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Anonymous

taoteching's advice to libertarians:
    #3325716 - 11/05/04 08:34 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

"Advice: stop clinging to the inherently flawed 'intiation of force' mantra. it will be infringed by the establishment of any government, by the establishment of copywright law, establishing interest rates to avoid inflation, any form of infrastructure, and by numerous other problems of defining what is "the initiation of force" (drunk driving, stockpiling weapons, etc.). sorry to burst the bubble, but it is NOT a perfect solution or else far more academics would adhere to it."

____________________________________________________________________- !

well? what say you of this?

the man's got a point IMO.


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InvisibleGijith
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Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 2,400
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: ]
    #3325765 - 11/05/04 08:50 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I think this kinda goes back to your post on how libertarianism's logical conclusion is anarchy.


I don't think that's necessarily true. But the party's extremist tendencies are the biggest reason why I haven't joined up. Having a functional society is all about drawing appropriate lines. Many libertarians I talk to shudder at the idea that comprimise has to exist, even within a republic.

But I'm sure this topic's been done a thousand times. I don't see why Tao felt the need to stick it in your warfare thread.


--------------------
what's with neocons and the word 'ilk'?


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: Gijith]
    #3325904 - 11/05/04 09:35 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I'm sure I've said this before, but I think that everyone agrees with the initiation of force principle. Interpretations of it, however, vary wildly. This is why I don't adhere to libertarianism, because I don't think that libertarian policies truly hold up to this principle. I don't think that anything could be said to hold up to it 100%.


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Anonymous

Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: Gijith]
    #3325987 - 11/05/04 09:58 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

yeah... theory is one thing, but government is organic. it depends greatly on the people. there's no perfect government.

is the non-initiation of force principle logically flawed, impossible to put into practice, or somehow... neither?


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: ]
    #3326000 - 11/05/04 10:04 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I don't think that it is necessarily logically flawed, although it is not logically provable (nor are any political statements). I see it as one of those statements like "things should be better" which certainly expresses the right sentiment, but doesn't really help us in any way. So, to clarify, I think that it can't be put into practice.


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InvisibleGijith
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: ]
    #3326016 - 11/05/04 10:10 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I'd actually argue neither.
But I don't think it could work absolutely properly in a country like America.
A smaller less developed country maybe. Maybe one that was a little more isloated.


--------------------
what's with neocons and the word 'ilk'?


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Offlinephi1618
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Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 4,102
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: ]
    #3326128 - 11/05/04 10:55 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

is the non-initiation of force principle logically flawed, impossible to put into practice, or somehow... neither?




It depends on how far you take it.

The principle of non-initiation of force is a moral principle. Many, though not all, people (including myself) accept it as a valid principle. However, there are other moral and practical considerations in making any decision, and these considerations frequently conflict.

In my view, the fundamental mistake in the reasoning of many libertarians is that any principle can be the true and infallible guide of decision making, in government or any other field. Life is messy; that's just the way it is. :shrug:


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: ]
    #3326169 - 11/05/04 11:22 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

taoteching said:
stop clinging to the inherently flawed 'intiation of force' mantra.



It is a moral precept. How is that flawed? That is like saying, 'Thou shall not murder' is flawed.

Quote:

it will be infringed by the establishment of any government



No kidding! Guess what, it is also infringed by the act of robbery. How is this an argument to strive for non-initiation of force in human affairs?

Quote:

by the establishment of copywright law



That's going to require an explanation from him.

Quote:

establishing interest rates to avoid inflation



Huh? He better explain this one too. It is not interest rates that are an initiation, as long as people are free to refuse to borrow. Now if he wants to address the issue of fiat currency we should have every reason to be against it just as much as to be against counterfeiting.

Quote:

any form of infrastructure



Not so. Infrastructure CAN be developed via non-coercive means. Just because governments don't do it that way does not mean that it cannot be done.

Quote:

sorry to burst the bubble, but it is NOT a perfect solution



DUH! Who said it was a perfect solution? I fail to grasp how people who promote socialism, though it is even further from being a perfect solution, hold that non-initiation of force should be a perfect solution. News flash: the concept of perfection is SUBJECTIVE. Libertarians do not claim that the non-initiation of force is perfect, just that it is a moral starting point for human affairs. Here's another Libertarian 'mantra,' utopia is not an option.

Quote:

or else far more academics would adhere to it.



So what? Pointy headed academics have supported and continue to support communism even after the murder of millions and millions of people and the failure of the communist economic model wherever it's been tried. In other words, this is a fallacious argument.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Offlinecb9fl
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Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 3,104
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: Evolving]
    #3326184 - 11/05/04 11:41 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I think the main problem with the US version of Libertarianism is the extreme adherent to non-initiation of force. Initiation of force doesn't seem to be a universally defineable term even among the Libertarians on this board.

When I've asked specific questions different Libertarians have different ideas.

For example:

Should a person be able to own a nuclear weapon? Is that "initiation of force"?
Should a person be able to view for sexual pleasure photos of children in sexual acts? Is that iniation of force?

Both of those questions would get a wide variety of answers. And in my opnion since their is such a wide variety of ideas on a specific question it would be hard to apply the Libertaian ideology to real life.


--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: ]
    #3326282 - 11/06/04 12:34 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)


"Advice: stop clinging to the inherently flawed 'intiation of force'
mantra. sorry to burst the bubble, but
it is NOT a perfect solution or else far more academics would adhere
to it."

In a large nation(especially a republic), factions(or "special
interest groups" as they are known today) will exist. These
factions will have a certain opinion on a certain subject and they
will attempt to impose their will upon everyone else. Whether they
are driven by ideology, religion, or power, people will attempt to
change the world. When they do this they affect their fellow Man
(often negatively). Compromise is the best that can be hoped for in
a nation(or a world) full of factions.

Libertarianism is a great philosophy to live your personal life by.
However, it has no hope of existing in this world on a large scale.
People are too driven by their passions and selfishness for us to
have a world full of "non-initiaters of force". Libertarianism is
one of those great but almost useless theories that will remain more
unspoiled and eloquent in prose than in the real world(kind of like
communism.)

That is why I fantasize about removing myself as much as is possible
from nations, governmental regulations, and my fellow meddling
citizens. I admire the Libertarian philosophy and I associate
myself with it. But, I realize that the world doesn't run on
theories. Human beings move this world along and human beings are
all fallible and do not think the same.

Although, I think that most Libertarians realize that their
personal philosophy will not be espoused by everyone. And,
they undertake to follow it themselves and not impose it
upon other people. But, like anybody who believes in a theory
or an ideology, it is easy to become biased, blind, and dogmatic.
Anybody who identifies with Libertarianism should be aware
of these shortcomings.


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Registered: 02/06/02
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: ]
    #3326301 - 11/06/04 12:51 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

mushmaster said:
yeah... theory is one thing, but government is organic. it depends greatly on the people. there's no perfect government.

is the non-initiation of force principle logically flawed, impossible to put into practice, or somehow... neither?




Logically it seems perfectly consistent. The problem with applying logic to human affairs is that logic is designed to manipulate symbols (words, etc.) and symbols are not exactly equivalent to their referents. The map is not the territory.

Perhaps the theory should be amended to consider "potential force." After all, physics takes into account "potential energy" even when it hasn't been actualized yet. An individual who owns a nuclear weapon has the potential to initiate deadly force on millions of others to a degree which would rightly be intolerable to those millions of others. The stakes are so high that an initiation of force against that individual would be fully justified.

The larger problem is that libertarians are stuck in a mechanistic, Newtonian world-view while contemporary thought, in everything from physics to philosophy to social science, has moved on to far more complex, dynamic, non-linear models. This is why very few academic social scientists take libertarianism seriously. Very few ordinary people take libertarianism seriously because to them it just violates common sense and seems inherently impractical.

Libertarians respond by dismissing academics as raving liberals and dismissing ordinary people as stupid, immoral, and uninformed (hence their tirades against democracy--to which, by the way, they offer no serious, feasible alternatives). After saying that the common people are incompetent to decide their own leadership, they then turn around and say that ALL major decisions should be left to the individual to decide--assuming, for some reason, that the compound effect of the individual actions of all those people they just labeled incompetent will somehow be less disastrous than the casting of misguided votes.

I find many aspects of libertarianism highly attractive, but the thinking and justifications behind it could benefit from a little less self-righteousness a little more nuance and flexibility. Libertarians should learn to listen a little more and hector a little less.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: EchoVortex]
    #3326405 - 11/06/04 01:46 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

EchoVortex said:
Perhaps the theory should be amended to consider "potential force."



*** Sigh *** Not a theory, a principle of interacting with other people.

Quote:

An individual who owns a nuclear weapon has the potential to initiate deadly force on millions of others to a degree which would rightly be intolerable to those millions of others. The stakes are so high that an initiation of force against that individual would be fully justified.



An individual such as Bush or Putin should be subject to the same rules, their control is de facto ownership... Now, am I justified in initiating force against you to remove you from your automobile because you have the potential of running down dozens of people?

Quote:

The larger problem is that libertarians are stuck in a mechanistic, Newtonian...



The larger problem is that you are rambling from a position of ignorance. Your statements are not based in reality, but in your projection of what you rationalize libertarians to be like so as to facilitate your attempts to get others to accept your views. What do they call this argument... a straw man?

Quote:

This is why very few academic social scientists take libertarianism seriously. Very few ordinary people take libertarianism seriously because to them it just violates common sense and seems inherently impractical.



Very few people take libertarianism seriously because to do so would conflict with their desires to have others conform to their ideals or to facilitate the achievement of their goals. Principles become inconvenient, the ends justify any means, people ignore the unseen negative consequences of their actions and only focus on the gratification of their desires. Henry George put it quite simply when he expressed the sentiment that people will tend to try to get the greatest benefit for the least effort. Politics is one of the easiest avenues to leveraging the efforts of others towards your goals, the majority of benefits are concentrated for specific groups of individuals and the costs are disbursed to be born by the multitude of subjects in a political jurisdiction.

Quote:

Libertarians respond by dismissing academics as raving liberals and dismissing ordinary people as stupid, immoral, and uninformed



Broad strokes may serve to paint houses well, but not to paint accurate pictures.

Quote:

(hence their tirades against democracy--to which, by the way, they offer no serious, feasible alternatives).



The objections to democracy are well documented in historical records in addition to being at odds with the concept of living by certain principles. Contrary to your offhand dismissal, many reasonable, serious alternatives are in use everyday to political solutions. Most people go about their daily lives peaceably interacting with others without the need for the initiation of force, fulfilling needs and desires through trade, compassion, charity and persuasion.

Quote:

After saying that the common people are incompetent to decide their own leadership, they then turn around and say that ALL major decisions should be left to the individual to decide--assuming, for some reason, that the compound effect of the individual actions of all those people they just labeled incompetent will somehow be less disastrous than the casting of misguided votes.



You sure do have this bass ackwards. People should be allowed to govern themselves. Human beings are dynamic creatures, each acting with knowledge, desires, wants and circumstances peculiar to that individual. Individuals are in the best positions to judge what actions should be taken in their own lives. Centralized planning and control does not work to maximize benefits for each situation. It does not logically follow that Mr New Yorker, Ms Omaha, and Mr Montana collectively are in a better position appoint Mr. DC to run the life of Mr Los Angeles, than Mr Los Angeles is run his own life or to choose his own professional help which will serve his interests. Additionally, bad decisions should not be amplified through the power of the state to affect the lives of others.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Registered: 02/06/02
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Last seen: 8 years, 6 months
Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: Evolving]
    #3326742 - 11/06/04 04:47 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

*** Sigh *** Not a theory, a principle of interacting with other people.

And a fine one it is. But we're not talking about indviduals' interactions among themselves, we're talking about the state that is charged with protecting its members from the actions of others (including other of its members).

You keep saying again and again that the state should have no powers or rights not accorded to individuals. And I ask you:

Should individuals be able to own nuclear weapons?
Should indviduals be able to arrest, try, convict, and imprison criminals?
Should individuals be able to negotiate treaties with foreign nations on behalf of an entire nation?

Or are you saying that the state shouldn't be allowed to do any of these things?

Mushmaster, despite his rather lamentable drift towards the Republican right, has at least seen through the untenable nature of that position.

An individual such as Bush or Putin should be subject to the same rules, their control is de facto ownership... Now, am I justified in initiating force against you to remove you from your automobile because you have the potential of running down dozens of people?

Under certain cases, the government (not you) would, yes. If I were drunk, for example.

You refuse to recognize that the state's monopoly on the organs of justice and the legitimate use of force is absolutely essential to prevent society from descending into feudalism, vigilante justice, endless rounds of reprisals, and civil war. If such a basic insight eludes you, there's nothing I can do to help.

The larger problem is that you are rambling from a position of ignorance. Your statements are not based in reality, but in your projection of what you rationalize libertarians to be like so as to facilitate your attempts to get others to accept your views. What do they call this argument... a straw man?

There was no "reality" or argument in what you just wrote there--simply speculation on my thought processes and my motives. What do they call this argument . . . . an ad hominem attack?

The objections to democracy are well documented in historical records in addition to being at odds with the concept of living by certain principles. Contrary to your offhand dismissal, many reasonable, serious alternatives are in use everyday to political solutions.

Please name these reasonable, serious alternatives to democratic mechanisms of government: what they are, where they are in practice, and so on. I said explicitly that none had been offered. Instead of offering me some you simply allude to them in the vaguest possible terms. That speaks volumes right there.

You sure do have this bass ackwards. People should be allowed to govern themselves. Human beings are dynamic creatures, each acting with knowledge, desires, wants and circumstances peculiar to that individual. Individuals are in the best positions to judge what actions should be taken in their own lives. Centralized planning and control does not work to maximize benefits for each situation. It does not logically follow that Mr New Yorker, Ms Omaha, and Mr Montana collectively are in a better position appoint Mr. DC to run the life of Mr Los Angeles, than Mr Los Angeles is run his own life or to choose his own professional help which will serve his interests. Additionally, bad decisions should not be amplified through the power of the state to affect the lives of others.

Boy have we been around THIS mulberry bush before. In regard to those actions that have no bearing upon the lives others, yes, I agree completely that individuals should be allowed to govern themselves. But there are certain actions (things like pollution, the creation of hazards and nuisances, the possession of weapons of mass destruction, the dissemination of false information over mass media organs, etc.) where the actions of a given person or entity (particularly if said entity as great resources at its disposal) have repercussions, large and small, upon the lives of others.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: taoteching's advice to libertarians: [Re: EchoVortex]
    #3326822 - 11/06/04 05:43 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

If such a basic insight eludes you, there's nothing I can do to help.

Full marks for trying tho Echo.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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