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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: mellyrn on May 09, 2012, 02:04:05 pm

Title: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 09, 2012, 02:04:05 pm
Today's strip (5/9/12, page 951) reminds me that I'm not clear on the terminology here.  What is a 'right'?

I know there are things I want for which I will fight with all I've got, like choosing for myself what I will or will not do.  That doesn't stop other people from trying to force or coerce me, so I may indeed have to have that fight.  At what point does this thing I want, to choose my own actions, acquire the mantle of a 'right', as in 'the right to choose for myself'?

Does the term only imply how hard I'll fight for it, how much trouble he can expect who tries to deny it to me?  Does it imply that I have a community of like-minded people who will help me fight for it?

(If I were a dictator, I'd make free speech a positive obligation.  How am I to know what people are thinking if they don't say it?)

Title: Re: rights
Post by: Andreas on May 09, 2012, 02:24:35 pm
First way of showing it is in contrast: A right is not a privilege (although having it respected can make one feel privileged) - a privilege is something gained, which means it's not the default, and also that it can be lost.
A right is also not an obligation, a right is a potential to demand, and everyone is always free to abstain from demanding.

A right is something you have by virtue of being born as you were. A human (human rights), a citizen (legal rights), a sentient being (philosophical rights).
A right is something that can be denied you (otherwise we could speak of a right to be material) - but unlike a privilege, denying a right can be seen as an act of violence. Defense of a privilege can be seen as robbery supported by history (historic events gave you something, something that was taken from others - defending the continuation of this misdistribution isn't ever completely ethical), whereas defense of a right cannot be seen as such.

And finally; the natural limit of any right, is where it leads to the violation of a right of others. That limit is seldom applied to privilege, which is why socialism has such appeal to so many.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 09, 2012, 04:02:48 pm
Rights are best explained "negatively"

Starting with the "big three", Life, Liberty, and Property:

The right to life is best explained as the right not to be murdered.

The right to liberty is best explained as the right not to be locked up.

The right to property is best explained as the right not to have your stuff stolen.

Rights prevent people (who respect them) from doing things, they do not oblige people to do things. In today's strip, the claim is made that "healthcare" is a human right. Let's examine that, shall we?

The right to healthcare, expressed negatively, is the right not to be prevented from receiving healthcare. This does not oblige someone to provide health care, but does keep people from forcibly stopping you from getting it.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 09, 2012, 06:18:03 pm
Quote
denying a right can be seen as an act of violence.

Aha!  I can work with this.  Things usually on a laundry list of "rights" have seemed to me to be "things which, if you tried to deny them to people, any reasonable person could tell you that you were just asking for trouble that way".  Way too longwinded & clumsy.  I couldn't ever get how anyone "had" the things themselves, not in any irrevocable way, so I was thinking that if both a right and a privilege could be taken away, how did they differ?  The only difference seemed to lie in the quality of the reaction to the attempted removal.  It still does, but Andreas' remark quoted above seems to say it all rather more succinctly.

As to myrkul999, I quite like the point that no one gets to (with impunity) actively prevent you from seeking care while at the same time no one is obligated to provide it to you, either, which the woman in today's strip apparently does not yet understand.  I think she has taken the, hmm, supernatural? view, that if you invoke the magic Name ("Right"), that somehow guarantees it to you.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Homer2101 on May 09, 2012, 07:19:50 pm
In American constitutional discourse, a right proscribes the government from doing something to you. A privilege (a "positive" right) requires the government to do something for you.

That's probably the best way to make a bright-line distinction between rights and privileges, and think it parallels what has already been said. There is a rather big gray area between positive and negative rights in practice. And it's not really common usage, so am not sure it is what Sandy means.

A "human" or "natural" right is something deemed so fundamental that all persons are considered to have it simply by being alive; it can be either a negative right, or a positive right (a privilege). Historically natural rights have been negative, as myrkul999 nicely illustrates. But they can be positive as well, because what is defined as a human right is almost entirely subjective. So there can be a positive right to healthcare,* and it can be deemed a natural right. Whether it should be a natural right is a different matter; not getting into it here unless someone really wants my opinion.

*Older constitutions are more concerned with negative rights. For example, the Bill of Rights is a list of things the federal and state governments cannot do. More recent constitutions tend to include positive rights, such as rights to shelter and to healthcare; some governments even manage to deliver on these promises, with varying degrees of success.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: SandySandfort on May 09, 2012, 07:44:33 pm
Everyone posting so far, has made good points. However, for precision and simplicity, myrkul999 best describes what a [natural] right is. It mells very well with the ZAP and fairly well with the Golden Rule. "Life, liberty and property" comes from John Locke, an English philosopher who strongly influenced Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers.

Rights are best explained "negatively"

Starting with the "big three", Life, Liberty, and Property:

The right to life is best explained as the right not to be murdered.

The right to liberty is best explained as the right not to be locked up.

The right to property is best explained as the right not to have your stuff stolen.

Rights prevent people (who respect them) from doing things, they do not oblige people to do things. In today's strip, the claim is made that "healthcare" is a human right. Let's examine that, shall we?

The right to healthcare, expressed negatively, is the right not to be prevented from receiving healthcare. This does not oblige someone to provide health care, but does keep people from forcibly stopping you from getting it.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 09, 2012, 07:51:43 pm
A "human" or "natural" right is something deemed so fundamental that all persons are considered to have it simply by being alive; it can be either a negative right, or a positive right (a privilege). Historically natural rights have been negative, as myrkul999 nicely illustrates. But they can be positive as well, because what is defined as a human right is almost entirely subjective. So there can be a positive right to healthcare,* and it can be deemed a natural right. Whether it should be a natural right is a different matter; not getting into it here unless someone really wants my opinion.

*Older constitutions are more concerned with negative rights. For example, the Bill of Rights is a list of things the federal and state governments cannot do. More recent constitutions tend to include positive rights, such as rights to shelter and to healthcare; some governments even manage to deliver on these promises, with varying degrees of success.

I respectfully disagree.  A government can offer privileges, such as national healthcare, and call them "rights", but that does not make them rights. Rights are something a sentient being is inherently born with.  
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on May 09, 2012, 08:51:17 pm
More recent constitutions tend to include positive rights, such as rights to shelter and to healthcare; some governments even manage to deliver on these promises, with varying degrees of success.

In practice, governments cannot deliver, and so lie about it.  Thus, for example, approximately ten percent of deaths in the Netherlands are murder by government. (http://blog.jim.com/economics/yes-ten-percent-of-netherlands-deaths-are-murder-by-government.html)  A civilized government, for example the Australian government says "Sorry, we try to provide free healthcare for everyone, but we cannot guarantee everyone all the medicine they might need, so you can buy health insurance, or face a risk of being sent home should you have an expensive ailment and no money to pay for it".  An uncivilized government, for example the Netherlands, guarantees everyone the right to healthcare, and then murders people as necessary to free up sufficient hospital beds.

By and large the four main causes of death in old people are difficulty breathing, difficulty excreting, difficulty eating, and heart failure.  If an old person shows up at the British National health with difficulty breathing, they sedate him, with benzodiazepines, which depresses his already inadequate breathing.  In other words, breathing difficulties under British national health are treated by murdering people who show up with an ailment that is difficult to treat, and if treated would probably result in them hanging around in hospital for years on artificial respiration.   The correct treatment for old people with breathing difficulties is oxygen, surgical treatment to clear their tubes, or a mechanical respirator, all of which are expensive and are likely to result in lengthy and indefinite hospital stays.  Instead, they get a treatment that will surely kill them in a week or so, thus preventing the apocalyptic scene of overflowing hospitals.

Title: Re: rights
Post by: Homer2101 on May 09, 2012, 09:29:23 pm
@Sam:

I noted that government success in delivering on constitutional promises varies. The statistics are publicly available for anyone who is interested in researching the matter further, rather than repeating populist agitprop* that has little basis in reality. If you want me to provide an opinion on the ethics of refusing to spend vast sums of limited public resources treating terminally ill geriatrics, I can do that in another post.


@myrkul999:

Renaming the animal does not change its nature. I am happy to substitute "privilege" for "positive right." The term "positive right" tends to come up in comparative political science literature which discusses constitutional provisions. I prefer the negative/positive terminology because it makes the distinction between the two concepts more apparent: a negative right is a right from something; a positive right (what you'd call a privilege) is a right to something.

But I do not think we are in disagreement over the distinction between rights and privileges.

I do disagree that all negative rights are natural rights, and that all human rights are negative rights, if I understand your position correctly. The two are not at all the same. A negative right is defined by its function -- it proscribes the government from doing something. A natural right can be either positive or negative; it can be either a "right" or a "privilege." Its defining characteristic is that we deem it an essential part of living in a civilized society.** Call them "natural privileges" if you must. The Second Amendment prevents the government from disarming the American population; but is the right to bear arms a "human right?" Are the Sixth Amendment guarantees rights or privileges, and are they natural rights? I am not arguing for either position, mind.

* Agitprop is oddly enough in the default browser spellchecker.
** We live at the leading edge of over two thousand years of Western legal and philosophical tradition. What we consider a natural right today was often not considered a natural right even two hundred years ago at the operational level; what we do not consider a natural right today may well be considered a natural right two hundred years from now.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Tucci78 on May 09, 2012, 09:32:46 pm
It might be best understood that the unalienable negative rights - life, liberty, and property - slide frictionlessly past each other, and are not only easily accommodated but utterly necessary for society to happen.

Society is not properly a concrete entity, but rather the process by which omnivorous naked killer apes - who will expediently slaughter and eat each other if circumstances facilitate such activities - manage to live in each others' company without behaving like the proverbial Kilkenny cats. 

The philosophers of the Enlightenment spoke of "the state of nature" as a condition of constant warfare between man and man, and members of our species were said to have "come in out of the state of nature" when by virtue of agreement to respect our respective rights we condition our peaceful (if not necessarily amicable) coexistence with the deadliest animals on the planet: our fellow H. sapiens sapiens.

This then facilitates a division of labor society and we begin speaking not only about psychology and sociology but economics, thus getting ourselves to von Mises' praxeology, the concerted study of all conscious human action. 

There can't be "conflicting rights" when it comes to these negative human rights.  Another person's right to go about his own life unmolested doesn't infringe upon another individual's precisely equal right to the same respect, and neither does the ineluctable corollary "unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon — rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission."

(Thank you, Mr. Smith, and why the hell aren't you serving the people resident in your congressional district as their voice in the U.S. House of Representatives?)

Positive rights, on the other hand, derive from the essential negative rights and pertain to voluntary dealings with fellow sovereign sapients in the disposition by exchange of the participating entities' tangible and intangible alienable property.

Even then, of course, there's no such thing as "conflicting rights" because everything grinds down to the question of which party has the right in each particular case, whereupon that right must be respected or things will be "getting pretty sporty down here."
Title: Re: rights
Post by: SandySandfort on May 09, 2012, 10:23:22 pm
I do disagree that all negative rights are natural rights, and that all human rights are negative rights, if I understand your position correctly. The two are not at all the same. A negative right is defined by its function -- it proscribes the government from doing something.

Actually, natural right have little or nothing to do with governments. They are prohibitions that apply to anyone. Under the ZAP, for example, no one may take your life by the initiation of force, nor may they deprive you of your liberty or property. So called, "governments" are just people. Each person who decides to follow the orders of another person--within government or not--is always responsible for the consequences of his acts. So the sheriff who seizes your property wrongly, may not say, "I was only following orders," since he has the power to say, no, to those orders.

A natural right can be either positive or negative; it can be either a "right" or a "privilege."

Not really. What you are calling a privilege is just permission giving by someone who has the right to give that permission. "Governments" have nothing to give other than that which they take from others (or are voluntarily given). Show me a "privilege" and I will show you either just the recognition of a pre-existing right or the denial of a right to whomever provided the privilege. All rights are negative and derived from Locke's three rights, life, liberty and property.

Its defining characteristic is that we deem it an essential part of living in a civilized society.** Call them "natural privileges" if you must. The Second Amendment prevents the government from disarming the American population; but is the right to bear arms a "human right?"

The natural right that the 2nd protects is self-defense, which is derived from Locke's right to life. I can expand on that, should anyone care.

Are the Sixth Amendment guarantees rights or privileges, and are they natural rights? I am not arguing for either position, mind.

I see the conceptual problem here. You think the first 10 amendments to the constitution are a list of "rights" (natural or otherwise). Bill of Rights is a misnomer that was applied to the first 10 amendments, after the fact. Though it recognizes the existence of certain rights, it's purpose is to explicitly limit the power of government in certain specific and implied areas. The "Bill of Rights" does not "grant" rights, nor are all its prohibitions necessarily about rights.

We live at the leading edge of over two thousand years of Western legal and philosophical tradition. What we consider a natural right today was often not considered a natural right even two hundred years ago at the operational level; what we do not consider a natural right today may well be considered a natural right two hundred years from now.

Whoa! Examples, please. And what are the weasel words, "at the operational level" supposed to mean? Let's just stick with Locke's life, liberty and property. You can derive all natural rights from just these three. The fact that somewhere, sometime people violated other people's right, does not mean they don't exist. Yes, all three are regularly violated by freelance criminals as well as criminals who call themselves the "government," but might does not make right. If we rigorously apply the ZAP to Locke's life, liberty and property, we have all the rules for living that we need to create a just society.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 09, 2012, 10:39:19 pm
The Second Amendment prevents the government from disarming the American population; but is the right to bear arms a "human right?" Are the Sixth Amendment guarantees rights or privileges, and are they natural rights? I am not arguing for either position, mind.

Tucci said it well, and Sandy nailed it down, all "positive" rights (they're actually negative rights, but it's easier to say "right to bear arms" than "right to not be disarmed") actually derive from the big three I used above. The right to bear arms is essentially just your right to use your Property* in order to defend your Life.  The fourth through eighth amendment guarantees are neither rights nor privileges, under the definitions we're using here. They are just what they are called, guarantees. Specifically, guarantees that the government will not abridge your right to Liberty without very good cause, and only after significant proof of that cause has been presented. Still, it's easier to refer to them as rights, and positively, so that's the way they get referred to.



*Capitalization intentional, I am here referring to the rights.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Homer2101 on May 09, 2012, 11:58:55 pm
It is rather amazing how much trouble my use of "positive right" instead of "privilege" has caused. At this point it is probably prudent to link to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_right) and leave it at that. This is why I prefer to use readily-acceptable terminology, rather than trying to define a concept like "privilege," which has a host of technical and colloquial definitions.


@myrkul999:

The Second Amendment very much involves a negative right. It is a quite express limitation on government power. A positive Second Amendment right would involve a mandate that the government distribute firearms. Some Amendments can be characterized as either, although they all functionally act to limit government power.


@Sandy:

At no point did I say that the Bill of Rights enumerates only negative rights. Else I would not have asked whether the Sixth Amendment enumerates rights or "privileges" (positive rights). The Sixth amendment is a limitation on government power.* But does it grant the privilege to a jury trial in criminal cases, or protect the right to a jury trial by preventing the government from using any other method? And is that right/privilege/whatever "natural?" There is no conceptual confusion. Nor do I understand why you think I am conflating permissions with positive rights, unless you are using the term "permission" in a specific sense I am not familiar with. If anything, we're probably in agreement that the Bill of Rights does not enumerate all that many actual rights as we define them.

As for specific examples of how natural rights are subjective, I thought they would be unnecessary. How inalienable and natural has Locke's right to property been considered historically? Does it extend to women? Quite a few of the Framers certainly did not think so, and that thinking was reflected in laws which barred women from entering into contracts or owning property independently. Is liberty inalienable and natural for non-Caucasians? The liberty of slaves was very much alienable and was hardly considered natural for much of early American history. I should not have to go into all the cases where the "right to life" of one group or another was both very alienable** and considered quite unnatural.

Fact of the matter is that what we consider "natural rights" were not considered natural for much of human history, except for a privileged few.

Some disagree, and argue that natural rights exist in the aether, waiting to be discovered. That is a matter of personal preference. I reject that notion just as strongly as I reject the sort of moronic moral relativism that was until recently in vogue. My point is that positive rights, whatever you want to call them, can be considered "natural." Whether they should be considered so is a different matter.

* It is true that positive and negative rights apply to individuals. But the usual discussion involves individuals acting collectively as part of that organization we call a government.

** Alienable in the sense that not only could a certain group's rights be denied, but that they should be denied.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 12:15:18 am
@myrkul999:

The Second Amendment very much involves a negative right. It is a quite express limitation on government power. A positive Second Amendment right would involve a mandate that the government distribute firearms. Some Amendments can be characterized as either, although they all functionally act to limit government power.

A more careful reading of my post will show that I did not imply that the 2A was a positive right, only that it was expressed as one for ease of reading and of writing. I also stated that 4-8, while, again, are expressed as positive rights, are actually nothing more or less than promises, from the government, to respect your right of Liberty. Promises, I would like to point out, that they are working very hard to break.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Oneil on May 10, 2012, 03:09:58 am
Isn't it funny how it's always the banner of "Rights" or "Privileges" when any group is describing government.  The yardstick has and always will be personal freedom.

Absolute freedom means one is free to do what ever they desire at any time no matter what.  Obviously if you think about that a moment you see the problems it presents.


With that, If myrkul999 explanation below fails to explain to you how "Right's" protect "Freedom" if you view it from a negative perspective...

Rights are best explained "negatively"

Starting with the "big three", Life, Liberty, and Property:

The right to life is best explained as the right not to be murdered.

The right to liberty is best explained as the right not to be locked up.

The right to property is best explained as the right not to have your stuff stolen.

Rights prevent people (who respect them) from doing things, they do not oblige people to do things. In today's strip, the claim is made that "healthcare" is a human right. Let's examine that, shall we?

The right to healthcare, expressed negatively, is the right not to be prevented from receiving healthcare. This does not oblige someone to provide health care, but does keep people from forcibly stopping you from getting it.

Then I do this, describe any government and measure it by the the wisdom in the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his Four Freedoms Speech - The Declarations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms#The_Declarations).

Read the full speech at the link and realize "Freedom of Fear" in 1941 prioritized global war as a danger to all people, more-so than than being robbed or murdered as the "Freedom from Fear" should cover as well,  but to summarize as most do..

    Freedom of speech and expression
    Freedom of worship
    Freedom from want
    Freedom from fear
 
I will let someone else expand on the Fifth Freedom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_freedom) that may be part of this theme.  I think it was covered under "Freedom from Want" myself..
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 04:18:44 am
Absolute freedom means one is free to do what ever they desire at any time no matter what.  Obviously if you think about that a moment you see the problems it presents.
  • "Bob has a bad night and decides your house blocks his view of the sunrise, with a little explosive he removes it with you still inside.  In a world of absolute freedom he has done nothing wrong.. "

Well, here's the catch:
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/freedom.png)

Everyone has absolute freedom. That's the definition of free will. However, my freedom to swing my fist without consequence ends at your face, and the other way 'round. That's what rights are, the boundaries that mark where the consequences start.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Andreas on May 10, 2012, 07:38:00 am
Are the primaries over, or why has Santorum taken to trolling these forums?  ::)
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Azure Priest on May 10, 2012, 08:29:17 am
It is also VERY important to differentiate between a "right" and a "good."

Good: A commodity or service which can be purchased, or bartered.

Right: A fundamental concept that can not be denied except where it comes into conflict with another right or when it is abused to deliberately cause harm to others.

Example: The right to engage in worship does not entitle a worshiper of some pagan/ Elder God deity to go around slaughtering people to "offer their souls unto the one 'true' god."

In yesterday's strip, 05/09/2012, one of the merry Pilgrims stated "health care is a basic right."

Health care, ie a service or commodity provided explicitly for the well being of the body, is a GOOD.

As such, nobody has a RIGHT to health care, food, shelter, or any of life's necessities without purchasing or bartering for them.

Under ideal conditions, a health care practitioner SHOULD have the the ability to accept or refuse service to anyone just like any other merchant. This is far from the case. As a result, health care in most "modern" nations has become a tangled web of insurance, regulations and lawsuits that just keeps driving the price higher and higher with everyone wondering "why,"
and nobody willing to budge an inch for fear of getting steamrolled.

Fortunately, today's strip sidesteps the whole debacle by making the pilgrims realize that "if we want to get away from high taxes, we have to give up the perks those taxes gave us."

Unlike in real life where "progressives" flee a high tax environment, and then push to institute the very policies and programs that created the high taxes they fled from.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Bob G on May 10, 2012, 08:33:38 am
I like to illustrate the divide by my response to someone who says, "I have a right to be heard!":

   No, you don't have a right to be heard. You have a right to say what you like (even, contrary to popular opinion, the right to shout, "Fire!" in a crowded theater*), but that doesn't mean that anyone has to listen to you.
   Your speaking does not interfere with anyone else's rights, and if what you have to say attracts attention from others, then mazel tov to you. If you had a 'right to be heard', that would mean that, if what you said wasn't interesting enough to draw a crowd the governent would have the power to go out and round up an audience for you at catlle prod or bayonet point. This definitely would interfere with the rights of those so affected.

*Indeed, there might be a time when it was incumbent upon you to do so, as in when the theater was actually on fire and people were in danger. What you cannot do is use your right to speak as a defense or justification for your action if you falsely do so, and people or property are harmed as a result.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 10, 2012, 08:38:08 am
Quote
So the right ta life is not just the right not ta be murdered but also the right ta be protected. The right ta liberty is not just the right not ta be locked up (or ta be denied the protection of the law) but also the right ta be granted freedom (or granted the protection of the law). And the right ta property is not just the right not ta have yer stuff stolen, but also the right ta be given stuff you need.

Mmm, I don't think so, except for the middle one. 

I say it's never OK to compel someone to take an action.  It is OK to compel him to refrain from some action.  This is because, in compelling action, you are co-opting -- stealing -- from him his most inalienable "property", i.e., his time and his energy.  In compelling refraining from action, we still leave him his own time & energy to use in some other fashion.

The "right not to be locked up" and the "right to be granted freedom" -- since you are free, you just are, up until someone takes some definitive action to capture you, here we're simply requiring the captor to cease & desist.

But the other two?  You're alive and well until you aren't; we can require others to refrain from harming or killing.  But to require others to take positive action to prevent your harm or death crosses the line into co-opting their time and energy for your good.  And as for property?  The right "to be given" stuff?  By whom, exactly?  There's only us here, and if we all have the "right" to "be given" stuff, who's supposed to do the giving?  The infamous "them"?

True, I wouldn't much like sharing a community with someone who consistently refused to help protect other members of the community.  Which brings me back to

Quote
Society is not properly a concrete entity, but rather the process by which omnivorous naked killer apes - who will expediently slaughter and eat each other if circumstances facilitate such activities - manage to live in each others' company without behaving like the proverbial Kilkenny cats.

The philosophers of the Enlightenment spoke of "the state of nature" as a condition of constant warfare between man and man, and members of our species were said to have "come in out of the state of nature" when by virtue of agreement to respect our respective rights we condition our peaceful (if not necessarily amicable) coexistence with the deadliest animals on the planet: our fellow H. sapiens sapiens.

Oh, please.  Hobbes was traumatized by civil war, and in any case couldn't know that the reason humans don't live like the Kilkenny cats is simply that we're not cats, inherently asocial creatures, but humans -- and humans tend to die when we don't have a community.  We're not as group-dependent as bees, but we're not all that far off from them, either.  Society is not an artifice imposed on a bunch of cats to make them behave more like bees, but is humankind's "state of nature".

We do kill other humans -- but we only kill "our own" in some fit of passion.  In fact, it's rather a measure of the extent of your tribe:  whom you'd be aghast at killing, versus whom you're OK with killing.  Someone who considers you one of the pack, the tribe, will probably quite freely leap to your defense if you're threatened with harm -- he is acting, and from his own point of view, too, in defense of his own good:  he sees you as an inherent part of it.  If he has to be forced into it, then obviously he does not consider you one of "his".

Someone who wouldn't use his time & energy to protect me doesn't consider me one of "his" people -- so I'd be disinclined to regard him as one of mine.  Forcing him to pretend to care about me wouldn't serve either of us.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on May 10, 2012, 08:58:16 am
Okay, I'll jump in.  A right is a concept about what people ought to be able to do, or not prevented from doing.  Sure, you can have a "laundry list" of rights, but an exhaustive list would be ridiculous and impossible, as rights are essentially a sphere of actions that one should be free to do.  Rights are normative.

The Constitution allegedly limits government, not rights themselves, unless of course your idea of government is that it's supposed to protect your rights.  However, while the Constitution lists some rights, it doesn't try to offer an exhaustive list or even define rights.

My definition above is a bit vague.  While I certainly agree with the libertarian idea of negative rights and that there really is no such thing as positive rights, I no longer know how or where to derive these rights outside of what we as a society, are trying to accomplish.  Rights, like morals, are merely a means to an end.  What end?  I and most people, I think, want a peaceful, progressive, and productive society to meet our needs and desires.  If that is your goal for society, then the libertarian conception of rights is the "right" one, and other types of rights are wrong and held mistakenly by some people. 

Obviously, if you don't want a peaceful, progressive, and productive society, then the libertarian conception of rights are not what you want.  Also, I probably don't want to associate with you if I don't have to.

Rights are normative concepts, so enforcing or protecting those rights is a secondary question after you've defined them.  While many people can probably be persuaded to the libertarian conception of rights, some means or mechanism is occasionally necessary for protecting rights. 

We might hold that the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect rights, but I no longer believe that government is the best means of protecting rights, as governments cannot exist (as we know them) without initial rights violations.  Not even a "limited" government.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: customdesigned on May 10, 2012, 10:51:26 am

Based on the premises above, it'd be the government. And it wouldn't "steal" them from others, but purchase them then give them to those who need. Throughout history there have been governments that were wealthy enough through revenue intake to pay for services for its citizens, such as free water, free education, free food when required, free medical services, and so forth. The US is wealthy enough to do this, but to try would run us smack into the old "guns vs. butter" debate. We could probably pay for all sorts of free services by cutting military spending by a quarter or even a third without sacrificing our ability to defend ourselves, but would people be willing to do that?
What your analysis leaves out is the "government" is formed of people who are neither more nor less trustworthy and honorable that the citizens.  If someone is a petty thief, they will still be a petty thief as a "civil servant", but with a vastly greater take.  If they are a violent thug, they will still be a violent thug in law enforcement.  In the US, the Federal government has become the worlds largest corporation, and has all the maladies in spades that liberals complain about in private corporations.   I have often thought that even Socialists should be leary of putting all their eggs in one corporate basket.  The name of the USSR suggests at least an attempt at independent socialist states.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on May 10, 2012, 11:02:35 am

We should point out, however, that in a practical sense, for a government to compel people to restrain from harming others, it must put into place rules and regulations that would prevent that harm, then enforce them with inspections to make sure people are in compliance. Otherwise, all the government can do is wait until someone is harmed, then punish those who did the harm (assuming there is even a rule or regulation against the action that caused the harm). In other words, the government must not only restrain from killing but also actively protect. That's what we meant by a right to be protected.
"Actively protect" still doesn't imply an obligation on those being protected.  The policeman on the beat is actively protecting, by his presence and by keeping an eye on things.  But where are rights involved in this?  Private security people do the same thing.  In both cases, they are paid to do this--it's a service, not a right.

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Based on the premises above, it'd be the government. And it wouldn't "steal" them from others, but purchase them then give them to those who need. Throughout history there have been governments that were wealthy enough through revenue intake to pay for services for its citizens, such as free water, free education, free food when required, free medical services, and so forth. The US is wealthy enough to do this, but to try would run us smack into the old "guns vs. butter" debate. We could probably pay for all sorts of free services by cutting military spending by a quarter or even a third without sacrificing our ability to defend ourselves, but would people be willing to do that?

Governments have no money until they tax their citizens--involuntary taxation IS stealing, no matter what they do with the money afterwards.  And that's before we even get into how government spending skews the market.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on May 10, 2012, 11:58:29 am
What your analysis leaves out is the "government" is formed of people who are neither more nor less trustworthy and honorable that the citizens.  If someone is a petty thief, they will still be a petty thief as a "civil servant", but with a vastly greater take.  If they are a violent thug, they will still be a violent thug in law enforcement.  In the US, the Federal government has become the worlds largest corporation, and has all the maladies in spades that liberals complain about in private corporations.   I have often thought that even Socialists should be leary of putting all their eggs in one corporate basket.  The name of the USSR suggests at least an attempt at independent socialist states.

Sunny: Fair enough.

Of course, not everyone in government is a petty thief or a violent thug. In fact, the vast majority are not, and many are conscientious dedicated people. However, if we grant your premise, then the free market would also run by petty thieves and violent thugs. Consider the trusts before and during the [Teddy] Roosevelt administration, or the poor quality of many pharmaceuticals and the squalid conditions of many food processing plants before the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Consider the highly risky and out of control investmenting that led to the Great Depression and the Great Recession. If the government cannot be trusted because of the thieves and thugs who run it, than neither can the free market.
You're going  by faulty stereotypes, here, not actual history.  The Federal Reserve, for example, was created in 1913, and its policies led to the Great  Boom (The Roaring 20s) and the then inevitable bust (the Great Depression).  Then, as now, the Fed pumped new money into the financial markets and distorted market information.

And, of course, the differences between a government and a free market are immense.  A government has the legal authority to initiate force under various circumstances.  People in a free market may occasionally initiate force or fraud, but they have no legal authority to do so, and once identified, are thus recognized for what they are: criminals.
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Then again, according to the Constitution, "We the People" ARE the government, so if the government sucks, it's our fault.

Sure, sure.  A Congressman 'represents' how many thousands of people?  And he's going to listen to one person over everyone else that wants to talk to him/bribe him/blackmail him?

Of course, you can always vote them out of office--IF you can get enough people to agree with you, on election day, every 2 or 4 or 6 years, and IF there's somebody else worth voting for.  Restrictions on third party and independent candidates mean fewer candidates to choose from.

On the other hand, instead of waiting for an election day, I can change which store I buy from ANY day of the week, or even buy from more than one store on the same day.  And if they don't have what I want, I don't even have to buy from them!

So tell me again exactly how it works that "we the people" are the government?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 10, 2012, 12:02:46 pm
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IF Premise 1 is correct,

Ah.  OK.  I don't think it is correct, as I think the most fundamental "natural right" (if I may so use the term) is the right to allocate one's own time & energy as one sees fit.  There may be no one I'd actively harm, but there are a few people I wouldn't throw a life preserver to if they were drowning.  Others retain the right (heh) to react to my inaction as they see fit.

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(assuming there is even a rule or regulation against the action that caused the harm)

I've elsewhere proposed a single law:  Primum non nocere, or do no harm.  Merely lacking a regulation specifically against, say, dumping arsenic in the communal water supply shouldn't mean that we just let the dumper do so until the regulation gets written.  So the practice would be, if you considered yourself harmed, you'd call for community action against the harm-inflicter; this might mean an arbiter and a community panel, if an anarchy, or it might mean a judge and a couple armies of lawyers, if a state, in order to determine if you are just a whiner or if you have a legitimate complaint.  Which is, in fact, what we do despite having so many laws no one person could learn them all in even the most extraordinary modern lifetime -- someone always says, "No, that regulation does not apply to me and here's why", and the courts have to be used to decide whether or not it does.  So the only difference my single law would make is, it would hurt the paper industry something fierce.

Oh, and put lawmakers out of business.

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for a government to compel people to restrain from harming others, it must put into place rules and regulations that would prevent that harm, then enforce them with inspections to make sure people are in compliance.

I work in the nuclear industry, and I can tell you that that only provides the appearance of active protection.  My best boss got canned for, in effect, not personally holding the hand of a subordinate each and every workday making sure said subordinate did not get sloppy.  The regulations were there.  The inspections were there.  Extra visits by the supervisor, my boss, were there.  Yet the plutonium got spilled and tracked around anyway because the immediate supervisor, the guy who evidently needed to have his hand held at all times, got sloppy.  I do not know why he wasn't canned, but, that's gubmint for ya.

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In other words, the government must not only restrain from killing but also actively protect. That's what we meant by a right to be protected.

The only way for a government to protect me as I walk down the street is to have agents stationed on every corner.  It's not free; I can't require these actual other human beings to stand on guard for me just because I have an alleged "right" to "be protected".  I can buy their services, however.  If it's my "right", why should I have to buy it?  "They" should have to provide it; if I have to buy it -- either by paying a sensei or bodyguard directly, or indirectly via taxes -- it's not a "right", it's a purchase.  And in the case of a direct purchase, I can sue for failure to protect; in the case of, say, police, they can ignore me, hell, they can even kill me, with impunity, and as they are agents of the very same system that would put them on trial (conflict of interest, much?), there's not a damned thing I can do to them.

Or maybe you're meaning that "right" = "what a government is supposed to provide"? 

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Based on the premises above, it'd be the government. And it wouldn't "steal" them others, but purchase them

Government agents could only purchase goods with funds it had previously stolen.  My church buys stuff for the local food kitchen with funds the members have freely contributed -- and no one gets kicked out of the church if they can't contribute, if they can't contribute some amount determined by church agents, or if they just plain don't want to, so it's a genuine gift when it is given.  We don't think the soup kitchen clients have a "right" to the food; we don't think they have any kind of claim on us; we give it because we want to, because we think it's the "human" thing to do.

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The US is wealthy enough

"The US" is a way to avoid facing each and every American individual and personally force them to fork over however much you think should be forked over.  It's not free.  It's paid for by actual individual human beings.  TANSTAAFL, and all that.

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Premise 2: Natural rights place restrictions on government action.

I'd say that not only is Premise 2 not correct, I'd say that natural rights preclude government as a legitimate entity at all.

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Of course, not everyone in government is a petty thief or a violent thug. In fact, the vast majority are not, and many are conscientious dedicated people.

One of these is true (my thanks to freedomainradio.com):

1)All people are criminals.
2)Most people are criminals.
3)Some people are criminals.
4)No people are criminals.

If 4) is true, we don't need government.

If 1) is true, who the hell cares if we have a government or not?

In the case of 2) and 3), if there is a government, it will come to be run by criminals because criminals tend to seek power if for no other reason than to prevent "authority" from punishing them for their crimes, by being that authority and refusing to punish themselves.

There is no system that "normals" can develop that can't be taken over by psychopaths or criminal types (and if it can be, it will be) . . . except no system at all.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 12:10:42 pm
Actually, we're not arguing that the free market IS run by thieves and thugs, at least no more so than any other human enterprise. We're arguing that the fallibility of people is not a sufficient excuse to discount an entire organization, whether it be the free market or government.

You're right. Human fallibility is not the reason we discount organizations like the government. We discount them because of their methods. A government is defined by the method of its revenue generation: Taxes. Taxes are theft, pure and simple. If a company that didn't have a flag took money by force to run its operations, we'd call them criminals. With the flag, we call them government. Anarchists simply ignore the flag and call them as they are, criminals.

And if you think US taxation is "voluntary", try saying "No, thanks, I'll pass on paying". See how well that works out for you.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on May 10, 2012, 12:47:08 pm
TeamGirl:  an interesting proposition, that we are obligated to protect the rights of others.  I certainly agree with where it comes from, "They came for the others and I did not care because they were not me.  They came for me and there was nobody left to care."  The catch, perhaps with the entire concept of a right, is that any force sufficient to compel someone to not violate the rights of others is necessarily also sufficient to violate these rights.  

The problem with claiming that taxes are voluntary is that there is no actual way to avoid them.  Indeed, you could only legitimately avoid them if you also avoided all services that they provide, which is what people are doing in the story by moving to the Belt.  Alas, our current reality has no Belt that we can reach, because governments have claimed all available land.  Well, there was that interesting experiment where somebody built an island in international waters, but that really got messed up when people said "hey, that must be our land now!"

The right to drive is interesting also:  the simple right itself is clearly the right just to use your own property.  The right to drive in a manner harmful to others clearly does not exist.  How do we differentiate between the two?  The government model is to require a licence and then to fine/imprison you whenever they feel you are driving unsafely, enforced by spending money to keep people out there just to catch you.  The AnCap model is to let you drive unsafely until you actually do damage, then require you to pay for the damage, although in principle your friends will at least slow this down.  But we all have seen people we simply do not wish to share the road with, out of fear for our own lives.  Of course, the people that own the roads would probably end up with some level of traffic police.  (no commons, and a reasonable protection of their investment)

Mellyrn:  I think I can get behind the concept of a body of law that simple.  A great deal of our current law is merely an expansion of that concept, much of the rest should probably be destroyed(I don't care if you do harm to yourself), and I think the remainder is regulations designed to make it easier to enforce the first part.  

On the other hand, I also think that "no system" will get taken over by the psychopaths as well.  Clearly, at some point in our history, there was no law beyond "might makes right."  Somewhere in there we developed the machinery of government, and it quickly led to those in power competing for ever more power, and all the problems of unlimited monarchy that I think is completely anathema to most people around here.

Macsnafu:  I think I agree.  Every seven years is probably too rare for a revolution.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on May 10, 2012, 12:56:27 pm

It's true a legislator has to balance the needs and demands of all his constituents, and it's true that in addition to his service he also owes them his leadership, meaning he sometimes votes in ways he feels is in their best interests even if they are opposed to it. However, no legislator can cavalierly disregard the opinion of any constituent. Plus, part of being a legislator is being an ombudsman. Most are very conscientious about helping a constituent in need, even if only for the cynical reason of hoping to get your vote. If they will help with a personal problem, they will listen to your opinion.
Generally, when a congressman helps a constituent, they are helping them circumvent the law, or they help one person while many others still fall through the cracks.  At best, it is still a waste of the congressman's time, because it means he isn't doing "congressional" stuff.

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Hmm. Well, we don't want to dispute your view of things, though we would say that we don't think cynicism makes for a good or rational argument. However, using your market example, we would suggest you can move to a different part of the country where the local constituents and their legislators believe as you do. That's called the free marketplace of politics.
Cynical or not, did I say something that was factually incorrect? 

Furthermore, I don't have to move to a different area to shop at different stores--why should I have to do so for representation?  Of course, almost all states have restrictions on third party and independent candidates, although, to be fair, they are not all equally onerous.  Even so, government institutions themselves tend to have partisan politics ingrained in them.  Think for example, of the Majority and Minority Leaders in Congress. 

Also, all governments are based upon involuntary taxation.  Sure, some have more and some have less taxes, but they all have them.  Governments also tend to be defined by their monopoly control over a given area, and not just taxation.  They claim the legal authority to control it and enforce laws over it. 

So I don't really see where this "free marketplace of politics" actually exists.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 12:57:34 pm
Hmm. Well, we don't want to dispute your view of things, though we would say that we don't think cynicism makes for a good or rational argument. However, using your market example, we would suggest you can move to a different part of the country where the local constituents and their legislators believe as you do. That's called the free marketplace of politics.

It's not cynicism. It's plain facts. Bad people want power. Dispute that. Please prove to me that evil men (and women) do not want power.

And while you're at it, Find me a place on the map where the government allows competition for ALL it's "services", and only charges me for those services it actually provides me.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 01:19:31 pm
Eile: That's not what we meant by involuntary. See our earlier post for that.

Unfortunately, you don't get to define words.

voluntary: (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/voluntary)
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done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one's own accord or by free choice: a voluntary contribution.

Even (in fact, especially) if we use the "law" definition:
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acting or done without compulsion or obligation.

We still have the clear and blatant fact that taxation is not voluntary. You are correct in stating that no law is "voluntary" either, since when they write it down, it becomes compulsory. I would, however, point out at this point a fine quote from R. A. Heinlein:

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 10, 2012, 02:02:43 pm
Today's strip (5/9/12, page 951) reminds me that I'm not clear on the terminology here.  What is a 'right'?

I know there are things I want for which I will fight with all I've got, like choosing for myself what I will or will not do.  That doesn't stop other people from trying to force or coerce me, so I may indeed have to have that fight.  At what point does this thing I want, to choose my own actions, acquire the mantle of a 'right', as in 'the right to choose for myself'?

Does the term only imply how hard I'll fight for it, how much trouble he can expect who tries to deny it to me?  Does it imply that I have a community of like-minded people who will help me fight for it?

(If I were a dictator, I'd make free speech a positive obligation.  How am I to know what people are thinking if they don't say it?)

A "right" is an ability to pursue an action, or abstain from an action.  A right is granted by a higher power, but can only be taken away as a punishment from a higher power, as an act of violence, or as willing suspension ("give up your rights")
Examples of "higher powers" include, God (or Creator of choice), any form of government that you agree has power over you, or the opinion of the majority of the people in your society.

An "inalienable" right is one that is inherent to you, and cannot be separated from you except through acts of violence.  Because an inalienable right was never given to you, no government or majority opinion can take it away; such groups can merely suppress such rights, usually through violence or threat of violence.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 10, 2012, 02:17:58 pm
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it's the unsupported illogical leap from there to the conclusion that no government (made up of people by implication) can be trusted.

OK, I'll spell it out.

Imagine an election.  The candidates are Joe Normal and Jack Psychopath, but since Jack is a psychopath, you, the voter, know him as Jack Charming.  He's a con man.  That means he's good at getting you to trust him, even though he does not deserve it.

Since Joe is a normal, that by psychological definition means that there are things he will not do, things to which he will not stoop, in order to win office.

Since Jack is a criminal, he will do anything -- lie, cheat, steal and kill -- in order to "win" the office.

Who is more likely -- not guaranteed, merely more likely -- to get elected?  Normals won't assassinate rivals; criminals will.  Normals won't bribe the vote-counters to miscount or bribe the homeless with food to go in and cast extra votes under the names of dead people; criminals will.  Normals won't hire a data company to comb the voting rolls in order to cull felons from the rolls and tell said data company that a mere 80% match is good enough to strike a name from the registered-voter list; a criminal would, and did (though she was never even charged with a crime, that doesn't make it any less criminal).

Now let's add a new level:

I want power, and I think in a much longer time range than most people.  So I get my two godsons (not related, see) to run for office, each in a different party.  Then I don't care which party is most favored in the election; either way, my man is in office.  I can even let the elections be ever so fair; I still control.

Please cease from dismissing as "cynicism" conclusions you simply don't like.

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We would argue that based on historical precedence, that conclusion does not automatically follow from the stated premise.

What planet are you from?  Name me a US president who kept a campaign promise and quote the promise and cite the keeping of it.

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properly legislated taxation by representatives you help to elect

a) I didn't help elect them.  For one thing, when Candidate1 strongly supports causes A and B, which I favor, but opposes C, D, and E, which I also favor; and Candidate2 oppposes A, supports B, C, and D and opposes E, and I only get one vote, what in hell do you think I'm voting for?  Neither one of these people represents me.  Honestly, have you ever seen a candidate with whom you agreed in all particulars?

b) Representatives?  In 2008, when the bank bailouts were first proposed, calls to "representatives" were said to be running 300-to-1 against; one pundit joked the calls were split 50-50:  "50% 'no' and 50% 'hell, no'!"  But the bailouts passed.  Oh, yeah, real representative, there.

c) When they don't even read the bills they pass (try a search on "congressmen don't even read the bills they pass")??  How in the hell is that anything I had any power over?


Killydd:
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On the other hand, I also think that "no system" will get taken over by the psychopaths as well

Yeah, I see what you mean; otoh, "no system" lacks a center of power for the taking. 
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 02:24:08 pm
It's not cynicism. It's plain facts. Bad people want power. Dispute that. Please prove to me that evil men (and women) do not want power.

Eile: We said we wouldn't reply to irrational arguments, but you challenged us, so [get 'em, tiger!]:

Sunny: The a priori claim that "bad people want power" isn't what we disagree with; it's the unsupported illogical leap from there to the conclusion that no government (made up of people by implication) can be trusted. The burden of proof is on you to present a logical argument that shows how we get from the premise to the conclusion, then provide empirical evidence to support it. We would argue that based on historical precedence, that conclusion does not automatically follow from the stated premise.

No? I could state any number of historical and current references which back up the conclusion. But I'm not going to. Instead, I'll just present logic. If you really want examples, I can list them if you want.

Let's assume that some portion, but not all, people are predisposed to corruption. Governments, as you stated, are made up of people. We'll even give you the benefit of the doubt and allow that government is a representative slice of the population, rather than skewed toward those who enter into politics in order to gain power (we'll assume they're offset by the percentage of people who enter into politics with the intention of helping people).

So now we have a representative slice of the population, which, by virtue of being in government, have power over the rest of the population. As was stated before, the population is composed of some people who would, if given the chance, rob you blind, and some who would not. since the government is (ideally) representative of it's people, so too is the government composed of some people who would, if given the chance, rob you blind, and some who would not.

So now, we have a government agency, composed of some people who would, if given the chance, rob you blind, and some who would not, which, by virtue of being in government, have power over the rest of the population. The people who are willing to use immoral and illegal means to advance their position will, by their very nature, use those means, and thereby advance their position faster and further than those who would not. Internal audits and the like will catch some, but not all of these people. Those that are left are the most ruthless, and the best at not getting caught. They will, by that "virtue", rise to the top of the power structure, to a position where they can then control the internal investigations, steering them away from themselves, and potentially allies, as well.

So now, we have a government agency, the upper echelons of which are composed of people who would, given the chance, rob you blind, and the lower ranks comprised of people who would not, which, by virtue of being in government, have power over the rest of the population. You'll note that I did not once mention elections, because the vast majority of government agencies are not peopled by elected representatives, but simply people hired off the streets. I left out elections for another reason, but that one is best left to another discussion. Mellryn sufficiently covered elections, anyway.

Cynical? Damn right. But it's backed up by historical precedent, and has been shown to happen time and again.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 02:43:28 pm
But there are other ways to consent to something.

Ah. So now we find the root of the disagreement. Anarchists (and many libertarians) do not acknowledge any form of consent except explicit. An oft-repeated line is "I didn't sign the Constitution". The idea of consenting to something by the act of being born is patently ridiculous. That is what you're saying with "As a citizen of the US, or even just a resident, you all tacitly consent of your own free will to be governed by the Constitution."
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on May 10, 2012, 02:45:00 pm

Fair enough. But yer own market analogy claims you can change venues at will. A government venue may be bigger, but that doesn't invalidate your own analogy that you could change to another if you wanted to.

And there are districts, communities, counties, even whole states that have eliminated taxes, so yer claim is factually incorrect. The remaining taxes you allude to that still exist are those applied by the other government levels that haven't eliminated their taxes.

I'm not sure what you're talking about there.  For example, Alaska, with no taxes, does so by selling oil which was bought by the US from Russia back in the 19th Century.  That money came from taxes in one form or another, and went to a country that, like all other major powers at the time, pretty much just walked in, planted a flag, and supported its claims with military might.  Ah, the wonderful days of colonialism when small communities simply didn't matter.  Of course, most communities don't have such nationalized resources at their disposal to sell.  Of course, I could see rationalizing property taxes as simply the state renting out land to the current owner, at a variable rate based on increasing with improvements that said renter made to his property.

And of course, that doesn't get into the financial and social costs of actually picking up and moving to a different location, which certainly reduces such choices.  

On the other hand, let us consider a fully democratic community, that decides by a two-thirds margin to raise taxes for a specific project.  You still have that one third that voted against it, and is now being assessed a fee that they disagree with, even if they will also be benefiting from it.  While I agree that this is fair, many disagree with this scenario.  

mellyrn:  
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What planet are you from?  Name me a US president who kept a campaign promise and quote the promise and cite the keeping of it.
 
Certainly not all campaign promises are kept, and certainly some are poorly carried out, but some have been.  Part of the problem with perception here is that opponents take every chance to remind you of things that they didn't do correctly.  http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/141/make-military-deployments-predictable-for-troops-a/ is one recent example, though I certainly admit he has also broken his share of them.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 10, 2012, 02:57:00 pm
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they're starting to degenerate into irrationality and insults, which we won't respond to.

Kettle.  Black.

You're both very cute and you're both obviously bright, and if either of you is of voting age yet, I'll be quite surprised. 


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Certainly not all campaign promises are kept

I stand guilty of hyperbole.  Yet there is a reason the joke, "How can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving" is funny.  It's painfully funny.  I truly do not know why people keep going back to the voting booth as if it mattered.  How many times do you have to be lied to before you grow even a little caution about placing your trust?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on May 10, 2012, 03:09:37 pm
Mellyrn, I'd certainly agree that we need more accountability to promises.  But do we try to keep the guy in that kept his promise on 80% of the issues where we disagreed anyway, or the one with no track record yet, but promises to be more like us?  I guess to me it's all like choosing between McDonald's and Burger king when you want a good taco anyway.  There has to be a better way, but anarchy doesn't feel like it, at least not in the long run.  Of course, I'm also somewhat amazed that Boner didn't have more of a riot on his hands.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 10, 2012, 03:11:49 pm
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There has to be a better way

I'm with you there.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 03:14:54 pm
I guess to me it's all like choosing between McDonald's and Burger king when you want a good taco anyway.  There has to be a better way, but anarchy doesn't feel like it, at least not in the long run. 

I'm curious. Why not, when Market Anarchy will allow you to go to Taco Bell (or Del Taco, or Taco Casa or...)?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Andreas on May 10, 2012, 03:38:34 pm
I have a lot of respect for thrift, but I would like to point out that the bytes involved in a user profile are not a limited resource, and so it strikes me as entirely preposterous for what seems to be two people to use a single account to contribute to a discussion. No offense, that's the response it engenders in me. I am put off, and when I am put off, I tend to completely disregard the cause.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 04:04:03 pm

The idea of consenting to something by the act of being born is patently ridiculous. That is what you're saying with "As a citizen of the US, or even just a resident, you all tacitly consent of your own free will to be governed by the Constitution."

Sunny: You are absolutely right. What we should have said was, "By choosing to remain a resident of the US, you all tacitly consent of your own free will to be governed by the Constitution." Thank you for pointing that out.

Which is the same response statists have always used: "If you don't like it, you can always leave". Rest assured, that if a place existed where I could go, and expect my rights to be respected, I would. Unfortunately, there is no belt to escape to yet, so I cannot. As it is, I am a member of The Shire Society (some of you may recognize the seal on my picture), and will be moving to New Hampshire to participate in the Free State Project (Which, according to the current EFT story arc's exposition, dooms me to an early death... I am willing to take that risk). I hope to make that place, so that when people like you trot out that old saw, the other person has an option to take. And I assure you, they will. And we will welcome them.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on May 10, 2012, 04:28:03 pm

The idea of consenting to something by the act of being born is patently ridiculous. That is what you're saying with "As a citizen of the US, or even just a resident, you all tacitly consent of your own free will to be governed by the Constitution."

Sunny: You are absolutely right. What we should have said was, "By choosing to remain a resident of the US, you all tacitly consent of your own free will to be governed by the Constitution." Thank you for pointing that out.

The problem is that many of the people here actually wish to go to Heinlein's Coventry, that is have the option of going somewhere with no constitution instead of choosing one here that they don't like. 

I guess to me it's all like choosing between McDonald's and Burger king when you want a good taco anyway.  There has to be a better way, but anarchy doesn't feel like it, at least not in the long run.

I'm curious. Why not, when Market Anarchy will allow you to go to Taco Bell (or Del Taco, or Taco Casa or...)?

I guess in this metaphor, let's call AnCap a taco, while what I want is some obscure Ethiopian food that they don't sell in this town.  But the point of the metaphor was complaining that our political options are too narrow.  As for why I think it won't work well, that's a bit more complicated. 

Let's examine a genuine market anarchy:  The Black Market.  Yes, there's some small businessmen in it, but there's also some big ones.  And when you get to the big ones, you notice that a certain amount of ruthlessness appears to be needed to stay big.   Meanwhile, the small people in those organizations are still earning about the same as they do at their second job at...Taco Bell.  Meanwhile, the goods stay fairly low quality, because that's what sells the most.  And this is even with goods that demand quality, like drugs.  Just ask anyone that had a bit too much rat poison cut into their ecstasy. 

And of course, we've seen other cases, as my earlier point about Tyranny being the next step after Anarchy.  It's hard to say how long this would normally take, since what we typically call anarchy now is either a few warlords duking it out for the title of Top Dog, or a complete collapse of civil order where it's the violence that gets our attention. 

Of course, let's take my experience with Burning Man.  The lack of rules certainly generates a lot of creativity, art, and such, but rules have still crept in, mostly dealing with fire safety.  Of course, surrounding communities are imposing some of these, since you really can't get away from everything to have one of these gatherings.  I admit, it's a lot of fun, until you run into one of those really bad eggs that wrecks the engine of your ride home, and you're either dealing with normal government again or trying to convince yourself that just warning people not to trust him will be enough.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: customdesigned on May 10, 2012, 04:45:11 pm

The idea of consenting to something by the act of being born is patently ridiculous. That is what you're saying with "As a citizen of the US, or even just a resident, you all tacitly consent of your own free will to be governed by the Constitution."

Sunny: You are absolutely right. What we should have said was, "By choosing to remain a resident of the US, you all tacitly consent of your own free will to be governed by the Constitution." Thank you for pointing that out.
That's why the Amish have their formal "running amok" time, where Amish teenagers are required to visit the outside world (prepared with mini-courses on the culture and getting around such as a tourist would take) for an extended time (up to 2 years) and then decide whether to return to the Amish community and abide by their rules and restrictions.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: customdesigned on May 10, 2012, 04:56:38 pm
I have a lot of respect for thrift, but I would like to point out that the bytes involved in a user profile are not a limited resource, and so it strikes me as entirely preposterous for what seems to be two people to use a single account to contribute to a discussion. No offense, that's the response it engenders in me. I am put off, and when I am put off, I tend to completely disregard the cause.
Actually, the bytes involved *are* a limited resource.  Recording memory, including your own (or more accurately, the erasing of memory that allows setting it to a known state) increases entropy.  This is pretty much the origin of the "arrow of time".  Physics has no preferred direction in 4-space, but all the representations in your memory are from a direction with lower entropy.   This is why information and entry have the same mathematics.  Just as the universe has a maximum entropy, so any conceivable memory device has a maximum entropy = information capacity. 

But you probably just meant to say that bytes are *really* really cheap at this point in time and space, and the entropy increase from a new profile (or this comment) are no more significant than another billion dollars added to the US "deficit".
Title: Re: rights
Post by: customdesigned on May 10, 2012, 05:04:42 pm
I admit, it's a lot of fun, until you run into one of those really bad eggs that wrecks the engine of your ride home, and you're either dealing with normal government again or trying to convince yourself that just warning people not to trust him will be enough.
So, what do you do when you run into one of those "really bad eggs"
in government?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 05:05:25 pm
Let's examine a genuine market anarchy:  The Black Market.  Yes, there's some small businessmen in it, but there's also some big ones.  And when you get to the big ones, you notice that a certain amount of ruthlessness appears to be needed to stay big.   Meanwhile, the small people in those organizations are still earning about the same as they do at their second job at...Taco Bell.  Meanwhile, the goods stay fairly low quality, because that's what sells the most.  And this is even with goods that demand quality, like drugs.  Just ask anyone that had a bit too much rat poison cut into their ecstasy. 

Ehhh.... That's not exactly a Market Anarchy. There are no peaceful means of conflict resolution in the black market, so violence is the accepted process. In a market anarchy, mediation and arbitration are the way to go, and so violence is not acceptable. There are also market opportunities for quality control companies (like Underwriters Laboratories) to clear up that quality problem. The catch is, being the black market, it's all illegal, so there's a lot of risk in setting up either of those ventures.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on May 10, 2012, 05:26:49 pm
I admit, it's a lot of fun, until you run into one of those really bad eggs that wrecks the engine of your ride home, and you're either dealing with normal government again or trying to convince yourself that just warning people not to trust him will be enough.
So, what do you do when you run into one of those "really bad eggs"
in government?

The same thing as anywhere else:  you try to convince enough people with power that this is a bad egg.  Decentralized power certainly helps though, in requiring more than one bad egg to help him stay in power. 
Let's examine a genuine market anarchy:  The Black Market.  Yes, there's some small businessmen in it, but there's also some big ones.  And when you get to the big ones, you notice that a certain amount of ruthlessness appears to be needed to stay big.   Meanwhile, the small people in those organizations are still earning about the same as they do at their second job at...Taco Bell.  Meanwhile, the goods stay fairly low quality, because that's what sells the most.  And this is even with goods that demand quality, like drugs.  Just ask anyone that had a bit too much rat poison cut into their ecstasy. 

Ehhh.... That's not exactly a Market Anarchy. There are no peaceful means of conflict resolution in the black market, so violence is the accepted process. In a market anarchy, mediation and arbitration are the way to go, and so violence is not acceptable. There are also market opportunities for quality control companies (like Underwriters Laboratories) to clear up that quality problem. The catch is, being the black market, it's all illegal, so there's a lot of risk in setting up either of those ventures.
  I do accept that the example is not perfect, partly because the people attracted to such a high-risk venture will make other choices for high-risk activities, like fighting.  Still, if they were interested in peaceful cooperation, it would happen.  Instead, what happens is corporations/gangs expanding, and then threatened and forced to either fight back or dissolve.  Sounds a lot like the standard Cyberpunk dystopia.    As far as the quality problem, I agree that legalization would be likely to reduce these problems, but I'm sure we've all heard of enough cases where quality control was a problem, but the company refused to admit it until a government stepped in. 

I suppose the question becomes one of moral accountability.  You say that requiring corporations to be accountable to the people buying the goods and services is enough, and that a gov't is inherently not accountable to anything.  I think it is more effective to try to build that accountability into gov't from what is already there.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on May 10, 2012, 06:12:47 pm
I noted that government success in delivering on constitutional promises varies. The statistics are publicly available.

If one lie, all lies.  

The statistics come from the same source (WHO and the UN) as showed Cuban health care and Ethiopian literacy was wonderful.  I visited Cuba. Cuban health care for ordinary cubans is a bed to die on, except that in practice you don't get the bed unless you have the right connections.

When Ethiopia was ruled by a Marxist totalitarian terror regime, engaged in bloody civil war against the peasants, using artificial famine as its major weapon, official WHO statistics showed it successfully achieved wonderful literacy.  When the Marxist totalitarian terror regime fell, peace and order was restored, and famine largely ended, its official literacy rate suddenly and mysteriously dropped back to normal African levels.  Did everyone suddenly forget how to read?

That the British National Health murder elderly people with breathing problems, and that murders by the state correspond to nearly ten percent of Netherlands deaths somehow fails to show up on these statistics of the wonderful success of health systems.

for anyone who is interested in researching the matter further, rather than repeating populist agitprop* that has little basis in reality. If you want me to provide an opinion on the ethics of refusing to spend vast sums of limited public resources treating terminally ill geriatrics,

I am in favor of government refusing to spend  vast sums of limited public resources treating terminally ill geriatrics.  I specifically praised the Australian government for openly refusing to do so, for openly and officially sending sick people home, for refusing to pretend that health care is a right.  I am opposed to governments pretending that they provide health care as a right, as the British and Netherland governments pretend to do and then quietly murdering people who attempt to exercise that supposed right as necessary to keep the hospitals from overflowing.

Whosoever says that health care is a right, that any "positive right" is a right, will commit murder, and frequently does so.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 06:23:18 pm
Let me preface my responses with the caveat that I am but one man, and this but one man's opinion. How it would actually go down may be completely different.

What keeps violence from breaking out? Say if someone doesn't like how the arbitration goes, and he and his gorilloid brothers and nephews and cousins decide to take matters into their own hands.

Well, first, this is not a culture of victim disarmament. Taking matters into their own hands would also be taking their life into their own hands...or rather, their opponents' hands. Secondly, they would have signed a contract to abide by the arbitration decision, so doing so would breach that contract. There's lots of examples on this very site of possible solutions.

What keeps Snake Oil Shoppe from bribing Underwriters Laboratories to declare their drugs safe? If no one dies and only a few get sick and can't trace it back?

The other QA labs, for one thing. Competition keeps 'em honest. Secondly, you know that little tag you sometimes find in your clothes, "inspected by #16", and such? Well, imagine if #16 were personally liable if your pants somehow harmed you? The inspector who took the bribe and signed off on Snake Oil Shoppe's application would be personally liable for the damages thus incurred. No hiding behind corporate personhood, without the government creation of the corporation.

I suppose the question becomes one of moral accountability.  You say that requiring corporations to be accountable to the people buying the goods and services is enough, and that a gov't is inherently not accountable to anything.  I think it is more effective to try to build that accountability into gov't from what is already there.

Which brings me to my next point. Not corporate accountability, personal accountability, and competition. You buy bad dope, you, or your heirs (my condolences) take the dealer to task on it. Other people hear about that, and buy from someone else. This is almost how it works in the black (Konkin prefered the term red market to refer to illegal markets where violence is acceptable, and I agree.) market, except there's no clear way to determine exactly who cut your X with rat poison.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on May 10, 2012, 07:20:02 pm
What keeps violence from breaking out? Say if someone doesn't like how the arbitration goes, and he and his gorilloid brothers and nephews and cousins decide to take matters into their own hands.

Looking at societies that approximated anarcho capitalism (saga age iceland and the old west), sometimes violence did break out.  But violence is costly, dangerous, and hard to stop once started.  Worse, it gives you a bad name, and having a bad name makes it relatively safe for someone to kill you.

What tended to happen when violence broke out is that everyone went looking for allies.  The allies tended to have cooler heads, and eventually dragged everyone into court after a fairly moderate number of deaths.  In the Icelandic sagas we fairly frequently read the allies cautioning hotheads to think of the court case that will follow the killings.  You could do quite a lot of violence and killing legally in Iceland, but sooner or later you would wind up in court explaining why it was legal.

I recollect one story where a bunch of icelanders arguably has just cause to kill another bunch of icelanders, and have stolen some treasure from them.  At which point one of the cooler heads points out that killing their opponents and stealing their treasure afterwards is arguably legal, but just plain stealing their treasure is highly illegal.  So they give the treasure back, and then kill them, taking some serious casualties in the process, then resteal the treasure.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on May 10, 2012, 07:28:13 pm
Let's examine a genuine market anarchy:  The Black Market.  Yes, there's some small businessmen in it, but there's also some big ones.  And when you get to the big ones, you notice that a certain amount of ruthlessness appears to be needed to stay big.   Meanwhile, the small people in those organizations are still earning about the same as they do at their second job at...Taco Bell.  Meanwhile, the goods stay fairly low quality, because that's what sells the most.  And this is even with goods that demand quality, like drugs.  Just ask anyone that had a bit too much rat poison cut into their ecstasy. 

Ehhh.... That's not exactly a Market Anarchy. There are no peaceful means of conflict resolution in the black market, so violence is the accepted process

Because you cannot do justice in the sunlight.  Justice can be done, but no one can see whether it is being done or not.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on May 10, 2012, 07:33:54 pm
Sooooo, the populace would have to be armed, with that implied threat, to prevent violence? What if the gorilloids had more/bigger guns?

The weakest man can kill the strongest. 

As Colt's advertising slogan used to say:  "God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal,"
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 07:51:41 pm
Quote
Well, first, this is not a culture of victim disarmament. Taking matters into their own hands would also be taking their life into their own hands...or rather, their opponents' hands. Secondly, they would have signed a contract to abide by the arbitration decision, so doing so would breach that contract. There's lots of examples on this very site of possible solutions.

Sooooo, the populace would have to be armed, with that implied threat, to prevent violence? What if the gorilloids had more/bigger guns? Or what if half the population believes they should have won and sides with them? (Whether or not they would agree with the gorilloids that violence was the answer.)

Ignoring the guns for a moment, if they won't accept the arbitration result, how would breach of contract be enforced?

Sam makes a good point about violence: It's costly, and ruins your rep. This would cause most sane people to avoid it, and well... shall we say... weeds out the less sane?

But again, ignoring the guns, if someone refuses to abide by (or even show up at) an arbitration, all the injured party need do is make that fact public. Smart, sane people would then avoid dealings with them, for the simple reason that if the guy screwed one person over, they're likely to do it again. So, someone who repeatedly refused or failed to make good on arbitration would rapidly find themselves out in the cold, with no friends, and no business contacts.

What keeps Snake Oil Shoppe from bribing Underwriters Laboratories to declare their drugs safe? If no one dies and only a few get sick and can't trace it back?
Quote
The other QA labs, for one thing. Competition keeps 'em honest. Secondly, you know that little tag you sometimes find in your clothes, "inspected by #16", and such? Well, imagine if #16 were personally liable if your pants somehow harmed you? The inspector who took the bribe and signed off on Snake Oil Shoppe's application would be personally liable for the damages thus incurred. No hiding behind corporate personhood, without the government creation of the corporation.

What if there is no competition? What if the only other lab is run by someone who isn't trained in chemical analysis (it was just a hobby) and he confirms Underwriters' (bribed) assessment? What if Underwriters and their competition have an agreement to confirm each other's results (they essentially form a trust)?

Going back to our original question, what if the sick cases cannot be traced back to Snake Oil Shoppe and thereby to Inspector 16?

Not trying to be difficult, but if there is a corollary to Murphy's Law, it'd probably be if the worst possible scenario can happen, it will.

No, no... this is the kind of discussion a libertarian dreams of... polite, rational, and interested.

But back to the question at hand.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: fliegelmaus on May 10, 2012, 08:04:44 pm
No, no... this is the kind of discussion a libertarian dreams of... polite, rational, and interested.

Coulda fooled me. The chicks called you and Mellryn and Macsnafu "irrational" and "cynical" and said your arguments made "unsupported illogical leaps" and when you explained the logic they didn't either refute it or apologize, just pretended that never happened. And then complained of other people being insulting, but I sure didn't read anything worse than what they said. Me, I'm still waiting to hear them refute you about the people who would rob you blind taking over government. Til then, better you than me, dude.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 08:14:21 pm
No, no... this is the kind of discussion a libertarian dreams of... polite, rational, and interested.

Coulda fooled me. The chicks called you and Mellryn and Macsnafu "irrational" and "cynical" and said your arguments made "unsupported illogical leaps" and when you explained the logic they didn't either refute it or apologize, just pretended that never happened. And then complained of other people being insulting, but I sure didn't read anything worse than what they said. Me, I'm still waiting to hear them refute you about the people who would rob you blind taking over government. Til then, better you than me, dude.

The previous conversation was not particularly polite or rational. But, I am a very forgiving person, and this conversation, no epithets have been tossed, so I'm willing to let the last one slide. (Would still like a rebuttal on that wall of text I spent so much time writing, though)
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 10, 2012, 10:18:13 pm
We'll leave you the last word and concede the discussion to you.

Works for me.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 11, 2012, 12:36:42 am
So how would it prevent a BPSP from trying to take over, or how it would deal nonviolently with one actively working to take over?

The "Christmas War" arc shows a pretty good way, though I'm having a hard time finding it. (Little help here, guys? I know it starts at 601, but I don't know where it picks up again)

Also, this arc shows a great "murder trial" (http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=819). That Auto-doc, man... some day, it's not going to be there. ;)

As to assuming violence won't happen, No, we're not utopians, we know people are still going to do stupid things, Read that murder trial. With the exception of the victim still being alive, that is a very good example of the solutions in place to solve violence. Another arc is this one, a tale of piracy on the belt (http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=476).
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 11, 2012, 12:56:40 am
It might be best understood that the unalienable negative rights - life, liberty, and property - slide frictionlessly past each other, and are not only easily accommodated but utterly necessary for society to happen.

Society is not properly a concrete entity, but rather the process by which omnivorous naked killer apes - who will expediently slaughter and eat each other if circumstances facilitate such activities - manage to live in each others' company without behaving like the proverbial Kilkenny cats. 

The philosophers of the Enlightenment spoke of "the state of nature" as a condition of constant warfare between man and man, and members of our species were said to have "come in out of the state of nature" when by virtue of agreement to respect our respective rights we condition our peaceful (if not necessarily amicable) coexistence with the deadliest animals on the planet: our fellow H. sapiens sapiens.

This then facilitates a division of labor society and we begin speaking not only about psychology and sociology but economics, thus getting ourselves to von Mises' praxeology, the concerted study of all conscious human action. 

There can't be "conflicting rights" when it comes to these negative human rights.  Another person's right to go about his own life unmolested doesn't infringe upon another individual's precisely equal right to the same respect, and neither does the ineluctable corollary "unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon — rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission."

(Thank you, Mr. Smith, and why the hell aren't you serving the people resident in your congressional district as their voice in the U.S. House of Representatives?)

Positive rights, on the other hand, derive from the essential negative rights and pertain to voluntary dealings with fellow sovereign sapients in the disposition by exchange of the participating entities' tangible and intangible alienable property.

Even then, of course, there's no such thing as "conflicting rights" because everything grinds down to the question of which party has the right in each particular case, whereupon that right must be respected or things will be "getting pretty sporty down here."

I hate to be pedantic here, but the word is "inalienable". The "un" came from Fox News when it felt the need to be different.
Please use the correct word in the future, unless you really are an uneducated twit.
Thank you.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 11, 2012, 01:34:05 am

Eile: Just some observations of points made in this debate:

Sunny: The text of the Second Amendment reads, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Eile: Nothing is said about "self-defense". As such, the wording suggests that the natural right being protected is the security of a free state; that is, the Federal Government cannot do anything that compromises the security of the US. Yeah, we know about Scalia's opinion in District of Columbia vs. Heller, but Stevens's dissent makes this distinction clear. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
Hi TeamGirl! In this forum, the Second Amendment does include self-defense of a person and their property, not just "the security of a free state".  Here, they believe the most evil thing a person can be is one that believes in the concept of "the state," therefore, the 2nd Amend. must mean defense of the person, because there can be no state.

Quote
Sunny: The Golden Rule states, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In other words, it doesn't just advocate passive restraint from harming someone else, but also commands the active pursuit to aid someone else.

You would have to be Christian in order to believe the Golden Rule applies to you.  ZAP has no provision for religious-based compassion.

Quote
Eile: So the right ta life is not just the right not ta be murdered but also the right ta be protected. The right ta liberty is not just the right not ta be locked up (or ta be denied the protection of the law) but also the right ta be granted freedom (or granted the protection of the law). And the right ta property is not just the right not ta have yer stuff stolen, but also the right ta be given stuff you need. In other words, if natural rights mesh with the Golden Rule, they not only prevent the government from doing harmful things, they also obligate the government ta do beneficial things. Like protect people from gun violence, pollution, hazardous work places, shoddy merchandise, and bad food and drugs; grant people the ability to live and work where they want without discrimination; and give people the basic necessities of life.

ZAP and Anarcho-capitalism as espoused here means exactly that.  The right to Life is the right to live, but not be protected (AnCap is social darwinism at its worst: kill or be killed; there is no government to do the protecting of the weak or minority), etc.
And, being  in the majority, AnCappers likke it that way.

Quote
Sunny: But even if natural rights do not mesh with the Golden Rule, it still obligates Christians to actively help other people, not just refrain from hurting them.
You would have to be Christian for this to apply.

Quote
Eile: In "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, the Republic of Gilead justifies its repression of women by claiming that instead of given them "freedoms to" (positive rights), it's protecting them with "freedoms from" (negative rights).

Sunny: In other words, it claims that rather than allowing women the privilege to have careers, earn money, or even read, which subjects them to the crime and degradation of the outside world, it protects them with the right not be assaulted, subjected to abortions, or lusted after. The point is, while negative rights can grant liberty, they can also be used for oppression.

Eile: Finally, not all privileges come from robbery or denying rights ta others. Being able ta drive a car is a privilege, not a right, but when the government licenses you as being properly trained it doesn't deny someone else a basic right in the process, and when you purchase a car ta drive, yer not stealing it from someone else.

but in the ZAP and AnCap model, being certified as a trained driver does deprive an untrained driver the privilege of driving. And purchasing a car does deprive someone else.

Quote
Sunny: Healthcare may also be a privilege, but government provided healthcare is robbery only if you believe paying the taxes that support it is a form of theft, and it denies basic rights only if you believe mandating everyone to carry insurance violates some right not to carry insurance. If you agree to live in the US, you also agree to abide by its laws, including tax laws, so technically you consent to the "theft", and people who refuse to carry insurance for whatever reason infringe on the rights of others not to have to pay for their medical expenses with higher premiums and healthcare costs.

Dont try to use logic here; this forum is as impervious to logic as Superman is to bullets.
These fine people do see taxes as theft and people who make use of tax-funded health care as "worthless parasites."
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Oneil on May 11, 2012, 02:07:20 am
Absolute freedom means one is free to do what ever they desire at any time no matter what.  Obviously if you think about that a moment you see the problems it presents.
  • "Bob has a bad night and decides your house blocks his view of the sunrise, with a little explosive he removes it with you still inside.  In a world of absolute freedom he has done nothing wrong.. "

Well, here's the catch:
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/freedom.png)

Everyone has absolute freedom. That's the definition of free will. However, my freedom to swing my fist without consequence ends at your face, and the other way 'round. That's what rights are, the boundaries that mark where the consequences start.

I think you misread something, as in my given example of "Absolute Freedom" no one was there to punch back hence the discussion had ended.  Your reply helps point out a savage side effect of "Absolute Freedom" and why it has been seen so often in Frontiers and labeled as "Lawlessness"   

So long as one can stand back up and retaliate, There is no limit to the action that may be taken in response.  To end any worry of direct consequence severe, brutal, inhuman, uncivilized action is often the only options. 

So for example, that Cheater at the Card Table will be shot dead or lynched after having all the money beaten out of them.  Where in a more civil local they would have been roughed up, money removed and been thrown from the casino banned from ever returning. 

I am not saying Free Will is a bad thing, All I am stating is a society based on Absolute Freedom is unworkable, where one based on AnCap will function.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 11, 2012, 02:20:40 am
I am not saying Free Will is a bad thing, All I am stating is a society based on Absolute Freedom is unworkable, where one based on AnCap will function.

I see. I think we were arguing at cross-purposes. My bad. Still, what I was saying was that everyone already has absolute freedom, but they don't typically exercise it.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: fliegelmaus on May 11, 2012, 08:05:00 am
I hate to be pedantic here, but the word is "inalienable". The "un" came from Fox News when it felt the need to be different.
Please use the correct word in the future, unless you really are an uneducated twit.
Thank you.

Huh. There was a fairly famous debate between Jefferson and Adams about "un" or "in"-alienable. Jefferson liked "in", Adams liked "un". "Un" might be a New-Englandism.

dictionary.com has both. "Inalienable" gets defined with a bunch of stuff, "unalienable" with a link to "inalienable", with not calling it incorrect.

You're not being "pedantic", dude. Just opinionated.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on May 11, 2012, 09:27:57 am

Sam makes a good point about violence: It's costly, and ruins your rep. This would cause most sane people to avoid it, and well... shall we say... weeds out the less sane?

But again, ignoring the guns, if someone refuses to abide by (or even show up at) an arbitration, all the injured party need do is make that fact public. Smart, sane people would then avoid dealings with them, for the simple reason that if the guy screwed one person over, they're likely to do it again. So, someone who repeatedly refused or failed to make good on arbitration would rapidly find themselves out in the cold, with no friends, and no business contacts.


Sunny: We're just not seeing it. It all sounds like...sorry, but a bunch of handwaving. By which we mean ad hoc contingency schemes rather than a coherent organized system.

Even with ZAP in place, we don't see how violence is prevented, except that everyone is armed (so everyone is too scared to cause violence). It still sounds like everyone hopes that everyone else will obey the rules. True, in every society the people tacitly agree to cooperate for the good of the whole, but anarchy seems to suggest a certain naivete that ZAP and a free market and unrestricted gun ownership will prevent violence. Other societies however accept that violence will occur and make contingencies for it, whether or not that means forming a government. Granted, characters in EFT acknowledge that Belt society is not perfect, but the comic itself presents the Belt as utopic, with the (rare) internal problem being "magically" solved by a market solution. It all has an unreal feel that we found jarring; we just couldn't suspend our disbelief.

Anywho, the scenario we presented of the gorilloids was meant to allow us try to understand how anarchy would prevent violence but also deal with it if it came up, but the explanations don't sound realistic. It's easy to accept that people willing to cooperate would accept the results of arbitration and be kept in line by the consequences of a breach of contract, but what about a bad person seeking power? Such people don't care about reputation; they aren't intimidated by the shunning techniques you've described. A BPSP could get around attempts to cut him off financially; he could deal with an armed population by securing more powerful arms (unrestricted ownership after all) and a gang to back him up. Once he has a power base he can begin intimidating the weaker members of the community. It becomes worse if he receives support from merchants or manufacturers hoping to cash in on his rise to power, or a significant percentage of the population, either out of fear or greed. Eventually one of two things is going to happen: either the remaining members of the community will violently confront the BPSP before he becomes too powerful, or he will take over the community.

An armed society obviously helps, but ultimately it requires the people in the society in general to do their part to maintain a civil society.  You think shunning wouldn't work?  It won't if people don't want to support a civil society, but it will if people don't want to have a paranoid, evil, corrupt society.  

So you have some guy who either won't submit to arbitration or doesn't agree with the results of arbitration, and he wants to go around and do bad things.  First of all is the "armed society" bit.  He's refused civil society, and is branded an outlaw.  Anybody can kill him without legal consequence, and if there is a reward for doing so, then he'll have bounty hunters after him.  More importantly, anyone willingly associating with him will run the risk of ruining their reputation.  So he runs into trouble because he can't find a restaurant that will serve him, a hotel that will let him stay there, a grocery store that will sell him food, or even a retail store that will sell him clothes, medicine, batteries, or other supplies.    In any fairly modern technological society, he's going to be denied most of the benefits of living in such a society, unless he gives up and submits to the legal system and the decision of the arbitration.

Yes, I suppose he might be able to live out in the wilds somewhere, assuming he actually can manage to live off the land, and assuming there are some wilds to live in, but he's still a branded outlaw and at risk of capture or being killed.

You think he'll just spend a lot of money and bribe his way?  Only if his criminal activity has managed to net a lot of money, and that money isn't traceable.  With free banking, there would be multiple currencies, and depending upon his crime, and which currency he had stolen, it might very well be traceable, and merchants could be on the lookout for the specific money he stole.  

Otherwise, he's not likely to have a lot of money, and couldn't afford to bribe his way very far.  If his crime was murder instead of robbery, for example, why would he have a lot of money?

And don't get started on eccentric millionaires--without government subsidies, contracts, and other government intervention, you'll find that the wealthy in a free society primarily get wealthy by serving their customers and clients better than their competition.  A lifetime of building wealth that way instills habits in a human being that are not easily changed or broken, short of outright insanity or dementia developing.   And even if our eccentric millionaire did suddenly change after decades of serving people, he would find it hard to continue making more money, and would start losing money, instead, thus providing limits on how far he can keep going with his diminishing supply of money.  

In short, human nature would not change, but in an anarchic society, the incentives that people have would be different than they are now.  And that would make all the difference in the kind of society we would have.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: rfaramir on May 11, 2012, 03:59:24 pm
Quote from: TeamGirl
"what about a bad person seeking power? Such people don't care about reputation; they aren't intimidated by the shunning techniques you've described. A BPSP could get around attempts to cut him off financially; he could deal with an armed population by securing more powerful arms (unrestricted ownership after all) and a gang to back him up. Once he has a power base he can begin intimidating the weaker members of the community. It becomes worse if he receives support from merchants or manufacturers hoping to cash in on his rise to power, or a significant percentage of the population, either out of fear or greed. Eventually one of two things is going to happen: either the remaining members of the community will violently confront the BPSP before he becomes too powerful, or he will take over the community."

Congratulations, you've just described the origin of the State. It is what happens when a community allows a BPSP to succeed. States get *larger* by conquest of other peoples and *multiply* in number by schism, but you hit the nail on the head for an organic original State. Thanks for joining our side!

Quote from: TeamGirl
"So how would it prevent a BPSP from trying to take over, or how it would deal nonviolently with one actively working to take over?"

Who said anything about being 'nonviolent'? A BPSP is already initiating aggression, violating the ZAP, so to correct it will likely require defensive violence. This is moral. This is not pacifist. Eliminating him is justified by the Silver Rule: "Do not do unto others what you do not want them to do unto you." Since he is violating the property and lives of others, he is demonstrating that he expects others to do the same to him, so the solution is to do so. He either wakes up to the morality of respecting other's property before it escalates too far, or he is killed, or he succeeds in creating a State.

While more peaceful methods are tried first, eventually some dogs just have to be put down after demonstrating that they are too dangerous to those near him (and he refuses to stay far from them). In the not-so-wild West, stealing horses was a hanging offense. No wonder that every cowboy movie has horses just lazily tied up with single strap of leather casually wrapped around a hitching post. They'll only be stolen if it's worth your life to take one, say if you're already a capital criminal and need to get out of Dodge in a hurry. That armed society was a polite society and each respected his neighbor's property, largely.

An anarchy allows its members to learn whatever they wish to learn on their own (negative liberty); it creates libraries and offers incentives… it provides seeds and loans of tools… it offers incentives to volunteer…

No, there is no 'it' as an actor. You were trying to refer to 'an anarchy' (from your previous sentence) as acting. 'It' does not. It is a system. The first half of your paragraphs above talk about an anarchy 'allowing'. It doesn't 'allow' in the sense of me giving you permission to walk across my lawn, but it does 'allow' in the sense that the system doesn't prevent peaceful actions. It is a lack of rulers (not a lack of rules). In an anarchy, there are no masters (of others) and therefore no slaves (hire your services out all you want, though, even for life). Even where there is group action, only individuals are actually acting (self-identifying as group members), and analyzing things this way really helps clear up confusion. A person may create libraries and offer incentives if he so wishes. Feel free to do so yourself, knock yourself out. I loan books from my personal library, as many do. But the assumption of a State keeps creeping into your thought process. Just thought I'd help set you straight before you go too wrong.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 11, 2012, 05:12:00 pm
rfaramir and macsnafu make good points. I can't really improve on them. I will pull out some good quotes, though:

Quote
A BPSP is already initiating aggression, violating the ZAP, so to correct it will likely require defensive violence.

And here's the point I was trying to make before, but in more detail:
Quote
More importantly, anyone willingly associating with him will run the risk of ruining their reputation. So he runs into trouble because he can't find a restaurant that will serve him, a hotel that will let him stay there, a grocery store that will sell him food, or even a retail store that will sell him clothes, medicine, batteries, or other supplies. In any fairly modern technological society, he's going to be denied most of the benefits of living in such a society, unless he gives up and submits to the legal system and the decision of the arbitration.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: wdg3rd on May 11, 2012, 09:16:20 pm
Sunny: The Golden Rule states, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In other words, it doesn't just advocate passive restraint from harming someone else, but also commands the active pursuit to aid someone else.

You would have to be Christian in order to believe the Golden Rule applies to you.  ZAP has no provision for religious-based compassion.


The "Golden Rule" not being Christian doctrine, some would say it applies no matter who you are.  I (thank God) am an atheist and find no conflict between the Golden Rule and the Zero Aggression Principle.  I generally do unto others as I would like done unto me:  I leave them the f u c k alone.  Representatives of government and other initiators of force do not return the favor.  In the present political climate (and especially here in the lovely region known as New Jersey), self-defense against these individuals is not safe.

Quote
Quote
Eile: So the right ta life is not just the right not ta be murdered but also the right ta be protected. The right ta liberty is not just the right not ta be locked up (or ta be denied the protection of the law) but also the right ta be granted freedom (or granted the protection of the law). And the right ta property is not just the right not ta have yer stuff stolen, but also the right ta be given stuff you need. In other words, if natural rights mesh with the Golden Rule, they not only prevent the government from doing harmful things, they also obligate the government ta do beneficial things. Like protect people from gun violence, pollution, hazardous work places, shoddy merchandise, and bad food and drugs; grant people the ability to live and work where they want without discrimination; and give people the basic necessities of life.

ZAP and Anarcho-capitalism as espoused here means exactly that.  The right to Life is the right to live, but not be protected (AnCap is social darwinism at its worst: kill or be killed; there is no government to do the protecting of the weak or minority), etc.
And, being  in the majority, AnCappers likke it that way.
Quote
Sunny: But even if natural rights do not mesh with the Golden Rule, it still obligates Christians to actively help other people, not just refrain from hurting them.
You would have to be Christian for this to apply.

I see nothing in the words "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" to mandate a christian, atheist or anyone else to do a damned thing.  To me, the interpretation is that if you do unto others, it had better be something you would like done unto you.  If you would like being killed in self-defense, initiate force against an adherent of the Zero Aggression Principle and see where it gets you.

There is no requirement under the Golden Rule (or the Zero Aggression Principle) to perform charitable acts, for instance.  That's entirely your choice.  A choice which is easier to make if government isn't claiming to do them for you and stealing most of your money do so.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: customdesigned on May 11, 2012, 10:07:59 pm
Sunny: The Golden Rule states, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In other words, it doesn't just advocate passive restraint from harming someone else, but also commands the active pursuit to aid someone else.

You would have to be Christian in order to believe the Golden Rule applies to you.  ZAP has no provision for religious-based compassion.


The "Golden Rule" not being Christian doctrine, some would say it applies no matter who you are.  I (thank God) am an atheist and find no conflict between the Golden Rule and the Zero Aggression Principle.  I generally do unto others as I would like done unto me:  I leave them the f u c k alone.  Representatives of government and other initiators of force do not return the favor.  In the present political climate (and especially here in the lovely region known as New Jersey), self-defense against these individuals is not safe.

There is no requirement under the Golden Rule (or the Zero Aggression Principle) to perform charitable acts, for instance.  That's entirely your choice.  A choice which is easier to make if government isn't claiming to do them for you and stealing most of your money do so.


Before Jesus, Rabbi Hillel said, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn" (Shab. 31a). Hillel recognized brotherly love as the fundamental principle of Jewish moral law. (Lev. xix. 18).  (And as Jesus studied the rabbis, it is likely his version was inspired by Hillel.)  Perhaps if you searched, you could find similar statements in other cultures.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 11, 2012, 10:24:31 pm
Perhaps if you searched, you could find similar statements in other cultures.

Wouldn't have to search far, or hard:

"An ye harm none, do as ye will" - Wiccan rede.

"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." - Udana-Varga 5,1 (Buddhism)

"This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you." - Mahabharata 5,1517 (Hinduism)

"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself." - Sunnah (Islam)
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 12, 2012, 12:42:13 am
If you see someone drowning, "Do not do unto others..." (ZAP) means not throwing them an anchor, while "Do unto others..." (Golden Rule) means throwing them a rope and hauling them to shore.

The former is "I shouldn't hurt him"; the latter is "I should save him!"

A fair assessment. Most people would still attempt to save them, but there is no obligation to.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on May 12, 2012, 01:22:56 am
You think shunning wouldn't work?

I don't think shunning as such would work, because the guy who operates a hamburger stand has no profit in shunning bad guys.

However, rentacops, mutual defense associations, militias, and so on and so forth do have an interest in shunning bad guys, since trouble is expensive, so the known bad guy has no one who will defend him.  That kind of shunning would work just fine.

If you decline arbitration, you get a bad name.  If you get a bad name people might shun you - or they might get away with just killing you.

If people are not resolving their disputes, they are "out of law" with each other.  If there are two large groups that are not resolving their disputes, then they are out of law with each other, which is the anarcho capitalist equivalent of being at war with each other.  If there is one guy who is not resolving his disputes with anyone, he is out of law with everyone, which is to say, an outlaw.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Oneil on May 12, 2012, 05:23:46 am
I see. I think we were arguing at cross-purposes. My bad. Still, what I was saying was that everyone already has absolute freedom, but they don't typically exercise it.

True enough since you choose to internalize it, even those ruled by oppressive totalitarianism have it...

Yet In that case, any attempt to exercise it is typically their own very brief display of Absolute Freedom.. 
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on May 12, 2012, 07:23:14 am
Quote
Quote from: myrkul999 on May 11, 2012, 01:20:40 AM
Quote
I see. I think we were arguing at cross-purposes. My bad. Still, what I was saying was that everyone already has absolute freedom, but they don't typically exercise it.

True enough since you choose to internalize it, even those ruled by oppressive totalitarianism have it...

Yet In that case, any attempt to exercise it is typically their own very brief display of Absolute Freedom.. 

Something like.  I generally find that taking the argument to the point of "absolute" freedom is seldom helpful.  I do not have the "freedom" to fly like Superman; Tero Sand, a quadriplegic, did not even have the "freedom" to sit up, much less walk where he would -- both of these involving lack of physical power to do so.  In the case of randomly punching someone in the face, I do have the physical power to do that, but I do not have the, heh, social power.  The specific responses of other humans to our actions are only slightly less predictable than the responses of, say, gravity or ionic bonding; they are every bit as inherent to the situation.

"Absolute" freedom is a red herring.  Even if we limit our "absolute" to "that which is materially possible", it can only matter to Robinson Crusoe (before Friday).

So, what can "freedom" mean in the context of a community of other humans, i.e., humans in their natural habitat?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on May 12, 2012, 01:06:55 pm
So, what can "freedom" mean in the context of a community of other humans, i.e., humans in their natural habitat?

Well, as I said, your freedom to swing your fist without consequence ends at my face. You have the freedom to do anything you like, so long as you don't step over the line and violate someone's rights.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Oneil on May 12, 2012, 03:47:02 pm

.........

"Absolute" freedom is a red herring.  Even if we limit our "absolute" to "that which is materially possible", it can only matter to Robinson Crusoe (before Friday).

So, what can "freedom" mean in the context of a community of other humans, i.e., humans in their natural habitat?

Truth be I was looking for myrkul999's reply and was content at it being the last word.
We had discussed this down to the logical conclusion.


I have no interest in arguing "red herring's" with you and your reflection..

OK, guys, I confess.  I am "sam" (heh, sam I am).  "sam" is my sock puppet, my evil feminist scheme to make these views as ridiculous as possible in order to draw scorn upon anyone who voices them.

But I'm only going to announce it this once.  In all future "sam" posts, I'll either ignore it or deny it, depending on my mood.

Now I fully expect YOU WILL troll spam this mellyrrn/sam so here is your topic to chew at...  

In a perfect government, if one ever exists,,,
Personal Freedom is the motivation in government and Defined Rights only limit personal freedoms by making them fair for everyone.

Only one truly talking to there own reflection in the same thread would argue that.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on May 12, 2012, 05:47:48 pm
An armed society obviously helps, but ultimately it requires the people in the society in general to do their part to maintain a civil society.  You think shunning wouldn't work?

People do what is good for themselves, then what they have contracted to do, then what is good for kin, then what is good for friends and associates.  Society comes up way in the rear.

Government is rationalized as a solution to this problem, but of course government winds up doing what is good for government.  Any vision of anarchy that requires people to "do their part" has to explain why they are going to do their part.

Assume people form associations for the purpose of defense, based on contract rather than birth or geography.  If most people contract in advance of trouble, with an insurance type contract where the association charges them by the year rather the incident, whether the charge be in money or defensive services, then everyone has the correct incentives, since the association does not want people who bring trouble.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Andreas on May 12, 2012, 06:04:19 pm
Oneil, I think that was sarcasm.
Of course, I can't prove that.
I do figure that the IP addressed logged by this site would bear some evidence on the matter.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Oneil on May 13, 2012, 03:32:19 am
Oneil, I think that was sarcasm.
Of course, I can't prove that.
I do figure that the IP addressed logged by this site would bear some evidence on the matter.

Could be, hard to be certain "via electrons" unless one practically falls over themselves with a bunch of  ;D ::) :P ;)

opps,, Almost forgot to add this... (http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/sticking-tongue-out/smileys-sticking-tongue-out-830662.gif)
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on May 13, 2012, 12:43:22 pm
"Absolute" freedom is a red herring.  Even if we limit our "absolute" to "that which is materially possible", it can only matter to Robinson Crusoe (before Friday).

So, what can "freedom" mean in the context of a community of other humans, i.e., humans in their natural habitat?

I agree.  I don't know what "absolute freedom" is supposed to be, unless it is the freedom to do absolutely anything you want, without consequence.  As such, absolute freedom is not universal--it's only possible for one person in a society to have such absolute freedom, i.e. some kind of tyrannical dictator.  Otherwise, you're always going to run into others who object and resist you're using them without their cooperation.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Andreas on May 13, 2012, 04:14:30 pm
Ha! How about this: Absolute freedom is know EXACTLY who forms the social environment for each situation one finds oneself in, and also EXACTLY how these people will react to each potential course of action one might choose in that situation???
In that scenario, absolute freedom is the absolute freedom from ambiguity: One is able tp make a determinative choice in the situation in question, weighing out all the social costs/benefits - one is free to take from the situation all that one is willing to pay for, at cost prices! - or to invest into the situation as much or as little of one's social capital as desired, assured of the amounts of dividend one can expect to reap from that investment.

Of course, this "omniscient" version of absolute freedom is as much of an impossibility as the "omnipotent/invincible" form that first came to mind... but at least it operates within the limits of possible outcomes (it is the ability to pick them at will that is the impossibility).
Title: Re: rights
Post by: quadibloc on June 03, 2012, 05:19:24 pm
Perhaps one should not start by assuming that all natural rights must be negative rights.

But it's fairly easy to come to the conclusion that this is likely to be the case. It would be nice, for example, if people had the right to free education to the limit of their abilities, or to all necessary health care services. But these are things that have to be paid for. So, if they were rights, we would obviously have to violate someone's negative rights to pay for them.

We can say, though, that because we're menaced by foreign aggressors, we need to tolerate the violation of negative rights that a state with the power to tax and conscript inflicts, and while we're at it, instead of just also paying for police to protect the property of the rich, we might as well throw in a few goodies for the rest of us like healthcare and education - thus treating them as pseudo-rights.

As long as we know what we're doing, and don't go overboard, it doesn't have to be all that bad. It's when we lose sight of the fact that those things are not rights, just convenient luxuries (for example, some socialized health care prevents cheapskates from inflicting infectious diseases on the rest of us) that we can slide into absurdity or tyranny.

The Western world has been reasonably free despite not being either Libertarian or Anarcho-Capitalist for quite some time. So I don't want to forego the option of simply going back to greater freedom rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 03, 2012, 06:07:02 pm
The Western world has been reasonably free despite not being either Libertarian or Anarcho-Capitalist for quite some time. So I don't want to forego the option of simply going back to greater freedom rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach.

As has been mentioned before (In this thread? Maybe one that TeamTroll deleted.) Constitutionalists and Anarcho-Capitalists have common interests, in that we both seek to reduce the current leviathan government. I'll gladly work to help a constitutionalist achieve his goals, because it puts me closer to mine. Every industry successfully moved into the private sector puts me one step closer to my goals, and gives me just that much more ammunition when it comes time to argue for private defense and justice as well.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: wdg3rd on June 03, 2012, 06:22:38 pm
The Western world has been reasonably free despite not being either Libertarian or Anarcho-Capitalist for quite some time. So I don't want to forego the option of simply going back to greater freedom rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach.

As has been mentioned before (In this thread? Maybe one that TeamTroll deleted.) Constitutionalists and Anarcho-Capitalists have common interests, in that we both seek to reduce the current leviathan government. I'll gladly work to help a constitutionalist achieve his goals, because it puts me closer to mine. Every industry successfully moved into the private sector puts me one step closer to my goals, and gives me just that much more ammunition when it comes time to argue for private defense and justice as well.

It's part of the old DAM (Debate Anarchist Minarchist).  We anarchists will fight like wolverines alongside the minarchists until the minarchists have their way.  Then we keep going.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on June 03, 2012, 06:47:18 pm
The Western world has been reasonably free despite not being either Libertarian or Anarcho-Capitalist for quite some time. So I don't want to forego the option of simply going back to greater freedom rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach.

For male heads of households, freedom has been diminishing rapidly since the early nineteenth century.  It continues to diminish rapidly.

With tax consumers outvoting tax producers, the time of democracy approaches its end. The present political system will not endure much longer.  What will replace it is up for grabs.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 04, 2012, 01:28:20 am
I am not saying Free Will is a bad thing, All I am stating is a society based on Absolute Freedom is unworkable, where one based on AnCap will function.

I see. I think we were arguing at cross-purposes. My bad. Still, what I was saying was that everyone already has absolute freedom, but they don't typically exercise it.

We, the citizens of a formerly free society, agree to give up some of our rights in exchange for the guarantees of a free society.

For all you call me a state apologist, I have loads of complaints about our supposedly free society; a society that will get markedly less free if the Anarcho-Capitalist candidate get elected.

I just dont see how anarchy, and total control of freedom by corporations, will solve all of our current problems.
In the past, physically and mentally handicapped people were shut in, ignored, abused and/or tortured.  Things are better today.  Not perfect, as that hidden mic in the handicapped classroom showed us recently, but better.

How will anarchy make life better off for the poor and the handicapped?  What about the mentally ill?  How will they afford treatment, if they cannot work.  What do you do if they refuse treatment?

Send them out into the night and hope some George Zimmerman type takes care of your problem for you?

If everybody has absolute freedom, what about the rights of those who arent even capable of exercising those rights?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 04, 2012, 01:42:33 am
Actually, we're not arguing that the free market IS run by thieves and thugs, at least no more so than any other human enterprise. We're arguing that the fallibility of people is not a sufficient excuse to discount an entire organization, whether it be the free market or government.

You're right. Human fallibility is not the reason we discount organizations like the government. We discount them because of their methods. A government is defined by the method of its revenue generation: Taxes. Taxes are theft, pure and simple. If a company that didn't have a flag took money by force to run its operations, we'd call them criminals. With the flag, we call them government. Anarchists simply ignore the flag and call them as they are, criminals.

And if you think US taxation is "voluntary", try saying "No, thanks, I'll pass on paying". See how well that works out for you.

American taxation is covered under the same contract law that would be used in an Anarcho-Capitalist system. 
You agree to pay a certain amount, and in return you get certain things.

If contract law were not to be used in AnCap, the big corporations (and the small ones too) would install such governing authority that provided for the provision and enforcement of contract law.

If there were no government, whats to stop any or all corporations from declaring themselves to be the government of the area they control.

What do you do if Boeing says "in exchange for the necessities of life, you agree to live under our rules"?
If Boeing is paying the people who run the electricity and water and paying for the police and fire departments, and providing you with a job and money, what do you do?  Say "I'm sorry Mr. boss, but no government means no government;  I'll take my chances" ?

Sounds great for a bachelor, but what if you have a wife and kids at home?  How will you pay the rent, or mortgage.

 No government means the landlord or mortgage holder doesnt have any bureaucracy to deal if they want you out.  Especially once they hear you have voluntarily walked away from a good, well-paying job.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 04, 2012, 03:28:07 am
We, the citizens of a formerly free society, agree to give up some of our rights in exchange for the guarantees of a free society.

I don't. I would prefer to select my own guards for my security, thank you.

For all you call me a state apologist, I have loads of complaints about our supposedly free society; a society that will get markedly less free if the Anarcho-Capitalist candidate get elected.

Um... OK. Not how I see AnCap coming to pass, but whatever.

I just dont see how anarchy, and total control of freedom by corporations, will solve all of our current problems.

You have... no idea how AnCap would work. You look at the power corporations have now, and you think "Dear god, what would they be like without government holding them back?" What you refuse to believe, however, is that their power comes entirely from the government. The regulations that supposedly "hold them back" really prevent competition, by raising the barriers to entry. Under AnCap, the phrase "The customer is always right" would come back. Nowadays, it's more like "The regulations are always right."

In the past, physically and mentally handicapped people were shut in, ignored, abused and/or tortured.  Things are better today.  Not perfect, as that hidden mic in the handicapped classroom showed us recently, but better.

How will anarchy make life better off for the poor and the handicapped?  What about the mentally ill?  How will they afford treatment, if they cannot work.  What do you do if they refuse treatment?

Send them out into the night and hope some George Zimmerman type takes care of your problem for you?

If everybody has absolute freedom, what about the rights of those who arent even capable of exercising those rights?

Tell you what. If you can tell me what government will do for poor and handicapped (or any) people that cannot be provided by a private charity, I'll toss aside all my objections to government. I've issued this challenge a number of times over the years, and nobody has yet met it.

As for how it will make life for them better, Anarchy removes taxes, which sap the economy at almost every level. Prices go down, real wages go up, and people have more disposable income. They give some of that money to charities, which, as I said above, can do anything the government can do, and probably more efficiently.

American taxation is covered under the same contract law that would be used in an Anarcho-Capitalist system. 
You agree to pay a certain amount, and in return you get certain things.

But I don't want those things, and they are making me pay anyway.

If contract law were not to be used in AnCap, the big corporations (and the small ones too) would install such governing authority that provided for the provision and enforcement of contract law.

Contract law would be used, almost to the exclusion of any other kind. (I say almost, because I'm not a lawyer, and thus not fully versed in the various and sundry types of law, I don't know of any that would have the widespread use of contract law, but I might be wrong.) Here's the thing though: You cannot be held to a contract you do not sign. Thus, if I agree, and sign a contract, I can be bound by that. If I do not agree, and therefore do not sign, I am not bound by that contract.

If there were no government, whats to stop any or all corporations from declaring themselves to be the government of the area they control.

This is not formatted as a question, but I will assume it was meant as one. The answer is simple. Without the perceived legitimacy that government now enjoys (your defense of same shown as evidence), they would meet resistance and vilification at every turn. Kinda hard to sell your product when all your customers hate you. 

What do you do if Boeing says "in exchange for the necessities of life, you agree to live under our rules"?
If Boeing is paying the people who run the electricity and water and paying for the police and fire departments, and providing you with a job and money, what do you do?  Say "I'm sorry Mr. boss, but no government means no government;  I'll take my chances" ?

Sounds great for a bachelor, but what if you have a wife and kids at home?  How will you pay the rent, or mortgage.

 No government means the landlord or mortgage holder doesnt have any bureaucracy to deal if they want you out.  Especially once they hear you have voluntarily walked away from a good, well-paying job.

Well, if Boeing did something like that, I would apply for a job with Airbus, or some other airplane manufacturer that wasn't trying to set up a state, and get the heck out of dodge. Hopefully Boeing would know that ahead of time, and let the market do its job, but I'm fairly certain that at least one company is going to have to go out of business in this way for the rest of them to get the point.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: mellyrn on June 04, 2012, 08:50:45 am
Quote
charities ... can do anything the government can do, and probably more efficiently.

Charities have to hope enough income comes in to do what they want; therefore they budget their resources.  A government bureaucrat knows the public's pockets are always there for the picking, so "budgeting" is something done only for show.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on June 04, 2012, 11:41:38 am
Quote
charities ... can do anything the government can do, and probably more efficiently.

Charities have to hope enough income comes in to do what they want; therefore they budget their resources.  A government bureaucrat knows the public's pockets are always there for the picking, so "budgeting" is something done only for show.
Not as bad as you make it sound.  Every person in office knows that raising taxes is unpopular, so actually increasing a budget is difficult.  However, cutting services is also unpopular, so things tend to remain at a status quo, without significant civilian input.  The other side is that with a slowly growing economy, a slight increase in a budge is called an increase by the opposition, but a decrease(relative to GDP, and tax base) by the incumbents. 

Quote from: myrkul999
This is not formatted as a question, but I will assume it was meant as one. The answer is simple. Without the perceived legitimacy that government now enjoys (your defense of same shown as evidence), they would meet resistance and vilification at every turn. Kinda hard to sell your product when all your customers hate you. 
Not really.  It would all be done in the name of good PR:  supply employee housing? sounds great.  Operate a few stores by said housing?  still sounds good.  supply protective services to those living on your property?  who wouldn't agree with that?  Then they realize that they have an effective monopoly on a reasonable population, and quality of services start going downhill.  This is where it turned from a company cutting costs by removing a middelman to their employees changed into a government, with all its pitfalls, a fascist state in the middle of your AnCap wonderland.  This is the Cyberpunk dystopia that we fear.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on June 04, 2012, 11:54:58 am
Quote from: myrkul999
This is not formatted as a question, but I will assume it was meant as one. The answer is simple. Without the perceived legitimacy that government now enjoys (your defense of same shown as evidence), they would meet resistance and vilification at every turn. Kinda hard to sell your product when all your customers hate you. 
Not really.  It would all be done in the name of good PR:  supply employee housing? sounds great.  Operate a few stores by said housing?  still sounds good.  supply protective services to those living on your property?  who wouldn't agree with that?  Then they realize that they have an effective monopoly on a reasonable population, and quality of services start going downhill.  This is where it turned from a company cutting costs by removing a middelman to their employees changed into a government, with all its pitfalls, a fascist state in the middle of your AnCap wonderland.  This is the Cyberpunk dystopia that we fear.

Hmmm....were company towns outlawed by the government?  No?  Then why do we not have large numbers of company towns today?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 04, 2012, 02:12:57 pm
Quote
charities ... can do anything the government can do, and probably more efficiently.

Charities have to hope enough income comes in to do what they want; therefore they budget their resources.  A government bureaucrat knows the public's pockets are always there for the picking, so "budgeting" is something done only for show.
Not as bad as you make it sound.  Every person in office knows that raising taxes is unpopular, so actually increasing a budget is difficult.  However, cutting services is also unpopular, so things tend to remain at a status quo, without significant civilian input.  The other side is that with a slowly growing economy, a slight increase in a budge is called an increase by the opposition, but a decrease(relative to GDP, and tax base) by the incumbents. 

They don't have to raise taxes. They can just print more money
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 05, 2012, 01:36:57 am
Quote from: myrkul999
This is not formatted as a question, but I will assume it was meant as one. The answer is simple. Without the perceived legitimacy that government now enjoys (your defense of same shown as evidence), they would meet resistance and vilification at every turn. Kinda hard to sell your product when all your customers hate you. 
Not really.  It would all be done in the name of good PR:  supply employee housing? sounds great.  Operate a few stores by said housing?  still sounds good.  supply protective services to those living on your property?  who wouldn't agree with that?  Then they realize that they have an effective monopoly on a reasonable population, and quality of services start going downhill.  This is where it turned from a company cutting costs by removing a middelman to their employees changed into a government, with all its pitfalls, a fascist state in the middle of your AnCap wonderland.  This is the Cyberpunk dystopia that we fear.

Hmmm....were company towns outlawed by the government?  No?  Then why do we not have large numbers of company towns today?

Actually yes.  Through t he mechanism of trust-busting and the arrivial of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles, companies found it wasnt worth the trouble to keep company towns.

Every AnCaps favorite author, Ayn Rand, favored company towns in the form of Galts Gulch.  if its not run by Galt, why name it after him?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 05, 2012, 01:43:04 am
...the arrival of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles...

Which I suppose you assume will just evaporate under AnCap? I, and probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on June 05, 2012, 03:54:48 am
Quote
charities ... can do anything the government can do, and probably more efficiently.

Charities have to hope enough income comes in to do what they want; therefore they budget their resources.  A government bureaucrat knows the public's pockets are always there for the picking, so "budgeting" is something done only for show.
Not as bad as you make it sound.  Every person in office knows that raising taxes is unpopular, so actually increasing a budget is difficult.  However, cutting services is also unpopular, so things tend to remain at a status quo, without significant civilian input.  The other side is that with a slowly growing economy, a slight increase in a budge is called an increase by the opposition, but a decrease(relative to GDP, and tax base) by the incumbents. 

They don't have to raise taxes. They can just print more money
Which they know causes inflation, so they aren't really willing to do that except as an emergency measure.  By your logic, taxes would be zero, as any gov't budget just says "print me this much money."  Admittedly, gov'ts have done this to some extent even with hard currency, and they saw the inflationary results, sometimes to the point of revolution. 
...the arrival of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles...

Which I suppose you assume will just evaporate under AnCap? I, and probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining.
While many large companies remain staunchly anti-union?  Unions work well when there is a limited labor market, but when there is a glut of workers, as in low skilled labor, especially if a high unemployment rate also exists, the Union just doesn't have enough clout to survive without outside help. 
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 05, 2012, 04:19:34 am
They don't have to raise taxes. They can just print more money
Which they know causes inflation, so they aren't really willing to do that except as an emergency measure.  By your logic, taxes would be zero, as any gov't budget just says "print me this much money."  Admittedly, gov'ts have done this to some extent even with hard currency, and they saw the inflationary results, sometimes to the point of revolution.

Only in emergency situations? Have you seen the economy recently? The Fed stopped telling people how much money they print, recently. doesn't that raise a red flag for you?

...the arrival of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles...
Which I suppose you assume will just evaporate under AnCap? I, and probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining.
While many large companies remain staunchly anti-union?  Unions work well when there is a limited labor market, but when there is a glut of workers, as in low skilled labor, especially if a high unemployment rate also exists, the Union just doesn't have enough clout to survive without outside help.

While many large corporations remain staunchly anti-union. You have to ask yourself, Why? Simple. So they can do the type of BS that CG was worried about, and get away with it. Collective bargaining is how the workers prevent those sorts of abuses. You're right, it doesn't work well when there's so much excess labor. In that sense, the current economic slump seems to be working in the corporations' favor... It's almost enough to subscribe to conspiracy theories.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: customdesigned on June 05, 2012, 05:13:30 am
Unions work well when there is a limited labor market, but when there is a glut of workers, as in low skilled labor, especially if a high unemployment rate also exists, the Union just doesn't have enough clout to survive without outside help. 
You pretty much summed it up there.  Unions work well when there is a limited labor market.  When there is a glut (oversupply) of workers for a particular job, and people should be leaving to try something different (risky and scary though that may be), it takes a government to imprison those people in misery - slogging away at a job they are aren't needed for while (if they are lucky) living off of the progressive brand of "charity" forcibly confiscated from those who still have productive work (less a 50% "administrative" fee).

Title: Re: rights
Post by: Andreas on June 05, 2012, 05:41:34 am
Unions work well when there is a limited labor market, but when there is a glut of workers, as in low skilled labor, especially if a high unemployment rate also exists, the Union just doesn't have enough clout to survive without outside help. 
You pretty much summed it up there.  Unions work well when there is a limited labor market.  When there is a glut (oversupply) of workers for a particular job, and people should be leaving to try something different (risky and scary though that may be), it takes a government to imprison those people in misery - slogging away at a job they are aren't needed for while (if they are lucky) living off of the progressive brand of "charity" forcibly confiscated from those who still have productive work (less a 50% "administrative" fee).



Actually, a union could work very well in a glut, too.
If you look up the medieval European guilds (with their Templar knight basis), you can see that while they dealt with skilled labor, they were as capable of dealing with gluts (see the origins of the Odd Fellows) as with upkeeping a skilled workforce (expanding as needed, for example by importing Journeymen and Odd Fellows).
For some reason the US seems to have only the kinds of unions that try to help their members not work (much), and not the unions that try to help their members work. Both kinds can and do exist. Some unions definitely hire people to help members retrain for other work, too, although the system is not as streamlined as it was back when the Templars were shaping the earth to match the heavens, dotting it with cathedrals.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: dough560 on June 05, 2012, 02:55:35 pm
Customdesigned.  A 50 % surcharge would be cheap by today's standards.  The actual cost is about $1.40 for each $1.00 of "benefits".
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Killydd on June 05, 2012, 07:34:54 pm
Unions work well when there is a limited labor market, but when there is a glut of workers, as in low skilled labor, especially if a high unemployment rate also exists, the Union just doesn't have enough clout to survive without outside help. 
You pretty much summed it up there.  Unions work well when there is a limited labor market.  When there is a glut (oversupply) of workers for a particular job, and people should be leaving to try something different (risky and scary though that may be), it takes a government to imprison those people in misery - slogging away at a job they are aren't needed for while (if they are lucky) living off of the progressive brand of "charity" forcibly confiscated from those who still have productive work (less a 50% "administrative" fee).



Actually, a union could work very well in a glut, too.
If you look up the medieval European guilds (with their Templar knight basis), you can see that while they dealt with skilled labor, they were as capable of dealing with gluts (see the origins of the Odd Fellows) as with upkeeping a skilled workforce (expanding as needed, for example by importing Journeymen and Odd Fellows).
For some reason the US seems to have only the kinds of unions that try to help their members not work (much), and not the unions that try to help their members work. Both kinds can and do exist. Some unions definitely hire people to help members retrain for other work, too, although the system is not as streamlined as it was back when the Templars were shaping the earth to match the heavens, dotting it with cathedrals.
The skilled labor is the key difference there.  When a group of skilled laborers chooses to boycott someone, there is a much greater force applied than when the unskilled grocery clerks do the same.  The other thing that "skilled" means though is "trainable" and, quite often, "motivated."  These make it much easier to retrain someone to keep them in a job, whereas the unskilled labor has the choice of staying in the underworked job, or leaving and facing no local job.  As you mention, they did develop methods of dealing with local gluts, effectively an information and travel network to help find a better place, but again, this only has meaning for skilled workers, where there is likely to be a lack somewhere.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Tucci78 on June 05, 2012, 07:46:06 pm
Every AnCaps favorite author, Ayn Rand, favored company towns in the form of Galts Gulch.  if its not run by Galt, why name it after him?

Because the idea for "the men of the mind" to withdraw their services from the looters - for Atlas to shrug - was John Galt's.

Among the many faults I found in my first reading of Atlas Shrugged was that Mrs. O'Connor willfully overlooked how the looters can always find second- and third-rate people to step up and try to shoulder the load. 

Nothing in later readings had tended to change that opinion of mine.

To the extent that any system or subsystem has redundancy (and engineers like redundancy, building it in whenever and wherever possible, to compensate for human error and other manifestations of "the Breaking Strain"), the political parasites who suck unto positions of power in government tend to be resourceful in their manipulation of people whose priorities in life center upon overcoming the cupidity and stupidity of others to make the machinery run, no matter what.

Any Galt's Gulch refuge would have to swell to the size of St. Louis (at the very least) to bleed off enough of the competent minds to effect the kind of catastrophic decompensation depicted in Ayn Rand's novel.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: wdg3rd on June 05, 2012, 08:50:39 pm

Among the many faults I found in my first reading of Atlas Shrugged was that Mrs. O'Connor willfully overlooked how the looters can always find second- and third-rate people to step up and try to shoulder the load. 


Yup.  Frex, look at how long it's taken New York to not quite completely destroy the subways despite turning it into a unionized welfare project under LaGuardian.

I'm a second-rater.  An Eddie.  Never denied it.  I am a damned good computer system and network administrator.  I am not a coder aside from the shell scripts that make life tolerable.

And I even burned out on that.  Six years I've been just a clerk.  Couldn't deal with the users and the dead-end job had a health plan worth more than the low wage.  Lisa needed it.  Now she's gone.

One last thing I'm good at.  So I'm going home to New Hampshire to sell chili.  The ghods willing, the widow Moslow will come with me.  But I've hated Jersey the two decades I've spent here in Lisa's home town.  (I admit I'll miss Gunnison Beach as New Hampshire has nothing even close).
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 05, 2012, 11:35:03 pm
...the arrival of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles...

Which I suppose you assume will just evaporate under AnCap? I, and probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining.

But thats not market anarchy.  Or any anarchy.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 05, 2012, 11:42:37 pm
...the arrival of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles...
Which I suppose you assume will just evaporate under AnCap? I, and probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining.
But thats not market anarchy.  Or any anarchy.

As I said, you have no idea what Anarcho-capitalism [Market Anarchy] means.

FFS, at least read the Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism).
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 05, 2012, 11:46:42 pm
The Western world has been reasonably free despite not being either Libertarian or Anarcho-Capitalist for quite some time. So I don't want to forego the option of simply going back to greater freedom rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach.

For male heads of households, freedom has been diminishing rapidly since the early nineteenth century.  It continues to diminish rapidly.

Of course it does.  In the early nineteenth century, man was king, and anyone or thing that lived under his roof was property, to do with as he pleased.
it was a very anarchic system.

Once women stopped thinking of themselves as the mans property, the mans freedom began eroding.  
One the man had to think of his children, especially female children, as people and not property, his freedom rapidly eroded.

I highly suspect that in an AnCap society, a substantial portion of male heads of households will return to that nineteenth century way of thinking.
Until their wives and children start killing them.

Once a person has lived their life with freedom, they will not easily give it up.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: dough560 on June 06, 2012, 03:17:16 am
It always amazes me the number of people who will give away their freedom for a little perceived safety.  Then there are those who believe individuals should surrender their freedom for the good of society.  Then there are those who express these sentiments at gun point....
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Tucci78 on June 06, 2012, 05:10:25 am
Quote
Mascon2: We're getting a lousy response.

Mascon1: That's okay. Marsha explained that votes that aren't cast don't count.

So what we've got in this "vote of confidence" is not only the ad populum fallacy but a typical "Liberal" fraud.  

No such set of pre-ordained choices (the fallacy of false dilemma, commonly known as the "either/or fallacy") should be permitted  - or considered either valid or binding - unless there's a "No Response" or "None of the Above" option included and tracked as a negative in order to determine the extent to which none of the choices offered meet with the solicited subject's approval.

I like to think of it as the "Fribble Off & Die, You Bastard" option.  

Frankly, in a market-capitalist social system where the participants commonly pack heat or maintain some other kind of weaponry on their persons for purposes of self-defense (while the Mascons, by their nature and background, are self-disarmed "Eloi" types), I'd expect the AnCap "Morlocks" to simply slaughter the Massachusetts Mamzeren when the Mascons attempt to impose extortion - er, "taxation" - on those who see no "emergency," no need for their "council," and no reason for any of the alleged "majority" to continue wasting oxygen.

Poor cousin Pierre will be fortunate indeed if the delay in transit that finds him on Ceres sponging off Guy Caillard is extended long enough for the bloodbath to run its course

Heck, these Mascons are "Liberals."  How can they object to being recycled?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Tucci78 on June 06, 2012, 05:48:01 am
...the arrival of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles...

Which I suppose you assume will just evaporate under AnCap? I, and probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining.

What the hell d'you mean by "...probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining," Kemo Sabe?  

I sure don't, and my only proximal lifetime encounters with "organized labor and collective bargaining" were as a member of a union in a closed shop in summer manufacturing jobs I held as a college student.

My life-lesson from that experience is that unions chiefly act to protect and promote mediocrity and laziness to the benefit of those with seniority rather than on the basis of merit.  The qualities of union officers demonstrate the validity of this observation.

At a remove, I've had to deal with unionized "skilled" labor among hospital employees, and the greatest number of the most "skilled" workers - the nursing staff - have known full well that the many unskilled people in their unions have exploited the critical value of the nurses as bargaining chips to the unskilled majority's benefit.

Y'see, these collective bargaining units (CBUs) are run democratically, with the majority - made up overwhelmingly by non-nursing and other non-certified employees - could and did out-vote the more highly-trained personnel.

It's for this reason that such genuinely skilled labor folks strive for separate status in their own CBUs, but that really doesn' t do them all that much good.  The concept of "closed shop" unionization requires that members of other CBUs respect strikers' picket lines, so yet again we've got the observation that:

"Democracy" is the ancient Greek word meaning:
"How the devil did we get into this mess?"

I can't see anarchists of any sort subordinating their interests and powers of decision to any sort of collective into which they have not entered freely, and the "closed shop" concept of union CBUs intrinsically and inescapably voids such an essential element of consent.

If an anarchist has to join the union and abide by the union officers' decisions in order to work in a closed shop, I mark him as an anti-union subversive from the git-go.  
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Corydon on June 06, 2012, 06:24:23 am
Of course, in an AnCap system you'd be free to go to another, non-union, hospital. And if unions are necessarily as bad as you claim, they wouldn't survive in an AnCap system. So there's really no problem.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Tucci78 on June 06, 2012, 08:23:23 am
Of course, in an AnCap system you'd be free to go to another, non-union, hospital. And if unions are necessarily as bad as you claim, they wouldn't survive in an AnCap system. So there's really no problem.

As is being demonstrated on Vesta by way of Masha and the Mascons, there is a tendency for entrepreneurs to establish a going concern and for coercive types to move in and take over.

Most people don't seem to be aware of this, but a great many of the hospitals operating in these United States at present had begun life (in the days before government thugs moved in to force "Certificates of Need" [CONs] down our throats) as simple profit-making proprietary operations owned by a doctor or group of doctors so that they could have facilities in which to provide services to their patients. 

Satisfaction of market demand - and not some politician or bureaucrat - determined whether such for-profit enterprises succeeded or failed, while eleemosynary alternatives were established and run to charitably serve the indigent.

Indeed, while lawyers call "pro bono publico" ("for the public good") their activities in the provision of free services for the poor, medical doctors call their own work in that line "caritas" ("charity") and make no arrogant claims about it being done for any sort of abstract "public good."

When I came up into practice, it was made crystal clear that each of us was expected to put in the equivalent of a half-day a week in free service, usually by way of some clinic.

What, you think we're actually playing golf on those Wednesday afternoons we're out of the office?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Corydon on June 06, 2012, 09:17:44 am
OK, fine. My point is simply that, in an AnCap society, in the absence of government, bad unions will disappear, in the same way that bad companies will disappear. (And a good thing, too- otherwise what are you going to do? Prevent people from forming associations?)
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on June 06, 2012, 09:29:39 am
Come on, people.  The problem isn't with unions, but with the government laws that give unions legal powers that they wouldn't otherwise have.  Sure, in a free society, people can join unions and let the union do their bargaining for them, but they won't, unless they think the union can do a better job than if they just did their own negotiating.  Or the union will have to provide other benefits, like job training and placement, unemployment insurance, or something.

The irony of people who support unions is like many "progressive", liberal ideas:  evil corporations, granted power by government, are supposedly best fought by unions, granted power by government.  They can't see the government "forest" for the union and corporate trees.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 06, 2012, 10:53:43 am
...the arrival of organized labor willing to bust head and get shot for their troubles...

Which I suppose you assume will just evaporate under AnCap? I, and probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining.

What the hell d'you mean by "...probably most of the AnCaps here, support organized labor and collective bargaining," Kemo Sabe?  

I sure don't, and my only proximal lifetime encounters with "organized labor and collective bargaining" were as a member of a union in a closed shop in summer manufacturing jobs I held as a college student.

I think there is likely a misunderstanding of "support organized labor..." here.  I strongly suspect that there are no real AnCap advocates that would deny that individuals have the right to band together and negotiate collectively.  However, these same advocates would not deny the right of business owners/employers to decline to do business with those representing such a group.

Personally, as an AnCap advocate, I would not join such a group; I would much rather do the negotiation myself.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Tucci78 on June 06, 2012, 12:28:20 pm
OK, fine. My point is simply that, in an AnCap society, in the absence of government, bad unions will disappear, in the same way that bad companies will disappear. (And a good thing, too- otherwise what are you going to do? Prevent people from forming associations?)

What give you to think that there's anything but "bad unions"?  Point me to an example of what you conjure to be a good "closed shop" union and give us some idea of just whom that CBU is supposed to be "good" for.

Come on, people.  The problem isn't with unions, but with the government laws that give unions legal powers that they wouldn't otherwise have.  Sure, in a free society, people can join unions and let the union do their bargaining for them, but they won't, unless they think the union can do a better job than if they just did their own negotiating.  Or the union will have to provide other benefits, like job training and placement, unemployment insurance, or something.

Some unions do provide such services, but they pay for them by screwing funds out of their members' employers in (surprise!) collective bargaining on the basis of the "closed shop" system rammed down the payors' throats by way of government ukase.

And the union leadership takes a hefty rake-off for themselves (and the "Union Beneficent Fund ") in the process of squeezing out that funding. 

Smedley Butler (former Commandant of the USMC) is known today for his expostulatory pamphlet War is a Racket.  Well, unions are a racket, too. 

====================
Don Corleone: Santino, what do you think?

Sonny: There's a lot of money in that white powder.

Don Corleone: Tom?

Tom Hagen: Well, I say yes. There is more money potential in narcotics than anything else we're looking at now. If we don't get into it, somebody else will, maybe one of the Five Families, maybe all of them. And with the money they earn they'll be able to buy more police and political power. Then they come after us. Right now we have the unions and we have the gambling and those are the best things to have. But narcotics is a thing of the future. If we don't get a piece of that action we risk everything we have. Not now, but ten years from now.

Sonny: Well, what's your answer gonna be, Pop?

-- from The Godfather (1972) [emphasis added]

Title: Re: rights
Post by: Corydon on June 06, 2012, 12:44:19 pm
OK, fine. My point is simply that, in an AnCap society, in the absence of government, bad unions will disappear, in the same way that bad companies will disappear. (And a good thing, too- otherwise what are you going to do? Prevent people from forming associations?)

What give you to think that there's anything but "bad unions"?  Point me to an example of what you conjure to be a good "closed shop" union and give us some idea of just whom that CBU is supposed to be "good" for.

The definition of what makes a union "good" or "bad" is always going to be subjective.  I doubt we'd come to an agreement about that, and it's not an argument I care to have with you. 

My point is simply that, as macsnafu and NRNBR have said, folks should have the right to form those associations and use them to negotiate.  And furthermore, in the absence of government, if a union isn't a positive market force, it will dwindle and disappear. 

Someone who says otherwise is just making the inverse argument of ContraryGuy: that is to say, not AnCap, just a wingman for corporatism.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 06, 2012, 02:44:26 pm
I figured I might be opening a can of worms with that, and as it turns out, I was right. Tooch, I understand where you're coming from, but allow me to elaborate:

There are two types of unions: Trade Unions, and Labor Unions. Labor Unions allow groups of employees to bargain for benefits and wages on equal footing with the company. Trade Unions limit the number of workers in that trade, and actually work to protect their members from competition from other workers. Laws have granted both types of unions legal powers that they shouldn't have, and tend to blur the lines between the two.

I draw a sharp distinction between the two, with Trade Unions being firmly on the "bad" side. as I said, they act to protect their members from competition from other workers.

Quote
My life-lesson from that experience is that unions chiefly act to protect and promote mediocrity and laziness to the benefit of those with seniority rather than on the basis of merit.  The qualities of union officers demonstrate the validity of this observation.

At a remove, I've had to deal with unionized "skilled" labor among hospital employees, and the greatest number of the most "skilled" workers - the nursing staff - have known full well that the many unskilled people in their unions have exploited the critical value of the nurses as bargaining chips to the unskilled majority's benefit.

I won't deny that this is likely to be a problem, but again, competition from non-union sources of labor should prevent it.

In a company, the executives have a lot more power than does any individual worker, even if you assume a worker-friendly labor market (as most AnCap societies are assumed to be), because the executives are bargaining as a group. A labor union allows the workers to band together, to bargain on equal footing. Without laws supporting (or preventing) unions, that's likely to be their only function. They can't prevent the employer from hiring non-union labor (unless the employer is stupid enough to sign a contract saying so), and they can't prevent new workers from entering the field.

I apologize if I've offended anyone, but that's my position. I support collective bargaining as a way to ensure that workers are not exploited, robber-baron style, but not as a way to prevent workers from suffering competition from non-union sources.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 06, 2012, 03:28:41 pm
There are two types of unions: Trade Unions, and Labor Unions. Labor Unions allow groups of employees to bargain for benefits and wages on equal footing with the company. Trade Unions limit the number of workers in that trade, and actually work to protect their members from competition from other workers. Laws have granted both types of unions legal powers that they shouldn't have, and tend to blur the lines between the two.

I draw a sharp distinction between the two, with Trade Unions being firmly on the "bad" side. as I said, they act to protect their members from competition from other workers.
[...]

This is a reasonable distinction; however, it is quite possible, assuming that the AnCap society recognizes some forms of "intellectual property", for trade unions to exist as well.

Specifically, if a trade union protects its knowledge with "trade secrets"; it may share them only with union members, and contractually bind those members with the provision that they are not permitted to transfer them to union non-members or use them once leaving the union.

This would, at least temporarily, limit effective competition from union non-members.  Competition could still arise from others who develop similar knowledge outside the union, as well as those developing alternative approaches/technologies, and knowledge may "leak" due to contract violations -- the violator(s) may be liable, but if the information is transferred to one or more individuals with no contractual agreement, they would not be encumbered by the restrictions.


Quote
In a company, the executives have a lot more power than does any individual worker, even if you assume a worker-friendly labor market (as most AnCap societies are assumed to be), because the executives are bargaining as a group. A labor union allows the workers to band together, to bargain on equal footing. Without laws supporting (or preventing) unions, that's likely to be their only function. They can't prevent the employer from hiring non-union labor (unless the employer is stupid enough to sign a contract saying so), and they can't prevent new workers from entering the field.

In a single company this may be true; however across employers there will be competition for those selling their services (i.e., employees).  As a result, in general, both the employer and the employee have multiple options in the market, and may both exploit this to get the best deal they can (as they individually define "best").  Without government interference, there will be less impetus to remain with a single employer, which in turn will reduce the ability of employers to retain employees at below market prices.  This will naturally reduce the necessity for collective bargaining.  It may still be of value in certain venues, but that value would largely come from reduced negotiation cost for both employer and employee.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Andreas on June 06, 2012, 03:49:50 pm
Unions work well when there is a limited labor market, but when there is a glut of workers, as in low skilled labor, especially if a high unemployment rate also exists, the Union just doesn't have enough clout to survive without outside help. 
You pretty much summed it up there.  Unions work well when there is a limited labor market.  When there is a glut (oversupply) of workers for a particular job, and people should be leaving to try something different (risky and scary though that may be), it takes a government to imprison those people in misery - slogging away at a job they are aren't needed for while (if they are lucky) living off of the progressive brand of "charity" forcibly confiscated from those who still have productive work (less a 50% "administrative" fee).



Actually, a union could work very well in a glut, too.
If you look up the medieval European guilds (with their Templar knight basis), you can see that while they dealt with skilled labor, they were as capable of dealing with gluts (see the origins of the Odd Fellows) as with upkeeping a skilled workforce (expanding as needed, for example by importing Journeymen and Odd Fellows).
For some reason the US seems to have only the kinds of unions that try to help their members not work (much), and not the unions that try to help their members work. Both kinds can and do exist. Some unions definitely hire people to help members retrain for other work, too, although the system is not as streamlined as it was back when the Templars were shaping the earth to match the heavens, dotting it with cathedrals.
The skilled labor is the key difference there.  When a group of skilled laborers chooses to boycott someone, there is a much greater force applied than when the unskilled grocery clerks do the same.  The other thing that "skilled" means though is "trainable" and, quite often, "motivated."  These make it much easier to retrain someone to keep them in a job, whereas the unskilled labor has the choice of staying in the underworked job, or leaving and facing no local job.  As you mention, they did develop methods of dealing with local gluts, effectively an information and travel network to help find a better place, but again, this only has meaning for skilled workers, where there is likely to be a lack somewhere.
The point was that the guilds did not strike. The maintained a monopoly on licenses to work, and in many ways they were trade unions, looking out for the Master Craftsmen. But what they did in a glut made sense: They worked to relocate the people for whom the work available would not suffice: Odd Fellows (With the meaning of Odd that corresponds with "Surplus") were guild members who were being relocated; there was no work for them anymore (which happened when a Cathedral neared completion), so they were given a stipend and a passport, they would then travel to the next guild over, present their passport and ask for permission to settle in; if there was no room, they'd get a new stipend and new directions. The end result was that the Templars always had experienced workers for their cathedrals. The guild members' payments to the guild coffers were both a kind of common social security and a trust to keep competition down... though not a limited and malign trust like the ones later developed, when mass production meant that a few person could own production capacity enough to create monopolies.

Now, in modern union terms, where unemployment is measured nationally, parts of the relocation efforts of a union during a glut would naturally be retraining services. Today moving is more expensive (since most people prefer to bring more than they can carry), and a lot of other factors have changed too.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 06, 2012, 04:02:20 pm
Good points.

There are two types of unions: Trade Unions, and Labor Unions. Labor Unions allow groups of employees to bargain for benefits and wages on equal footing with the company. Trade Unions limit the number of workers in that trade, and actually work to protect their members from competition from other workers. Laws have granted both types of unions legal powers that they shouldn't have, and tend to blur the lines between the two.

I draw a sharp distinction between the two, with Trade Unions being firmly on the "bad" side. as I said, they act to protect their members from competition from other workers.
[...]

This is a reasonable distinction; however, it is quite possible, assuming that the AnCap society recognizes some forms of "intellectual property", for trade unions to exist as well.

Specifically, if a trade union protects its knowledge with "trade secrets"; it may share them only with union members, and contractually bind those members with the provision that they are not permitted to transfer them to union non-members or use them once leaving the union.

"Trade secrets", I can see happening, but with a few exceptions, I think they'd probably be pretty limited in scope. This is, of course, only my opinion, and I've been known to be significantly wrong in my opinions before.

Quote
Quote
In a company, the executives have a lot more power than does any individual worker, even if you assume a worker-friendly labor market (as most AnCap societies are assumed to be), because the executives are bargaining as a group. A labor union allows the workers to band together, to bargain on equal footing. Without laws supporting (or preventing) unions, that's likely to be their only function. They can't prevent the employer from hiring non-union labor (unless the employer is stupid enough to sign a contract saying so), and they can't prevent new workers from entering the field.

In a single company this may be true; however across employers there will be competition for those selling their services (i.e., employees).  As a result, in general, both the employer and the employee have multiple options in the market, and may both exploit this to get the best deal they can (as they individually define "best").  Without government interference, there will be less impetus to remain with a single employer, which in turn will reduce the ability of employers to retain employees at below market prices.  This will naturally reduce the necessity for collective bargaining.  It may still be of value in certain venues, but that value would largely come from reduced negotiation cost for both employer and employee.

As you point out, moving is not cheap. There would be less keeping you at a specific company, but leaving might mean moving, or a longer commute, or any number of other factors that make renegotiating a more palatable choice. You're right, there will be less call for labor unions, but I doubt they'll go away entirely.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: sam on June 06, 2012, 06:09:55 pm
I can't see anarchists of any sort subordinating their interests and powers of decision to any sort of collective into which they have not entered freely, and the "closed shop" concept of union CBUs intrinsically and inescapably voids such an essential element of consent.

The closed shop is the state in smaller version.  

Anarchists, of course, support voluntary association, and thus support the right of those workers who individually choose to join a union to join one, and those who choose otherwise to not join one.  As we saw in the Wisconsin recall election, unions are none too keen on that idea.

A closed shop is generally brought into being by a majority vote, accompanied by the risk of having your legs broken if you don't vote.

Unionism in practice is illustrated by the great British Coal Strike:

Scargill held a pit by pit vote, not a national pit head vote, presumably because he anticipated he would lose a national pit head vote.  In a pit by pit vote, the miners in each pit gets to vote on whether that particular pit goes out on strike, rather than voting on whether all pits would go out on strike.  Scargill then proceeded to organize physical attacks on those miners in pits that voted not to go out on strike.

The practical effect of these attacks was to make the union Scargill's personal property.  It was said of him that he started the strike with a big union and a small house, and ended it with a small union and a big house.

A union is, in practice, a little state, and like most states, is run by and for those who draw salaries from it and are granted authority by it.

The "scabs" that the union attacked in the great British Coal Strike were unionists whose pit had, in a pit meeting summoned by their union, voted against striking, and who had therefore, in accordance with the union constitution and union rules, refrained from striking.

Thus if you are an anarchist, you must oppose actually existent unionism, whoever much you might support theoretical unionism.

An anarchist might well oppose the right of corporations to limit the liability of their owners, at least in the case of corporations whose business is primarily about making promises to pay.  Banks, and perhaps insurance companies, should not have limited liability because they so frequently abuse it on a massive scale, leading to crises that invite government intervention, but a corporation, unlike a union, is simply a bunch of people voluntarily associating to achieve a common purpose.




Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on June 07, 2012, 08:53:34 am
Thus if you are an anarchist, you must oppose actually existent unionism, whoever much you might support theoretical unionism.
Well, sure.  In an anarchist society, a "closed" shop could not occur without the willing cooperation of the company, which means that unions would have to show that unionism is a benefit to the company, as well as to the employees.

But the point is not that anarchists must oppose unions, but the power and privileges granted unions by actually existent governments.  Just as anarchists must not oppose corporations, but the power and privileges granted to corporations by governments.  Obviously, in anarchy, corporations and unions could not have such power and privilege.  It is this that makes corporations and unions improbable in anarchy, but not impossible, as to exist, they would have to show that they actually contribute something useful and worthwhile to people, without that power and privilege.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: Brugle on June 07, 2012, 07:22:32 pm
Among the many faults I found in my first reading of Atlas Shrugged was that Mrs. O'Connor willfully overlooked how the looters can always find second- and third-rate people to step up and try to shoulder the load.
Interesting.  I thought that that was one of the fundamental themes of the book--that the dominant anti-human philosophy (as translated into ethics, politics, economics, etc.) would, to the extent that it was accepted, destroy the ability to think effectively.  The "wet nurse" was a particularly vivid example (to me) of someone who could have been fairly competent if he hadn't been taught that thinking was useless.  Sure, there was some poetic license, but it wasn't all that unreasonable given the US in the early 1950s.

Consider:
if its not run by Galt, why name it after him?
Is the inability to imagine naming a town after someone other than the person who "runs" it a personality trait unaffected by the surrounding culture?  I doubt it.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: bjdotson on June 08, 2012, 08:30:03 am
Sometimes a "Union" is not really a union. Case in point is the Federal Employees Union. Federal Employees do not have collective bargaining rights, they can not strike, and their wages are set by Congress and the President. I think of them as the Federal Employee Lobbying group. You would be surprised how many Federal Employees (especially in the west) that are Libertarian or AnCaps, although a significant majority are Democrats.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 13, 2012, 12:42:36 am
Sometimes a "Union" is not really a union. Case in point is the Federal Employees Union. Federal Employees do not have collective bargaining rights, they can not strike, and their wages are set by Congress and the President. I think of them as the Federal Employee Lobbying group. You would be surprised how many Federal Employees (especially in the west) that are Libertarian or AnCaps, although a significant majority are Democrats.

Well, if rich people can have unions of rich people/lobbying groups, why cant the poor working classes also have lobbying groups?

I thought you guys were all for fairness.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 13, 2012, 12:46:54 am
Of course, in an AnCap system you'd be free to go to another, non-union, hospital. And if unions are necessarily as bad as you claim, they wouldn't survive in an AnCap system. So there's really no problem.

As is being demonstrated on Vesta by way of Masha and the Mascons, there is a tendency for entrepreneurs to establish a going concern and for coercive types to move in and take over.


What, you think we're actually playing golf on those Wednesday afternoons we're out of the office?

Why, yes, actually.  Many a time called physicians office and been told exactly that.

Gone through more darned doctors that way.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 13, 2012, 12:59:10 am
Perhaps one should not start by assuming that all natural rights must be negative rights.

As long as we know what we're doing, and don't go overboard, it doesn't have to be all that bad. It's when we lose sight of the fact that those things are not rights, just convenient luxuries (for example, some socialized health care prevents cheapskates from inflicting infectious diseases on the rest of us) that we can slide into absurdity or tyranny.[\quote]

Thats another thing AnCap cant/wont do.  Prevent the spread of infectious disease.  Cant force you to get immunizations, some people wont for love or money.
No public health agency whose job it is to notice outbreaks and warn people.  Thats just butting into peoples lives; nossir, cant have that.
Do you really think that individual doctors would notice something like that?  Would they have time to look over records and seek out correlations, and then investigate, and then try to get word out that there is an abnormal amount of disease in their areas?

Of course not.  Every doctor I know is too tired at the end of the day to want to do more paperwork.
Maybe the rich doctors where you live can delegate that work to interns, but not around here.

Absolute freedom means absolute responsibility.  If youre sick, stay home from work so you dont infect your co-workers.  I'm sure youre boss will understand, and not fire you for bringing down his productivity numbers.  After all, theres no government to complain to about mean ol' employers.

Does sneezing on a co-worker constitute aggression?  Would coughing into common airspace violate the ZAP?
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 13, 2012, 01:09:58 am
Perhaps one should not start by assuming that all natural rights must be negative rights.

As long as we know what we're doing, and don't go overboard, it doesn't have to be all that bad. It's when we lose sight of the fact that those things are not rights, just convenient luxuries (for example, some socialized health care prevents cheapskates from inflicting infectious diseases on the rest of us) that we can slide into absurdity or tyranny.

Thats another thing AnCap cant/wont do.  Prevent the spread of infectious disease.  Cant force you to get immunizations, some people wont for love or money.
No public health agency whose job it is to notice outbreaks and warn people.  Thats just butting into peoples lives; nossir, cant have that.
Do you really think that individual doctors would notice something like that?  Would they have time to look over records and seek out correlations, and then investigate, and then try to get word out that there is an abnormal amount of disease in their areas?

Of course not.  Every doctor I know is too tired at the end of the day to want to do more paperwork.
Maybe the rich doctors where you live can delegate that work to interns, but not around here.

Absolute freedom means absolute responsibility.  If youre sick, stay home from work so you dont infect your co-workers.  I'm sure youre boss will understand, and not fire you for bringing down his productivity numbers.  After all, theres no government to complain to about mean ol' employers.

Does sneezing on a co-worker constitute aggression?  Would coughing into common airspace violate the ZAP?

Seriously, CG, I'm beginning to think your screwups are intentional. I mean really... [\quote]?

As to the medical outbreak, what makes you think statistics would suddenly evaporate? The CDC doesn't do anything that a private agency couldn't do, excepting it's source of funding.
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ex-Gooserider on June 13, 2012, 02:00:53 am
Presumably being a known disease vector (IOW sick...) would make one liable for infecting others - certainly I've heard of people w/ HIV being prosecuted for not telling sex partners. 

It would be tougher to prove just who gave you that cold, but the principle would be the same...

Also it seems likely to me that the controlled environment of a belt settlement could be kept free of most nasty infectious diseases without a lot of effort - (possibly competing) private agencies could do the same sorts of duties as CHI agencies and those running space ports might refuse landing privileges to "uncertified" craft, and have arbitrators that back them up...

Doctors would quite likely have more time to do tracking of illnesses and other such issues given that they would have a lot less required gov't based paperwork to fill out...

Don't know all the answers, but it seems like a solvable problem - people don't like getting sick, and I'm sure they would work out systems to help keep the populace as a whole healthy...  (Note that the person refusing a vaccination puts himself at risk, but not those that HAVE gotten the shot....)

ex-Gooserider
Title: Re: rights
Post by: macsnafu on June 13, 2012, 09:21:51 am
Absolute freedom means absolute responsibility.  If youre sick, stay home from work so you dont infect your co-workers.  I'm sure youre boss will understand, and not fire you for bringing down his productivity numbers.  After all, theres no government to complain to about mean ol' employers.

Does sneezing on a co-worker constitute aggression?  Would coughing into common airspace violate the ZAP?
Again, with this "absolute freedom" nonsense.  An enlightened employer *will* understand if you're seriously ill and contagious--he/she won't want half the workforce or more to be out for several days because of the flu or something worse.   And firing sick employees and training their replacements could be very expensive, time-consuming, and nonprofitable.  Even evil employers will want to minimize their expenses.  Of course, it depends upon what kind of work we're talking about, and how the workplace is organized.  Circumstances vary as to what's a big problem and what's a minor situation.

And I'm not sure sneezing and coughing would violate the NAP, but even if they do, you're still overlooking an important point:  the "punishment" must fit the crime.  Just as it would be inappropriate to execute someone for stealing a loaf of bread or a candy bar, so too, would it be inappropriate for spreading a cold or flu. 
Title: Re: rights
Post by: SandySandfort on June 13, 2012, 09:38:55 am
Again, with this "absolute freedom" nonsense...

When you don't have an argument to stand on, you make shit up. In logic, it's called a straw man argument. While no market anarchist, libertarian or fellow traveler would ever create such a cockamamie, semantically null, oxymoron such as "absolute freedom," it is the only way CG can create the illusion of rational argument.

BTW, falsely attributing this intellectually vapid term to ACs, would constitute fraud if anyone actually bought into it. So CG is a fraudster, just not an effective one. Which just supports the conclusion that CG isn't good at anything. He never discusses his work, for example. He's probably on the dole and freedom threatens his "lifestyle."
Title: Re: rights
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 14, 2012, 03:41:46 pm
Again, with this "absolute freedom" nonsense...

When you don't have an argument to stand on, you make shit up. In logic, it's called a straw man argument. While no market anarchist, libertarian or fellow traveler would ever create such a cockamamie, semantically null, oxymoron such as "absolute freedom," it is the only way CG can create the illusion of rational argument.

BTW, falsely attributing this intellectually vapid term to ACs, would constitute fraud if anyone actually bought into it. So CG is a fraudster, just not an effective one. Which just supports the conclusion that CG isn't good at anything. He never discusses his work, for example. He's probably on the dole and freedom threatens his "lifestyle."

Actually, i am a fully functioning self-employed entrepreneurial capitalist, whose job it is to make house calls (like doctors of old) and provide repairs to computers and related technologies and stress relief to to the user.

I am no more on the dole than anyone here, and less than some.

As for the /quote, am i not even allowed a single typo?  And i thought i was pedantic!
Title: Re: rights
Post by: myrkul999 on June 14, 2012, 03:58:41 pm
You don't typo once, but at nearly every opportunity. My browser almost has a fit drawing red squiggly lines whenever I quote your posts.

And as for the [\quote]... there's a link which quotes the posts for you. To say nothing of the "preview" button. If you don't know how to use that, I feel sorry for the people you inflict your "services" on. I would expect a computer tech to be computer literate, at least.

To try, at least, to pull it back on-topic, I noticed you haven't responded to any criticisms of your arguments. A quick sampling:

Quote
As to the medical outbreak, what makes you think statistics would suddenly evaporate? The CDC doesn't do anything that a private agency couldn't do, excepting it's source of funding.
Quote
Presumably being a known disease vector (IOW sick...) would make one liable for infecting others - certainly I've heard of people w/ HIV being prosecuted for not telling sex partners.

It would be tougher to prove just who gave you that cold, but the principle would be the same...

Quote
An enlightened employer *will* understand if you're seriously ill and contagious--he/she won't want half the workforce or more to be out for several days because of the flu or something worse.   And firing sick employees and training their replacements could be very expensive, time-consuming, and nonprofitable.  Even evil employers will want to minimize their expenses.