J Thomas on June 30, 2011, 06:20:09 am
Nothing lasts forever.  Nothing runs smoothly during its existence.  The current US / World problems are cases in point.

Do your best to take care of you and yours.  If possible, prepare to help the innocent and fight the aggressors.  Our current situation has been described as a "Soft War".  Hopefully it won't become a shooting war.

I don't see any way to avoid that now, but I hope something unexpected will come up to stop it.

We can't continue the status quo, but we have a whole lot of people who are trying their best to get back to it now that it's obviously untenable. It doesn't really matter whether you're trying to get back to 1955, or 1968, or 1985, or 2006. Those are all gone forever.

I can't think of an example where the USA or Britain has gotten past that without a big war to distract people from their insoluble problems. WWII did that for us. WWI did it for Britain. The British government was utterly unable to handle the irish question, and the unions, and the communists, and the suffragettes, and the women's unions, and the temperance movement, and of course the economy. Their political parties were running on outdated ideals which didn't resonate with the public, and none of them had enough of a mandate to actually do much. They didn't have any clear idea what to do. Then the war threatened and they might have managed to stop it but they didn't, and all their other problems were put aside for the duration.

And after the war they were too worn out and dispirited to bicker that much. So they didn't try very hard to put down the Irish but quickly gave in. They gave women the vote, they allowed unions, they let the communists organize freely (and watched them consistently fall apart from internal contradictions), etc. Nobody had any illusion they could go back to the old days.

quadibloc on June 30, 2011, 01:49:06 pm
So AnCap can probably work for awhile, maybe a long while, for some particular people. That's good enough for me if it's good enough for them.
And my problem is that it may work great for people living on the equivalent of Ceres, but it won't last long enough for me in the here and now - so I have to oppose people who advocate dismantling the gigantic government that pays for the gigantic U.S. nuclear deterrent. Which is a pity, because I think they have noble ideals.

dough560 on July 01, 2011, 02:10:42 am
I don't want to go back to the "Good Old Days" either.  The founders initiated a simple government which has become anything but.  On the plus side, individuals have an increased understanding of individual liberty / civil rights.  On the minus side,  many (especially among the self-proclaimed leaders) have no understanding of individual / personal responsibility.

We have a slim chance of changing things for the better.  With "Elitists"  denying reality, people are beginning to realize, "Me First" attitudes are destroying their homes, families and hope for the future.  Their belated concern for their children is causing a re-evaluation of their beliefs and actions.  We're seeing this in the current concern for the budget.  The question will hinge on which way the government turns.  Further to the left?  Or back to the right?  Amazingly, Libertarian Principles are coming to the fore as part of the public debate.

Another major change in our society has been the recognition of self-defense rights with the spread of "Shall Issue" and "Constitutional Carry" laws.  In-spite of the Heller and McDonald Decisions, the Elitists still fight a rear guard action against the individual right of self-defense.  Without it, nothing else matters.

The next two years will matter a lot.  Go left.  The possibility of war goes up.  To the right in name only.  Same result.  The movement to limit and simplify government is gaining support.  It's not going to be easy or fun. I suspect it will be down right painful as people reorganize their lives.

We have a final chance to change things.   We still have to deal with people like .....  George Soros, Michael Bloomburg, and etc.








w

BMeph on July 01, 2011, 03:40:57 pm
I don't want to go back to the "Good Old Days" either.  The founders initiated a simple government which has become anything but.  On the plus side, individuals have an increased understanding of individual liberty / civil rights.  On the minus side,  many (especially among the self-proclaimed leaders) have no understanding of individual / personal responsibility.

It is never in the interests of "leaders" to either understand, or encourage individual anything. Individuals need guidance and motivation; masses must be "led". Oh, as a nit-picking aside, the government founded under the Constitution was a bloodless coup, an illegal takeover, so it depends on which "Good Old Days" one means to reject.

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We have a slim chance of changing things for the better.  With "Elitists"  denying reality, people are beginning to realize, "Me First" attitudes are destroying their homes, families and hope for the future.  Their belated concern for their children is causing a re-evaluation of their beliefs and actions.  We're seeing this in the current concern for the budget.  The question will hinge on which way the government turns.  Further to the left?  Or back to the right?  Amazingly, Libertarian Principles are coming to the fore as part of the public debate.

People have always been well aware that "Me First" attitudes destroy homes, lives and hopes. The issue is that attitudes are neither easily changed, nor immutable, which can also be a saving grace. the cultural disintegration is "Going According to Plan" - people will abandon a non-working plan when it no longer gains them as much as they are willing to lose.

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Another major change in our society has been the recognition of self-defense rights with the spread of "Shall Issue" and "Constitutional Carry" laws.  In-spite of the Heller and McDonald Decisions, the Elitists still fight a rear guard action against the individual right of self-defense.  Without it, nothing else matters.

Really, as long as the will to self-defense exists, the right will be acknowledged. The way the jig got up, is that there was too much concerted effort put into suppression of the means of self-defense, couched in terms of increasing safety. It's finally become too simple to point out that the unlawful do not respect laws, so making it more painful to defend oneself only hurts those who give high credence to respect of law as a principle.

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The next two years will matter a lot.  Go left.  The possibility of war goes up.  To the right in name only.  Same result.  The movement to limit and simplify government is gaining support.  It's not going to be easy or fun. I suspect it will be down right painful as people reorganize their lives.

We have a final chance to change things.   We still have to deal with people like .....  George Soros, Michael Bloomburg, and etc.








w

Thanks to the increased awareness of Libertarian principles, it's becoming more evident that the fight isn't about left-center-right anymore; it's about individualist-associativist-collectivist now - and will be still more so, in the coming years.

dough560 on July 02, 2011, 02:18:26 am
I believe you are correct, the discussion and shape of our government will be as you described.  We just have to get out there and take part in shaping the discussion.  Whether it is letters to the editor, talking with family and friends or on the internet.  It's up to us. 

J Thomas on July 02, 2011, 01:52:51 pm
On the plus side, individuals have an increased understanding of individual liberty / civil rights.  On the minus side,  many (especially among the self-proclaimed leaders) have no understanding of individual / personal responsibility.

....

We have a slim chance of changing things for the better.  With "Elitists"  denying reality, people are beginning to realize, "Me First" attitudes are destroying their homes, families and hope for the future.

....

Amazingly, Libertarian Principles are coming to the fore as part of the public debate.

Libertarian principles often come across as Me First, Me Only. It doesn't have to be that way, but that's how it typically usually almost-always appears at first sight.

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The next two years will matter a lot.  Go left.  The possibility of war goes up.  To the right in name only.  Same result.  The movement to limit and simplify government is gaining support.  It's not going to be easy or fun. I suspect it will be down right painful as people reorganize their lives.

It's very hard to limit or simplify government. That isn't a simple thing to do.

It's always hard to make big changes. The usual approach is to make little changes, in the direction the momentum is heading.

We have made big changes easiest during and after big wars, notably the Civil War , WWI, and WWII. They weren't necessarily the changes that were good for us, but they were the changes that we thought we had to make to win the wars, plus the social changes we got from mixing things up a lot.

We might get big changes after the next big war, particularly if the USA loses it. We're mostly too big to occupy, so the victors might let us set up something new pretty much on our own.

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We have a final chance to change things.   We still have to deal with people like .....  George Soros, Michael Bloomburg, and etc.

Rich people aren't as big a problem when they disagree with each other. So Soros is a net asset more than a net liability. Rich Republicans don't have your interest at heart any more than he does. So the more they work at cross purposes, the better.

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Thanks to the increased awareness of Libertarian principles, it's becoming more evident that the fight isn't about left-center-right anymore; it's about individualist-associativist-collectivist now - and will be still more so, in the coming years.

It's about giant systems that are mostly out of the control of individuals. It doesn't matter whether they're giant Left systems or giant Right systems or giant Center systems. It doesn't matter whether they're systems that proclaim individualist slogans or collectivist slogans.

What matters is whether they can be destroyed, or whether they can be strongly influenced by the public -- "the public" meaning organized or disorganized collections of individuals making individual choices.

If they can't be destroyed and they can't be co-opted, then we can try to out-wait them like the serfs who out-waited the feudal system.

sam on July 02, 2011, 09:12:40 pm
So it's unclear on what existing cultural basis one could build a taboo on terrorism that could take hold. This is one of the reasons I had thought that "no initiation of force" was a fundamental moral imperative in AnCap philosophy. But I have been corrected on that: I have been told that the threat of disorganized initiation of force by the populace is part of what will keep free enterprise monopoly abuses from arising.

"No initiation of force" is ill defined, in part because people try to slip in between any definition.  Is it initiation of force when someone hints he might kill you if you don't give him what he wants?  Is it initiation of force if he plausibly hints that other people - who by sheer coincidence happen to attend the mosque of which he is the preacher - might kill you if you don't give him what he wants.  If he does drop that hint, and it is plausibly true, his congregation is aware of it and supportive of it, are you justified in killing random members of his congregation?  I rather think you are.

But I don't think anyone has proposed that "disorganized initiation of force by the populace is part of what will keep free enterprise monopoly abuses from arising"

What is a monopoly?  Even if Microsoft was the only operating system around, it still would not be a monopoly to anarcho capitalists, because it would lack the desire and the capability to prevent someone from writing linux.

The way standard oil "monopolized" petrol production was to improve the refining process, thus dropping the price of petrol further and faster than its competitors could.  When the technology maxed out, it lost its "monopoly".

The only way I can see someone having a monopoly in anarcho capitalism, what anarcho capitalists would call a monopoly, is that someone owns all the roads, or all the drains, surrounding your property.  But anglo saxon law has long addressed this issue, in that an ownership right to land, involves a right to access the land, that property rights in land are not precisely geographic.  So if one person's land surrounds another's, he has to let people through.    When land is subdivided, access rights are also created.

If you tolerate mob violence, to cavil at a government with the power to enact antitrust statutes or laws like Taft-Hartley seems... strange to me.

I don't imagine that people in anarcho capitalism would attempt to enforce any law as obviously violent and criminal as the anti trust statutes or Taft Hartley, and I don't think that they would be able to do so even if inclined to do so.

What I think they would do is that if someone tried to enforce a monopoly,  ("linux violates my patent")  he would be met with violent resistance.

dough560 on July 05, 2011, 01:48:33 am
Sam, July 02, 2011:  "No initiation of force" is ill defined, in part because people try to slip in between any definition.  Is it initiation of force when someone hints he might kill you if you don't give him what he wants?  Is it initiation of force if he plausibly hints that other people - who by sheer coincidence happen to attend the mosque of which he is the preacher - might kill you if you don't give him what he wants.  If he does drop that hint, and it is plausibly true, his congregation is aware of it and supportive of it, are you justified in killing random members of his congregation?  I rather think you are

Sam, SAP means just what it says, LITERATELY.  Your attempt to skate around this are disingenuous to say the least.  The person communicating a threat has initiated an act.  Random group members have not.  Attacks of the random members would be initiations of force.  Response must be proportional to the event.  A threat deserves the answer it deserves.  A threat accompanied by an overt act deserves a proportional response.  Lethal force is not the only answer.  Sometimes it is the best answer when properly applied.  Reactions and applications must be ethical and moral.  Actions to make you feel better due to your sense of self being insulted are not grounds for lethal or any other levels of force.  How individuals respond to threats or force is up to the individual.  That response will be predicated on the individual.  Eventually the thugs who survive will learn their actions are neither acceptable or safe.  Those that don't learn won't be be around long enough to be a problem.

sam on July 05, 2011, 05:34:57 pm
"No initiation of force" is ill defined, in part because people try to slip in between any definition.  Is it initiation of force when someone hints he might kill you if you don't give him what he wants?  Is it initiation of force if he plausibly hints that other people - who by sheer coincidence happen to attend the mosque of which he is the preacher - might kill you if you don't give him what he wants.  If he does drop that hint, and it is plausibly true, his congregation is aware of it and supportive of it, are you justified in killing random members of his congregation?  I rather think you are.

Sam, SAP means just what it says, LITERATELY.  Your attempt to skate around this are disingenuous to say the least.  The person communicating a threat has initiated an act.  Random group members have not. 

In the case, he is the spokesperson for the group.

Let us apply your reasoning to World War II:  By that reasoning, we could kill Hitler, but we could not shoot soldiers except for individually committed and proven warlike acts, and certainly could not bomb factories.

No matter where you draw the line, there are going to a whole lot of menacing bad guys very close to that line on both sides of it.

Attacks of the random members would be initiations of force.  Response must be proportional to the event.
But the most common event is a threat.  And threats are apt to be deliberately ambiguous.

A threat deserves the answer it deserves. 

If some threatens lethal force, he should face some significant risk of a lethal response.  What then if he hints at lethal force, or someone plausibly representing him hints at lethal force - what of all the multitude of ways in which people deniably threaten other people?

dough560 on July 06, 2011, 02:20:42 am
The only person I'm the spokesman for is myself.  Reaction in proportion to events.  Whether the event is a threat or overt act.

WWII and Hitler.....  You can't do better than that?  Yes, Hitler and his government was a legitimate target.  Yes, Aggressive / Operational Soldiers are legitimate targets.  Especially Non-Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and Officers.  Military High Command, Abusive Government Officials and Agitators are priority targets.  War materials and manufacturing are legitimate targets.  General Population is not. 

What part don't you understand?  People make threats to influence others.  Case in point:  The Mullahs advocating the destruction of Israel, the United States and all other Western Societies.  The total elimination of our populations.  Advocating the murder of every man, woman and child they can not enslave.

On a personal level, I want those people dead.  The bodies disappeared into the night.  With no body to honor, they become objects of fear, not inspiration.

Take a page form the Proubility Broach.  Small receivers and liberator pistols.  Geostationary Satellite with 24 / 7 Broadcasts with Emphasis on Individual Rights and SAP.

I don't have the resources to make the broadcasts happen.  If I did, I would.  I'd expect interference from the U.S. Government, probable support from the Israels with the Mullahs trying to have killed by some "true believer".  I'd expect to see effects from the broadcasts in 2 to 5 years and substantial changes in Muslim Society in 25 to 30 years.  But what do I know.  It would sure be cheaper that the current situation.

As for shat happens in my vicinity?  I've lost a few steps over the years but as one co-worker observed after an incident.  Efficient.  Very Efficient.  That I haven't lost.

J Thomas on July 06, 2011, 02:53:51 pm

Yes, Aggressive / Operational Soldiers are legitimate targets.  Especially Non-Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and Officers.  Military High Command, Abusive Government Officials and Agitators are priority targets.  War materials and manufacturing are legitimate targets.  General Population is not.

Sure. People made rules to try to keep the wars somewhat civil. Soldiers wear uniforms, they are supposed to accept each other's surrender, etc. People who fight like soldiers but don't wear uniforms can be hanged when a real soldier could surrender and not suffer much, etc.

But the rules aren't always followed. Sometimes it's shadowy groups fighting, and they try to hide who they are. In the case that's ideal for the leaders, their enemies attack everybody who kind of looks like them, and everybody who kind of looks like them joins them. Meanwhile they attack everybody who kind of looks like their enemies, so everybody who kind of looks like their enemies joins them. When it works really well then both sides attack anybody who tries to stay neutral, and everybody has to get involved.

This is the strategy Sam advocates.

sam on July 06, 2011, 05:07:11 pm
The only person I'm the spokesman for is myself. 

Bully for you, but threats usually come from cohesive groups, rather than individuals, because cohesive groups can make threats more successfully.  If someone belongs to an Islamic congregation, chances are that someone else really is his spokesman.

WWII and Hitler.....  You can't do better than that?  Yes, Hitler and his government was a legitimate target.  Yes, Aggressive / Operational Soldiers are legitimate targets.  Especially Non-Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and Officers.  Military High Command, Abusive Government Officials and Agitators are priority targets.  War materials and manufacturing are legitimate targets.  General Population is not. 

But if side A follows that rule, side B is going mingle military targets with general population - store weapons in mosques, fire from hospitals, use ambulances to transport weapons and fighters.  Indeed, it is difficult even for the most honorable adversary to avoid mingling war material and war manufacturing with the general population.  Further, what is "the general population"?  Chances are that when push comes to shove, side A and side B are both going to aim for total mobilization.  Consider the battle of Okinawa.  The US unsuccessfully attempted to follow the policy you describe, perhaps on the theory that Japan was near collapse, and the Japanese government unpopular in Okinawa, yet that strategy may well have resulted in more civilian casualties rather than fewer.  If it did save civilian lives, doubtful that it saved enough to be worth doing.


Take a page form the Proubility Broach.  Small receivers and liberator pistols.  Geostationary Satellite with 24 / 7 Broadcasts with Emphasis on Individual Rights and SAP.

This is rather similar to the official strategy, which is to convert Islam to progressive left wing Islam, or, as Mencius Moldbug calls it, unitarian universalism.  On the whole, I think Ann Coulter's strategy, convert them to Christianity, is more likely to succeed.  I notice that whenever a church goes over to unitarian universalism, for example Vatican II, church attendance drops like a stone, no one except sexual deviants signs up for the priesthood, and so on and so forth.  Unitarian Universalism does not attract many converts - and no one is going to believe in individual rights if the religion they do believe in is successful in threatening people and shaking people down.   We find individual rights unconvincing except for those that can and do fight back.


quadibloc on July 06, 2011, 06:29:40 pm
I agree that killing random members of the congregation of a Muslim preacher whose sermons one doesn't like is inappropriate.

But, on the other hand, in a war like World War II, one has to be willing to shut down the factories of the enemy that are making airplanes and tanks and the like, unless one is not serious about winning. Wars are life-or-death struggles by countries that are throwing everything they have into the conflict.

It's not as if the Allies could have made up for the disadvantages of respecting the German civilian population by making their soldiers fight harder, or their civilian factory workers take longer shifts. When a country is at war, it is maxed out, and, so, under that condition, the electorate won't have any patience with unnecessary burdens.

Or with any fewer of their sons returning home alive than absolutely necessary.

When we're not yet in a total war situation, however, strenuous efforts to avoid collateral damage are germane to the struggle - because, after all, the Cold War was also a propaganda war, and this is still currently applicable as well.

Ultimately, though, we will probably have to ensure that Islamists lose the power to intimidate people in the entire Islamic world. History seems to indicate that the current conditions there are such that only relatively repressive and brutal regimes are successful in suppressing Islamist activity - Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran under the Shah, and Egypt and Syria during various periods of their history.

But if we repeat the policy of supporting our own puppet regimes that are gratuitously cruel to the ordinary people, we will rightly earn hatred.

From a completely amoral point of view, one practical strategy suggests itself. Let China conquer the entire Islamic world. (Not Russia; it would gain all-season ports from it.) Then, once it thinks it has an unbeatable military advantage from its stranglehold on the world's oil supply, surprise it by converting to nuclear power.

Once the Islamists have been taken care of, and the people of the Islamic world thirst for nothing but liberty, then we can put paid to China and be their liberators.

sam on July 06, 2011, 09:15:28 pm
I agree that killing random members of the congregation of a Muslim preacher whose sermons one doesn't like is inappropriate.

The proposition was not that one did not like his sermons, but that he hints that members of his congregation might kill you if you do not do what he wants - an alarmingly common practice which everyone piously pretends does not happen.

But, on the other hand, in a war like World War II, one has to be willing to shut down the factories of the enemy that are making airplanes and tanks and the like, unless one is not serious about winning.

But, increasingly, we face a situation where the main participants in wars are quasi state, microstate, or non state, where the entities fighting wars are franchises more than they are cohesive states, or even cohesive gangs.

Indeed, state to state war is something of an anomaly.  The British empire was not conquered by the British government.  From 800AD to 1250 or so, the reconquista was rarely fought by states. Non state wars were normal before 1830, and the present situation is a return to normality.  The distinction between war, piracy, privateering, extortion, and brigandage, always somewhat artificial, is once again dissolving.

When we're not yet in a total war situation, however, strenuous efforts to avoid collateral damage are germane to the struggle - because, after all, the Cold War was also a propaganda war, and this is still currently applicable as well.

Observe that Muslim and communist regimes usually kill suspected enemies, potential enemies, suspected potential enemies, and family of suspected potential enemies, and it seems to work fine for them.  Everyone loves them twice as much the more innocents they kill.  American university history courses treat Sihanouk as a saint.

Similarly, the guys who conquered the British empire were the greatest experts on efficient warfare, since they made war for a profit, and they routinely used collective reprisals, killing an entire village for an offense by a single individual in that village.  The people who were most pissed off by this practice, were generally killed by it.

But if we repeat the policy of supporting our own puppet regimes that are gratuitously cruel to the ordinary people, we will rightly earn hatred.

Again, observe that the pre 1830 British colonialists were a bunch of pirates and brigands, and everyone loved them.  Obviously they were not gratuitously cruel, but they were plenty cruel when necessary.


quadibloc on July 07, 2011, 07:32:08 am
Similarly, the guys who conquered the British empire were the greatest experts on efficient warfare, since they made war for a profit, and they routinely used collective reprisals, killing an entire village for an offense by a single individual in that village.  The people who were most pissed off by this practice, were generally killed by it.
And here I thought it was those terrible French colonialists and Italian colonialists and German colonialists who did things like that, while Britain was enlightened.