MacFall on August 13, 2010, 11:36:30 am
So when they chose a king things got better? Oy.

No, and the Bible explicitly says otherwise.

The Judges were the solution to the problem of lawlessness in Israel, and it was a fairly anarchic solution. They came between the chaos that resulted from Israel emulating other nations (which had kings) and the time when Israel rejected God's prescription for a stateless society and insisted on getting themselves a king.

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Look at it this way: Islam is the ultimate statist ideology.

I'm sorry, but this is nonsense. Islam claims to tell people how to live, and then they're supposed to do that. There is essentially nothing in it about how to set up a government. There isn't even anything in it about how to set up a religious hierarchy to enforce the rules.

Furthermore, even Sharia law has good ideas about property rights and justice. Of course it's not perfect (making spousal rape a crime would certainly help), but it's not inherently statist either.

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It wouldn't be absurd to have muslim libertarians, who say that everybody has the right to live according to Islam on their own hook,

And I know several, including a few individualist anarchist Muslims. Of course some would say that they aren't True MuslimsTM, but that's basically the No True Scotsman fallacy committed by someone who doesn't even know any Scots.
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

terry_freeman on August 13, 2010, 01:36:15 pm
Since when does a Book - any Book - define the actions of quasi-adherents?

By this time, we know that the average Congressman who swears an oath to uphold the Constitution holds it in as much regard as a roll of toilet paper. There are examples on youtube of them laughing openly when told that the Constitution actually sets limits on their conduct.

We know that even fundamentalist Christians who claim to believe in every word of the Bible actually pick and choose; they do not kill children for sassing their parents, for example. The vast majority do not even pretend to respect every last word of the Bible.

So why now are we to believe that Islam is somehow special, that Moslims, alone among all other religions, take their Book 100% literally? What kind of unreasoning fanatics are you anti-Moslims?


quadibloc on August 13, 2010, 07:13:47 pm
So why now are we to believe that Islam is somehow special, that Moslims, alone among all other religions, take their Book 100% literally? What kind of unreasoning fanatics are you anti-Moslims?
I don't know all of what is in the Quran, so I don't try to claim that Muslims anywhere follow every line of it.

I do know, though, that some Muslims are doing things I don't like, and whether they're getting their ideas from the Quran or just from some hadith or other is not a primary concern to me.

What kinds of things?

In Egypt, the Coptic Christian minority is not allowed to build new churches. They need special permission even to make repairs to their existing churches, and this kind of permission has not been forthcoming of late. No similar restrictions are placed on Muslims and their mosques.

In several majority-Muslim countries, non-Muslims are exposed to violence from Muslims, and lack adequate legal recourse when it happens. This does not mean that the violent acts in question are endorsed, advocated, or permitted by the Quran. Thus, the Quran explicitly condemns rape. But Islamic Law sets a high evidentiary standard for rape, and in addition places non-Muslims at a disadvantage in legal proceedings. These provisions of Islamic Law are in fact in place in several Muslim countries, they're not just theoretical constructs in holy books that no one reads.

So, the Quran says that if you find a female enemy civilian attractive, it is forbidden for you to just rape her: if you want her, you have to bring her home and take care of her. (Sura 4, verse 24) To us, this looks very peculiar; it seems more appropriate as a rule about puppies than a rule about women.

But if you want to say that the Muslims of the present day are not taking women captive when they fight wars, that may be true.

What is happening, though, is that they do operate a legal system where women who are victims of rape risk being punished for adultery (which carries the death penalty) if they seek legal recourse against their attackers. Muslim women.

Four Muslim male witnesses, or eight Muslim female witnesses, are required for a rape conviction under Islamic law. While a Muslim women counts as half as much as a Muslim man, non-Muslims don't count at all.

Of course, it doesn't say eye-witnesses, so one could have four Muslim doctors check every rape kit - if the intention was to prosecute rape as effectively as a Western nation while also complying with Islamic law. Such intentions are generally absent.

Every community will have some proportion of young punks, of teenage delinquents. Muslims aren't better or worse than the rest of us in that respect.

The problem is this:

An institutional setup is present that has, as its effective result, the subjection of non-Muslim minorities to grievous persecution - even though most Muslims are not involved in inflicting it, only in enabling it.

Ending that institutional setup would involve either abandoning Shari'a - unacceptable to a large segment of the population in most Muslim nations - or partitioning the nation involved so that the non-Muslim minority is now secure behind a defended national boundary. The latter, taking territory out of Dar al-Islam, is monumentally offensive to most Muslims.

As witness the efforts to throw Israel into the sea back in 1948 or thereabouts.

As long as the Western world says, no, we're not going back to the days when the Jews living in Palestine were, like the Copts of Egypt, or the Chinese and the Christians of Indonesia, huddled in fear under Muslim rule - we will be their enemies.

Now, it is true that the Jews of Israel would make very productive citizens in most Western industrialized nations, and so giving the territory back after an orderly evacuation might seem a better solution than continued fighting. So the United States could give Israel advance notice of an end to all its military aid, combined with an announcement that the Jews of Israel would be permitted into the United States as immigrants. I don't think that would happen, and I don't think it would be a good thing to happen. But I can understand the view that this might be the least bad solution.

J Thomas on August 13, 2010, 09:28:27 pm

What is happening, though, is that they do operate a legal system where women who are victims of rape risk being punished for adultery (which carries the death penalty) if they seek legal recourse against their attackers. Muslim women.

I can speak to that. First, note that muslim societies are currently sexually repressed a whole lot like 1950's USA. That's in living memory for a lot of Americans, but it isn't easy to go back and actually remember what it was like.

I listened to a man who was raised in rural Iran. He told the following story, as well as I can remember it:

Whenever a man and a married woman were publicly known to have illicit sexual relations, there were two choices. Either the woman had committed adultery, and she should be stoned. Or the man had committed rape, and he should have his penis cut off. The court would determine which it was as best they could.

He thought there was a bias in favor of declaring it rape. People naturally believed that women were chaste and that men were potential rapists.

And he said that when he was ten years old a man was convicted of rape. They took him to the town square and publicly cut his penis off with a sword. He will never forget the sound of the sword thunking into the wooden chopping block, and about two seconds later the man's scream. He said he'll never ever commit rape, no matter what.

I was living in one of the Los Angeles beach towns then, and I'd walk along the beach some evenings and exercised. Once I met a woman there who seemed somewhat friendly, she was actually willing to talk to me some. Later I met my Iranian friend and mentioned that to him, and he told me to be very careful.

"I knew a man who met a woman on the beach, and they talked for awhile, and then she told him that he must pay her $200 or she would go to the police and tell them he raped her. And he paid it."

"He should have gone to the police with her. They have tests that could show whether he had had sex recently, and they could test whether she had had sex, and if anybody had reported her before for the same thing they definitely would not believe her."

"No." Pause. "He could not do that."

Something about the way he paused told me that he was not talking about some other man, but about himself. And I did not know whether he had in fact had consensual sex with her and so would not pass the tests, or whether he was utterly terrified at the thought of being accused of rape.

jamesd on August 14, 2010, 03:17:01 am
Furthermore, even Sharia law has good ideas about property rights and justice. Of course it's not perfect (making spousal rape a crime would certainly help), but it's not inherently statist either.

Sharia is fine, except for two big problems:  It is alarmingly liberal on rape, and, more importantly, makes unbelievers second class.  This immediately creates the problem of deciding who is an unbeliever, so you end up with a ruler deciding that.

And even if you do not wind up with a ruler deciding that (and you do not always wind up with a ruler deciding that) you are still apt to wind up with holy war.  Sharia, because it makes unbelievers second class, always winds up, not necessarily statist, but theocratic.  You wind up with the clergy exercising great power.  Of course, theocracies tend to be states, but even theocracies that are not exactly statelike in the Westphalian sense are rather obnoxious.  The clergy are a pain, and the system tends to drift into holy war.


jamesd on August 14, 2010, 03:32:39 am
So why now are we to believe that Islam is somehow special, that Moslims, alone among all other religions, take their Book 100% literally?

The old testament/Torah has a lot of stuff that is even more bloodthirsty than the Koran.  And to get out of that bloodthirsty stuff, the Jews had two solutions:  Get in a prophet with divine authority to blow off the bad stuff, or legalistically weasel their way out of it.

Those that got in a prophet with divine authority to blow off the bad stuff became the Christians.  Those that legalistically weaseled created a gigantic pile of legalistic weaseling, the Talmud, and became today's Jews.

Muslims have neither a Christ nor a Talmud.  Therefore war between Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb is inevitable and necessary.  It is a permanent condition.   The only times we had peace was when Western colonialists were settling their lands, stealing their stuff, desecrating their religion, molesting their women, and doing all the stuff we are now accused of doing.  Or worse.  Charles the
Great created a desert between Dar al Harb and Dar al Islam, that invading armies would have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep.

if you create a "piss christ", not one Christian will raise a finger against you.  Not one out of biliions. But if you were to create a "piss mohammed", there will be riots and murders.  If you can easily be found, some Muslims will try to kill you, and every single Muslim, 100%, will at least passively support those efforts.  Not one Muslim will condemn such actions or separate himself from them.  Not one out of billions.



jamesd on August 14, 2010, 03:38:55 am
But if you want to say that the Muslims of the present day are not taking women captive when they fight wars, that may be true.
No, that is not true.  The Taliban massacres Harara men, children, and old women, and take the young women captive.  Iranians and Palestians forcibly "marry" infidel women to Muslim men.


jamesd on August 14, 2010, 03:43:38 am
And I know several, including a few individualist anarchist Muslims.
The individualist anarchist Muslims that I am familiar with propose that in order to receive protection, you would need to convert to Islam - that only Islamic protection organizations that preferentially protect Muslims would be permitted.


wdg3rd on August 14, 2010, 08:45:55 am
And I know several, including a few individualist anarchist Muslims.
The individualist anarchist Muslims that I am familiar with propose that in order to receive protection, you would need to convert to Islam - that only Islamic protection organizations that preferentially protect Muslims would be permitted.

Most of the individualist anarchists I hang with tend to also be individualist atheists like myself.  Some were once Muslims, most (like myself) were formerly Christians of one sect or other.  While I know a few anarchists who profess faith, they tend to be in the minority -- most folks give up on God before they give up on government, which is probably a shame, since there are some fine anarchist lines in both the Bible and the Q'ran if you take them out of context (as the religious always quote out passages to me out of context, but at least with the Bible I can quote the context back at them, I've only read the Q'ran once and didn't memorize much of it, the Christian Bible I can quote cover to cover and that's storage space I could use for more useful information).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

jamesd on August 14, 2010, 06:05:32 pm
The individualist anarchist Muslims that I am familiar with propose that in order to receive protection, you would need to convert to Islam - that only Islamic protection organizations that preferentially protect Muslims would be permitted.

Most of the individualist anarchists I hang with tend to also be individualist atheists like myself.  Some were once Muslims,

Then no longer Muslims.  If your solution to the problem of Islam involves converting them all to progressivism, you have a long wait.  Ann Coulter's program - gunpoint Christianity, rather than gunpoint democracy, seems considerably more feasible.

Progressives were largely successful in converting the Jews and Christians because of total coercive control of schools and universities, with even private religious colleges coerced into teaching progressive doctrine.  That will not fly in a Muslim majority country, because they will shoot you.

jamesd on August 14, 2010, 09:58:57 pm
I wrote
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If your solution to the problem of Islam involves converting them all to progressivism, you have a long wait.  Ann Coulter's program - gunpoint Christianity, rather than gunpoint democracy, seems considerably more feasible.

Progressives were largely successful in converting the Jews and Christians because of total coercive control of schools and universities, with even private religious colleges coerced into teaching progressive doctrine.  That will not fly in a Muslim majority country, because they will shoot you.

I realize my reasoning is unclear:  The underlying rationale is that you cannot beat a religion except with another religion, or something that is very like a religion, and progressivism is a theocratic religion.  However, being in denial about its theocratic character, it cannot use the ruthless and direct methods that Muslims cheerfully used, so progressivist theocrats wind up bringing a knife to a gunfight when they go up against Muslim theocrats.

quadibloc on August 14, 2010, 10:43:04 pm
Progressives were largely successful in converting the Jews and Christians because of total coercive control of schools and universities, with even private religious colleges coerced into teaching progressive doctrine.  That will not fly in a Muslim majority country, because they will shoot you.
Nobody seems to be shooting schoolteachers in North Korea. So, just maintain that level of control over the Muslim world for a couple of hundred years.

Not very nice, but it's better than genocide, and much better than raping their women. (If we were doing the latter, I would start to think that al-Qaeda had a point.)

J Thomas on August 15, 2010, 01:20:12 am
So why now are we to believe that Islam is somehow special, that Moslims, alone among all other religions, take their Book 100% literally?

The old testament/Torah has a lot of stuff that is even more bloodthirsty than the Koran.  And to get out of that bloodthirsty stuff, the Jews had two solutions:  Get in a prophet with divine authority to blow off the bad stuff, or legalistically weasel their way out of it.

Those that got in a prophet with divine authority to blow off the bad stuff became the Christians.  Those that legalistically weaseled created a gigantic pile of legalistic weaseling, the Talmud, and became today's Jews.

Muslims have neither a Christ nor a Talmud.  Therefore war between Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb is inevitable and necessary.  It is a permanent condition.

I've tried to stay out of this, because I find your reasoning so annoying. You repeatedly say that there's only one or two ways things can go and then you talk about what's inevitable. I don't think you know what's inevitable. Things could happen that you do not expect. You talk about taking drastic action with all these krystal certainties and it scares me. Once the USA uses its overwhelming force -- its permanent overwhelming force, that must inevitably prevail -- we'll never know what might have happened if we hadn't done it. We do our experiments with no control group. So even if the actions have horrible results you can point to your firm conviction that the only alternative would have been even worse.

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The only times we had peace was when Western colonialists were settling their lands, stealing their stuff, desecrating their religion, molesting their women, and doing all the stuff we are now accused of doing.  Or worse.

I find it disturbing to see what it is you consider to be peace.

I've met musims who believe that religions might have a sort of life cycle, and that Islam is around 500 years behind Christianity because it got a later start. Look what Christianity was doing 500 years ago! They were declaring each other heretics and having religious wars among themselves. Not so much the catholics and the greek orthodox, who had been split from almost the beginning like the sunnis and shias though without as much acrimony. But the Catholics and various protestants, new things. Even while the christians were fighting each other they were conquering rich new lands that were weak. But they didn't bother the muslims all that much, except to take back more of Spain.

If it were to go that way for Muslims in the coming century, we'd do well to have a strong defense, to not look like targets. But we wouldn't need to invade them and unify them against us.

As for muslims doing bad things to each other in their own lands, I say let them. It isn't our place to conquer everybody we disapprove of and force them to behave the way we want. That's -- difficult.

And for muslims treating minorities in their lands in ways we don't like? OK, we treat minorities in our own lands in ways that muslims don't like. Maybe we could set up some sort of underground railroad to help the victims escape to freedom.

I mean, just suppose we manage to set up an AnCap society where people mostly agree about how to behave. And we get a minority of statists who come in and do statist-type things, and when we ask them about it they say "I was only following orders". How much tolerance could we have for that? But we wouldn't want to build a big army and go ino the statist lands and defeat the statist armies and occupy them to prevent them from setting up a government whether they want to or not. If they're misguided enough to want a government in their own land we'd better let them. Similarly if they want a muslim nation or a catholic nation or whatever. If we can't live our own lives without forcing everybody else everywhere to do it our way, what good is it?

You come up with reasons why muslims are potentially a big threat to the USA. But when I look at what you advocate, you are a clear and present threat to the USA, right now. You want to remove a potential physical threat by turning the USA into a totalitarian government that opposes everything the USA used to stand for.

I don't know whether an AnCap society is possible. But I look at these people trying to set up a culture where people can be free. And I look at you arguing about who the government must inevitably kill so it won't be forced to nuke even more people. And I have no doubt whatsoever which side I hope will win.

jamesd on August 15, 2010, 04:14:52 am
Muslims have neither a Christ nor a Talmud.  Therefore war between Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb is inevitable and necessary.  It is a permanent condition.

I've tried to stay out of this, because I find your reasoning so annoying. You repeatedly say that there's only one or two ways things can go and then you talk about what's inevitable.

I have fourteen hundred years of evidence on my side.  We have always been at war with Dar al Islam, except when we were actually doing the dreadful things to them that they accuse us of doing, as for example during the colonial period 1830-1960.  Muslims have only ever been quelled by horrifying means.

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You talk about taking drastic action with all these krystal certainties and it scares me. Once the USA uses its overwhelming force -- its permanent overwhelming force, that must inevitably prevail

We have used force far more overwhelming repeatedly in the last thousand years or so, and have not prevailed.  Short of the methods of the Spanish inquisition, there will never be peace, and never be victory.  We always win, then we always try to cash in our victory to make peace, and they just will not make peace, and eventually we get tired, and make concessions, land for peace, which results only in further attacks - what the Jews are now doing, has been done by the Christians over and over and over again, and will no doubt be done again and again.

Pretty soon the Jews will lose patience, and do something truly horrifying, and I suppose that sooner or later, probably later, we will lose patience and do something truly horrifying, but all of this has happened before.

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we'll never know what might have happened if we hadn't done it. We do our experiments with no control group.

We have a control group.  Over the last thousand years we have tried concessions and tried mass murder and tried everything in between, with much the same results as the Israelis have been getting.  There has never been peace, there never will be peace, just varying degrees of low level war, occasionally interrupted by high level war.

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As for muslims doing bad things to each other in their own lands, I say let them. It isn't our place to conquer everybody we disapprove of and force them to behave the way we want. That's -- difficult.

And for muslims treating minorities in their lands in ways we don't like? OK, we treat minorities in our own lands in ways that muslims don't like.

The rules you suggest are the rules of the Peace of Westphalia.

Is Thailand, seven percent Muslim, Muslim lands?  Are the Philippines?  Muslims think so.  Muslims demand supremacy wherever they are.  Islam never accepted the peace of Westphalia, and refuses to be contained within political boundaries.

The peace of Westphalia never included Islam, and is today even in the rest of the world stone dead and cannot be resurrected.  Attempting to solve our problems by appeal to the principles of the peace of Westphalia is like appealing to the principles of divine right monarchy.

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I mean, just suppose we manage to set up an AnCap society where people mostly agree about how to behave. And we get a minority of statists who come in and do statist-type things, and when we ask them about it they say "I was only following orders". How much tolerance could we have for that? But we wouldn't want to build a big army and go ino the statist lands and defeat the statist armies and occupy them to prevent them from setting up a government whether they want to or not.

Quite so.  But how will an anarchist society deal with groups that are at war with the anarchist society collectively - whether because the anarchist society lacks the approved form of government, or the anarchist society lacks the approved religion?

Such outsiders will have to be dealt with by permanent military activity, operated at a profit - anarcho piratism, which differs from anarcho capitalism in its lack of respect for property, human rights, and human lives.

Charles the Hammer limited the ability of the Caliph to attack Christendom by destroying the Caliph's ability to govern Muslims in the lands adjacent to Christendom, without exposing himself to counter attack in unfavorable territory by himself attempting to govern those lands.  This operation was one of fairly regular raping, looting, and pillaging.

Similarly Charles the Great who only visited the Moorish Marches to loot and burn those cities overly loyal to the Caliph, and made no attempt to extend his rule to Saracen lands, instead fostering division, factionalism, and rebellion among the Saracens.

Until 1830, no state of Christendom ever attempted state building in Islamic majority lands, and when, during the colonial period, states of Christendom did attempt state building in Islamic lands, they did so only against enemies that had been thoroughly defeated and subdued. The crusader state building was in territories with a large Christian population - often, as in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, they attained a Christian majority by wholesale slaughter of the preceding Muslim majority and vigorously soliciting Christian migrants.

The first Islamic city to be utterly destroyed by Christians was Arles - which had been the marshaling grounds for two Islamic invasions of Europe. Charles the Hammer could not afford the troops to occupy it indefinitely, so he destroyed it so very thoroughly that it was unlikely to rise again for a long time.

Do you think the militia of a mostly atheist anarcho-capitalist country would react to the kind of stuff we have seen in France the same way the French have been reacting to it?

Monopolies underproduce and overcharge.  A government is a monopoly of legitimate violence.  Therefore, governments will underproduce legitimate violence and overcharge for it.

In a situation where we have an alarmingly great need for disturbingly large amounts of legitimate violence, private production of violence is likely to produce rather more violence than governments do.

In a situation where attempts to create an islamic  government creates a substantial demand by non Muslim private citizens for legitimate violence, militias would  produce more legitimate violence than governments - some of which might well look disturbingly similar to pogroms - to illegitimate violence.

The historical experience has been that in the holy war between Dar al Islam and Christendom, Islamic violence tended to go retail - applying widely distributed violence, that governments had difficulty meeting effectively. Governments, both Muslim and Christian,  that attempted to maintain their strict monopoly of force tended to lose - the most successful strategy being for government to seek to be the leading element  of loose cartel or franchise of force, as Al Qaeda aims to be the leading element of a franchise, despite its rhetoric about a Caliphate.

Charles the Great was successful in his strategy of  issuing the land going equivalent of letters of Marque and Reprisal, legalizing a Wild West social order in vicinity of Dar al Islam.  The frontier was pretty popular, both victorious over Islam, and attracting immigrants, so it seems to have worked well enough, but we do not have much information.

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If they're misguided enough to want a government in their own land we'd better let them.

And what are "their lands"?  Anarcho capitalism is as unlikely to have well defined boundaries as Islam is.

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Similarly if they want a Muslim nation or a catholic nation or whatever. If we can't live our own lives without forcing everybody else everywhere to do it our way, what good is it?

Seven percent of the population of Thailand want Thailand to be part of a Muslim nation, and to get their way, they are killing Buddhists by crucifixion.

Brugle on August 15, 2010, 11:14:53 am
jamesd,
Let's cut to the chase.  You appear to support atrocities (such as mass murder) against innocent people because you don't like their religion.  Is that correct?