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OfflinePhred
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In deference to nugsarenice...
    #636886 - 05/19/02 08:33 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

...and at the request of mrfreedom, I am starting a thread to reply to Echovortex's post found here rather than continue to pollute the Hawaiian thread.

Echovortex writes:

How does it follow that I believe the majority is always right? If anything the majority is usually wrong.

Except when it comes to deciding what system of government to force on everyone, apparently.

My point was that rights are protected by society...

But they aren't protected. Do you or do you not have the right to pick a mushroom for your garden and consume it? For the last thirty years Society in America has said you don't.

... and therefore, in a real sense, issue from society.

No, they do not. They issue from man's nature as a rational being. Civilized societies can only recognize and respect these rights, they cannot issue them.

There are many people who will rip off and exploit and endanger the lives of their fellows just to make a buck, and only a body (the state) sovereign to those people can stop them and/or punish them for doing so.

Yes, there are such people. And that is the ONLY justification for the State. To PROTECT its citizens from such criminals. Not to feed us or clothe us or provide "free" medical service or "free" education or fund space exploration or to legislate the shape and quantity of bristles in a toothbrush.

And why would that be? Because selling drugs would be the monopoly of the state?

Because they would be available at any pharmacy (or liquor store, perhaps) which chose to carry them.

This is a pointless exercise. Does it matter? Anybody can say they can do anything on these anonymous forums.

Precisely. My personal history (and yours) are irrelevant to the discussion. Only the ideas are. Either my ideas are correct or yours are.

Your little gag post ("I couldn't think for myself at all!") was very much a shot at who I AM...

Not at all. It was a shot at your IDEAS, not at your age or the skillset you possess and utilize to support yourself or whether or not you see yourself as an intellectual. Your posts reveal an innate intelligence, which is why I find it so odd that you seem to rely on surveys, statistics and "categorical imperatives" rather than using your own senses and reasoning to cut through the crap. If you were just some bonehead like "iglou", I would ignore you.

It was clearly an upsurge of residual resentment.

I bear you no resentment. Why on earth would I resent you?

My response to evolving was aimed at his desire to have his Libertarian cake and eat his Patriotic cake ("you don't see Americans going south . . ." ) too.

Hmmm. I thought you were drawing parallels between wealthy South Americans and wealthy Americans -- Have you seen how the wealthy live in Latin America? Villas, servants, politicians in your back pocket, nice weather--now that's what I call a "lifestyle"! All at reasonable prices. It doesn't make for much of a society, and they don't contribute jack shit to the furtherance of the world's fund of scientific knowledge... -- How do these people differ from some trust funder from California or Florida?

This is cyberspace, buddy. None of this is real.

Again, although you and I as cyberpeople are not real, the ideas we defend or oppose are. And some of your ideas are wrong. For example :

Saying that anything, whether it be money or "central authority" or ANYTHING ELSE [emphasis added by psm], is the root of all evil is indeed reductive foolishness.

There is indeed a root of all evil -- the initiation of physical force into the affairs of men.

pinky


--------------------


Edited by pinksharkmark (05/19/02 09:22 PM)


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: In deference to nugsarenice... [Re: Phred]
    #637231 - 05/20/02 06:36 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

"Except when it comes to deciding what system of government to force on everyone, apparently. "

They're not necessarily right in that, either. Neither were the Founding Fathers necessarily right, because it is they who created this "system" per se, and if they created a system which has allowed itself to fall into such a state of disrepair, obviously they did something wrong. For example, they couldn't foresee that their system would result in a two party oligopoly which would render all debate nothing more than a farce. In that regard the American legislative system is quite crude and primitive and the European proportional parliamentary system is superior. Under such a system, the Libertarians and other small parties would have much more of a platform and a say in how the nation is governed, and that would probably be a good thing. The American presidential system is also screwed up, giving the president almost monarchical powers, despite the supposed system of checks and balances, something which is quite puzzling given the animosity the revolutionists felt towards the British monarchy. One of the unfortunate ironies of life is that we often wind up becoming what we hate.

So, as far as the actual system goes, I think the majority is wrong there too, as were the Founding Fathers. But the cold reality is that people cling to tradition and habit, even if they're wrong, and no matter what we do there will always, everywhere, be something like a tyranny of the majority. The only way there could not be were if the police were around to oversee every word exchanged, every human transaction that occurs wherever people congregate.

I suffer for it as well: I have to pay taxes, I have to conduct certain aspects of my life in secrecy, and I have to watch what I say in certain company for a very genuine fear of being lynched. But in the final analysis I see these things as irritations, as part of the human condition, and not as conspiratorial assaults on my fundamental being. I get on with life. And I support democracy (with a lower-case "d"), even when the results pain me, because it is, to a certain extent, self-correcting, and because it is the only stay against a tyranny of the minority. As far as Libertarianism goes, I think its support of individual rights is all well and good, but I cannot embrace it because of the very real issue of potential harm that I addressed in my second to last post. I also support "free" education: had you lived in Europe your parents' financial situation would have had no bearing on whether you went to university or not. All that would have mattered was your innate intelligence and your willingness to work. You managed to find success and fulfillment despite that obstacle, and I congratulate you for that. But this world is filled with young people whose promise was, and is, cut short because of the mistakes of their forefathers and we all lose for that, because then the world has one fewer doctor, one fewer teacher, one fewer research scientist.

"There is indeed a root of all evil -- the initiation of physical force into the affairs of men."

I agree with you that the initiation of physical force accounts for most of the evil in the world, but you're not thinking here, you're just parroting the Libertarian line. Before initiation of force there must be intention. Before intention there must be--what? Emotion? False reasoning? What? If we're looking for roots we should try to go all the way back. No law, no system can clear away the evil in men's hearts. All the law can do is react and punish after the fact, but if violence is rooted in irrationality and emotion and desperation then the threat of punishment will hardly be a deterrent. Libertarianism will not solve that problem, and in fact will exacerbate it by giving people greater means by which to do harm.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: In deference to nugsarenice... [Re: EchoVortex]
    #637498 - 05/20/02 10:36 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Echovortex writes:

... if they created a system which has allowed itself to fall into such a state of disrepair, obviously they did something wrong.

They definitely left a few loopholes, the two most serious being the right of the federal government to coin the official currency and to regulate interstate commerce. But it was not the Founding Fathers that are responsible for the current state of affairs. That is the fault of the legislators who ignore constitutional limitations and the populace who fail to recognize it. As I pointed out in a previous post, Jefferson for one was firmly convinced the government would have to be overthrown every two or three decades for just this reason.

In that regard the American legislative system is quite crude and primitive and the European proportional parliamentary system is superior.

There is nothing in the system the Founding Fathers devised to prevent representation from more than two parties. Every now and then an independent congressman is elected. The entrenchment of the two party system is more due to the nature of the (arguably unconstitutional) electoral and campaign regulations legislated by the two ruling parties than anything inherent in the underlying system.

The American presidential system is also screwed up, giving the president almost monarchical powers...

Ironic you should mention that, after your praise of the parliamentary system. In a parliamentary system where the ruling party occupies the majority (as opposed to a plurality) of seats in the legislature (as is the case in Canada today, for example) the powers of the leader of that party (the Prime Minister) far exceed that of the American President. Read a few Canadian newspapers to get a perspective on the doings of His Majesty Jean Chretien.

... no matter what we do there will always, everywhere, be something like a tyranny of the majority.

Not if the government restricts itself to its constitutional mandate -- the protection of its citizens. I point again to nineteenth century America.

The only way there could not be were if the police were around to oversee every word exchanged, every human transaction that occurs wherever people congregate.

You've lost me. What a populace says and buys has no bearing on what powers the constitution of their country delegates to its government.

I support democracy (with a lower-case "d"), even when the results pain me, because it is, to a certain extent, self-correcting...

I see no evidence that it is self-correcting. Quite the reverse. The trend is not towards self-correction, but towards accelerating intrusion. Government controls spawn more government controls, which spawn more government controls ad infinitum. This is empirically demonstrable. Take a snapshot of the controls and restrictions on freedoms in the year 2000, then in 1980, then 1960, 1940, 1920, 1900, 1880, etc. and do the comparison.

... and because it is the only stay against a tyranny of the minority.

In a constitutionally limited Republic (presuming the constitution is properly designed), there is no such thing as a tyranny of the minority. Or of the majority. As long as the members of the government do not usurp powers not granted to them by that constitution it is irrelevant whether they are appointed to their positions by majority vote, inheritance, or drawing straws.

As far as Libertarianism goes, I think its support of individual rights is all well and good, but I cannot embrace it because of the very real issue of potential harm that I addressed in my second to last post. [psm includes these points immediately below]

"The problem with the Libertarian position is that it poses the problem as an absolute either/or proposition."

How is that a problem? Either someone's rights have been violated or they haven't.

"This admittedly has a certain philosophical elegance but in the final analysis it is an oversimplified absurdity. There is harm and there is potential harm and I don't see the point in giving every loon and every corporation out there the right to do potential harm. Blind people shouldn't be allowed to drive cars, violent offenders shouldn't have the right to own firearms, and maniacs shouldn't have the right to sell drugs to kids telling them it's candy.

In most cases it is a fairly trivial exercise to predict whether certain behavior is likely to cause actual harm, and a laissez-faire society would recognize that in its legal code. Clearly blind people should not be allowed to drive cars on public thoroughfares, but if they want to drive them on their own property they must be allowed to do so. Violent offenders, by the very nature of their actions, have demonstrated in no uncertain terms that they have no use for the concept of rights of others, therefore have voluntarily renounced their own. No one has the right to represent drugs as candy to anyone (minor or adult). That is a clear case of fraud.

... and I don't see the point in giving every loon and every corporation out there the right to do potential harm."

You seem to believe that in a laissez-faire society there would be no laws. As I have said before, devising an airtight legal code that protects the rights of individuals is not a trivial exercise. But it is not an impossible one. One cannot legislate against every possible case of "potential harm". Humans are infinitely ingenious when it comes to ways of harming themselves and others, and a clever lawyer could argue that virtually EVERY instance of a particular human behavior could (somewhere, at some time, under the proper set of circumstances) result in "potential harm". Hence the absurdity of pages and pages of government regulations specifying what standards a toothbrush must meet, or exactly what must appear on the label of a package of microwave popcorn.

I also support "free" education: had you lived in Europe your parents' financial situation would have had no bearing on whether you went to university or not.

My education should no more be paid for by unwilling strangers than should my shoes. My girlfriend lived in Germany most of her life. She was a student until she was twenty-six years old, and knows dozens of students who are thirty and search desperately each year for more courses to take so they won't be forced to graduate. They don't seek an education, they seek a free ride. If one must pay for one's education, one takes it seriously.

But this world is filled with young people whose promise was, and is, cut short because of the mistakes of their forefathers...

And how is that your fault, or mine? How does another's misfortune give the State the right to extract money from me by force?

... and we all lose for that, because then the world has one fewer doctor, one fewer teacher, one fewer research scientist.

It would be NICE if we had more of each, presuming they weren't hopeless hacks. But not at the expense of the violation of individual rights. The ends do NOT justify the means.

I agree with you that the initiation of physical force accounts for most of the evil in the world, but you're not thinking here, you're just parroting the Libertarian line.

Libertarians didn't invent the prohibition against the initiation of physical force. The initiation of physical force has been recognized as immoral by civilized societies since before the advent of the written word.

Before initiation of force there must be intention. Before intention there must be--what? Emotion? False reasoning? What?

Irrelevant. Either an individual has been harmed by the actions of another or he hasn't. The motivation for the harm is, quite literally, unimportant in the context of that particular victim. If I am attacked and permanently crippled by someone, it makes no difference whatsoever whether the motive of my assailant was his hatred of "colored" people or Buddhists, or his desire to steal my car, or to eliminate me as a business rival, or because he is mistakenly convinced I am the guy who cuckolded him, or because he believes it is the wish of the voices in his head that I be punished. I have still been crippled.

If we're looking for roots we should try to go all the way back. No law, no system can clear away the evil in men's hearts. All the law can do is react and punish after the fact, but if violence is rooted in irrationality and emotion and desperation then the threat of punishment will hardly be a deterrent.

Correct. That is why those who try to justify incarceration or corporal punishment by claiming it is an effective deterrent fail miserably. The important point is not to deter such behavior (although that is a side-benefit in many cases) but to protect the innocent.

Who really knows why Ted Bundy did what he did? How could the State have foreseen what he would become and prevented him from killing his first victim? But it is undeniable that Ted is now incapable of claiming more victims.

Libertarianism will not solve that problem...

Nor will democracy.

... and in fact will exacerbate it by giving people greater means by which to do harm.

Please elaborate. How does basing a legal code on the "do no harm" principle (thereby eliminating victimless crimes) provide people greater means by which to do harm?

pinky


--------------------


Edited by pinksharkmark (05/20/02 11:12 AM)


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: In deference to nugsarenice... [Re: Phred]
    #637635 - 05/20/02 11:41 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

"But it was not the Founding Fathers that are responsible for the current state of affairs. That is the fault of the legislators who ignore constitutional limitations and the populace who fail to recognize it."

It is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to act as the final arbiter of the constitutionality of a given law. Now I for one consider most of the current members of the Supreme Court to be criminals, but that's beside the point. My opinions or yours on the matter don't count for squat. Either one has a designated judiciary or one lets every individual interpret the Constitution to suit his own taste. Obviously the first choice, even as imperfect as it is given the criminals on the bench, is preferable to the second.

"The entrenchment of the two party system is more due to the nature of the (arguably unconstitutional) electoral and campaign regulations legislated by the two ruling parties than anything inherent in the underlying system."

In a proportional system there are a number of "at-large" seats which are not tied in to any given voting district. If a given party gets a certain percentage of the votes then they get a proportional number of the "at-large" seats. Obviously it would be much easier for small and underfunded parties to get seats in the legislature this way than it would to defeat major party candidates on a district-by-district basis. Think about it.

"Take a snapshot of the controls and restrictions on freedoms in the year 2000, then in 1980, then 1960, 1940, 1920, 1900, 1880, etc. and do the comparison."

Once again, an unfounded generalization. In the 1940s tens of thousands of Americans were being held in concentration camps simply because of their ethnic origin. Yes it's true that the US was at war with Japan at the time, but it was also at war with Germany and you didn't see German-Americans being rounded up. Until the 1960s black people in the south had their rights trampled on endlessly by local governments and law enforcement until the federal government stepped in to correct the situation.

"In a constitutionally limited Republic (presuming the constitution is properly designed), there is no such thing as a tyranny of the minority."

This is only the case if the minority observes the constitution. You yourself have stated again and again just how easy it is to avoid doing that. It doesn't matter how properly the constitution is designed--if those in power seek to circumvent, they will. That is why there must be mechanism in place to remove them from power on a regular basis, which is what elections do.

"My education should no more be paid for by unwilling strangers than should my shoes. My girlfriend lived in Germany most of her life. She was a student until she was twenty-six years old, and knows dozens of students who are thirty and search desperately each year for more courses to take so they won't be forced to graduate. They don't seek an education, they seek a free ride and avoid responsibility. If one must pay for one's education, one takes it seriously."

There's no reason why giving people a subsidized education must be indefinitely extendable. Limits can be established--five years then you're out, for example. And by the way, most Americans don't pay for their own university educations--their parents do. And the students certainly don't take it very seriously.

"And how is that your fault, or mine? How does another's misfortune give the State the right to extract money from me by force?"

As long as the barbed wire fences at the border aren't keeping me from going OUT, I am free not to play the game. If I make my money in a given state, in a given territory, relying on the public infrastructure and all of the other aspects of civil society that make the generation of wealth possible, then the government of that nation has a legitimate right to a share of what I generate. If they prohibit me from leaving the country, if they deny me access to the public infrastructure and civil society that I've paid for, if they deny me the vote, then they have clearly stripped me of my rights. And please don't come at me with your example of how you don't need infrastructure to be a potter. We can't all be a nation of potters.

"Please elaborate. How does basing a legal code on the "do no harm" principle (thereby eliminating victimless crimes) provide people greater means by which to do harm?"

There's nothing wrong with a "do no harm" principle. The problem is when people believe that having an arsenal of deadly weapons is one of their inalienable rights. Most Libertarians I've come in contact with clearly have no interest in defending my rights. They have two major fixations: they don't want to pay taxes, and they want to have serious firepower. Occasionally they're drug users so they want that as well. They believe they are completely independent entities, that they create everything they have from scratch, that natural resources are theirs to take at will and not part of a common patrimony, that society has given them nothing so they have no obligation to give something back. The protection of rights is one thing, but the driving motivation behind this movement has less to do with rights than it does with a niggardly fixation on self-enrichment and a paranoid fixation on "self-protection". A complete absence of the sense that one's own fortunes and safety are inextricably bound with those of others. I have no love for the state, and no desire to give it the run of my life, but Libertarianism is simply too narrow in its focus for my taste. Thanks, but no thanks.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: In deference to nugsarenice... [Re: EchoVortex]
    #637891 - 05/20/02 02:36 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Echovortex writes:

It is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to act as the final arbiter of the constitutionality of a given law.

The Supreme Court cannot rule on the constitutionality of a given law unless that law is brought before them by a separate party. There is no automatic review process, it must be initiated by a constituent. Hence my observation that it was not the system designed by the Founding Fathers that is at fault, but the implementation (or lack thereof) by the governed of the safeguards designed into it. Did the Founding Fathers cover all the bases in their first attempt? No. Were they responsible for later amendments to the constitution that undermined their original intent? No.

In a proportional system there are a number of "at-large" seats which are not tied in to any given voting district. If a given party gets a certain percentage of the votes then they get a proportional number of the "at-large" seats. Obviously it would be much easier for small and underfunded parties to get seats in the legislature this way than it would to defeat major party candidates on a district-by-district basis. Think about it.

The method by which voting districts are determined today bears little resemblance to what was in place in 1776. There are arguments to be made for any number of different systems of deciding how many legislators should compose the legislative body, let alone the precise mechanism by which they are elected. But all are largely irrelevant if the functions of government are restricted to the protection of its citizens. It makes little difference if a candidate chooses to call himself a Democrat or a Republican or a Zappa-ite if his power is restricted to deciding whether or not the army should be enlarged or the police given a different kind of handgun. But when politicians have the power to bestow handouts or curtail a competitor, then it DOES matter if you vote Democrat or Republican or Libertarian or whatever.

In the 1940s tens of thousands of Americans were being held in concentration camps simply because of their ethnic origin.

Irrelevant. The business of a nation under attack by a foreign belligerent cannot logically be equated with that of the same nation during peactime. The ethics of emergencies are different from the ethics of everyday existence. Was it moral to run the internment camps? No. Was it necessary? No.

Until the 1960s black people in the south had their rights trampled on endlessly by local governments and law enforcement until the federal government stepped in to correct the situation.

Which illustrates precisely why a constitution is necessary. The violation of the rights of blacks was ALWAYS unconstitutional, but it was not until the Supreme Court specifically decreed it to be so that their situation improved.

These examples dodge the issue. Did the citizenry as a whole of the United States have more individual freedom and less coercive government interference in their lives in 1940 or in 1960 than they did in 1980 or 2000? Yes. Of course there have been blips in the curve, as there are in the charting of virtually any human activity. It is the TREND that matters.

That is why there must be mechanism in place to remove them from power on a regular basis, which is what elections do.

Actually, elections don't, since the candidates (with the exception of Libertarians) replacing the previous ones are as bad or worse. The bad law that was enacted by previous administrations is rarely if ever revoked, merely added to and tweaked by the newcomers.

There's no reason why giving people a subsidized education must be indefinitely extendable.

There's no reason why education should be subsidized by money extracted involuntarily from the citizenry for any length of time.

As long as the barbed wire fences at the border aren't keeping me from going OUT, I am free not to play the game.

The tired old "Love it or leave it" chestnut again? Sigh.

If I make my money in a given state, in a given territory, relying on the public infrastructure and all of the other aspects of civil society that make the generation of wealth possible, then the government of that nation has a legitimate right to a share of what I generate.

Sounds like the way the Mafia runs things. "You gotta use OUR waste removal service. This ain't an optional thing we're discussing here, you understand. And you gotta install our jukeboxes in your joint, too. You pay us 40% of your net each month. Oh, you don't need a waste disposal service or a jukebox? Too bad. You say our waste disposal service is the shits and the jukebox has crappy music? Too bad. You still gotta pay us 40% of the net, even if you never use our service or our jukeboxes. If you don't pay, we'll break your kneecaps."

It's the same thing with public education. First of all, I don't have kids. Why should I be forced to pay for someone else's kids? Secondly, even if I did have kids, I would pay to give them a proper education, not what is provided in government-run schools. But, even if I follow that course of action with my kids, I still gotta pay for government schools or get my kneecaps busted.

And please don't come at me with your example of how you don't need infrastructure to be a potter.

I don't say that societies of a certain size and complexity don't need infrastructure, just that it is not necessary to have the STATE provide that infrastructure.

The problem is when people believe that having an arsenal of deadly weapons is one of their inalienable rights.

The right to defend oneself is inalienable. As you yourself pointed out, it is impractical for every citizen to be assigned an employee of the State as a 24 hour bodyguard.

Most Libertarians I've come in contact with clearly have no interest in defending my rights.

Perhaps because your concept of "rights" differs from theirs. You apparently believe you have the right to a free university education, for example.

They have two major fixations: they don't want to pay taxes...

There are many flavors of Libertarians, and many people calling themselves Libertarians who are no such thing. You may have run into a few of those. A true proponent of laissez-faire has no objection to paying a flat tax for LEGITIMATE government services (police, courts, and military) if non-compulsary means of government financing prove insufficient to provide all of them.

Occasionally they're drug users so they want that as well.

The current drug laws clearly violate individual rights. The Libertarians you speak of don't want the government to provide drugs, they want to be left free to consume drugs if they choose.

They believe they are completely independent entities...

If you are using "independent" as the antonym of "dependent", you are correct.

... that they create everything they have from scratch...

You exaggerate. No one, Libertarian or not, believes that.

... that natural resources are theirs to take at will...

Again, you exaggerate. No Libertarian believes he has the right to harvest timber from a neighbour's back lot, for example. Or to help himself to a few barrels of oil from another's drilling rig. Or rustle a prospector's staked claim.

... that society has given them nothing so they have no obligation to give something back.

Society is nothing more than a collection of individuals. The only obligation a member of society has to the other members of that society is to refrain from violating their rights.

The protection of rights is one thing, but the driving motivation behind this movement has less to do with rights than it does with a niggardly fixation on self-enrichment...

Do democrats not wish to prosper? To make a secure life for their families? The difference is that a Libertarian wishes to do so by his own efforts, rather than begging alms from the State.

... and a paranoid fixation on "self-protection".

No matter how good any State may be at protecting its citizens, criminals will continue to exist. Home invasions will still occur. What's wrong with having backup?

A complete absence of the sense that one's own fortunes and safety are inextricably bound with those of others.

Libertarians recognize the value of living in a society, but they prefer to deal with each other voluntarily, as traders. The difference is that Libertarians shun the unearned. They TRADE value for value with other members of society. They don't beseech elected politicians for either favors or for restrictions on potential competitors. They don't see the State as some sort of combination Big Brother and Santa Claus, presiding over the endless distribution of unearned (and second-rate) Christmas gifts taken from one and given to another, with a substantial enforced commission staying with Santa. Libertarians would rather make or buy their own.

I have no love for the state, and no desire to give it the run of my life, but Libertarianism is simply too narrow in its focus for my taste. Thanks, but no thanks.

Got a minute to answer some straight yes or no questions?

Do you believe the State has the right to take one money from one individual and hand it to another? If so, why?

Do you believe the State has the right to take money from many individuals and give it to another country? If so, why?

Do you believe the State has the right to take money from many individuals and use it to place men on another planet? If so, why?

Bear in mind while answering these questions the fact that if the individuals in question refuse to hand over their money they will be imprisoned. If they resist imprisonment effectively enough, they will be killed.

pinky


--------------------


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: In deference to nugsarenice... [Re: Phred]
    #637942 - 05/20/02 03:32 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

"The violation of the rights of blacks was ALWAYS unconstitutional, but it was not until the Supreme Court specifically decreed it to be so that their situation improved."

The Founding Father knew full well, and intended it to be so, that the rights they created were only applicable to white males, and usually landowners at that. From the minute the constitution was conceived it was unconstitutional.

"No matter how good any State may be at protecting its citizens, criminals will continue to exist. Home invasions will still occur. What's wrong with having backup?"

In 1998, handguns were used to murder 11,215 people in the United States. Compare this with 51 in New Zealand, 19 in Japan, 54 in Great Britain, 151 in Canada, and 373 in Germany. In the same year, 30,708 people in the US were killed by firearms--this includes homicides, suicides, and accidents. 33,651 American combatants were killed in the Korean war. That's what's wrong with having backup--a war's worth of death per year.

As for your questions:
"Do you believe the State has the right to take one money from one individual and hand it to another? If so, why?"
Yes. Because time and chance happenth to us all.
"Do you believe the State has the right to take money from many individuals and give it to another country? If so, why?"
Yes. Because once those countries get on their feet they will buy our products.
"Do you believe the State has the right to take money from many individuals and use it to place men on another planet? If so, why?"
Yes. Because it'll make a great movie that will recoup the costs.

Sorry for the levity, but this little merry-go-round would become greatly tedious without it.



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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: In deference to nugsarenice... [Re: EchoVortex]
    #638000 - 05/20/02 04:41 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Anybody interested in further critiques of the Libertarian ideology can look here:
A Non-Libertarian FAQ


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OfflinePhred
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Critique of the critique [Re: EchoVortex]
    #638318 - 05/20/02 08:18 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Huben is better than some, probably even better than most, at attempting to discredit Libertarian arguments. He is certainly better at rhetoric than most. But he's no match for Friedman.

Friedman has missed many opportunities to turn the screw even tighter, perhaps because he sees no need for overkill. I will refrain for now from adding my own rebuttals of Huben's position on a point by point basis, but I will point out that Huben (like so many other opponents of laissez-faire) seems to be firmly convinced that the term "property" refers exclusively to real estate. He has also apparently bought Proudhon's assertion that "Property is Theft".

pinky


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Edited by pinksharkmark (05/20/02 09:18 PM)


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Re: Critique of the critique [Re: Phred]
    #638804 - 05/21/02 08:34 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Since you were talking about property, I thought I might bring up something, that is not capitlist democrat, but quite communist, and a good idea. In the United States one cannot afford farmland for many years, if you want a large farm, then you must save many many years. If you are poor, and the only thing you know how to do is farm, then you might as well wait forever, and only work for other farmers, employers. It takes alot of capitial, and risk investment, and even when you do buy the farm, you pay property taxes! Most places are around 5 percent. In China one cannot buy farmland, rather they can rent it at a very cheap price. A set price, that is very cheap. I could move to china right now, and have my own little farm , to farm for a very long time, granted that I do have U.s. capital. However the rates they rent at are quite cheap even to native Chinese! So which system is better? america does'nt rent farmland, farmland is regulated to ensure that we have a good real estate, farm economy. This might be off topic, but I don't know what else this thread is. You did mention property also. Plus I don't like the Libertarians, I visited their webpage (lp.org) and read alot of information I completely disagree with, expecially their violent views of how a government should be run, they are basically republicans with an anti Wod view. I favor the Green party much more because of their blatant non violent stance.


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Farmland in a Communist country [Re: nugsarenice]
    #638882 - 05/21/02 09:27 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

nugsarenice writes:

In China one cannot buy farmland, rather they can rent it at a very cheap price.

The government of China "rents" farmland that was forcibly seized from its rightful owners -- not rich landowners, either, in most cases, but simple peasants -- in a long and bloody war. If I had stolen a few hundred thousand farms, I could rent one to you cheaply, too.

A set price, that is very cheap.

Everything is cheap in China. Including human lives.

america does'nt rent farmland...

America's government doesn't. American landowners do. There are plenty of farms for rent. Use the internet to find one that suits you.

I visited their webpage (lp.org) and read alot of information I completely disagree with, expecially their violent views of how a government should be run

Violent? VIOLENT!!?? Dude, I made a pact with myself that I would never answer another post of yours. Obviously you inhabit a separate reality that the rest of us have yet to discover, so there is no point whatsoever in trying to correct YOU, but there ARE others who read your posts, so this is for their benefit:

How could anyone possibly conclude a political party has violent views when it holds as its CENTRAL tenet the following "commandment":

"The initiation of physical force in human affairs is forbidden"

What part of that simple statement did you fail to grasp? There are admittedly different flavors of Libertarians, but all, repeat -- ALL -- Libertarians agree with that statement.

I favor the Green party much more...

If the Green Party ever comes to power, you can forget about clearing that plot of scrubland your father left you so you can start your own farm. After five years of intensive, tax-funded environmental impact studies are completed, they will inform you that clearing the land won't be allowed, because it is the only known habitat of the triple-antlered spotted stink weevil.

pinky





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Re: Critique of the critique [Re: nugsarenice]
    #638940 - 05/21/02 10:11 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

The Libertarian Party calls for justice to be meted out to the terrorists responsible for the attacks. However, we encourage the United States government to be sure that any response is appropriate and measured. Action should not be taken that will cause innocent people in other countries to be killed because of the actions of terrorists. Such a response would only continue the cycle of violence and revenge.

, we support action against the perpetrators responsible for the terrorist attacks. The vicious and barbaric attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which bin Laden allegedly masterminded, cost 5,000 innocent Americans their lives. Such horrific crimes cannot go unpunished.

Therefore, it is proper for the government to take forceful action against terrorists who have already killed thousands of Americans, and who have threatened to kill more. Such criminals must be rooted out and destroyed before more innocent people die. Their training camps and weapons must be eliminated. Their supply infrastructure must be shattered.

This sounds just like Republicans, sorry but the Green Party does'nt support war at any level. That is why I support them. The libertarians assume to belive they are godly, and just witht the encouroging of taking lives, and revenge, and the continuance of war.





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Re: Farmland in a Communist country [Re: Phred]
    #638944 - 05/21/02 10:19 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

a long and bloody war, does'nt that sound familiar, contrarty to popular belief most of chinese history involves peaceful assimilation, (assimilation is wrong though) but still peaceful, not like american assimilation which is more like genocide. So you are telling me it is more just to farm on stolen indian land because all the indians are dead, or to farm on government seized property.

Also, the point is that, in China it is easier for the farmer without capital, I just looked around at acreage rates, and most compare from 115 dollars an acre, to 515 dollars in Mediterraenean climates, or places like Indiana. Let's say I wanted to rent farmland in Hainan, it would cost me 50 dollars a year per acre. Knowing that I am an american without connections, (maybe land is rented cheaper) but still you may be right, farming in the U.s. could be more profitable. But what if you were to farm outside the u.s. and export to the U.s. I'lll look around at more farmland prices for rent, but the fact is that the u.s. government does the same thing china does in different words, they rent you farmland through property tax. It's no different just because they require a downpayment, and give you a fancy land owner slip.

If the green party were to tell me that, I would agree, and move to farm a differnt area, they probraly are better informed of ecosystem factors, through unbiased envirnonmental lawyers, then other political partiess. Maybe that weevil judges how well farmland is composted, etc. And you would just farm right over it.


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Re: Farmland in a Communist country [Re: nugsarenice]
    #638980 - 05/21/02 10:55 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Speaking of farming, I suggest that you read "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, or maybe you should try to understand the lines from The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss."


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Re: Farmland in a Communist country [Re: ]
    #638994 - 05/21/02 11:02 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah, maybe I will do that..., Maybe you should go listen to Jimi Hendrix play the star spangled banner a couple hundred times, then you might understand also.


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Anonymous

Re: Farmland in a Communist country [Re: nugsarenice]
    #639013 - 05/21/02 11:19 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

I have.


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Re: Farmland in a Communist country [Re: ]
    #639018 - 05/21/02 11:22 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Good, But if have still not seen Animal farm, so our mutual understanding is still not complete...


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Anonymous

Re: Farmland in a Communist country [Re: nugsarenice]
    #639037 - 05/21/02 11:34 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)



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Re: Farmland in a Communist country [Re: ]
    #639208 - 05/21/02 01:39 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

That does look cheap to buy


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Re: Critique of the critique [Re: nugsarenice]
    #640405 - 05/22/02 12:41 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

The main tenet of the Libertarian Party is 'non-initiation of force.'

This means don't hit preemptively. Refusing to defend yoruself is just plain silly.


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Re: Critique of the critique [Re: wingnutx]
    #640524 - 05/22/02 02:27 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

It's a major point of all religious works I have read, that have existed for much longer then you and your whole families history. Your not very religious are you?


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