacking you on space outside his market (but where your sales threaten him)?

And it's OK for you to sell there if you outgun Hakim?

I'm not quite clear how you use these two principles in the particular case that Holt suggested.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 19, 2011, 10:14:58 am
Quote
And woe betide you if you got caught setting up outside his bazaar but nearby.

It isn't "initiation of force" when you defend your property.

Don't misuse the word "aggression" - "to aggress" is the opposite of "to defend."

Thieves aggress. Those who stop thieves defend.

Furthermore, in a bazaar, those who defend claim no monopoly on the use of force, which would be the defining characteristic of a government.

You made two grave logical errors in one post, leaving nothing of substance. Why waste electrons to say nothing?

So, it's OK for Hakim to defend his market by attacking you on space outside his market (but where your sales threaten him)?

And it's OK for you to sell there if you outgun Hakim?

I'm not quite clear how you use these two principles in the particular case that Holt suggested.


There is a property rights aspect this this, does Hakim OWN the bazar or he is running a protection racket ''Who is your daddy'' style ?

The broader point is that there are lots of private space which have their own security arrangements and it is rare to have them go about cutting off hands of people for shoplifting.

What Holt is using is a strawman, attacking free association by using an example about a Middle eastern protection racket and hold it has proof.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 19, 2011, 10:38:21 am
The guns on the table, stealing of.

If it was the dead of night with no one around how many of us would steal them. not me for one. Most not all Belters either, like raping your kids, it is tacky, tasteless and simply not done.

I recall a box of power tools left on the deck of a friend's boat in our marina. Nice tools but they sat there for days untouched until about the third day. Then they got touched, it looked like rain so someone covered them with plastic. They were still there when the owner returned a week later. He'd had sudden heart trouble and was in the hospital not that we knew it.

No cops, no cameras, just good people who look in the mirror at least once a day. Like the formidable pensionier, I suspect we are the majority.

Ever pick up a woman's purse guys? I swear my ex carried a spare car battery :D, I'd run too.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 19, 2011, 10:52:51 am
Most people don't take what doesn't belong to them.

I have lost my wallet three times in my life. In every case, it was returned, complete with a not-inconsiderable amount of cash intact.

Theft does happen - I've had four bicycles stolen, and in each case the thieves had to cut a cable or break a kryptonite lock. One incident was in broad daylight.

Local police never recovered my bicycles - so much for the vaunted efficiency of government security; they neither protected my goods nor recovered them.

Nevertheless, most people don't take what doesn't belong to them. In the book "Not so Wild West", researchers document the great lengths that some people would go to to return lost property. In that time and place, this was considered normal behavior; today, we find it amazing. It is my belief that government institutions do not strengthen good behavior; they weaken it.

I once saw a homeless lady casing a car in downtown Los Angeles. I asked her, "Is that your car?" She replied, "Why, is it yours?" The police were nowhere to be found, that morning. Perhaps she moved on; perhaps she waited until I was out of sight.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 19, 2011, 08:51:14 pm
Quote
And woe betide you if you got caught setting up outside his bazaar but nearby.

It isn't "initiation of force" when you defend your property.

Don't misuse the word "aggression" - "to aggress" is the opposite of "to defend."

Thieves aggress. Those who stop thieves defend.

Furthermore, in a bazaar, those who defend claim no monopoly on the use of force, which would be the defining characteristic of a government.

You made two grave logical errors in one post, leaving nothing of substance. Why waste electrons to say nothing?

So, it's OK for Hakim to defend his market by attacking you on space outside his market (but where your sales threaten him)?

And it's OK for you to sell there if you outgun Hakim?

I'm not quite clear how you use these two principles in the particular case that Holt suggested.


If there are bandits about Hakieem does not need to attack you, you have simply assumed the risk for your self that Hakeem was promiseing to protect you from.
So are your potential customers.
Laws that encourage honest measurement are found in the old Testiment and other anchient records.
If hakeem is keeping weights and volumes standards tjhis wouold be a protection to customers, so would you want to avoid Hakeems marketplace?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 20, 2011, 04:02:40 pm
I have become convinced that Approval Voting is better. But I don't think the difference is worth delaying an improved vote.

You may well be correct about Approval Voting - it's not something that I've considered in any detail, and more thought might find some flaws, but at first glance it seems reasonable (insofar as voting for any form of government seems reasonable).

The thing is, Approval Voting is not currently on offer and Alternative Vote is - so what I'm trying to decide right now (or at least before the polls close on May 5th) is whether I should vote for keeping the current system, vote for changing to Alternative Vote (hereafter referred to as AV), or not vote at all.

My viewpoint if that of a libertarian - I want less government taking less of my money (ideally none at all in both cases, but that's not on offer either).

Direct cost doesn't seem to be much of a factor - a figure of £250million (~$400million) has been bandied around by the "No" campaign, but that includes the £82million to actually hold the referendum (so is getting spent regardless), £9million for "voter education" (I'm not clear if that's "explaining to people what it is they just voted for" if the Yes vote wins, or "explaining to people what is they are deciding between" before the referendum actually occurs), and £156million for electronic counting machines if we have to switch to AV. The "No" campaign point out that Australia has used AV for over 80 years without needing such machines. The Electoral Commission have been asked if they would need such machines and said "We havenít considered whether it would be necessary or value for money."
Even assuming we take the £250million figure total UK Government expenditure for 2011 is estimated at £681billion - so that's 0.0367%.
A fairly trivial price to pay if it improves things (although I'd feel a little bad for those people who didn't want it being forced to pay for it - I'd probably devote about 0.0367% of my conscience to it), a relatively minor niggle (say about a 0.0367% increase in dissatisfaction) if it doesn't.

The real question is, what practical effect would it have? It seems probable that it will result in a higher proportion of MPs being from parties other than Labour or Conservative. That would make coalition governments more likely, but I don't know by how much (if we still tend to end up with single parties having overall majorities then all we've done is maintain the status quo, but allow the government to claim greater "legitimacy" from a supposedly fairer system. That's probably bad as it likely reduces the chances of real change).
On the other hand, are coalition governments going to be any better? They may be more restricted in what they are able to do (due to each involved party having to compromise their own agendas to get a deal from the others) - this seems to be the case with the current government, but it's the first coalition that we've had for over 60 years and may not be representative. Or are parties likely to try and buy the support of the others with taxpayers' money? (After all, there's more where that came from...)

Or do I just refuse to play this game? A vote either way is supporting the idea of government and that's just a waste of my time and propaganda for them.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 20, 2011, 05:20:45 pm

The thing is, Approval Voting is not currently on offer and Alternative Vote is - so what I'm trying to decide right now (or at least before the polls close on May 5th) is whether I should vote for keeping the current system, vote for changing to Alternative Vote (hereafter referred to as AV), or not vote at all.

My viewpoint if that of a libertarian - I want less government taking less of my money (ideally none at all in both cases, but that's not on offer either).

....

The real question is, what practical effect would it have? It seems probable that it will result in a higher proportion of MPs being from parties other than Labour or Conservative. That would make coalition governments more likely, but I don't know by how much (if we still tend to end up with single parties having overall majorities then all we've done is maintain the status quo, but allow the government to claim greater "legitimacy" from a supposedly fairer system. That's probably bad as it likely reduces the chances of real change).

If you don't mind advice, my guess is that it would at least slightly increase the number of different thoughts in the system. Politicians who depend on their party will hesitate a bit to speak their minds when The Party has spoken, so if you get even a few more from minor parties they might say something that othewise won't be said.

As for big consequences those are hard to guess. Make it harder for a legislature to pass things and it's likely to do less (which you'd probably like) but also slower to change (which you say you want). Whatever you do some of them will take as your approval of them. Vote against and they say you like the system, vote for and they say you helped improve the system, do nothing and they say you trust them enough you like whatever they do. There's no point letting what they say affect your actions.

Quote
Or do I just refuse to play this game? A vote either way is supporting the idea of government and that's just a waste of my time and propaganda for them.

Again assuming you don't mind advice, I'd say to vote for the change unless it's too much trouble. It may not make much difference. The difference it makes may not always be good. But it's more likely to reduce groupthink than increase it, and that's probably good on average.

I'd say vote whenever it isn't too much trouble. These guys might think if you vote that you approve of the system, but they are spending your money. What are they likely to do with it if they think you aren't paying attention at all?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 21, 2011, 07:46:27 am
If you don't mind advice, my guess is that it would at least slightly increase the number of different thoughts in the system.

I don't mind at all. One of the reasons for posting the question up was to invite comments from others, for the very reason you note that voting "yes" might be a good idea - increasing the number of minds looking at the issue might give me access to ideas that wouldn't have occurred to me on my own. Nothing compels me to follow the advice I am offered  :)
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 21, 2011, 11:05:47 am
For years I pushed people to vote for a smaller party close to their beliefs. As I saw it, if the Dems saw a spike in the Green's popularity, let's say, they would start embracing socialistic tree hugging and Mr. Green is ahead. If the Greens kick ass, then jackpot. The same with the Libertarians, Constitutionalists and other parties much closer to my heart. And a vote for any third party communicated that the voter went to the trouble of voting and refused to endorse either. That had to be worth something as a vote of no confidence.

But I was outsmarted by the Republican leadership.  The Christian Conservative branch of that party is closest to the libertarian core beliefs on financial issues and gun control. Money is on everyone's minds these days and Mr Obama scared the hell out of gun owners, remember the ammo shortage of a year ago.

So. in my suspicious opinion, the Tea Parties were born, a covert deniable fully owned subsidiary of the Republicans. They espouse smaller government,  less gun control, more fiscal responsibility, less taxes, stronger states rights, lots of good stuff to suck away the support of "my sort". But, in my suspicious and paranoid opinion, deep down the majority or at least the core leadership are the same conservative religious fanatics they have always been.

So they are pro all those good things and deep down also the same bunch of morality policing. abortion is murder, fix the faggots fanatics they have always been. They scare me. Potential President Palin is a bigger threat to my beliefs and desired lifestyle than Mr Obama.

So plan B, I have not voted in the last few years and if I do it may only be a no confidence vote for a smaller party.   Unless I am happily proven wrong about the TP.

For those outside the US, an example of that fear and ammo shortage, my local Wal Mart sells ammunition and has say a meter high by 4 long section of it behind the counter normally with some hundred or more types, brands and flavors. During the shortage, they might have had 3 boxes back there on any given day despite the manufactures running full blast. Happy day, now there is a glut and prices are down. People have bought enough and the midterm election weakened Obama.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on February 21, 2011, 11:18:05 am
For years I pushed people to vote for a smaller party close to their beliefs. As I saw it, if the Dems saw a spike in the Green's popularity, let's say, they would start embracing socialistic tree hugging and Mr. Green is ahead. If the Greens kick ass, then jackpot. The same with the Libertarians, Constitutionalists and other parties much closer to my heart. And a vote for any third party communicated that the voter went to the trouble of voting and refused to endorse either. That had to be worth something as a vote of no confidence.

But there's this problem of third party ballot access--a problem in most states, it's especially bad in Oklahoma.  In 2008, I had the choice of voting for Obama or McCain, period.  No Libertarian, no Green, no Constitutionalist candidates, not even some radical Socialist Workers Party candidate, not that I'd be pleased about voting for such a candidate, but I'm not even allowed that option!  And Oklahoma doesn't allow write-ins.  Why would anyone trust the system to be honest in other areas, provide "level playing fields", when they won't even do it in their own "field" of electoral politics??   Anybody remember that old phrase, "taxation without representation"?



Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 21, 2011, 11:21:37 am
For years I pushed people to vote for a smaller party close to their beliefs. As I saw it, if the Dems saw a spike in the Green's popularity, let's say, they would start embracing socialistic tree hugging and Mr. Green is ahead. If the Greens kick ass, then jackpot. The same with the Libertarians, Constitutionalists and other parties much closer to my heart. And a vote for any third party communicated that the voter went to the trouble of voting and refused to endorse either. That had to be worth something as a vote of no confidence.
This is why some politicians are running as "independent".  Of course, they really arent.

Quote
But I was outsmarted by the Republican leadership.

Of course you were; you were willing to believe.  This is thanks to Lee Atwater, Frank Luntz and Karl Rove.

Quote
 The Christian Conservative branch of that party is closest to the libertarian core beliefs on financial issues and gun control.

Any person claiming to be christian and conservative is neither.

Quote
Money is on everyone's minds these days and Mr Obama scared the hell out of gun owners, remember the ammo shortage of a year ago.

President Obama did not scare gun owners, Fox News scared gun owners.  There is nothing scarier to a white man, whether Southerner or Northerner, than the TV news telling them that a black man in power is coming to take away all of their guns.

Quote
So. in my suspicious opinion, the Tea Parties were born, a covert deniable fully owned subsidiary of the Republicans. They espouse smaller government,  less gun control, more fiscal responsibility, less taxes, stronger states rights, lots of good stuff to suck away the support of "my sort". But, in my suspicious and paranoid opinion, deep down the majority or at least the core leadership are the same conservative religious fanatics they have always been.

I only wish I could agree more with this, but 100% is as far as I can go.  Unfortunately, I do not have to be suspicious of the TP, as I have met some personally and they are exactly as described here.

Quote
So they are pro all those good things and deep down also the same bunch of morality policing. abortion is murder, fix the faggots fanatics they have always been. They scare me. Potential President Palin is a bigger threat to my beliefs and desired lifestyle than Mr Obama.

So plan B, I have not voted in the last few years and if I do it may only be a no confidence vote for a smaller party.   Unless I am happily proven wrong about the TP.

For those outside the US, an example of that fear and ammo shortage, my local Wal Mart sells ammunition and has say a meter high by 4 long section of it behind the counter normally with some hundred or more types, brands and flavors. During the shortage, they might have had 3 boxes back there on any given day despite the manufactures running full blast. Happy day, now there is a glut and prices are down. People have bought enough and the midterm election weakened Obama.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 21, 2011, 11:24:45 am
For years I pushed people to vote for a smaller party close to their beliefs. As I saw it, if the Dems saw a spike in the Green's popularity, let's say, they would start embracing socialistic tree hugging and Mr. Green is ahead. If the Greens kick ass, then jackpot. The same with the Libertarians, Constitutionalists and other parties much closer to my heart. And a vote for any third party communicated that the voter went to the trouble of voting and refused to endorse either. That had to be worth something as a vote of no confidence.

Anybody remember that old phrase, "taxation without representation"?

Yes, actually.  It is the official motto of the District of Columbia.  You how some states have their state motto on their license plates?  D.C. license plates say No taxation without representation.

Or at least they used to.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on February 21, 2011, 11:34:41 am
Anybody remember that old phrase, "taxation without representation"?

Yes, actually.  It is the official motto of the District of Columbia.  You how some states have their state motto on their license plates?  D.C. license plates say No taxation without representation.

Yes, political disenfranchisement in the U.S. is far greater than most political pundits are willing to admit--and some of it is more obvious than other parts of it.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 21, 2011, 12:00:03 pm
CG and I mostly agree?

Sure I was outsmarted, it happens. I babysit a schooner for a physicist friend while he is away, I betcha he is smarter than me too. No shame in that.  No CG, I didn't believe, I suspected them from day one. I ain't scientist smart maybe but I do get by.

Mr Obama's somewhat hidden left leaning agenda makes me nervous and remember I don't have a TV so no Fox News in years.  I have other sources including the diverse opinions here.

Some might have heard a bit of racism implied just then regarding a black man in power, it went over my head though. Mr President Obama's skin tone does not matter to me and he surely got it from outside the US slavery, bigotry, etc, history. He has no racial axe to grind beyond vote getting. I do thank him for finally shutting up Rev Jackson's noise, because Jesse has nothing but that axe and it's about worn down to a nub.

No, in the words of another clergyman, I judge him by the content of his character and find it lacking. Charming fellow and his kids and dog seem to like him and I rather doubt he beats his wife, beyond that, not so much. 

A secret desire revealed, I'd like to party with Bill Clinton, maybe hang out at a strip club. The man is the Yoda of womanizing scumbags and I have so very much to learn. But I won't play cards with him.

As to voting next time, it looks like writing in John Galt is my best bet, sigh

At least I can. Jeez macsnafu , you are so very intercoursed on voting, and I thought Chicago with it's 37 token Republicans was bad.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 21, 2011, 12:11:58 pm
Taxed without representation?

The President does not represent me, neither senator, the governor of Washington State, "my" congresswoman or state represenative. Though it seems they do represent someone, else. Not me.

All are opposed to the bulk of how I want things done, I did not appoint them to manage my affairs, I did not retain them as I would a lawyer, they don't speak for me and I refuse to be held responsible for their actions.  Yet I imagine I am and it does fizz me off greatly.

See, I too can be contrary, guys.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on February 21, 2011, 01:23:59 pm
Taxed without representation?

The President does not represent me, neither senator, the governor of Washington State, "my" congresswoman or state represenative. Though it seems they do represent someone, else. Not me.

All are opposed to the bulk of how I want things done, I did not appoint them to manage my affairs, I did not retain them as I would a lawyer, they don't speak for me and I refuse to be held responsible for their actions.  Yet I imagine I am and it does fizz me off greatly.


Exactly.  In our alleged democracy, there are many who are, in actual fact, disenfranchised.    Even if the U.S. had proportional representation instead of our "winner-takes-all" system, I doubt that we'd get the results we wanted, but at least there would be less disenfranchisement.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 21, 2011, 02:19:10 pm
In our alleged democracy, there are many who are, in actual fact, disenfranchised.    Even if the U.S. had proportional representation instead of our "winner-takes-all" system, I doubt that we'd get the results we wanted, but at least there would be less disenfranchisement.

Being enfranchised only means ruling other people (to a very small extent).  Participating in rule of everyone by everyone might be better than being ruled without any participation, but I'm not convinced.  Like any other degrading activity, it may harm the perpetrator as much as the victim.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 21, 2011, 06:42:31 pm
President Obama did not scare gun owners, Fox News scared gun owners.  There is nothing scarier to a white man, whether Southerner or Northerner, than the TV news telling them that a black man in power is coming to take away all of their guns.



  That is absolutely silly.

  What is preventing Black Americans from haveing guns in the same purportion as White Americans?


 Answer; Too many Black Americans live in urban enviornments where gun controll nuts win elections.

Why suspect President Obama of being a gun controll nut?

Answer: He was a success in Chicago, also he made statements disprespectfull of gun owners. That is two answers to the same question.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 21, 2011, 06:48:41 pm


So they are pro all those good things and deep down also the same bunch of morality policing. abortion is murder, fix the faggots fanatics they have always been. They scare me. Potential President Palin is a bigger threat to my beliefs and desired lifestyle than Mr Obama.




People who think Abortion is murder scare you ?

Phobia is treatable , how long have you been afraid of logic?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 21, 2011, 07:07:10 pm
People who think Abortion is murder scare you ?

Phobia is treatable , how long have you been afraid of logic?

Blimey - and I thought I was derailing the thread.  Should I get the popcorn for this one?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 21, 2011, 08:40:40 pm
Blimey indeed and don't pop it yet!

Plane please forget I ever said the A word because I am not going there, nope, nada, nyet, ain't gonna happen. That subject makes the Arab Israeli discusion on the other thread look resolveable.

Ignore the A word please and note the F word, as in fanatic. I believe the TP is the same old Christian conservative bunch of Republicans usurping big chunks of the libertarian platform because it is fashionable. I believe they are dangerous. That scares me.


Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 21, 2011, 11:21:31 pm
People who think Abortion is murder scare you ?
It's true that not all of them are scary.

Some are quite reasonable people who simply look at the facts of human development, and think that the State proclaiming that we become people when they're born is pretty similar to the State proclaiming that we're only people if our skin is the right color.

However, the active and visible part of the pro-life movement is composed of people who also want to restrict the availability of contraceptives, who are fighting tooth and nail against gay marriage (after all, maybe that battle might be won, while the one against abortion seems to be lost) and so on and so forth.

For such people to attain power - presumably including the power to make appointments to the Supreme Court (that is, the power to ignore the Constitution when you don't have the numbers to rewrite it) - does scare me. It should scare any sane man.

Mind you, their opposite numbers, who want to indoctrinate the children of religious Americans with the doctrine that being one of the two mommies of the child next door is perfectly good and natural (and, therefore, any holy book that says otherwise is clearly only an archeological relic) - should also scare any sane man.

Both sides in the "culture war" want to take away the individual's freedom of belief. This is a big point in favor of Libertarians and AnCap supporters, because right now it doesn't seem that too many mainstream politicians are in touch with what America is supposed to be about.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 21, 2011, 11:39:53 pm
I followed the Tea Party somewhat in Los Angeles and, to a lesser degree, in Pittsburgh.

The origins are plain enough: a reaction to the shabby way Ron Paul was treated in the 2008 nominations, and the opposition to the bankster bailout package. When the Tea Party started picking up steam, GOP operatives began to position themselves to take credit and to try and steer it.

I talked to a lot of people at TP rallies - probably about 200. I tried to do more listening than talking. Some were diehard libertarians or anarchists, such as myself. These are the core of Ron Paul's constituency. Others are more generally concerned about the soaring cost of federal government - which has nearly doubled in ten years, thanks to both Bush and Obama. The Obamacare bill triggered another wave of Tea Party supporters. Pretty much any increase in the size of federal government will do that.

The "social conservatives" are trying to jockey for leadership. Google up YAF and Ron Paul, and you'll find a tale of a has-been organization ousting a rising star from its advisory board.

On the war issue, the Tea Party is split. The libertarian/anarchist wing mostly opposes the Middle East War; we look on the arguments of islamophobes with horror. There is, however, a large portion who still think that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, and so forth and so on. As I was in California, it should be noted that a large part of the job market there is defense-related; politicians of both parties worship at the altar of the corporate warfare-welfare machine.

The abortion issue seldom came up, to the best of my recollection. No doubt, it is important to social conservatives, but the Tea Party as a whole is much more about smaller federal spending and reducing taxes than about "social" issues.

I met quite a few "end the fed" activists.

There are, sadly, some extremely vocal and annoying "social conservatives" on the Pittsburgh TP list. I've blocked two, their S/N ratio become intolerable.
 
Some blame the ammo shortage on the color of Obama's skin. Does this explain why black people buy ammo, as many do?

A great deal of the shortage was do to extremely high military and police purchases, to begin with. As for civilians, when the Fed prints money as if it were going out of style, one can reasonably anticipate higher prices. With such an unprecedented amount of newly-created faith-based paper currency, it would not be surprising to see double-digit inflation or even worse.

There are already riots around the world due to higher food prices - caused by the rampant creation of faith-based paper currency. Those higher prices are starting now to come to roost in America.

It is possible but not certain that we might have food riots here in America. Unemployment is still very high - the "official" rate is 10%, but most believe the real rate to be 20% or more. The rate among minorities and youth is much higher.
 
Ammunition keeps for a very long time. It is not unreasonable to pick up a few boxes as a form of insurance.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 21, 2011, 11:53:27 pm
I won't go anywhere near the A word, it leads to endless pointless argument. I am sorry I used it at all.

However I do very strongly believe in government leaving everyone the hell alone, barring very extraordinary circumstances, like interupting a pogrom. 

 I do not trust the TP to do so but I may be wrong, again. I watch and wait but I see more Palin than Paul in that bunch. I hope for the best.

Only their parents and maybe with their consent their chosen clergy have any right to indoctrinate kids as to morality. Not my job anyway or the President's. Private parts are private, ain't none of my business. Marriage too, not my concern nor the governments. Myself, I live in platonic sin with a beagle.  Other arrangements are no more my business than mine is to them.

Funny thing, Terry, the manager of that walmart during the shortage was black. Race and the A word, 2 things to keep us divided.


Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 22, 2011, 12:02:29 am
It has been a very long time since I have heard any "social conservative" discuss banning contraceptions. They do object to using tax funds to pay for contraceptives, but that's another story.

One of the biggest promoters of laws against contraceptives was the Catholic Church. While the Church has not changed its official position, hardly any U.S. Catholics below a certain age ( 55 or so ) honor that prohibition.

I am the 6th of 8 children. In my generation, this was not atypical for a Catholic family. I had neighbors with 10 and 12 children.

Nowadays, families with 8 children are quite unusual - and are usually recent immigrants.

Thus, the support for anti-contraceptive laws seems to be negligible nowadays.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 22, 2011, 12:18:14 am
I had trouble reconciling the military and the ammo shortage. Us and them have only a few types in common, the 3 rifle/MG cartridges and 2 pistols as much as the 45 is issued anymore, add in 7.62 x 39 for export to make 6 total. Ah but the cops, they use civilian ammo and a wide variety too. I knew where the 50 cal might be going and a bunch of the 9mm but cops might explain the rest. And competition for primers and plant capacity.

A good friend is an islamaphobic Christian; remember the uproar over the planned mosque near the 9 11 site? He thought the preacher who wanted to burn the Koran was absolutly right, compared it to the Satanic Bible. When I said I had to agree with the Prez on this one, this is America and we do not tell people where to put their houses of worship, he just stared. Churches are churches, he said and the other places, well just not the same.  He is a good and loyal friend but sometimes I wonder about him.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 22, 2011, 12:33:08 am
One item in particular was difficult to obtain for a while: .45ACP ammo.

Who uses it? Police or military, and experienced civilians. Several police forces in S. California issue 1911 variants nowadays - they used to issue 9mm weapons, but they now favor big and heavy ammo.

The novice civilian is much more likely to go with a 9mm. Less recoil, more compact weapons, lower cost.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 22, 2011, 01:51:50 am
Some are quite reasonable people who simply look at the facts of human development, and think that the State proclaiming that we become people when they're born is pretty similar to the State proclaiming that we're only people if our skin is the right color.

This the kind of wrecked logic that make me question criticism of Right winger ... so they are against Abortion because they are racists  ::)

AFAIK the main argument for those who oppose Abortion is that they personally think the foetus is a human life, which interruption is murder and should like any other human life be protected ... and I still can't understand how you are capable of inverting this compassionate position in some sort of hatred.

Sure because is ''pro choice'' get their way they will not only ''legalize abortion'', they will publicly fund it and make propaganda for it to the point of making it ubiquitous.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 22, 2011, 09:42:09 am
Good point Terry and it happens it was .45 acp I was looking for, specifically a full size 230 grain hollowpoint at less than a lot each. I suspect ball of overpenetration so have ethical issues with it for social purposes. I have some big HP now, it feeds and goes bang and life is good.

I generally carry the .45 in town, a good but inexpensive little polymer design, and a Hungarian PA-63 in 9 x 18 when dog walking. The other one is a handful but the PA-63 with lighter trigger spring and heavier recoil spring is a sweet one hand gun, the other hand dedicated to the dog and or pulling the whatever attacked off him.

Besides the silly but cool Tommy Gun pistol I mentioned on Valentines day, I'd like something very small for forget I have it carry. Which means smaller than the 6 inch or so long .45, still looking.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 22, 2011, 08:41:13 pm
Besides the silly but cool Tommy Gun pistol I mentioned on Valentines day, I'd like something very small for forget I have it carry. Which means smaller than the 6 inch or so long .45, still looking.


http://www.seecamp.com/dealers.htm

These have a good reputation , for small autopistols.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 22, 2011, 08:48:27 pm
I won't go anywhere near the A word, it leads to endless pointless argument. I am sorry I used it at all.



Let it be known that endless and pointless arguements do not frighten Plane one little bit.

And abortion is absolutely the biggest crime ever nationally committed by the USA.

If this is a poor venue for the topic , well I can accept that, find me at www.Debategate.com   on the 3DHS page.

Hashing things out at great length is the very purpose of that site.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on February 22, 2011, 09:41:21 pm
I had trouble reconciling the military and the ammo shortage. Us and them have only a few types in common, the 3 rifle/MG cartridges and 2 pistols as much as the 45 is issued anymore, add in 7.62 x 39 for export to make 6 total. Ah but the cops, they use civilian ammo and a wide variety too. I knew where the 50 cal might be going and a bunch of the 9mm but cops might explain the rest. And competition for primers and plant capacity.

Off on a tangent again, but here is a good post on the past ammo drought:

http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2009/04/some-more-ruminations-on-ammo-shortage.html

tl;dr The machines that make 9mm also make 380. What happens when demand for 9mm goes through the roof?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 22, 2011, 10:02:54 pm
AFAIK the main argument for those who oppose Abortion is that they personally think the foetus is a human life, which interruption is murder and should like any other human life be protected ... and I still can't understand how you are capable of inverting this compassionate position in some sort of hatred.
Odd, I thought that it was obvious I was outlining specifically the "compassionate position" in the part you quoted - not inverting it at all.

I went on, in other parts of my post, to note why some people do have a negative stereotype of abortion opponents because of the positions on other issues of the most visible abortion opponents.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sams on February 23, 2011, 04:06:48 am
AFAIK the main argument for those who oppose Abortion is that they personally think the foetus is a human life, which interruption is murder and should like any other human life be protected ... and I still can't understand how you are capable of inverting this compassionate position in some sort of hatred.
Odd, I thought that it was obvious I was outlining specifically the "compassionate position" in the part you quoted - not inverting it at all.

I went on, in other parts of my post, to note why some people do have a negative stereotype of abortion opponents because of the positions on other issues of the most visible abortion opponents.

Nope you said that people oppose abortion for the same reason that they are racist because ''they want the state to determine when you are a person, the same it had determined relating to skin colour''
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 23, 2011, 04:42:14 am
AFAIK the main argument for those who oppose Abortion is that they personally think the foetus is a human life, which interruption is murder and should like any other human life be protected ... and I still can't understand how you are capable of inverting this compassionate position in some sort of hatred.
Odd, I thought that it was obvious I was outlining specifically the "compassionate position" in the part you quoted - not inverting it at all.

I went on, in other parts of my post, to note why some people do have a negative stereotype of abortion opponents because of the positions on other issues of the most visible abortion opponents.

Nope you said that people oppose abortion for the same reason that they are racist because ''they want the state to determine when you are a person, the same it had determined relating to skin colour''

I have absolutely nothing invested in defending quadibloc, but really, no, he didn't say that. What he said was:

Some are quite reasonable people who simply look at the facts of human development, and think that the State proclaiming that we become people when they're born is pretty similar to the State proclaiming that we're only people if our skin is the right color.

If I can paraphrase that for you:

Some people think that it is wrong for the state to say "you're not a person until birth" (i.e. they think it is wrong for the state to support abortion) in the same way that they think it is wrong for the state to say "you're not a person if your skin is the wrong colour" (i.e they think it is wrong for the state to support racism)

Now - I can see how that could be taken as support for the view that it's wrong for the state to be deciding if you're a person.
I can see how it can be taken as support for the view that some people who oppose abortion also oppose racism.
I don't see how it can be taken to support the view that people who oppose abortion are racist.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 23, 2011, 09:04:14 am

If I can paraphrase that for you:

Some people think that it is wrong for the state to say "you're not a person until birth" (i.e. they think it is wrong for the state to support abortion) in the same way that they think it is wrong for the state to say "you're not a person if your skin is the wrong colour" (i.e they think it is wrong for the state to support racism)

Apart from antiabortion legislation in the USA, how should an AnCap individual oppose abortion in an AnCap society?

My immediate thought would be MYOB. If a human being chooses to abort her own fetus, that's her own tragedy and not mine. If I want to adopt or have some other reason to get involved, I might offer her money to carry it to term.

But if somebody is going to abort my baby without its mother's permission, I'll reach for my gun.

But perhaps in an AnCap society it might be reasonable to sue somebody to prevent her from getting an abortion?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 23, 2011, 11:01:20 am

If I can paraphrase that for you:

Some people think that it is wrong for the state to say "you're not a person until birth" (i.e. they think it is wrong for the state to support abortion) in the same way that they think it is wrong for the state to say "you're not a person if your skin is the wrong colour" (i.e they think it is wrong for the state to support racism)

Apart from antiabortion legislation in the USA, how should an AnCap individual oppose abortion in an AnCap society?

My immediate thought would be MYOB. If a human being chooses to abort her own fetus, that's her own tragedy and not mine. If I want to adopt or have some other reason to get involved, I might offer her money to carry it to term.

But if somebody is going to abort my baby without its mother's permission, I'll reach for my gun.

But perhaps in an AnCap society it might be reasonable to sue somebody to prevent her from getting an abortion?


In an AnCap society, abortion is absolutely "mind your own damn business"!  I thnink any arbitrator asked to consider a lawsuit would throw it our immediately.
Besides, how can you bring a lawsuit if there is no law?

As far as abortion goes, I choose the right of all people, including women, to have freedom.  Laws banning abortion, in any form, is the use of governmental power to force someone else's decision on women.
Women should have the right to decide what type of health care they will have.

Yes, I am pro choice, because I love freedom.  In America, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, certain among these are the [individuals] right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In my dictionary, Liberty means the ability to live freely in the manner of ones own choosing.  Liberty also means the freedom to make owns own decisions with the interference of government.
It doesnt matter what those decisions are, good or bad.  As people, we all make some good decisions and some bad ones (except for Sandy, of course, who is perfect).
It is the ability to make poor decisions that allows us to make better ones in the future.

laws banning abortion prevent people from exercising their Creator-given right to make decisions regarding their own life.

I find it really interesting that here of all places, there are people saying that in this one area, government must intervene and overrule a person individual decision.

Where else to people say "The government must use threat of force to prevent the murder of unborn children"?  Why are these people so selective; why cant the government prevent the murder of all unborn children?

Please defend your reason for supporting government intervention in peoples private lives in this specific area.  Please do not refer to any religious text or teaching. 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 23, 2011, 11:17:59 am
how should an AnCap individual oppose abortion in an AnCap society?

My immediate thought would be MYOB. If a human being chooses to abort her own fetus, that's her own tragedy and not mine. If I want to adopt or have some other reason to get involved, I might offer her money to carry it to term.

But if somebody is going to abort my baby without its mother's permission, I'll reach for my gun.

But perhaps in an AnCap society it might be reasonable to sue somebody to prevent her from getting an abortion?


I can think of a range of options, covering both "carrot" and "stick" approaches, not all of which would be applicable in all circumstances.

Carrot options might include direct payment to the mother for carrying to term, provision of adoption/fostering, funding or other support of adoption/fostering services, direct provision of (non-financial) support to the mother, funding or other support of organisations providing such support.

Stick options might include shunning (of those who have abortions, those who perform them, those who support them, those who fail to shun any or all of the above... - all depending on who you think is at fault and how far you're willing to go).
I'm not sure how you would sue someone to prevent them getting an abortion - unless you were party to a contract involving the pregnancy.
If you consider abortion to be initiation of force then I suppose you could try direct intervention in defence of the foetus - whether you could do so successfully would, I imagine, depend very much on other people's views on whether or not you were the one initiating force and their willingness to intervene themselves.

I think most people would agree that performing an abortion without the mother's permission would be initiation of force - your hypothethical reaction to that seems wholly appropriate to me.

I doubt an AnCap society would be able to entirely eliminate abortion, but states don't manage that either. It might be able to reduce the incidence, however - and I imagine that the culture of personal responsibility that an AnCap society would seem to need to function would probably help with that. I think few people - whether "pro-choice" or "pro-life" - would disagree with the notion that a lower incidence of abortion is better than a higher one.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 23, 2011, 11:36:12 am
Damnit, I was not going to go there but you guys are being so freaking sane about it all...

I believe Friend Plane's point is that the A word is the initiation of force against an unborn child. Put that way, it surely is a horrible crime. Hell, even CG is against strangling babies in a bath tub, I think.

On Ceres, in 100 years, I believe it will happen.
I believe it will not have government funding.
I believe it will remain distastful in the extreme.
I believe this debate will still be going on.
I also believe the UW will have inherited the Arab Israeli mess intact and unchanged. They are welcome to it.

Xavin, know anything about Belgain ice cream?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 23, 2011, 11:53:44 am
Xavin, know anything about Belgain ice cream?

They're not particularly noted for it - their specialty is usually considered to be chocolate.

For good ice cream we usually look to the Italians (although, strictly speaking, their gelato is different to ice cream, being slightly lower in fat) and the US (Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs are popular over here). Some of our own stuff is pretty good too.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 23, 2011, 11:59:37 am
Drat

Another good theory shot to sheet by reality.

But, but, what about chocolate ice cream? Please leave my illusions intact.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 23, 2011, 12:08:14 pm
Drat

Another good theory shot to sheet by reality.

But, but, what about chocolate ice cream? Please leave my illusions intact.

You can certainly find various brands producing what they call "Belgian chocolate ice cream" - much of which is very nice. For the sake of your illusions I will leave you to decide for yourself whether they mean "chocolate flavoured ice cream which is Belgian" or "ice cream which is flavoured with Belgian chocolate"  :)
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 23, 2011, 12:17:05 pm
Ah, research is needed. I can do that.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 23, 2011, 04:52:53 pm

I can think of a range of options, covering both "carrot" and "stick" approaches, not all of which would be applicable in all circumstances.

Carrot options might include direct payment to the mother for carrying to term, provision of adoption/fostering, funding or other support of adoption/fostering services, direct provision of (non-financial) support to the mother, funding or other support of organisations providing such support.

Stick options might include shunning (of those who have abortions, those who perform them, those who support them, those who fail to shun any or all of the above... - all depending on who you think is at fault and how far you're willing to go).
I'm not sure how you would sue someone to prevent them getting an abortion - unless you were party to a contract involving the pregnancy.
If you consider abortion to be initiation of force then I suppose you could try direct intervention in defence of the foetus - whether you could do so successfully would, I imagine, depend very much on other people's views on whether or not you were the one initiating force and their willingness to intervene themselves.

I think most people would agree that performing an abortion without the mother's permission would be initiation of force - your hypothethical reaction to that seems wholly appropriate to me.

I doubt an AnCap society would be able to entirely eliminate abortion, but states don't manage that either. It might be able to reduce the incidence, however - and I imagine that the culture of personal responsibility that an AnCap society would seem to need to function would probably help with that. I think few people - whether "pro-choice" or "pro-life" - would disagree with the notion that a lower incidence of abortion is better than a higher one.

This is where I get confused, and I get to thinking that all these Libertarians, Republicans, "christians" and AnCaps are terribly hypocritical.
If a person believes in freedom for all people and non-intervention from the government in a persons private life, then why does abortion matter?  It becomes a matter of "my opinion doesnt count, because I am not having the abortion, and neither am I the parent, husband or priest of the person having the abortion".

So why are AnCaps talking about how an AnCap society, where nothing is illegal, would prevent half the population from expressing freedom of action?

I guess freedom is is only available to those who want to deny it to others.

OR

The alternative explanation is that the male half of AnCap society has decided that the female half are not "people", and as such are not covered by the "freedom for all people" philosophy.

Either way, its terribly hypocritical.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 23, 2011, 04:55:55 pm

 Please do not refer to any religious text or teaching. 

Oh?

Is it true then that there is no religious teaching or moral code that can become friendly with killing innocent persons?
I am willing to acccept your admission on that point, as conceeding it .

If AnCap rules allow for killing annoying persons , or killing persons for reason of economic advancement then perhaps abortion shouldn't be considered so bad .

If on the other hand ,avoiding first use of force is taken seriously as a creed then there should be no one willing to kill a person who has no ability to make first use of force, whether an invalid or whether a small child.

Further , there shold be no objection in useing force in defence of a helpless person threatened with deadly force whether an invalid or a small child.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 23, 2011, 04:57:19 pm
AFAIK the main argument for those who oppose Abortion is that they personally think the foetus is a human life, which interruption is murder and should like any other human life be protected ... and I still can't understand how you are capable of inverting this compassionate position in some sort of hatred.
Odd, I thought that it was obvious I was outlining specifically the "compassionate position" in the part you quoted - not inverting it at all.

I went on, in other parts of my post, to note why some people do have a negative stereotype of abortion opponents because of the positions on other issues of the most visible abortion opponents.

I think I understood you , I disagreed with the OTHER part of what you said.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 23, 2011, 05:01:50 pm
Damnit, I was not going to go there but you guys are being so freaking sane about it all...

I believe Friend Plane's point is that the A word is the initiation of force against an unborn child. Put that way, it surely is a horrible crime. Hell, even CG is against strangling babies in a bath tub, I think.

On Ceres, in 100 years, I believe it will happen.
I believe it will not have government funding.
I believe it will remain distastful in the extreme.
I believe this debate will still be going on.
I also believe the UW will have inherited the Arab Israeli mess intact and unchanged. They are welcome to it.

Xavin, know anything about Belgain ice cream?


Yes, you anticipated me quite well.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 23, 2011, 05:06:54 pm
I can think of a range of options, covering both "carrot" and "stick" approaches, not all of which would be applicable in all circumstances.

- whether "pro-choice" or "pro-life" - would disagree with the notion that a lower incidence of abortion is better than a higher one.



I like the way you are thinking.

Could there also be a technical fix?

Could the passage of the next hundred years produce a contreceptive so reliable, cheap and harmless that unwanted pregnancy becomes vanishingly rare?

Also could well armed women make rape much less frequent?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 23, 2011, 06:18:25 pm
This is where I get confused, and I get to thinking that all these Libertarians, Republicans, "christians" and AnCaps are terribly hypocritical.
If a person believes in freedom for all people and non-intervention from the government in a persons private life, then why does abortion matter?  It becomes a matter of "my opinion doesnt count, because I am not having the abortion, and neither am I the parent, husband or priest of the person having the abortion".

So why are AnCaps talking about how an AnCap society, where nothing is illegal, would prevent half the population from expressing freedom of action?

I guess freedom is is only available to those who want to deny it to others.

OR

The alternative explanation is that the male half of AnCap society has decided that the female half are not "people", and as such are not covered by the "freedom for all people" philosophy.

Either way, its terribly hypocritical.

OK, two counter-arguments:

Firstly, freedom means that I'm free to do what I want so long as I'm not initiating the use of force against others.
I don't have to have a rational reason for the things I do.

Say my neighbour decides to paint his house purple - he loves purple and thinks it's the only possible colour for a house he lives in. Say I can't stand purple houses - no purple house should exist and I can't stand it, even if I can't see it.
Arbitration is no good - he's not willing to settle for anything less than keeping his house purple. I'm not willing to settle for anything less then his house not being purple. There is no solution to be found that will satisfy both of us.

I am free to use any means short of initiation of force to persuade him to repaint the house a different colour.
He is free to use any means short of initiation of force to persuade me to stop.

Similarly no-one has to have a rational reason to oppose abortion. Freedom means they are allowed to oppose it by any means short of initiation of force. It also means that anyone who disagrees with them is free to oppose their opposition by any means short of initiation of force.

Second argument - not initiating the use of force still allows you to defend others who are having force initiated against them. If an unborn child is a person, then abortion is initiation of force against them. Defence of the unborn child by opposing abortion is thus consistent with AnCap principles.

The second argument hinges on whether or not an unborn child is a person. Reasonable minds may differ concerning at what point a collection of cells with the potential to become a person actually do become a person. For the record, my views on the subject - insofar as I have an informed opinion - would probably have me characterised as "pro-choice", at least by people who would describe themselves as "pro-life". Personally I think of myself as being for both life and choice.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 23, 2011, 06:30:44 pm
I know guys who have screwed around, knocked up manipulative bimbos who have all the control over the to be or not to be question for the baby, the A word. Said women then go on welfare, sic the state on the poor schmuck who becomes her financial bitch for the next 21 years, all for the good of the children he never wanted in the first place.

This ecconomic screwing they get for the screwing they got is not far removed from the A word issues.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on February 23, 2011, 06:43:47 pm
In an AnCap society, abortion is absolutely "mind your own damn business"!  I thnink any arbitrator asked to consider a lawsuit would throw it our immediately.
Almost all AnCaps would agree.  I don't know of any that disagree.  AnCaps certainly agree that there should be no state involvement (since there shouldn't be a state.)  And of those who consider abortion to be wrong, almost all would agree that using force to prevent it would be far, far worse.  (Similarly, some AnCaps consider using various mind-altering drugs to be wrong but would oppose using force to prevent that.)

IBesides, how can you bring a lawsuit if there is no law?
Now you've gone off the deep end.  Anarchy does not mean no laws.  It means no rulers.

In fact, anarchy is far more lawful than statism, since there are no people (such as government police) who are above the law.

As far as abortion goes, I choose the right of all people, including women, to have freedom.  Laws banning abortion, in any form, is the use of governmental power to force someone else's decision on women.
I like it.  Are you starting to throw off the government propaganda that you've been spouting until now?  Congratulations!

While you're thinking rationally, consider medical licensure, prescription requirements, FDA edicts, health care "insurance" controls, and all the other ways governments prevent people from getting the health care they could obtain in a free society.

Women should have the right to decide what type of health care they will have.
You have to be careful there.  A woman (or even a man!) should be allowed to decide what type of health care they will have, if they can convince someone to voluntarily provide it.

I find it really interesting that here of all places, there are people saying that in this one area, government must intervene and overrule a person individual decision.
Obviously, many of the posters here are not anarcho-capitalists.  Many, like you, support government.  Why should one of them posting on abortion be interesting?

This is where I get confused, and I get to thinking that all these Libertarians, Republicans, "christians" and AnCaps are terribly hypocritical.
Lumping those very different (and, for the most part, not well-defined) groups together would confuse most people.  Be easy on yourself.  First define your terms, and then use only those terms that apply.

If a person believes in freedom for all people and non-intervention from the government in a persons private life, then why does abortion matter?
Most AnCaps agree.  And the few that don't would agree that government should not be involved.

So why are AnCaps talking about how an AnCap society, where nothing is illegal, would prevent half the population from expressing freedom of action?
Again, you should define your terms.  What do you mean by "an AnCap society, where nothing is illegal".  It's true that an AnCap society doesn't have government edicts that define acts as legal or illegal at the whim of rulers.  But acts that essentially everyone agrees are criminal--those involving the initiation of aggressive violence or threats of aggressive violence--are treated as criminal.  (End of digression.)

The vast majority of AnCaps support each person's right to control her or his body.  However, the vast majority of government apologists support government control of not only medical care (such as abortion), but (to some extent) of what people inhale, ingest, or inject as well.  If you really do agree with anarcho-capitalists that people should be allowed to control their own bodies, rethink the government propaganda you have swallowed.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 23, 2011, 06:44:55 pm
Could there also be a technical fix?

Could the passage of the next hundred years produce a contreceptive so reliable, cheap and harmless that unwanted pregnancy becomes vanishingly rare?

I'm not sure it will be achieved by pharmaceutical means - we're still quite good at finding chemical entities that have desirable pharmacodynamic effects, but we've never found one that couldn't also have undesirable effects. I don't think that's likely to change - so we may not be able to pass the "sufficiently harmless" hurdle (at least not at the same time as both the "sufficiently reliable" and "sufficiently cheap" hurdles). I could be wrong though (and would be pleased to be so).

Maybe something could be done with nanites - but that's way outside the areas that I feel qualified to comment meaningfully upon.

Also could well armed women make rape much less frequent?

It seems likely, and it is plausible that this would reduce the incidence of abortions.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 23, 2011, 08:49:03 pm

....

Similarly no-one has to have a rational reason to oppose abortion. Freedom means they are allowed to oppose it by any means short of initiation of force. It also means that anyone who disagrees with them is free to oppose their opposition by any means short of initiation of force.

Second argument - not initiating the use of force still allows you to defend others who are having force initiated against them. If an unborn child is a person, then abortion is initiation of force against them. Defence of the unborn child by opposing abortion is thus consistent with AnCap principles.

The second argument hinges on whether or not an unborn child is a person. Reasonable minds may differ concerning at what point a collection of cells with the potential to become a person actually do become a person.

If the second argument holds, then it's OK to shoot abortion doctors if they're about to commit abortions.  I'm queasy about that.

Still, it's some ways a good thing that people are ready to defend potential people that they have never met, who can't defend or even speak for themselves.

If I had a stroke or something and was unable to communicate, I'd like it that someone I'd never met was there to protect me even though I couldn't tell them so. Particularly if they did it well.

Similarly, is it just human genes that matter? Don't the PETA people have the right to stop people from murdering cows? They at least can make the case, and it's basicly the same case as for fetuses, except that cattle will never grow up to be human beings. But some fetuses won't either....

Well, but the PETA people don't need to justify their beliefs. They can oppose butchery by any method short of initiation of force, and nobody should have any complaint with them. And of course slaughter IS initiation of force, the only question is whether there's something wrong with it. If the animal's owner thinks it's OK, why should anybody else care? Well, but they have the right to care.

All such questions will wind up depending on social consensus. If enough people think that abortion is murder then they will enforce their belief. If enough people believe that raising animals for meat is murder, they will enforce their belief too. The society will decide which initiation of force is OK and which is not.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 23, 2011, 10:43:52 pm
Then whose is the burden of proof for personhood?

Whether animals deserve the protection of a social taboo against initiation of force is dependant on whether one recognises an exceptional nature for Human beings or not.

Whether children in the woumb deserve protection of a social taboo against murder is a diffrent sort of question , there is o question at all of the child being Human , there is only some reluctance on the part of persons inconviencenced by them to admit they are beings.

There is growing rapidly a need to define what a person is , and this is a question that Government has utterly failed at since Government began.

Why did Dred Scott need to prove he was a person? How will anyone who is mute?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 24, 2011, 12:13:19 am
the poor schmuck who becomes her financial bitch for the next 21 years,
I presume that an AnCap society, even if the people are generally compassionate towards women who are left pregnant by cads who abandon them, and who are against subjecting women to economic pressure to have an abortion... are still going to firmly see child support, let alone alimony, as an initiation of force, and not as an enforcement of a contractual obligation.

Unless there's a verifiable written copy of a pre-nup somewhere that says otherwise, at least.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 24, 2011, 12:14:17 am
i suspect that, as technology improves, reliable contraception will reduce unwanted pregnancies. The incidence of rape in an AnCap society will be much lower, as more women will be armed and ready to defend themselves.

That said, there may still be some women who, for whatever reason, choose to abort.

Let us, for the sake of argument, consider the possibility of defending the rights of the unborn to life. What would that entail?

In an AnCap society, some victim has to file a complaint. No State vs. Jane proceedings; it's Baby vs. Jane - but Baby is no longer able to sue.

What happens with other murders? Who might sue? Husbands, wives, parents, children; possibly employers?

The mother of the child isn't going to sue herself. Perhaps the father has an interest?

I don't see how there can be a general societal interest unless there is some  manifestation of "society" - which brings the State into the picture, doesn't it?

I think people would go with the moral suasion approach. Why not have adoption clinics which pay mothers to complete their pregnancies?

Somewhere I heard another approach: it might become possible, when technology advances, to transplant the fetus to a host mother's womb. Children are also surviving much earlier deliveries; I know of two tykes who were about 20 weeks in the womb.

There will be a demand for children. I'm a big fan of Julian Simon's Ultimate Resource - the more people we have, the more brainpower is available to solve life's many problems.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 24, 2011, 12:46:23 am
Conducam iurisconsulti, ergo sum.



According to Google translator .....


I hire Lawyers , therefore I am.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 24, 2011, 05:42:49 am
Then whose is the burden of proof for personhood?

Whether animals deserve the protection of a social taboo against initiation of force is dependant on whether one recognises an exceptional nature for Human beings or not.

Whether children in the woumb deserve protection of a social taboo against murder is a diffrent sort of question , there is o question at all of the child being Human , there is only some reluctance on the part of persons inconviencenced by them to admit they are beings.

There is growing rapidly a need to define what a person is , and this is a question that Government has utterly failed at since Government began.

Why did Dred Scott need to prove he was a person? How will anyone who is mute?

Whoever has an axe to grind has the burden of proof to convince some particular arbitrator.

Whoever has an axe to grind has the burden of proof to create a consensus among the public, so arbitrators will know what outcome will enrage the smaller minority.

When you say that it's obvious that a tiny blob of tissue without a beating heart is a human being, while a functional whale whose brain weighs 20 pounds deserves no protection if humans are special.... It doesn't have to make sense. It's entirely a question of what the consensus is among the people who get to choose what it means to illegitimately apply force.

So, if someone plays loud music you don't like, is that first use of force? The force of the sound on your eardrums could be measured. What force should be allowed to respond to this aggression? If we argue about that, we're working toward the social consensus that says what's allowable. There's no guarantee what result that any particular society will reach.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 24, 2011, 06:08:04 am

I don't see how there can be a general societal interest unless there is some  manifestation of "society" - which brings the State into the picture, doesn't it?

Anybody can sue, can't they? And if there's a question why they in particular have an interest, that will be something an arbitrator can consider. If one person is about to murder another and you don't know either one of them, should you get involved? If you use force to prevent a murder then perhaps you can answer in court about your actions. If one of them does murder the other, should you sue to get the survivor to pay -- who? Would you sue to get the legal right to kill the murderer?

How about this -- somebody commits a murder that the arbitator agrees was not justified, and there's reason to think he might do it again. Do you have the right to sue that he should be confined for some period of time and allowed by the confined-worker employer to work enough to support some sort of lifestyle? Then he will not be a danger to random sovs for that time, and maybe he'll learn to be more careful since next time if he doesn't get killed he'll surely be confined for longer.... Would AnCaps agree to that deal? I don't know. It depends entirely on them, on what they choose, what they think is right. If there's nobody who wants to confine workers (perhaps at a profit, or perhaps as a sort of charity) then it surely won't happen. But if there's somebody who's set up to make a nice profit that way then that's one "vote" in favor.

Quote
I think people would go with the moral suasion approach. Why not have adoption clinics which pay mothers to complete their pregnancies?

If women who want abortions get paid not to, then somebody is paying women to say they want abortions. Why wouldn't every pregnant woman line up to get that money? Well, not if they have to give up the baby for adoption. I guess there's a demand-and-supply question. If more people will pay for babies than there are women who will give up babies, then the price rises. Vice versa it falls. So the number of abortions would depend on the surplus pregnancy rate, which is how it ought to be. If nobody in the whole society wants to raise that baby, what's the alternative to killing it?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: wdg3rd on February 24, 2011, 06:38:29 am
While I try to avoid abortion debates, being male and therefore having no dog in that fight, I've always figured that if you don't approve of abortion, don't have one.

Aside from that, Victor Koman described what I consider the best solution in his novel Solomon's Knife.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 24, 2011, 07:46:17 am
While I try to avoid abortion debates, being male and therefore having no dog in that fight, I've always figured that if you don't approve of abortion, don't have one.

Sure. But if you believe that fetuses are human beings, that's like saying "If you don't like murder, don't kill anybody" or "If you don't like terrorist attacks, don't be a terrorist".

We definitely do not say that in an AnCap society nobody should ever step in to help people they don't know. Sure, if you murder a man with children his children have the right to sue you for the support their daddy would have given them. If he was a skilled worker and hard to replace his employer can sue you for the lost production. Etc.

But if that's the only sort of lawsuit allowed, what about a man who's independently wealthy that nobody particularly depends on? Is it OK to murder him when nobody in particular can point to the damages they suffer from his murder? "He was staying in my hotel and you got blood on the sheets. Pay me damages."

I expect that most societies including many AnCap societies would allow prosecution of people who widely violate social norms. If you murder an orphan, or an old woman, or possibly if you cook and put lots of garlic fumes into public spaces, people have a right to stop you or sue you whether or not particular people can claim much personal damage to themselves. Which things they can get away with suing you for depend on social consensus.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Xavin on February 24, 2011, 08:19:15 am

Second argument - not initiating the use of force still allows you to defend others who are having force initiated against them. If an unborn child is a person, then abortion is initiation of force against them. Defence of the unborn child by opposing abortion is thus consistent with AnCap principles.


If the second argument holds, then it's OK to shoot abortion doctors if they're about to commit abortions.  I'm queasy about that.

Maybe. As you note, that might depend on the social consensus.

If the social consensus is that abortion is murder then the statement is equivalent to "it's OK to shoot murderers if they're about to commit murders."

I don't have a problem with that statement.

Also, the social consensus might be along the lines of "it's only OK to shoot people who are doing something really badly wrong, and there isn't a reasonable alternative method of stopping them" - is shooting abortion doctors the only reasonable way of stopping them?

Of course it's possible - even likely - that there isn't a social consensus on the subject. At that point shooting abortion doctors doesn't seem like a good idea. Sure, you might think you're defending an innocent victim from murder, but others may feel equally strongly that you're the murderer - you try and shoot the doctor, they shoot you. Someone who agrees with you shoots them...

Either pretty soon just about everyone who feels strongly enough to shoot people over the issue has been shot, or (more likely) someone's come up with a better idea that doesn't involve fast-moving bits of lead and people bleeding everywhere.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 24, 2011, 09:57:05 am
I just woke up here in Pacific Standard Time, blood cafiene level low, not smart yet. However I am impressed with you guys and the general handling of this touchy stuff.

Well done!
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 24, 2011, 11:46:43 am
Don't be silly, remember these are evil money grabbing capitalists we are talking about; they'd sell the babies.

In the strip, on Ceres, in a frontier society, adoption would be commonplace and nasty medical procedures frowned upon by some but generally ignored.

There is a logic to producing Cerians on site, an efficiency of resources. Mommy and Daddy make a baby there, eating, drinking and breathing local materials. The bundle of joy is mostly made up of asteroidal materials already there on Ceres. As opposed to lifting a 200 pound adult from Earth all it cost in transportation was some genes. The critter is untrained and incontinent but it is there. He or she eats local food and grows up into a big and strong Cerian AnCap oriented adult, no fusion fuel required. No issues or emotional trauma or baggage or crazy stuff to unlearn first either.

However, until then the little diaper filler will generally be under foot..
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 24, 2011, 12:04:55 pm
While I try to avoid abortion debates, being male and therefore having no dog in that fight, I've always figured that if you don't approve of abortion, don't have one.

Aside from that, Victor Koman described what I consider the best solution in his novel Solomon's Knife.

He's going to find this strange, but, I agree with wdg3rd; if you dont like abortions, dont have one.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 24, 2011, 12:17:41 pm
Every pregnancy carries a nonzero risk of death.  (And some have the gall to speak of "inconvenience".)

When it's your risk, I won't presume to dictate how you handle it.  When it's mine, I will defend it accordingly.

If I'm in a perilous situation, from which only you can rescue me and which also involves a chance of your getting maimed or killed, I can hope you'll take the chance on my behalf.  Do you think I have any standing to demand that you do so?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 24, 2011, 01:58:38 pm

 in a frontier society, adoption would be commonplace and nasty medical procedures frowned upon by some but generally ignored.

Spudit has hit it on the head!  AnCap only works in frontier societies.

In frontier societies, population is necessary for survival; so, no abortion except in dire emergencies.

Abortion is a luxury of settled civilizations, not frontier ones.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 24, 2011, 02:29:53 pm
Every pregnancy carries a nonzero risk of death.  (And some have the gall to speak of "inconvenience".)

When it's your risk, I won't presume to dictate how you handle it.  When it's mine, I will defend it accordingly.

If I'm in a perilous situation, from which only you can rescue me and which also involves a chance of your getting maimed or killed, I can hope you'll take the chance on my behalf.  Do you think I have any standing to demand that you do so?

You think that's bad. Imagine you have a herd of meat cattle when the society decides that it's wrong to kill them. Somebody's supposed to support those cows until they die a satisfied old age, and who more likely than you?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 24, 2011, 02:56:50 pm
Well thank you Contraryguy, how very nice of you to say so. However, kindly review the difference between paraphrase and quote and maybe look into the whole in or out of context thing.

Here it goes again, I will paraphrase, not quote myself, in the clear, as they say.

Ceres being a frontier society, needs people and so would value babies; killing them born or not would be unpopular. SPUDIT HAS SPOKEN

The rest though...

AnCap works anywhere, it is normal and natural. 

We, us humans, are mostly between physical frontiers right now, though I am damned curious about Alaska. The planet is too full and space is inaccessable, right now. However, this right here online is a frontier as surely as the old west. I don't know where you are, I am 50 miles west and 50 miles south of Seattle, yet I am discussing the subject of a hopeful future with a guy in Germany, a couple Brits and some guy in Central America. What else do ya want, egg in your beer?

That sounds kinda nasty though.




Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 25, 2011, 01:01:09 am
If I'm in a perilous situation, from which only you can rescue me and which also involves a chance of your getting maimed or killed, I can hope you'll take the chance on my behalf.  Do you think I have any standing to demand that you do so?
What if I put you in that perilous situation?

Barring rape, every fetus who is in the position of being dependent on his or her mother's willingness to continue being pregnant for survival is in that position because she chose to engage in sexual activity without taking adequate contraceptive precautions.

So that argument is not as simple and effective as might be thought.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 25, 2011, 07:04:40 am
Quote
What if I put you in that perilous situation?

Intentionally?  Certainly you owe me the risk of rescue (though if you intended to kill me, you probably wouldn't rescue me unless you suddenly changed your mind about it).  Accidentally?  Maybe you weren't looking and bumped into me and I fell over the cliff and grabbed the branch and I'll fall to my death before you can get other help -- I'm the one who's definitely going to die without help and maybe it's just me but, honestly, I don't think I have a claim on your risking your life.

Quote
she chose to engage in sexual activity without taking adequate contraceptive precautions.

And I once read -- in the newspaper, and 40 years ago, back when we used to say, "You can't believe everything you read in the papers" -- of a woman giving birth to her ninth child.  She & hubby only wanted two and had tried, according to the article, 17 different forms of birth control (not listed).  Meaning, you don't necessarily know what "adequate" precautions are until you find out they weren't.  See "accidental", above.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 25, 2011, 07:21:52 am
Then whose is the burden of proof for personhood?

Whether animals deserve the protection of a social taboo against initiation of force is dependant on whether one recognises an exceptional nature for Human beings or not.

Whether children in the woumb deserve protection of a social taboo against murder is a diffrent sort of question , there is o question at all of the child being Human , there is only some reluctance on the part of persons inconviencenced by them to admit they are beings.

There is growing rapidly a need to define what a person is , and this is a question that Government has utterly failed at since Government began.

Why did Dred Scott need to prove he was a person? How will anyone who is mute?

Whoever has an axe to grind has the burden of proof to convince some particular arbitrator.

Whoever has an axe to grind has the burden of proof to create a consensus among the public, so arbitrators will know what outcome will enrage the smaller minority.

When you say that it's obvious that a tiny blob of tissue without a beating heart is a human being, while a functional whale whose brain weighs 20 pounds deserves no protection if humans are special.... It doesn't have to make sense. It's entirely a question of what the consensus is among the people who get to choose what it means to illegitimately apply force.

So, if someone plays loud music you don't like, is that first use of force? The force of the sound on your eardrums could be measured. What force should be allowed to respond to this aggression? If we argue about that, we're working toward the social consensus that says what's allowable. There's no guarantee what result that any particular society will reach.



I hope it is not capricious and divorced from science .
There is a diffrence between right and wrong .
Or is that only my opinion?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 25, 2011, 07:24:46 am
While I try to avoid abortion debates, being male and therefore having no dog in that fight, I've always figured that if you don't approve of abortion, don't have one.

Aside from that, Victor Koman described what I consider the best solution in his novel Solomon's Knife.


Do you favor slavery?
If you don't want one I guess it is no problem for you that I might capture one.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on February 25, 2011, 07:34:02 am
Every pregnancy carries a nonzero risk of death.  (And some have the gall to speak of "inconvenience".)

When it's your risk, I won't presume to dictate how you handle it.  When it's mine, I will defend it accordingly.

If I'm in a perilous situation, from which only you can rescue me and which also involves a chance of your getting maimed or killed, I can hope you'll take the chance on my behalf.  Do you think I have any standing to demand that you do so?

Is the at risk person you are referring to the mother ,or the baby?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 25, 2011, 07:39:17 am
Quote
What if I put you in that perilous situation?

Intentionally?  Certainly you owe me the risk of rescue (though if you intended to kill me, you probably wouldn't rescue me unless you suddenly changed your mind about it).  Accidentally?  Maybe you weren't looking and bumped into me and I fell over the cliff and grabbed the branch and I'll fall to my death before you can get other help -- I'm the one who's definitely going to die without help and maybe it's just me but, honestly, I don't think I have a claim on your risking your life.

Quote
she chose to engage in sexual activity without taking adequate contraceptive precautions.

And I once read -- in the newspaper, and 40 years ago, back when we used to say, "You can't believe everything you read in the papers" -- of a woman giving birth to her ninth child.  She & hubby only wanted two and had tried, according to the article, 17 different forms of birth control (not listed).  Meaning, you don't necessarily know what "adequate" precautions are until you find out they weren't.  See "accidental", above.

I know a lady who has two boys, born nine months apart; she was using contraception both times. One form of contraception failed the first time, she switched to another, which failed. After that, she got her tubes tied. Some people are just fertile.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 25, 2011, 07:50:32 am

What force should be allowed to respond to this aggression? If we argue about that, we're working toward the social consensus that says what's allowable. There's no guarantee what result that any particular society will reach.

I hope it is not capricious and divorced from science .

Science can inform us about facts, but currently there is no science of morality. We must notice what we want and then persuade others to go along with us.

Quote
There is a diffrence between right and wrong .
Or is that only my opinion?

There may be an objective difference between good and evil. I don't know for sure. I think if we were to look at it objectively, nobody has a right to kill anything. And driving a species to extinction is objectively worse than any amount of sustainable harvesting. But that's just my opinion about how a real good versus evil would likely go. For all I know the truth is we should all do our best to drive every species extinct, that the universe is an altogether better place with no life in it. I think some buddhists take this stand -- life is suffering and you aren't doing anybody any favors to bring them into the world, better when everybody stops being reborn. I don't believe it, but what do I know?

Whether or not there is a real difference between real good versus real evil, still you do have opinions about it and your opinions will have more effect on the world if you can persuade enough other people that they become the social consensus. Then in an AnCap society you can sue people for behaving in ways that are inconsistent with your opinions and arbitrators will tend to go along with your opinions too.

Will society choose correct opinions? Will society enforce good rules or bad rules? Right opinions or wrong opinions? I dunno. History looks kind of mixed on that.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 25, 2011, 11:11:30 am
Quote
Is the at risk person you are referring to the mother ,or the baby?

A person -- and an unambiguous obvious "person", not a moot one -- will definitely die (imminently, I mean) unless B person accepts some risk of injury and/or death.  "Mother" and "baby" are loaded terms for some, not so loaded for others, so using them will not produce a universally-applicable argument.

Quote
I think if we were to look at it objectively, nobody has a right to kill anything.

. . . in a universe in which nearly everything must kill in order not to kill itself (and thus its constituent cells & mitochondria, if any, which can only hope the organism makes what is the "right" choice for them).  God is an iron.

Does a tiger have the "right" to kill you?  Does the question of having a "right" at all even make sense outside of human opinion?  I suppose human imagination can endow a tiger with rights, but I can't think that the tiger cares.  Humans can also imagine some cosmic scorekeeper who (or which) does care on behalf of the tiger, and is judging humans by whether or not we "get" it.  I don't really see that human opinion & imagination is in any way subject to "objectivity", though.

We're mostly serious weenies about death & dying.  And we're getting worse.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 25, 2011, 11:18:25 am
Going deep here.

There is a concept which holds that all of us, we Humans, our planet, the sun and all the rest of the galaxy, is nothing but the furthest flung reigion of the accretion disk of the monster black hole in the center of the galaxy and that, given infinite time, gas and dust friction will slow our orbit around it and we too will be consumed.

Ok, back to baby killing, yes or no.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 25, 2011, 11:29:49 am
Quote
There is a concept which holds that all of us, we Humans, our planet, the sun and all the rest of the galaxy, is nothing but the furthest flung reigion of the accretion disk of the monster black hole in the center of the galaxy and that, given infinite time, gas and dust friction will slow our orbit around it and we too will be consumed.

The inhalation of Brahma.  Oh, wait, that would be the whole universe, not just the neighborhood.  Wups.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 25, 2011, 11:45:25 am
Dude, All we are is dust in the intergalactic wind, whoa!

Now if one atom in my finger is an entire universe...
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on February 25, 2011, 12:18:59 pm
If I'm in a perilous situation, from which only you can rescue me and which also involves a chance of your getting maimed or killed, I can hope you'll take the chance on my behalf.  Do you think I have any standing to demand that you do so?
What if I put you in that perilous situation?

Barring rape, every fetus who is in the position of being dependent on his or her mother's willingness to continue being pregnant for survival is in that position because she chose to engage in sexual activity without taking adequate contraceptive precautions.

EXCEPT in cases of rape or incest, of course. 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on February 25, 2011, 12:20:16 pm
never mind--not reading closely enough.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 25, 2011, 03:09:47 pm
We're mostly serious weenies about death & dying.  And we're getting worse.
I hope we have the opportunity to get worse yet. Inventing rejuv would be one positive step.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on February 25, 2011, 06:27:05 pm
If 'rejuv" means I get to become a kind of human "one-hoss shay" (http://holyjoe.org/poetry/holmes1.htm), and go on for 120 years running perfectly and then suddenly die, OK.  Though I think I'd like a little warning.

If "rejuv" means "live forever" -- you can have it, and mine too. 

Having the opportunity to get worse yet, sure, I'm with you.  Actually getting worse yet -- no, please, not that!  The freakin' safety and security Nazis are already waay out of hand.  Dupont Corp already will forbid you to take a tour in one of their places if you decline to hold onto the handrail on a normal set of stairs.  What's next, everyone being required to use a walker to cross an open floor, lest we lose our balance (do you have any idea how insecure your topheavy body is on just those two little pediments called "feet"?  You should wear a helmet at all times!  Ref. strip 3 (http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=3) which isn't so far-fetched)?

There will be no Patrick Henrys where death is more feared than enslavement.  Been felt up by TSA yet?  It's partly the fault of a former co-worker of mine, who said, verbatim, "I would gladly give up every right I had for safety!" and meant it.

Which do you value more?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 25, 2011, 06:37:31 pm
I wonder if longer life expectancy might indeed, among some people, lead to that "I would give up every right I have for safety" mentality.

Certainly not for me. Such a life would not be worth living.

But what if reincarnation became technically possible? You walk across a street, get hit by a car, and blaaam! you wake up in a new instance of your bod, indistinguishable from the old, with your own memories and such intact, restored from an indestructible backup.

Except for a bit of down-time, you'd continue as before.

I always figured that Star Trek writers seriously under-used the capabilities of transporter technology. If you have the ability to create atom-for-atom copies of people, you should be able to do a little editing - removing viruses, or repairing damaged organs, or even rewinding the clock a bit - between A and B.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 25, 2011, 08:27:08 pm
Quote
There will be no Patrick Henrys where death is more feared than enslavement.  Been felt up by TSA yet?  It's partly the fault of a former co-worker of mine, who said, verbatim, "I would gladly give up every right I had for safety!" and meant it.


I have never been searched on Amtrak, if it is going your way use it.

This might amuse you abortion debaters in a filling an extinguisher with gasoline and pressurizing it with propane sort of way. We aim to please.

http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/02/miscarriage-death-penalty-georgia (http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/02/miscarriage-death-penalty-georgia)
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 25, 2011, 11:56:12 pm
But what if reincarnation became technically possible? You walk across a street, get hit by a car, and blaaam! you wake up in a new instance of your bod, indistinguishable from the old, with your own memories and such intact, restored from an indestructible backup.

Except for a bit of down-time, you'd continue as before.
That wouldn't be me. I would have died. That would be another person, a copy of myself, who would then experience his life. I, who met my end, would experience things no longer.

The fact that the new me might be indistinguishable from the old from the outside would only confuse other people. I live my life from the inside of my brain, after all.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 26, 2011, 12:34:54 am
Once again, I love the dialog.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on February 26, 2011, 01:11:00 am
But what if reincarnation became technically possible? You walk across a street, get hit by a car, and blaaam! you wake up in a new instance of your bod, indistinguishable from the old, with your own memories and such intact, restored from an indestructible backup.

Except for a bit of down-time, you'd continue as before.
That wouldn't be me. I would have died. That would be another person, a copy of myself, who would then experience his life. I, who met my end, would experience things no longer.

The fact that the new me might be indistinguishable from the old from the outside would only confuse other people. I live my life from the inside of my brain, after all.

What does the hypothetical Star Trek transporter do? It breaks you down to your atomic level and by some technmagic recreates a new you in some other location, which is precisely identical. How could this new "you" distinguish itself from the old "you"? How could you tell whether the process is as I have described, or is a nearly instantaneous physical transfer of the "real" you?

Once you accept that such a (hypothetical, of course) transporter transports the "real" you, then using similar technology for reincarnation is merely an application of the same concepts across slightly larger temporal displacements.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on February 26, 2011, 02:06:00 am
Larry Niven covered that a long time ago. So many, transporter type tech derrived, Asimovs but who gets the Foundation royalties?

I watched the ISS pass over tonight, most very cool.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: GlennWatson on February 26, 2011, 07:51:03 am
I am reading a SciFi book right now about this very idea of immortality.  Its called "Kethani," by by Eric Brown. 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: wdg3rd on February 26, 2011, 09:44:22 am

What does the hypothetical Star Trek transporter do? It breaks you down to your atomic level and by some technmagic recreates a new you in some other location, which is precisely identical. How could this new "you" distinguish itself from the old "you"? How could you tell whether the process is as I have described, or is a nearly instantaneous physical transfer of the "real" you?

Once you accept that such a (hypothetical, of course) transporter transports the "real" you, then using similar technology for reincarnation is merely an application of the same concepts across slightly larger temporal displacements.


People who believe in imaginary friends and immortal souls have had a problem with that at least as far back as some conversations involving Dr. McCoy in the first Star Trek series.

I'll take what I can get.  John Varley had a good system of serial immortality that I liked in a lot of his early work.  Yeah, sometimes duplicates happened, that was a key plot point in his novel The Ophiucci Hotline.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on February 27, 2011, 12:18:05 pm
People who believe in imaginary friends and immortal souls have had a problem with that at least as far back as some conversations involving Dr. McCoy in the first Star Trek series.
I don't believe in God or an afterlife, but I do believe that human consciousness is a real phenomenon. And, for that matter, I believe that what common-law lawyers do - attempting to determine what right and wrong actually are - is a valid exercise.

Revealed religion has done a lot of harm in this world, but reacting to it by throwing the baby out with the bathwater is also a mistake.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on February 27, 2011, 09:31:51 pm

Quote
I think if we were to look at it objectively, nobody has a right to kill anything.

. . . in a universe in which nearly everything must kill in order not to kill itself (and thus its constituent cells & mitochondria, if any, which can only hope the organism makes what is the "right" choice for them).  God is an iron.

Does a tiger have the "right" to kill you?  Does the question of having a "right" at all even make sense outside of human opinion?  I suppose human imagination can endow a tiger with rights, but I can't think that the tiger cares.  Humans can also imagine some cosmic scorekeeper who (or which) does care on behalf of the tiger, and is judging humans by whether or not we "get" it.  I don't really see that human opinion & imagination is in any way subject to "objectivity", though.

If there is no objectivity to it, and no deity who tells us what we should do in a way we can fully understand with a verifiable signature, then it all comes down to public opinion, doesn't it?

Individual people choose what they want to believe, and when there's enough of a social consensus to censor other points of view and to teach the consensus view in the public schools, then the issue is settled. Until next time.

About abortion, the issue is not yet settled but it will probably go ProLife. Because very few people are ready to die or to kill for the right to have abortions, while the number ready to kill (or die themselves) to prevent abortions will likely keep rising. When we get a significant threat to abortion doctors and to judges who allow abortion, and to people who publish op-eds favoring ProChoice, the ProChoice side will falter. Because they aren't that dedicated to something even they think is unfortunate.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 01, 2011, 02:08:09 am
About abortion, the issue is not yet settled but it will probably go ProLife. Because very few people are ready to die or to kill for the right to have abortions, while the number ready to kill (or die themselves) to prevent abortions will likely keep rising. When we get a significant threat to abortion doctors and to judges who allow abortion, and to people who publish op-eds favoring ProChoice, the ProChoice side will falter. Because they aren't that dedicated to something even they think is unfortunate.
If it goes pro-life for that reason, a lot of other things will change too. Some of which people on the other side will be willing to kill and die about.

Some kind of theocracy, whether Muslim or Christian, is not impossible in our future. It's a failure mode that is present even when many opinion leaders think that religion is dying out, because nobody they know takes it seriously that way.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 02, 2011, 01:12:16 pm
If 'rejuv" means I get to become a kind of human "one-hoss shay" (http://holyjoe.org/poetry/holmes1.htm), and go on for 120 years running perfectly and then suddenly die, OK.  Though I think I'd like a little warning.

If "rejuv" means "live forever" -- you can have it, and mine too. 

There will be no Patrick Henrys where death is more feared than enslavement.  Been felt up by TSA yet?  It's partly the fault of a former co-worker of mine, who said, verbatim, "I would gladly give up every right I had for safety!" and meant it.

Which do you value more?

Me, I value freedom.  but thats just me.  Most Americans are so frightened of their own shadow they would prefer a benevolent dictatorship than have to worry about freedom.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 02, 2011, 01:14:43 pm
I wonder if longer life expectancy might indeed, among some people, lead to that "I would give up every right I have for safety" mentality.

Certainly not for me. Such a life would not be worth living.

But what if reincarnation became technically possible? You walk across a street, get hit by a car, and blaaam! you wake up in a new instance of your bod, indistinguishable from the old, with your own memories and such intact, restored from an indestructible backup.

Except for a bit of down-time, you'd continue as before.

I always figured that Star Trek writers seriously under-used the capabilities of transporter technology. If you have the ability to create atom-for-atom copies of people, you should be able to do a little editing - removing viruses, or repairing damaged organs, or even rewinding the clock a bit - between A and B.



Read Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom".  Its just this kind of thing, and AnCap to boot.

I will even donate some of my whuffie. ;D
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 02, 2011, 01:20:42 pm

Quote
I think if we were to look at it objectively, nobody has a right to kill anything.

. . . in a universe in which nearly everything must kill in order not to kill itself (and thus its constituent cells & mitochondria, if any, which can only hope the organism makes what is the "right" choice for them).  God is an iron.

Does a tiger have the "right" to kill you?  Does the question of having a "right" at all even make sense outside of human opinion?  I suppose human imagination can endow a tiger with rights, but I can't think that the tiger cares.  Humans can also imagine some cosmic scorekeeper who (or which) does care on behalf of the tiger, and is judging humans by whether or not we "get" it.  I don't really see that human opinion & imagination is in any way subject to "objectivity", though.

If there is no objectivity to it, and no deity who tells us what we should do in a way we can fully understand with a verifiable signature, then it all comes down to public opinion, doesn't it?

Individual people choose what they want to believe, and when there's enough of a social consensus to censor other points of view and to teach the consensus view in the public schools, then the issue is settled. Until next time.

About abortion, the issue is not yet settled but it will probably go ProLife. Because very few people are ready to die or to kill for the right to have abortions, while the number ready to kill (or die themselves) to prevent abortions will likely keep rising. When we get a significant threat to abortion doctors and to judges who allow abortion, and to people who publish op-eds favoring ProChoice, the ProChoice side will falter. Because they aren't that dedicated to something even they think is unfortunate.


You are right.  ProLifers are more willing to kill than Pro-Freedomers, because ProFreedomers believe everyone should have a choice.
Just because I may think abortion is an unfortunate choice, I still support the option to make that choice.

Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on March 03, 2011, 12:58:22 am


Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.


I hope your victims cet a chance at choosing.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 03, 2011, 02:32:53 am
Me, I value freedom.  but thats just me.  Most Americans are so frightened of their own shadow they would prefer a benevolent dictatorship than have to worry about freedom.
Hopefully, however, most Americans have enough sense to realize that once you have a dictatorship, there's no way to make it stay benevolent.

Unless you're the dictator - which is precisely why taking the power to tax and conscript away from an elected government is an idea that would at least tend to be a non-starter. Why throw away a tool we can use to protect ourselves in troubled times?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 03, 2011, 07:16:25 am
Quote
Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.

Thousands?  Massacre?  Wow.  Myself, I'd limit it to killing this specific pro-lifer when s/he actually attempts violence against the doctor/clinic/woman.  I'd keep it personal -- and real-time.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 03, 2011, 07:50:55 am
Quote
Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.

Thousands?  Massacre?  Wow.  Myself, I'd limit it to killing this specific pro-lifer when s/he actually attempts violence against the doctor/clinic/woman.  I'd keep it personal -- and real-time.

These things tend to escalate. Say it comes down to tens of thousands of ProLife terrorists who try to kill abortionist doctors in the act, killing women who are getting abortions at the same time. You could volunteer to guard a doctor. So you put in your 4 hours a week guarding the doctor with your rifle, and will they get half a dozen RPGs or a TOW to blow up the whole office? Maybe some of them are suicide bombers, they come in with a belly bomb and you don't find out until you search them.

If the defenders get the attackers first in half the incidents, do you feel like it's a standoff or do you feel like you're losing too many doctors?

It doesn't take a whole lot of that before you want to find a meeting where 50 terrorists are making their plans together and slaughter them.

The FBI approach is to infiltrate terrorist grojps and then arrest them. The terrorists have a hard time infiltrating the FBI. Usually. But there could easily be ProLife sympathizers in the FBI. Meanwhile, the terrorists wouldn't find it particularly hard to infiltrate your own group, unless you are part of a small group of friends. If your small group of volunteers does not accept recruits then you can be sure that infiltrators won't be a problem on your watch.

It wouldn't be hard for such things to escalate to the level of violence that Northern Ireland used to have. If you personally showed a lot of restraint then ti would escalate around you. And I tend to think the anti-abortion side would be at a strong advantage in that war, because they have considerably more fanatics who are ready to kill and to die for their cause.

On the other hand, when they think they can win by voting, they will be less likely to resort to terrorism. This is one of the advantages of societies that allow voting.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 03, 2011, 10:15:17 am
Quote
These things tend to escalate.

"These things" do, very likely.  "I" don't.  Heck, even the one-on-one killing would signify failure on my part.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 03, 2011, 10:51:56 am
Quote
These things tend to escalate.

"These things" do, very likely.  "I" don't.  Heck, even the one-on-one killing would signify failure on my part.

I prefer a society with more people like you and fewer people like the terrorists. I'm not sure what I can do to encourage that.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 03, 2011, 01:04:56 pm
Quote
I'm not sure what I can do to encourage that.

I'm going to use the word "happy" in my next.  If "happy" sounds sappy to you, by all means substitute "joyful" or "blissful" or "contented" or whatever works for you.

I observe that happy people don't commit crimes.  A little reflection shows that this must be so:  unhappy people want the unhappiness to stop or go away and what they're willing to do about it gets wilder as the misery increases, exponentially for all I know.  Happy people are, well, happy (or happy enough) with their situation that they are in no urgent need of change.  A happy man is not going to mug you, if for no other reason than whatever you have, he doesn't want -- because at least right now he isn't wanting for anything.  The happy man is free to at least consider simply asking if you'd give him [whatever], if he thinks [it] might make him even happier.  He must become unhappy -- access pain -- before he can inflict any.

Reducing misery -> reducing crime/harm.

There are many causes of unhappiness in the world that you can do nothing about.  There are many that you can.  My biggest recommendation is this:

Make yourself happy (blissful, whatever).

Seriously.  It's the save-the-world version of what they tell you when you fly, about putting on your own air mask before trying to help anyone else.  When you're happy, you won't be adding to their misery, which will at least give them less to struggle with.

I happen to have the Secret of Happiness, in case you mislaid yours.  I should charge a gazillion bucks for it, so you'd value it, but it's free for the asking.

Strangely, nobody ever asks me.  It's neither difficult nor painful, can be done anywhere, it's perfectly legal, nonfattening, and not only not hazardous to your health, it's probably a big immune-system booster.  And you'll never run out.  Honestly, it's almost like people are addicted to misery.  Though, really, it's probably just a bad habit.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on March 03, 2011, 03:56:16 pm
Apparently no abortion provider is happy.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 03, 2011, 06:01:35 pm
Apparently no abortion provider is happy.

Why?  They remove trespassers (admittedly innocent trespassers) for a fee.  Fetal death is ancillary to the process.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on March 03, 2011, 09:46:50 pm
Apparently no abortion provider is happy.

Why?  They remove trespassers (admittedly innocent trespassers) for a fee.  Fetal death is ancillary to the process.

Does Ancillary mean Necessacery?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 03, 2011, 09:55:51 pm
Does Ancillary mean Necessacery?

Given that "Necessacery" has no fixed definition in any language with which I am familiar, then perhaps.  if, however, "Necessacery" is defined as "necessary", then no.

Aborting a pregnancy does not necessitate the death of a fetus.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 04, 2011, 12:10:06 am
Fetal death is ancillary to the process.
So? It's a predictable result of the process. Solving one's predicaments by using lethal force against innocent people is normally viewed as wrong.

Being a trespasser is irrelevant if you're innocent rather than guilty.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: KBCraig on March 04, 2011, 01:11:18 am
Me, I value freedom.  but thats just me.  Most Americans are so frightened of their own shadow they would prefer a benevolent dictatorship than have to worry about freedom.

Dostoevsky nailed it 130 years ago:

In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us."
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 04, 2011, 06:42:01 am
Quote
Apparently no abortion provider is happy.

Exactly.

No abortion provider rolls out of bed in the morning cheering, "Yippee!  I get to do more abortions today!  Sweet!"

And no happy woman ever aborts.

Ever.  If she's even thinking about abortion, she's already deeply unhappy about something.

So, you self-righteous prigs sitting in judgment on a dilemma you will never personally face, do you think your prissy sniping about "convenience" will help her make the right choice -- or hinder it? 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 04, 2011, 08:15:49 am
Dostoevsky nailed it 130 years ago:

In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us."
And this is surprising how?

Freedom is valuable. Without freedom, nothing is guaranteed - one is a slave, to be fed and protected from harm only if it suits one's master.

With freedom, one can bargain about how one sells one's labor. One can defend oneself, or at least flee from danger.

This does not mean that freedom is only a means to the end of survival, and not an end in itself. But, as the dead cannot enjoy liberty, for the end of survival to take precedence over the end of freedom is not irrational. Although not by much - since freedom is so valuable as a tool for survival, those who have lost the most basic essential liberties are unlikely to survive - as Benjamin Franklin pointed out.

But surrendering inessential liberties for safety is altogether too likely - and, while reasonable in itself, there is indeed the "boiled frog" problem.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 04, 2011, 09:11:37 am

I happen to have the Secret of Happiness, in case you mislaid yours.  I should charge a gazillion bucks for it, so you'd value it, but it's free for the asking.

Strangely, nobody ever asks me. 

I waited a decent interval for somebody else to ask first, and they didn't. I guess you'/re right.

So OK, how do you do it?
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 04, 2011, 10:33:55 am
Quote
So OK, how do you do it?

This is long, chiefly to establish some common ground.

Q:  What makes you angry?
A:  You do.

Imagine a time when you felt really amazingly happy.  Remember it in every detail.  Remember how you were sitting/standing; how you were breathing; what pattern of tension & relaxation your body held; what was going on in your stomach/head/elbow (maybe you don't remember the elbow; that's OK, you may have some other oddball idiosyncratic place that tingles or gets warm or turns an imaginary fuschia when you feel happy -- believe me, the level of detail I could ask for, and would if this were in person, would boggle you).  Where is the happy feeling?  What color is it?  Is there any sound, or are there words, like "wowwww. . ." or whatever?

Pretend that happy time is happening right now.  If conditions permit, jump up just the way you did then (if applicable), shout or sing out, do the chicken dance.  If conditions don't permit, just imagine doing so as vividly as you can, allowing micromovements.  Personally, I get the most bang out of what my face is doing -- and that's despite Bell's palsy having shut down a significant chunk of it.

How do you feel?  Right now, having done the above?  If your answer is not "happy", then we have a communications impasse which would need to be resolved.  I'll assume we don't have that.

Why are you happy?  It's not because of whatever happened back in the original experience.  It's not even because of the memory of the experience (though we used it to help 'prime the pump').  It's because a feeling -- happy, angry, sad, whatever -- is something we do with our whole bodies (we also think with our whole bodies, but that's a different topic), and I just had you do whatever it is you do when you are accessing 'happy'.  You invoked your happiness strategy.

If you play around with it, you'll find a whole different pattern of muscle tension, posture, facial expressions, breathing patterns for every feeling.  Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back, let your arms hang but not completely slack -- let them have a gentle tension.  Tip your head as far up as you can, roll your eyes to see as high up as you can, put a big idiot grin on your face (all the way to the ears -- don't worry, only the elves in the ceiling can see it) -- and try to access 'sad'.  It's impossible -- not without letting some detail of the above slip.

For that matter, if all you do is hold a pencil crosswise in your teeth and keep your lips from touching the pencil, you will experience a slight mood elevation.

So, what we feel depends on what we are doing -- NOT on what anything else is doing.

Why does it seem that our feelings are contingent on our situations?  We set up conditions: 
when [these criteria] are met, then I will access [this emotion].
We "hook" (just like a fish) our internal states on the condition of external states.

Some of them are pretty instinctual:  when [Joe punches me], then I will [get angry].  The beauty of being human is that we can override the conditions; we can even install new ones, aka habits.

When it comes to happiness, most people set extremely restrictive criteria.  Extremely.  Some people can go twenty years without seeing their criteria met . . . and then wonder why life is so miserable.

There's no particular need to, though.  Happiness isn't a limited resource, that you're going to run out of before you die if you 'spend' it all now.  Happiness isn't a cookie in the Divine cookie jar that Mommy has said you can't have until you meet [these criteria].  There is no reason why you can't just up and practice your unique happiness strategy any time you want to.  And there are, apparently, good reasons for doing so:  centenarians may smoke, drink, and pig out on sausage and bacon, or not, but one thing they all have is a happy outlook on life.

So, there it is:  you know how to feel happy.  If you're not indulging the feeling, it's because you hadn't realized that the feeling is not dependent on the external criteria.  Sure, there are situations in which you might not want to; cheering when someone is brutally killed in front of you isn't going to win you any gold stars -- but, just as you can choose to feel happy at will, you can also choose not to run your "OMG total freakout!!" strategy.  And you'll probably think more clearly without freaking out.

And you'll probably make better choices when you do access 'happy'.  I find it greatly useful while driving.  As soon as I get the urge to run that SOB off the road, I scrunch up my face trying to copy my goofy grandson's goofy grin and, two seconds later, I'm cheerful again and no longer 'hooked' by whatever the other guy did.

I should probably remember to post only while grinning like a goof.

Oh, and not incidentally -- all this is why someone who's really really good at running their "depression" strategy will not be helped by any amount of antidepressant drugs. 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 04, 2011, 11:07:09 am
Fetal death is ancillary to the process.
So? It's a predictable result of the process. Solving one's predicaments by using lethal force against innocent people is normally viewed as wrong.

Lethal force is viewed as acceptable to protect one's person or property, provided that no other option at the same cost level is available.  Those who espouse a pro-life position should, rather than using coercion to continue the trespass,  find ways of providing a non-lethal alternative at the same cost level as current abortion practice.

By not doing so, they move from being "pro life" to "pro enforced obligation to support".

Quote
Being a trespasser is irrelevant if you're innocent rather than guilty.

Not in terms of ending the trespass.  Once aware of the trespass, the owner may remove the trespasser regardless of the intent of the trespasser.  In no way is the owner expected to provide resources to the trespasser; there is no contract and no tort has been generated against the trespasser to create such an obligation. 
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on March 04, 2011, 11:07:43 am
Something to this.

I recalled how I felt watching the dog play in the fluffy falling snow, a small drift on his head and back, frollicing and snuffling in the stuff on the ground.

Must Fight Happiness,
Must Remain Grim

Hey that's harder.
Thanks
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on March 04, 2011, 11:28:58 am
Barry Kaufman wrote a book called "Happiness is a Choice"  - I've never bothered to read it, but the title alone is quite inspirational to me.    Just the idea that you can choose to be happy is enabling.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on March 04, 2011, 11:39:37 am
Not intending to get grim again but positive thinking does tend to blur into wishful thinking, been there myself and know far too many who live there.

Maybe critical positive thinking and critical wishful thinking can co-exist. Is that the trick, not imagining great wealth just visualize paying the rent.

blathering again
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 04, 2011, 12:14:50 pm
Quote
Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.

Thousands?  Massacre?  Wow.  Myself, I'd limit it to killing this specific pro-lifer when s/he actually attempts violence against the doctor/clinic/woman.  I'd keep it personal -- and real-time.

I said thousands and massacre because if I ever had the means to do it, I would be prepared to do it all at once and get it over with.
Otherwise, I might lose my nerve.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 04, 2011, 12:39:15 pm
Lethal force is viewed as acceptable to protect one's person or property, provided that no other option at the same cost level is available.  Those who espouse a pro-life position should, rather than using coercion to continue the trespass,  find ways of providing a non-lethal alternative at the same cost level as current abortion practice.

By not doing so, they move from being "pro life" to "pro enforced obligation to support".
Protecting one's property at the cost of using lethal force against an innocent individual is not considered permissible merely because it's the cheapest way of dealing with the problem.

Furthermore, it is not acceptable to allow babies to be slaughtered while we're waiting for someone to invent an artificial womb.

Of course when people voluntarily engage in sexual activity, and create a child thereby, they incur an obligation to support that child. I would presume that the ZAP means: people who have the power to make choices are the ones who pay the cost of their choices - those who have no choice don't pay the cost, because that would be aggression.

However, your point is valid to an extent. While we don't have artificial wombs, we do have such things as "emergency contraception", which, while they do kill a developing human organism, do so before that organism has really developed a brain yet. Most of the pro-life movement, while it calls attention to late-term abortions, still does not draw a real distinction between them and such things as the morning-after pill. In fact, much of the pro-life movement also opposes access to contraception.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on March 04, 2011, 02:10:55 pm
Not intending to get grim again but positive thinking does tend to blur into wishful thinking, been there myself and know far too many who live there.

Maybe critical positive thinking and critical wishful thinking can co-exist. Is that the trick, not imagining great wealth just visualize paying the rent.

blathering again

If I'm reading Mellyrn right, this isn't about positive thinking.  Your emotions are a reaction to the events that occur to you and around you.  Therefore, you can control your emotions, and not let the circumstances or events control you.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 04, 2011, 03:05:42 pm
Quote
Is that the trick, not imagining great wealth just visualize paying the rent.

Don't bother visualizing anything.  I opened with a happy memory so that you'd access happy feelings.  Once you do that, then pay close attention to exactly what you're doing with your body, especially your face -- at least, I get best results facially, and I've got a pretty strong notion that that's fairly universal.

You breathe differently when you're happy, than when you're sad.  You stand differently.  You do different things with your hands.  Find out what those are, and just do them.  For a short cut, say while driving and assuming a completely different posture isn't feasible, doing something hugely different with your face for a few seconds should help.

Then you need to cultivate the habit; if you just slouch back into your "depression" strategy, well, you gave yourself a little break, I guess.  Hopefully you'll catch on that you don't need to stay there. 

No thought required. :-)

Quote
If I'm reading Mellyrn right, this isn't about positive thinking.  [...] you can control your emotions, and not let the circumstances or events control you.

Right, not positive thinking.  You can control your body, and what you do with your body determines how you feel; the circumstances are irrelevant.

True story:  a guy I know took a hit of cocaine, specifically to pay close attention to what went on in his body when he did.  He then spent the next week "practicing" a cocaine high -- no drug, just trying to recreate the feeling on his own.

Then he took a second dose, to see if he'd missed anything, and to further refine his internal observations.  He practiced this for about a month.

Same deal at six months, one year, and again at 18 months after that.

That was about 3 years ago.  He reached the point where he couldn't tell the difference between the chemical dose and his autogenic high.  He can give himself a coke high any time he wants -- no drug needed.  And no "hangover" or whatever they call it.  Hell of a money-saver.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on March 04, 2011, 03:24:03 pm
I hear the wisdom
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 04, 2011, 03:45:33 pm
Quote
Apparently no abortion provider is happy.

Exactly.

No abortion provider rolls out of bed in the morning cheering, "Yippee!  I get to do more abortions today!  Sweet!"

No, they say "Yay, another fun filled day of providing a service which is otherwise unmet.  I get to make women happy about their health."

Quote
And no happy woman ever aborts.

Ever.  If she's even thinking about abortion, she's already deeply unhappy about something.

So, you self-righteous prigs sitting in judgment on a dilemma you will never personally face, do you think your prissy sniping about "convenience" will help her make the right choice -- or hinder it? 


That depends on what the woman at the time feels is the right choice.  If my thoughts and actions help her make whatever decision is right for her, then I am helping her.  In all other cases, I am hindering.

If I am the husband of a woman who is considering this, then I am bound up in the same dilemna.  If i am the father, or even the proposed father, then I must come to grips with the situation just as much as my wife.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 04, 2011, 03:46:43 pm


Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.


I hope your victims cet a chance at choosing.

This was in response to the question "would you be willing to kill to support your position?"
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 04, 2011, 07:55:07 pm
Quote
No, they say "Yay, another fun filled day of providing a service which is otherwise unmet.  I get to make women happy about their health."

It's a necessary service.  They can take comfort in knowing that they have provided a safe alternative.  But I think neither the provider nor the woman is at all happy about the situation.  It's very much a case of "lesser of two evils".  Some people think abortion is the greater evil but even the ones who think it's the lesser don't think it's "good".

Is it morally right to be honest?  I think most people would say yes.  Is it morally right to be loyal?  Again, I think most would say yes.  If you're one who says yes to both of these -- what do you do when your gay friend comes to you to hide from the Gestapo, and the Gestapo knock on your door and say, "Is [Friend] here?"

You can either be honest or be loyal -- but in this case, it's gonna be a bitch to be both.

Sometimes life hands us situations where we value both (or all) alternatives but can't have them both (or all).

When we value one much more highly than the other, there's no problem, and the choice hardly seems like a choice.  When we value them at very nearly the same level -- that sucks big-time, even if it's only a choice between "plain" and "pepperoni", to say nothing of more serious choices.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Plane on March 04, 2011, 07:57:22 pm


Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.


I hope your victims cet a chance at choosing.

This was in response to the question "would you be willing to kill to support your position?"

I know , but are you speaking of a duel or of ambush?

Unless you have no humility at all you must acnoledge your ability to be wrong , so giveing the guy you think wrong a fair chance is only the consideraton you would want for yourself.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 05, 2011, 07:24:42 am


Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.


I hope your victims cet a chance at choosing.

This was in response to the question "would you be willing to kill to support your position?"

I know , but are you speaking of a duel or of ambush?

Unless you have no humility at all you must acnoledge your ability to be wrong , so giveing the guy you think wrong a fair chance is only the consideraton you would want for yourself.

I think this depends on the ideology at issue.

If I have a disagreement with somebody to the point that the two of us can't live in the same world, I want it to come out with me alive and him dead. But I also don't want to get killed in ambush by some random stranger (or friend of the dead guy) when I have no idea what's about to happen. So if we can work out something that seems fair, I'm better off. I get some chance to kill him and have his friends agree it's OK. (Though they might insist on more duels, one by one until I've killed them all.)

But when it's two ideologies that can't coexist, what good does it do me to give one of the disgusting evil guys a chance to kill me? When the massacres come they won't give me a chance. We aren't going to try to get along in the long run, we're going to fight until the partisans of one side are killed off. Or else we're going to fight pretty much indefinitely without succeeding in killing each other off. Like the Balkans etc.

If my side or the fanatics on my side think it's time to start the killing, why *not* start by ambushes. Get as many of the others as possible before they know it's started, and get away alive. They'll do the same thing back, and if we put it off they'll probably do the same thing first. If the competing ideas can't coexist in the same community, I don't benefit by killing one fanatic in a set duel. Even if I survive, they'll still try to massacre me if they get the chance.

I think it's better to avoid that kind of fanaticism. But a lot of people seem to want it. They point to the opposite fanatics and say there's no possible compromise, it's an inevitable war to the death. I see a lot of Christian fanatics doing that about Muslims. They say we need more fanatics to protect us from the other fanatics. Maybe the fanatics on both sides do it partly because they get too bored with peace.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 05, 2011, 07:59:12 am

.... So, what we feel depends on what we are doing -- NOT on what anything else is doing. ....

Why does it seem that our feelings are contingent on our situations?  We set up conditions: 
when [these criteria] are met, then I will access [this emotion].
We "hook" (just like a fish) our internal states on the condition of external states.

There's no particular need to, though.  Happiness isn't a limited resource, that you're going to run out of before you die if you 'spend' it all now.  Happiness isn't a cookie in the Divine cookie jar that Mommy has said you can't have until you meet [these criteria].  There is no reason why you can't just up and practice your unique happiness strategy any time you want to.  And there are, apparently, good reasons for doing so:  centenarians may smoke, drink, and pig out on sausage and bacon, or not, but one thing they all have is a happy outlook on life.

....

Oh, and not incidentally -- all this is why someone who's really really good at running their "depression" strategy will not be helped by any amount of antidepressant drugs. 

Very clearly expressed!

I thought I was unusual to be able to do that, and it was listed as a psychiatric symptom. Then I read a neurologist's report about some experiments with feelings. He wanted to measure things about feelings. So he took experimental subjects, and he wore a white coat and carried a clipboard, and he told them "Feel sad. Thank you. Now feel angry. Thank you. Now feel happy. Thank you" and they did it. People could easily feel whatever, just because a scientist wearing a white lab coat told them to. A lot of them were surprised it happened.

I think people make a big deal of responding appropriately. Like, if somebody does something that damages your social status and you just accept it, people will think you're a wuss. How can you accept injustices to yourself without getting mad and staying mad until they are corrected? You're supposed to stay upset about things that you should not accept, and stay upset until you've had time to forget them, and then get upset again any time you get reminded.

And once they agree that those are the rules they're supposed to live by, it feels like cheating to feel good when there's something to feel bad about.

It might be connected to things that are more than just feelings. Like, if you meet somebody that you think it would feel good to have sex with, and they don't mind, why not just do it? But this sort of thing can lead to problems of various sorts.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 06, 2011, 02:07:53 am


Would I choose to massacre thousands of people to support that position?

Yes.  Yes I would.  Because it is a choice I can make or not make.


I hope your victims cet a chance at choosing.

This was in response to the question "would you be willing to kill to support your position?"

I know , but are you speaking of a duel or of ambush?

Unless you have no humility at all you must acnoledge your ability to be wrong , so giveing the guy you think wrong a fair chance is only the consideraton you would want for yourself.

As J. Thomas has said, definitely ambush.  But you have to know, just because I would be willing to kill for my beliefs doesnt mean I want to kill for them.  You would have to push me against the wall pretty hard before willing became desire.

As for ambush, of course.  My preference would be to kill all of my intended targets simultaneously.

its the only way to be sure.   ;)
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 06, 2011, 07:38:26 am

I know , but are you speaking of a duel or of ambush?

Unless you have no humility at all you must acnoledge your ability to be wrong , so giveing the guy you think wrong a fair chance is only the consideraton you would want for yourself.

As J. Thomas has said, definitely ambush.  But you have to know, just because I would be willing to kill for my beliefs doesnt mean I want to kill for them.  You would have to push me against the wall pretty hard before willing became desire.

As for ambush, of course.  My preference would be to kill all of my intended targets simultaneously.

its the only way to be sure.   ;)

There's no way to be sure. For example, even after the Bolsheviks killed off most of the White Russians, there were individuals with a white-hot rage for revenge, who struck back as they could. They did assassinations that probably looked random, and they infiltrated foreign governments trying to get their revenge that way. Some of them joined the German army and told their fellow soldiers what the Bolsheviks did to people who lost a war with them. That probably contributed to the WWII eastern front being such a horror. Probably some of them in the USA tried to start a nuclear war to destroy the people who had killed all their relatives, but if they did, they failed.

If you get involved in something like that, you win by surviving long enough that both sides get tired of killing and agree to accept their losses and just live. Even then, at any point after the next 20 years or so a new generation may want to start up the glory again.

There's something to be said for moving out of the area until it's over. Unless you have such a dedication to your ideology that you are ready to die for it.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 06, 2011, 08:51:55 am
Quote
My preference would be to kill all of my intended targets simultaneously.

its the only way to be sure.    ;)

[to the tune of "Supercalifragilistic"]:

Pillage, plunder, loot and burn,
But all in moderation!
If you heed the words I say
You'll soon control the nation:
First kill all your enemies --
and then kill their relations!
Pillage, plunder, loot and burn,
But all in moderation!


Which I think you just said.   ;)

Seriously, though:  if you're willing to die for your beliefs, it's amazing how you can fuck with the other side's head if you just sit there and smile and let them kill you.  You, personally, are dead, of course -- but people really do have a hard time going on being violent against people who refuse to return the violence.  It creeps them out, makes them feel like cheaters (there is no satisfaction in killing an enemy who just lets you), or like they're maybe overlooking something important, and once that uncertainty creeps in -- "the world turned upside-down" -- their fanaticism is becoming diluted.  Heh heh heh.

(And "frack" is not in the original.  Every once in a while, the naughty word is just right.)
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 07, 2011, 08:43:14 am
And once they agree that those are the rules they're supposed to live by, it feels like cheating to feel good when there's something to feel bad about.
Actually, I'm sure that this particular "Secret of Happiness" is more widely known than some people may think.

Suppose someone is between jobs. Obviously, it isn't going to do any good going to a job interview with red, bloodshot eyes from crying - or even a sour grumpy look on one's face. Just to even get through the day, people will indeed use the "happy trick"... a lot.

But while they may be happy in mood most of the time, still, they can't keep it up for that long at a stretch (sildenafil citrate jokes notwithstanding). They still know that they're in a serious situation. So if someone comes along and asks, "Are you happy?", if circumstances are such that they feel it appropriate to give an honest answer, they won't say yes.

Actually being happy, if one's circumstances are not the greatest, but urgent corrective action is neither required nor possible... that's another matter. That requires not just doing the happy trick, but genuine contentment with what life has given you, putting aside vain ambition.

One sees this advocated along with religious belief, and one has to suspect it's being done to quell the discontent that leads to revolt. Even though it is true that it's mature and sensible to focus on the full half of the glass - under the circumstances where all one can do is savor what one has, instead of wasting effort seeking what fate has made inaccessible.

People do this too. After all, there are many people in wheelchairs - and very few of them go mad.

And even when people do the "happy trick" to function, that doesn't mean they don't suffer from depression - just to make things more complicated.

But while happiness is a state of mind, happiness is meaningful when it comes from a situation in which one is carrying out the achievement of one's goals of survival. Not when it's caused by electrical stimulation of the brain.

As the song says,

Only trouble is,
Gee Whiz,
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sam on March 08, 2011, 06:31:45 pm
but people really do have a hard time going on being violent against people who refuse to return the violence.  It creeps them out, makes them feel like cheaters

Not what I observe.  Rather, it assures them of their superior righteousness.  Observe the killings of Jews, Indonesian Chinese, and Tutsis.  Hutus only began to suspect that killing Tutsis might be wrong when those Tutsis that had fled in expectation of massacre came back with guns.  The Tutsis that had had faith in the humanity of their neighbors died like sheep, and the more like sheep they died, the more certain Hutus were of the righteousness of killing Tutsis.

Most people are only willing to grant humanity to outgroups, if those outgroups demonstrate the will and ability to kill - treating out group X as human really is not worthwhile unless group X is demonstrably dangerous.  Humans are only peaceable to group X if the alternative is potentially nasty.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 08, 2011, 09:08:24 pm
but people really do have a hard time going on being violent against people who refuse to return the violence.  It creeps them out, makes them feel like cheaters

Not what I observe.  Rather, it assures them of their superior righteousness.  Observe the killings of Jews, Indonesian Chinese, and Tutsis.  Hutus only began to suspect that killing Tutsis might be wrong when those Tutsis that had fled in expectation of massacre came back with guns.  The Tutsis that had had faith in the humanity of their neighbors died like sheep, and the more like sheep they died, the more certain Hutus were of the righteousness of killing Tutsis.

Most people are only willing to grant humanity to outgroups, if those outgroups demonstrate the will and ability to kill - treating out group X as human really is not worthwhile unless group X is demonstrably dangerous.  Humans are only peaceable to group X if the alternative is potentially nasty.

Your experience is different from mine. This is to be expected. I wonder what causes the difference.

I can count at least four times when I survived only because people chose not to kill me, when they could probably have done it in complete safety. One time I'm almost sure that was true -- a month later one of my associates was killed and the money was gone and we never found out for sure who did it. And of course the police didn't find out much.

Maybe one difference is that in America most people share a common language. The big racial divides are black and white, with maybe hispanics mixed in. Almost all of them speak English. There are people who don't speak English and they tend not to carry guns -- maybe because it's extra dangerous for them to.

Blacks and whites in the USA really aren't very different. Sometimes we talk like we are, but we aren't. Hispanics are maybe somewhat more different, but still not that much. Maybe Hutus and Tutsis are more different than US whites and blacks. I'm sure they have more language differences, and more difference in customary behaviors.

I don't know how much difference that makes in people deciding it's OK to kill people who don't fight back, but it could be a part of it.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: terry_freeman on March 09, 2011, 05:03:29 am
Find a copy of Negroes With Guns, and read it, if you want to know how the KKK reacted to peaceful and quiet black Americans versus peaceful black Americans who were armed and prepared to defend themselves.

The author organized the Deacons for Defense, a neighborhood militia, which stood up to the KKK.

Some armchair theorists, in the great tradition followed by some on this forum, hypothesized that a massive slaughter would ensue, and the KKK would, with superior numbers, win the war. In those days, the KKK could summon a rally of tens of thousands of people in sheets.

The predicted rivers of blood never  happened.

The Deacons for Defense merely had to demonstrate that they had the will to defend themselves and their family, with deadly force if need be.

The folks in the KKK, believing their lives to be "more valuable" than the blacks who stood against them, chose to protect their "superior" lives and retreat from the battlefield.  This is the usual reaction of bullies; they'll engage in violence when the cost to themselves is slight, but will discover an ability to "go in peace" when the costs are raised.

Martin Luther King, for all his non-violent marches, had a small arsenal in his home, and was often protected by armed members of the Deacons for Defense. Non-violence was a tactic, not the be-all and end-all of his philosophy.


Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 09, 2011, 08:08:51 am
Quote
Hutus only began to suspect that killing Tutsis might be wrong when those Tutsis that had fled in expectation of massacre came back with guns.  The Tutsis that had had faith in the humanity of their neighbors died like sheep

Which is related to what I suggested in what way?

My context was "being willing to die for your cause" #and# "messing with the other side's head".

I did not say, "Stand passively with empty unarmed hands and trust that you will not be killed."

I did not say, "Stand passively and meekly hope that you will not be killed."

I said, Let. Them. Kill. You.  See the part where I added, "You, personally, are dead, of course"?

Look 'em in the eye, knowing that they will kill you, and let it happen.  They may go on to slaughter your neighbors who tried to flee, or tried to trust -- but you of all their victims will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on March 09, 2011, 08:32:07 am
Quote
My preference would be to kill all of my intended targets simultaneously.

its the only way to be sure.    ;)

[to the tune of "Supercalifragilistic"]:

Pillage, plunder, loot and burn,
But all in moderation!
If you heed the words I say
You'll soon control the nation:
First kill all your enemies --
and then kill their relations!
Pillage, plunder, loot and burn,
But all in moderation!

Nice--I can hear Julie Andrews singing it now...
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 09, 2011, 09:22:28 am

I said, Let. Them. Kill. You.  See the part where I added, "You, personally, are dead, of course"?

Look 'em in the eye, knowing that they will kill you, and let it happen.  They may go on to slaughter your neighbors who tried to flee, or tried to trust -- but you of all their victims will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, this is something that is hard to get practice at doing. You pretty much have to do it right the first time.

I find myself undecided. If the time comes that I'm sure there's no good alternative I'll try it your way. I think it would be good to set my own mind at rest regardless how the other guy feels about it. I can imagine maybe if he's like me he would be less bothered by that than when they beg and cry, or look him in the eye with the kind of hate that makes it look like they'd come back from the grave to get him.  "Well that one went easy. So much more pleasant when it's somebody who doesn't mind dying."

All in all I would prefer an approach that lets me get out alive. If they choose to recognize my humanity and decide they don't really need to kill me, that's very good, better than me dead and haunting them the rest of their lives.

Better than me getting killed, how about if you persuade them to let me kill them and they haunt me the rest of my life. I'd rather not get haunted, but if it's them or me I'd rather it be them. Not an either-or choice, of course, I could let them haunt me for the rest of my life and then I haunt some others who kill me the rest of their lives.

My, it's early in the morning to be so morbid.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on March 09, 2011, 11:32:33 am
It IS too early in the morning to be so morbid, and raining too.

Look at the bright side, the coaster ride is over, Reggie cleaned out his system and life goes on.

Without all the early morning genocide, lets talk business.

Coke could utterly destroy Pepsi if cost was no issue. Advertizing blitz after blitz, many billions even trillions spent and Pepsi is at best an obscure regional brand, at best. But of course it would cost far too much; it would not be cost effective to "kill" the competition.

As in a fight between groups. If 10 of us fights 10 of them, both well armed, 9 of each stand to get hurt or killed. It is no longer cost effective. Dr King's armed supporters made it hard to justify killing the man of peace. Sure he and his 20 bodyguards would die but so would an equal number of attackers, at least. Imagine a frontal assault across his front lawn the defenders safer than they inside the house.

In simpler terms, an armed population creates a MAD situation.

"An odd game, the only way to win is to not play at all."

or, "...and Colt made them equal."
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 09, 2011, 03:15:18 pm
Quote
But while they may be happy in mood most of the time, still, they can't keep it up for that long at a stretch[...]. They still know that they're in a serious situation.

Life is a serious situation.  It is invariably fatal.  Yes that's cute and, for at least some depression-sufferers, that basic fact is what they're depressed about.

The way to stay happy is to utilize your very powerful habit-forming function; then it runs automatically.  Tell a chain-smoker that he can't keep that up for long at a stretch.

Quote
And even when people do the "happy trick" to function, that doesn't mean they don't suffer from depression - just to make things more complicated.

I was once under a psychiatrist's care for depression.  He had good intentions, and did the best he could, but I had to leave in order to get well.  What you're calling a "trick" done in order to function, I call my cure.

Perhaps I expressed myself poorly in the original.


Generally I find tremendous resistance to the idea that we can simply be happy.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: sam on March 09, 2011, 04:28:40 pm
Look 'em in the eye, knowing that they will kill you, and let it happen.  They may go on to slaughter your neighbors who tried to flee, or tried to trust -- but you of all their victims will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

No one notices the manner in which sheep go to their deaths.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on March 09, 2011, 05:13:07 pm
Killing is bad.
Dieing is bad.

What a silly thing to go on and on about.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 09, 2011, 05:40:50 pm
Quote
But while they may be happy in mood most of the time, still, they can't keep it up for that long at a stretch[...]. They still know that they're in a serious situation.

Life is a serious situation.  It is invariably fatal.  Yes that's cute and, for at least some depression-sufferers, that basic fact is what they're depressed about.

I've heard depressed people say that. I'm not convinced it's exactly true, maybe they more have the habit of watching for things to remind them to be depressed, and that's one of the things that works.

Quote
The way to stay happy is to utilize your very powerful habit-forming function; then it runs automatically.  Tell a chain-smoker that he can't keep that up for long at a stretch.

Sooner or later he'll need to stop for a coughing break. ;)

Quote
Quote
And even when people do the "happy trick" to function, that doesn't mean they don't suffer from depression - just to make things more complicated.

I was once under a psychiatrist's care for depression.  He had good intentions, and did the best he could, but I had to leave in order to get well.  What you're calling a "trick" done in order to function, I call my cure.

Perhaps I expressed myself poorly in the original.

I think you covered the material, and you did it clearly. I would have been more verbose and I doubt it would have been any improvement.

Quote
Generally I find tremendous resistance to the idea that we can simply be happy.

Yes. It starts with "Maybe you can do that but I can't" and from there it goes to "But that's wrong, people shouldn't do that" and trails off into various justifications for why it's bad for people to be happy when they don't truly deserve to be.

Lots of people treat the idea of being happy whenever they remember to, precisely like they'd think of counterfeiting their own money.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 09, 2011, 07:24:28 pm
Look 'em in the eye, knowing that they will kill you, and let it happen.  They may go on to slaughter your neighbors who tried to flee, or tried to trust -- but you of all their victims will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
There are times and places where people with the courage to do just that will achieve great things.

And there are other times and places where that won't work, and fighting back will.

By "work", of course, I mean that even if you, personally, die, in the end, whichever strategy you choose, the end result is that it leads to more members of your group, the one under attack, surviving than if you did not adopt the strategy you chose.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 10, 2011, 07:30:53 am
Quote
There are times and places where people with the courage to do just that will achieve great things.

And there are other times and places where that won't work, and fighting back will.

You can say this, of course, because there are so many examples of both sorts of approach that you have significant data.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 10, 2011, 07:49:47 am
Quote
I've heard depressed people say that. I'm not convinced it's exactly true, maybe they more have the habit of watching for things to remind them to be depressed, and that's one of the things that works.

Oh, yes.



Last November a dear friend died of brain cancer, after surviving 5 years with it.  Apart from times when she was actually in pain or tired, she remained cheerful and happy, confident throughout.  She was still cracking wise (she was such a smartass!) just an hour or two before slipping into her final coma. 

I once met W Mitchell, a guy who'd been severely burned, thus massively scarred, and who later became paraplegic in a plane crash (his wife left him, saying that she "didn't want to be tied to a fried cripple").  He lives the maxim, "He who thinks himself the happiest man in the world, really is".  A buoyant guy, running a successful bumper-sticker business (iirc) at the time I heard him speak.  He's a motivational speaker now; you can find his stuff on youtube.

And I'm married to a guy of whom a shrink once marveled, "You think the universe will catch you if you fall -- !"  To which his response was, "Yeah; and -- ?"  So far it has; maybe it relates to "the gods help those who help themselves" and he can't be bothered being upset (for more than a couple of minutes) about some problem, but instead goes almost straight to entertaining himself with fixing it.

It's not the seriousness of the situation that matters, but how we represent it to ourselves internally.

Quote
Lots of people treat the idea of being happy whenever they remember to, precisely like they'd think of counterfeiting their own money.

Beautiful image.  Spot on.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 16, 2011, 12:41:26 am
Quote
I've heard depressed people say that. I'm not convinced it's exactly true, maybe they more have the habit of watching for things to remind them to be depressed, and that's one of the things that works.

 So far it has; maybe it relates to "the gods help those who help themselves" and he can't be bothered being upset (for more than a couple of minutes) about some problem, but instead goes almost straight to entertaining himself with fixing it.


Or maybe its that other quote: God looks out for fools and little children.

All I have to say is, Perception is Reality.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 16, 2011, 06:32:08 am
Quote
Or maybe its that other quote: God looks out for fools and little children.

 ;D  Concedo!

Quote
All I have to say is, Perception is Reality.

And we can always choose what to focus on.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 16, 2011, 10:14:25 am
All I have to say is, Perception is Reality.

This explains so much about ContraryGuy.

Personally, I am fond of the saying, "In the end, reality always wins."
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: spudit on March 16, 2011, 10:57:03 am
Quote
Or maybe its that other quote: God looks out for fools and little children.

The day before St. Pat's Day is it?
So here's an Irish one.
"If you're lucky muck'll do for brains."

Works for me.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: mellyrn on March 16, 2011, 12:34:36 pm
Quote
"In the end, reality always wins."

Maybe we could define 'reality' (always a tricky business) as "that which always wins in the end".  What CG & I seem to be agreeing on is, "[T]here is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so", as Hamlet puts it.  Whether you are "really" in a miserable situation or a wonderful one depends on what you're paying attention to.  I like to call it "contingent reality".  And it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the perception drives the behavior which in turn alters the, hm, 'real reality' to fit.  If you believe everyone hates you, you will probably behave badly enough to make it true.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: macsnafu on March 16, 2011, 12:48:37 pm
All I have to say is, Perception is Reality.

This explains so much about ContraryGuy.

Personally, I am fond of the saying, "In the end, reality always wins."

Personally, I'm a big believer in objective reality.  I will strongly agree, however, on the importance of perception.  After all, we have no understanding of reality except by how we perceive it.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 16, 2011, 01:38:42 pm
Quote
"In the end, reality always wins."

Maybe we could define 'reality' (always a tricky business) as "that which always wins in the end".  What CG & I seem to be agreeing on is, "[T]here is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so", as Hamlet puts it.  Whether you are "really" in a miserable situation or a wonderful one depends on what you're paying attention to.  I like to call it "contingent reality".  And it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the perception drives the behavior which in turn alters the, hm, 'real reality' to fit.  If you believe everyone hates you, you will probably behave badly enough to make it true.

My working definition of "reality" is "that which continues to exist if no one believes in it".  This differs from many (I strongly suspect most to nearly all) individual's approach, which is that one's own individual perceptions are, in fact, "reality".  This widespread misunderstanding is the basis for many of the problems individuals and societies experience.

In Quantum Psychology, Robert Anton Wilson discusses "Emic Reality", which he defines as being the perceived reality of individuals (sometimes extended into groups), and "Etic Reality", which he defines as the underlying reality on which these "Emic Realities" are based, to a greater or lesser degree.  A change in one's beliefs will change (one's) Emic Reality, while Etic Reality is independent of beliefs.

Of course, one must inevitably filter Etic Reality through one's Emic Reality; further, given that the expression of any given Emic Reality is finite (cf GoŽdel's Incompleteness Theorem), one's Emic Reality will inherently contain errors; that is, there will be deviations from any given Emic Reality and Etic Reality.  The goal then becomes one of creating a personal Emic Reality as close to Etic Reality as is feasible.

The key to this which I have discovered (though it is not original with me -- I credit both Bob Wilson and Aleister Crowley for the insight) is to discover and attack one's own beliefs whenever they are encountered, and replace them with doubt.  The technique I have discovered for this (and I have not seen suggested elsewhere) is to replace "Beliefs" with "Current Working Theories" (CWTs), and inasmuch as is possible, to have at least two inconsistent theories cover matters at hand at any given point in time. These CWTs then act as "lightweight beliefs", and can be changed as easily as one changes clothes.  They also assist in perpetuating doubt, since the available CWTs will at any given point provide alternative perspectives at any given point.

This, is of course a goal; I do not claim to practice this successfully at all times -- in fact, I doubt that I do.  I have found, however, that as I have practiced this over the last decade or so, that it becomes closer to second nature, and that even when I slip into believing something that I can generally recover in a reasonable period of time.  I also note that I have found that I filter far less evidence which does not match my current Emic Reality, thus allowing me to adapt to Etic Reality more readily.

To conclude, I leave a short "poem" I wrote and have times used as a mantra, on the subject:

I doubt that I believe,
Thus I believe that I doubt;
Therefore, I must doubt that I doubt
-- I believe...


Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 16, 2011, 01:51:30 pm
The goal then becomes one of creating a personal Emic Reality as close to Etic Reality as is feasible.
That is my goal, because I wish to optimize my chances of survival and reproduction, as well as perhaps doing something useful for the objective reality in which others live.

Other people, however, will want to maintain as optimistic and positive an outlook as possible, so as to have a personal subjective experience of life that is as pleasant as practical. This is the point of view for which some people have been arguing in this thread.

These two approaches can be balanced: the major issue would be to shape one's perception of reality in ways that improve one's mood without making one's actions sub-optimal.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 16, 2011, 02:27:49 pm

The key to this which I have discovered (though it is not original with me -- I credit both Bob Wilson and Aleister Crowley for the insight) is to discover and attack one's own beliefs whenever they are encountered, and replace them with doubt.  The technique I have discovered for this (and I have not seen suggested elsewhere) is to replace "Beliefs" with "Current Working Theories" (CWTs), and inasmuch as is possible, to have at least two inconsistent theories cover matters at hand at any given point in time. These CWTs then act as "lightweight beliefs", and can be changed as easily as one changes clothes.  They also assist in perpetuating doubt, since the available CWTs will at any given point provide alternative perspectives at any given point.

I've found it hard to do this adequately. The tendency is to think of two similar theories of epicycles, two similar theories of evolution, two similar relativity theories, two versions of protestant Christianity, and the wide variety of political opinion between Democrats and Republicans.

But the habit of trying out alternatives is worth cultivating regardless.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: J Thomas on March 16, 2011, 02:40:21 pm

I wish to optimize my chances of survival and reproduction, as well as perhaps doing something useful for the objective reality in which others live.

Other people, however, will want to maintain as optimistic and positive an outlook as possible, so as to have a personal subjective experience of life that is as pleasant as practical. This is the point of view for which some people have been arguing in this thread.

Various leaders find that they are more powerful -- they have more influence on other people -- when they are optimistic and positive.

Your chance of survival and reproduction might be increased by optimism even when that is not realistic. After all, apart from the chance of extinction of the whole population, your genetic effect on the next generation depends on what fraction of the gene pool your genes have. So if what you don't know hurts other people more than it hurts you, you still come out ahead. Assuming you really want to go by that cr\iterion.

Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: Brugle on March 16, 2011, 06:42:43 pm

The key to this which I have discovered (though it is not original with me -- I credit both Bob Wilson and Aleister Crowley for the insight) is to discover and attack one's own beliefs whenever they are encountered, and replace them with doubt.  The technique I have discovered for this (and I have not seen suggested elsewhere) is to replace "Beliefs" with "Current Working Theories" (CWTs), and inasmuch as is possible, to have at least two inconsistent theories cover matters at hand at any given point in time. These CWTs then act as "lightweight beliefs", and can be changed as easily as one changes clothes.  They also assist in perpetuating doubt, since the available CWTs will at any given point provide alternative perspectives at any given point.

I've found it hard to do this adequately.

Yes, we know.
Title: Re: ECONOMIC HITMAN
Post by: quadibloc on March 16, 2011, 06:56:46 pm
Your chance of survival and reproduction might be increased by optimism even when that is not realistic.
It's true that interactions with other people follow different rules than interactions with the environment.