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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: Holt on April 11, 2011, 05:56:43 pm

Title: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 11, 2011, 05:56:43 pm
I heard an interesting opinion on anarchists recently.

Anarchists only come about as a result of people living in situations where they don't have to worry about things like shelter, food and social stability.
In other words they only crop up in a society that is doing well. An interesting opinion to say the least. It certainly meshes with the living conditions of most anarchists I've met, mostly middle class folk from comfortable homes who I guess the more extreme anarchists would call "weekenders". The genuine anarchists are the aberration not the norm in this but even then they rarely ever actually follow through on their beliefs and instead just continue to live their normal comfortable middle class lifestyle.

Which actually brings to mind the only real anarchist I've ever met. A homeless guy who lived in a derelict house. Kind of funny really. He refused to pay taxes, participate in society, accept the law of the land or even agree to the concept of property yet according to the local grapevine he went to university and had a degree in some form of physics then decided to be a crazy anarchist. Still more of an anarchist than you folk will ever be, followed through on his beliefs which is more than can be said for the anarchists on this board.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 11, 2011, 09:49:11 pm
A good post and a good topic; it will be popular. Perhaps though it belongs in the talk amongst yourselves catagory? Your call.

Fair warning though, I don't know all the conditions the regulars here live in and neither do you. It might be wise to go easy on the assumptions about the living conditions, wealth, education and such of people you have never met.

Me, I am leaning towards that homeless guy's life. Legally, I am homeless, since US law says living in a vehicle does not count as having a home and a boat is a vehicle, has a title like a car not a deed like a house. It may be different there in the UK, dunno. Soon I will be afloat again wandering the inland waters south of Seattle and pretty much living as that guy does. Different conditions, different world, and since I can't walk on water, some property is required. I am not as far along as your example but I am no phony either.

But anyway, easy does it on the assumptions. Anarchists or not, these folks are not a bunch of fat comfortable Tea Party Republicans  But then I don't that know for sure either.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 12, 2011, 07:58:33 am
You can live in some kinds of boat here in the UK. Canal boats mostly I think.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Xavin on April 12, 2011, 09:20:51 am
You can live in some kinds of boat here in the UK. Canal boats mostly I think.

You can get residential moorings, which count in pretty much all ways as a permenent address - so you can use the address for official documents, like drivers license and passport, and count as a resident of the local authority for access to services. But you are also liable for council tax (note for non-UK residents - this is a tax based on property value, charged by the local authority).

For almost all other moorings you're not officially allowed to stay living aboard for more than a certain portion of the year. In practice a blind eye gets turned a lot of the time, so long as you keep a low profile (and don't "rock the boat". Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

If you're self sufficient then you can sometimes find unclaimed/disused land to moor at - they tend to be isolated and you wouldn't have access to any shore-based services.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: happycrow on April 12, 2011, 09:32:21 am
Depends on how one defines anarchims, possibly:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/11/tribal_warriors_why_is_it_so_hard_for_strongmen_to_say_goodbye?page=0,1
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 12, 2011, 11:02:07 am
Thanks for the input from across the pond gents.

I saw Holt using a broad brush on this mob and called him on it with the only example I know for sure. I yam about 3/4 nuts, know it and like it fine. I'm just plain tired of chasing things I never really wanted anyway. Most folks here live saner lives but I don't know for sure and neither does Holt. This forum might be the board of directors for Haliburton, we don't know.

Note, I insist yam is a verb on the water unless you can quote a higher nautical authority than Popeye. Ha, didn't think so.

Here, all saltwater and big rivers are federal property in general and they don't care. Legally, a 20 foot sloop and a container ship are pretty much treated the same, stay well off shore, out of traffic, don't leak anything, keep your paperwork up to date and you can park anywhere unless someone makes a fuss.  That's the goal, simple living on unclaimed, sort of, public property. Another option is living in temporary structures on State or Federal lands, in the US, national forests or BLM land.

Sigh, but then there all are overlapping government entities and those who think they are. City, county, state, tribal - the local tribes invested in lawyers as opposed to winchesters, way better outcomes, eccological do gooders, some of the corporate fisheries clean water as a raw material sort and busy bodies of all types. Blech! Do gooders.

But, some personal property is needed. Even primitives living in gentle climates own something if only a knife or pointy stick. Property rights  really are human rights. Oh boy, property rights debate! Well they say you can smother a fire with fuel if you do it fast enough, let's see!
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 12, 2011, 11:50:15 am
Thanks for the input from across the pond gents.

I saw Holt using a broad brush on this mob and called him on it with the only example I know for sure. I yam about 3/4 nuts, know it and like it fine. I'm just plain tired of chasing things I never really wanted anyway. Most folks here live saner lives but I don't know for sure and neither does Holt. This forum might be the board of directors for Haliburton, we don't know.

Note, I insist yam is a verb on the water unless you can quote a higher nautical authority than Popeye. Ha, didn't think so.

Here, all saltwater and big rivers are federal property in general and they don't care. Legally, a 20 foot sloop and a container ship are pretty much treated the same, stay well off shore, out of traffic, don't leak anything, keep your paperwork up to date and you can park anywhere unless someone makes a fuss.  That's the goal, simple living on unclaimed, sort of, public property. Another option is living in temporary structures on State or Federal lands, in the US, national forests or BLM land.

Sigh, but then there all are overlapping government entities and those who think they are. City, county, state, tribal - the local tribes invested in lawyers as opposed to winchesters, way better outcomes, eccological do gooders, some of the corporate fisheries clean water as a raw material sort and busy bodies of all types. Blech! Do gooders.

But, some personal property is needed. Even primitives living in gentle climates own something if only a knife or pointy stick. Property rights  really are human rights. Oh boy, property rights debate! Well they say you can smother a fire with fuel if you do it fast enough, let's see!

Hi!  Time for me to stick my nose in. 

And guess what?  I'm not gonna be my name today, cause I agree with you all.

Everything Spudit says is true; I also live in Soggy Seattle, where the only warm thing is the coffee.
For those who dont know, BLM is the Bureau of Land Management; they're the guys who control leases and uses and struff on federal land.  As long as you're not growing pot, they tend to ignore you.

He's also right about property rights.  One of the biggest problems with anarchy is that no one respects property. 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Xavin on April 12, 2011, 12:02:15 pm
And guess what?  I'm not gonna be my name today, cause I agree with you all.

[...]

He's also right about property rights.  One of the biggest problems with anarchy is that no one respects property. 

And you were doing so well until the end.

Just to check - are you saying that anarchists don't respect property? Or that no-one respects property unless a government makes them?

I don't agree with either, you understand - I just want to know exactly which I'm disagreeing with at the moment  :)

(Or have I completely misunderstood your point?)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 12, 2011, 12:36:26 pm
Quote
One of the biggest problems with anarchy is that no one respects property. 

There it is again:  it's always "they" need to be controlled by a government, and never "I" need to be so controlled.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 12, 2011, 12:42:55 pm
A rare and precious day indeed CG. I'm based in Sunny Shelton myself.

I respect property my own and others. I speak for no one else.

But people can be made to respect property, at gun point if need be. It is an imperfect world, Pi is not a round number and it goes straight to crap down hill from there. But "or else" works fine for behavior modification, good enough.

Ultimate aquatic property rights.

Growing up in Chicago, I had a neighbor who had worked for Mr. Capone, the local Robin Hood. I stayed well out of the pirates/bandits are good or bad debate on the other thread, I yam sorely biased.

Paul told us wonderful stories about the old days and they always ended up the same way, take em up to Wisconsin and dump them in quicksand. Or, if in water, not the Lake, we drink that for God's sake, put them in something like a barrel so nothing floats up later and causes a problem. Put air holes in it, not that he'll need them, har har!

Note there to that pregnant wife killing SOB Peterson a while back.

I was about 13 years old at the time, being mentored by a master in the fine art of dumping bodies never to be seen again. Property rights enforcement on a dark and stormy night?

Paul is long gone and I hear a cop bought his old house. Sigh, it's still an imperfect world.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 12, 2011, 12:54:27 pm
OK, I gotta.

As a recovering Chicagoan I say my home town has had exactly 2 good managers in its 150 years, both very different, both deeply flawed, imperfect, overbearing at times, but good enough.

Alphonse Gabrial Capone and Richard Joseph Dailey, not his idiot son. One ran a criminal organization, the other the local mob. Both got the job done.

No, I ain't going back.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 12, 2011, 01:06:56 pm
And guess what?  I'm not gonna be my name today, cause I agree with you all.

[...]

He's also right about property rights.  One of the biggest problems with anarchy is that no one respects property. 

And you were doing so well until the end.

Just to check - are you saying that anarchists don't respect property? Or that no-one respects property unless a government makes them?

I don't agree with either, you understand - I just want to know exactly which I'm disagreeing with at the moment  :)

(Or have I completely misunderstood your point?)

You have completely missed my point.  Allow me to explicate.

In typical anarchism, no one owns property because no on *can* own property.  In an anarchy, there is no central authority that one can go to and say "I stake my claim to the piece land that stretches from x to to z to aa; let anyone who asks know that is mine."
Now, in a neighborhood, the people who live there can agree with each other that so and so's property stops at x and so on, but anyone from outside that neighborhood doesnt have to respect those claims.

See, what I'm saying is that anarchs dont have to respect the property rights of others.  They can, but there is nothing forcing them too.
Everyone here will ignore the way anarchy currently is in favor of their idealized version.  There is nothing that says anarchs cant respect property, only that they wont.

Thats my problem with anarchy.  AnCap is worse because then you throw in the profit/greed motive.  In a stable society, even under a brutal dictator, there is an understood concept of property rights.  If people lived in an open and stable society where no government existed, there would be property rights and reasonable people would come to agreements.
But, if you called that same government-less society an anarchy, people would behave as if it were; because in an anarchy, there are no property rights.  
This is what people believe, and so they act on that belief.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Brugle on April 12, 2011, 01:24:13 pm
In typical anarchism, no one owns property because no on *can* own property.  In an anarchy, there is no central authority that one can go to and say "I stake my claim to the piece land that stretches from x to to z to aa; let anyone who asks know that is mine."

Total bullshit.  Over and over again, people have cooperated in establishing property rights without any central authority.  Learn a little history.

In fact, whenever a government is established, it often becomes the greatest violator of property rights.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 12, 2011, 04:09:24 pm
In typical anarchism, no one owns property because no on *can* own property.  In an anarchy, there is no central authority that one can go to and say "I stake my claim to the piece land that stretches from x to to z to aa; let anyone who asks know that is mine."

Total bullshit.  Over and over again, people have cooperated in establishing property rights without any central authority.  Learn a little history.

In fact, whenever a government is established, it often becomes the greatest violator of property rights.


Aside from your repetition of the usual idealist talking points, I wonder if you didnt see the part where I said "If people lived in an open and stable society where no government existed, there would be property rights and reasonable people would come to agreements."

And you also missed the part about "if you called that same government-less society an anarchy, people would behave as if it were".

Reading comprehension, maybe.

If you tell someone that society is anarchy, and their is enough evidence that they can see for themselves, they will act as if they lived in an anarchy.

Annnnnddd, no amount of words will convince someone who believes that anarchy means lawlessness that your law-filled, orderly, government-less society is not anarchy.
Just like some people will never believe that President Obama is a legal US citizen, regardless of the evidence that he is.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 12, 2011, 04:22:02 pm
You're attempting to reason with idealists. This can not be done. The only way to affect their views is to expose them directly to the reality of said views. In other words go to an anarchist region and just throw them on the street.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 12, 2011, 06:50:40 pm
If people lived in an open and stable society where no government existed, there would be property rights and reasonable people would come to agreements.
Then you're agreeing with the AnCap position.

But, if you called that same government-less society an anarchy, people would behave as if it were; because in an anarchy, there are no property rights.  
This is what people believe, and so they act on that belief.
It is legitimate, and not fudging the argument, to say that people who travelled off to Ceres or an island in the Pacific to establish an AnCap society will know what kind of society they intend to establish, and will not, unlike some other people, be misled by a misinterpretation of its name.

Also, after that society has been around for a while, other people will know it doesn't correspond to that particular definition of "anarchy" either.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: terry_freeman on April 13, 2011, 01:05:42 am
You're attempting to reason with idealists. This can not be done. The only way to affect their views is to expose them directly to the reality of said views. In other words go to an anarchist region and just throw them on the street.

In short, Holt, your argument is that your "might is right".

That argument fails the first time an anarchist shoots your sorry ass and dumps you in the river.

As a logical argument, it's a total non-starter. Is that your best?



Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Archonix on April 13, 2011, 02:39:09 am
I suspect the problem is the definition of "anarchist". In the UK the term is used most often as a shorthand for violent socialism or anyone who acts violently at protests. Anarchy means violence and lack of respect for the rule of law these days rather than the ideal expressed by Sandy and others. Those "weekenders" Holt mentioned are a perfect example: they're the children of prosperity who entertain themselves by throwing rocks at things and using that as a reason to express "solidarity" with the world's poor. At the msot recent protests about government cuts the group that occupied (and heavily damaged) a few up-market shops were described as anarchists, yet their slogans were "tax the rich" and various demands for more money from the government. Anarchism? Somehow I don't think so, but they're the stereotypical perception of anarchists. Not counting the majority of the members here, most self-described anarchists tend to be young socialists with a penchant for violence and the belief that expressing "solidarity" with various causes makes them more noble.

It's an unfortunate linguistic evolution, just as awful used to mean the opposite of what it's used for today.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 13, 2011, 06:38:49 am
Quote
If you tell someone that society is anarchy, and their is enough evidence that they can see for themselves, they will act as if they lived in an anarchy.

Annnnnddd, no amount of words will convince someone who believes that anarchy means lawlessness that your law-filled, orderly, government-less society is not anarchy.

Oh?  "If you tell someone that [this place, 'your law-filled, orderly, government-less society'] is 'a state of lawlessness, chaos where anything goes', #AND# there is enough evidence that they can see for themselves . . . " -- whoops!  You've got as givens:

a) someone believing that "anarchy = lawlessness"
b) a 'law-filled, orderly, government-less society'
AND
c) 'evidence that they can see for themselves' that 'law-filled, orderly' = 'lawlessness'.

Dude, the someone in question either has to doubt the equation of anarchy with lawlessness, OR he has to doubt the 'you' who is telling him that this orderly society IS an anarchy, OR he is insane to 'see for himself' that 'law-filled and orderly' = 'lawlessness'.

Try again?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 13, 2011, 06:39:44 am
You're attempting to reason with idealists. This can not be done. The only way to affect their views is to expose them directly to the reality of said views. In other words go to an anarchist region and just throw them on the street.

In short, Holt, your argument is that your "might is right".

That argument fails the first time an anarchist shoots your sorry ass and dumps you in the river.

As a logical argument, it's a total non-starter. Is that your best?





Might might not be right but it usually wins, so whats the difference?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 13, 2011, 06:41:14 am
Quote
I suspect the problem is the definition of "anarchist".

Hence the thread, "queer, gay, and anarchistic" which started as a discussion of that problem & proposed "decentralized" or "networked" or "voluntaryist" as alternatives.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 13, 2011, 07:09:34 am
You're attempting to reason with idealists. This can not be done. The only way to affect their views is to expose them directly to the reality of said views. In other words go to an anarchist region and just throw them on the street.

In short, Holt, your argument is that your "might is right".

That argument fails the first time an anarchist shoots your sorry ass and dumps you in the river.

As a logical argument, it's a total non-starter. Is that your best?

Would you still be an anarchist after living in Freetown? They were quite quick to drop anarchy in favour of a democratic system with few laws. Eventually despite being anarchists they were thoroughly kerbstomped by the local government who had finally had enough of trying to reason with them regarding their cannabis trade.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: happycrow on April 13, 2011, 08:31:10 am
Eh, gentlemen, in a way I think you're arguing past each other.

Lack of private property rights is a serious issue in any anarchy:  ten minutes in any favela demonstrates this.
On the other hand, it's also true that customary practice (which is what replaces government where there is none).
On the gripping hand, it's also-also-true that outsiders to those practices are not bound to follow them.

That gripping hand is important, yet it is also something which affects areas which are governed -- and especially areas which are ruled.  Law doesn't provide virtue, as anybody who's ever seen a culture embedded in the "screw the other guy first" mindset can readily vouch.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 13, 2011, 08:59:00 am
The law like most things can be virtuous or villainous depending on who is involved.
But it's not like that "legalise weed now" comic BHP put out which pretty much said all police are on par with the Nazis
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 13, 2011, 09:01:13 am
Good stuff here folks.

Are we Yanks and friend Holt using the same definitions or is this a windshield - windscreen thing. Seperated by common language, what?

Does Holt float? One way to find out. ;D But no barrels though, that would be mean.

Hey, mean, now there's a common word with about a dozen "meanings". Who wants to fight about it? In this case cruel, just to be clear.

Anarchist societies do exist alone. I used the present tense because we all exist in them sometimes on small scales. That is we play nicely with other children when teacher is not watching. They are self defining and self policing to use a badly fitting word.

My property is mine. My neighbors agree and I recognize there's as well. Suddenly it's not one against the world it's a group. How big, who knows. Let's find out.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 13, 2011, 09:03:54 am
Not all police no, but there is still a lot of just following orders in their culture, as in enforcing laws any sane person would see as wrong. Gotta fix that someday. Not today though.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 13, 2011, 09:14:07 am
Not all police no, but there is still a lot of just following orders in their culture, as in enforcing laws any sane person would see as wrong. Gotta fix that someday. Not today though.

This is why I miss traditional British policing. Instead of just following orders and not knowing the community you serve, you had the neighbourhood bobby who scared the children into behaving themselves and knew when to let things slide.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 13, 2011, 09:18:13 am
Gotta love the hat too.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 13, 2011, 09:41:57 am
Aye those hats do rock. You can always tell British police apart from all others because of those dam fine hats.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 13, 2011, 10:24:07 am


In short, Holt, your argument is that your "might is right".

That argument fails the first time an anarchist shoots your sorry ass and dumps you in the river.

As a logical argument, it's a total non-starter. Is that your best?

Might might not be right but it usually wins, so whats the difference?

Well, when somebody is strong enough that they get the only vote, it doesn't much matter what you argue unless they like your argument. They might still encourage people to debate issues and agree for themselves about what's right, because that makes it easier -- provided people do reach the result they want. If it starts going too much off track they might stop the discussion and tell people what to believe.

But most of the time, there isn't somebody that strong. If they look that strong it's because a lot of people support them or at least don't care enough to intervene. And in that case it really does matter what people think.

When we can reach a common agreement about what's right, we don't have to fight to see who wins. We can just agree. And if enough of us agree then the ones who don't will probably knuckle under without a fight because they're sure they'd lose.

So that's the difference. When you're strong enough to beat everybody else one at a time or all together, and you have the time to watch what they do and make sure they do what you want, then you have the only say. But most of the time, getting agreement about what's right is the more practical approach. Or even just let them do what they want until they start to encroach on you, and then push back in a friendly polite but firm manner.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 13, 2011, 01:25:46 pm
Might might not be right but it usually wins, so whats the difference?
Well, there's always the chance of persuading third parties to involve themselves in the dispute...
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 13, 2011, 01:52:17 pm
Might might not be right but it usually wins, so whats the difference?
Well, there's always the chance of persuading third parties to involve themselves in the dispute...

Then you don't have enough might.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 13, 2011, 03:14:16 pm
I just realized something.  AnCap libertarians are idealists, naive idealists.  You guys are like liberal communists.  You don't take into account human nature.

Its sweet really.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 13, 2011, 04:12:30 pm
I just realized something.  AnCap libertarians are idealists, naive idealists.  You guys are like liberal communists.  You don't take into account human nature.

Some anarchists are idealists - but no more so than the statists who imagine the US government will defeat it enemies by winning their hearts and minds, no more so than the state department and the counter insurgency “experts” at the pentagon, no more so than all those progressives who imagine, not withstanding the rape and sexual mutilation of Lara Logan, that if only Islamic states had democracy, they would vote progressive rather than Islamic.  According to the progressives, we only have to be nice to Muslims and give them the opportunity to express their love for us, and they will do so.

Most anarchists, like myself, expect bad behavior in an anarchic society to be dealt with by vigilantes, militias, heroes, and rentacops.  We are not idealists.  Vigilantes, gun toting heroes, and rentacops are suspiciously absent from this comic strip, but it is implied that they are not totally nonexistent.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Archonix on April 13, 2011, 05:16:18 pm
Not all police no, but there is still a lot of just following orders in their culture, as in enforcing laws any sane person would see as wrong. Gotta fix that someday. Not today though.

This is why I miss traditional British policing. Instead of just following orders and not knowing the community you serve, you had the neighbourhood bobby who scared the children into behaving themselves and knew when to let things slide.

Unfortunately, thanks to certain "incentives" that form part of our obligation to the EU, such traditional policing no longer exists and has been replaced with a continental-style, paramilitary police force arranged around large, remote, centralised police headquarters buildings. The traditional constabulary is gone, existing in name only, and if you see a bobby on the beat then you must either be hallucinating or mistaking a PCSO for a "real" policeman. And the only place you'll see those hats now are at official functions. The police officer of today has little in common with the policeman of just 20 years ago.

Might might not be right but it usually wins, so whats the difference?
Well, there's always the chance of persuading third parties to involve themselves in the dispute...

Then you don't have enough might.

If all you have is a hammer...

Alliances are an innate part of human nature. You gain "might" by either having the biggest gun, or having the most friends. If all you're going to do is wave your big gun around, you aren't going to make many friends, and sooner or later someone who can make friends is going to come along with a few dozen of them and show you what your "might" is worth.

Or, to put it another way, he will gain might by involving third parties.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 13, 2011, 07:09:11 pm
Or, to put it another way, he will gain might by involving third parties.
And my point was my odds of being successful in doing that are improved if I'm in the "right". That's why right matters as well as might, even if it doesn't matter as much as might.

Also, I could cite the studies that show animals are at an advantage when defending their own territory, as opposed to intruding into another one's territory.

The good guys do not always win. But they do have a slight edge.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 13, 2011, 10:45:27 pm
Or, to put it another way, he will gain might by involving third parties.
And my point was my odds of being successful in doing that are improved if I'm in the "right". That's why right matters as well as might, even if it doesn't matter as much as might.

Your odds of getting third parties involved also go up the more loot you can offer them. Which is more effective?

Quote
Also, I could cite the studies that show animals are at an advantage when defending their own territory, as opposed to intruding into another one's territory.

You fight harder the more you need it. Easier to back off than take wounds for something you don't need much.

I noticed this with undergraduate math programs. Math departments would fight hard to be the only campus source for general calculus classes. They would let physics departments teach their own advanced calculus classes -- in unrigorous sloppy ways that are good enough for physicists -- but every student had to take beginning classes from the math department. Because that was theirs and they would not let anybody take it away from them.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 14, 2011, 08:10:33 am
Quote
I just realized something.  AnCap libertarians are idealists, naive idealists.  You guys are like liberal communists.  You don't take into account human nature.

Its sweet really.

Ah, another Hobbesian, who thinks "human nature" is "nasty, brutish and solitary", that humans cooperate only under threat of force, and never out of, well, human nature.

And, yet again, no acknowledgment in the first person.  Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: happycrow on April 14, 2011, 08:22:39 am
History demonstrates, time and time again, that in doing so, the third party becomes the governing power.  Whether it's the Saxons in the north of what we now call Germany, or various Native American peoples being "clever" by exploiting those crazy white people to do their fighting for them.

I have a strong preference not to deal with government.  That preference doesn't mean that Hobbes is wrong.  Unless the customary practices governing a society are strong enough (both physically and 'morally') to counteract it, in the absence of a leviathan, there is every reason to suspect family/tribal warfare, running feuds, and vigilante 'justice.'  Which may in fact be just, but may also be a case of 'let's just shut them up.'
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 14, 2011, 08:32:38 am
Quote
I just realized something.  AnCap libertarians are idealists, naive idealists.  You guys are like liberal communists.  You don't take into account human nature.

Its sweet really.

Ah, another Hobbesian, who thinks "human nature" is "nasty, brutish and solitary", that humans cooperate only under threat of force, and never out of, well, human nature.

And, yet again, no acknowledgment in the first person.  Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

My own experience is that very often people react mostly to their personal short-run situation, without much thought to the long run. I do it myself a lot.

Like, I drive an old car that gets only moderate gas mileage. To fit my beliefs I should get a Prius or something. But I look at how much a good car costs, and how much I'd save buying gasoline, and I get this gut feeling that I have better uses for my money.

It's possible that when a whole lot of people all act in their short-run interest, that market forces will arise that will fulfill everybody's long-run needs, and those forces will arise in a timely fashion so that we don't get any big disruptions.

It's even possible that markets respond to government intervention as damage and route around it, automatically fulfilling long-run needs anyway.

But I tend to doubt it.

So my guess is that when we get a collection of AnCap societies, they will run into various problems which do not solve themselves. And human beings will come up with solutions or palliatives. Different AnCap societies will come up with different solutions that have different side effects. Some AnCap societies will be more pleasant to live in than others. Given mobility, some sovs will move to the places they like best.

If there are theoretical AnCaps today who believe that AnCap societies will automatically solve all their problems, without anybody having to think about it, and the automatic solutions will be in some way ideal, I believe those particular individuals to be naive.

But if some theoretical troll comes along and says that no AnCap society can work because it will inevitably develop existential problems that nobody can solve, I will tend to believe he is a troll.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 14, 2011, 09:29:31 am
If there are theoretical AnCaps today who believe that AnCap societies will automatically solve all their problems, without anybody having to think about it, and the automatic solutions will be in some way ideal, I believe those particular individuals to be naive.

But if some theoretical troll comes along and says that no AnCap society can work because it will inevitably develop existential problems that nobody can solve, I will tend to believe he is a troll.
So you're not going to give me any advice on which way to bet, are you?

I'm willing to accept that AnCap societies will find ways to solve their problems; however, I suspect that one can't rely on those being clever solutions that remain wholly within AnCap in every case - sometimes they'll have to compromise their principles a little. On the other hand, since abuse of market power is said to be dealt with by the threat of direct theft of property by the masses, I'm no longer quite sure what those principles are, since they're apparently not Libertarianism but without the pale shadow of a government that Ayn Rand postulated.

On the one hand, getting one's opponent in a debate to pin down the details of his viewpoint - or to point out that he hasn't - is a pretty essential step in ensuring a debate is not an exercise in the generation of hot air.

On the other hand, to the extent my interest is not so much in debunking AnCap, but in pointing out where, even if it is virtuous and desirable, the arguments presented in its favor are likely to be perceived as lacking... saying "look, guys, you're skipping over this point, which scares the willies out of a lot of people, and you really ought to know that perfectly well" is legitimate too.

Asking AnCap advocates to start making sense is not trolling.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 14, 2011, 09:53:22 am
I like this thread, good idea Holt, and despite my own blatherings early on it's mostly staying on or near topic.

I will start a similar one in talk amongst yourselves, where it belongs, since we haven't mentioned the strip much lately. One based on my theory of all this anarchistic and government free zone stuff happening on a small scale all the time, people at a bus stop, scout troops, any random group but stalling out before it grows to let's say the scale of thousands. Why is that? I've read we can't get our minds around more than a few hundred people at a time, some old tribal hardwiring thing. Dunno.

So, in the strip, are the Cerians rich because they are left alone or despite being left alone, the UW being in the business of "protecting" people and all.   

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 14, 2011, 10:18:37 am
If there are theoretical AnCaps today who believe that AnCap societies will automatically solve all their problems, without anybody having to think about it, and the automatic solutions will be in some way ideal, I believe those particular individuals to be naive.

But if some theoretical troll comes along and says that no AnCap society can work because it will inevitably develop existential problems that nobody can solve, I will tend to believe he is a troll.

So you're not going to give me any advice on which way to bet, are you?

You mean about the odds for being in the right versus having might? What are you betting on?

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I'm willing to accept that AnCap societies will find ways to solve their problems; however, I suspect that one can't rely on those being clever solutions that remain wholly within AnCap in every case - sometimes they'll have to compromise their principles a little.

Very often human beings are a little bit stupid and do compromise their principles, even when they could have found a way to live up to them. Sure, I'd expect that to happen in real AnCap societies too, and the details would be different in different AnCap societies. OK, people fall somewhat short of their ideals. So what?

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On the other hand, since abuse of market power is said to be dealt with by the threat of direct theft of property by the masses, I'm no longer quite sure what those principles are, since they're apparently not Libertarianism but without the pale shadow of a government that Ayn Rand postulated.

Let's leave stupid Rand out of it.

The ZAP is like a guide to conscience. It doesn't tell you in any detail how to behave. Like, say somebody lies down in the road because of some problem he has with something, and you want to pass him but you can't get by. If you run over him you are aggressing against him. If you drag him out of the way you're aggressing on him. But he is keeping you from using the road, he is aggressing on you. Does he have a right to lie down on the road? Why not? The ZAP doesn't say. All the details are left to be sorted out. I'd figure the ZAP might remind you that when you do something that inconveniences a lot of other people, you might want to notice how important your justifications are for that.

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On the one hand, getting one's opponent in a debate to pin down the details of his viewpoint - or to point out that he hasn't - is a pretty essential step in ensuring a debate is not an exercise in the generation of hot air.

People don't necessarily want to debate you about AnCap. They might get annoyed when you try. At this point AnCap is more like a religion than not. There are theologians who have jesuitical arguments why it has to inevitably work, why there is no possible way for it to fail, but that isn't central, the central thing is that they want to believe and want to live in a way that would make it work.

They have no more need to know all the details of how an AnCap society would work than ancient persecuted Christians needed to know how a Christian society should work.

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On the other hand, to the extent my interest is not so much in debunking AnCap, but in pointing out where, even if it is virtuous and desirable, the arguments presented in its favor are likely to be perceived as lacking... saying "look, guys, you're skipping over this point, which scares the willies out of a lot of people, and you really ought to know that perfectly well" is legitimate too.

If an AnCap society gets established somewhere, it won't be because everybody was logically convinced that it had to work.

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Asking AnCap advocates to start making sense is not trolling.

It doesn't have to be.

It probably isn't the first time.

And yet, somebody who keeps asking the same people the same question because he hopes to get a different answer -- is it possible he might be trolling himself?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 14, 2011, 10:57:55 am
Ya know thinking on it. I think Ceres might just be an example of a place where things would work out no matter who was in charge. Sat on a strategic travel point that provides a good flow of outside wealth along with its own easily accessed mineral wealth.
As such corps would be more than happy to come along and develop the region and typically will have little interest in policing the population that colonises the area any more than they absolutely have to. Any serious troublemakers would quickly be eliminated by the corps to ensure profits aren't affected.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 14, 2011, 11:06:02 am
Troll, a monster under a bridge, is also a verb.
To troll, to drag along behind a boat in hopes a fish will bite it.
I got me a list.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 14, 2011, 12:18:06 pm
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Or, to put it another way, he will gain might by involving third parties.

I agree.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 14, 2011, 12:19:52 pm
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 14, 2011, 04:05:32 pm
I just realized something.  AnCap libertarians are idealists, naive idealists.  You guys are like liberal communists.  You don't take into account human nature.

Its sweet really.

Youre gonna get yourself with that line of thinking!

I've told 'em that very same thing, and look how they (dont) respect me.  :-)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 15, 2011, 10:27:05 am
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.

Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 15, 2011, 10:48:25 am
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.

Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

Sandy,
Its true of most people.  In a non-stressful situation, no; most people would go about their lives with plunder and pillage the furthest thought in their heads.  But, in an existentially stressful situation, a lot of people will turn into raving sociopaths until the stress has passed.

Especially Sams.  :-)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Xavin on April 15, 2011, 11:02:43 am
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.

Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

Sandy,
Its true of most people.  In a non-stressful situation, no; most people would go about their lives with plunder and pillage the furthest thought in their heads.  But, in an existentially stressful situation, a lot of people will turn into raving sociopaths until the stress has passed.

Especially Sams.  :-)

Does this mean you're defining there being "no cops to fear" as "an existentially stressful situation"?  :)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 15, 2011, 11:06:21 am
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.

Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

It is projection, and yet what choice does he have? Remember the story of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne? The good puritan dreams that everybody in his village are witches except him, and he has no way to test it after he starts to believe it. How much more reason to believe it if he felt like one himself....

Once you believe in unconscious motivations which are stronger and more important than the conscious will, how can you reasonably discuss motives? People's motives become hidden dark things that they are not aware of themselves. "Don't listen to what I say, watch what I do" is a start, but the big sin of most americans is they believe what their government tells them, not that they carpet-bomb cities or start wars of convenience or torture political prisoners etc.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 15, 2011, 11:22:27 am

Its true of most people.  In a non-stressful situation, no; most people would go about their lives with plunder and pillage the furthest thought in their heads.  But, in an existentially stressful situation, a lot of people will turn into raving sociopaths until the stress has passed.

The Milgram experiments etc showed that people will tend to do what's expected of them when they aren't sure what to do. In existentially stressful situations, people tend to follow each other's cues. So when you firmly expect them to become vicious animals, they're likely to do that around you.

In the concentration camps, survivors tended to steal food when they got the chance. The people who survived to the end were mostly people who had stolen food because people who didn't do that tended to starve faster. But they tended not to do other "crimes".

In disasters like Katrina people tended not to do many crimes beyond stealing food and water. The media who mostly weren't there reported a lot of bad stories, and people who were there mostly denied them. Perhaps the bad things happened where there weren't many survivors? Perhaps the media which wasn't there got it right and witnesses later lied about it? I guess we tend to believe what we want to....
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 11:34:32 am
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Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

Notice how close you come to threatening me over something so small.  I think my point is made.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 15, 2011, 11:52:14 am
In the concentration camps, survivors tended to steal food when they got the chance. The people who survived to the end were mostly people who had stolen food because people who didn't do that tended to starve faster. But they tended not to do other "crimes".
So this gets to the heart of whether or not people "need government".

Before modern technology, but after agriculture, the human race hit a long patch during which agriculture gave people the ability to secure a dependable food supply, and so populations grew, but at the price of requiring a lot of hard work to obtain enough food to eat.

Even without the Pharaoh taking his cut, people were pretty miserable. Miserable people aren't as honest as one might like, and so until prosperity came along, we did "need government". So instead of comfortable secure people being unrealistic dilettantes to toy with anarchy, perhaps prosperity is a legitimate sign we've outgrown government.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 15, 2011, 01:39:23 pm
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Does this mean you're defining there being "no cops to fear" as "an existentially stressful situation"?  Smiley

:D

What I might or might not do under stress has zilch to do with whether or not I by nature need to have cops to fear in order not to commit crimes against my neighbors.

I notice that you have to change the subject in order to (appear to) support your position. 

And I also note that you call anarchists "idealists", and at the same time base your own position on an idea -- violent human nature that must be controlled by something outside itself -- that has no physical grounds at all.  Speaking of projection.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 15, 2011, 02:06:51 pm
And speaking of "cops to fear", cops and prison and capital punishment often being cited as deterrents to crime --

Here are some different sorts of people:

One group, I think the majority, has no particular inclination to steal or kill or otherwise harm, at least not most of the time.  This group will not be deterred from crime, on the grounds that they're not interested in the commission of it in the first place, at least not at this time though some day they might fall into one of the following groups.  Still, this group is large enough that a state has to invent laws that no one wants to obey, like absurdly-low speed limits, so that there will be enough "criminals" to justify its existence.

One group, a much smaller group, will commit a crime of passion.  This group also will not be deterred, because in their blind emotional state they're not capable of considering consequences.

The third group are those who are inclined to crime and are coolheaded, together with the merely cooler-headed, the impassioned ones who aren't that emotional.

Of these there are, firstly, the smart ones.  They will not be deterred; they'll just be driven to new heights of cleverness (and may even prefer the challenge; at least a few of these will not commit crimes in an anarchy just because there would be no authority to flout; I don't pretend there would be many but they do exist).

Of these, there are also the dumb ones.  They will not be deterred, either; they'll think they can get away with it.

Of these, finally there are those who are smart enough to know how they could fail and not so smart (or dumb) as to arrogantly assume they will outwit the authorities.  Some of these will be deterred.  Others will play the odds.

Meantime, cops, lawyers, judges, the intimidating entities themselves, will be from among all these same sorts -- with far more power to avoid governmental punishment.   The possibility of a net gain in criminal behavior under a state must be considered.

Government as a deterrent to criminal behavior seems like an awfully expensive proposition for very little likely (and possibly even negative) return.

Government as a mechanism for redress after a crime:  now, that it could do.  Still, any society will devise such a mechanism, with or without a state.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 15, 2011, 02:45:26 pm
All agreed Mellryn and let me toss in one that really fizzes me off.
There are things I do not do by my own volition, like rape,  pillage, even smoking pot. I could but don't want to, I choose not to.

So what? So why do the cops and courts take the credit for the fact that I don't? And they surely do. Only they and their laws stop me, so I hear.
No   freakin   fair!
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 02:56:23 pm
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perhaps prosperity is a legitimate sign we've outgrown government.

That is an interesting point.  But while we might have lost the need for government to direct us I think we will still need government to protect us from others and maybe from ourselves.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 03:01:42 pm
All agreed Mellryn and let me toss in one that really fizzes me off.
There are things I do not do by my own volition, like rape,  pillage, even smoking pot. I could but don't want to, I choose not to.

The question is, why don't you?  You think its because you are such a wonderful person.  That might be true.  I believe anyone will steal if they have both opportunity and need.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 15, 2011, 03:17:57 pm
You think its because you are such a wonderful person.  That might be true.  I believe anyone will steal if they have both opportunity and need.
Some people will steal with opportunity but without need.

Those of us not in that category can pat ourselves on the back for being wonderful people if we feel like it.

Now then: If I'm starving, and need to steal to survive, what exactly do I need policemen for to stop me from stealing?

I can see it being argued that we need policemen because of the small minority of people who steal with opportunity but without need. They cause a lot of damage, out of proportion to the actual value of their thefts, and so the expense of all those policemen can perhaps be justified.

But arguing the case for policemen because even honest people get desperate... better you should spend that money on welfare to prevent people from getting desperate. If policemen are for keeping the poor down, then they only make sense if the poor are a group you will never find yourself in.

From an outside viewpoint, one can indeed say that civilization with its more advanced arts and sciences depended on keeping the poor down for a very large chunk of human history. But that isn't an ideal state of affairs, it's one we should work on a way to fix.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 15, 2011, 03:54:17 pm
Don't be silly Glenn, it's because I don't want to do those things. And please, all, no lifeboat ethics until we're in one please. Like most people, I break laws all the time, commited a victimless federal felony just the other day, but crimes, now that's different.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 15, 2011, 05:23:05 pm
Victimless he says.
Just because you killed the victim doesn't make it victimless.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 15, 2011, 06:44:27 pm
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Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

Notice how close you come to threatening me over something so small.  I think my point is made.

First, there was no threat. Note the word "if."

Second, even if I said I was going to rat you out to your school administration, there would be no initiation of force or the threat if the initiation of force. Murdering and plundering are the initiation of force, however. So no threat in a ZAP sense.

Third, "coming close" only counts in horseshoes. Just as a door that is "almost" closed is, by definition, open, "close to a threat" is not a threat. If you think that makes some sort of point, I would be curious as to what you thing that point would be.

Finally, you think putting sociopaths in charge of anyone (especially children) is "small"? Wow again. What do you do to children when the cops are not around?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 15, 2011, 06:58:12 pm
Holt, Holt, Holt,
Read, then post, like socks, then shoes.

I have not yet had occasion to kill anyone but hell, it's not even 5 PM here yet and the night is still young.

Note and research the difference between committing a crime and breaking a law. Really, look it up. I refer you to L. Spooner among others

Know what breaking a stupid law for ethical reasons is, civil disobedience. Add Gandhi to the list, scrawny little guy, loincloth, glasses, you know the one.

Ah, in US history we had Prohibition, what a glorious time. Back in the days when drinking beer was against the law, an act of civil disobedience. Those were the days.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 15, 2011, 07:09:02 pm
Glenn, In all honesty I am concerned about you posting stuff on your work computer. The boss can generally see it you know.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 15, 2011, 07:10:35 pm
Aye drinking alcohol that helped fuel organised crime which in turn resulted in massive amounts of bloodshed, corruption of public officials and helped support other criminal enterprises.

There rarely is a victimless crime. You just have to look beyond yourself.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 15, 2011, 07:34:54 pm
Never happened, not in my hometown anyway. No way. Nope, the law caused the crimes, the rest, just harmless fun.

Let's do a victimless crime, shall we.

Those people arbitrarily decide to pass some stupid, unenforcable law limiting your doing of some harmless everyday thing. Do you obey it or not?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 08:54:50 pm
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Some people will steal with opportunity but without need.

There is always need, or at least the perception of it. 

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If I'm starving, and need to steal to survive, what exactly do I need policemen for to stop me from stealing?

You don’t.  The man is the goods you are about to steal does.

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civilization with its more advanced arts and sciences depended on keeping the poor down for a very large chunk of human history. But that isn't an ideal state of affairs, it's one we should work on a way to fix.

I’ll get right on that.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 09:05:22 pm
Don't be silly Glenn, it's because I don't want to do those things.

I will try not to be silly but IMO its not in morality that you excel.  You have simply made a cost benefit analysis and decided that committing the crime is not worth the cost.  The cost being the possibility of prison.  If the benefit of crime rose to the point where its marginal benefit exceeded its marginal cost you would be a criminal.  I am not attacking you in particular rather mankind in general.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 09:17:45 pm
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First, there was no threat. Note the word "if."

And note I said 'close.'

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Second, even if I said I was going to rat you out to your school administration, there would be no initiation of force or the threat if the initiation of force. Murdering and plundering are the initiation of force, however. So no threat in a ZAP sense.

Whatever helps you sleep at night.  We all have our little tricks to fool ourselves into thinking we are superior to the herd.

Third, "coming close" only counts in horseshoes. Just as a door that is "almost" closed is, by definition, open, "close to a threat" is not a threat. If you think that makes some sort of point, I would be curious as to what you thing that point would be.

Your point makes no sense to me.  But I know a threat when I see one even if there is nothing to back it up.

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Finally, you think putting sociopaths in charge of anyone (especially children) is "small"? Wow again. What do you do to children when the cops are not around?

Thank you.  Your response is exactly as I anticipated.  Next you will have me beating my wife. 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 09:19:58 pm
Glenn, In all honesty I am concerned about you posting stuff on your work computer. The boss can generally see it you know.

Thank you for your concern.  I am curious.  How do you know which computer I am using?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 15, 2011, 09:21:28 pm
Second, even if I said I was going to rat you out to your school administration, there would be no initiation of force or the threat if the initiation of force.

By your reasoning, if I tell some pals of mine in the Mafia that someone is causing me problems, that is no initiation of force either.

As the state intervenes more and more coercively in more and more activities, it becomes easier and easier for more and more people to sic the state on their enemies - which operation looks mighty like initiation of force.

As it becomes harder and harder to get the state to bust someone for burgling one's house, it becomes easier and easier to get the state to bust someone for having thoughts one finds objectionable, or for competing with one in business - which looks mighty like initiation of force.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 15, 2011, 09:42:34 pm
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Aye drinking alcohol that helped fuel organised crime which in turn resulted in massive amounts of bloodshed, corruption of public officials and helped support other criminal enterprises.

There rarely is a victimless crime. You just have to look beyond yourself.

Strange, I thought that drinking alcohol was legal. Isn't it more accurate to say that organized crime is illegal, and causing a major amount of blood-spill (unless in self defense, or under the rules of war) is illegal, and that corruption in public officials is sometimes illegal?

Don't you factor in personal responsibility somewhere in your code of ethics?

Victimless crimes:

Setting up a private gun range in your basement.
Driving 100 mph down a straight and empty highway.
Growing wheat or corn to feed your cows.
Bringing a bag lunch to a Chicago school.
 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 15, 2011, 09:54:00 pm
We all have our little tricks to fool ourselves into thinking we are superior to the herd.

True, some of us pretend to be educators. Whether or not I am superior to the "herd," is not particularly important. However, being obviously ethically superior to you makes me chuckle.  ;D

Your point makes no sense to me. 

Why am I not surprised?  ::)

But I know a threat when I see one even if there is nothing to back it up.

A self-admitted sociopath who's also paranoid. Now there's a surprise.  :D

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Finally, you think putting sociopaths in charge of anyone (especially children) is "small"? Wow again. What do you do to children when the cops are not around?

Thank you.  Your response is exactly as I anticipated. 

You are welcome. Of course my response is exactly as you anticipated. It was the logical inference from your admission.

Next you will have me beating my wife. 

You have a wife!?  :o   Man, she must have been really hard up. Anyway, I would be very surprised if you beat her. You're just a big talker; no real threat to anyone.  :-*
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 15, 2011, 10:04:38 pm
Second, even if I said I was going to rat you out to your school administration, there would be no initiation of force or the threat if the initiation of force.

By your reasoning, if I tell some pals of mine in the Mafia that someone is causing me problems, that is no initiation of force either.

Apples and oranges, same. If I tell my Mafia friends Glenn is causing me problems, I can reasonably assume they will initiate force. So my threat would be of the initiation of force (unless he previously initiated force or threatened to initiate force against me). However, if I tell his employers that he admitted he does not steal, rape and murder only because of his fear of the cops, they are not going to initiate force against him. Firing someone is not the initiation of force. So your analogy fails for lack of relevance to my supposed "threat." Anyway, I clearly said I did not believe his admission to sociopathy, so your conclusion is moot.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 15, 2011, 10:48:00 pm
Thank you for your concern.  I am curious.  How do you know which computer I am using?
There is nothing in your posts as displayed here which identifies which computer they come from.

But the time of a post is noted. So, if he makes certain assumptions about the time zone you live in, and other assumptions about how you make your living... he can guess that some posts might be coming from a work computer.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 10:55:26 pm
Quote
being obviously ethically superior to you makes me chuckle.  ;D

You could set your sights higher than that.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 15, 2011, 11:00:15 pm
Quote

But the time of a post is noted. So, if he makes certain assumptions about the time zone you live in, and other assumptions about how you make your living... he can guess that some posts might be coming from a work computer.

Its clear you have put a lot a thought into it.  This is a strange bunch.  The first thing Mr. Sandfort did was Google me to find out what other message boards I have visited and what they thought about me.  He is considering contacting my boss.  You are doing time calculations to figure out whether or not I am at work. 

Does this seem normal to you?  I ask not to insult but because I really do want to know about people like yourself.  Why you do the things you do.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 15, 2011, 11:03:42 pm
Quote
First, there was no threat. Note the word "if."

And note I said 'close.'

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Second, even if I said I was going to rat you out to your school administration, there would be no initiation of force or the threat if the initiation of force. Murdering and plundering are the initiation of force, however. So no threat in a ZAP sense.

Third, "coming close" only counts in horseshoes. Just as a door that is "almost" closed is, by definition, open, "close to a threat" is not a threat. If you think that makes some sort of point, I would be curious as to what you thing that point would be.

Your point makes no sense to me.  But I know a threat when I see one even if there is nothing to back it up.

This is wonderful! It's close to a real-life example to look at, where we can examine what ZAP really means.

Let's pretend this was real. We pretend that you were actually in some sort of danger of losing your job if rumors about your mindset went to the wrong ears. Let's pretend further that this could not only get you fired so you lose most of your pension, but you go on a blacklist that makes it hard for you to find teaching jobs of any sort, jobs that involve interaction with children or old people, or any jobs for the state government. And that they publish your name as a suspect for some sort of bad behavior which makes it harder to get any respectable job at all.

It seems obvious to me that this would do you considerable harm. But it isn't like he shoots at you or hits you in the nose. Not like anybody has a right to some particular job, or some type of job, or a right to have any job at all. Since you have no right to a job he hasn't done aggression on you if he gets you fired. Right?

But let's say that if you can keep your teaching job with its seniority until retirement, you will over a lifetime make $500,000 more than your best alternative job with second job plus odd jobs. When he keeps you from earning half a million dollars, does that come close to stealing half a million dollars from you? There's a difference, but there's certain a similarity too.

Do you aggress on somebody whenever you hurt them? Whenever you get in their way while they try to achieve their goals? Where do you draw the line?

I think it's pretty murky about that. I do think that it ought to be OK to tell the truth. Whenever you depend on secrets your life is unstable, it could come crashing down at any time if the secrets happen to get out. Far better if you can manage without that. But how many of us are ready for that? Still I think that nobody should ever have the legal right to keep you from telling the truth. But morally? When your truth will hurt somebody, is it sometimes your moral responsibility to keep secrets anyway?

And what do we do, when we have to live with stupid people who have power? You should have the right to be a Communist, or a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim if you want to. But what if somebody spreads the truth about you? People should have the right to fire you if they find out you are a Communist, or a Christian, etc. Say you're a baggage handler in an airport, and they find out you're Muslim. Of course they can fire you for that! The Constitution is not a suicide pact, right? What if they find out that you are an XYY male? Everybody knows that XYY maies are stupid and violent. Why should anybody hire you for anything? You can get in a lot of trouble if people have prejudices about your kind and the truth comes out about you. But you have no right to keep the truth from them even though they will misuse it.

I dunno. I think if the ZAP was clear and simple and obvious it wouldn't be much use. It's a moral guide you can use to choose what to do. It is not a legal code that tells you who's in the wrong in a lawsuit.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 15, 2011, 11:32:30 pm
Second, even if I said I was going to rat you out to your school administration, there would be no initiation of force or the threat if the initiation of force.

By your reasoning, if I tell some pals of mine in the Mafia that someone is causing me problems, that is no initiation of force either.

Apples and oranges, same. If I tell my Mafia friends Glenn is causing me problems, I can reasonably assume they will initiate force.

Wow, your Mafia friends are much better friends than my Mafia friends. If I told them that, they would sympathise with me. "We all have our problems." And if I asked them to help me my guess is they would get real serious and point out that good friends do favors for friends, and they expect favors in return. My guess about where that conversation would lead, about what I could do for them and how much they'd pay, and what kind of one-way loyalty would be expected, is one of the big reasons I've always felt like I do better to handle my own problems.

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However, if I tell his employers that he admitted he does not steal, rape and murder only because of his fear of the cops, they are not going to initiate force against him. Firing someone is not the initiation of force.

I have taught high school. I can't be sure what my boss would have done in that situation but I can guess. He calls me in and shows me the email and asks me about it. "Well, I was arguing on a website with a bunch of anarchists, and one of them said he didn't like me and he was going to get me in trouble. I didn't expect this." "Hmm. Was it porn?" "No, no porn." (I would carefully forget about that EFT short lesbian interlude.) "No underage porn." "As far as I know none of the anarchists are under age. A lot of them are retired." "OK, I'm going to pretend the spam filter caught this. You have my full support. And try not to argue with anakists, right?" And in his mind he'd be thinking that if it turned into a scandal in the newspapers he'd dump me as quick as he could. But he tells me "full support" now because it makes me feel good and it costs him nothing.

But I say that getting somebody fired from a job when they have little hope of getting another as good, hurts them just as much as stealing the money. You pointed out that you would do it if you thought the students were really in danger. You didn't come out and say it, but I thought you meant that the harm to the students if you didn't get him fired would be more important than the harm to him if you did. So while you don't think he has a "right" to the job, you don't try to get him fired for trivial reasons because you think it's wrong to hurt him for trivial reasons.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 16, 2011, 04:22:59 am
If I tell my Mafia friends Glenn is causing me problems, I can reasonably assume they will initiate force.

Wow, your Mafia friends are much better friends than my Mafia friends. If I told them that, they would sympathise with me. "We all have our problems." And if I asked them to help me my guess is they would get real serious and point out that good friends do favors for friends, and they expect favors in return.

Friends do not find it necessary to mention this, even when the favors are legal.  In fact it is extremely impolite to mention this.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 06:18:17 am
If I tell my Mafia friends Glenn is causing me problems, I can reasonably assume they will initiate force.

Wow, your Mafia friends are much better friends than my Mafia friends. If I told them that, they would sympathise with me. "We all have our problems." And if I asked them to help me my guess is they would get real serious and point out that good friends do favors for friends, and they expect favors in return.

Friends do not find it necessary to mention this, even when the favors are legal.  In fact it is extremely impolite to mention this.

Yes indeed.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 07:00:10 am
Strange, I thought that drinking alcohol was legal. Isn't it more accurate to say that organized crime is illegal, and causing a major amount of blood-spill (unless in self defense, or under the rules of war) is illegal, and that corruption in public officials is sometimes illegal?

Don't you factor in personal responsibility somewhere in your code of ethics?

Victimless crimes:

Setting up a private gun range in your basement.
Driving 100 mph down a straight and empty highway.
Growing wheat or corn to feed your cows.
Bringing a bag lunch to a Chicago school.
 

Aye but during prohibition the ones who sold it were criminals. Each of those customers helped fund the same crimewave they would constantly complain about.
It was people like you who helped make the rise of people like Al Capone possible. Refusing to accept the consequences of your own actions. "I'm not doing anything wrong I just wanted a drink"

The gun range could well be a crime as a result of your shoddy construction putting others in danger.
Driving 100mph down a road is also a crime because at any minute a car could turn onto the highway or someone could run out into it. Or you might just hit a bad patch of road and loose control of the vehicle. Speed limits exist for your safety and the safety of others not because the big bad government doesn't like you driving too fast.

The wheat or corn is debatable and depends on how far you can see outside yourself to the far reaching consequences of your actions.

The bag lunch? Well you did agree to abide by the school rules when you joined said school so technically it is breach of contract.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 16, 2011, 07:45:14 am
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Aye but during prohibition the ones who sold it were criminals. Each of those customers helped fund the same crimewave they would constantly complain about.
It was people like you who helped make the rise of people like Al Capone possible. Refusing to accept the consequences of your own actions. "I'm not doing anything wrong I just wanted a drink"

The gun range could well be a crime as a result of your shoddy construction putting others in danger.
Driving 100mph down a road is also a crime because at any minute a car could turn onto the highway or someone could run out into it. Or you might just hit a bad patch of road and loose control of the vehicle. Speed limits exist for your safety and the safety of others not because the big bad government doesn't like you driving too fast.

The wheat or corn is debatable and depends on how far you can see outside yourself to the far reaching consequences of your actions.

The bag lunch? Well you did agree to abide by the school rules when you joined said school so technically it is breach of contract.

Some people use their intelligence, not as a means to discover the truth, but to make rhetorical arguments that either fog the issue or sound half-way plausible -- if one squints a certain way and clenches. It's as if they feel that conceding a point is akin to losing a chunk of their hide. It makes me sad to see it.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 07:50:26 am
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Do you aggress on somebody whenever you hurt them? Whenever you get in their way while they try to achieve their goals? Where do you draw the line?


Good points.  Aggression is an interesting thing.  Its motivations are so varied.  Mr. Sandfort, in this case will convince himself he is doing good.  Just like Obama in Libya.  That is a powerful motivation.  The benefit of feeling good about oneself is very alluring.  And in this case the cost to Sandfort of telling is nil.  So of course he does it.

The real question is should he?  There are questions to be answered first.  The most important being is he right about me?  Did he rush to judgment? Will he be depriving students of a good teacher?  It’s clear he has already made a determination about my skill as a teacher, so now its just a matter of, is it worth it to him.  He has already said it would be if he could be convinced I was a sociopath.

This might be the problem with AnCap.  It gives every Tom, Dick and Harry the same power of life and death that Mr. Sandfort believes he is so capable of handling justly.  I would be afraid of that kind of power.  People like Mr. Sandfort covet it.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 16, 2011, 08:17:00 am
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Do you aggress on somebody whenever you hurt them? Whenever you get in their way while they try to achieve their goals? Where do you draw the line?

Draw no line.  Have you in fact hurt someone?  If he can "press charges" in some way (report you to statist police, or call for arbitration, kind of thing), and chooses not to, then he's a very different person from someone who does press charges.  Why should such very different individuals be treated like clones?

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It gives every Tom, Dick and Harry the same power of life and death that Mr. Sandfort believes he is so capable of handling justly.  I would be afraid of that kind of power.  People like Mr. Sandfort covet it.

You have it, whether you like it or not.  So does the Authority you appoint to remove that burden from you.  You ask him to carry his natural burden and yours too, and mine, and Sandy's, and so on -- AND you expect him to remain uncorrupted by all that power.  In short, as a statist, you want to be ruled by a god. 

Recently an attorney general, in objecting to jury nullification, said, "We should not give such power to juries, because they're only human!  We should leave that up to the judge."

I used to wonder how a Roman emperor thought he could become a god by appointment by his successor.  I guess I see:  statists apparently think appointing an ordinary joe (uh, with a special education, of course) to high office is apotheosis.

I'm really sorry to break it to ya, dude, but you're on the wrong planet for that.  All we've got here are people.

Finally, if somebody really did think you were a sociopath, should he just say 'oh well' and leave you alone with the kids?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 08:53:09 am

Quote
Victimless crimes:

Setting up a private gun range in your basement.
Driving 100 mph down a straight and empty highway.
Growing wheat or corn to feed your cows.
Bringing a bag lunch to a Chicago school.

Aye but during prohibition the ones who sold it were criminals. Each of those customers helped fund the same crimewave they would constantly complain about.
It was people like you who helped make the rise of people like Al Capone possible. Refusing to accept the consequences of your own actions. "I'm not doing anything wrong I just wanted a drink"

It plain does not work to expect people to factor in long-range consequences. They will not do it. So low-pay retail workers are likely to shop at WalMart where their dollars will buy more cheap junk. Then their employers shut down and they lose their jobs. Would it have worked better for them to buy their clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch and their food at Whole Foods and their cars at the Cadillac dealer? Unfortunately, no.

Poor people drive junk cars that get bad mileage. Shouldn't they do more to stop global warming? Hell no, it's too inconvenient, they'd rather deny global warming and pretend the long-run problems will be blessings.

You can't expect legislators to look past the next election. If they lose the next election they get no say in what happens after that. So for example after 9/11 Congress was nearly unanimous, like lemmings. A lot of them knew better but they put their own careers ahead of trying to block the stampede, and the few holdouts did get voted out the next election.

All over the world people put up with governments that hurt them. They don't rise up and get rid of those governments because in the short run it would hurt worse to try.

Modern genetics has shown us that large populations with random mating tend to be doomed due to meiotic drive, and also large populations with quick transportation are susceptible to rare horrible epidemics. We desperately need to split the human population into breeding groups of no more than about 10,000 people, and accept only rare immigration between groups, and also drasticly slow travel when travel is allowed at all. But does humanity pay any attention to the long run? Not at all! The USA is one of the worst offenders, we keep sending soldiers all over the world, spreading disease and doing random mating.

Human beings mostly ignore the long run. We're evolved that way. I doubt there's anything much anybody can do about it. Except, like, if you see a big bunch of human beings about to stampede off a cliff or something, maybe you can sell tickets or otherwise find a way to profit.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 08:59:25 am
That's the problem I guess. I'm the minority. A human who sees the cogs turning behind everything which everyone seems content to ignore.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 09:27:39 am
J Thomas, once again I marvel at your ability to write tons of speculative, concatinated "what ifs" and irrelevant asides about what is really a very straight forward concept such as the ZAP. Nevertheless, among all the chaff, there was one grain of comprehension.

... I do think that it ought to be OK to tell the truth. Whenever you depend on secrets your life is unstable, it could come crashing down at any time if the secrets happen to get out. Far better if you can manage without that. But how many of us are ready for that? Still I think that nobody should ever have the legal right to keep you from telling the truth.

Well, you are close. In the instant case, if I were to pass along Glenn's admission to his employers and they fired him, they would do because of his words, not mine. If one does not wish to be treated as a sociopath, one should not make statements indicating one is a sociopath.

However, if I truly believed Glenn's bravado, I would roll over on him in a New York second. Why? Because a sociopath is a direct physical threat to those around him. I don't want someone in charge of children, who believes himself capable of killing them and eating them, if he considered it necessary for his survival. So my revelation to his bosses would be perfectly consistent with the ZAP as the defense of another.

So why do I not believe Glenn's admission? Because that is not what sociopaths do. Real sociopaths claim compassion for all and cry crocodile tears for every robin that falls. Glenn is just a big talker on the outside and a creamy milk-toast interior.

I dunno. I think if the ZAP was clear and simple and obvious it wouldn't be much use. It's a moral guide you can use to choose what to do. It is not a legal code that tells you who's in the wrong in a lawsuit.

The ZAP is clear and simple. However, life is complicated. So one is under a moral obligation to make sure his application of the ZAP is consistent with the factual situation in each case.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 16, 2011, 09:39:48 am
Aye but during prohibition the ones who sold it were criminals. Each of those customers helped fund the same crimewave they would constantly complain about.
It was people like you who helped make the rise of people like Al Capone possible.

Prohibition, not drinkers, made the rise of Al Capone possible.

And though Al Capone successfully monopolized protection and contract enforcement for alcohol suppliers in Chicago, his efforts to set up a similar monopoly in the rest of America failed bloodily.  Those who purchased liquor were innocent.  Those who kept the market in liquor somewhat free outside Chicago were heroes - as are those who keep the cocaine market somewhat free in most of America.  And the biggest hero of them all was public enemy number six, Bugs Moran, who kept the liquor market at least a little bit free even in Chicago itself.

Admittedly Bugs Moran was crazy, violent, and all that, but that is the kind of guy you need to successfully resist superior force
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 10:03:51 am
Mr. Sandfort, in this case will convince himself he is doing good.  

I am doing good (or at least refraining from doing bad). I am not ratting you for your boastful and intemperate claims. Why? Because I do not believe you. In truth, you are not very convincing. In any case we all believe we are doing the right thing. The question is, do we have a functional moral compass to help us in that determination? Frankly, I do not like you. Be thankful the ZAP is my moral compass.

Just like Obama in Libya.

Not even close. Obama is not personally doing anything in Libya. He is sleeping comfortably in the White House, while his slave soldiers, paid for with stolen money, are fighting a war in support of global hegemony.  My goals and actions are far less vainglorious.  ;)

...There are questions to be answered first.  The most important being is he right about me?  Did he rush to judgment? Will he be depriving students of a good teacher?

Here we go with the paranoia again. Examine your use of the past tense. You are stating as fact, actions I not only did not take, but have explicitly rejected. Your assumption of the role of victim is nearly perfect. 

It’s clear he has already made a determination about my skill as a teacher...

Of English, certainly. As to anything else, my guess is that you are a hack, but I have only circumstantial evidence to support that. If you want a compliment, my guess is that you would be a good enough gym teacher to meet your schools requirements.

This might be the problem with AnCap.  It gives every Tom, Dick and Harry the same power of life and death that Mr. Sandfort believes he is so capable of handling justly.  I would be afraid of that kind of power.  People like Mr. Sandfort covet it.

Okay, so you don't teach debate, logic or rhetoric either... at least not very well. A market anarchist who "covets" power. Wow! Look up non sequitur. ;D

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 10:18:34 am
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We desperately need to split the human population into breeding groups of no more than about 10,000 people, and accept only rare immigration between groups, and also drasticly slow travel when travel is allowed at all.

Oh my God!  I can thing of nothing more detrimental to the well being of the human race that what you just proposed.  It would cause more damage than all the wars in history combined.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 10:20:34 am
J Thomas, once again I marvel at your ability to write tons of speculative, concatinated "what ifs" and irrelevant asides about what is really a very straight forward concept such as the ZAP. Nevertheless, among all the chaff, there was one grain of comprehension.

You have mastered the art of condescension.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 10:24:54 am
Quote
Here we go with the paranoia again. Examine your use of the past tense. You are stating as fact, actions I not only did not take, but have explicitly rejected. Your assumption of the role of victim is nearly perfect.


I though it was clear were were talking in hypotheticals.  The poster who started this conversation made that clear.  But label away if it makes you feel good about yourself.  Just know that nowhere have I insulted you.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 10:31:43 am
Finally, if somebody really did think you were a sociopath, should he just say 'oh well' and leave you alone with the kids?

Excellent question! But let's put the moral compass on the other foot.

Glenn, if you discovered that one of your fellow teachers were buggering his students, what would you do?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 10:33:26 am
Prohibition, not drinkers, made the rise of Al Capone possible.

And though Al Capone successfully monopolized protection and contract enforcement for alcohol suppliers in Chicago, his efforts to set up a similar monopoly in the rest of America failed bloodily.  Those who purchased liquor were innocent.  Those who kept the market in liquor somewhat free outside Chicago were heroes - as are those who keep the cocaine market somewhat free in most of America.  And the biggest hero of them all was public enemy number six, Bugs Moran, who kept the liquor market at least a little bit free even in Chicago itself.

Admittedly Bugs Moran was crazy, violent, and all that, but that is the kind of guy you need to successfully resist superior force


Jesus titty fucking christ. Now you're supporting the cocaine industry? You really have no morals or code do you. No ethical framework or compassion. Fucking anarchists. You're worse than free market advocates, at least they pretend to care about people.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 16, 2011, 10:35:03 am


Okay, so you don't teach debate, logic or rhetoric either... at least not very well. A market anarchist who "covets" power. Wow! Look up non sequitur. ;D



The shoe certainly seems to fit. You appear to resent that others have power. It's not so much about the individual freedom for you it seems to be more "waaah they're more powerful than me!"
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 10:37:43 am
J Thomas, once again I marvel at your ability to write tons of speculative, concatinated "what ifs" and irrelevant asides about what is really a very straight forward concept such as the ZAP. Nevertheless, among all the chaff, there was one grain of comprehension.

You have mastered the art of condescension.

I am but an humble student, but thanks for the encouragement. Coming from you, it means so much more.  ::)

(See, I'm pretty good at sarcasm too.)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 10:41:38 am
... I do think that it ought to be OK to tell the truth. Whenever you depend on secrets your life is unstable, it could come crashing down at any time if the secrets happen to get out. Far better if you can manage without that. But how many of us are ready for that? Still I think that nobody should ever have the legal right to keep you from telling the truth.

Well, you are close. In the instant case, if I were to pass along Glenn's admission to his employers and they fired him, they would do because of his words, not mine. If one does not wish to be treated as a sociopath, one should not make statements indicating one is a sociopath.

I say, if it's the truth then you ought to be able to say it regardless who said it first.

Quote
However, if I truly believed Glenn's bravado, I would roll over on him in a New York second. Why? Because a sociopath is a direct physical threat to those around him. I don't want someone in charge of children, who believes himself capable of killing them and eating them, if he considered it necessary for his survival. So my revelation to his bosses would be perfectly consistent with the ZAP as the defense of another.

You seem to have gotten your ideas about sociopaths from the mass media or something. Sociopaths are generally less dangerous than religious fanatics. They do not cause much trouble because in general they see no advantage to themselves to do that. In my experience it has been easier to negotiate with sociopaths because they are more ready to pay attention to what they want and what I want and reach some agreement that they generally keep, Other people are more likely to fall back on the customs they grew up with and refuse to consider anything else. They know they're right and I'm wrong and so we need to do it their way.

There might be an occasional sociopath who stores people in his freezer, I don't know, I've never met anybody like that. The ones I've met have mostly been like anybody else except they don't have as many emotional triggers as most people.

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So why do I not believe Glenn's admission? Because that is not what sociopaths do. Real sociopaths claim compassion for all and cry crocodile tears for every robin that falls.

It varies. Real sociopaths have to figure out how to get along with people, like everybody else does but with more intellect and less instinct. They don't all act the same way.

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Glenn is just a big talker on the outside and a creamy milk-toast interior.

It isn't polite to do public amateur psychodiagnostics. But since you're doing it I'll say he looks to me like somebody who has been disillusioned, who has seen that compassion from the public and from people in positions of power etc is pretty unreliable. So he tries to play the game the way the big boys do it, and he sneers at people who still have their illusions that people act nice when it counts.

My own view is not that different. People are pretty much unreliable and you can't depend on them to do anything in particular. But I can do as much compassion as I can afford, and I can often afford more than I would think ahead of time. It's OK to sacrifice yourself for the common good and if you do, try to make it count.

Quote
I dunno. I think if the ZAP was clear and simple and obvious it wouldn't be much use. It's a moral guide you can use to choose what to do. It is not a legal code that tells you who's in the wrong in a lawsuit.

The ZAP is clear and simple. However, life is complicated. So one is under a moral obligation to make sure his application of the ZAP is consistent with the factual situation in each case.

Sure, and it's your own moral obligation to think it out for yourself. If somebody else tells you there's a clear simple universally-correct way to apply it, he's probably wrong.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 11:06:03 am
Finally, if somebody really did think you were a sociopath, should he just say 'oh well' and leave you alone with the kids?

Excellent question! But let's put the moral compass on the other foot.

Glenn, if you discovered that one of your fellow teachers were buggering his students, what would you do?

If it was clearly consensual, I would urge him to keep it out of school. There's a power imbalance between teachers and their students which makes the communication harder. Harder to be completely sure what's consensual etc. And there's the publicity angle. A teacher who has sex with an underage student has handed over pretty much all his power. Anybody who finds out about it can blackmail him for as much as his freedom is worth. It's a stupid thing to do, and if it gets out it hurts the school.

I occasionally had male students come on to me, and I tried to turn them down politely. Which is difficult. The female students who wanted to flirt did it subtly enough that no overt response was necessary.

If a student let me know he felt like he'd been buggered by a teacher without his full consent, I would have told him the procedure to make a complaint through channels and I would have helped him start that process if he had any hesitation. I would not myself report more than I'd seen.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 11:14:35 am
Quote
We desperately need to split the human population into breeding groups of no more than about 10,000 people, and accept only rare immigration between groups, and also drasticly slow travel when travel is allowed at all.

Oh my God!  I can thing of nothing more detrimental to the well being of the human race that what you just proposed.  It would cause more damage than all the wars in history combined.

You don't understand that it's necessary. I can't expect you to understand because you think only in the short term.

And in the short run I have no idea how to make it happen. I sure am in no position to force it on a lot of people who don't want it, who don't understand why it must be done. Maybe we can last long enough without it that we will have time to build the institutions needed to enforce it.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 11:43:25 am
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But the time of a post is noted. So, if he makes certain assumptions about the time zone you live in, and other assumptions about how you make your living... he can guess that some posts might be coming from a work computer.

Its clear you have put a lot a thought into it.  This is a strange bunch.  The first thing Mr. Sandfort did was Google me to find out what other message boards I have visited and what they thought about me.  He is considering contacting my boss.  You are doing time calculations to figure out whether or not I am at work.

Someone who had direct access to the message board could get more information. They could query your computer and it would probably tell them things like the name you registered Windows to, which version of Windows you use, etc.

Without that, they might think you are at work because you left your work email address listed publicly as the way people can contact you. If you have a home computer or even another email address, why not list that instead? It would be extremely immature for someone to try to cause you trouble from the various ways they could use your work email address, but there could be someone that immature here.

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Does this seem normal to you?  I ask not to insult but because I really do want to know about people like yourself.  Why you do the things you do.

People who have skills naturally want to use them. Internet skills are mainly about information, about finding things out. Some trolls like to be as anonymous as they can -- for one thing, it's easier to make sock puppets when nobody can tell your sock puppet is you. So finding out things about other posters is an aggressive skill. It makes it easier to count coup.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 11:55:07 am
Finally, if somebody really did think you were a sociopath, should he just say 'oh well' and leave you alone with the kids?

Excellent question! But let's put the moral compass on the other foot.

Glenn, if you discovered that one of your fellow teachers were buggering his students, what would you do?

I don't know. 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 12:00:51 pm
I'm pretty good at sarcasm too.)

Congratulations,  But shouldn't you set your sights higher? 

Anyway I have always thought people who used emotacons (sp) and the like with their sarcasm were not very good at it.  Or at least had no confidence, not subtle enough.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 12:04:31 pm
So he tries to play the game the way the big boys do it, and he sneers at people who still have their illusions that people act nice when it counts.

I apologize if I seem to be sneering.  Its a bad habit.  I truly don't mean to.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 16, 2011, 12:05:26 pm
I'm pretty good at sarcasm too.)

Congratulations,  But shouldn't you set you sights higher? 

Anyway I have always thought people who used emotacons (sp) and the like with their sarcasm were not very good at it.  Or at least had no confidence, not subtle enough.

I have found that it's very easy for people to miss sarcasm etc. So it's good to give them hints. Unless you prefer to be misunderstood....
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 12:07:06 pm

You don't understand that it's necessary. I can't expect you to understand because you think only in the short term.

I'm from AnCap, and I am here to help.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 12:11:23 pm
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So finding out things about other posters is an aggressive skill. It makes it easier to count coup.


I find that a sad but accurate observation.  I am not like that.  I see the Internet as more of an artificial world.  A game where points only matter if you want them too.  I'm not trying to win, only learn.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 12:14:23 pm
I'm pretty good at sarcasm too.)

Congratulations,  But shouldn't you set you sights higher? 

Anyway I have always thought people who used emotacons (sp) and the like with their sarcasm were not very good at it.  Or at least had no confidence, not subtle enough.

I have found that it's very easy for people to miss sarcasm etc. So it's good to give them hints. Unless you prefer to be misunderstood....


I see a difference between clarity and obviousness.  For me if my sarcasm has not been understood then I failed.  Covering the failure with an emoticon is too easy, IMO.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 16, 2011, 02:06:25 pm
I'm pretty good at sarcasm too.)

Congratulations,  But shouldn't you set your sights higher? 

Your suggestions would be appreciated.

Anyway I have always thought people who used emotacons (sp) and the like with their sarcasm were not very good at it.  Or at least had no confidence, not subtle enough.

Sounds like specially pleading to me. <insert appropriate emoticon here>. My used of emoticons in your case was an act of condescension. I'm surprised you missed that.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 16, 2011, 02:54:50 pm
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Your suggestions would be appreciated.

You know I try not to give suggestions.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 16, 2011, 06:13:17 pm
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I see a difference between clarity and obviousness.  For me if my sarcasm has not been understood then I failed.  Covering the failure with an emoticon is too easy, IMO.

Sarcasm can be tough to do, especially nowadays with so many disparate views, mainstream craziness, and people trying to be "clever" all over the place. I've read articles where I think the author is being sarcastic, but I'm not sure.

Just my opinion:

With all the varied POV's in this forum, occasionally I have a hard time telling who is being sarcastic. Some of the comments, IMO, are frankly nuts and/or wildly erroneous, yet, instead of being written for laughs, I see that they're meant to be taken seriously. In such an environment, I can see only good coming from using the sarcasm off tag, /s. As for emoticons, why not, if it shows the tone the comment is written in? They may look hokey, but at least they're clear. :)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 18, 2011, 08:53:05 am
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.

Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

Sandy,
Its true of most people.  In a non-stressful situation, no; most people would go about their lives with plunder and pillage the furthest thought in their heads.  But, in an existentially stressful situation, a lot of people will turn into raving sociopaths until the stress has passed.

Especially Sams.  :-)

Does this mean you're defining there being "no cops to fear" as "an existentially stressful situation"?  :)

I dont know what you are doing wrong to have to fear the cops in your area, but whatever it is, you should knock it off and you will have a better, less stressful life.

And no, having no cops to fear is not an existential stress.  Existential is where its not just your life being threatened but the lives of everyone you know.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 18, 2011, 09:15:28 am
Glenn, your listed email looks to be work related. Some of your posts are not what your boss might want to hear you say on company time, you and Sandy have heated discussions about it. That's it.

Just a friendly reminder, if on a work computer, They, are watching.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Xavin on April 18, 2011, 09:23:26 am
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.

Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

Sandy,
Its true of most people.  In a non-stressful situation, no; most people would go about their lives with plunder and pillage the furthest thought in their heads.  But, in an existentially stressful situation, a lot of people will turn into raving sociopaths until the stress has passed.

Especially Sams.  :-)

Does this mean you're defining there being "no cops to fear" as "an existentially stressful situation"?  :)

I dont know what you are doing wrong to have to fear the cops in your area, but whatever it is, you should knock it off and you will have a better, less stressful life.

And no, having no cops to fear is not an existential stress.  Existential is where its not just your life being threatened but the lives of everyone you know.

Oh dear, it looks like I may have to spell this one out more clearly for you.

1) Mellyrn asks Glenn if it's true that he'll "rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear"
2) Glenn says it is true, and further that it's also true of Mellyrn.
3) Sandy disagrees with Glenn.
4) You claim that "Its [sic] true of most people."

The obvious interpretation of this is that you are claiming that most people will "rape, plunder and kill just as soon as [they] think there are no cops to fear"

You go on to claim that most people won't even consider such behaviour under non-stressful situations, but that they will do so under conditions of "existentially stressful situations"

Reconciling these claims appears to require that there being "no cops to fear" is "an existentially stressful situation". But now you claim that isn't true. Could you explain that apparent inconsistency?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 18, 2011, 10:48:45 am
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Hey, GlennWatson, so it's true of you, at least, that you'll rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear?

Its true enough.  And I hate to break it to you Mel, but its true of you too.

Wow! What a classic case of psychological projection! You admit to being a sociopath and so assume everyone is a sociopath. You are very lucky I don't believe you. If I did, I would make it my mission to see that you were no longer allowed to influence students placed under your control.

It is projection, and yet what choice does he have? Remember the story of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne? The good puritan dreams that everybody in his village are witches except him, and he has no way to test it after he starts to believe it. How much more reason to believe it if he felt like one himself....

Once you believe in unconscious motivations which are stronger and more important than the conscious will, how can you reasonably discuss motives? People's motives become hidden dark things that they are not aware of themselves. "Don't listen to what I say, watch what I do" is a start, but the big sin of most americans is they believe what their government tells them, not that they carpet-bomb cities or start wars of convenience or torture political prisoners etc.


Sorry, J., but the big sin of Americans is complacency; not belief in government.  Most intelligent and independent people do not believe what the government says or what they hear on TV.  (of course, everyone believes what they read on the internet; that has to be true!)

American complacency has led to the belief that everything is wrong, and there is nothing that can be done about it, so why bother.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 18, 2011, 10:54:21 am
All agreed Mellryn and let me toss in one that really fizzes me off.
There are things I do not do by my own volition, like rape,  pillage, even smoking pot. I could but don't want to, I choose not to.

So what? So why do the cops and courts take the credit for the fact that I don't? And they surely do. Only they and their laws stop me, so I hear.
No   freakin   fair!

Its not the cops and judges taking credit for your good behavior, it the politicians who might not have been elected if you had bothered to vote for someone else.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 18, 2011, 11:04:14 am
All agreed Mellryn and let me toss in one that really fizzes me off.
There are things I do not do by my own volition, like rape,  pillage, even smoking pot. I could but don't want to, I choose not to.

The question is, why don't you?  You think its because you are such a wonderful person.  That might be true.  I believe anyone will steal if they have both opportunity and need.

This is true.  Take the example of internet downloaders.  Three cases:
1) the person who wants something and it is not available to purchase where he lives, but is available over the internet.

2)the person who wants something, it is available near him, but he has no money to purchase it, so he downloads it.

3)the person who wants something, it is available to purchase, he has the money, he chooses not to spend it, and so downloads it from the internet.

The first case is, sometimes, known as the ethical fansub; people want japanese animation, in english.  Most "anime" is not available in America, so people acquire the broadcast from japan, subtitle it, distribute it; and, when it is available, purchase it to support the industry.

See, people with opportunity and need will "steal". (Disclaimer: copyright infringement is not actually theft.)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 18, 2011, 11:10:05 am
Glenn, In all honesty I am concerned about you posting stuff on your work computer. The boss can generally see it you know.

Thank you for your concern.  I am curious.  How do you know which computer I am using?

Because he is using the power of Google, and the cleverness of the advanced computer user.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 18, 2011, 11:42:37 am

Finally, if somebody really did think you were a sociopath, should he just say 'oh well' and leave you alone with the kids?

Wheres the harm?  Where is it said that sociopaths cant be effective teachers?  Its not like Sandy accused him of being a pedophile.

And, accusing Glenn of being a pedophile, with no evidence, would be a violation of the ZAP.
(Because such an accusation would only be caused by aggression.)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 18, 2011, 11:56:00 am


Oh dear, it looks like I may have to spell this one out more clearly for you.

1) Mellyrn asks Glenn if it's true that he'll "rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear"
2) Glenn says it is true, and further that it's also true of Mellyrn.
3) Sandy disagrees with Glenn.
4) You claim that "Its [sic] true of most people."

The obvious interpretation of this is that you are claiming that most people will "rape, plunder and kill just as soon as [they] think there are no cops to fear"

You go on to claim that most people won't even consider such behaviour under non-stressful situations, but that they will do so under conditions of "existentially stressful situations"

Reconciling these claims appears to require that there being "no cops to fear" is "an existentially stressful situation". But now you claim that isn't true. Could you explain that apparent inconsistency?

As sometimes happens in long, drawn out threads, where one comes back to a post after a day or two, "reading comprehension fail".

I realize this admission will allow my critics a way to dismiss my every posting, but it should not be so.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on April 18, 2011, 12:18:40 pm
Now that would be rude of them CG.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Xavin on April 18, 2011, 12:33:17 pm
@ContraryGuy: I appreciate and respect the honesty of your response. It makes me less likely to dismiss your postings and I hope others would feel the same. I make no prediction as to the likelihood of that.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 18, 2011, 03:23:00 pm

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Once you believe in unconscious motivations which are stronger and more important than the conscious will, how can you reasonably discuss motives? People's motives become hidden dark things that they are not aware of themselves. "Don't listen to what I say, watch what I do" is a start, but the big sin of most americans is they believe what their government tells them, not that they carpet-bomb cities or start wars of convenience or torture political prisoners etc.

Sorry, J., but the big sin of Americans is complacency; not belief in government.  Most intelligent and independent people do not believe what the government says or what they hear on TV.  (of course, everyone believes what they read on the internet; that has to be true!)

I may be misunderstanding you here. You say that people know that their government can and does write blank checks on their economy. And they believe that the government lies to them. But they are complacent about that.

I don't understand this.

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American complacency has led to the belief that everything is wrong, and there is nothing that can be done about it, so why bother.

I would not call that complacency but something else. Maybe fatalism. I've heard about Italian farmers on the slope of Vesuvius, they get fine crops because the land is so fertile but any year now Vesuvius is going to erupt again and kill them. They just shrug, they could go elsewhere but they would lose their farms.

I just can't see it as being complacent. Thieves are writing blank checks on your bank account and your mortgage etc, and you can't stop them. And you don't try to do anything at all about it, but just accept the situation -- complacently. That just does not compute.

I can see it much easier if they trust their government to take care of them. They might not trust it to tell the inconvenient truth to the public and the world, but they trust it to act in their best interest. And so the large majority of Americans believe that the US government had no part in 9/11, because they believe that the US government would not do that. They believe the US government would not sacrifice 3000 citizens to fulfill its goals. And that's their fundamental reason to disbelieve.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 18, 2011, 06:16:56 pm
I just can't see it as being complacent. Thieves are writing blank checks on your bank account and your mortgage etc, and you can't stop them. And you don't try to do anything at all about it, but just accept the situation -- complacently. That just does not compute.

The majority of voters do not have a mortgage, nor a significant amount of money in their bank account.

Also, the majority of voters are pretty stupid, so when the Office of Management and Budget issues a pile of non partisan projections saying that things are not too bad, who are they to disagree?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 18, 2011, 06:40:42 pm
I would not call that complacency but something else. Maybe fatalism. I've heard about Italian farmers on the slope of Vesuvius, they get fine crops because the land is so fertile but any year now Vesuvius is going to erupt again and kill them. They just shrug, they could go elsewhere but they would lose their farms.

Yes, JThomas, "complacency" is clearly the wrong word:

"Complacency--a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc. "

There are clear signs that the people know something is wrong--growing gun purchases, interest in survival gardening, the Tea Party, etc. These people are not complacent at all.

I would characterize the mood of the nation as two sides of the same coin, wishful thinking and denial. Why do so many women refuse to go to the doctor when they discover a lump in their breast? They are in denial, because they see cancer as a death sentence or at least mutilation. To know the truth would mean they would have to do something about it. "Anyway," says the wishful thinking voice in their head, "it's probably nothing."

Politically, it is so much easier to get up each morning and at least pretend, the policeman is your friend, we're from the government and we are here to help you.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Plane on April 18, 2011, 06:57:21 pm

Oh dear, it looks like I may have to spell this one out more clearly for you.

1) Mellyrn asks Glenn if it's true that he'll "rape, plunder and kill just as soon as you think there are no cops to fear"
2) Glenn says it is true, and further that it's also true of Mellyrn.
3) Sandy disagrees with Glenn.
4) You claim that "Its [sic] true of most people."

The obvious interpretation of this is that you are claiming that most people will "rape, plunder and kill just as soon as [they] think there are no cops to fear"

You go on to claim that most people won't even consider such behaviour under non-stressful situations, but that they will do so under conditions of "existentially stressful situations"

Reconciling these claims appears to require that there being "no cops to fear" is "an existentially stressful situation". But now you claim that isn't true. Could you explain that apparent inconsistency?

This is terriffic!

I think every long thread should have a synopsys on the ninth page to make it unnessacery to read it all.

Policemen don't get all the love they deserve, because although very few Human beings are sociopaths , only a few can cause a lot of problems for quite a few.
So most people put up with police for the sake of the protection they offer.

 A symptom of too much government would be haveing the sociopaths as the police, which happens sometimes.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 18, 2011, 08:33:15 pm

Finally, if somebody really did think you were a sociopath, should he just say 'oh well' and leave you alone with the kids?

Wheres the harm?  Where is it said that sociopaths cant be effective teachers?  Its not like Sandy accused him of being a pedophile.

And, accusing Glenn of being a pedophile, with no evidence, would be a violation of the ZAP.
(Because such an accusation would only be caused by aggression.)

Here we go.  I wondered how long it would take.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 18, 2011, 11:42:06 pm

Finally, if somebody really did think you were a sociopath, should he just say 'oh well' and leave you alone with the kids?

Wheres the harm?  Where is it said that sociopaths cant be effective teachers?  Its not like Sandy accused him of being a pedophile.

And, accusing Glenn of being a pedophile, with no evidence, would be a violation of the ZAP.
(Because such an accusation would only be caused by aggression.)

Here we go.  I wondered how long it would take.

Indeed, Glenn. Though I am not sure we were expecting the same thing. No matter, the only "aggression" present here is CG's aggressive ignorance. I wonder--is he being inflammatory just to disrupt intellectual exchanges, for which he is not equipped to participate, or is he actually that stupid? We have explained the ZAP to him, we have given example and cited URLs. On his part, he has done nothing but put his fingers in his ears and loudly shouted, La, la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la!" I said it before, and I will say it again, what a pathetic, gen zero, loser. It is so, so sad. I feel sorry for you CG. I really do. It clearly sucks to be you.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 19, 2011, 02:47:14 am
Indeed, Glenn. Though I am not sure we were expecting the same thing. No matter, the only "aggression" present here is CG's aggressive ignorance. I wonder--is he being inflammatory just to disrupt intellectual exchanges, for which he is not equipped to participate, or is he actually that stupid? We have explained the ZAP to him, we have given example and cited URLs. On his part, he has done nothing but put his fingers in his ears and loudly shouted, La, la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la!"

You failed to give a persuasive explanation of what anarchists will do when numerous individuals and organized groups of individuals massively violate the Zero Aggression Principle.  I am an anarchist, and I don't find your solutions plausible either.  It is unsurprising that a non anarchist found them unpersuasive.

Ceres is a shopping mall.  Shopping malls have rentacops, though they don't usually carry arms.  Cerean shops tend to use physical gold as money.  Businesses that do a lot of cash tend to have their own gun toting rentacop hanging out in front, in addition to the usually unarmed area rentacops.    In our world, private security is all over the place, though it usually is somewhat concealed to avoid spooking the customers.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 19, 2011, 08:01:26 am
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You failed to give a persuasive explanation of what anarchists will do when numerous individuals and organized groups of individuals massively violate the Zero Aggression Principle.

As far as I can tell, he can't -- since so very much would depend on exactly what the local situation is, and exactly who the individuals are.  A response that would work with you might completely fail with me.  I think it's rather statist to seek prefabbed solutions.

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In our world, private security is all over the place, though it usually is somewhat concealed to avoid spooking the customers.

I daresay it is; on Ceres, seems to me the customers themselves do the spooking.  There's a good chance any given one of them is armed, maybe even most of them.  I can't think of a reason why I, as a potential thief, would fear a badged & licensed armed policeman (or rentacop) more than a fellow armed citizen, though my lack of imagination does not qualify as sound argument.

Which was the thread that had the cool links to how the American "wild" West was milder & safer than the formally-policed East?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Xavin on April 19, 2011, 08:11:24 am
I can't think of a reason why I, as a potential thief, would fear a badged & licensed armed policeman (or rentacop) more than a fellow armed citizen, though my lack of imagination does not qualify as sound argument.

A rentacop is presumably being specifically paid to protect the business that you might steal from, and so has more incentive to intervene than a random citizen.

On the other hand, the rentacop is presumably also under instructions not to unnecessarily spook the customers, so may be more restrained in his actions than random passing citizen - so that one's possibly a wash (too dependent on specific detail for one answer to always be right)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 19, 2011, 08:57:11 am
Quote
You failed to give a persuasive explanation of what anarchists will do when numerous individuals and organized groups of individuals massively violate the Zero Aggression Principle.  I am an anarchist, and I don't find your solutions plausible either.  It is unsurprising that a non anarchist found them unpersuasive.

I'm a Constitutional conservative and I don't find Libertarian views on defense persuasive, either. It's not the individuals within the system that I'm worried about, at least in the short term, it's the threat from an outside invasion.

Almost any society can be made to work, at least for a while: Hippie communes, Jonestown, Puritan Massachusetts, Port Royal, the slave society of Haiti, Red China, Sparta, the Roman Republic etc. The glue that holds a society together is common values. Once that's gone, the system falls apart.

For most of the 19th century, London didn't have an organized police force. It was quite common for gentlemen to carry guns and sword-canes to protect themselves, yet the crime rate was rather low, much lower than the more free-wheeling New York City -- in fact, the comparison has always flattered London. It wasn't the guns or the police force, it's the different cultures. I have no problem with the gun-wielding ZAP policy of Cererean society. I think it's doable because history has proven, over and over, that a vigorous society with its members on the same page can work.

Historically, outside invasions were dealt with by citizen-soldiers, but I don't think will ever work again, weapons have come too far for that. The average citizen can't do a thing against a "death ray" like the one Harris used, and expecting an inspired response like the one that disarmed Harris' force is unrealistic. What if the UW had sent two invasion fleets? The UW would have held Ceres hostage until they gave up, and then they'd take their wealth and freedom, and after a couple of generations of indoctrination, the young would think that AnCap was a dirty word. Practically speaking, the Cerereans have to have some form of organized military. I don't see a philosophical problem with this. If the merchants can offer a reward for the capture of criminals, why can't there be some common-sensical recognition that Cererean society needs a 24/7 space force to stay free? I'm not convinced that a threat of dropping rocks on the Earth will work. I don't think dropping enormous boulders that would take months to arrive is that much of a threat.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 19, 2011, 09:46:02 am
Quote
Historically, outside invasions were dealt with by [....]

I heartily recommend a book called The Sovereign Individual.  It takes the most unique look at violence I've ever seen.

The first point is, entropy rules.  We're always calculating the energy return on energy invested -- whether "we" are a human, a paramecium, an antelope or a cheetah, or a society (obviously the calculation is not always done "consciously", she added dryly).  The cheetah stops pursuing when its little cheetah energy evaluation system says "even if I catch it, I'll have spent too much; better to rest by this deer path for the next one".  The antelope stops running when it figures it's gotten a "big enough" lead; it does not continue running to the edge of the continent.  And the assailant tends to avoid targets that look too energy-intensive to take down compared to what goods the target looks like it can provide, kind of thing.

There are situations in which the EROEI is high:  you're a hunter/gatherer and your neighbors are crop-growers, and the corn is ripe.  There are situations in which the EROEI is low:  anything you could get from your target would be something you'd have to spend more energy carting around than you thought it was worth.  And there are situations where you totally miscalculate one way or another, but there's no accounting for them.

A large centralized power is generally good for expanding, colonizing, conquering (likely better than a decentralized force).  It pretty much sucks at maintenance.  At least, colonial plants seem to hold the living-organism record for longevity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_long-living_organisms).

I wonder if a centralized structure must expand or die?

In any case, "historically" has meant one thing in one time & place and something else in another.  Centralization worked for the Romans, until it didn't.  It worked for the Persians till they went up against the decentralized Greeks.

To the UW, Ceres appears to have a highly positive EROEI.  The UW must defeat Ceres in order to obtain what it wants.  Ceres, otoh, does not need to "defeat" the UW, but only to push that calculation into the negative.  It might be a moral negative, but the UW is probably in that decadent phase where shame is a luxury, so that won't wash.  I wonder if Belter society is mobile enough that people could simply dodge and keep on dodging, their lifestyles only slightly disrupted while the UW had to pour energy into getting its big ol' warships to chase fruit flies, thousands and thousands of fruit flies.

The Sovereign Individual poses an interesting sort of dead-man's switch:  a good hacker could say, "If you kill me, I will empty your bank account and divert all your funds into religious charities across the world", by setting up a worm kind of thing to do that unless he told it every day not to.  I wonder if, rather than offering a physical threat, Ceres might have access to the UW's backside?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 19, 2011, 09:50:20 am
Indeed, Glenn. Though I am not sure we were expecting the same thing. No matter, the only "aggression" present here is CG's aggressive ignorance. I wonder--is he being inflammatory just to disrupt intellectual exchanges, for which he is not equipped to participate, or is he actually that stupid? We have explained the ZAP to him, we have given example and cited URLs. On his part, he has done nothing but put his fingers in his ears and loudly shouted, La, la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la la, la, la!"

You failed to give a persuasive explanation of what anarchists will do when numerous individuals and organized groups of individuals massively violate the Zero Aggression Principle.

Maybe, but your point has nothing to do with the point of my post. I pointed out--correctly--that Bozo clearly did not understand the definition of ZAP. What anarchist would or would not do in your scenario was not on the table for discussion. If you would like to discuss that issue, I suggest you start a thread to that affect.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 19, 2011, 10:15:48 am
A rentacop is presumably being specifically paid to protect the business that you might steal from, and so has more incentive to intervene than a random citizen.

I was conceived in Liberty... Liberty, Missouri, that is. So I am a "Libertarian" by birth. In any case, Liberty was the scene of the first daylight bank robbery during peacetime in America (and probably the world). Jesse James and his gang rode into town, robbed the local bank for $60,000 at gunpoint, and vamoosed. On the way out of town, Jesse shot a college student, named Wymore, to death, apparently just for the fun of it.

The reason they got away with it is that nobody thought anyone would be that reckless. Previous to that all bank robberies had involved sneaking in at night and pealing or blowing the bank's safe/vault. (So basically, all daylight bank robberies in movie Westerns, are sheer Hollywood hype.)

Emboldened by their success, the James gang and the Younger gang, joined forces and attempted a replay at a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. For their efforts, they got the shit shot out of them. Why? The people in Northfield read newspapers--as did people across the region. As soon as "random" people on the street saw what was happening, they got their guns and opened fire on the robbers, killing some, wounding and capturing some, and running off the rest. Do not underestimate the "random" man-in-the-street.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Xavin on April 19, 2011, 10:33:08 am
A rentacop is presumably being specifically paid to protect the business that you might steal from, and so has more incentive to intervene than a random citizen.

I was conceived in Liberty... Liberty, Missouri, that is. So I am a "Libertarian" by birth. In any case, Liberty was the scene of the first daylight bank robbery during peacetime in America (and probably the world). Jesse James and his gang rode into town, robbed the local bank for $60,000 at gunpoint, and vamoosed. On the way out of town, Jesse shot a college student, named Wymore, to death, apparently just for the fun of it.

The reason they got away with it is that nobody thought anyone would be that reckless. Previous to that all bank robberies had involved sneaking in at night and pealing or blowing the bank's safe/vault. (So basically, all daylight bank robberies in movie Westerns, are sheer Hollywood hype.)

Emboldened by their success, the James gang and the Younger gang, joined forces and attempted a replay at a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. For their efforts, they got the shit shot out of them. Why? The people in Northfield read newspapers--as did people across the region. As soon as "random" people on the street saw what was happening, they got their guns and opened fire on the robbers, killing some, wounding and capturing some, and running off the rest. Do not underestimate the "random" man-in-the-street.

Yes - note that I didn't and don't claim that a "random" citizen doesn't have an incentive to intervene, just that a rentacop might have more. I actually considered adding the assumption into my earlier post - pointing out that (presumably) the rentacop is also a citizen, so has all the same incentives that they do, plus the ones he's being paid for. I decided I probably didn't need to make that explicit - apparently I was mistaken (wouldn't be the first or last time) :)

Of course, what I didn't point out is that, in a non-hoplophobe society, there are probably far more "random" citizens for a thief to fear than there are rentacops - which likely makes them the bigger danger to the thief (so basically I'm saying Mellyrn is right)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 19, 2011, 11:05:12 am
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You failed to give a persuasive explanation of what anarchists will do when numerous individuals and organized groups of individuals massively violate the Zero Aggression Principle.

As far as I can tell, he can't -- since so very much would depend on exactly what the local situation is, and exactly who the individuals are.  A response that would work with you might completely fail with me.  I think it's rather statist to seek prefabbed solutions.


Why is it anytime you disagree with someone you resort to calling them a freedom-hating oppression-loving, tyrant sympathizer (aka "statist")?

Why cant you suggest solutions?

Oh, right, I forgot; these are anarchists we're dealing with.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 19, 2011, 11:24:18 am
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The first point is, entropy rules.  We're always calculating the energy return on energy invested -- whether "we" are a human, a paramecium, an antelope or a cheetah, or a society (obviously the calculation is not always done "consciously", she added dryly).  The cheetah stops pursuing when its little cheetah energy evaluation system says "even if I catch it, I'll have spent too much; better to rest by this deer path for the next one".  The antelope stops running when it figures it's gotten a "big enough" lead; it does not continue running to the edge of the continent.  And the assailant tends to avoid targets that look too energy-intensive to take down compared to what goods the target looks like it can provide, kind of thing.

Mellyrn, I don't disagree with what you're saying. Historically, (there's that word again) when it gets too easy, a society stagnates and it's usually replaced by another, more vigorous culture. The ancient Romans wrote that it all started to go bad during the Republic when Rome started expanding beyond its Latin surroundings. Roman values were lost in an influx of wealth from the conquered territories and the Romans began demanding more and more of it, leading to the bread and circuses. The Romans also lost a tremendous part of their individualist, democratic values when they became an Imperial State, and Rome finally fell for the last time when the citizens (actually subjects at that point) couldn't muster the energy to defend it. America is following something of the same path. The original American values have been replaced to a large extent by socialism and political correctness, the soul-sapping anthesis of rugged individualism and honesty.

Ceres in the story isn't at that point. They're still a vigorous society with a homogeneous culture, so internal decay isn't a problem. Ceres has the will to defend itself, but all I'm saying is that they won't be around very long if they don't get their act together. They don't need a philosophical argument, they need a powerful and technologically advanced defense, or it's bye-bye Ceres. If the right defense is MAD with dropping asteroids, or a permanent space fleet, or something else, the comic so far hasn't shown me that they have the means to defend themselves.

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To the UW, Ceres appears to have a highly positive EROEI.  The UW must defeat Ceres in order to obtain what it wants.  Ceres, otoh, does not need to "defeat" the UW, but only to push that calculation into the negative.

True. All Ceres has to do is hang on, and the UW will disintegrate on its own. Unfortunately for Ceres, the UW has every reason to deny Ceres its freedom and independence.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 19, 2011, 11:34:23 am
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Why is it anytime you disagree with someone you resort to calling them a freedom-hating oppression-loving, tyrant sympathizer (aka "statist")?

I realize that the question wasn't for me, but out of curiosity, can you give me a single statist "solution" to a problem that doesn't involve a loss of personal freedom?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 19, 2011, 12:04:37 pm
Ceres in the story isn't at that point. They're still a vigorous society with a homogeneous culture...

How do you figure that? I hope I have made it clear that they come from all cultures. Neither the Belt in general nor Ceres specifically, are homogeneous. The only thing they have in common, is that they are more or less in favor of the "live and let live" ethos. Even there, they have somewhat different interpretations as to what that means. In addition, they find different justifications for their flavor of that philosophy--be it religion, natural law, pragmatism or what have you. By and large, they are the ones who do what liberals always claim to do, but rarely do in fact. They "Question Authority." Of course, that has a lot to do with why they are in the Belt, not on Terra.

... Ceres has the will to defend itself...

No "it" won't. There is no there, there. Cerereans/Belters will defend themselves (and they almost certainly will defend other Cerereans/Belters), but that is not the same thing. The point is that these individuals will defend themselves and they will "get their act together," by voluntarily working in concert. They did it on an ad hoc basis to stop Butcher Harris. Forewarned is forearmed. Remember, they took seven massive, directed energy weapons away from the task force. What do you think they did with them? In the upcoming Space Scout arc, the Belt Naval Militia will be mentioned in passing. 

These are not hypothetical events. They have already happened in history and are happening today. It is simple human nature.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 19, 2011, 12:18:41 pm
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Why is it anytime you disagree with someone you resort to calling them a freedom-hating oppression-loving, tyrant sympathizer (aka "statist")?

I realize that the question wasn't for me, but out of curiosity, can you give me a single statist "solution" to a problem that doesn't involve a loss of personal freedom?

I would add to that, what would you kids in the Peanut Gallery liked to be called? If you come up with a factually correct term, I promise to use it. Honest injun.

BTW, I don't know why anyone should object to being called a "statist," i.e., an advocate of statism (the theory or practice of concentrating economic and political power in the state, resulting in a weak position for the individual or community with respect to the government). I wouldn't get torqued if you guys sneered and referred to me as an "individualist." I believe in individuals, you believe in the state. "Why can't we all just get along." (Oh yeah, you statists want to force your philosophy on me. And when I say "force," I am not using it metaphorically.)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 19, 2011, 01:44:29 pm
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Why is it anytime you disagree with someone you resort to calling them a freedom-hating oppression-loving, tyrant sympathizer (aka "statist")?

I think statism, the desire for government and leadership -- the creation of a state -- springs of a low tolerance for uncertainty and the desire to know ahead of time what to do.

Knowing (or "knowing") what to do ahead of time necessarily limits your options when the time comes.

A limitation of options is a reduction in freedom.

This is not necessarily a bad thing:  when your child is choking on a pebble and you pop it out just as you trained to do in first-aid class, you win.

When you think your child is choking on a pebble and you waste precious seconds trying to pop it out, instead of realizing that it's an allergy attack, not so good, but, hey, life is notorious for throwing curve balls.

Which is why I prefer anarchy, or decentralized, networked societies that run on guidelines rather than rules.  Most social events will not have the immediacy of a child choking, and ritual responses dictated by the dead past will rarely be of benefit.  And even when they are, they can be deliberately chosen as correct actions at the time, rather than being forced on the participants by dictat.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 19, 2011, 02:53:34 pm
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the citizens (actually subjects at that point) couldn't muster the energy to defend it.

This sort of begs the question of why later Romans would be less energetic than earlier ones. 

I think you'd enjoy the book I mentioned. 

And I think we're well off the topic of whether anarchists do or do not exist outside of middle-class comforts.  Is that bad?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 19, 2011, 05:00:32 pm
About the word "homogeneous":
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How do you figure that? I hope I have made it clear that they come from all cultures. Neither the Belt in general nor Ceres specifically, are homogeneous. The only thing they have in common, is that they are more or less in favor of the "live and let live" ethos. Even there, they have somewhat different interpretations as to what that means. In addition, they find different justifications for their flavor of that philosophy--be it religion, natural law, pragmatism or what have you. By and large, they are the ones who do what liberals always claim to do, but rarely do in fact. They "Question Authority." Of course, that has a lot to do with why they are in the Belt, not on Terra.

I should have used another word besides "homogeneous," which implies a range of similarities. Regardless, the prime, overriding value is the same, a monumental core belief, without which Ceres could not function as it does. Sure, they come from different cultures. I say they belong to the same culture -- now. Strange that I didn't consider race or religion, as it didn't seem important to me. American's core culture is something like that: a belief in the Constitution and individual rights matters far more than if ones parents came from China, Mexico, or Africa, and race and religion would matter even less if the "other side" didn't constantly like to use it as a wedge to maintain their power.

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... Ceres has the will to defend itself...

No "it" won't. There is no there, there. Cerereans/Belters will defend themselves (and they almost certainly will defend other Cerereans/Belters), but that is not the same thing. The point is that these individuals will defend themselves and they will "get their act together," by voluntarily working in concert. They did it on an ad hoc basis to stop Butcher Harris.

You're saying that I should have said, "Cerereans" instead of "Ceres" to distinguish between a group of individuals acting ad hoc vs. a government rousing the citizens to defend the state. Well, to be absolutely clear, I probably should have used "Cerereans" or "Belters." To be clear, I grant that Ceres doesn't really have a government, so coming from me, "Ceres" and "Cerereans" has about the same meaning in this case.

Still, You said it yourself when you stated that "... and they almost certainly will defend other Cerereans/Belters." These Cerereans feel a bond to their friends, their brothers and sisters who would fight to protect their homes, and culture of freedom. Those who live on Ceres think of themselves as Cerereans, a group of like-minded people who believe first and foremost in the sanctity of the individual, but who (mostly) also give a damn about their neighbors and have a sense of pride in their fellow man, their values, what they've accomplished -- their culture, in other words.

***

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This sort of begs the question of why later Romans would be less energetic than earlier ones.
 

Yeah, it does, doesn't it? :)

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I think you'd enjoy the book I mentioned. 

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep it in mind and might just pick up a copy. The problem is time. Even making comments on this forum is something of a guilty pleasure.

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And I think we're well off the topic of whether anarchists do or do not exist outside of middle-class comforts.  Is that bad?

Are we totally off-topic? :) I saw the title, "Anarchists proof of prosperity" and took that as a license to comment about culture, as long as I tried to link it to Cererean society in some way.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 19, 2011, 05:06:54 pm
I feel sorry for you CG. I really do. It clearly sucks to be you.

You feel sorry for him?  Thats nice.  That must make you a fine person, the way you feel sorry for the less fortunate.  In fact you must be a very fine person based on how many people you feel sorry for.  Do you pity him too?  That would make you extraordinarily fine. 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 19, 2011, 05:21:58 pm

I wonder if a centralized structure must expand or die?

It takes a different mindset to not expand. While it's expanding, everybody can think about new possibilities. Say I'm in charge and you don't see why I ought to be. Well but it's expanding and the expansion will require some re-organization. Cooperate now, and you might wind up in charge of new land that puts my stuffy old fiefdom to shame. Or you might not, but I'm helping you conquer a new world, and you do better to compete with your unestablished peers for the new stuff than compete with me for the old stuff. Lots of problems can be ignored because the new loot is worth more than the old arguments.

But with no expansion if you have ambition your only hope is to replace me.

And with contraction it turns into a game of musical chairs, and even the unambitious get desperate.

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Centralization worked for the Romans, until it didn't.  It worked for the Persians till they went up against the decentralized Greeks.

If you believe Herodotus, the Persians were interesting. Every so many generations their priests told them to go out and conquer. First they conquered their nearest neighbors. The ones who fought got killed or enslaved. The ones who surrendered got to provide food etc to the army, and also they were forced to contribute soldiers. So the bigger army then rolled over the next neighbors down the line. Before they started attacking they built a large navy, and they preferred to work their way down the coast so the navy could supply their growing army. They conquered their way farther and farther, until at some point the army would be stopped. Perhaps some survivors would make it home, or maybe everybody would be lost. No matter, Persia would have no big competitors for some generations. The nations that had fought them would be depopulated, those that surrendered would lose a lot of men and crops, and also be rather depopulated. Persia would be stronger, and would grow, and a few generations later they would do it again. Under Cambyses they conquered as far as Egypt and apparently fell apart in Ethiopia, where they were perhaps not so much defeated as found a land that simply did not have food for them. Another time they got stopped by greeks, who were quite damaged by the experience. Etc. It wasn't a one-time thing. The Persian army was going to keep conquering until they lost. They had no plan to stop and maintain an empire. They were marching to their destruction each time, ordered by their gods and their king. It wasn't a special defeat when the greeks stopped them, it was just part of their normal cycle.

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To the UW, Ceres appears to have a highly positive EROEI.  The UW must defeat Ceres in order to obtain what it wants.  Ceres, otoh, does not need to "defeat" the UW, but only to push that calculation into the negative.  It might be a moral negative, but the UW is probably in that decadent phase where shame is a luxury, so that won't wash.  I wonder if Belter society is mobile enough that people could simply dodge and keep on dodging, their lifestyles only slightly disrupted while the UW had to pour energy into getting its big ol' warships to chase fruit flies, thousands and thousands of fruit flies.

That might work. If UW were to actually conquer Ceres but fail to make a profit conquering Ceres, they would eventually collapse. The more resources they put into the Belt, the faster they'd collapse.

On the other hand, if UW is somehow backed by capitalists who insist that UW make a profit for them, a war against the Belt might somehow get their credit extended. As a mere world government, it's obvious they can't make a profit. Winning a war against a small rich opponent, they might look like a better credit risk for as much as 10 years before the capitalists decide it will never pay off.

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The Sovereign Individual poses an interesting sort of dead-man's switch:  a good hacker could say, "If you kill me, I will empty your bank account and divert all your funds into religious charities across the world", by setting up a worm kind of thing to do that unless he told it every day not to.  I wonder if, rather than offering a physical threat, Ceres might have access to the UW's backside?

If there's one single good hacker, he might pull off something like that. I would not put up with that, I'd keep my money under my mattress before I accepted that somebody could just take it whenever he wanted, and that it would go whenever he got hit by a bus or something, but still it could work.

If there's a hundred good hackers, one of them will threaten to empty my bank account if I kill him, a second will threaten to empty my bank account unless I invest in energy conservation, a third will threaten to empty my bank account if Republicans win the election, a fourth will threaten to empty my bank account if Democrats win the election, etc etc etc.

If there's a thousand good hackers one of them will empty my bank account without bothering to communicate with me first.

Similarly, if Ceres has a threat against the UW, something that various small groups of Belters can do, who will speak for all the Belters, to threaten to do it if the UW does X and promise not to do it if UW does not do X?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 19, 2011, 06:14:34 pm
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Why is it anytime you disagree with someone you resort to calling them a freedom-hating oppression-loving, tyrant sympathizer (aka "statist")?

I realize that the question wasn't for me, but out of curiosity, can you give me a single statist "solution" to a problem that doesn't involve a loss of personal freedom?

I remember a long time ago I used to get lots of ideas about ways to solve problems with microcontrollers, and I'd run them by this old guy who knew a lot. He started asking me, "Whose rice bowl are you going to break today?". It was a phrase he'd picked up in china, when you break somebody's rice bowl you keep them from eating. And his point was that practically any time you solve a problem for somebody, you hurt somebody else. There's always somebody who was already solving that problem in some inferior way who will lose out when you find a better way, for example.

Probably most of the time when you solve a problem you will also reduce somebody's freedom, even if you get much more freedom for somebody else. There could be exceptions when you are a hermit and there's nobody living within ten thousand miles from you, or to a lesser degree when your society is spread so thin that people don't interact a whole lot.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 19, 2011, 06:26:57 pm
I feel sorry for you CG. I really do. It clearly sucks to be you.

You feel sorry for him?  Thats nice.  That must make you a fine person, the way you feel sorry for the less fortunate.  In fact you must be a very fine person based on how many people you feel sorry for.  Do you pity him too?  That would make you extraordinarily fine. 

Glenn, I notice a recurring theme in your critical posts. Instead of discussing the issues raised by others, you focus on the people make the points and how you suppose they feel about themselves. Thus simultaneously avoiding direct confrontation, while at the same time elevating yourself to a sort of psychological authority on human nature.

That seems a reasonable explanation of your strategy, but something tells me there is more to it than that. Personally, I realize I am only a "pop psychologist" (though a pretty good one). My educated guess is that your strategy has another factor, psychological projection. You appear to have severe self-esteem issues, which you project onto the actions of others.

In the instant case, you are saying, in effect, that if you had said what I said, it would have been because you wanted to look like a good person. Since that would have been your motivation, it must have been mine, as well. Nice try, but no. My self-esteem is intact and strong. (Accuse me of having too much self-esteem and I might have to plead guilty.)

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" -- Matthew 7.1-5 ESV)

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 19, 2011, 06:56:01 pm
I'm a Constitutional conservative and I don't find Libertarian views on defense persuasive, either.

There is nothing different about Libertarian views on defense.  Perhaps you mean anarcho capitalist views on national defense.

Observe that when the US, the Soviet Union, and Soviet puppet states went to war against non state entities, they frequently lost.  

Government offers advantages and disadvantages in defense. Its greatest disadvantage is that offers a target. Governments are hard to create, easy to destroy, as recent history has repeatedly demonstrated. Because government monopolizes defense capability, destroying the enemy government brings great advantage to the attacker. If you organize a government, you present your soft underbelly to a hostile foreign government, you give your enemy a single throat that he can cut.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 20, 2011, 12:23:28 am
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Probably most of the time when you solve a problem you will also reduce somebody's freedom, even if you get much more freedom for somebody else. There could be exceptions when you are a hermit and there's nobody living within ten thousand miles from you, or to a lesser degree when your society is spread so thin that people don't interact a whole lot.

Now we're getting somewhere. I give you props for responding. Many wouldn't have. So, from your response, I see that:

You can't think of any instances where a statist "solution" doesn't involve a loss of freedom. It was a yes-no question and you hemmed and hawed.

You are claiming that "probably, most of the time" one person's increase in freedom is another's lessening. Now this can only be true if we're redefining the word "freedom." Freedom for me means individual rights, and individual rights in a free society are meant for everyone, equally. I think you're speaking of privileges. For instance, there is no "right" to health care unless one redefines the word "right." In the case of health care, the privilege for one might well mean that another, or others, would have to pay for it, which would mean forcibly extracting money from those who have it. It's redistribution of wealth, theft, in other words, no matter one tries to pretty it up with platitudes of sharing, generosity -- as if such can be coerced -- or the other side of the coin, denigrating those who protest the thievery with terms like selfishness, and greed.

Another example is jiggering the rules to create "equal outcomes," regardless if the differences are based more on culture rather than a lack of equal opportunity. One or more groups of people are discriminated against to advance a favored group. College admission standards and affirmative action are excellent examples. Clearly, these have nothing to do with rights, but are all about assigning privileges.

***

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There is nothing different about Libertarian views on defense.  Perhaps you mean anarcho capitalist views on national defense.

That's my view, too. I looked up anarcho capitalist. To me AnCap is a subset of Libertarian with certain specific views on capitalism. I didn't see any differences with the Libertarians I know on defense, and the view in the EFT is consistent with my understanding of the way Libertarians see defense.

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Observe that when the US, the Soviet Union, and Soviet puppet states went to war against non state entities, they frequently lost.

Not so. Suffice it to say that when the US and the USSR tried to win a war against weaker opponents, they did. The only exception I can think of was the USSR and Finland, where the Finns had an advantage in weather and terrain. Even so, the Finns lost and had to give up 10% of their land. The USSR lost in Afghanistan after the US got involved. Until the Stingers showed up, the USSR was winning. The US lost in Vietnam because for various reasons, they didn't fight to win. One could also say that the war was fought partially through proxies: The NVA were heavily subsidized by China and the USSR. There was nothing wrong with the USSR's or the US's military power. The Viet Cong, the only genuine non-state force in the war, still coordinated with the NVA, and was effectively eradicated after Tet 68. The war wasn't lost when the US pulled out in 73, it was lost two years later. After congress decided to stop funding the South Vietnamese, they collapsed almost overnight.   

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Government offers advantages and disadvantages in defense. Its greatest disadvantage is that offers a target. Governments are hard to create, easy to destroy, as recent history has repeatedly demonstrated. Because government monopolizes defense capability, destroying the enemy government brings great advantage to the attacker. If you organize a government, you present your soft underbelly to a hostile foreign government, you give your enemy a single throat that he can cut.

You're overemphasizing the disadvantages of government. Was there a war in the 20th or 21st centuries where the government was destroyed, stopping a war in its tracks? I can't think of one. When a war starts, there is no soft underbelly to attack, because that soft underbelly is eating well from a concealed location while the generals are out doing the dirty work. However, an unorganized defense is chaotic and inefficient, and an organized defense means there's organization somewhere. Direction from the top is a form of government, be it military in nature or not.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 20, 2011, 05:36:55 am
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Probably most of the time when you solve a problem you will also reduce somebody's freedom, even if you get much more freedom for somebody else. There could be exceptions when you are a hermit and there's nobody living within ten thousand miles from you, or to a lesser degree when your society is spread so thin that people don't interact a whole lot.

Now we're getting somewhere. I give you props for responding. Many wouldn't have. So, from your response, I see that:

You can't think of any instances where a statist "solution" doesn't involve a loss of freedom. It was a yes-no question and you hemmed and hawed.

Can you think of any case where a "solution" does not reduce anybody's freedom?

I can imagine situations where people voluntarily agree to avoid some actions, and that solves something. They have voluntarily agreed to reduce their freedom of action, voluntarily bound themselves in exchange for perceived advantages.

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You are claiming that "probably, most of the time" one person's increase in freedom is another's lessening. Now this can only be true if we're redefining the word "freedom." Freedom for me means individual rights, and individual rights in a free society are meant for everyone, equally. I think you're speaking of privileges.

No, I'm talking about freedoms. "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." You can make an artificial distinction between freedoms you deserve and privileges you don't deserve, but still when you give up the right to swing your fist and hit me in the nose, you have given up something.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 20, 2011, 06:19:52 am

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Observe that when the US, the Soviet Union, and Soviet puppet states went to war against non state entities, they frequently lost.

Not so. Suffice it to say that when the US and the USSR tried to win a war against weaker opponents, they did. The only exception I can think of was the USSR and Finland, where the Finns had an advantage in weather and terrain. Even so, the Finns lost and had to give up 10% of their land. The USSR lost in Afghanistan after the US got involved. Until the Stingers showed up, the USSR was winning.

People argue about this. I don't know what the truth was. The Russians held the cities, and kept them as long as they wanted to. They were able to destroy a lot of farms etc, and a whole lot of Afghan civilians became refugees in neighboring nations. They kept going back to see whether they could come home to their farms, and also they came back to fight. I'm not sure whether to consider that a win. The USSR could probably have continued that way as long as they wanted to, but it was already expensive for them and they were already losing patience with it before the USA intervened.

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he US lost in Vietnam because for various reasons, they didn't fight to win.

I suppose we could have fought to depopulate Vietnam, and considered it a win when we had done that. We could have dropped nerve gas or nukes on northern cities. Would that have led to something you would think of as victory?

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One could also say that the war was fought partially through proxies: The NVA were heavily subsidized by China and the USSR.

Yes, which sort of inspired the US support of Afghans against the USSR. We had Vietnam, they had Afghanistan. We had Three Mile Island, they had Chernobyl. And the American revolution was somewhat subsidised by France. And when one monarchy or empire threatened to take Switzerland, usually another monarchy or empire helped them stay independent. So what?

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There was nothing wrong with the USSR's or the US's military power. The Viet Cong, the only genuine non-state force in the war, still coordinated with the NVA, and was effectively eradicated after Tet 68.

This claim keeps getting repeated too, and it's quite debatable. To some extent the Viet Cong became militarily irrelevant when US forces operated in larger numbers. We put in enough troops that the Viet Cong couldn't fight them directly -- it was no longer low-intensity warfare because we raised the stakes to high-intensity warfare. So regular North Vietnamese forces opposed ours.

Were the Viet Cong wiped out? Well, no, not at all. If they were, how come we couldn't control much of the south vietnamese countryside except by superior force? How come we didn't actually have any control except when our soldiers were on the ground pointing guns at people, preferably in daytime?

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The war wasn't lost when the US pulled out in 73, it was lost two years later. After congress decided to stop funding the South Vietnamese, they collapsed almost overnight.

Yes? And your point is?

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Government offers advantages and disadvantages in defense. Its greatest disadvantage is that offers a target. Governments are hard to create, easy to destroy, as recent history has repeatedly demonstrated. Because government monopolizes defense capability, destroying the enemy government brings great advantage to the attacker. If you organize a government, you present your soft underbelly to a hostile foreign government, you give your enemy a single throat that he can cut.

You're overemphasizing the disadvantages of government. Was there a war in the 20th or 21st centuries where the government was destroyed, stopping a war in its tracks? I can't think of one.

Iraq. The war was pretty much stopped by the third day of the invasion, except that we kept advancing and shooting. We got attacked by disorganised civilians, after the Iraqi army had almost completely collapsed. The civilians were doing things like putting heavy machine guns and anti-armor rockets on pickup trucks to get mobility, and they slowed our advance by attacking our supply lines which we ran on the assumption that there would be no resistance once we had come through and blasted anything that looked military. We talked like the government had not collapsed because Saddam was still in Baghdad, but it had.

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When a war starts, there is no soft underbelly to attack, because that soft underbelly is eating well from a concealed location while the generals are out doing the dirty work.

Maybe more important, the military might fight on even with no word from civilian government. Saddam was in theory governing from a concealed location, but we kept bombing the places we thought he was and announcing that maybe he was dead. I don't think he actually got any governing done during that time.

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However, an unorganized defense is chaotic and inefficient, and an organized defense means there's organization somewhere. Direction from the top is a form of government, be it military in nature or not.

It depends.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 20, 2011, 09:39:28 am
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"Whose rice bowl are you going to break today?"

My dad liked to say, "There is nothing you can do to make something better that won't also make it worse."  Much the same thing.

Eventually I realized that it is equally true that there is nothing you can do to make something worse that won't also make it better.  As in, the guy making the inferior microprocessor who has his rice bowl broken by your making a better one:  he might starve, or he might go hungry for a bit while he becomes inspired by your work and invents one even better.

Good news, bad news -- who knows? (http://onesproutatatime.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/good-news-bad-news-who-knows/)

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Freedom for me means individual rights, and individual rights in a free society are meant for everyone, equally.

I don't believe in "rights".  Consider that Robinson Crusoe, on his island before Friday, could not possibly be said to have any "rights".  A "right" exists only in relationship to at least one other entity that is capable of acknowledging (aka "granting") it.  The hungry tiger is not capable of acknowledging or granting your "right" to live.

The closest I can get to your "right" is "your wish for things to be a certain way, for which you will quite possibly fight to the death."  I understand such wishes; I have some myself.  We'll grant each other's, shall we?  I'll even let you call them "rights" even as I understand for myself that I have only what my neighbors are willing to grant and that if they aren't willing to grant enough or grant the, heh, right things, I need different neighbors.

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Suffice it to say that when the US and the USSR tried to win a war against weaker opponents, they did.

A state does not always win.  A non-state force does not always win.  We can point out lots of ways in which either sort could win, and ways in which it would lose.  There seems to be a subtext of, "See, this is how doing things that way would lose, so therefore it must lose and we should do things the other way."  I'm reminded of the guy who observed that all psychological schools (Freudian, Jungian, transactional analysis, whatever) work some of the time and none of them work all of the time -- and so he went looking for what was going on, across all schools, when they worked.  He found some valuable stuff.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 20, 2011, 09:46:14 am
I'm reminded of the guy who observed that all psychological schools (Freudian, Jungian, transactional analysis, whatever) work some of the time and none of them work all of the time -- and so he went looking for what was going on, across all schools, when they worked.  He found some valuable stuff.
While that is a sensible approach, I can think of at least one guy who had claimed to do something like that. but what he cooked up was "valuable" only to him...
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 20, 2011, 11:33:44 am
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"Whose rice bowl are you going to break today?"

My dad liked to say, "There is nothing you can do to make something better that won't also make it worse."  Much the same thing.

Eventually I realized that it is equally true that there is nothing you can do to make something worse that won't also make it better.  As in, the guy making the inferior microprocessor who has his rice bowl broken by your making a better one:  he might starve, or he might go hungry for a bit while he becomes inspired by your work and invents one even better.

Yes. So if we care about such things we're left trying to work out some sort of calculus, who's hurt and how much, who's helped and how much, does it work out better on average?

On the other hand, it's much simpler for me to look at it like:

1. Does it look like it would be good for me?
2. Is anybody going to stop me?
3. If 1 is yes and 2 is no, then go.

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I'm reminded of the guy who observed that all psychological schools (Freudian, Jungian, transactional analysis, whatever) work some of the time and none of them work all of the time -- and so he went looking for what was going on, across all schools, when they worked.  He found some valuable stuff.

I read about one of those. His name was Gendlin and he called his synthesis "focusing". I tried it and it worked for me.

He started out doing videotapes of people in their intro counseling sessions. Later, after some of them got results and others didn't, he went back and looked for things in that first session that would predict whether they would get results from counseling. He found something that stood out so well that he could explain it to beginning psychology students and they could predict which ones would be "successful" by looking at a tape of an intro session. I remember I was impressed by that then, but thinking about it now I wonder whether he showed them the same old tapes. Once you have a signal that predicts well about one sample, it isn't that impressive that other people can see the same signal and have it predict for that sample.

Still, it worked for me.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 20, 2011, 11:46:43 am
He started asking me, "Whose rice bowl are you going to break today?". It was a phrase he'd picked up in china, when you break somebody's rice bowl you keep them from eating. And his point was that practically any time you solve a problem for somebody, you hurt somebody else.
This reminds me of a video that's apparently gone viral on YouTube.

Jesse Jackson Jr. was telling the nation about how the iPad is a destroyer of jobs, because it is putting people out of work from bookstores to pulp mills.

The position that we should ban innovations for this reason is, deservedly, the subject of derision. But listening to what Rep. Jackson actually had to say, however, it seemed more reasonable - it wasn't that government should ban innovation, but it should plan for its consequences, and try to cushion them.

That may be socialistic, but at least not insanely so, and the possibility that people find it so hard to get new jobs without government help because of other government interference in the economy (if it's hard to fire incompetent employees, for example, naturally people will undergo searching scrutiny before being hired) might at least be examined.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 20, 2011, 11:59:00 am
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Can you think of any case where a "solution" does not reduce anybody's freedom?

Of course. England used the colonies as a mercantile nation, depriving the colonies of the right to trade with whomever they desired, and restricted certain industries so that English manufacturers would always have a ready market for their goods. They also taxed the colonies without allowing them to be directly represented in Parliament. The Revolutionary War, and ultimately the Constitution, was the solution.

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I can imagine situations where people voluntarily agree to avoid some actions, and that solves something. They have voluntarily agreed to reduce their freedom of action, voluntarily bound themselves in exchange for perceived advantages.

Sure, I can too: submission, appeasement, ransom, surrender....

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No, I'm talking about freedoms. "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." You can make an artificial distinction between freedoms you deserve and privileges you don't deserve, but still when you give up the right to swing your fist and hit me in the nose, you have given up something.

No, you're changing the meaning of words to muddy the argument. Obviously, I'm speaking of freedom as in liberty, individual rights, which I have already defined as freedom, once. You're creating a straw man.

***

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I don't believe in "rights".  Consider that Robinson Crusoe, on his island before Friday, could not possibly be said to have any "rights".

Now why does that remind me of the "If a tree falls in the forest," argument?

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A "right" exists only in relationship to at least one other entity that is capable of acknowledging (aka "granting") it.  The hungry tiger is not capable of acknowledging or granting your "right" to live.

Now that is a stretch. Last time I looked, a tiger was an animal, not a human being. Does a cow have the right to free speech? If a monkey throws crap at me, can I put it on trial? :)

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The closest I can get to your "right" is "your wish for things to be a certain way, for which you will quite possibly fight to the death."  I understand such wishes; I have some myself.  We'll grant each other's, shall we?  I'll even let you call them "rights" even as I understand for myself that I have only what my neighbors are willing to grant and that if they aren't willing to grant enough or grant the, heh, right things, I need different neighbors.

Oh, I believe that the commonly acknowledged "rights" in a free society, those spelled out in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a hundred other similar documents around the world are a bit more than "my right" or a "wish for things to be a certain way." The situation you describe with your neighbor is nothing but an exercise of "might makes right."

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Me: Suffice it to say that when the US and the USSR tried to win a war against weaker opponents, they did.

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A state does not always win.  A non-state force does not always win.

Sure, but that's not what I was saying. I was referring specifically to the US and the USSR, the two most powerful military states in history. One on one, they could defeat any non-state force if they really wanted to, as the UW, who had to conquer Ceres or dissolve into chaos, would have. Why did I bring this up in the first place? I was trying to demonstrate the different levels of force available to the UW and to the Cerereans/Belters and how unlikely it was that the Cerereans would win a true test of might. 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 20, 2011, 01:31:17 pm
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The Revolutionary War, and ultimately the Constitution, was the solution.

The Constitution may have been less of a constraint than the previous ruling practice, but it was still a constraint.  So it may not have been a "reduction" of freedom from the previous situation, but only a reduction from, say, complete lawlessness.  I wonder whether this point was meant to involve iterative reductions, or only constraint.

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I can imagine situations where people voluntarily agree to avoid some actions, and that solves something. They have voluntarily agreed to reduce their freedom of action, voluntarily bound themselves in exchange for perceived advantages.

Sure, I can too: submission, appeasement, ransom, surrender....

...marriage, parenting, waltzing, performing in an orchestra, driving....

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Oh, I believe that the commonly acknowledged "rights" in a free society, those spelled out in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a hundred other similar documents around the world are a bit more than "my right" or a "wish for things to be a certain way." The situation you describe with your neighbor is nothing but an exercise of "might makes right."

Please define "right" as in "Bill of".  Demonstrate how you can have it when no one around you is willing to grant it (speaking of tree falling in a forest).  If you can only have it by the grant of those around you, how does it differ from a privilege?

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Sure, but that's not what I was saying.

True, you were not saying all that.  You were only saying part of it.

As for winning a "true test of might", an elephant is far mightier than a wasp, but it would be well advised not to step on the nest unless the nest is smaller than one foot and it steps very fast.  The contest does not go to the "mighty", as such, but to the more creative use of such power as is available.  The UW, being heavily institutionalized, will find it much harder to take creative risks.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 20, 2011, 01:37:00 pm
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Can you think of any case where a "solution" does not reduce anybody's freedom?

Of course. England used the colonies as a mercantile nation, depriving the colonies of the right to trade with whomever they desired, and restricted certain industries so that English manufacturers would always have a ready market for their goods. They also taxed the colonies without allowing them to be directly represented in Parliament. The Revolutionary War, and ultimately the Constitution, was the solution.

And many people were hurt in the course of the war, and in the economic dislocations during and after the war. Many many people lost some freedom from that war. You argue that England deprived colonists of the right to trade with whoever they wanted -- after they became a foreign nation, didn't England restrict their right to trade with the British Empire even more than before? You want to argue that nobody lost any freedoms from that war? That's a big stretch. It's less of a stretch to argue that on average there was more freedom afterward, but that isn't obviously true either.

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I can imagine situations where people voluntarily agree to avoid some actions, and that solves something. They have voluntarily agreed to reduce their freedom of action, voluntarily bound themselves in exchange for perceived advantages.

Sure, I can too: submission, appeasement, ransom, surrender....

If I agree not to swing my arm so it hits you in the face, I have given up a freedom. If I agree not to trespass on your property without your permission, that's more freedom I give up. If I agree to drive only on one side of the road, that's more freedom lost. When I choose not to rape your wife that's more freedom still lost to me. I think all of these are right and proper. I don't need complete freedom to do everything.

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No, I'm talking about freedoms. "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." You can make an artificial distinction between freedoms you deserve and privileges you don't deserve, but still when you give up the right to swing your fist and hit me in the nose, you have given up something.

No, you're changing the meaning of words to muddy the argument. Obviously, I'm speaking of freedom as in liberty, individual rights, which I have already defined as freedom, once. You're creating a straw man.

You are talking about restrictions on freedom. You think the particular restrictions you have agreed to are somehow fundamental and compelling, that they are such obviously right restrictions that no one should object to them, that losing those freedoms is not really losing freedom at all. You so firmly believe in your ideology that you don't see it is artificial. I don't disapprove of it -- I think the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments and all that stuff is on average good for us. If we have to have restrictions on our freedom the ones that you like look pretty good to me.

***

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A "right" exists only in relationship to at least one other entity that is capable of acknowledging (aka "granting") it.  The hungry tiger is not capable of acknowledging or granting your "right" to live.

Now that is a stretch. Last time I looked, a tiger was an animal, not a human being. Does a cow have the right to free speech? If a monkey throws crap at me, can I put it on trial? :)

Exactly. You have rights only when somebody else agrees to them. You have rights by agreement with other people. Without other people to agree to your rights, you can do whatever you can get away with, the same as the tiger and the cow and the monkey.

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The closest I can get to your "right" is "your wish for things to be a certain way, for which you will quite possibly fight to the death."  I understand such wishes; I have some myself.  We'll grant each other's, shall we?  I'll even let you call them "rights" even as I understand for myself that I have only what my neighbors are willing to grant and that if they aren't willing to grant enough or grant the, heh, right things, I need different neighbors.

Oh, I believe that the commonly acknowledged "rights" in a free society, those spelled out in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a hundred other similar documents around the world are a bit more than "my right" or a "wish for things to be a certain way." The situation you describe with your neighbor is nothing but an exercise of "might makes right."

Those are all agreements that particular groups of people have made. You can make whatever agreement with your neighbor that the two of you can agree on, beyond all those documents. And if you can't reach an agreement then you can both agree to live and let live, or you can match your mighty might to settle it. Maybe you can get third parties to come in and add their might to whichever side they choose, until it gets settled one way or another, for now.

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Me: Suffice it to say that when the US and the USSR tried to win a war against weaker opponents, they did.

A state does not always win.  A non-state force does not always win.

Sure, but that's not what I was saying. I was referring specifically to the US and the USSR, the two most powerful military states in history. One on one, they could defeat any non-state force if they really wanted to, as the UW, who had to conquer Ceres or dissolve into chaos, would have.

What does it mean to defeat a non-state force? You have defeated a state when they surrender. Or when you have them under occupation and they can no longer govern -- then they are defeated at least until you go away, and after that something like the old state might revive or it might not. Consider for example Israel, which has been defeated and depopulated at least three times but sooner or later there's another Israel. Not likely that the current one will be the last.

But how do you tell when you have defeated a non-state force? Say they start out underground, are they defeated when they go underground again and you don't hear from them for awhile?

I guess they're probably defeated when all the people who are likely to join them have been killed, but....

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Why did I bring this up in the first place? I was trying to demonstrate the different levels of force available to the UW and to the Cerereans/Belters and how unlikely it was that the Cerereans would win a true test of might.  

It isn't clear that UW is as strong as, say, the USA. They are deeply in debt, after all, and probably can't afford the military they do have. Obviously different from USA.

The deeper problem is that even if they have the force to destroy the Belters, what they need is to domesticate the Belters enough to milk them. It isn't enough to exterminate them like Americans did the buffalo, they need to get Belters to share their wealth. And all the wealth that gets blown up, cannot be shared.

That makes the problem much harder.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 20, 2011, 06:05:10 pm
People argue about this. I don't know what the truth was. The Russians held the [Afghan] cities, and kept them as long as they wanted to.

Until the Soviets ran out of money - a declining economy and multiplying wars meant that they had to retreat in one place or another place.

Towards the end, the Soviet army in Russia was ambushing Soviet trucks and robbing them for food and supplies like a hostile occupying army.

We now know that something like sixty percent of the Soviet GDP was going to "defense", which is not sustainable long term.  What happened to the Soviet Union was a home front collapse similar to what happened to Germany in World War I.

We could have dropped nerve gas or nukes on [North Vietnamese] cities. Would that have led to something you would think of as victory?

You bet!
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 20, 2011, 06:42:03 pm
You're overemphasizing the disadvantages of government. Was there a war in the 20th or 21st centuries where the government was destroyed, stopping a war in its tracks?[quote

After the Soviets gave up in Afghanistan, and the Americans lost interest, the non state Mujaheddin, with no central command  (the Taliban did not exist back then) defeated the post communist government, whose leaders fled in 1992.  No state existed in Afghanistan from the fall of the post communist government in 1992, till the rise of the Taliban in about 1998-2000.

Similarly, after the Russians and the Americans lost interest in Nicaragua, the non state contras defeated the Sandinistas, though that led to negotiated surrender followed by a free and fair election, rather than total collapse followed by a period of statelessness.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 20, 2011, 06:58:57 pm
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The Constitution may have been less of a constraint than the previous ruling practice, but it was still a constraint.  So it may not have been a "reduction" of freedom from the previous situation, but only a reduction from, say, complete lawlessness.  I wonder whether this point was meant to involve iterative reductions, or only constraint.

That would be absurd for me to defend. You can't be serious.

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Please define "right" as in "Bill of".  Demonstrate how you can have it when no one around you is willing to grant it (speaking of tree falling in a forest).  If you can only have it by the grant of those around you, how does it differ from a privilege?

I get the feeling that this is some intellectual exercise to you. I'm sure that you can google the "Bill of Rights" if you're not aware of what is in it. The tree in the forest argument is perfectly apt, I think. One has the right whether one needs to exercise it -- or can exercise it, or are you seriously saying that because someone is in the forset with only a tree present, one lacks the right of free speech?

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As for winning a "true test of might", an elephant is far mightier than a wasp, but it would be well advised not to step on the nest unless the nest is smaller than one foot and it steps very fast.  The contest does not go to the "mighty", as such, but to the more creative use of such power as is available.

And yet the elephant made a sneak attack on a main hive and would have won if it's trunk hadn't been tangled and caught in the tree of stupidity.

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The UW, being heavily institutionalized, will find it much harder to take creative risks.

That may or may not be true. The USSR had some rather inventive men and women. Regardless, the solution doesn't require much creativity. The situation is quite simple: The UW must conquer Ceres or go under. They don't have much choice. The UW's mistake was to think that a single ball-peen hammer would be sufficient when they had a sledgehammer at their disposal. The happy outcome didn't "prove" that the Cerereans were stronger, just that they were very lucky.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 20, 2011, 07:24:29 pm
The USSR had some rather inventive men and women.

Who swiftly found themselves in the Gulag, along with Stalin's best generals, such of them as survived torture.

Regardless, the solution doesn't require much creativity. The situation is quite simple: The UW must conquer Ceres or go under. They don't have much choice. The UW's mistake was to think that a single ball-peen hammer would be sufficient when they had a sledgehammer at their disposal. The happy outcome didn't "prove" that the Cerereans were stronger, just that they were very lucky.

A ball peen hammer will not help an elephant against a wasp's nest, and the Cereans have ball peen hammers of their own - they have nukes, and can drop rocks on earth.

United Worlds needs an approach that relies on lower levels of violence, much as in the cold war.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 20, 2011, 10:08:45 pm
J Thomas response after I claimed that the Revolutionary War and the Constitution were solutions that created rights without depriving others of theirs:

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And many people were hurt in the course of the war, and in the economic dislocations during and after the war. Many many people lost some freedom from that war.

No they didn't. Who lost their rights? I would say that some lost their unequal privileges.

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You argue that England deprived colonists of the right to trade with whoever they wanted --

It's a demonstrable fact.

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... after they became a foreign nation, didn't England restrict their right to trade with the British Empire even more than before? You want to argue that nobody lost any freedoms from that war?

Of course the British were peeved. They'd lost a war (with French help) and a cash cow. They started kidnapping sailors and interfering with shipping. It didn't last, though.

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That's a big stretch. It's less of a stretch to argue that on average there was more freedom afterward, but that isn't obviously true either.

Before the Revolution: Mercantile nation, no direct representation in Parliament, restrictions on what the colonies could produce and trade with, very limited government. After: revolutionary increase in individual and religious freedom. I'll take the after. 

Discussion of terms to save time and cutting and pasting: the freedom and rights I speak of are the of the Bill of Rights and constitutional variety. There certainly are definitions of those words that simply mean freedom of action, but that is not what I have been referring to. Arguments that use the latter do not have context with my original argument. The argument that there are only rights when the parties agree to them is a variation of the might makes right argument. It's valid as far as it goes because in the real world, one must be prepared to defend one's rights or those who don't buy into the system will steal them. But as far as rights being written into law is concerned and within a society that values and lives by them, those rights are very real.

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You are talking about restrictions on freedom. You think the particular restrictions you have agreed to are somehow fundamental and compelling, that they are such obviously right restrictions that no one should object to them, that losing those freedoms is not really losing freedom at all. You so firmly believe in your ideology that you don't see it is artificial. I don't disapprove of it -- I think the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments and all that stuff is on average good for us. If we have to have restrictions on our freedom the ones that you like look pretty good to me.

Actually, we have points of agreement. The Constitution and the associated Bill of Rights were, in a sense, created artificially. The founders stated that these rights, were from "The Creator," which,in the jargon of the day, meant that they were universally self-evident. Naturally, they didn't come down from a mountain, but came from a strong background of English Common Law, philosophers like Locke, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and a lot of experience with the abuses of government.

I could go on and on with this, but dealing with this is taking valuable hours.

My original point was that the UW, with 14 billion people, a united government, the motivation of survival, and an established military has vastly superior forces and I have no doubt that it could conquer Ceres and the Belt under the current conditions. In my opinion, the way it was laid out in the comic, it wasn't that the Cerereans were all that clever about it, or that their disorganization was an advantage -- they were damned lucky. It isn't that I want to see Ceres go under, far from it, I'm rooting for them. It's frustrating, however, to see them flounder about and depend on luck to get them through.

If people want to claim that the Mujahadeen could have defeated the USSR without US and Pakistani assistance, Stingers that they could never have developed and that completely changed the balance of air power, training, and an endless supply of ammunition, and are simply a non-state entity instead a proxy, well go for it. I don't think so, but we can agree to disagree.

Regardless, the UW is not in a similar situation. It has, as far as I know, no enemies to divide its forces. It has the luxury of using all its might, and it has all the motivation to do so. One might argue that the UW is weak militarily. I don't believe it. With 14 billion people to control, there'd be plenty around, and a vast armada of weapons platforms, even if no space fleet as such existed, could be acquired and modified in no time.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 21, 2011, 03:19:19 am
If people want to claim that the Mujahadeen could have defeated the USSR without US and Pakistani assistance, Stingers that they could never have developed and that completely changed the balance of air power, training, and an endless supply of ammunition,

Observe that we are a lot stronger than the Soviet Union was, and yet the Taliban are defeating us.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 21, 2011, 04:05:22 am
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Observe that we are a lot stronger than the Soviet Union was, and yet the Taliban are defeating us.

Uh, no they aren't.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 21, 2011, 06:27:59 am
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Observe that we are a lot stronger than the Soviet Union was, and yet the Taliban are defeating us.

Uh, no they aren't.

The Middle Eastern militias are winning the war and will inevitably win the war. But they aren't winning battles. It's another Vietnam really. The USA is trying to prevent the people from determining their own destiny and stomp out their culture.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 21, 2011, 06:39:33 am
If people want to claim that the Mujahadeen could have defeated the USSR without US and Pakistani assistance, Stingers that they could never have developed and that completely changed the balance of air power, training, and an endless supply of ammunition,

Observe that we are a lot stronger than the Soviet Union was, and yet the Taliban are defeating us.

No, they aren't.

We are probably killing Afghans at a rate of 1000 to 1. Maybe 10,000 to 1, I haven't actually looked up the numbers, and anyway we keep careful track of how many Americans get killed but not much track at all how many Afghans are killed.

Millions of Afghans are refugees in foreign countries.

Between us and our enemies we have thoroughly torn up their roads, and Afghans who try to do road repair are likely to get blown up by airstrikes they don't see coming at all -- because we assume that afghans who are digging near a road are burying IEDs.

If you were in the Taliban's place you definitely would not say you were winning. There would be a foreign army in your country, occupying the cities, blowing up anything they want and killing random people whenever they want, and you couldn't stop them. That isn't winning.

On the other hand, let's consider the Afghan GDP. If you believe the World Bank figures, in 2001 GDP was about $2.5 billion. And since the invasion it has gone up very fast, so that in 2008 it was $11 billion and 2009 about $14.5 billion and the CIA estimate for 2010 is $16.6 billion (by exchange rate).

So we have kept the Taliban from winning by spending somewhere between 6 and 50 times the Afghan GDP. What an accomplishment! And if you believe the World Bank and the CIA, the result of our extensive bombing campaign is that after 9 years of war Afghanistan is 6 times richer than it used to be! Presumably Taliban is at least 6 times as rich as they used to be, so that would be a kind of win for them, but not at all a defeat for us.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 21, 2011, 06:52:07 am
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Observe that we are a lot stronger than the Soviet Union was, and yet the Taliban are defeating us.

Uh, no they aren't.

Ah, we're back to "how to tell when you've 'defeated' a non-state, decentralized opponent"; it's also hard to tell when a non-state has 'defeated' a centralized opponent.  If the US is not interested in a traditional victory in Afghanistan, but only in controlling the opium trade, providing employment for its own citizens (while removing some entirely from the labor pool), destroying resources in order to delay collapse of the economy at home, and keeping arms merchants rich & fat, then the Taliban are not 'defeating' the US.  And the US will not 'win' in the WWII sense.

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My original point was that [Persia], with a [vastly larger population], a united government, the motivation of [religious fervor], and an established military [and navy] has vastly superior forces and I have no doubt that it could conquer [the Greeks] under the current conditions.

Why did the Persians fail to conquer the Greeks?  If vastly superior force is the only (apparent) factor, then their failure must look like pure dumb luck.  Is it possible that there is more to understand than 'vastly superior force' and that if we had that understanding, we would see that it wasn't luck at all?  I see profound similarities between UW/Persia and Belters/Greeks, such that I'd find a UW win highly implausible.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  If someone believes that physical force is the only thing you can count on, this little old man  (http://unofficial.ki-society.org/another.html)looks merely dumb and lucky, and nothing will ever convince such a believer that there might be solid data, and reliable process, beyond his grasp.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 21, 2011, 10:37:55 am
... Regardless, the UW is not in a similar situation. It has, as far as I know, no enemies to divide its forces. It has the luxury of using all its might, and it has all the motivation to do so. One might argue that the UW is weak militarily. I don't believe it. With 14 billion people to control, there'd be plenty around, and a vast armada of weapons platforms, even if no space fleet as such existed, could be acquired and modified in no time.

It is the 14 billion people who are the potential "enemy." Throughout much of the 20th Century, governments used their armies against their own citizens more than against other governments. Latin America was a perfect example. The job of each country's military was to support their local dictatorship, not fight the next-door neighbors. When they did "go to war," it was usually short lived.

If you are the only military on Terra, your military becomes your de facto police force. In the WAR OF THE WORLDS arc, the "Albanian Police Action" was mentioned as was the fact that ships' gun were only designed to fire down from orbit onto terrestrial targets. The space naval ships were not planned to protect Terra from space aliens. If you split your military to take on the entire Belt, Mars and whomever, your ability to intimidate people on Terra is correspondingly reduced. That threatens the Powers That Be, a lot more than Belter independence.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 21, 2011, 11:06:29 am
J Thomas response after I claimed that the Revolutionary War and the Constitution were solutions that created rights without depriving others of theirs:

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And many people were hurt in the course of the war, and in the economic dislocations during and after the war. Many many people lost some freedom from that war.

No they didn't. Who lost their rights? I would say that some lost their unequal privileges.

See, we have a fundamental difference of thought. I think about freedom while you think about rights and privileges.

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You argue that England deprived colonists of the right to trade with whoever they wanted ... after they became a foreign nation, didn't England restrict their right to trade with the British Empire even more than before? You want to argue that nobody lost any freedoms from that war?

Of course the British were peeved. They'd lost a war (with French help) and a cash cow. They started kidnapping sailors and interfering with shipping. It didn't last, though.

So, the deprivation may have been more than it was before the war. We did not get free trade out of that war. It didn't last, but what does?

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That's a big stretch. It's less of a stretch to argue that on average there was more freedom afterward, but that isn't obviously true either.

Before the Revolution: Mercantile nation, no direct representation in Parliament, restrictions on what the colonies could produce and trade with, very limited government. After: revolutionary increase in individual and religious freedom. I'll take the after.

So would I. But an undetermined number of Tories didn't -- they ran away because they knew "we" were going to confiscate their property anyway, and maybe hurt them. I don't have good numbers on that. It looks like it was only a few thousand that the British government gave temporary support to as their friends in need.

The states and US government did some repression afterward too, of the indians and for example the Whiskey Rebellion. Was it worse than the british had done? I don't have a good basis to decide that since I mostly read the histories written by the victors, and not stuff by careful historians.

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Discussion of terms to save time and cutting and pasting: the freedom and rights I speak of are the of the Bill of Rights and constitutional variety. There certainly are definitions of those words that simply mean freedom of action, but that is not what I have been referring to. Arguments that use the latter do not have context with my original argument. The argument that there are only rights when the parties agree to them is a variation of the might makes right argument. It's valid as far as it goes because in the real world, one must be prepared to defend one's rights or those who don't buy into the system will steal them. But as far as rights being written into law is concerned and within a society that values and lives by them, those rights are very real.

Well, see, you are a Platonist and I am not. You believe that there are abstract rights which are real independent of what anybody does. I say those are only in your mind and in the minds of people who agree with you.

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You are talking about restrictions on freedom. You think the particular restrictions you have agreed to are somehow fundamental and compelling, that they are such obviously right restrictions that no one should object to them, that losing those freedoms is not really losing freedom at all. You so firmly believe in your ideology that you don't see it is artificial. I don't disapprove of it -- I think the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments and all that stuff is on average good for us. If we have to have restrictions on our freedom the ones that you like look pretty good to me.

Actually, we have points of agreement. The Constitution and the associated Bill of Rights were, in a sense, created artificially. The founders stated that these rights, were from "The Creator," which,in the jargon of the day, meant that they were universally self-evident. Naturally, they didn't come down from a mountain, but came from a strong background of English Common Law, philosophers like Locke, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and a lot of experience with the abuses of government.

They exist only by agreement. When the people who agree on particular rights can impose their ideas on the people who don't agree, then those ideas become the official consensus.

So, say, freedom of speech.... We are agreed that the government should not be allowed to restrict people who present their opinions, even their opinions about the government.

But of course they are not allowed to announce true things which the government wants to keep secret, because that might aid the government's enemies. And they are of course not allowed to say things which would lead listeners to oppose the government -- that's inciting to riot. So basicly, the government is not supposed to restrict communication among its citizens unless they want to say something that the government particularly cares about....

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My original point was that the UW, with 14 billion people, a united government, the motivation of survival, and an established military has vastly superior forces and I have no doubt that it could conquer Ceres and the Belt under the current conditions. In my opinion, the way it was laid out in the comic, it wasn't that the Cerereans were all that clever about it, or that their disorganization was an advantage -- they were damned lucky. It isn't that I want to see Ceres go under, far from it, I'm rooting for them. It's frustrating, however, to see them flounder about and depend on luck to get them through.

The way it's presented, the UW is in economic troubles and needs to make a profit off the Belt. That puts strong constraints on them. The more stuff they destroy in the Belt while they persuade Belters to help them make a profit, the harder it becomes to make a profit. And the more money and resources they put into occupying the Belt, the harder it gets to make a profit.

Perhaps they could manage a war without making a profit? If they can persuade 14 billion terrans that the Belt is a bunch of crazy anarchists who are a deadly danger to all terrans, then they might get terrans to unite behind them to end the threat. Terrans would then accept a whole lot of belt-tightening to support the war effort. Within some limits, the more rocks Belters throw at them, the better terrans are persuaded to fight the war and the more excuses they accept from the UW for bad economic results.

LIke the USA was not doing well economicly in 2000, and a lot of Americans were concerned and a bit frightened. But after 9/11 Bush had a perfect excuse. 9/11 did at hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars damage to the US economy, and we couldn't expect things to go well after that. It took a lot of pressure off. And Americans were resolved to invade somebody after that, and eagerly raised military budgets.

So if the UW can get the Belt to make a credible threat, or even better a splashy attack like 9/11, then the UW is much better off even if they can't ever make a profit off the Belt.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 21, 2011, 11:53:44 am
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the citizens (actually subjects at that point) couldn't muster the energy to defend it.

This sort of begs the question of why later Romans would be less energetic than earlier ones. 

I think you'd enjoy the book I mentioned. 

And I think we're well off the topic of whether anarchists do or do not exist outside of middle-class comforts.  Is that bad?

No, its not bad.  And no, anarchists cannot exist outside of middle class comforts.

Too little comfort, and there is no time or energy to play at anarchy.

Too much comfort, and there is no desire to play at anarchy(since you already have all the money any way, you are by default an anarcho-capitalist; the laws stop applying to you: he who has the gold makes the rules).
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 21, 2011, 12:01:36 pm
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The Constitution may have been less of a constraint than the previous ruling practice, but it was still a constraint.  So it may not have been a "reduction" of freedom from the previous situation, but only a reduction from, say, complete lawlessness.  I wonder whether this point was meant to involve iterative reductions, or only constraint.

That would be absurd for me to defend. You can't be serious.

????  What's to defend?  What did I attack?  I was only wondering whether J Thomas meant "a solution that does not reduce anybody's freedom from what it was before the solution" or "a solution that does not reduce anybody's freedom at all".

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I'm sure that you can google the "Bill of Rights"

I asked you to define "right" and then tried to indicate that I meant "as the word is used in the phrase 'Bill of Rights'" so that you would not be distracted by "right" vs left, "right" vs wrong, "right" vs obtuse or acute, or other such alternatives.  I wanted to know what your concept of "a right" is.  It would help me talk to you.

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One has the right whether one needs to exercise it -- or can exercise it, or are you seriously saying that because someone is in the forset with only a tree present, one lacks the right of free speech?

I'm saying that a "right" is something that is granted, given, bestowed, and not something inherent.  It is contingent on the consent of others.  Privileges are also granted, given, bestowed.  As far as I can tell, a "right" is a special kind of privilege; "rights" are supposed to be granted by everyone to everyone, where privileges are granted by few to few.  If your community (whether your political community like a state, or your workplace, or your church, &c) does not grant you, say, free speech, then you have no such right in that context.

Personally, I am inclined to grant free speech, including (or maybe especially) hate speech:  banning it is like silencing a rattlesnake's rattle.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 21, 2011, 02:17:59 pm

I was only wondering whether J Thomas meant "a solution that does not reduce anybody's freedom from what it was before the solution" or "a solution that does not reduce anybody's freedom at all".

I meant the former. The latter seems to me generally impossible but I can vaguely imagine somebody might find some extremely special case where it can be done.

If you have a problem, usually you find some particular way to respond that solves or alleviates the problem. So you respond appropriately and the problem is solved or palliated, or you respond inappropriately and the problem is not reduced but remains the same or increases.

Solving the problem puts constraints on your behavior. The problem is only solved if you perform the solution. If you choose not to do the things it takes to solve the problem then the problem is not solved. You have more freedom if you do not choose to solve the problem, than if you do. The more problems you solve the more your behavior is constrained. If your problem requires that other people constrain their behavior then you must limit their freedom too.

It has to be a very special problem for the solution to result in nobody losing any freedom. Nobody has to do anything in particular to solve the problem, they all do more of whatever they like and the problem gets solved by their not doing anything to solve the problem....

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 21, 2011, 03:19:36 pm
If people want to claim that the Mujahadeen could have defeated the USSR without US and Pakistani assistance, Stingers that they could never have developed and that completely changed the balance of air power, training, and an endless supply of ammunition,

Observe that we are a lot stronger than the Soviet Union was, and yet the Taliban are defeating us.

No, they aren't.

We are probably killing Afghans at a rate of 1000 to 1. Maybe 10,000 to 1,

I doubt it.

130 000 US troops have suffered some degree of brain damage in the war with Islam so far, the typical cause of injury being a nearby explosion, rather than a bullet.  I do not know what proportion of these got hurt in Afghanistan, but since we are doing better in Iraq than Afghanistan, it is probably a fairly large proportion.   If we were doing comparable damage to the Pashtun, they would have collapsed by now.

We have retreated from substantial areas due to the high casualties that we have suffered, and are not bothering Pashtun in those areas.  If we were inflicting casualties at a thousand to one, we could go anywhere we pleased.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 21, 2011, 03:19:52 pm
J Thomas wrote:

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See, we have a fundamental difference of thought. I think about freedom while you think about rights and privileges.

No, you have a fundamental problem with sticking to the terms I defined. I was the the one who asked the question about rights. Obviously, it is up to me to define my own terms, not you. I have stated three times so far that the rights and freedoms I refer to are those laid out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. You stubbornly choose another definition. We are clearly having two separate conversations.

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Well, see, you are a Platonist and I am not. You believe that there are abstract rights which are real independent of what anybody does. I say those are only in your mind and in the minds of people who agree with you.

Ah, that's what the problem is. You are unwilling to accept that the rights in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are valid except in the abstract, that even though they exist in that famous old document and are defined in the dictionary, that have no reference to the real world. Ergo, if I insist on my definition, then I'm not embracing reality.

Allow me then to expand: the Constitution is not a statement of principles, it is a legal document. It defines the limits of the federal government, and what rights (my definition) cannot be taken away. It is a legal contract between the people and the government. All laws must follow the boundaries stated therein, or the law is unconstitutional and is invalid. The rights I speak of are as real as anything, the boundaries between nations, national agreements, the mortgage on a house, a bank account.

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Me: Before the Revolution: Mercantile nation, no direct representation in Parliament, restrictions on what the colonies could produce and trade with, very limited government. After: revolutionary increase in individual and religious freedom. I'll take the after.

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So would I. But an undetermined number of Tories didn't -- they ran away because they knew "we" were going to confiscate their property anyway, and maybe hurt them. I don't have good numbers on that. It looks like it was only a few thousand that the British government gave temporary support to as their friends in need.

The states and US government did some repression afterward too, of the indians and for example the Whiskey Rebellion. Was it worse than the british had done? I don't have a good basis to decide that since I mostly read the histories written by the victors, and not stuff by careful historians.

Granted. It was a war, and a particularly nasty one, as civil wars tend to be. The immediate aftermath wasn't exactly clean either, but points of view aren't lacking. It wasn't that long ago, and both sides survived to write their own versions of history. Regardless, the American Revolution makes my point rather well. Most of the people in the American colonies were for Independence. Around 8-10% of the total American colonial population, which included women, children, and the aged, actually took up arms in the Militias and the Continental Army. They didn't fight for the "freedom" to oppress others, or for wealth and power, they fought for those same "abstract" "Platonic" rights that I mentioned. To relate it to EFT, in that fictional world, the Cerereans insist on the right to their own property, starting with themselves, and are more than willing to defend that right with sidearms. Some "abstractions" seem to be as tangible as lead in the gut.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 21, 2011, 04:11:46 pm
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Quote from: Aardvark on April 20, 2011, 09:08:45 PM
... Regardless, the UW is not in a similar situation. It has, as far as I know, no enemies to divide its forces. It has the luxury of using all its might, and it has all the motivation to do so. One might argue that the UW is weak militarily. I don't believe it. With 14 billion people to control, there'd be plenty around, and a vast armada of weapons platforms, even if no space fleet as such existed, could be acquired and modified in no time.

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It is the 14 billion people who are the potential "enemy." Throughout much of the 20th Century, governments used their armies against their own citizens more than against other governments. Latin America was a perfect example. The job of each country's military was to support their local dictatorship, not fight the next-door neighbors. When they did "go to war," it was usually short lived.

If you are the only military on Terra, your military becomes your de facto police force. In the WAR OF THE WORLDS arc, the "Albanian Police Action" was mentioned as was the fact that ships' gun were only designed to fire down from orbit onto terrestrial targets. The space naval ships were not planned to protect Terra from space aliens. If you split your military to take on the entire Belt, Mars and whomever, your ability to intimidate people on Terra is correspondingly reduced. That threatens the Powers That Be, a lot more than Belter independence.

Well, this is your universe. The UW's situation, as you describe it is plausible enough, and if those are the rules, then that's that. I can't argue that splitting forces weakens them, and if a government is controlling its people mainly with the threat of force, and doesn't have control of the information channels, then the powers-that-be would have cause to fear a revolution. If it differs from the way I think a world-wide socialist dictatorship would develop from current trends, that's my opinion. Further, I'm not writing the plot. The AnCap points you're making require a different universe than the grimmer one I'd likely construct.

A lot of my speculation is because I haven't seen the capabilities of the Cerereans and the UW yet. I'm making assumptions without knowing the players. I don't know if the Belters can survive for long without Ceres. I don't know how many ships the UW have that could attack the Cerereans and the Belters. I don't know how effective dropping rocks from the belt would be, or how many of the Belters would do such a thing. I don't know if UW counter-measures against dropping rocks would be possible, etc, etc.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 21, 2011, 04:46:21 pm
... Allow me then to expand: the Constitution is not a statement of principles, it is a legal document. It defines the limits of the federal government, and what rights (my definition) cannot be taken away....

Actually, that is not completely true. In fact, "Bill of Rights" is a misnomer. It should more accurately be called the "Bill of Prohibitions." Is is not an enumeration of rights. Though it recognizes some rights of the people (it does not create them). It is primarily a list of actions the government may not take. (From the Preamble: "... in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added" [emphasis added].) Also the list is not meant to be exhaustive (Ninth Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.")
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 21, 2011, 05:20:47 pm
I'm saying that a "right" is something that is granted, given, bestowed, and not something inherent.  It is contingent on the consent of others.
I disagree.

However, there are people who share your view. Thus, a few years back, there was a news item about how a Swedish professor was about to be dismissed for incompetence because he advocated the theory of natural rights.

Basically, if rights are not inherent - as inherent to human beings as mass, spin, and electrical charge are to an electron - then there is no code of absolute morality.

If in one culture it is the custom, when twins are born, to kill one of them by smashing its head - if in another culture, it is the custom to kill all girl babies, because the men are to be fierce warriors and steal their wives from other tribes - if another culture practices female genital mutilation - or another society herds its Jewish citizens into concentration camps - we have no reason to complain.

We could, because we don't like it, use force to put a stop to it, but there is no reason to think that if we do so, we're any better than those who use force to steal from others. Because there isn't anything "wrong" with stealing either.

Without inherent rights, there is no starting point with which to judge actions. We can do what we feel like, and there's no basis on which to distinguish between...

acts of aggression,
acts of legitimate self-defense,
acts to assist the innocent victim of aggression

because it's all a matter of personal taste, and thus preventing someone from committing murder is no different from the kind of thing that PETA does to interfere with medical research or farming.

It may be true that we have nothing in the "real world", in the sense of nothing we can measure in an empirical fashion, that lets us determine what really is "right" or "wrong". However, when our best way of knowing doesn't work, that doesn't mean that we can't fall back on others.

We can reason inductively from basic principles like "fairness", and from what human societies have traditionally considered "right" and "wrong", and have a basic temporary approximation of what human "rights" are - perhaps modifying our notions as we run into logical contradictions from real-world experience. We can recognize that our knowledge of right and wrong rests on very unreliable sources.

But that's not the same thing as starting with a denial that absolute right and wrong even exist. They must exist - even though they may be hard to find. Without them, we have no basis for action, except personal self-interest.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 21, 2011, 06:26:28 pm
Well they don't. They're concepts. A concept may describe something real but a concept on its own is not real.

Show me one molecule of right. An atom of wrong. Hold a handful of natural rights. These things don't exist except in our heads. In a way we're free to do what we want but our bodies prevent us from doing so through instincts and the ways we're wired up. For those who believe in free will the realisation of this truth would be akin to a Catholic being told by the Pope that all religion is just a scam.
So they deny it. They shut their eyes and block their ears refusing to listen to the truth of the human condition. A comfortable lie being preferable to a hard truth.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 21, 2011, 06:36:45 pm
A comfortable lie being preferable to a hard truth.
It's true that "free will" and "natural rights" may not be sustainable empirically.

But if they don't exist, that is a useless truth. Because in the absence of free will and natural law, it is not wrong for us to punish aggressors as though they had free will, and thus were responsible for their actions, and their actions were wrong. It may be a completely false basis, but this act on our part is no more wrong than the original aggression was wrong, if nothing can be wrong.

And, as it happens, negative reinforcement does work to deter undesired behavior, and stealing and assault make it hard for an organized society to function. So even if free will is merely a comfortable illusion that feeds our egos, we have nothing better to replace it with.

The only other alternative that's been tried is making the "organized society" an end in itself, instead of something that serves its people. We've seen the nightmare that leads to, under people like Stalin and Hitler.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 21, 2011, 08:25:20 pm
To be fair under Hitler Germany enjoyed a rapid rise out of a crippling depression and became a good, safe and comfortable country to live in. Provided you weren't Jewish, a gypsy, black, middle eastern, homosexual or any of the many folk that Hitler disliked.
Then he went and ruined it with a war.

However to call the non-existence of free will and natural rights a useless truth is pretty far off. Because if they don't exist then the world anarchists dream of can never last. A generation, maybe two. But it will tear itself apart once the remaining social conditioning wears off.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 21, 2011, 10:22:34 pm
To be fair under Hitler Germany enjoyed a rapid rise out of a crippling depression and became a good, safe and comfortable country to live in.

Safe, yes indeed, but not good and comfortable.

Hitler's economic policy of self sufficiency and state managed trade made the word "erzatz" mean what it now means: an inferior, and basically fake, substitute.  State managed trade was a failure, in that Germans failed to get stuff they wanted and needed.

Hitler bound the peasant to the land, and the worker to the bench - you got guaranteed employment, whether you liked it or not.  You could not be fired, and you could not resign.  If you were in a union, membership of the union was compulsory, and the union was more loyal to the authorities than to its members.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 21, 2011, 10:54:47 pm
Observe that we are a lot stronger than the Soviet Union was, and yet the Taliban are defeating us.

No, they aren't.

We are probably killing Afghans at a rate of 1000 to 1. Maybe 10,000 to 1,

I doubt it.

130 000 US troops have suffered some degree of brain damage in the war with Islam so far, the typical cause of injury being a nearby explosion, rather than a bullet.

But they are not dead. Total US military fatalities from Afghanistan are around 1450, which is rather higher than I had thought. (About 900 coalition fatalities which don't count for this purpose.) Note -- a killed to wounded ratio of less than 1%. A 1000 to 1 would be around 1.5 million Afghan fatalities. Isn't that plausible? Maybe only 500 to one, though, or perhaps as little as 200 to 1.

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If we were doing comparable damage to the Pashtun, they would have collapsed by now.

How do you tell the difference between Pashtun that have collapsed versus Pashtun that have not collapsed?

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We have retreated from substantial areas due to the high casualties that we have suffered, and are not bothering Pashtun in those areas.  If we were inflicting casualties at a thousand to one, we could go anywhere we pleased.

Well, no.

http://www.indexmundi.com/afghanistan/demographics_profile.html

30 million afghans. 1.7% of their population dies each year, more than balanced by 3.3% new births. Half of them are under 18 years old.

If we killed 1.5 million of them over 10 years it wouldn't be nearly enough to faze them. 15 million, half the population in one year, now *that* would get their attention.

Another factor is that killing Afghans would probably have more effect if Afghans who worked against the USA usually died while Afghans who did not, usually lived. Like, if it was safe to live in the USA but people who volunteered for the military could be pretty sure they would go to Afghanistan where they would have a strong chance of dying or coming home with brain damage, there would be a lot less volunteers. It might seem patriotic to sacrifice yourself for your nation, but it's a lot easier to do when there's a good solid chance you'll get away with it. Afghans may feel they're just about as likely to get killed by Americans whether they work against the USA or not, and that makes it far less a deterrent.

And they don't seem to have the same concept of defeat that we do. After WWII, Germans knew that they would mostly be forgiven. There were some rough times but they had nothing to gain by fighting to the death and they had something to lose -- they would be treated worse. So they passively waited for the Russians to take control, and they didn't fight back much. They had depended on their army to keep them safe, and when it failed they didn't have a backup plan. But Afghans have never really had much of an army to protect them. They don't understand that they can surrender and we will treat them well, that we won't expect much of them beyond giving up violence and giving up Islam, that we will improve their economy and help them. We kill them now. They can expect we will kill them later. They think they have nothing to lose by fighting back, and nothing to gain by depending on our mercy.

Nations have rules for how to fight wars. Sometimes they break the rules but they know they're breaking the rules when they do it. Non-state entities sometimes don't even know the rules of the game, and you can't expect them to play by the same rules. If you're playing football and they're playing rollerball, how do you decide who is winning?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 21, 2011, 11:18:42 pm
J Thomas wrote:

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See, we have a fundamental difference of thought. I think about freedom while you think about rights and privileges.

No, you have a fundamental problem with sticking to the terms I defined. I was the the one who asked the question about rights.

As I remember it, your question was whether there can be any problem for which there is a statist solution which does not reduce anybody's personal freedom. After I answered that you then decided that for you personal freedom is only about rights -- good freedoms -- and not about privileges -- bad freedoms. And you've been dancing around those arbitrary concepts ever since.

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Obviously, it is up to me to define my own terms, not you. I have stated three times so far that the rights and freedoms I refer to are those laid out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. You stubbornly choose another definition. We are clearly having two separate conversations.

Yes. Yours makes no sense to me. Or it makes a kind of sense. A USSR citizen could make the same kind of sense, he could say that everybody has the innate rights that the Party defines for them, and that no other rights are legitimate.

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Well, see, you are a Platonist and I am not. You believe that there are abstract rights which are real independent of what anybody does. I say those are only in your mind and in the minds of people who agree with you.

Ah, that's what the problem is. You are unwilling to accept that the rights in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are valid except in the abstract, that even though they exist in that famous old document and are defined in the dictionary, that have no reference to the real world. Ergo, if I insist on my definition, then I'm not embracing reality.

Allow me then to expand: the Constitution is not a statement of principles, it is a legal document. It defines the limits of the federal government, and what rights (my definition) cannot be taken away. It is a legal contract between the people and the government.

In theory, then, it is an agreement among a group of people. If they made a different agreement their other agreement would be just as valid as this one is now-- to the extent that they still agree with this one now.

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All laws must follow the boundaries stated therein, or the law is unconstitutional and is invalid. The rights I speak of are as real as anything, the boundaries between nations, national agreements, the mortgage on a house, a bank account.

All, all are agreements among people who might easily have agreed to something else instead.

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Me: Before the Revolution: Mercantile nation, no direct representation in Parliament, restrictions on what the colonies could produce and trade with, very limited government. After: revolutionary increase in individual and religious freedom. I'll take the after.

So would I. But an undetermined number of Tories didn't -- they ran away because they knew "we" were going to confiscate their property anyway, and maybe hurt them. I don't have good numbers on that. It looks like it was only a few thousand that the British government gave temporary support to as their friends in need.

The states and US government did some repression afterward too, of the indians and for example the Whiskey Rebellion. Was it worse than the british had done? I don't have a good basis to decide that since I mostly read the histories written by the victors, and not stuff by careful historians.

Granted. It was a war, and a particularly nasty one, as civil wars tend to be. The immediate aftermath wasn't exactly clean either, but points of view aren't lacking. It wasn't that long ago, and both sides survived to write their own versions of history. Regardless, the American Revolution makes my point rather well. Most of the people in the American colonies were for Independence.

Some historians estimate it to be about 50% for independence. It's hard to get good estimates. There were lots of places where the majority appeared to be loyalists, and those tended to be places where the British army was based. Did the people pretend to be loyal because the army was there, or did the army put its big bases where it had popular support because that was easiest for them?

Neither side allowed much in the way of freedom of speech. People who thought that violent men were likely to come in the night and suppress them if they said the wrong things, tended to keep quiet.

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Around 8-10% of the total American colonial population, which included women, children, and the aged, actually took up arms in the Militias and the Continental Army.

And about half that many took up arms to support the british, who didn't particularly encourage them to do that.

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They didn't fight for the "freedom" to oppress others, or for wealth and power, they fought for those same "abstract" "Platonic" rights that I mentioned.

They did collect wealth from Tories when they got the chance. It's kind of a leap to say what 8-10% of the population was fighting for, when a lot of them were illiterate and did not write down anything about what they were fighting for.

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To relate it to EFT, in that fictional world, the Cerereans insist on the right to their own property, starting with themselves, and are more than willing to defend that right with sidearms. Some "abstractions" seem to be as tangible as lead in the gut.

Americans who wanted to own their own property could go beyond the borders and own whatever they could protect from the indians. They didn't have to fight the British, and they didn't have to fight their state governments. Americans who fought the British to keep their own property often found later that they could not protect it from their own state governments or from private lawyers.

Americans who wanted less government could find it in the spanish territories and the french territories -- places where the home governments paid less attention and the local governments were relatively undeveloped. Of course, those places fell to the Americans eventually.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 22, 2011, 01:05:38 am
J Thomas wrote:

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J Thomas
See, we have a fundamental difference of thought. I think about freedom while you think about rights and privileges.

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Me: No, you have a fundamental problem with sticking to the terms I defined. I was the the one who asked the question about rights.

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J Thomas: As I remember it, your question was whether there can be any problem for which there is a statist solution which does not reduce anybody's personal freedom. After I answered that you then decided that for you personal freedom is only about rights -- good freedoms -- and not about privileges -- bad freedoms. And you've been dancing around those arbitrary concepts ever since.

Okay, to recap:

1) I asked a question using the term "personal freedom."

2) you interpreted the term in a different way than I meant. Now, that's all right, misinterpretations happen all the time. There are multiple definitions in the dictionary, both yours and mine among them.

3) I stated the meaning of the term the way I intended -- several times now -- as the sort of individual rights in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

4) You continue to deny that my definition has any validity. At first, this was inexplicable to me. "How can someone who seems to be quite reasonable about a variety of things continue to deny the existence of the meaning of a term that is in the dictionary and which nations around the world use in their Constitutions?" I wondered.

I believe I have the answer:

Socialists and statists, of whatever flavor, believe in the authority of the state over the individual. Individual rights, as I and perhaps half the world defines them, have no place in their world view because they would limit the power of the state. To a ardent statist, to admit the validity of "rights" in the way I referred to them, as other than mere "arbitrary concepts" would be to open a can of worms that, considered logically, might threaten his  core beliefs, the statist world view. This cognitive dissonance principle is hardly new or original. Statists, socialists and others rightly apply it to religious fundamentalists. However, it applies to any belief system that one is totally unwilling to abandon.

You say that I'm dancing. Well, that's partly correct: we're doing a dance, all right. ;)

Time to get off this dance floor.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 22, 2011, 01:32:40 am

Socialists and statists, of whatever flavor, believe in the authority of the state over the individual. Individual rights, as I and perhaps half the world defines them, have no place in their world view because they would limit the power of the state. To a ardent statist, to admit the validity of "rights" in the way I referred to them, as other than mere "arbitrary concepts" would be to open a can of worms that, considered logically, might threaten his  core beliefs, the statist world view. This cognitive dissonance principle is hardly new or original. Statists, socialists and others rightly apply it to religious fundamentalists. However, it applies to any belief system that one is totally unwilling to abandon.

Try that the other way round. Socialists and statists of many flavors believe in the authority of the state to define individual rights. They say that the rights they define are the real rights and no others need be negotiated -- they are unwilling to consider that there could even be any other rights because that would limit the power of the state.

Would you care to debate the validity of the government-supplied rights? You are not qualified. They can be debated meaningfully only in a government court with government-appointed judges. In a majority of US states it can only be debated by government-certified professional lawyers. You and I can argue the merits of the case, but when we are done our personal opinions carry no weight whatsoever with the government.

I argue that rights which are supplied to you by a government, at the government's discretion, as interpreted by the government, and modified as desired by the government on the government's initiative, are not in fact rights. They are government-provided privileges.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 22, 2011, 07:00:48 am
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Basically, if rights are not inherent - as inherent to human beings as mass, spin, and electrical charge are to an electron - then there is no code of absolute morality.

Well, no, not exactly.  What ARE as inherent to human beings as mass and spin are two contradictory/complementary impulses or instincts (call them what you will):  one, which I have reason to believe is far, far stronger, is the need to belong to a group, and the other is the need to be a unique individual, with individual autonomy.

The need to belong to a group, aka "peer pressure" and NOT limited to kids!, is what will cause an individual to go along with group norms.  From never ever ever going out in public without clothing, to killing whoever or whatever you're told to kill (infanticide has only rather lately been seen as dreadful), we conform in order to belong.  We do some violating -- "testing limits" it's called in parenting classes -- to find out just how far we can push the norms before being outcast.  But you, personally, can't tell me that there is nothing, not one single item, that your culture demands that you don't secretly despise but go along with anyway.  Well, you can if you score rather low in intrapersonal intelligence, I guess.

The need for autonomy is where things like the Bill of Rights comes in, as an attempt to protect the individual against the group.  I suspect individual identity is a rather late development in humans; that would explain the power of "peer pressure", and why we don't specially admire someone who never bucks conventional mores but do highly admire the one guy who can stand up for what is "right" even if it gets him killed by the mob.

Needing to belong is what drives us to play nice, to "behave" (as my mom put it, "Now you behave!").  Needing to be recognized as an individual is probably responsible for the evolution of morality.  It's when I have the guts to say, "Hell no I won't kill my newborn daughter" in the teeth of my neighbors, including leaders and elders, who all expect it.  Eventually, that catches on, and mores change.

I, mellyrn, seek to lose any sense of possession, of ownership, of the idea that "this is mine and it isn't yours".  I also can pretty well guess that you are not, that you have very strong notions of what's yours.  I can pretty well guess that you will respond with some sort of violence if I act as if "your" item were not yours.  So I ask myself, which do I want more?  Do I want to take the item -- and lose your good will?  Or do I value your continued happiness?  Mind you, I'm quite certain that if you, too, could achieve freedom from the need to own, you'd be much happier.  I also know that trying to force you to achieve that will only upset you.

Do you have the "right" to that item?  Hey, I'm not stupid.  Whether "rights" exist or not, I am keenly aware that you believe you have such a right, and will react accordingly.  Your use of the word "right", in fact, warns me of just how strongly you will react.

As it happens, I enjoy it nearly as much as you do when you are happy.  My idea of "morality" is to behave in ways that enhance your happiness, your overall, longterm happiness.  If you want to claim that you have "rights", go for it.  I'll tell you, as I did here, why I think that's a little silly, but I won't even try to insist on it.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 22, 2011, 12:07:02 pm
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Try that the other way round. Socialists and statists of many flavors believe in the authority of the state to define individual rights. They say that the rights they define are the real rights and no others need be negotiated -- they are unwilling to consider that there could even be any other rights because that would limit the power of the state.

Yes, it's the state over the individual argument. To statists, self-evident rights "from The Creator" don't exist, only "rights" permitted by the state, which can be withdrawn if the state deems it necessary. A right that can't be taken away is infinitely different than a "right" that can. In the first case, the right has priority over whatever laws the state decrees, in the second, the reverse is true.

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Would you care to debate the validity of the government-supplied rights? You are not qualified. They can be debated meaningfully only in a government court with government-appointed judges. In a majority of US states it can only be debated by government-certified professional lawyers. You and I can argue the merits of the case, but when we are done our personal opinions carry no weight whatsoever with the government.

Whoa, back up. Your first paragraph was so nice and then the second turns it all on its head. here you imply that whatever rights the citizens of the US have are government-supplied. They are not. Those rights are stated in the Constitution. The Constitution was not created by any government. It is a contract between the people and the government, which limits the bounds of governmental authority.

The founding fathers recognized that the government might well become tyrannical and violate the terms of its contract. They believed that the government should fear the people and not the reverse and heartily endorsed the right of the people to remove any tyrannical government. The right to bear arms has a great deal to do with protecting the people from a tyrannical government by ensuring the people have the means to remove it if they deem it necessary. It's mainly why the statists hate the 2nd Amendment.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Thomas Jefferson

Now, I'm not saying that the US government, especially recently, hasn't done its best to pretend that the Constitution is just an old, obsolete piece of paper, but we'll see how that plays out.

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I argue that rights which are supplied to you by a government, at the government's discretion, as interpreted by the government, and modified as desired by the government on the government's initiative, are not in fact rights. They are government-provided privileges.

And we agree again.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 22, 2011, 01:39:05 pm
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Try that the other way round. Socialists and statists of many flavors believe in the authority of the state to define individual rights. They say that the rights they define are the real rights and no others need be negotiated -- they are unwilling to consider that there could even be any other rights because that would limit the power of the state.

Yes, it's the state over the individual argument. To statists, self-evident rights "from The Creator" don't exist, only "rights" permitted by the state, which can be withdrawn if the state deems it necessary. A right that can't be taken away is infinitely different than a "right" that can. In the first case, the right has priority over whatever laws the state decrees, in the second, the reverse is true.

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Would you care to debate the validity of the government-supplied rights? You are not qualified. They can be debated meaningfully only in a government court with government-appointed judges. In a majority of US states it can only be debated by government-certified professional lawyers. You and I can argue the merits of the case, but when we are done our personal opinions carry no weight whatsoever with the government.

Whoa, back up. Your first paragraph was so nice and then the second turns it all on its head. here you imply that whatever rights the citizens of the US have are government-supplied. They are not. Those rights are stated in the Constitution. The Constitution was not created by any government.

No? It was created by appointees of 12 state governments, wasn't it? And it was approved by the Congress of the confederation, who authorized a limited agenda which the appointees way overstepped. And then it was ratified by 13 state governments. I have a lot of trouble seeing how you say it wasn't created by any government. I don't see where you get any non-government participation in it.

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It is a contract between the people and the government, which limits the bounds of governmental authority.

It is a contract that was signed only by governments. Very strange, that....

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The founding fathers recognized that the government might well become tyrannical and violate the terms of its contract. They believed that the government should fear the people and not the reverse and heartily endorsed the right of the people to remove any tyrannical government. The right to bear arms has a great deal to do with protecting the people from a tyrannical government by ensuring the people have the means to remove it if they deem it necessary. It's mainly why the statists hate the 2nd Amendment.

This is a joke, right? The Whiskey Rebellion showed how effective the people were against an organized army. And the Confederates took it as far as it would go. The USA is indivisible. You don't get to secede from it unless you can beat the US military over and over until they are finally defeated. Good luck with that.

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"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Thomas Jefferson

So, you think Jefferson was on the side of the terrorists? That's what you are if you are a non-state actor who takes up arms against the USA, right?

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Now, I'm not saying that the US government, especially recently, hasn't done its best to pretend that the Constitution is just an old, obsolete piece of paper, but we'll see how that plays out.

Bush tried that approach. But until Bush, they went through a puppet-play. The government agrees with itself to put limits on its own actions. So the government will not imprison anybody unless it decides to its own satisfaction that they should be accused of something it considers a crime, and then it should keep them only until it stages a trial by its own rules, and then they must be freed unless the government decides to its own satisfaction that they did indeed commit something it considers a crime. Unless the government feels that important circumstances require it to imprison them anyway.

The government cannot hold people secretly, unless it decides it needs to in which case it will hold them secretly and not reveal to anybody that it is holding people secretly.

The government cannot take your personal property, unless it decides it needs to. In that case it must pay you what it thinks the property is worth. If you want you can sue for more money in a government court.

The government cannot take away your weapons except for weapons it decides are dangerous, or unless it decides you are have committed a serious crime in which case it can.

The government cannot infringe upon your free speech unless the government decides that there might be bad consequences for letting you communicate, in which case it will shut you down.

In all cases the government must follow due process unless circumstances dictate that it should not.

There are politicians who say that this is a contract between the government and the people. There are fools who believe them. This is a contract between the government and itself, and it puts on a show for people who like to watch the spectacle of the government arguing with itself about whether it has followed proper procedures or not. Sometimes it decides that it has not, and it mildly punishes its minions who did not follow proper procedures.

You -- yes you! -- can influence this process. You can vote for politicians who say they will represent your interests, instead of politicians who say they will not represent your interests. You can tell them that you want them to support your civil rights, and they might then do things like vote to ratify good judges instead of bad judges, or vote for good laws instead of bad laws, or propose or vote for good constititional amendments instead of bad amendments.

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I argue that rights which are supplied to you by a government, at the government's discretion, as interpreted by the government, and modified as desired by the government on the government's initiative, are not in fact rights. They are government-provided privileges.

And we agree again.

So, how do you enforce your rights upon a government which in practice denies them?

One way is to elect politicians who say good things intead of politicians who say bad things, hoping they will actually pass good laws. A second way is to fund appeals to bad court decisions, hoping that higher government courts will choose to interpret the laws and the Constitution in good ways instead of bad ways. A third way is to get a government job and then carefully sabotage the bad things you are supposed to do, hoping that you will not be caught and your career ended. A fourth way is to become a terrorist and oppose the government physically rather than accept its utter physical domination over you.

Can you think of a way that might be workable in practice?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 22, 2011, 02:43:34 pm
Total US military fatalities from Afghanistan are around 1450, which is rather higher than I had thought. (About 900 coalition fatalities which don't count for this purpose.) Note -- a killed to wounded ratio of less than 1%. A 1000 to 1 would be around 1.5 million Afghan fatalities. Isn't that plausible?

Not really, given that every time we kill an allegedly innocent Afghan, his relatives sue us and we have to pay them off.  We are playing Afghanistan by police rules, rather than war rules.We have not been making thousands of payoffs.

War rules (all is fair in love and war) are about destroying nations, and the argument is that the restrictive rules we are playing by are essential to building nations.  If they are, then it is mighty hard to build nations.

If we were doing comparable damage to the Pashtun, they would have collapsed by now.

How do you tell the difference between Pashtun that have collapsed versus Pashtun that have not collapsed?

That they glare at our troops, and retain tight control over their females, that they burn bibles, and we burn bibles, while treating the Koran with same exaggerated respect as they do.

If the Pashtun had collapsed, our troops would sometimes get their dicks wet.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 22, 2011, 03:28:20 pm
Nah USA isn't building a nation. It's trying to occupy a nation without legally doing so. Soon as they leave any government they established will be toppled.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 22, 2011, 03:40:43 pm
Whoa, back up. Your first paragraph was so nice and then the second turns it all on its head. here you imply that whatever rights the citizens of the US have are government-supplied. They are not. Those rights are stated in the Constitution. The Constitution was not created by any government. It is a contract between the people and the government, which limits the bounds of governmental authority.
The Constitution is subject to amendment... by the government. No popular referendum required.

But that's all right. The Constitution is still just a law. While the first ten amendments embody some universal human rights, and the Ninth Amendment does actually point to the idea that ungranted rights can exist, if you're looking for such statements as "the just powers of government derive from the consent of the governed", you have to go somewhere else - to the Declaration of Independence. Which isn't even legally binding in the U.S. political system, and yet Americans feel more sentimental about it than they do about the document which gave the South 3/4 credit for its slaves... go figure.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 22, 2011, 03:53:51 pm
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A right that can't be taken away is infinitely different than a "right" that can.

What right can't be taken away?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 22, 2011, 04:33:05 pm
... the Declaration of Independence. Which isn't even legally binding in the U.S. political system, and yet Americans feel more sentimental about it than they do about the document which gave the South 3/4 credit for its slaves... go figure.

3/5, actually.  :(

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Three-fifths_compromise
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 22, 2011, 04:42:33 pm
What right can't be taken away?
Any right can be violated. But that's a different thing.

You can have a 12-year-old girl gang-raped and cut up into pieces.

But you can't make doing that not wrong, any more than you can make 2+2=5 a true statement.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 22, 2011, 05:07:53 pm
Total US military fatalities from Afghanistan are around 1450, which is rather higher than I had thought. (About 900 coalition fatalities which don't count for this purpose.) Note -- a killed to wounded ratio of less than 1%. A 1000 to 1 would be around 1.5 million Afghan fatalities. Isn't that plausible?

Not really, given that every time we kill an allegedly innocent Afghan, his relatives sue us and we have to pay them off.

That seldom happens. Do you figure that perhaps it's the Afghans who have special connections who can get that kind of publicity? Or do you think it happens every time we kill somebody whose relatives knew she was innocent? LIke, poor people? Do you think people who make $1000/year will think they can sue the foreigners and get away with it?

I keep running into this thing where people say if it didn't get into the US media, it didn't happen. There weren't any foreign casualties except the ones the media report. There weren't any innocent foreign casualties except the ones the media report whose families do lawsuits. Etc. I have no idea how those people think.

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War rules (all is fair in love and war) are about destroying nations, and the argument is that the restrictive rules we are playing by are essential to building nations.  If they are, then it is mighty hard to build nations.

It is very hard, the way we try to do it. It reminds me of trying to fill a bucket that has no bottom. So we see it isn't working and we work hard to fill it faster, and we guard it carefully so nobody can stop us from filling it.

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If we were doing comparable damage to the Pashtun, they would have collapsed by now.

How do you tell the difference between Pashtun that have collapsed versus Pashtun that have not collapsed?

That they glare at our troops, and retain tight control over their females, that they burn bibles, and we burn bibles, while treating the Koran with same exaggerated respect as they do.

So, I'm not sure I have this straight. You're saying that if we had done damage to Pashtuns that was comparable to the damage they have done to us, they would be afraid to make faces at us and they'd let us rape their daughters?

I guess it's a good thing our soldiers don't bring their daughters to Afghanistan then....

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If the Pashtun had collapsed, our troops would sometimes get their dicks wet.

I don't have statistics about that either. Of course we bring a certain number of US women to Afghanistan. A fraction of them report getting raped by US soldiers. Iraq has always had some prostitution, and the prostitutes tend to be from poor and despised ethnic groups, so they would likely have no objection to whoring for Americans. There has been essentiallly no reporting about that. Practically the only thing I saw was about a bunch of soldiers who got blown up in a building away from any of their bases, who weren't wearing their armor. It was a sort of unofficial command post. Nobody had any explanations why they were out of their vehicles and out of their armor in a place that turned out not to be safe at all.

I've heard even less of that from Afghanistan. There were a few rare stories about women getting stoned for prostitution. Either prostitution is rare there or stoning for it is rare, or both are common but mostly neither is reported. So I don't know how available sex is for American soldiers, apart from the women soldiers. Clearly there is a taboo about reporting US soldiers having sex, and the exceptions are rare cases where women soldiers get raped, and even rarer cases where foreign civilians succeed in pressing charges for rape or rape/murder.

So what we have here is very largely an absence of information. If soldiers who come home tell you stories about what kind of sex they have, that's better than anything we get from official stories. The subject hasn't come up for me, though.

Anyway, I'm getting some idea about your idea of victory. When we kill enough Pashtuns they will give us their wives and daughters to show they are beaten. Got it.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 22, 2011, 10:05:04 pm
Total US military fatalities from Afghanistan are around 1450, which is rather higher than I had thought. (About 900 coalition fatalities which don't count for this purpose.) Note -- a killed to wounded ratio of less than 1%. A 1000 to 1 would be around 1.5 million Afghan fatalities. Isn't that plausible?

Not really, given that every time we kill an allegedly innocent Afghan, his relatives sue us and we have to pay them off.

That seldom happens.

Because we very seldom kill Afghans that are  plausibly innocent.  As I said, playing by police rules, not war rules.  Supposedly this is what is required for nation building, though I always thought the army's job was smashing nations, not building them.

Plus, of course, no one knows how to build nations, while how to smash nations is well known.

Do you figure that perhaps it's the Afghans who have special connections who can get that kind of publicity?

As far as anyone can tell, they are just regular random Afghans.  Check any typical news story about the poor oppressed victims of cruel US imperialists.

Or do you think it happens every time we kill somebody whose relatives knew she was innocent? LIke, poor people? Do you think people who make $1000/year will think they can sue the foreigners and get away with it?

Manifestly, they do sue the foreigners and get away with it.

I keep running into this thing where people say if it didn't get into the US media, it didn't happen. There weren't any foreign casualties except the ones the media report. There weren't any innocent foreign casualties except the ones the media report whose families do lawsuits. Etc. I have no idea how those people think.

Our press descends like vultures on any incident where plausibly innocent Afghans are killed. They love that stuff.  And if multiple plausibly innocent Afghans get killed in the same incident it gets reported multiple times, and they keep coming back to it again and again like a dog to his vomit.

For example: Taliban hijacks some US fuel tankers, kill the crews. Our planes spot the hijacked tankers, blow them up to deny the Taliban the use of the tanker and the fuel in the tankers, killing a swarm of workers around the tankers, many of them women and children.  A small legion of people related to those who were transferring fuel from the tankers claim compensation.   Press swarms on the incident like flies on dogshit.  Seems that we are only allowed to kill Taliban who are actually under arms.

Those guys were not rich, not special, and not all that innocent, yet they got compensation and got press coverage.

If we were doing comparable damage to the Pashtun, they would have collapsed by now.

How do you tell the difference between Pashtun that have collapsed versus Pashtun that have not collapsed?

That they glare at our troops, and retain tight control over their females, that they burn bibles, and we burn bibles, while treating the Koran with same exaggerated respect as they do.

So, I'm not sure I have this straight. You're saying that if we had done damage to Pashtuns that was comparable to the damage they have done to us, they would be afraid to make faces at us and they'd let us rape their daughters?

They would let us purchase their daughters, the way the Germans and the Japanese did.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 23, 2011, 09:33:14 am

I keep running into this thing where people say if it didn't get into the US media, it didn't happen. There weren't any foreign casualties except the ones the media report. There weren't any innocent foreign casualties except the ones the media report whose families do lawsuits. Etc. I have no idea how those people think.

Our press descends like vultures on any incident where plausibly innocent Afghans are killed.

Hardly. I haven't counted, do they do one incident a day? One incident a week? If they run too many of those it stops being news. So you want to claim there are no more such incidents than it takes to saturate the US news?

Quote
So, I'm not sure I have this straight. You're saying that if we had done damage to Pashtuns that was comparable to the damage they have done to us, they would be afraid to make faces at us and they'd let us rape their daughters?

They would let us purchase their daughters, the way the Germans and the Japanese did.

So, again, let me get this straight.

From what you've said, it sounds like the method that in your mind would "win" the war is to send our planes all over Afghanistan defoliating the crops. And then when they're starving, we sell them food and we line up for them to pay in women, and we shoot anybody who makes faces at us. At that point we know they've lost and they know they've lost.

That sounds kind of satisfying in a disturbing way. But how does it fit our strategic needs? What is our purpose supposed to be in Afghanistan, that's worth $100 million/year and thousands of brain injuries?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 23, 2011, 12:05:39 pm
Your purpose in Afghanistan is keeping the country destabilised because this pleases the Saudis.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Bob G on April 23, 2011, 04:28:11 pm
Your purpose in Afghanistan is keeping the country destabilised because this pleases the Saudis.

Holy Hannah!!! Holt actually states something that makes a modicum of sense??? I may be in shock.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on April 23, 2011, 04:36:39 pm
Your purpose in Afghanistan is keeping the country destabilised because this pleases the Saudis.

Holy Hannah!!! Holt actually states something that makes a modicum of sense??? I may be in shock.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day...
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 23, 2011, 05:03:55 pm
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day...

Yes you are.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 23, 2011, 05:33:06 pm
Your purpose in Afghanistan is keeping the country destabilised because this pleases the Saudis.

I haven't heard any explanation that makes more sense, and most make less.

So, any idea why the Saudis want Afghanistan to be destabilised? What did they find unsatisfactory about the Taliban running it?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 23, 2011, 06:02:28 pm
Your purpose in Afghanistan is keeping the country destabilised because this pleases the Saudis.

I haven't heard any explanation that makes more sense, and most make less.

So, any idea why the Saudis want Afghanistan to be destabilised? What did they find unsatisfactory about the Taliban running it?


Could be all sorts of reasons. An unstable Afghanistan doesn't become a factor in regional politics which would please most powers in the region as it doesn't present competition. Or it could be that it occupies the USA interest in the region which would also please the Saudis as it makes them less likely to think of invading them or other OPEC nations in the area. Or it could simply be that they just plain don't like the Afghans.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 23, 2011, 06:17:19 pm
Quote
Mellyn: What right can't be taken away?

No rights can't be taken away. One must be prepared to defend them against the socialists and statists who despise the concept of rights that supersede the power of the state.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Bob G on April 23, 2011, 06:41:30 pm
Your purpose in Afghanistan is keeping the country destabilised because this pleases the Saudis.

I haven't heard any explanation that makes more sense, and most make less.

So, any idea why the Saudis want Afghanistan to be destabilised? What did they find unsatisfactory about the Taliban running it?


Could be all sorts of reasons. An unstable Afghanistan doesn't become a factor in regional politics which would please most powers in the region as it doesn't present competition. Or it could be that it occupies the USA interest in the region which would also please the Saudis as it makes them less likely to think of invading them or other OPEC nations in the area. Or it could simply be that they just plain don't like the Afghans.

Plus, the more fundamentalists fighting the 'Great Satan' in Afghanistan, the fewer sowing discord in Saudi Arabia.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 23, 2011, 07:07:10 pm
Your purpose in Afghanistan is keeping the country destabilised because this pleases the Saudis.

I haven't heard any explanation that makes more sense, and most make less.

So, any idea why the Saudis want Afghanistan to be destabilised? What did they find unsatisfactory about the Taliban running it?


Could be all sorts of reasons. An unstable Afghanistan doesn't become a factor in regional politics which would please most powers in the region as it doesn't present competition. Or it could be that it occupies the USA interest in the region which would also please the Saudis as it makes them less likely to think of invading them or other OPEC nations in the area. Or it could simply be that they just plain don't like the Afghans.

Plus, the more fundamentalists fighting the 'Great Satan' in Afghanistan, the fewer sowing discord in Saudi Arabia.


Now you're thinking with capitalism!
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 23, 2011, 11:22:09 pm

I keep running into this thing where people say if it didn't get into the US media, it didn't happen. There weren't any foreign casualties except the ones the media report. There weren't any innocent foreign casualties except the ones the media report whose families do lawsuits. Etc. I have no idea how those people think.

Our press descends like vultures on any incident where plausibly innocent Afghans are killed.

Hardly. I haven't counted, do they do one incident a day? One incident a week?

Hostile news reports say "hundreds of civilians over the last few months", and that seems to be roughly what you get by adding up reports of civilian casualties, which are one report every few days of several civilian deaths. 

So we seem to be killing alleged civilians at a roughly comparable rate as our soldiers are getting killed.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 24, 2011, 06:59:50 am
There's a lot that won't get reported purely because theres no one to report it  or the survivors don't know who to report it to.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 24, 2011, 08:52:31 am
There's a lot that won't get reported purely because theres no one to report it  or the survivors don't know who to report it to.

There is a lot of good the troops do that is not reported.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 24, 2011, 08:59:01 am
There's a lot that won't get reported purely because theres no one to report it  or the survivors don't know who to report it to.

There is a lot of good the troops do that is not reported.

Indeed. They shell villages made of shit shacks which then get rebuilt using the USA's money into much nicer homes for the survivors.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 24, 2011, 09:15:45 am
@ Aardvark & quadibloc:

So, between you, I have this:  a "right" is a state of being or an action which, if transgressed upon or violated, will provoke the expression of intense outrage in the one who perceives himself to hold such a right (and possibly also in others who share that perception) . . . if such expression is possible.  If the expression is not possible, the violated one will still feel the outrage, and is likely to seek to express it in future.  Violators beware.

The perceived right of a husband to beat his wife is fading.  Parents still believe they have a right -- some would even call it a duty -- to beat their children, whether or not they do beat them.

Is this different from "I want things to be a particular way and will fight to make them so"?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 24, 2011, 09:21:02 am
@ Aardvark & quadibloc:

....

Is this different from "I want things to be a particular way and will fight to make them so"?

Yes. The essential difference is that when it's a right, they're *right* to feel that way but when it is only some particular way somebody wants things, they are wrong to feel that way.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 24, 2011, 09:42:28 am
Quote
@ Aardvark & quadibloc:

So, between you, I have this:  a "right" is a state of being or an action which, if transgressed upon or violated, will provoke the expression of intense outrage in the one who perceives himself to hold such a right (and possibly also in others who share that perception) . . . if such expression is possible.  If the expression is not possible, the violated one will still feel the outrage, and is likely to seek to express it in future.  Violators beware.

No, not at all. I believe that I've stated several time in this forum that when I speak of a right, I mean one of those self-evident rights "from The Creator" mentioned in the Constitution. Whether or not one gets outraged about having one's rights violated is immaterial. The right still exists.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 24, 2011, 09:43:45 am
Not really. Natural rights are a bit of a silly idea overall.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 24, 2011, 12:44:50 pm
There's a lot that won't get reported purely because theres no one to report it  or the survivors don't know who to report it to.

There is a lot of good the troops do that is not reported.

Indeed. They shell villages made of shit shacks which then get rebuilt using the USA's money into much nicer homes for the survivors.

I have spoken with many soldiers who talk about the good things they accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I believe them.  Europe too for that matter.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 24, 2011, 12:47:45 pm
Not really. Natural rights are a bit of a silly idea overall.

Man, Holt, do you always bite the hand that feeds you?  If not the the ideas of the enlightenment you would paying your tithe and  lining the street right now with the other peasants getting ready for the royal wedding.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 24, 2011, 01:04:02 pm
Quote
one of those self-evident rights "from The Creator" mentioned in the Constitution

Does the Constitution (by which I think you mean the US one) contain the full list of rights?

I'm reminded of when I was 11 and asked my mom, "What is the nature of evil?"  She was creeped out, as if I'd asked to become a Satanist.  All I wanted to know was how to tell when something's evil if it's a new thing not on any list I'd learned.  Now I want to know, what is the nature of "a right"?

Most people seem to object to transgressions upon their autonomy.  When they're forced to accept them, they tend towards passive-aggression.  I find that policies and practices that allow and encourage autonomous behavior get the most productive results from people for the least effort external to those people.  I could call "policies which allow, encourage or demand autonomous behavior" with the name "rights".  Would that help?

Quote
Yes. The essential difference is that when it's a right, they're *right* to feel that way but when it is only some particular way somebody wants things, they are wrong to feel that way.

Ah.  Hence the word "right".  Snerk.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 24, 2011, 01:07:34 pm
Not really. Natural rights are a bit of a silly idea overall.

Man, Holt, do you always bite the hand that feeds you?  If not the the ideas of the enlightenment you would paying your tithe and  lining the street right now with the other peasants getting ready for the royal wedding.

The only rights you have are those you can take by force. That's why people here have quite an extensive list of rights. Because when we wanted them, we took them and killed any would deny us our desire.
Pretty much every right we have here was paid for in blood. Ours, our rulers, random folk we just plain didn't like. It didn't really matter. We wanted them so we took them.

Why do you think our current Royal family is loved so much? They know better than to try and rule. They've found a way to serve the people and as such are permitted to live.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 24, 2011, 07:41:05 pm
I keep running into this thing where people say if it didn't get into the US media, it didn't happen. There weren't any foreign casualties except the ones the media report. There weren't any innocent foreign casualties except the ones the media report whose families do lawsuits. Etc. I have no idea how those people think.
Recently, in a thread in an astronomy newsgroup on USENET, I found a helpful URL for you:

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney (http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney)

Now, it might not be as helpful as you would like, and not just because they're flaming socialists over there at Mother Jones.

The insight into "how these people think" that is missing from that article, though, fairly screamed at me from the web page. People don't give equal weight to what people who disagree with their pre-established views tell them... because they don't trust these people.

Which is perfectly rational if you're not the smartest guy in the room, if you might be fooled by a fast talker who wants to take advantage of you. And that is the situation of, what, 95% of the human race? The strict objectivity of the scientist works for scientists because,

a) they're pretty smart guys, but mainly because

b) they only apply that rule to the stuff they're prepared to actually work out for themselves.

Any calculations they don't check by themselves, any experiments they don't re-do to confirm, they will, just like everyone else, give credence to based on how much they trust the source.

Calling people irrational because they're not open-minded enough to be hoodwinked by the first con artist that comes along... is a bit much, even though it is true that the fixed ideas they are holding on to are, as we might know, often wrong.

But the way to fix it isn't getting people to be more gullible. Instead, it is to make them better informed and educated, so that they are actually able to see for themselves which of their pre-existing beliefs are mistaken without having to take our word for it.

Of course, that wouldn't be very useful to the builders of socialist utopias, so I'm not surprised that it was missed...
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Holt on April 24, 2011, 08:07:11 pm
Wouldn't be useful to anarchists either.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on April 24, 2011, 08:35:56 pm
Quote
one of those self-evident rights "from The Creator" mentioned in the Constitution

Does the Constitution (by which I think you mean the US one) contain the full list of rights?

I'm reminded of when I was 11 and asked my mom, "What is the nature of evil?"  She was creeped out, as if I'd asked to become a Satanist.  All I wanted to know was how to tell when something's evil if it's a new thing not on any list I'd learned.  Now I want to know, what is the nature of "a right"?

Most people seem to object to transgressions upon their autonomy.  When they're forced to accept them, they tend towards passive-aggression.  I find that policies and practices that allow and encourage autonomous behavior get the most productive results from people for the least effort external to those people.  I could call "policies which allow, encourage or demand autonomous behavior" with the name "rights".  Would that help?

Quote
Yes. The essential difference is that when it's a right, they're *right* to feel that way but when it is only some particular way somebody wants things, they are wrong to feel that way.

Ah.  Hence the word "right".  Snerk.


A right is when you mix one's labor with land. 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 24, 2011, 08:37:33 pm
Quote
Mellyrn:

Does the Constitution (by which I think you mean the US one) contain the full list of rights?

I assume you mean the original Constitution and its amendments. I don't know, and I'm not saying the Constitution is absolutely perfect, either, but it's a workable great start. Even if I thought the Constitution looked close to perfect, I doubt that all the natural rights are contained there. Technology doesn't stay still. When clones, thinking androids, and evil telepaths come around, we may have real issues to work out.

Quote
I'm reminded of when I was 11 and asked my mom, "What is the nature of evil?"  She was creeped out, as if I'd asked to become a Satanist.  All I wanted to know was how to tell when something's evil if it's a new thing not on any list I'd learned.  Now I want to know, what is the nature of "a right"?

Most people seem to object to transgressions upon their autonomy.  When they're forced to accept them, they tend towards passive-aggression.  I find that policies and practices that allow and encourage autonomous behavior get the most productive results from people for the least effort external to those people.  I could call "policies which allow, encourage or demand autonomous behavior" with the name "rights".  Would that help?

Not really. I look at natural rights as rights that a person must have to be "free." This business of "... policies and practices that encourage autonomous behavior get the most productive results from people for the least effort external to those people." Is a recipe for abuse and dictatorship. Rights that are decided by the state mean precisely what the state says they mean. I prefer to have my rights spelled out and understandable in a contract that I can point to rather than depend on some entity like a Parliament to tell me what I'm "allowed" to do.

I'm not saying that there hasn't been abuses of the Constitution, but that isn't the document's fault. There are always dishonest lawyers, men and women who will decide that a word or phrase means something other than what was clearly intended. To even a moderately objective observer, the federal government defined and limited in the Constitution bears little resemblance to the one we have now. Corruption, liars, and the mentally ill, such as socialists and statists, can ruin anything.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 24, 2011, 09:10:58 pm
I keep running into this thing where people say if it didn't get into the US media, it didn't happen. There weren't any foreign casualties except the ones the media report. There weren't any innocent foreign casualties except the ones the media report whose families do lawsuits. Etc. I have no idea how those people think.
Recently, in a thread in an astronomy newsgroup on USENET, I found a helpful URL for you:

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney (http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney)

Now, it might not be as helpful as you would like, and not just because they're flaming socialists over there at Mother Jones.

The insight into "how these people think" that is missing from that article, though, fairly screamed at me from the web page. People don't give equal weight to what people who disagree with their pre-established views tell them... because they don't trust these people.

That was one of their central conclusions. People don't trust things that don't fit what they already believe.

Quote
Which is perfectly rational if you're not the smartest guy in the room, if you might be fooled by a fast talker who wants to take advantage of you.

If you think you aren't smart enough to look at the evidence and decide from that, why would you think you're qualified to have opinions?

Quote
Calling people irrational because they're not open-minded enough to be hoodwinked by the first con artist that comes along... is a bit much, even though it is true that the fixed ideas they are holding on to are, as we might know, often wrong.

The example I was talking about, people looking at civilian casualties in Iraq found an absolute minimum number by counting casualties where the US and european media published details and names. And then somehow a lot of people wanted to claim that this was the *correct* number. I don't think they actually believed that the US media got the names of every Iraqi killed in Iraq. But somehow it was politically expedient for them to pretend.

And somebody was doing that in this very forum. He claimed that every time the US military kills a possibly-innocent civilian in Afghanistan, the relatives sue and get a lot of publicity and a lot of money. Every time. And he knows how many cases there are where this does not happen, because....

Quote
But the way to fix it isn't getting people to be more gullible. Instead, it is to make them better informed and educated, so that they are actually able to see for themselves which of their pre-existing beliefs are mistaken without having to take our word for it.

Sure. Most of the statistical mistakes people make are things they can learn to deal with, and there are teaching stories and betting games etc which will teach them. The Monty Hall problem is a classic example, which a lot of people have refused to learn from.

Actually though, I think the authors of the article were taking another approach. They saw that scientific evidence etc tends not to convince people who are predisposed not to be convinced, and argument makes them hold their positions harder. So they imply that some other approach might work better. Find ways to appeal to emotions, find ways to appeal to authorities that the people they want to persuade will actually respect, etc.

Since a whole lot of people are poorly-informed, mis-educated, and gullible, better to treat them the way they want to be treated. They don't want to become informed, educated, etc. So why annoy them with rational argument?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 25, 2011, 04:52:17 am
And somebody was doing that in this very forum. He claimed that every time the US military kills a possibly-innocent civilian in Afghanistan, the relatives sue and get a lot of publicity and a lot of money. Every time. And he knows how many cases there are where this does not happen, because....

Because when Bush was in charge,the press was all over such news events like flies over dogshit.  And now, even with Obama in charge, Al Jazeera and the BBC are still over such news events like flies over dogshit, though the US press has suffered a marked and striking loss of interest.

Or do you believe that Al Jazeera is part of the vast capitalist conspiracy to oppress innocent Muslims and steal their oil?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 06:06:33 am
And somebody was doing that in this very forum. He claimed that every time the US military kills a possibly-innocent civilian in Afghanistan, the relatives sue and get a lot of publicity and a lot of money. Every time. And he knows how many cases there are where this does not happen, because....

Because when Bush was in charge,the press was all over such news events like flies over dogshit.  And now, even with Obama in charge, Al Jazeera and the BBC are still over such news events like flies over dogshit, though the US press has suffered a marked and striking loss of interest.

Your argument is that there are thousands of reporters in Afghanistan who want to report atrocities, so every time somebody gets killed they report it.

Let me give you another situation to consider. There are tens of thousands of people in the USA who want to find caves, who really really like the idea of being the first to find a cave that no one has ever been in before. Every now and then they find one.

If somebody were to ask, "How many undiscovered caves are there in the USA?", which would the better answer?

"None. There are tens of thousands of people who go after caves like flies on dogshit, so it has to be true that they have found them all."

"I don't know."
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 25, 2011, 06:46:32 am
Which is perfectly rational if you're not the smartest guy in the room, if you might be fooled by a fast talker who wants to take advantage of you.

If you think you aren't smart enough to look at the evidence and decide from that, why would you think you're qualified to have opinions?
That sounds like a reasonable objection. But it doesn't really connect to what I'm talking about.

Not having an opinion isn't always a choice - that certainly does make sense when it comes to things that don't directly concern you. But let's take a question like this: should workers be allowed to go on strike?

Now, I saw a pamphlet put out by an organization that had as its stated goal teaching the American people about how the American system worked. It gave an example of how some workers went on strike for a week, and they got their 25-cent-an-hour pay raise. This was a long time ago, before a lot of inflation.

And so it worked out how much pay they lost while they were on strike, and how many years and years it would take before they would, with that extra 25 cents an hour, earn enough to make that money back.

So the conclusion was that strikes are stupid and irrational, and working people wouldn't lose anything if they were outlawed entirely. It was presumably just some Communists who wanted to sabotage American industry lying to them that fooled them into thinking otherwise - although it didn't quite come out and say that.

An articulate and intelligent person might be able to see the flaw in that argument. Such a one might point to the Industrial Revolution, or even to the nineteenth century. If strikes were never, ever, possible, instead of wages being lower by the amount that might be gained in one specific labor dispute, they would be likely to be a lot lower.

(While strikes, by restricting the ability of other workers to compete as individuals are an initiation of force, eliminating the other initiations of force that support the huge advantage in market power of an employer over an individual laborer was neither on the table nor under discussion.)

Whether someone isn't quite articulate enough to make that argument, or is just afraid that he would be branded a Communist if he speaks up, that he is still entitled to suspect that the tract writer is just trying to put one over on him is, I think, entirely legitimate.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 25, 2011, 07:19:23 am
Quote
"... policies and practices that encourage autonomous behavior get the most productive results from people for the least effort external to those people." Is a recipe for abuse and dictatorship. Rights that are decided by the state mean precisely what the state says they mean. I prefer to have my rights spelled out and understandable in a contract that I can point to rather than depend on some entity like a Parliament to tell me what I'm "allowed" to do.

Ah, my apologies:  my use of the term "policies" does seem to imply a state, a parliament, a congress kind of thing.  I actually had in mind my personal policies.  When I, personally, adopt practices (as a matter of personal policy) that don't violate the autonomy of another, then -- I think -- I'm acting in accord with what you want to call "natural rights".  Is that better?

I don't prefer to have my rights spelled out because spelling them out in advance creates loopholes.  Kids often try that:  "You said 'don't touch that vase'.  I didn't touch it -- my stick did!"  Dubya did that:  "Of course you have freedom of speech!  Out there alone in the forest, or in front of your 'choir', you can say whatever you like."

When your "rights" are not spelled out, you still have the power to object that you did not like the other person's behavior.  In arbitration we get to find out whether the offender had a pretty good idea that you'd feel harmed, so the offense was more or less deliberate, or is completely surprised by it.  I'd want to handle the two situations quite differently, even if the physical facts are identical.

Since there can never be a complete list, you can never rest assured that everyone around you knows where your boundaries are (even if you did have some assurance that they would respect them if they did know).  Sooner or later something happens that violates you, that doesn't fit the list . . . unless it's a very short list, like 1) Do no harm; 2) See #1.

You already know how to deal with a non-list affront.  Is there then a need for a list at all?

That's why I asked Mom what the nature of evil was.  So I'd know whether something belonged on the laundry list or not.  And once I had the principle established, I didn't need a list any more, just as when I learned the principle of multiplication, I didn't need to memorize "times tables".
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 07:30:21 am
Which is perfectly rational if you're not the smartest guy in the room, if you might be fooled by a fast talker who wants to take advantage of you.

If you think you aren't smart enough to look at the evidence and decide from that, why would you think you're qualified to have opinions?

That sounds like a reasonable objection. But it doesn't really connect to what I'm talking about.

Not having an opinion isn't always a choice - that certainly does make sense when it comes to things that don't directly concern you. But let's take a question like this: should workers be allowed to go on strike?
<snip stupid short-run argument that unions are always self-defeating. Ignore question whether unions are self-defeating in the long run>
Quote
An articulate and intelligent person might be able to see the flaw in that argument.
<snip argument that unions and strikes can be useful in the long run>
Quote
Whether someone isn't quite articulate enough to make that argument, or is just afraid that he would be branded a Communist if he speaks up, that he is still entitled to suspect that the tract writer is just trying to put one over on him is, I think, entirely legitimate.

If you don't have an argument, it's always possible to just say "I'm not smart enough to think this out myself, but I trust my union leader so I do what he says.". Or you could say "I'm not smart enough to think about it but I trust Rush Limbaugh so I do what he says.". Or "I trust Fox News." Or "I trust Ayn Rand. She was smarter than you or me, so the issue is settled.". Or "I trust Ted Kennedy.".

See, nobody can make you be a slave. But if you aren't smart enough to be free you can choose your own master. And if some fast-talking stranger tries to make you change your opinions, you can just tell him "I don't know you and I don't trust you. Go tell your ideas to Rush Limbaugh and if you convince him then he'll tell me what to thnk."

So simple when you know how.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 07:35:33 am
Quote
"... policies and practices that encourage autonomous behavior get the most productive results from people for the least effort external to those people." Is a recipe for abuse and dictatorship. Rights that are decided by the state mean precisely what the state says they mean. I prefer to have my rights spelled out and understandable in a contract that I can point to rather than depend on some entity like a Parliament to tell me what I'm "allowed" to do.

Ah, my apologies:  my use of the term "policies" does seem to imply a state, a parliament, a congress kind of thing.  I actually had in mind my personal policies.  When I, personally, adopt practices (as a matter of personal policy) that don't violate the autonomy of another, then -- I think -- I'm acting in accord with what you want to call "natural rights".  Is that better?

I don't prefer to have my rights spelled out because spelling them out in advance creates loopholes.  Kids often try that:  "You said 'don't touch that vase'.  I didn't touch it -- my stick did!"  Dubya did that:  "Of course you have freedom of speech!  Out there alone in the forest, or in front of your 'choir', you can say whatever you like."

When your "rights" are not spelled out, you still have the power to object that you did not like the other person's behavior.  In arbitration we get to find out whether the offender had a pretty good idea that you'd feel harmed, so the offense was more or less deliberate, or is completely surprised by it.  I'd want to handle the two situations quite differently, even if the physical facts are identical.

Since there can never be a complete list, you can never rest assured that everyone around you knows where your boundaries are (even if you did have some assurance that they would respect them if they did know).  Sooner or later something happens that violates you, that doesn't fit the list . . . unless it's a very short list, like 1) Do no harm; 2) See #1.

You already know how to deal with a non-list affront.  Is there then a need for a list at all?

That's why I asked Mom what the nature of evil was.  So I'd know whether something belonged on the laundry list or not.  And once I had the principle established, I didn't need a list any more, just as when I learned the principle of multiplication, I didn't need to memorize "times tables".

I opened a topic in "Talk among y'selves" for this, since it doesn't directly relate to the thread title here. I hope people will respond there.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on April 25, 2011, 12:06:37 pm
Let me give you another situation to consider. There are tens of thousands of people in the USA who want to find caves, who really really like the idea of being the first to find a cave that no one has ever been in before. Every now and then they find one.

If somebody were to ask, "How many undiscovered caves are there in the USA?", which would the better answer?

"None. There are tens of thousands of people who go after caves like flies on dogshit, so it has to be true that they have found them all."

"I don't know."
One can do even better than either of those answers, although the second one is better.

If there are statistics available about how many new caves were discovered during each decade, then one could make an estimate of how many will still be discovered, if the decline in the rate of new discoveries continues to follow the existing pattern.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on April 25, 2011, 12:26:16 pm
Quote
Aye drinking alcohol that helped fuel organised crime which in turn resulted in massive amounts of bloodshed, corruption of public officials and helped support other criminal enterprises.

There rarely is a victimless crime. You just have to look beyond yourself.

Strange, I thought that drinking alcohol was legal. Isn't it more accurate to say that organized crime is illegal, and causing a major amount of blood-spill (unless in self defense, or under the rules of war) is illegal, and that corruption in public officials is sometimes illegal?

Don't you factor in personal responsibility somewhere in your code of ethics?

Victimless crimes:

Setting up a private gun range in your basement.
Driving 100 mph down a straight and empty highway.
Growing wheat or corn to feed your cows.
Bringing a bag lunch to a Chicago school.
 

Growing wheat or corn is not a victimless crime.  It is a crime of theft, copyright infringement, and patent infringement.
Where do you think the seeds came from?  Even if you paid for the seeds, growing a second crop without paying a second time is considered theft.
Because the seeds are someone else property with a right of distribution, its copyright theft, because the seeds are "licensed" for your use; like software.
And the seeds are patented, so growing more without permission of the owner is patent theft.

And the victim is a Fortune 500 company, and they will come after you.

So, try again.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 12:48:20 pm
Let me give you another situation to consider. There are tens of thousands of people in the USA who want to find caves, who really really like the idea of being the first to find a cave that no one has ever been in before. Every now and then they find one.

If somebody were to ask, "How many undiscovered caves are there in the USA?", which would the better answer?

"None. There are tens of thousands of people who go after caves like flies on dogshit, so it has to be true that they have found them all."

"I don't know."
One can do even better than either of those answers, although the second one is better.

If there are statistics available about how many new caves were discovered during each decade, then one could make an estimate of how many will still be discovered, if the decline in the rate of new discoveries continues to follow the existing pattern.

It's possible to do statistics like that, depending on the assumptions you make. The number of people who look for caves varies year to year and decade to decade. And they tend to look in the fall when the vegetation dies down, so that varies with the fall weather -- although decade to decade that will tend to average out, assuming no climate change on that timescale. The popularity of areas to search varies, of course, and as new roads and logging trails get built areas get more accessible.

I've seen statistics that went like this -- a certain number of caves have been found with six or more known entrances, and more with 5, more still with 4, 3, 2, and 1. So assuming this is a poisson distribution, we can estimate the number of caves with no entrances. As I recall that number was estimated at about 50,000 for the alabama-tennessee-georgia area about 30 years ago. Presumably now that so many more caves have been discovered it is likely to be different -- which leaves me skeptical of the method. After, a cave with 6 entrances is considerably less likely to remain undiscovered, other things equal. There are lots of ways to get these statistics wrong.

But it would be possible to apply those methods to Afghanistan. If we count the incidents in which 15 or more afghan civilians are killed, 14, 13, down to 1, we might be able to estimate the number of incidents in which US troops observe Afghan civilians but fail to kill any of them.

But there are various reasons to expect it would not work. For one, the reported numbers are very bad -- many times no accurate casualty estimate can be made. For another, we are more likely to shoot at concentrations of civilians than at lone civilians or very small groups. Etc. But the most important reason is that the assumption is that the events are random. But in reality there are occasions when our soldiers do not particularly intend to kill anybody, and other occasions when they do. And so those incidents are not comparable.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 25, 2011, 02:21:18 pm
Quote
Contrary Guy: Growing wheat or corn is not a victimless crime.  It is a crime of theft, copyright infringement, and patent infringement.
Where do you think the seeds came from?  Even if you paid for the seeds, growing a second crop without paying a second time is considered theft.
Because the seeds are someone else property with a right of distribution, its copyright theft, because the seeds are "licensed" for your use; like software.
And the seeds are patented, so growing more without permission of the owner is patent theft.

And the victim is a Fortune 500 company, and they will come after you.

So, try again.

Well, damn. I wanted to grow some quatrotritichaley for my spring crop, but thanks to you, I found out that Paramount Studios owns the patent. Thanks for saving me from a lawsuit. :)

***

Quote
Mellyrn: I don't prefer to have my rights spelled out because spelling them out in advance creates loopholes.  Kids often try that:  "You said 'don't touch that vase'.  I didn't touch it -- my stick did!"  Dubya did that:  "Of course you have freedom of speech!  Out there alone in the forest, or in front of your 'choir', you can say whatever you like."

When your "rights" are not spelled out, you still have the power to object that you did not like the other person's behavior.  In arbitration we get to find out whether the offender had a pretty good idea that you'd feel harmed, so the offense was more or less deliberate, or is completely surprised by it.  I'd want to handle the two situations quite differently, even if the physical facts are identical.

Since there can never be a complete list, you can never rest assured that everyone around you knows where your boundaries are (even if you did have some assurance that they would respect them if they did know).  Sooner or later something happens that violates you, that doesn't fit the list . . . unless it's a very short list, like 1) Do no harm; 2) See #1.

You already know how to deal with a non-list affront.  Is there then a need for a list at all?

I think we're going to have to disagree here. I want a contract with my rights spelled out clearly, and if there's any doubt as to what the words mean, I want another document I can refer to that describes the clear intent. Such documents exist with the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

What you seem to want is an undocumented principle or philosophy that can adjust with time and circumstances and is enforced by arbitration. To me, the dangers of your wishes are obvious: the government, not you, would ultimately be able to choose the arbiter. You'd be relying on the government's good faith to rule against itself -- a very dubious proposition. Would you buy a house from a bank or set up a business with a business partner without a written contract? That's what you'd be doing, and depending on the bank's or the business partner's judgment to settle any disputes between you.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 25, 2011, 03:09:36 pm
Quote
Mellyrn: I don't prefer to have my rights spelled out because spelling them out in advance creates loopholes.  Kids often try that:  "You said 'don't touch that vase'.  I didn't touch it -- my stick did!"  Dubya did that:  "Of course you have freedom of speech!  Out there alone in the forest, or in front of your 'choir', you can say whatever you like."

When your "rights" are not spelled out, you still have the power to object that you did not like the other person's behavior.  In arbitration we get to find out whether the offender had a pretty good idea that you'd feel harmed, so the offense was more or less deliberate, or is completely surprised by it.  I'd want to handle the two situations quite differently, even if the physical facts are identical.

Since there can never be a complete list, you can never rest assured that everyone around you knows where your boundaries are (even if you did have some assurance that they would respect them if they did know).  Sooner or later something happens that violates you, that doesn't fit the list . . . unless it's a very short list, like 1) Do no harm; 2) See #1.

You already know how to deal with a non-list affront.  Is there then a need for a list at all?

I think we're going to have to disagree here. I want a contract with my rights spelled out clearly, and if there's any doubt as to what the words mean, I want another document I can refer to that describes the clear intent. Such documents exist with the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

The Federalist Papers have no legal standing, do they? They were a set of documents that outlined some unnamed people's positions, positions that Jefferson among others disagreed with in many cases.

As it is, the Supreme Court gets to say what the Constitution means and if you disagree you have the right to talk about it all you want, but that will have no effect on enforcement until the Supreme Court changes their mind.

Quote
What you seem to want is an undocumented principle or philosophy that can adjust with time and circumstances and is enforced by arbitration. To me, the dangers of your wishes are obvious: the government, not you, would ultimately be able to choose the arbiter.

Which they have indeed done with the Constitution.

Incidentally, I want to invite you to discuss this in Talk Among Yourselves where it is clearly and definitely on topic.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 25, 2011, 05:27:02 pm
The example I was talking about, people looking at civilian casualties in Iraq found an absolute minimum number by counting casualties where the US and european media published details and names.

If western media were undercounting, you would expect Al Jazeera to report more incidents of civilian casualties.

Al Jazeera reports the same incidents as the western media - and when Bush was in charge of the war, the western media gave them more publicity than Al Jazeera does.

Therefore, there are few plausibly civilian casualties in Afghanistan.  In Iraq, the problem is complicated by the fact that Iraqis murder each other in very large numbers, but there are few plausibly civilian casualties that can be directly blamed on US forces.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on April 26, 2011, 07:43:21 am
Quote
What you seem to want is an undocumented principle or philosophy that can adjust with time and circumstances and is enforced by arbitration. To me, the dangers of your wishes are obvious: the government, not you, would ultimately be able to choose the arbiter. You'd be relying on the government's good faith to rule against itself -- a very dubious proposition. Would you buy a house from a bank or set up a business with a business partner without a written contract? That's what you'd be doing, and depending on the bank's or the business partner's judgment to settle any disputes between you.

Except for the part where I don't want a government, either.

Of course I'd buy a house or set up a business without a written contract.  Written contracts are written to afford the most, best loopholes to whoever gets the more creative and persuasive lawyer(s), and they provide at best an illusion of security from being cheated. 

There has been at least one case in the news recently where a bank (BofA, I believe) foreclosed on a guy who didn't even have a mortgage (I'm not sure what the upshot of that has been) -- to say nothing of all the rest of the fraudulently written contracts in the real estate market of late. 

The value of the illusion is that the contract substitutes for the admittedly hard work of finding out just who you're about to buy from or go into business with.  It's a shortcut.

There is no written contract that says news agencies in the US are required not to lie; in fact, a judgment in a Florida court ruled specifically that news agencies may lie.  Yet I expect honesty in reporting, so what do I do?  I read a lot and study a lot and then actually buy from agencies that I think are being honest, and deny my support to the ones I don't trust.

It's hard work.  Perhaps you think a ruling, a "contract", demanding that news agencies be honest would allow us to relax.  Except I, personally, wouldn't.  You know the one about the price of freedom being eternal vigilance, right?  Contracts can't lower the real price.

When I buy a home or set up a business in my current society, with all its gazillion-page contracts, I go into it with just the same trepidation about maybe being cheated as I would if there were no contract at all.  Whatever is claimed in the contract could be supported by one judge, or utterly overruled by another.  I won't know what the contract ultimately means unless & until I'm in what passes for arbitration here.

The law is whatever the judge says it is.  In my society, the judge gets to impose his opinion on me.  My preference for arbitration is the sort where the objective is a mutually agreeable (because therefore self-enforcing) outcome.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 28, 2011, 12:56:14 am
The law is whatever the judge says it is.  In my society, the judge gets to impose his opinion on me.  My preference for arbitration is the sort where the objective is a mutually agreeable (because therefore self-enforcing) outcome.

Between respectable people, that is a plausible outcome, but arbitration on a burglar or a mugger is unlikely to be mutually agreeable.

The Saga period rule, and old west rule was, roughly, that you could kill them on the spot immediately during or after their crimes, but if they got away, and you found them later, then you had to go public.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on April 28, 2011, 01:27:41 am
Let me give you another situation to consider. There are tens of thousands of people in the USA who want to find caves, who really really like the idea of being the first to find a cave that no one has ever been in before. Every now and then they find one.

If somebody were to ask, "How many undiscovered caves are there in the USA?", which would the better answer?

"None. There are tens of thousands of people who go after caves like flies on dogshit, so it has to be true that they have found them all."

"I don't know."
One can do even better than either of those answers, although the second one is better.
If there are statistics available about how many new caves were discovered during each decade, then one could make an estimate of how many will still be discovered, if the decline in the rate of new discoveries continues to follow the existing pattern.

By surveying the morgues for a brief period, the fatalities during the invasion of Iraq were put around 150k or so. (I'm lacking my reference) After the invasion, the murder/death rate more than doubled. There was a practice of using automatic weapons against crowds but I heard policy changed implicitly, but not explicitly. The morgues are a solid indicator of death rate, but not the final answer since both before and after Hussein a lot of bodies probably weren't taken to the morgue.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 28, 2011, 02:36:34 am
So the conclusion was that strikes are stupid and irrational, and working people wouldn't lose anything if they were outlawed entirely. It was presumably just some Communists who wanted to sabotage American industry lying to them that fooled them into thinking otherwise - although it didn't quite come out and say that.

An articulate and intelligent person might be able to see the flaw in that argument. Such a one might point to the Industrial Revolution, or even to the nineteenth century. If strikes were never, ever, possible, instead of wages being lower by the amount that might be gained in one specific labor dispute, they would be likely to be a lot lower.

Observe that better paid workers never have unions (unless they are government employees, in which case the unions are primarily get out the vote and campaign organizations: rather than striking against the government, they campaign for more government)

And yet, strange to report, better paid workers are, nonetheless, better paid.

In practice, wages are set by supply and demand, (or government) not by union negotiations.   Strikes are rarely effectual, unless the government prohibits bosses from hiring new workers and firing striking workers, or even from favoring workers that break the strike, or unless the government closes its eyes to use of violence by the union, while forbidding employers from defending their workers.

For example, in the famous Homestead strike, there was, and is to this day, much outrage that Frick was allowed to hire pinkertons to protect his employees, yet there seems to be no outrage at all over the fact that many of his employees were murdered by the union, and no one was punished for these murders.

In practice, unions exist largely for the state to control the workers, for example, getting out the vote in Detroit and Chicago, or the numerous union strikes and demonstrations in Mao's China in favor of whatever Mao was in favor of that day, and against whatever he was against that day.

The same people who say that Hitler's unions were not real unions, assure us that Mao's unions were real unions, and see nothing odd about SEIU unionists being bused to protests in government buses.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on April 28, 2011, 03:18:15 am
And somebody was doing that in this very forum. He claimed that every time the US military kills a possibly-innocent civilian in Afghanistan, the relatives sue and get a lot of publicity and a lot of money. Every time. And he knows how many cases there are where this does not happen, because....

Because when Bush was in charge,the press was all over such news events like flies over dogshit.  And now, even with Obama in charge, Al Jazeera and the BBC are still over such news events like flies over dogshit, though the US press has suffered a marked and striking loss of interest.

Your argument is that there are thousands of reporters in Afghanistan who want to report atrocities, so every time somebody gets killed they report it.

There are thousands of Afghans in Afghanistan who make money whenever a plausibly innocent relative gets killed, and they report it.

And often enough they report it even when the innocence is not all that plausible, as in the fuel tanker incident.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on April 28, 2011, 07:28:36 am

By surveying the morgues for a brief period, the fatalities during the invasion of Iraq were put around 150k or so. (I'm lacking my reference)

After an airstrike, how many random body parts do you suppose were delivered to the morgue? How many of them were pieced together to estimate the number who died in the airstrike?

Under Saddam and sanctions, an estimated 80% of Iraqis depended on rationed food for their survival. Each family's ration card listed the number of family members who were entitled to food. It may seem ghoulish, but unreported deaths meant the rations were not cut....

Quote
After the invasion, the murder/death rate more than doubled. There was a practice of using automatic weapons against crowds but I heard policy changed implicitly, but not explicitly. The morgues are a solid indicator of death rate, but not the final answer since both before and after Hussein a lot of bodies probably weren't taken to the morgue.

The morgues are probably a good indicator of relative rates. When they go up, death rates probably go up rather than a big increase in percentage of bodies delivered to morgues.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on April 28, 2011, 08:28:00 am
I think we agree, but I'll restate to clarify and add a little you can object to. The morgue figures were based on "Before Invasion" and "Post Invasion". During the invasion is a completely different metric - and that accounts for another 200k or so. The official UN numbers were used, originally Hussein kept an ongoing body count and publicized deaths. Since that made the war less popular, he stopped counting even though bunker busters were regularly used against civilian bomb shelters. The source of the "clean war estimate" to the UN was his lack of keeping track of civilian deaths.

According to a marine friend, he was on the ground in Iraq before the official start date of Desert Storm. According to the UN reports, the blocking of aluminum piping via embargo killed hundreds of thousands of people because they couldn't get the water treatment plants rebuilt. Unfortunately, the US was not held accountable for violations of the Geneva Convention which declare that the ultimate means of survival for the civilian population are not to be destroyed. How many total dead in the past 20 years? Probably 500-700k
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on April 28, 2011, 10:43:15 am
Rorschach: Saddam Hussein had already cut off Basra's water and power well before the war. He did this as punishment for the Shi'a uprising.

I remember in 2006, the anti-American CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) did a study and put the actual civilian deaths caused by US forces at that time at around 3,500. I watched as the woman news reader practically choked on the figure, it was so obvious that she wanted it be something enormous. Some believe that the CBC figure, although rather modest for an enemy that fights behind civilians, was too high. Those figures put out by the Lancet are complete BS, and they admitted that they timed their release to coincide with the elections. Their methods for computing them have been utterly discredited, and absolutely do not jibe with the figures from the morgues. There have been some US abuses, certainly, but abuses inevitably occur in wartime. The US military is to be praised for its professionalism and restraint.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on April 28, 2011, 11:23:02 am
That number is credible if #1 they separate out Iraqi "civilians" from Iraqi "citizens" so that civilian + enemy combatant = citizen and anyone I want to call an enemy combatant is one and/or #2 they rely only media reported deaths. From what I read of wikileaks, that sounds more like a month's worth of killing than 5 years of occupation.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 03, 2011, 11:15:52 am
J Thomas wrote:

Quote
J Thomas
See, we have a fundamental difference of thought. I think about freedom while you think about rights and privileges.

Quote
Me: No, you have a fundamental problem with sticking to the terms I defined. I was the the one who asked the question about rights.

Quote
J Thomas: As I remember it, your question was whether there can be any problem for which there is a statist solution which does not reduce anybody's personal freedom. After I answered that you then decided that for you personal freedom is only about rights -- good freedoms -- and not about privileges -- bad freedoms. And you've been dancing around those arbitrary concepts ever since.

Okay, to recap:

1) I asked a question using the term "personal freedom."

2) you interpreted the term in a different way than I meant. Now, that's all right, misinterpretations happen all the time. There are multiple definitions in the dictionary, both yours and mine among them.

3) I stated the meaning of the term the way I intended -- several times now -- as the sort of individual rights in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

4) You continue to deny that my definition has any validity. At first, this was inexplicable to me. "How can someone who seems to be quite reasonable about a variety of things continue to deny the existence of the meaning of a term that is in the dictionary and which nations around the world use in their Constitutions?" I wondered.

I believe I have the answer:

Socialists and statists, of whatever flavor, believe in the authority of the state over the individual. Individual rights, as I and perhaps half the world defines them, have no place in their world view because they would limit the power of the state. To a ardent statist, to admit the validity of "rights" in the way I referred to them, as other than mere "arbitrary concepts" would be to open a can of worms that, considered logically, might threaten his  core beliefs, the statist world view. This cognitive dissonance principle is hardly new or original. Statists, socialists and others rightly apply it to religious fundamentalists. However, it applies to any belief system that one is totally unwilling to abandon.

You say that I'm dancing. Well, that's partly correct: we're doing a dance, all right. ;)

Time to get off this dance floor.

I am accused of a being a "statist" all the time, mostly when I disagree with one of our AnCaps. 
Individual rights as defined by our founding documents, both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, are "inalienable"; that means that we are born with them, and they cannot be taken away from us.
These rights exist outside of any governmental framework.  People will say "but, governements can take these rights away by force."  No, they cant; government can only *suppress* inalienable rights.  They cannot be taken away.

I do not believe in the primacy of government over the individual.  Our government was meant to be a compromise between liberty and authority.
Not enough authority, not enough liberty.  Too much authority, too little liberty.

If you want to see what an early experiment in too much liberty and too little authority looked like, Google "Articles of Confederation".

I really think that there are some things a government is better at doing than the individual, even a collective of individuals (aka "a committee").
Like, say, building a dam, or a hydroelectric project.  Or a bridge over an otherwise unprofitable gorge.

Private industry cannot be counted on to do everything a society needs.  That way leads to oligarchy and autocracy, and eventually, worse places.

AnCaps here like to say that everything a society needs done can be accomplished by individuals, private industry, and philanthropists.
This is not true.  Here is where well-off, stable, well-fed, middle-class lets-play-at-anarchy-because-we're-bored forum members will accuse me of being a "statist", whatever that actuyally means.

The three groups mentioned will eventually have differing goals and aims.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has enough money to fulfill every request they receive, but they dont.
Why not?  Because some request are "not worthy".  Why should Bill Gates spend his money paving roads and filling potholes? 
It is not something he wants to spend his money on.

Private industry only wants to pave roads where they can make money, and no where else.

Private individuals dont have the resources to pave roads.

This is why AnCap doesnt work in practice.  On Ceres, it works.  For the Amish, it works.  For the UW, a nightmare.  If the UW government were to vanish overnight, and all of the bureaucrats with it, there would be *real* anarchy.

Sorry for the J. Thomas-style ramble.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 03, 2011, 03:32:46 pm
Private industry only wants to pave roads where they can make money, and no where else.

Private individuals dont have the resources to pave roads.

A few weeks ago, I was paving one of my roads.

Private roads, private sewers, and so on and so forth, owned by private individuals and businesses, are normal and common today, and were more normal and common back before government got to confiscating private roads, and crowding out private enterprise with taxpayer funded roads.

That government does stuff does not mean that no one else would do it, absent government meddling.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on May 03, 2011, 05:44:14 pm

I've heard even less of that from Afghanistan. There were a few rare stories about women getting stoned for prostitution. Either prostitution is rare there or stoning for it is rare, or both are common but mostly neither is reported. So I don't know how available sex is for American soldiers, apart from the women soldiers. Clearly there is a taboo about reporting US soldiers having sex, and the exceptions are rare cases where women soldiers get raped, and even rarer cases where foreign civilians succeed in pressing charges for rape or rape/murder.
That's a Koran based custom, originally due to property inheritance laws. It is the older brother's duty to execute his sisters to avoid losing ownership of the land. I think prostitutes in Islam nations are detained separately and (now I'm guessing) probably don't have a family responsible for them.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on May 03, 2011, 05:45:41 pm
That sounds kind of satisfying in a disturbing way. But how does it fit our strategic needs? What is our purpose supposed to be in Afghanistan, that's worth $100 million/year and thousands of brain injuries?
Dick Cheney's oil pipeline was his motivation.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on May 03, 2011, 05:55:08 pm
Quote
one of those self-evident rights "from The Creator" mentioned in the Constitution

Does the Constitution (by which I think you mean the US one) contain the full list of rights?
The Bill of Rights is a collection of the first 10 amendments, and accordingly they don't exist. All of those rights are violated on a daily basis and the US hasn't blown itself up yet. So, based on the evidence at hand, there are no rights.

Note: I may have messed up the Quote nesting (e.g. who owns which sentence)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on May 03, 2011, 05:58:01 pm
Growing wheat or corn is not a victimless crime.  It is a crime of theft, copyright infringement, and patent infringement.
Where do you think the seeds came from?  Even if you paid for the seeds, growing a second crop without paying a second time is considered theft.
Because the seeds are someone else property with a right of distribution, its copyright theft, because the seeds are "licensed" for your use; like software.
And the seeds are patented, so growing more without permission of the owner is patent theft.

And the victim is a Fortune 500 company, and they will come after you.
Prior to the 1960's patent of a bacteria that ate oil, but too dangerous to release, patents could not be filed on living organisms. A few years ago a woman was patented without her consent, so if she has dandruff she is committing patent violations to the extreme. Same if she donates blood or has children.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Rorschach on May 03, 2011, 06:01:24 pm
The Federalist Papers have no legal standing, do they? They were a set of documents that outlined some unnamed people's positions, positions that Jefferson among others disagreed with in many cases.
They were a series of newspaper articles written by 3 different people if I recall. They were trying to popularize the government design that was being drafted. It also detailed why the Federal Govt should *never* be involved with citizens, and only with states. No federal laws should exist for citizens, no federal inquires or intrusions. Federal courts would hear State vs State arguments and *possibly* Citizen vs State if there were certain violations.

Ooops. Too bad nobody paid attention to the arguments contained.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 03, 2011, 08:40:12 pm

I've heard even less of that from Afghanistan. There were a few rare stories about women getting stoned for prostitution. Either prostitution is rare there or stoning for it is rare, or both are common but mostly neither is reported. So I don't know how available sex is for American soldiers, apart from the women soldiers. Clearly there is a taboo about reporting US soldiers having sex, and the exceptions are rare cases where women soldiers get raped, and even rarer cases where foreign civilians succeed in pressing charges for rape or rape/murder.

That's a Koran based custom, originally due to property inheritance laws. It is the older brother's duty to execute his sisters to avoid losing ownership of the land. I think prostitutes in Islam nations are detained separately and (now I'm guessing) probably don't have a family responsible for them.

I read an account from Iraq in the 1950s where the observed prostitutes were gypsies.

A truck driver who had driven 18-wheelers through the middle east told us that he could get prostitutes in Saudi Arabia -- Nubian prostitutes. Somebody asked what that meant and I told them -- black.

Consider the Genesis story of Judah and Tamar. Judah owed Tamar by custom, but refused her status. So she pretended to be a prostitute and slept with him for the agreed price of a sheep -- but she ran off with his signet ring which he left as collateral. Later he heard that she had been out whoring and he resolved to kill her, but she showed him the signet ring he had paid her and he decided not to.

I think this story probably demonstrates the tensions involved. Men are supposed to kill prostitutes but it's hard for them to be so hypocritical.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: Aardvark on May 04, 2011, 02:27:00 am
Quote
J Thomas: I think this story probably demonstrates the tensions involved. Men are supposed to kill prostitutes but it's hard for them to be so hypocritical.

They have legal prostitution, but they fancy it up as a temporary marriage, "Mutah." The Sunnis say that it's a Shi'ite custom, but that's not how they practice it. There's a pretty good rent-a-wife business in India that the Saudis partake of.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 04, 2011, 06:52:03 pm
They have legal prostitution, but they fancy it up as a temporary marriage, "Mutah." The Sunnis say that it's a Shi'ite custom, but that's not how they practice it. There's a pretty good rent-a-wife business in India that the Saudis partake of.
And what I heard of the custom as it worked in Iran was that it was, bizarrely enough, a form of the advanced Sixties institution of "trial marriage".
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 10, 2011, 12:15:26 pm
Quote
Mellyrn:

Does the Constitution (by which I think you mean the US one) contain the full list of rights?

No, it doesnt.  The writers of the Constitution knew themselves that they could not enumerate every possible "right" that is possessed by a free person.

Corruption, liars, and the mentally ill, such as socialists and statists, can ruin anything.
[/quote]

Why does a person you disagree with have to be mentally ill?  Isnt it possible for a person to be just as sane, sober and rational as you are and still be disagreeable?

I know you dont understand that socialists want everything to be fair and equitable, but isnt it possible that in a world of limited resources and unequal distribution, that *maybe* the socialists have some ideas that would benefit everyone?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 10, 2011, 12:29:29 pm
So the conclusion was that strikes are stupid and irrational, and working people wouldn't lose anything if they were outlawed entirely. It was presumably just some Communists who wanted to sabotage American industry lying to them that fooled them into thinking otherwise - although it didn't quite come out and say that.

An articulate and intelligent person might be able to see the flaw in that argument. Such a one might point to the Industrial Revolution, or even to the nineteenth century. If strikes were never, ever, possible, instead of wages being lower by the amount that might be gained in one specific labor dispute, they would be likely to be a lot lower.

Observe that better paid workers never have unions

 Boeing machinists have better pay than the non-unionized Boeing employees.

Quote
(unless they are government employees, in which case the unions are primarily get out the vote and campaign organizations: rather than striking against the government, they campaign for more government)

And yet, strange to report, better paid workers are, nonetheless, better paid.

In practice, wages are set by supply and demand, (or government) not by union negotiations.   Strikes are rarely effectual, unless the government prohibits bosses from hiring new workers and firing striking workers, or even from favoring workers that break the strike, or unless the government closes its eyes to use of violence by the union, while forbidding employers from defending their workers.

The same people who see nothing odd about SEIU unionists being bused to protests in government buses
are the same people who defend corporations who bus in workers (who have been told "do this or you're fired") or who bus in bunches of for-hire protestors.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 10, 2011, 04:14:08 pm
The same people who see nothing odd about SEIU unionists being bused to protests in government buses
are the same people who defend corporations who bus in workers (who have been told "do this or you're fired") or who bus in bunches of for-hire protestors.

Who do we see busing in for hire protestors?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJhBQsD0_hw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJhBQsD0_hw)

We see the left, the official government left.  We see on you tube video union protestors bused in in government buses and signing off on time sheets for state sponsored protests demanding more government employment, more laws and higher taxes.

We see them being handed mass produced signs that were manufactured to look like home made signs.

Where is the video showing non left protestors being bused in and signing off on time sheets?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 10, 2011, 04:54:17 pm
I know you dont understand that socialists want everything to be fair and equitable

Yet observe, when socialists visited Cuba, and Russia, and saw brutal and terrible inequality, they loved it.

Stalin showed socialists the white sea canal project.  Doubtless he prettied it up before giving them the tour, but still what he was showing them was fear, terror, and slavery, and they loved it.

Whenever socialists were given the tour of recently existent terror states, what they were shown was not fake equality, but brutal and terrible inequality, with people like themselves on top.

When George Bernard Shaw said, during the Ukraine terror famine:
“famine, what famine? Did you ever see such an abundance of good food”,
he was in a restaurant reserved exclusively for foreign friends of the regime, not a restaurant that was faked up with supposedly ordinary Ukrainians in it.  He was surrounded by real and visible inequality, not fake equality.

Similarly, when John Kenneth Galbraith went looking for evidence for the hungry ghosts terror famine in Mao's China, he decided there was no need to look further than the kitchen of his luxury hotel.  He confidently told us that “If there was any famine in China it was not evident in the kitchen”.  Perhaps it did not occur to him that famines are seldom visible in the luxury hotels of terror states.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: terry_freeman on May 10, 2011, 08:27:26 pm
I just realized something.  AnCap libertarians are idealists, naive idealists.  You guys are like liberal communists.  You don't take into account human nature.

Its sweet really.

Glenn, could you at least come up with a new variety of nonsense, instead of recycling old stuff?

Idealists are people who claim that, once a human being is "elected" to public office, that being becomes transmogrified into an omniscient and benevolent Public Servant. Around here, such idealists are known as "statists" or "useful idiots" or just "idiots" for short.

Anarchists are those who believe that, even after election, officials must put their pants on one leg at a time ( assuming gravity ) just like everyone else; that said officials suffer from the same problems of limited knowledge and perverse incentives and self-interest-seeking as everyone else. Anarchists believe that electing somebody to public office does not make them something other than human; it merely saddles them with additional handicaps - namely a reduction in the quality of the information needed to seek solutions.

Advise you to read Mark Pennington's book, Robust Political Economy, where he rebuts your tiresome and OLD objections in much more detail than I have the patience for.

Ignorance is curable, but you have to want the cure.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: GlennWatson on May 10, 2011, 10:21:54 pm
Quote
Glenn, could you at least come up with a new variety of nonsense, instead of recycling old stuff?

That seems like a very canned response.  I bet you have used that line before.  You seem to be under the impression I am familiar with all the old arguments other posters have made over the years before I got here.  I'm not.  Why would you think I would be?

Quote
Idealists are people who claim that, once a human being is "elected" to public office, that being becomes transmogrified into an omniscient and benevolent Public Servant. Around here, such idealists are known as "statists" or "useful idiots" or just "idiots" for short.

I am not familiar with anyone who believes elected official become omniscient.  Can you point me to a person who holds this belief?

Quote
Advise you to read Mark Pennington's book, Robust Political Economy, where he rebuts your tiresome and OLD objections in much more detail than I have the patience for.  Ignorance is curable, but you have to want the cure.

The pleasant way you dispense advice makes me want to run out and buy a copy.  Are you like this in real life or only online?  In any case if you lack the patience to explain things to me then I have a wonderful solution.  Don’t.  But please spare me your long suffering faux malaise.   Complaining that you are to busy to post in a post is tiresome.  It’s like saying you are too full to eat while shoveling in another mouthful.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 11, 2011, 03:09:05 am
In typical anarchism, no one owns property because no on *can* own property.  In an anarchy, there is no central authority that one can go to and say "I stake my claim to the piece land that stretches from x to to z to aa; let anyone who asks know that is mine."

Total bullshit.  Over and over again, people have cooperated in establishing property rights without any central authority.  Learn a little history.

Aside from your repetition of the usual idealist talking points,

It is history, not idealist talking points. Property rights were established on American frontier largely in defiance of government, with government reluctantly and belated accepting a reality it lacked the power to change.

On the Australian frontier, the government was more successful in imposing its version of property rights over that of the pioneers, but there are still large areas in the interior that the government claims are government owned, but which are in fact not government owned.  The rum rebellion ended with what was officially a government victory, but was in fact more of a victory for the squatters.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 11, 2011, 05:24:12 am
It is history, not idealist talking points. Property rights were established on American frontier largely in defiance of government, with government reluctantly and belated accepting a reality it lacked the power to change.
And, in any case, as AnCap has not claimed to have anything in common with the anarchism of "Property is Theft" Proudhon, I must agree that what "typical anarchism" favors does not, by differing from what AnCap favors, refute AnCap.

The ZAP is part of AnCap, and aggression clearly comprises theft of property as well as injury to person.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 11, 2011, 07:14:35 am
@ GlennWatson:
Quote
I am not familiar with anyone who believes elected official become omniscient.  Can you point me to a person who holds this belief?

Sure.  I will break it down for you, step by step, as if you honestly wished to know.

Are you familiar with anyone who has argued that humans need to be "kept on a leash" (figuratively, of course)?  I don't remember if that was you or CG.

Are you familiar with anyone who has argued that humans need to be governed (note the passive voice)?

If that's true, then the question is necessarily:  who or what is supposed to do the leash-holding, the governing?  The only candidates available are . . . humans, who (as per the claim) need to be on the leash or otherwise controlled.  (Stay on the bus, it's goin' somewhere.)

You claim,
Quote
AnCap libertarians are [...] like liberal communists [who] don't take into account human nature.  (slightly edited for brevity)

The "human nature" you cite, as reason why AnCap is airy-fairy idealism, is thus (from terry):
Quote
problems of limited knowledge and perverse incentives and self-interest-seeking

This human nature necessarily applies to anyone who can fill an office (the dead need not apply).

To believe that humans-in-office are satisfactory leash-holders is to believe that humans-in-office do not need to be on leashes themselves.

Why is that?

If being elected to office changes our human nature from "needing to be controlled" to "fit to be a controller", how about we all elect each other? :)

If you don't believe that merely being elected changes our nature, and
if you believe that humans need to be governed, and
if you believe that humans in office are no less bloody-minded rapacious idiots than the rest of us (i.e., not specially morally gifted), but yet are fit to govern the rest of us,
then you are engaging in what is known as "compartmentalized thinking".

So, a statist is either not really thinking the thing through fully, OR he is believing in the moral superiority of Officeholding humans.

terry could have gone either way with that one.  It remains that he's right, the statists are the idealists, divorced from reality either by compartmentalized thinking or by the belief in the apotheosis of election to office.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on May 11, 2011, 09:26:38 am
@ GlennWatson:
Quote
I am not familiar with anyone who believes elected official become omniscient.  Can you point me to a person who holds this belief?

Sure.  I will break it down for you, step by step, as if you honestly wished to know.

Are you familiar with anyone who has argued that humans need to be "kept on a leash" (figuratively, of course)?  I don't remember if that was you or CG.

Are you familiar with anyone who has argued that humans need to be governed (note the passive voice)?

Here are a couple of visual aids:

Collectivist Dog
(http://www.childinjurylawyerblog.com/animals%20dogs%20black%20dog%20being%20walked%20on%20leash.jpg)

Individualist Dog "Come and take it!"
(http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/1555/PreviewComp/SuperStock_1555R-9042.jpg)
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on May 11, 2011, 09:36:35 am
Mine is a willful beast. He'd point out the leash has 2 ends with the boss on one of them. Which end, sigh, that's an ongoing daily negotiation.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 11, 2011, 05:58:43 pm
The same people who see nothing odd about SEIU unionists being bused to protests in government buses
are the same people who defend corporations who bus in workers (who have been told "do this or you're fired") or who bus in bunches of for-hire protestors.

Who do we see busing in for hire protestors?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJhBQsD0_hw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJhBQsD0_hw)

We see the left, the official government left.  We see on you tube video union protestors bused in in government buses and signing off on time sheets for state sponsored protests demanding more government employment, more laws and higher taxes.

We see them being handed mass produced signs that were manufactured to look like home made signs.

Where is the video showing non left protestors being bused in and signing off on time sheets?


Do you really think that a corporate organizer is going to debark their bussed-in protestors where it can be videoed?
Of course not.

The few times it has happened, the videos diodnt see much press.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 11, 2011, 06:04:14 pm
I know you dont understand that socialists want everything to be fair and equitable

Yet observe, when socialists visited Cuba, and Russia, and saw brutal and terrible inequality, they loved it.

Stalin showed socialists the white sea canal project.  Doubtless he prettied it up before giving them the tour, but still what he was showing them was fear, terror, and slavery, and they loved it.

Whenever socialists were given the tour of recently existent terror states, what they were shown was not fake equality, but brutal and terrible inequality, with people like themselves on top.

When George Bernard Shaw said, during the Ukraine terror famine:
“famine, what famine? Did you ever see such an abundance of good food”,
he was in a restaurant reserved exclusively for foreign friends of the regime, not a restaurant that was faked up with supposedly ordinary Ukrainians in it.  He was surrounded by real and visible inequality, not fake equality.

Similarly, when John Kenneth Galbraith went looking for evidence for the hungry ghosts terror famine in Mao's China, he decided there was no need to look further than the kitchen of his luxury hotel.  He confidently told us that “If there was any famine in China it was not evident in the kitchen”.  Perhaps it did not occur to him that famines are seldom visible in the luxury hotels of terror states.

Those are poor, but famous, examples used to prove your point.  Of course famous pro-Socialists wouldnt venture beyond their hotels; they were interested in Socialism the ideology.  I'm talking about socialism the economic theory.

I'm quite aware that straight socialism has failed abysmally in the past.  About as badly as Sams reading comprehension.

I said, was it not possible that economic socialists might have some ideas that would improve capitalism?

To which you did not answer.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 11, 2011, 07:08:05 pm
@ GlennWatson:
Quote
I am not familiar with anyone who believes elected official become omniscient.  Can you point me to a person who holds this belief?

Sure.  I will break it down for you, step by step, as if you honestly wished to know.

Are you familiar with anyone who has argued that humans need to be "kept on a leash" (figuratively, of course)?  I don't remember if that was you or CG.

Are you familiar with anyone who has argued that humans need to be governed (note the passive voice)?

If that's true, then the question is necessarily:  who or what is supposed to do the leash-holding, the governing?  The only candidates available are . . . humans, who (as per the claim) need to be on the leash or otherwise controlled.  (Stay on the bus, it's goin' somewhere.)

You claim,
Quote
AnCap libertarians are [...] like liberal communists [who] don't take into account human nature.  (slightly edited for brevity)

The "human nature" you cite, as reason why AnCap is airy-fairy idealism, is thus (from terry):
Quote
problems of limited knowledge and perverse incentives and self-interest-seeking

This human nature necessarily applies to anyone who can fill an office (the dead need not apply).

To believe that humans-in-office are satisfactory leash-holders is to believe that humans-in-office do not need to be on leashes themselves.

Why is that?

If being elected to office changes our human nature from "needing to be controlled" to "fit to be a controller", how about we all elect each other? :)

If you don't believe that merely being elected changes our nature, and
if you believe that humans need to be governed, and
if you believe that humans in office are no less bloody-minded rapacious idiots than the rest of us (i.e., not specially morally gifted), but yet are fit to govern the rest of us,
then you are engaging in what is known as "compartmentalized thinking".

So, a statist is either not really thinking the thing through fully, OR he is believing in the moral superiority of Officeholding humans.

terry could have gone either way with that one.  It remains that he's right, the statists are the idealists, divorced from reality either by compartmentalized thinking or by the belief in the apotheosis of election to office.


It could be that sometimes people have particularly bad judgement, and other times they don't. We might do better if we somehow arrange that the people who have better judgement at the moment make choices for those who are doing particularly badly.

Of course, we would have to know which is which, and we could make mistakes, and there could be opportunities there for abuse.

So for example, our traffic engineers have some fairly well-tested ideas about how safe it usually is to drive on particular sorts of roads. Some individual people disagree. They say they personally are better drivers than the norm so it's safe for them to go faster. And some people have better cars than others, cars which are less unsafe at high speeds. And yet when the worse drivers in the worse cars are going at their maximum in large numbers, it may not be safe to go a lot faster. Weave in and out of the traffic flow enough, and one of them may involve you in his accident.

I expect we can all agree that many of the fastest drivers are not qualified to drive the way they do. So in the USA we have evolved a peculiar institution to reduce this danger. We have authoritarian police who can take money from people who drive too fast, and oligopolistic insurance companies that charge people a whole lot of money if they have ever been caught driving too fast. It has turned into a cash cow for at least two kinds of giant organization. Meanwhile the individual police have opportunities to abuse their privileges.

Just for the sake of the fanciful example, I will talk like keeping people from driving too fast is worth doing. I can imagine that there are better ways to reduce accidents but let's pretend for now that this is the way to go, and that the public agrees that it's a worthy goal. And police are a bad method to pursue that goal.

Then how about this -- we could set up radars to detect people speeding, and have completely automatic weapons to destroy the vehicles which do that. Break the posted speed limits by too much, and a great big RPG round turns your car into a big fireball for other cars to maneuver around. Problem solved. The machines are not corruptible. You can't bribe them, you can't impress them. They treat all offenders the same, rich or poor, it doesn't matter whether you're a Senator's brother or a policeman's aunt. People who aren't sure they are alert enough to drive, will be careful not to drive.

Real problems will usually be far more complicated. Preventing people from speeding with radar-directed robot weapons is easy technology, but I had to make up a simple problem to use it. Still -- when we are agreed what the problem is, and when we can apply automatic solutions that don't depend on human beings to be consistent, we might actually be able to solve those problems.

And it doesn't have to be a "superior" group deciding for an "inferior" group. Somebody who believes that speeding is bad, can think otherwise when he's late. "I'll just go 20% faster this one time and get back on schedule." If he decided when he was thinking normally that it was OK to kill him if he speeds, then when he's late and his judgement is gone he doesn't have to decide whether it's a good idea. He knows he'll die if he tries it. But when he voted for the referendum he wasn't thinking about himself being a special case just this once. He was thinking about all the stupid speeders.

I'm not ready to suggest something like this would work well in a lot of cases. But now we have the ability to set up complex automatic mechanisms, and 50 years ago we mostly did not. The world has changed. It might provide opportunities we just did not have before.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 11, 2011, 07:17:34 pm
Quote
I'm not ready to suggest something like this would work well in a lot of cases. But now we have the ability to set up complex automatic mechanisms, and 50 years ago we mostly did not. The world has changed. It might provide opportunities we just did not have before.

One word:  hackers.

Also, yes, we can set up complex machines (gov't itself is a kind of machine, or maybe "program" would be a better term).  And they can't make exceptions.  At least the cop, when he pulls you over and finds that your wife is in labor in the back seat, will turn on his lilghts & siren and accompany you on your urgent drive.  Or, if your son is bleeding out and your phone is dead, or something.

The world is complex enough that no mechanism can be programmed ahead of time to meet all cases well.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 11, 2011, 08:54:28 pm
Quote
I'm not ready to suggest something like this would work well in a lot of cases. But now we have the ability to set up complex automatic mechanisms, and 50 years ago we mostly did not. The world has changed. It might provide opportunities we just did not have before.

One word:  hackers.

Also, yes, we can set up complex machines (gov't itself is a kind of machine, or maybe "program" would be a better term).  And they can't make exceptions.  At least the cop, when he pulls you over and finds that your wife is in labor in the back seat, will turn on his lilghts & siren and accompany you on your urgent drive.  Or, if your son is bleeding out and your phone is dead, or something.

The world is complex enough that no mechanism can be programmed ahead of time to meet all cases well.

We can never hope to meet all cases well. The best we can hope is to shift the averages. One approach is to actually convince a whole lot of individual people to do the right thing, convinced to the point they actually do it. That's hard, but it pays off provided what you convince them of is in fact the right thing.

One of my uncles died last week. He had been an engineer. His son gave a eulogy that included the following story -- a good long time before seatbelts got popular, the father personally installed seat belts in their car. Then he took the whole family to a great big empty parking lot on a Sunday, and he practiced making sudden stops. "We were convinced."

My county has a machine that lets people sit in a chair with a seatbelt and then accelerate to 25 mph or so and then get a sudden stop. They set it up at the county fair. Everybody who tries it is convinced to wear seatbelts.

I once had an adventurous girlfriend who did a variety of risky-seeming things, who always wore her seatbelt. I asked her about it. "Everybody who gets a big purple seatbelt bruise believes in seatbelts from then on."

Seatbelt use is going up, and I don't think it's about seatbelt laws or insurance that doesn't pay for people who didn't wear seatbelts. If we had cars that would not start unless seatbelts were fastened, people would get around it. The use is going up because people actually think it helps on average.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: wdg3rd on May 11, 2011, 09:04:20 pm

Seatbelt use is going up, and I don't think it's about seatbelt laws or insurance that doesn't pay for people who didn't wear seatbelts. If we had cars that would not start unless seatbelts were fastened, people would get around it. The use is going up because people actually think it helps on average.


For a short while in the early 1970s, some cars were manufactured which would not start unless the seatbelts were fastened.  A few people were killed because they could not start their cars and escape attackers fast enough.  The manufacture of such cars was quietly discontinued.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on May 11, 2011, 11:02:34 pm
I wear one for the same reason I bought an extra extinguisher last week and will get more when I can, cause I ain't dumb.

But again curse the busybodies who take credit for my sensible actions. Did you know without government oversight and controls I'd be huffing spraypaint out of a bread bag and crapping out brain cells right this very second. Thank the gods they're there to save me from myself. Oh yeah, and from my own inertia too.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 12, 2011, 01:51:48 am
I know you dont understand that socialists want everything to be fair and equitable

Yet observe, when socialists visited Cuba, and Russia, and saw brutal and terrible inequality, they loved it.

Whenever socialists were given the tour of recently existent terror states, what they were shown was not fake equality, but brutal and terrible inequality, with people like themselves on top.

they were interested in Socialism the ideology.  I'm talking about socialism the economic theory.

I said, was it not possible that economic socialists might have some ideas that would improve capitalism?

To which you did not answer.

Your claim, quoted above, was that socialism and socialists were morally superior.

As to the question that you asked, and I ignored, I will now answer it:  Economic socialists have nothing to teach capitalism other than poverty, slavery, and disaster.

Perhaps your argument is that if everyone pursues his own particular good, the result will not necessarily be as desirable as if all pursue the general good.  But people are unlikely to agree as to what is the general good, so this requires a ruler to decide for all what is the general good, and a bureaucracy to impose the general good on all.

The knowledge necessary to make the economy go is dispersed and inexplicit.  To make all work for the general good, all that knowledge has to be made explicit and concentrated at the center.  The planners have to know everything, and the planned know nothing.

Of course they cannot.  We get instead labyrinthine bureaucracy strangled in its own red tape.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: dough560 on May 12, 2011, 03:14:54 am
Not quite, We strangle in red tape.  The bureaucrats make sure it pulls tight around our necks.  No breath, freedom, free will, innovation, or anything else which may cause the bureaucrats the least unrest.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 12, 2011, 06:19:07 am

Seatbelt use is going up, and I don't think it's about seatbelt laws or insurance that doesn't pay for people who didn't wear seatbelts. If we had cars that would not start unless seatbelts were fastened, people would get around it. The use is going up because people actually think it helps on average.


For a short while in the early 1970s, some cars were manufactured which would not start unless the seatbelts were fastened.  A few people were killed because they could not start their cars and escape attackers fast enough.  The manufacture of such cars was quietly discontinued.

Great example! So if cars wouldn't start unless people wore seatbelts then we might likely be better off on average than if people wore seatbelts. It's many more people who get injured in accidents than need 3 seconds less to get away from attackers.

But we do better still when it's only stupid people who choose not to wear them. Most of us don't need a mechanical gimmick to make us do the obvious right thing.

And it helps that it's something you can do once, before you start your engine, and there's very little immediate disadvantage to it. In my example, when you already know you're close to being late, you get to make the choice over and over and over again, every time you decide not to go a lot faster and maybe make up lost time, that's only for that moment and you get to choose again the next moment when you're a little bit later.

Make a good choice once, versus make it many many times while you're under stress.

There are times that people know ahead of time that their judgement will be impaired. It might be a good thing to arrange ahead of time that you don't get faced with important choices then.

So, a free market economist whose name I don't remember suggested applying economic solutions to various other problems. And he said that air bags are a bad idea. He said we would be better off to have big spikes in front of drivers, so that if they have high-speed head-on collisions they will be impaled. He claimed this would save far more lives than driver-side air bags. Because faced with a great big obvious disincentive, drivers would be far less likely to take the risks they take now, which occasionally result in high-speed collisions.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 12, 2011, 07:12:13 am
Quote
Seatbelt use is going up, and I don't think it's about seatbelt laws or insurance that doesn't pay for people who didn't wear seatbelts. If we had cars that would not start unless seatbelts were fastened, people would get around it. The use is going up because people actually think it helps on average. (emphasis added)

Funny, that.  Sounds almost like anarchy.

On a different note, while I don't mind thread topic-creep, I find thread topic-bifurcation a little jarring.  This one has "principles of anarchy/gov't" for one, and "historical trends in socialism" for another; Pedo Bear Strike has Darwin/Lamarck, how to organize companies, and public executions.  Huh. 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 12, 2011, 07:23:21 am
Quote
Seatbelt use is going up, and I don't think it's about seatbelt laws or insurance that doesn't pay for people who didn't wear seatbelts. If we had cars that would not start unless seatbelts were fastened, people would get around it. The use is going up because people actually think it helps on average. (emphasis added)

Funny, that.  Sounds almost like anarchy.

Sure. When people are rational, depending on them to do the rational thing on their own is the best choice.

But if you know a particular time when you are going to be less rational, it makes sense to arrange ahead of time that you don't make important decisions then. If possible, make those choices now, while you are in your right mind.

If I drank, and I was the sort of drunk who goes out and does exciting things, I would try to limit that ahead of time. Lock up the power tools and get a neighbor to keep the car keys.

I don't want an authoritarian government where some corruptible individual decides for me. But it also does not make sense to imagine that everybody will be rational all the time. Should we let everybody do whatever he wants first and hold him responsible afterward? Or is it better to do some minimal amount of prevention? I think both extremes are bad, but we find ourselves walking between two slippery slopes.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 12, 2011, 07:46:54 am
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I'm not ready to suggest something like this would work well in a lot of cases. But now we have the ability to set up complex automatic mechanisms, and 50 years ago we mostly did not. The world has changed. It might provide opportunities we just did not have before.

One word:  hackers.

Also, yes, we can set up complex machines (gov't itself is a kind of machine, or maybe "program" would be a better term).  And they can't make exceptions.  At least the cop, when he pulls you over and finds that your wife is in labor in the back seat, will turn on his lilghts & siren and accompany you on your urgent drive.  Or, if your son is bleeding out and your phone is dead, or something.

The world is complex enough that no mechanism can be programmed ahead of time to meet all cases well.

See the double bind? If we don't let people make exceptions, then we are suck with bad choices sometimes.

And if we do let corruptible people make exceptions, they will make bad exceptions.

And if we just let everybody do whatever they want, then it's all exceptions. All the corrupt bad exceptions will still happen, they just won't be exceptions any more. They'll be the norm.

So given three obviously bad choices, I want to try a degree of control by machine for awhile.

"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."  Mae West
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: spudit on May 12, 2011, 09:06:28 am
It's not hard to start a new thread, really, it's easy.

So when these intense and to me often opaque discussions of biological theory or the 99 flavors of incorporation self generate, maybe they could carve out their own chunk of Big Head server space and live happily ever after.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 12, 2011, 10:24:41 am
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So given three obviously bad choices, I want to try a degree of control by machine for awhile.

Where people are actually harmed for a choice that's only potentially (if I speed to work, I might have an accident; I'm not guaranteed one) bad?  You first.

Even so, what you're asking is for a machine to remove uncertainty -- you want to determine, ahead of time, that outcomes will all be good ones.  But it won't.  It can't.  Say it works:  elevators, for example, get you from one floor to another without the risk of falling on the stairs (some people <gasp!> don't always use the handrail, despite all the signs in the stairwells of my building saying "USE THE HANDRAIL").  You can safely go to sleep on the elevator, totally let down your guard, secure in the knowledge that you will arrive at your desired floor unharmed.

Until it fails, 'cos nothing's pefect.  So, what?

"What" is this:  you have the, say, inconvenience of being stuck between floors for X amount of time.  Well, I would have the inconvenience; you in the elevator with me would have the inconvenience plus the shock of being betrayed by something you expected to work.

We see this in the news, when people who live in Tornado Alley are interviewed over the wreckage of their neighborhood and sobbing, "How could such a terrible thing happen?"  I'm compassionate enough to be sorry they lost their home, and still want to kick them in the butt.  Hey, that's life in Tornado Alley.  It's life even in my far-from-the-Alley neighborhood.

Your system will lull you into the proverbial false sense of security.

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And if we just let everybody do whatever they want, then it's all exceptions. All the corrupt bad exceptions will still happen, they just won't be exceptions any more. They'll be the norm.

True, that.  And they'll still happen with a mechanized control system, by the ones who can and will find the loopholes, the gaps in the code, whatever.  I sympathize with wanting security, but it's a fool's errand, like hunting snipe or being sent for left-handed trilobite wrenches.

But by all means, try your machine.  The machine's own existence will create exceptions, edge conditions, that can't even be imagined ahead of time.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 12, 2011, 12:38:46 pm
I know you dont understand that socialists want everything to be fair and equitable

Yet observe, when socialists visited Cuba, and Russia, and saw brutal and terrible inequality, they loved it.

Whenever socialists were given the tour of recently existent terror states, what they were shown was not fake equality, but brutal and terrible inequality, with people like themselves on top.

they were interested in Socialism the ideology.  I'm talking about socialism the economic theory.

I said, was it not possible that economic socialists might have some ideas that would improve capitalism?

To which you did not answer.

Your claim, quoted above, was that socialism and socialists were morally superior.

As to the question that you asked, and I ignored, I will now answer it:  Economic socialists have nothing to teach capitalism other than poverty, slavery, and disaster.

Perhaps your argument is that if everyone pursues his own particular good, the result will not necessarily be as desirable as if all pursue the general good.  But people are unlikely to agree as to what is the general good, so this requires a ruler to decide for all what is the general good, and a bureaucracy to impose the general good on all.

The knowledge necessary to make the economy go is dispersed and inexplicit.  To make all work for the general good, all that knowledge has to be made explicit and concentrated at the center.  The planners have to know everything, and the planned know nothing.

Of course they cannot.  We get instead labyrinthine bureaucracy strangled in its own red tape.

No, nowhere did I equate "socialism" and "socialist" to be morally or otherwise superior.  What i did was ask a question:  can society be improved by the inclusion of ideas that *might* improve fairness and equitability in wealth distribution?

Funny how you didnt answer the question I asked.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 12, 2011, 12:42:15 pm
Quote
Seatbelt use is going up, and I don't think it's about seatbelt laws or insurance that doesn't pay for people who didn't wear seatbelts. If we had cars that would not start unless seatbelts were fastened, people would get around it. The use is going up because people actually think it helps on average. (emphasis added)

Funny, that.  Sounds almost like anarchy.

On a different note, while I don't mind thread topic-creep, I find thread topic-bifurcation a little jarring.  This one has "principles of anarchy/gov't" for one, and "historical trends in socialism" for another; Pedo Bear Strike has Darwin/Lamarck, how to organize companies, and public executions.  Huh. 

No, it sounds like rational decision making arising out of education and experience.

A society of disorder and chaos has nothing to do with it.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 12, 2011, 12:44:08 pm
Quote
Seatbelt use is going up, and I don't think it's about seatbelt laws or insurance that doesn't pay for people who didn't wear seatbelts. If we had cars that would not start unless seatbelts were fastened, people would get around it. The use is going up because people actually think it helps on average. (emphasis added)

Funny, that.  Sounds almost like anarchy.

Sure. When people are rational, depending on them to do the rational thing on their own is the best choice.

But if you know a particular time when you are going to be less rational, it makes sense to arrange ahead of time that you don't make important decisions then. If possible, make those choices now, while you are in your right mind.

If I drank, and I was the sort of drunk who goes out and does exciting things, I would try to limit that ahead of time. Lock up the power tools and get a neighbor to keep the car keys.

I don't want an authoritarian government where some corruptible individual decides for me. But it also does not make sense to imagine that everybody will be rational all the time. Should we let everybody do whatever he wants first and hold him responsible afterward? Or is it better to do some minimal amount of prevention? I think both extremes are bad, but we find ourselves walking between two slippery slopes.


Wow, those last two sentences sound like *gasp!* anarchy!
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 12, 2011, 03:15:35 pm
No, it sounds like rational decision making arising out of education and experience.

A society of disorder and chaos has nothing to do with it.
I'm sorry, they meant "anarchy" in the technical sense of a government not being around forcing people to do things against their better judgment (such as fastening lap belts on cars without shoulder belts - that under many circumstances increases the risk one faces in an accident).

So "sounds like anarchy" was correct in the context of the discussions here.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 12, 2011, 04:26:12 pm
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So given three obviously bad choices, I want to try a degree of control by machine for awhile.

Where people are actually harmed for a choice that's only potentially (if I speed to work, I might have an accident; I'm not guaranteed one) bad?  You first.

Even so, what you're asking is for a machine to remove uncertainty -- you want to determine, ahead of time, that outcomes will all be good ones.

I already explained that. You can't guarantee there will only be good outcomes. The best you can do is to improve the average.

Traffic engineers, after human-centuries of study, believe that on average automobile speeds which are too high will have bad outcomes. Most people, most of the time, agree with them. But every now and then we get into a bind. We're running late. We don't care about other people's outcomes, we just want to improve our own outcome this one time. The chance that I will get to work on time seems far more imporant than the small chance that I will have an accident in which my car is totaled, and maybe unknown other people suffer in unknown ways. Who's the better judge? Many human-centuries of traffic engineers or me, stressed out and hoping for a special reward after I didn't start my journey early enough to get it without speeding?

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We see this in the news, when people who live in Tornado Alley are interviewed over the wreckage of their neighborhood and sobbing, "How could such a terrible thing happen?"  I'm compassionate enough to be sorry they lost their home, and still want to kick them in the butt.  Hey, that's life in Tornado Alley.  It's life even in my far-from-the-Alley neighborhood.

http://www.google.com/search?q=tornado+alley&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=ivnsu&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=607MTcD0C8re0QGizrGiBA&sqi=2&ved=0CEYQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=584
Here are some maps to help you decide where Tornado Alley is. If you think you live in Tornado Alley you should definitely move somewhere else.

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But by all means, try your machine.  The machine's own existence will create exceptions, edge conditions, that can't even be imagined ahead of time.

May be. What did you think about the free-market economist's idea of putting spikes on the dashboard in place of airbags, to encourage drivers to avoid head-on collisions?

All of economics is based on the idea that people respond to incentives and disincentives. If they don't, maybe we should rethink the whole thing.

What if it turns out that every new product creates exceptions and edge conditions that can't be imagined ahead of time?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 12, 2011, 06:19:23 pm
We're running late. We don't care about other people's outcomes, we just want to improve our own outcome this one time. The chance that I will get to work on time seems far more imporant than the small chance that I will have an accident in which my car is totaled, and maybe unknown other people suffer in unknown ways. Who's the better judge? Many human-centuries of traffic engineers or me, stressed out and hoping for a special reward after I didn't start my journey early enough to get it without speeding?
This is true enough, but the problem with enforcing speed limits automatically is obvious - getting people to hospital in an emergency. Just as seat belts that prevented cars from starting if they were not fastened left people vulnerable to robbers.

On average, such systems might indeed save more lives than they harmed. But they would directly injure specific people, while those they saved would be invisible averages. This is a problem in public relations, Catholic moral theology, and law.

In any case, freedom isn't about optimizing average outcomes - at least not directly. In the UW, they can make sure that Winston Smith does his calisthenics in the morning. But we know perfectly well from history that when one gives a central authority more and more power to control people's lives, such power tends to be used for the benefit of those who control it, rather than for the benefit of the population being controlled.

On the other hand, as cities become more crowded, I also think that at some point things like speed governors on cars will become a necessity. Individual freedom and practical considerations like public safety have to be balanced - and when interdependence increases, the balance tilts.

The problem is that when things tilt, they can also fall over. While I don't share the level of pessimism about democracy that many AnCap advocates seem to have, I do think that there is a level of crowding at which there are no good solutions - the degree of freedom required to avoid the system becoming a dictatorship might also be, at the same time, genuinely reckless and suicidal to permit. The only solution is not to get so crowded - because, of course, it is also reckless and suicidal to permit a dictatorship.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 12, 2011, 10:29:21 pm

In any case, freedom isn't about optimizing average outcomes - at least not directly. In the UW, they can make sure that Winston Smith does his calisthenics in the morning. But we know perfectly well from history that when one gives a central authority more and more power to control people's lives, such power tends to be used for the benefit of those who control it, rather than for the benefit of the population being controlled.

Freedom definitely isn't about optimising outcomes. Freedom is about letting people do whatever they want and outcomes be damned.

On the other hand, I don't see anybody being real interested in freedom. Consider for example Sandy Sandfort's hypothetical idea -- you have a place where absolutely everywhere is owned by somebody. And whenever you are in a place that somebody else owns, you do whatever they say, or you don't go there. But whenever anybody else is in a place you own, they do whatever you say.

Would you consider that a lot of freedom?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 13, 2011, 08:32:36 am
On the other hand, I don't see anybody being real interested in freedom. Consider for example Sandy Sandfort's hypothetical idea -- you have a place where absolutely everywhere is owned by somebody. And whenever you are in a place that somebody else owns, you do whatever they say, or you don't go there. But whenever anybody else is in a place you own, they do whatever you say.

Would you consider that a lot of freedom?
I guess that depends on how much land I can afford to own.

He at least claims that there will be freedom, because it isn't in the interest of shopping mall owners to make rules that would have the result of no one wanting to come to their malls and shop, and as far as the rest is concerned, one's fellow hardy pioneers would be like-minded to oneself in desiring freedom.

Compared to Earth, where the rules are not subject to choice - you have a government, and other countries don't want immigrants.

So he basically discounts elections as a way to make rules reasonable - because he observes that in the democratic U.S., a lot of unreasonable rules have accumulated, most people know they're unreasonable, but they haven't been able to vote them away. I do agree he's being simplistic - overly optimistic about how his preferred system will work and overly pessimistic about how his less preferred system is working.

I don't think, though, that it's a fault to say that what we have isn't working well, and to look for alternatives. Looking for alternatives and convincing other people to take them are two different things, though. He is doing a great job of doing the first and making people think. But when it comes to the second, I don't think he is doing so great.

But just because I'm not confident AnCap will work out well, I'm not sure it's going to work out badly either. I think it has lots of potential to work out well under appropriate circumstances.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 13, 2011, 08:50:41 am
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What if it turns out that every new product creates exceptions and edge conditions that can't be imagined ahead of time?

Note to self: swallow tea before reading anything.   :D

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Would you consider that a lot of freedom?

Compared to what?

Also, Sandy didn't say that you do what the owner says, only that you don't do what the owner forbids.  While that's still a limitation on your right to act, it's waaay more freedom than having your actions limited to whatever the owner actively demands.

Tacitly acknowledging that freedom is not an unlimited quantity isn't the same as "[not] being real interested in freedom".

But maybe you were asking q and not me.  (btw, thanks, q, for noting my use of the term "anarchy" vs CG earlier.  I appreciated that!)

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I think it has lots of potential to work out well under appropriate circumstances.

I think the way we behave is the way we behave, and that Cerereans don't really behave any differently than we do here.  Even with laws & contracts & all (out the wazoo, more than even the most dedicated lawyer can read), we still interpret and reinterpret until no one knows what the laws mean anyway.  Most of us try to do well by each other most of the time, and the only ones unrestrained by the laws are the ones the laws are intended to restrain AND who are cleverest at "hacking" the system.

The Belt has no System to "hack", so everyone is on equal footing, hackers and nonhackers alike.  And the Belt has no central power to usurp or otherwise abuse, so everyone is on an equal footing in that way, too.

Do we behave better under a system of laws than we would out from under?

Q:  is there any crime under a state?

A:  well, obviously.  The very best claim for a government must therefore be that conditions would be much worse without one.  The only evidence for this is what happens when the machinery of a state is abruptly removed.

But the state of humans in a condition of sudden disruption cannot possibly be considered the state of humans au naturel.

If you prune a peach tree as it grows year after year, and then one year suddenly cease pruning, it will not spontaneously assume its natural form and flourish; in fact it may very well die prematurely.  This in no way means that peach trees must be pruned or they will not thrive.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 13, 2011, 09:16:05 am
On the other hand, I don't see anybody being real interested in freedom. Consider for example Sandy Sandfort's hypothetical idea -- you have a place where absolutely everywhere is owned by somebody. And whenever you are in a place that somebody else owns, you do whatever they say, or you don't go there. But whenever anybody else is in a place you own, they do whatever you say.

Would you consider that a lot of freedom?
I guess that depends on how much land I can afford to own.

;) Thank you! That's refreshingly honest.

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He at least claims that there will be freedom, because it isn't in the interest of shopping mall owners to make rules that would have the result of no one wanting to come to their malls and shop

Well, let's consider that. Imagine for a moment that 90% of the people are black, and they tell the mall owner that they strongly prefer a mall with only blacks in it. You however are white. The mall owner who prefers that 90% of his customers remain, tells you to go elsewhere.

So you make a new mall that anybody can come to. You have far less economy of scale than the other mall, and a limited range of businesses -- smaller businesses prefer to operate only in the other mall. But now many of your customers come to you and say they are offended when they see people with tattoos in your mall and they want you to get rid of them. It's only 5% of the people who come to your mall that have tattoos. And you, you got one on your forehead during a drunken spree in your teens. Do you cater to the 90% of customers who will leave if you allow tattoos, or what? You could of course sell creams people can use to cover up their tattoos. Or you could throw in the towel and sell kits so your customers can go to the other mall in blackface....

So you start a third mall that is open to anybody. You find that you are heavily catering to immigrants who used to belong to biker gangs. The biker women saunter through your mall with their breasts exposed, and some of the other customers are offended. But the bikers are 90% of your business. How many new customers would come to you if you made the biker babes cover up? And a delegation of bikers tells you that if you want to keep their business, you have to make all the women show their boobs. Not just the women who work there, every broad who comes in....

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Compared to Earth, where the rules are not subject to choice - you have a government, and other countries don't want immigrants.

I can understand the appeal of free-market government, where each man is king of his own domain and anyone who rents or visits must follow his rules, and you can shop around for the autocracy you want, and then find some path you can brave through other autocrats' nations to get to him. But remember the three rules of real estate? Location....
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 14, 2011, 07:30:40 pm
On the other hand, I don't see anybody being real interested in freedom. Consider for example Sandy Sandfort's hypothetical idea -- you have a place where absolutely everywhere is owned by somebody. And whenever you are in a place that somebody else owns, you do whatever they say, or you don't go there. But whenever anybody else is in a place you own, they do whatever you say.

Would you consider that a lot of freedom?

Places that are open to the public, such as malls, generally want public to visit them.  So they don't impose harsh conditions on the public, and avoid doing stuff that spooks the public.  I am pretty sure that Walmart security busts a hell of a lot shoplifters, and their method for busting shoplifters is to follow them out onto the parking lot, so that fewer customers will see the bust.,  Doubtless, some shoplifters, in sight of their getaway car, and knowing that rentacops have no special privelige to use deadly force, resist, yet I never see Walmart security show up on youtube looking bad, while police regularly show up on youtube looking bad.

So when you are in an anarcho capitalist shopping mall, you would usually have a lot more freedom than on a state owned street - though no freedom to look weird and scare other customers.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 20, 2011, 08:47:42 am

In any case, freedom isn't about optimizing average outcomes - at least not directly. In the UW, they can make sure that Winston Smith does his calisthenics in the morning. But we know perfectly well from history that when one gives a central authority more and more power to control people's lives, such power tends to be used for the benefit of those who control it, rather than for the benefit of the population being controlled.

Freedom definitely isn't about optimising outcomes. Freedom is about letting people do whatever they want and outcomes be damned.

On the other hand, I don't see anybody being real interested in freedom. Consider for example Sandy Sandfort's hypothetical idea -- you have a place where absolutely everywhere is owned by somebody. And whenever you are in a place that somebody else owns, you do whatever they say, or you don't go there. But whenever anybody else is in a place you own, they do whatever you say.

Would you consider that a lot of freedom?

I may already said this, and if so, I apologize; but, no, that is no freedom whatsoever. That is autocracy.  Or dictatorship.
Freedom is a complex interweaving of different ideas, compromises, allowances and etiquettes.

 
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 20, 2011, 09:36:06 am

So when you are in an anarcho capitalist shopping mall, you would usually have a lot more freedom than on a state owned street - though no freedom to look weird and scare other customers.

Words have meanings. Sometimes. Words have some meanings to some people.

Anyway, to me what you are talking about here is not freedom but privileges. Shopping mall managers may choose to grant you greater privileges than someone else would.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: SandySandfort on May 20, 2011, 10:02:24 am

So when you are in an anarcho capitalist shopping mall, you would usually have a lot more freedom than on a state owned street - though no freedom to look weird and scare other customers.

Words have meanings. Sometimes. Words have some meanings to some people.

Anyway, to me what you are talking about here is not freedom but privileges. Shopping mall managers may choose to grant you greater privileges than someone else would.

Plus one man's weird is another man's wonderful. If I lived in the Belt, I might open the "San Francisco Theme Mall." My fondest memories of SF are the weirdos--Pink Hard Hat Lady, Turn-around Man, the Twins, Dykes on Bikes and the various marches including various flavors of communists with their brave little red flags, and Iranian students chanting, "death to the Shah!" And from a previous era such entertaining kooks as Emperor Norton. Why not encourage that carnival-like atmosphere in a shopping mall? The patrons might look weird to sam and scare him, but he would always be free to take his business down the street to the "Failed Empire Mall," where embittered "estate" denizens can shop for bowlers and brellies, with a stiff upper lips. "Nothing weird to scare you here, folks."  ;D

Anarchy is the real "diversity" of human aspirations, desires and lifestyles.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 20, 2011, 06:44:24 pm
Anyway, to me what you are talking about here is not freedom but privileges. Shopping mall managers may choose to grant you greater privileges than someone else would.
The freedom comes in at another level; one can shop around for a different shopping mall, whereas one can't shop around for a different government.

The fact that you have a vote doesn't always mean you're "safe" in a majority-rule democracy. You could belong to a minority.

We do have a Constitution that doesn't let the majority do certain things, limiting its power. The idea is to improve that, by limiting the government's power to zero - hence, no government: anarchy. The assumption - no, the intent - is that this doesn't lead to the available territory being carved up into corporate-ruled enclaves, but that it instead lets individuals be sovereign.

Instead of being an assumption that might be wrong, it is an intent that it is expected those establishing the community will take care to implement. How they manage it in a sufficiently non-coercive fashion is a question to me, but I will accept that dystopia is not their goal.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 21, 2011, 12:38:22 am
Anyway, to me what you are talking about here is not freedom but privileges. Shopping mall managers may choose to grant you greater privileges than someone else would.
The freedom comes in at another level; one can shop around for a different shopping mall, whereas one can't shop around for a different government.

Yes, this is because somehow governments have mostly chosen to keep captive markets rather than compete for citizens. And the citizens have let them get away with it!

The USA has varied on that. Sometimes we let lots of immigrants come in. Other times we try to shut them out. We're usually pretty good about letting our citizens choose other nations, if they can find other nations that will take them.

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The fact that you have a vote doesn't always mean you're "safe" in a majority-rule democracy. You could belong to a minority.

Yes indeed. There's a theory that you shouldn't object to that because you win some and you lose some. But when you are part of a minority ethnic group you might feel like you don't win any.

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We do have a Constitution that doesn't let the majority do certain things, limiting its power. The idea is to improve that, by limiting the government's power to zero - hence, no government: anarchy. The assumption - no, the intent - is that this doesn't lead to the available territory being carved up into corporate-ruled enclaves, but that it instead lets individuals be sovereign.

When people's choices conflict you still need some way to decide who gets the freedom. One way is to let them fight it out. You aren't free to get everything you want, but you are free to die like a man instead of buckling under. This is an unalienable right -- you can do it even under a totalitarian government. Live your life, and when they come for you then you go down fighting. Live free and die free.

And you can try to negotiate. Find out what the other guy wants, tell him what you want, find a way that both can choose to coexist and get enough of what they want to satisfy them. No guarantees, but it works sometimes.

And you can depend on community standards. The whole community will lean on anybody who gets too much out of line in ways they don't like. If they are dedicated anarchists then they will lean on anybody who tries to make them do things. They will show him he can't get away with that. What else will they enforce? Whatever they agree to enforce. Kind of like a -- government, but without anybody officially in charge. Whoever is best at molding public opinion will have more influence, but only to the extent he succeeds at that.

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If a man can resist the influences of his townsfollk, if he can cut free from the tyranny of neighbourhood gossip, the world has no terrors for him; there is no second inquisition”
John Jay Chapman
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 21, 2011, 11:19:08 am
When people's choices conflict you still need some way to decide who gets the freedom.
I don't argue with that. I feel that forswearing taxation and conscription is dangerous in the world as we live in it, and you have seen my arguments that limits on recovery for crimes and torts also constitute "initiation of force", so that AnCap hasn't really excluded what it is its goal to exclude.

The replies to those arguments have, in some ways, left me a bit perplexed as to what AnCap actually means. If using force to respond to an initiation of force sufficiently after the fact as not to be direct self-defence is prohibited as apparent initiation of force, but what one is supposed to use instead is not connected with the arbitration system, which I still don't understand either...

But, even so, I like the idea of more freedom. To complain that this freedom would be just for the rich, or those quick on the draw with good aim, I would regard as ill-tempered, however; if the heroic example of frontiersmen can set limits to the rapaciousness of the governments under which tamer spirits live, that will have been a noble service, even if the AnCap adventure is not for everyone.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 21, 2011, 12:08:34 pm
When people's choices conflict you still need some way to decide who gets the freedom.
I don't argue with that. I feel that forswearing taxation and conscription is dangerous in the world as we live in it, and you have seen my arguments that limits on recovery for crimes and torts also constitute "initiation of force", so that AnCap hasn't really excluded what it is its goal to exclude.

The replies to those arguments have, in some ways, left me a bit perplexed as to what AnCap actually means. If using force to respond to an initiation of force sufficiently after the fact as not to be direct self-defence is prohibited as apparent initiation of force, but what one is supposed to use instead is not connected with the arbitration system, which I still don't understand either...

I think different people have different concepts of it. Here's mine:

You can do anything you want, but you can face consequences. The big consequences are supposed to come when you violate ZAP. In practice, they come for whatever people choose. So if people choose to impose consequences mostly when you violate ZAP, that's how it will be.

Any time somebody doesn't like you, he can refuse to do business with you. The more people that don't like you, the more inconvenience that will be. You might, if you want, try to get them to do business with you at gunpoint. The you are violating ZAP and there will be consequences for you, probably the same sort of consequences you just threatened for them refusing to serve you as the ZAP allows.

If you want to get along in this particular hypothetical society, you will probably try to resolve disputes with arbitration. An arbitrator can tell the world that the issue is settled and you are an OK guy. Or the arbitrator can tell the world that you failed to cooperate and a bunch of stuff is your fault, and people are then less likely to cooperate with you.

But if you feel like someone has called for a frivolous lawsuit, you can choose to just ignore them. Maybe people will realize that you are right and the other guy is wrong, and will ignore it.

Or the two of you can agree on an arbitrator, and then the arbitrator might decide ahead of time that it's a frivolous suit and just throw it out, probably charging money to the plaintiff and not to you.

So, you have an incentive to agree to arbitration because if all goes well it will clear your name, but you don't have to. You can do whatever you want and take the consequences, just like IRL except the consequences may be different.

Maybe somebody tries to commit violence on you, and he gets away with neither one killed. Ideally you should take it to arbitration and give him a chance to resolve the issue peacefully. What's to lose, if you can get it resolved peacefully? If you go after him he might kill you. He might feel like he has some issue with you since he went after you in the first place. You're better off it it actually gets settled. But say instead you do go looking for him and you find him and kill him. His family can try to arrange arbitration with you. They are better off if it gets settled to their satisfaction. Or instead one of them can hunt you down and kill you, and then your family can try to arrange arbitration with him. Arbitration is a possible way out, but nobody has to take it. If his whole family manages to hunt you down and catch you alive, and they tie you to a chair, announce your crimes on tanglenet, and shoot you, probably nobody will stop them. Or maybe somebody will stop them, and that somebody who chose to get involved then might get the chance to go through arbitration to get it settled....

See, it isn't that people don't violate ZAP. It's that when they violate ZAP and then agree to arbitration, the arbitrator will take it into account along with everything else. And if they don't agree to arbitration then when somebody violates ZAP on them, if there's arbitration about that one the arbitrator will take it into account. And public opinion will think whatever public opinion thinks about it all.

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But, even so, I like the idea of more freedom. To complain that this freedom would be just for the rich, or those quick on the draw with good aim, I would regard as ill-tempered, however; if the heroic example of frontiersmen can set limits to the rapaciousness of the governments under which tamer spirits live, that will have been a noble service, even if the AnCap adventure is not for everyone.

I figure there are lots of ways it could go. Some of them I'd like, some of them I wouldn't. Some very different systems can get the same description, without even needing a whole lot of hypocrisy.

If I get the chance to help develop a community that looks good to me, I will.

If it stops looking good then I'll leave, provided they let me. One of the things I like about AnCap proposals is that they always say they'll let people leave, except for debtors. One thing I don't like so much is there's always some exception....
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 21, 2011, 09:31:16 pm
I feel that forswearing taxation and conscription is dangerous in the world as we live in it

The production of violence is a public good, and anarcho capitalist societies will therefore underproduce violence.  A lot of people here seem to think that violence is really bad, and therefore like a system that will under produce violence, such as anarcho capitalism.  They think America would have been fine had we sat out World War I, World War II, and the Cold War, and they do not believe we are at war with Islam.

I am inclined to agree with you that due to the fact that there are lot of bad people around, the optimum level of violence is quite high - indeed I probably think that the optimum level of production of violence against bad guys is higher than you think it is.

However, while governments can produce public goods at optimum levels, in practice they seldom do.

Governments may underproduce some public good, because they are just horribly inefficient, have other concerns, and refuse to allow their subjects to compete with them by producing the public good for themselves, or they may overproduce the public good, because producing the public good creates a lobby group or voting block, which agitates for more of the public good.  Both may happen simultaneously, in that the production of the public good becomes a handout to the lobby group, which fails to actually produce much of the public good.  So the public good is overproduced as measured by expenditure, and underproduced as measured by results.

An extreme example of government under-producing the production of violence was the Roman Empire in the West abandoning Greeks and Britons to genocide.  The Empire disarmed their subjects, and suppressed any martial organization, then abandoned them at the worst possible time.

Another more recent example of government under-producing the production of violence was the destruction of Detroit.  The government declined to defend white occupants of Detroit, and forbade them to defend themselves.

In the west, there have been a number of incidents where Muslims were successfully imposing Islamic law on infidels, without government restraining them, and were restrained by illegal private violence.  There are many more incidents where Muslims have successfully imposed Islamic law on infidels with government neither resisting that imposition, nor allowing infidels to resist that imposition, but such incidents seldom attract publicity.

I support anarcho capitalism not because I believe that it can produce the levels of violence that are needed and that government can produce, but because today's governments are not producing the violence that they could, and should, while simultaneously overproducing things like overseas military bases.  We need more killing and less concrete pouring.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 22, 2011, 03:27:55 am
I feel that forswearing taxation and conscription is dangerous in the world as we live in it

I am inclined to agree with you that due to the fact that there are lot of bad people around, the optimum level of violence is quite high - indeed I probably think that the optimum level of production of violence against bad guys is a higher than you think it is.

However, while governments can produce public goods at optimum levels, in practice they seldom do.

Governments may underproduce some public good, because they are just horribly inefficient, have other concerns, and refuse to allow their subjects to compete with them by producing the public good for themselves, or they may overproduce the public good, because producing the public good creates a lobby group or voting block, which agitates for more of the public good.  Both may happens simultaneously, in that the production of the public good becomes a handout to the lobby group, which fails to actually produce much of the public good.  So the public good is overproduced as measured by expenditure, and underproduced as measured by results.

....

I want to point out that your thinking in this post is logical and self-consistent. People may choose to disagree with your assumptions and your goals. I somewhat disagree myself about a lot of it. But I cannot at all fault your logic.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 23, 2011, 06:33:09 am
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I am inclined to agree with you that due to the fact that there are lot of bad people around, the optimum level of violence is quite high - indeed I probably think that the optimum level of production of violence against bad guys is higher than you think it is.

The optimum level of violence is not a constant, but a variable.

Engaging in violence, like engaging in any other activity, costs energy.

No matter how "bad" you are, you will only engage in violence (or any other activity) when you perceive, correctly or not, that you will at minimum "break even".  (Humans can regard, say, posthumous honor as a "gain"; ref. kamikaze pilots.)

The ability of your target to retaliate is only a partial factor; if you believe (correctly or not) that you can "get away with it", retaliation gets struck off the ledger.  If you can, or think you can, outfox your target, retaliation gets struck off the ledger.

Entropy rules, even in the application of violence.

Q:  what circumstances lead to a high EROEI for violence, and what lead to a low or even negative one?
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 23, 2011, 05:27:13 pm
No matter how "bad" you are, you will only engage in violence (or any other activity) when you perceive, correctly or not, that you will at minimum "break even".

This is true for individuals, and for groups of people with a single individual holding the reins, such as corporations or monarchies.  The CEO is answerable to the board, and the monarch is sometimes answerable to the aristocrats, but he nonetheless has full power to make decisions, and full responsibility for the results of his decisions, which a president, or even a president-for-life, seldom has.

It is not true for party states, such as communist party states or even Baath party states.  It is even less true for democracies.  Groups of people are more prone to madness than the individuals that compose them.  Insanity is the normal condition of committees.  The president of the United States cannot fire the guy in the Social Security administration who embarrassed him by handing out social security money to assorted grotesquely fat deadbeats.

Collective entities may be more peaceful than is sane (observe our reaction to the victory mosque at ground zero) or less peaceful than is sane.  (Communist party states, Muslim democracies)

A Muslim is supposed to love death more than infidels love life.  Of course he does not but he is supposed to.  So they tend to vote for death (for example voting for suicidal war)  The individual vote demonstrates his virtue to himself and others, without altering the individual voter's chances of actually getting killed, since his vote is just one in millions.   Thus Muslim monarchies are reasonably peaceful, Muslim dictatorships less so, because dictatorships tend to be party states, and Muslim democracies are apt to be really bad, Hamas and FIS being particularly horrid examples.

Similarly, the Allende administration, in its internal debates, embraced policies that were intended to destroy the middle class economically, even though they were aware that these policies were destroying the government and the country economically, aware that the government could not possibly afford these policies, adopted these because a good socialist wants to destroy the middle class, regardless of the cost to himself.  It is probable that Allende thought that this was crazy, but he went along with his party, for if any party member were to disagree that member would be reactionary.

Similarly, an environmentalist believes the world is better off with substantially fewer people, so is apt to support policies that lead to the deaths of very large numbers of people, possibly including himself, even though he is disinclined to kill himself individually.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 24, 2011, 05:35:36 am
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I am inclined to agree with you that due to the fact that there are lot of bad people around, the optimum level of violence is quite high - indeed I probably think that the optimum level of production of violence against bad guys is higher than you think it is.

The optimum level of violence is not a constant, but a variable.

Engaging in violence, like engaging in any other activity, costs energy.

No matter how "bad" you are, you will only engage in violence (or any other activity) when you perceive, correctly or not, that you will at minimum "break even".  (Humans can regard, say, posthumous honor as a "gain"; ref. kamikaze pilots.)

One exception comes when people get frustrated. Given a complicated problem which does not appear to be soluble, after sufficient time wrestling with it people are likely to just lash out and destroy things. Afterward they may have a simpler problem to deal with. Perhaps just as insoluble, but at least different. I don't think they reason out that they are likely to be better off or unlikely to be worse off. They just get frustrated and act instinctively.

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The ability of your target to retaliate is only a partial factor; if you believe (correctly or not) that you can "get away with it", retaliation gets struck off the ledger.  If you can, or think you can, outfox your target, retaliation gets struck off the ledger.

That's true too.

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Q:  what circumstances lead to a high EROEI for violence, and what lead to a low or even negative one?

One thing that makes a big difference is secret treaties. If A is stronger than B, A may think B should give in. If B expects help from C but A does not expect C to intervene, then they are more likely to fight. Private assurances of support are more likely to result in war, whether or not they actually result in support.

In a recent conflict, it looks like Georgia expected more support from the USA against the USSR than they actually got, and so resisted more than they would otherwise. But the USA has been crystal clear about Israel. If anybody attacks Israel, the USA will give Israel whatever support is useful including the threat of nuclear attack. If Israel atatcks anybody, the USA will give Israel whatever support is useful. As a result, nobody ever attacks Israel, and Israel attacks whoever they want.



Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: quadibloc on May 24, 2011, 07:05:53 am
As a result, nobody ever attacks Israel, and Israel attacks whoever they want.
In 1948, 1967, and 1973, the objective was to "drive Israel into the sea" - or, more accurately, place the Jews there under Muslim rule. The first two of these instances resulted in territorial gains by Israel.

I don't recall Israel ever attacking any other country the way Iraq under Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait, or Germany under Hitler attacked Poland - to gain territory and seize resources. Instead, any attacks Israel made, such as in 1967, when it upset the schedule for the knockout blow Egypt was preparing to deliver, or in 2007, when it attacked a nuclear plant in Syria, are similar to the attacks of the United States on Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Pakistan.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: J Thomas on May 24, 2011, 08:33:52 am
As a result, nobody ever attacks Israel, and Israel attacks whoever they want.
In 1948, 1967, and 1973, the objective was to "drive Israel into the sea" - or, more accurately, place the Jews there under Muslim rule. The first two of these instances resulted in territorial gains by Israel.

I don't recall Israel ever attacking any other country the way Iraq under Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait, or Germany under Hitler attacked Poland - to gain territory and seize resources.

1956, Israel attacked Egypt and took the Sinai. They argued that they had a good excuse, rather like Saddam argued he had a good excuse.

1967, Israel attacked Egypt and took the Sinai, and attacked Syria and took the Golan. They argued that they were about to be attacked. The facts on the ground do not support them, but they might have actually believed it. Lots of wars have involved faulty intelligence.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria did attempt to take back the sinai and the golan. Israeli counterattacks did go beyond the sinai and golan, but Israel retreated to those lines after the fighting and did not attempt to hold more land than they had at the beginning of that war.

Israel has repeatedly attacked Lebanon, but has not tried to keep any of Lebanon and has never argued that any part of Lebanon belonged to Israel except for insignificant border adjustments.  They merely ran a 22 year occupation, without actually moving in israeli civilians to replace the displaced arabs or trying to integrate the area into the israeli economy. Keeping part of Lebanon for 22 years is different from trying to keep part of Lebanon, right?.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 24, 2011, 10:07:26 am
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I don't think they reason out that they are likely to be better off or unlikely to be worse off.

I don't think they reason it out, either.  Cheetahs on the chase certainly don't.  The lashing-out?  The restraint of trying to do the frustrating thing slowly and carefully -- and mindfully -- is tiring, so some nonrational, possibly instinctive "last dash" program kicks in, not unlike a cheetah putting on one last burst of speed.

Diplomacy is hard, tiring work, too, and not nearly as satisfying as bashing their heads in.

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I don't recall Israel ever attacking any other country the way [examples]

You wouldn't.  You've as much as said that you think Israelis are superior beings, not mere humans like the rest of us.
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 24, 2011, 11:54:35 am
As a result, nobody ever attacks Israel, and Israel attacks whoever they want.
In 1948, 1967, and 1973, the objective was to "drive Israel into the sea" - or, more accurately, place the Jews there under Muslim rule. The first two of these instances resulted in territorial gains by Israel.

I don't recall Israel ever attacking any other country the way Iraq under Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait, or Germany under Hitler attacked Poland - to gain territory and seize resources. Instead, any attacks Israel made, such as in 1967, when it upset the schedule for the knockout blow Egypt was preparing to deliver, or in 2007, when it attacked a nuclear plant in Syria, are similar to the attacks of the United States on Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Pakistan.

Just because you never knew why Israel kept the Golan Heights or the West Bank territory doesnt mean Israel didnt take those places for those very reasons.
Israel took and held Golan for two reasons, one they shouted about and one they whispered about.

The obvious reason was security; he who hold the high ground wins.
The other reason was water.  The Golan Heights are able to restrict downstream water supply to eastern Israel.
These are the same reasons why they took and held the West Bank.  It is also why they keep encroaching on more West Bank territory every day.  Prime farmland.

So, yes, the Israelis have waged battles of aggression over resources.  They continue to wafge a silent war against the Palestinians in the hopes that the Palestinians will starve, die, and go away. Thus ending the problem.

It is, you might say with a touch of historical irony, the Israelis "Final Solution" to the "[Palestinian'] Problem".
Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 24, 2011, 05:45:27 pm
1956, Israel attacked Egypt and took the Sinai. They argued that they had a good excuse, rather like Saddam argued he had a good excuse.

The difference being that they actually did have a good excuse.

1967, Israel attacked Egypt and took the Sinai, and attacked Syria and took the Golan.

You neglect to mention that Syria had been shelling Israel from the Golan heights starting in 1966.  Egypt and Syria were allied.

So it looks to me that Syria, with Egyptian support, attacked Israel in 1966.

They argued that they were about to be attacked.

Rather, they argued that they had been attacked, and that when they responded to Syria, Egypt would join in.  The war was pre-emptive with respect to Egypt, but reactive with respect to Egypt's ally, Syria.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: mellyrn on May 25, 2011, 06:47:27 am
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The difference being that they actually did have a good excuse.

Everybody always thinks they have a good excuse for war.  (Who ever argues, "Hey, I think I'll attack someone because it would be a stupid thing to do"?)

So, we attack because we think we have good reason.  Then, our friends agree that we did have a good reason, and our enemies say we didn't.

So when you speak up saying, "Yes, Soandso did have a good excuse", you're not exactly proving that yes they did so have a good excuse!, but only whose side you personally are on.

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You neglect to mention that Syria had been shelling Israel from the Golan heights starting in 1966.

Moshe Dayan, speaking in an interview in the late '70's:
"Never mind that [when asked that Syrians initiated the war from the Golan Heights]. After all, I know how at least 80 percent of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let's talk about 80 percent. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plough someplace where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was. I did that, and Laskov and Chara [Zvi Tsur, Rabin's predecessor as chief of staff] did that, Yitzhak did that, but it seems to me that the person who most enjoyed these games was Dado [David Elzar, OC Northern Command, 1964-69]."

"The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war." --Israeli Major-General Matityahu Peled [member of the General Staff during the Six Day War of 1967], Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972

"In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." --Menachem Begin, 8 August 1982

"Motti Golani [a historian at Haifa University] argues convincingly that prior to the attack of June 1967, the Israeli High Command organized a 'silent' putsch, blocked up all political solutions for the crisis and launched the war in order to expand." --Shraga Elam [Haifa-born israeli journalist], 14 February 2003

(emphasis added in all the above)

Go argue with them.

Title: Re: Anarchists proof of prosperity
Post by: sam on May 25, 2011, 05:15:32 pm
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You neglect to mention that Syria had been shelling Israel from the Golan heights starting in 1966.

Moshe Dayan, speaking in an interview in the late '70's:
"Never mind that [when asked that Syrians initiated the war from the Golan Heights]. After all, I know how at least 80 percent of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let's talk about 80 percent. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plough someplace where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end Syrians would get annoyed and shoot.

How outrageous.  Jews provoked people to kill them by attempting to plough their own land.  Such disgusting Jewish behavior.  They know perfectly well it would provoke people to kill them, but went ahead anyway  :-)