Why not just TRY Libertarianism?


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MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 07:02 PM
I mean, there's lots of these little Pacific islands...

Heck, here goes Palau Island, 17,000 people, even certain civilisation there... why don't move the FSP there? You wouldn't have any Federal intervention to mess up the experiment (and no excuses if it doesn't work), but it would be cool.

I would move in.:D

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Thumper
January 5, 2004, 07:59 PM
I would move in.

How would a self-described communist/left socialist fit in with Libs?

:confused:

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 08:21 PM
Leftist Lib =/= socialist/communist.:D

Thumper
January 5, 2004, 08:32 PM
If you were the single communist on MY island, there would be a tiny Woody Allen look alike washed up on the beach by morning.

:D

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 08:35 PM
If you were the single communist on MY island, there would be a tiny Woody Allen look alike washed up on the beach by morning.


Uh? (does not get quote)

Thumper
January 5, 2004, 08:38 PM
What happened to that pic of you...It's gone now from the "show yourself" thread?

It would go a long way towards explaining my post.

:D

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 08:47 PM
http://us.ent4.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/contrib_pix/w/o/hds/woody_allen.jpg

http://www.phoenixguild.com/images/balrog.jpg

Spot the differences!:D

(You are so not the first...)

Thumper
January 5, 2004, 08:49 PM
Dude, there are NO differences...you folks of asian descent watch your preadolescent daughters around Micro...

:D

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 08:51 PM
I HATE obscure movie references = me watch few movies.

Now ADOLESCENT daughters (insert evin Demonrat grin)....:evil:

dischord
January 5, 2004, 09:09 PM
MicroBalrog,

You aren't a libertarian. A libertarian who supports Welfare is like a capitalist who supports a ban on private ownership of corporations.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 09:13 PM
I see you think Libertarian = must lockstep with 100% of LP platform.

Republican = must lockstep with 100% of RNC platform.

Democrat= must lockstep with 100% of DNC platform.

Right... NOT.

Justin
January 5, 2004, 09:22 PM
No, Micro, but a libertarian must believe in the tenets of personal liberty. Forced redistribution of my money to your wallet isn't libertarianism. It's not the same ballpark, it's not even the same sport.

:p

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 09:27 PM
Justin, allowing the homeless, the unemployed, the terminally ill because somebody didn't wish to violate Bill Gates' right to "ever single dime":confused: of his paycheck is not freedom. It's cold blooded murder.

Thumper
January 5, 2004, 10:47 PM
Micro...you're not getting it, bro. You want to set up an island of libertarianism, then introduce yourself as a communist to that society. The political concepts are mutually exclusive.

Very different philosophies and not suitable for coexistence...

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 10:52 PM
communist

Moi?:confused:

Thumper
January 5, 2004, 10:57 PM
Leftist Lib =/= socialist/communist

Your words...and again, not viable with libertarianism.

Justin
January 5, 2004, 11:01 PM
Justin, allowing the homeless, the unemployed, the terminally ill because somebody didn't wish to violate Bill Gates' right to "ever single dime" of his paycheck is not freedom. It's cold blooded murder.

Micro, bud, you're making the same mistake that all statists make: Assuming that just because a person objects to the government doing something that it means that they must object to that thing being done at all.

MacViolinist
January 5, 2004, 11:52 PM
Micro,
I'm not going to defend Bill Gates, but he does give away millions to charity every year. Not everyone in a Libertarian society is going to be that rich, but the fact is that people will pay for what they want.
Example:
Assumption #1: There are no taxes.

Situation: Money is needed for highways. Otherwise there are no highways. Some people would say "I don't want highways, so I won't pay." Others will say "I want highways, so I will pay."

The end result is that instead of a government that has a certain amount of money that it "must" spend, you have a government that is financialy powerless, and on top of that, you don't even have to spend money on voting for laws as they are cast by dollars. Worthwhile causes like the care and feeding of the poor and elderly and homeless are taken care of be the people who care about them. Unworthwhile causes like wellfare, BATF, DEA, FBI, IRS, most of the armed forces, wars on terrorism, drugs, and personal freedoms are not allowed, not by vote, but by the the fact that no one will pay for them. Hence, an efficient government is created through lack of funding.

-drew

Thumper
January 5, 2004, 11:56 PM
I'm not going to defend Bill Gates, but he does give away millions to charity every year.

Correct, he gives away, of his own volition. When money you earn is taken from you against your will, it's called theft.

dischord
January 6, 2004, 12:42 AM
I see you think Libertarian = must lockstep with 100% of LP platform. Supporting welfare is not a mere disagreement over a platform plank, it is diametrically opposed -- antithetical -- to libertarian principles. You cannot be a libertarian and support Welfare any more than you can be a libertarian and support government censorship of newspapers.

For more, see my response to you in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=57808)

BigG
January 6, 2004, 10:39 AM
There is no try; there is only do. /Yoda

MacPelto
January 6, 2004, 10:59 AM
It's cold blooded murder.

Not it's not. It may be death, but it is by no means murder. There is nothing inherently wrong with death, it is entirely natural.

Marko Kloos
January 6, 2004, 11:23 AM
I see you think Libertarian = must lockstep with 100% of LP platform.


You cannot claim to be a Libertarian while clinging to philosophies that are radically opposed to the core of Libertarianism. A Libertarian who doesn't believe in the Non-Agression Principle, for example, would be as much of a contradiction in terms as a self-professed Christian who does not believe in the divinity of Jesus.

You don't have to lockstep with 100% of the LP platform to be a Libertarian, but you cannot be opposed to core Libertarian principles and still claim to be one.

Justin, allowing the homeless, the unemployed, the terminally ill because somebody didn't wish to violate Bill Gates' right to "ever single dime" of his paycheck is not freedom. It's cold blooded murder.

That's why you are not a Libertarian, and why you'll never be one: you think that a need on the part of the homeless/unemployed/terminally ill is a justification to take money from Bill Gates by force.

Tell you what: as long as there are homeless, terminally ill, or unemployed people in need in your home country, you have no right to a single red shekel above and beyond the ones you absolutely need for the basics of life. If you don't give away all your surplus income to the needy, you have no right to advocate taking money from others by force to pay for those in need. So, if you use your own philosophy on yourself, you commit cold-blooded murder every time you spend money on a gun magazine or a pair of designer jeans, if there's a beggar somewhere who starves because you didn't pass that money on to him.

It's always easy to be generous with other people's money. If you feel a debt towards society, feel free to pay it off with your own money. I'll help with my money in a manner of my choosing, and I don't need a sanctimonious champion of the downtrodden to make those decisions for me. I'm pretty sure I've spent more money to help people in need in my lifetime than you have, and that doesn't even count the money that was forcibly extracted from my paychecks.

You're just like every other authoritarian on the planet who likes the part of Libertarianism where it says, "Nobody can tell you what to do," but who doesn't like the part that says, "but you don't get to tell anyone else what to do, either."

dischord
January 6, 2004, 11:24 AM
It's cold blooded murder. Whether it is or not is beside the point of what the libertarian philosophy supports. Libertarians oppose welfare. This isn't some platform plank handed down from the LP. It comes from the core philosophy of libertarianism, which opposes government interference.

It is impossible to be true to the core libertarian philosophy against government interference and support Welfare.

Libertarians will help those people through voluntary charity, but they still oppose the government forcing them to give to a government program that helps them.

Micro, this is a simple matter of the definition of the word libertarian. You are no more a libertarian than you are a girl. You can become a girl if you like, but to fit the definition, you'll need to change a few things. Same with being a libertarian.

griz
January 6, 2004, 12:00 PM
Hello MicroBalrog
Just so we know what we're talking about, what is your idea of Libertarianism?

Also, assuming you have more wealth than a homeless person, are you also guilty of murder because you didn't give them a place to stay?

Nightfall
January 6, 2004, 02:20 PM
Micro, if you're concerned about bums on the street, I would think you'd like Libertarians even more. Rather than having wasteful, inefficient large gov't throwing money at a problem, you'd have private organizations with your concerns as their sole reason for existence more efficiently using privately donated cash to take care of said concerns. At the same time, the guy trying to send his daughter to college wouldn't have the gov't dividing up his paycheck, and would have a better chance of affording it. Which makes for a lady with a higher paying job. Who now has the money to give to your cause if she so chooses, and has more of it to give because the gov't isn't picking away at her pay. See how it works? Ain't freedom grand? :)

Now... *ahem*... *makes a gun with his fingers and sweeps the thread*

[/1930 gangster voice]Alright youses peoples, I'm hijacking this here thread, and there ain't nothin' youses can do about it, nhah![/1930 gangster voice]

Non-Agression Principle

Could somebody explain to me how this works with military actions? I'm a big fan of ‘kill the terrorist before he kills you', and my questions about non-aggression as pertains to Libertarianism is one of the primary reasons I'm a self described libertarian leaning fellow. What about the guy in the cave in Afghanistan who is working on his plans to blow up some American building, but hasn't ever actually hurt anybody before? We have credible intelligence his group is planning to do something, but he's never actually done anything yet. Would Libertarian principles prevent acting until an embassy or such is a smoldering ruin, thereby justifying defensive force? Or is preemptive military action acceptable?

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 02:27 PM
Could somebody explain to me how this works with military actions? I'm a big fan of ‘kill the terrorist before he kills you'


A terrorist is someone who has initiated force against innocents (ie, ahem, not those responsible for tyranny). Thus retaliatory force is justified.

As for the preemptive question, it is my view that the doctrine of "opportunity, means, and intent" holds for initiation of force. If you pull a knife on me in the street and announce your intention to harm me and take my stuff, you have initiated force. It holds analagously for your terrorist example.

-z

MrAcheson
January 6, 2004, 02:34 PM
A terrorist is someone who has initiated force against innocents (ie, ahem, not those responsible for tyranny). Thus retaliatory force is justified.

Unfortunately if the enemy attack with sufficient force that you can't effectively retaliate then you are screwed.

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 02:35 PM
That's what Intelligence is for.

MrAcheson
January 6, 2004, 02:42 PM
And who is going to pay for foreign intelligence?

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 02:47 PM
In the libertarian tradition, I'll pay if the benefits are worthwhile.

It would be cheaper in the long run to abolish all governments, as in L. Neil Smith's series.

-z

Sean Smith
January 6, 2004, 02:55 PM
It is this kind of stunningly unrealistic stuff that makes Libertarians less relevant than Greens in American politics at the moment.

Libertarians seem to tend to overlook the fact that "politics is the science of the possible" and go off on utopian tangents about how getting rid of virutally all government will make everything perfect forever. Even if a 2/3 Libertarian majority magically took over the federal government, it would take decades to substantially reduce its size... let alone create these fruity utopias where neighborhoods take up collections to fund the privatized CIA.

Meanwhile... nobody votes Libertarian anyway. It seems to me alot more productive for Libertarians to come up with something other than an all-or-nothing absolutist platform that nobody will vote for & find a candidate with more charisma than sawdust.

MrAcheson
January 6, 2004, 02:59 PM
Theres the rub. Are people far sighted enough to pay for things they do need but don't use every day? What about if they don't see it used for decades? Good foriegn intelligence and a capable military is not cheap. Can you get enough people to fund this? To my knowledge the creation of a first rate military by willing donation has only happened once (WWI Germany's Navy). And you do need a good military.

Sean Smith
January 6, 2004, 03:00 PM
To expand on things a bit... by most standards I'm extremely libertarian-leaning. I'd love to see a stunningly large reduction in the power and scope of the federal government (and state and local governments, for that matter), and think the government has zero basis for nosing around in people's private behavior if it does not cause a positive, objective harm to somebody else. I look at taxes as my money being stolen to be spent on crap by morons.

But the fact of the matter is that the Libertarian Party is a joke. It is simply a stunningly ineffective organization that is a waste of everyone's time.

BigG
January 6, 2004, 03:20 PM
Nightfall: Could somebody explain how Non Agression Principle works in relation to military actions? Nah. I've asked before and the big proponents either kick into lawyer mode or blame me for not being a true believer in their party of the month club. :evil:

buzz_knox
January 6, 2004, 03:33 PM
A terrorist is someone who has initiated force against innocents (ie, ahem, not those responsible for tyranny). Thus retaliatory force is justified.

Unless you are one of said innocents, then the terrorist isn't an aggressor towards you. Thus, under the NAP, you have no right to initiate hostile action towards them.

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 04:24 PM
buzz_knox,

So under the NAP, if Bad Guy X attacks my brother, I am unable to act in his defense? That's hogwash.

-z

buzz_knox
January 6, 2004, 04:27 PM
Hogwash? The NAP calls for no aggression towards a person who hasn't acted aggressively towards you, correct? You don't initiate an attack. While your brother has the right to self defense, what gives you the right to act in his stead? What other rights do you claim authority over?

Thumper
January 6, 2004, 04:29 PM
Similarly, if my sworn enemy is sitting in the corner loading a magazine while grinning maniacally, the NAP can kiss my rear. I'm gonna kick him in the teeth.

Justin
January 6, 2004, 04:33 PM
BigG- Looks like Zak has done an admirable job of explaining the NAP to me.

And in plain English, even.

dischord
January 6, 2004, 04:34 PM
Hogwash? The NAP calls for no aggression towards a person who hasn't acted aggressively towards you, correct? You don't initiate an attack. While your brother has the right to self defense, what gives you the right to act in his stead? What other rights do you claim authority over?

The relevant portion of L. Neil Smith's non-aggression principle is that "no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation." This says nothing about any other use of force, only the initiation of force.

Most libertarians claim the right to use force in defense of life and property. In fact, many non-libertarians claim this right as well. To the extent that such use of force is not an initiation of force, it does not conflict with the non-aggression principle. This can be referred to as defensive force.

Another use of force should be addressed briefly. Reasonable people might disagree as to what extent retaliatory force might be considered defensive, and when it goes too far and becomes an initiation of force. For example, most libertarians would allow-possibly encourage- the use of deadly force to prevent someone from physically harming someone else. However, once the offender has completed the act of violence, or has stopped and is threatening no one, the use of deadly force might not be appropriate. At least for the purpose of preventing the offense. Putting a bullet in the back of the attacker's head two years later would most likely be an initiation of force.

The right to initiate force cannot be delegated, because one cannot delegate a non-existent right. On the other hand, if there is a right to defensive use of force, that right can be delegated. It can be explicitly delegated, such as by hiring a security guard, or calling for help. In some cases the right to use defensive force could be implicitly delegated, or the delegation could be assumed. For example, you witness someone beating an apparently unconscious person. Of course there is the risk that the person does not want to be helped. A false delegation of defensive rights would be fraud, itself an initiation of force. An example would be someone calling for help when they were not threatened.

http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/libe164-20020311-06.html

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 04:43 PM
Hogwash? The NAP calls for no aggression towards a person who hasn't acted aggressively towards you, correct? You don't initiate an attack. While your brother has the right to self defense, what gives you the right to act in his stead? What other rights do you claim authority over?

No, the NAP simply says one has no right to initiate force. As stated by L. Neil Smith: "No one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation."

Because I have a right to use defensive force (e.g. to repel an attack), that right can be delegated. The act of delegation could be explicit in the form of a contract with a security service, or a cry of "HELP" as I'm being attacked. Or the act of delegation can be implicit or assumed: for example, if I am being beaten by an assailent, am already unconscious, and my girlfriend discovers the scene, she can rightly assume she has the right to act in my defense.

Here's a write-up which explains some of the implications of the NAP: No Limitations On Non-aggression Principle by Karl G. Long (http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/libe164-20020311-06.html)

-z

buzz_knox
January 6, 2004, 04:45 PM
No, the NAP simply says one has no right to initiate force. As stated by L. Neil Smith: "No one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation."

The statement that "[n]o one has the right, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, to initiate force against another human being" is directly contrary to the argument that the right of self-defense can be delegated.

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 04:59 PM
buzz_knox,

Someone acting in my defense, or helping me in my defense, is justified in using force because it is a defensive action. By its nature, it is not initiating a new "force" interaction; it's finishing one the other guy initiated. When Bad Guy X attacks me, that is the initiation of force. My girlfriend shooting BGX is not a separate initiation of force, it's purely defensive.

It would make no sense if legitimate rights could not be delegated. It would lead to situations, for example, in which I could manage my stocks or investments, but I could not pay someone to do it for me.

-z

dustind
January 6, 2004, 07:04 PM
MicroBalrog why not just move to New Hampshire and join the FSP? It is doing pretty well and is respected by a majority of the people there. I imagine they will have many offices by election time 2004. Two members almost took the liberal stronghold despite only living their six weeks, having no campaign money, or staff helpers.

In response to your island question. Being free in the middle of nowhere does not really help the cause of freedom any. Freedom is not the ability to do what you want so long as no one notices or cares. It is being free and not under control. As in the power to control, not just being controlled at the moment. An island does not really give much of a guaranty of long term freedom.

As an example, if a slave master said, "go out, live your life, move where you want, love whomever you want, and do what makes you happy." The slave would not be free. Sure he could do what he wants, but he is still under someone else's control even if that person is not exercising control. It violates self ownership.

The fact that the feds might possibly try to screw it up justifies its existance, and is all the reason anyone needs to do it here.

Buzz_knox: No one can initiate force, I (and every other libertarian and non libertarian alike) do not see how defending someone is initiating force.

Thumper
January 6, 2004, 07:15 PM
MicroBalrog why not just move to New Hampshire and join the FSP? It is doing pretty well and is respected by a majority of the people there. I imagine they will have many offices by election time 2004. Two members almost took the liberal stronghold despite only living their six weeks, having no campaign money, or staff helpers.

Dustin, you have to read the whole thread: Micro is a Communist/Far-left Socialist...he somehow wants to be a "Libertarian" AND empower the "liberal stronghold."

BigG
January 6, 2004, 08:03 PM
Hi, Justin. Buzz Knox, for one, seems to be asking some reasonable questions about the NAP that Smithz is having difficulty fielding from a L/l perspective.

I am not about offending any of you concerning your political beliefs, whether pro or contra the L/libertarian position on the NAP. I just see it as an unrealistic view to have. One example from "the real world" I can think of is the USA's never agreeing to "no first use of nuclear weapons" in all their various posturing, treaties, etc., since we entered the nuclear age. Obviously, a L/l would have no problem with accepting that sort of limitation. OK, you nuke me first, then I am empowered to retaliate. R-i-i-i-ght. Doesn't that seem to be surrendering your right of self determination to base your behavior on that of another? These sort of questions that L/l's cannot or will not address do not give them much credibility with people with at least one of their feet still on the ground. :uhoh: Thanks for the opportunity!

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 08:14 PM
Who's havin' difficulty? Buzz Knox and perhaps others have a misunderstanding of the NAP.

BigG,

Your question is that a NAP-compatible policy would not include first-strikes, but the US policy is that we can't rule out first strikes?

I would agree that a NAP-compatible nuclear policy would mean we couldn't nuke someone out of the blue. If another country initiated force against the NAP country first, nukes could certainly be used in some application in defense/retaliation. If what you say is true about the US not ruling out first strikes, then it does not follow the NAP. We knew that already, for example, the US Government initiates force against its citizens all the time.

The whole point of MAD was "nuke me (or launch nukes at me) and you're toast."

Of course following NAP restricts one's behavior. That's obvious. If I follow NAP, I can't walk up and bash your head in.

-z

Thumper
January 6, 2004, 08:19 PM
Of course following NAP restricts one's behavior. That's obvious. If I follow NAP, I can't walk up and bash your head in.

Nope...you follow NAP. Me, on the other hand, if I perceive you as a potential threat...I could bash YOUR head in, then giggle.

Or nuke you out of existence...or simply shoot you. The NAP doesn't seem to be a workable doctrine to me.

BigG
January 6, 2004, 08:19 PM
Zak, the fallacy I see you continually adhering to is you expect people to act like adults, be honorable, and tell the truth. Not on this planet.

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 08:19 PM
These sort of questions that L/l's cannot or will not address do not give them much credibility with people with at least one of their feet still on the ground. Thanks for the opportunity!
I think this thread is evidence of a liberatrian willing to discuss these issues.

If you just do some googling around, you will find that a lot has been written on these issues from the libertarian standpoint.

-z

BigG
January 6, 2004, 08:29 PM
I think this thread is evidence of a liberatrian willing to discuss these issues.

If you just do some googling around, you will find that a lot has been written on these issues from the libertarian standpoint.


Zak, as many people on this thread alone have correctly pointed out, imho, you cannot make your behavior subject to somebody else's acting first in every conceivable instance.

Pure political theory is great; but people have warts. I'm sorry to say that but it is the truth. Pure communism and pure libertarianism both have their attractions from a philosophical standpoint; but they both rely on the perfectability of the human being and that is the biggest fallacy I can think of, right off the top of my head. Utopia is always attractive, but we should remember that Utopia is the Greek for "nowhere."

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 08:30 PM
Thumper, BigG,

You are both right that many or the majority of humans do not act in a reasonable fashion, and cannot even be realistically expected to act in their own actual self-interest (perceived self-interest is another thing). Libertarianism and the NAP are to be argued for because they are based on very simple by profound rights.

If you design a system based on the assumption that humans are children and need tending, you end up with socialism, fascism, statism, or some other terrible form of government. If you design a system based on private property and the NAP, you end up with something where the individual retains maximum liberty and rights.

Thumper, yes, even in a Libertarian universe, you could bash my head in.. you can do it right now, in fact. I don't see that as an argument against Lib/NAP, simply as a "cost" associated with living in a society that affords me the freedom to act as long as I'm not hurting others. It's sort of like the statement that it's better to let 100 guilty men go free than to wrongly imprison one innocent man.

-z

Zak Smith
January 6, 2004, 09:02 PM
A couple more points I thought of on the way home:

If "But I can still bash your head in..." is used to refute Lib/NAP, then it can be used to argue against any system of ethics, and it effectively argues best for barbarism.

Furthermore, Libertarianism as a political or ethical philosophy is not a magical land where everyone conforms to it- it is limited to what any political or ethical philosophy can do: define what rights are and the limits of power. People may still act outside those boundaries, but the philosophy describes what happens. Much like people argue for the Republican form of the United States Government and our Constitution based on the world it produces, so do people argue for Libertarianism and the NAP based on the kind of world they believe it will bring.

Libertarian philosophy follows from (as in, it logically follows) a few core principles about what rights individuals have: namely, a person owns his life, body, and the fruits of his labor. He has the right to life, liberty, and property.

The purest way to argue against libertarianism is to attack one or more of those core principles. All more-poorly-articulated objections to libertarianism will necessarily end up being traced back to a disagreement about one of those principles.

So, if you are advocating first-strikes or going around pre-emptively bashing people on the head, which of the core principles of libertarianism do you disagree with and why?


Finally, with regard to "making my behavior subject to someone else's acting first": I don't really understand the objection. The NAP is saying you can't go around shooting people because you don't like them. It is saying the person must first initiate force against you - which includes having the means, opportunity, and intent to do so - before you use force against them. It is a far stretch to say that because of the NAP your actions must be reactions to others' actions. Under libertarianism, you have superior liberty of life and property; the only limitation is that you cannot deprive someone else of their rights to same.

-z

dustind
January 6, 2004, 09:11 PM
Doesn't that seem to be surrendering your right of self determination to base your behavior on that of another? These sort of questions that L/l's cannot or will not address do not give them much credibility with people with at least one of their feet still on the ground. Thanks for the opportunity! There is nothing wrong with nuking a country that is planning on nuking you. If someone plans to rape or kill me I can kill them first. Nuking some country because they refused your religous beliefs, or do something you do not like would be against the nap though.

I do not see human imperfection as an argument against libertarianism. If humans where overly evil or stupid then I would really want to be free from their influance.

Nap really does not do much for the rapist, thief, murder problem, everyone knows it is wrong anyway. Even in a Libertarian utopia they would exist, and they would be delt with.

Foriegn policy is a bit fuzzier than other issues, and should not be considered a deal breaker IMHO.

as many people on this thread alone have correctly pointed out, imho, you cannot make your behavior subject to somebody else's acting first in every conceivable instance. How can you do anything else? It is impossible to defend against something you know nothing about. You can lock your doors, be prepared, but if you do not know what is going to happen you are screwed no matter what society you are in.
Nope...you follow NAP. Me, on the other hand, if I perceive you as a potential threat...I could bash YOUR head in, then giggle. Why does it matter if you live in a Libertarian country or any other? People can always attack others, this is one thing that never changes. Attacking others is wrong, that is another thing that usually never changes.

AZLibertarian
January 6, 2004, 09:13 PM
I'll be the first libertarian to acknowledge that I don't have every answer about what a purely libertarian society would look like, or how it would function. It is a utopian philosophy, and put into practice in the real world, it would entail compromises from this ideal. But so what? The attraction of libertarianism for me is that it puts most decision-making in the hands of the individual, and out of the state's control. Not all, but most. The trade-off, of course, is that the individual has to be willing to take the consequences of the decisions he/she makes...e.g. Fail to financially prepare for your retirement=you go hungry once you get old.

Since this thread took a tangent into what the NAP means, I'll offer another question:

While there is some debate about elements of libertarianism (see the earlier NAP debate), most libertarians have had some level of thought about what it means to be a lib. I'll assume that most (maybe 80%) of the non-libertarians here consider themselves to be conservatives, and probably vote Republican. So my question is: Why are you a conservative (or liberal)? What do you believe in? How does the Republican (or Democratic) Party meet what you hope to get out of government?

Tamara
January 6, 2004, 11:18 PM
Or nuke you out of existence...or simply shoot you. The NAP doesn't seem to be a workable doctrine to me.

Odd, seeing as how you live by it every day (if you CCW, that is...)

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 01:17 AM
Odd, seeing as how you live by it every day (if you CCW, that is...)

I only live by it on my good days.

Would I preemptively attack someone, under any circumstances? Tough call.

If I theoretically knew, by whatever means, that mr. X was gonna head shoot me at his first opportunity, I would definitely lay up for him first.

dustind
January 7, 2004, 05:44 AM
I think some people are taking the words, and not what they are suppost to mean too literally. Basically just leave everyone else alone and do not force them to do, or not to do something unless they are or will harm you or somone else.

BigG
January 7, 2004, 06:48 AM
Every "principle" that gets espoused needs to be defended. There is no sense in trying to say everybody who does not immediately adopt it or defer to it "just doesn't get it." Else, to quote one of my favorite moderators, "it's as useless as teats on a boar." :)

Let's just take a hypothetical example we can all visualize. We take ten people, put them in a sparsely populated area and give them equal resources. They begin to build up their individual "kingdoms." After a few decades one guy is disproportionately rich compared to the other nine. He puts up a bunch of ostentatious displays of wealth. Besides being in very poor taste, the natural jealousy of the less fortunate nine is kindled. What is to stop two or three of these adherents to the NAP to go kill the guy and seize his wealth. Not a whole lot, imho. The other six will probably mind their own business and think the guy "got what he deserved." And then there were nine. Tell me this is not a workable prediction of the results of pure libertarianism, given human failings.

dustind
January 7, 2004, 07:03 AM
BigG: It may be possible. In most countries they would simply steal it via government force, or just force him to pay more for things that they used to pay equal amounts for. Either way you can end up screwed, but it takes more for the common middle class joe to take something by force then to pay a few dollars into a special interest that votes to take it. The rich guy would have lost it all much sooner than if everyone was forced to rob him themself.

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 07:36 AM
If I theoretically knew, by whatever means, that mr. X was gonna head shoot me at his first opportunity,

I'd consider an active plan and intent to head shoot you an act of aggression, and apparently so would you. ;) (Nobody expects you to wait around and take the first bullet, especially in Texas... ;) )

Hal
January 7, 2004, 08:13 AM
I think this thread is hilarious.

Here's everybody debating the merits of a political system, when the original post concerned Palau Island.

Ever consider the people on Palau might object?

Oh, wait,,,it's,,,,,"for the children" right?
oh oh better yet,,, "we're from the libertarian party and we're here to help".

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 08:20 AM
Obviously the topic of conversation has drifted, but feel free to riff it for whatever yuks you reckon you can get. ;)

Marko Kloos
January 7, 2004, 08:26 AM
It's amazing how many people are simply terrified of the concept to "mind your own business, and keep your hands to yourself."

The need to tell others what to do is so ingrained in Liberals and Conservatives alike that many of them are willing to reject the idea of unfettered personal freedom, if it means that they have to stop being in other people's business in exchange.

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 09:15 AM
I'd consider an active plan and intent to head shoot you an act of aggression, and apparently so would you.

The thing is, where do you draw the line? When you stroll out of the bathroom at the stop n' go and the local hood has the patrons proned out in front of the register, what do you do? Certainly not an act of aggression towards you. Yet. Merely the potential, so what do you do?

It's amazing how many people are simply terrified of the concept to "mind your own business, and keep your hands to yourself."

I don't know about "terrified," Marko. Most of of adhere to it, for the most part. It would be a workable concept, were it not for the Savage. He exists, as you well know. He monkey wrenches your works.

You have to deal with the Savage, and you sometimes have to deal with him first, because he has no qualms about dealing with you.

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 09:23 AM
Certainly not an act of aggression towards you.

No, but it's definitely an act of aggression, right?

There's no need to make this overly complex, Thumper; like I attempted to point out, I'd be willing to bet that this is the principle that you already live by, as evidenced by the fact that you aren't in jail. ;) It, or a variant of it, crops up repeatedly in religions, legal codes, et cetera. It's an expression of things you've heard since childhood:

"Did you start the fight, Little Thumpy?"
"Do unto others..."
"Mr. Thumper, I am given to understand that the deceased came at you with a knife? I don't think charges will be filed."

Et cetera...

If you want to dream up a mental exercise not covered by it, I'm sure it can be done, but it strikes me as an isometric exercise: ie, you get all sweaty and go nowhere... ;)

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 10:00 AM
No, but it's definitely an act of aggression, right?

I think you'll agree that you're suddenly on a pretty slippery slope, especially if thinking internationally.

If you want to dream up a mental exercise not covered by it, I'm sure it can be done,

Of course it can. None of these concepts is 100% situation proof. Is NAP an admirable idea to strive for? Sure. Is it a doctrine to unwaveringly subscribe to? Well, not if survival is an issue.

NAP only works if everybody plays nice. Strictly as a tactical idea, it stinks. If you're forever reacting you're gonna lose, right?

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 10:06 AM
Strictly as a tactical idea, it stinks. If you're forever reacting you're gonna lose, right?

Strictly as a tactical idea, it's the law of the land, right?

"I was in fear for my life, officer..." ;)

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 10:13 AM
I think we're down to arguing subtleties...I can deal with that.

The big question is, how morally correct is my setting adrift an insiduous communist introducing himself into my libertarian paradise?

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 10:18 AM
I don't think you have much to fear from the insidious communist in your paradise; he doesn't seem to be having much luck creating welfare statists here. ;)

Sean Smith
January 7, 2004, 10:31 AM
I don't think a libertarian utopia can exclude a socialist who wants to live there because he doesn't "think right." Kind of negates the whole point of the "libertarian" thing to force somebody to think like you do or leave. Even if his beliefs are the polar opposite of libertarian and he wants to be called "libertarian" anyway because it sounds cool. ;)

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 10:32 AM
Where did he go anyway? I'm anxious to hear Micro's defense or his left-liberal/Libertarian coexistence theory.

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 10:37 AM
I think in a community of self-reliant, responsible, ethical citizens, an actual real-live-black-turtleneck-and-beret-wearing income redistributionist would be seen as light entertainment. Were he willing to stand on a soapbox on a corner and sermonize, I'd toss a dollar in his guitar case for the value of the amusement he provided. Maybe he could use it to save up for a copy of Das Kapital or some other light comedic reading. ;)

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 10:38 AM
"because it sounds cool." Oof... :D

Micro's ideas infringe upon the libertarian ideal by definition. He can't have his if the Libertarians have theirs. They CAN'T coexist. I mean, he can live there, by the libertarian rule...but he's not gonna be able to be a socialist.

But you already know that...I guess I'm talking to Micro using Sean as a proxy.

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 10:40 AM
So who's moving to New Hampshire...seriously? My field is inundated there. :(

Sean Smith
January 7, 2004, 10:58 AM
New Hampshire is a cross between a malarial swamp and a glacier, and has black flies the size of hubcaps chewing your flesh off whenever your nosehairs aren't frozen. Have fun. :D

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 11:04 AM
Well, it looks like if the Free Staters get their way, they'll have everyone represented. From the Anarchists (the Purdue contingent) to the Communists (Micro and company). It should be an interesting social experiment...if people follow through.

I specifically restricted New Hampshire from my list. Cold yankee women hold no appeal for me. :D

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 12:32 PM
Every "principle" that gets espoused needs to be defended. There is no sense in trying to say everybody who does not immediately adopt it or defer to it "just doesn't get it." Else, to quote one of my favorite moderators, "it's as useless as teats on a boar."

I'm saying that objections to libertarianism will distill down to an objection to one or more of its core principles. It's more efficient for the debate to just get right down to business and argue over the principles.


Let's just take a hypothetical example we can all visualize. We take ten people, put them in a sparsely populated area and give them equal resources. They begin to build up their individual "kingdoms." After a few decades one guy is disproportionately rich compared to the other nine. He puts up a bunch of ostentatious displays of wealth. Besides being in very poor taste, the natural jealousy of the less fortunate nine is kindled. What is to stop two or three of these adherents to the NAP to go kill the guy and seize his wealth. Not a whole lot, imho. The other six will probably mind their own business and think the guy "got what he deserved." And then there were nine. Tell me this is not a workable prediction of the results of pure libertarianism, given human failings.

This might happen under virtually any political system - at least one with any freedom and without jack-booted prior restraint. And because of that, like I said before, it is not a particularly good argument against libertarianism.

In your example, all libertarianism can do is let each person know what actions are permissible to him at any point in time - that is, what he can do without infringing on anyone else's rights. The two usurpers have broken the tenets of the society at the point when they initiate force, the rest of the island is then justified is using force against them to stop the attack. If damages have been incurred by any party, they have claim to some of the instigators' property. Schemes for implementing such renumeration, judgement, or moderation have been explained in the literature.

-z

BigG
January 7, 2004, 12:49 PM
Hi Zak, Schemes... in the literature Zak, here I thought we were reasoning together and now you lapse into lawyer talk.
:banghead:
The thing I mentioned about espousing a principle and then hiding behind it as if it were self evident and inviolable I find intellectually dishonest. If you really believe NAP debate on it and stop dancing around the bush. objections to libertarianism will distill down to an objection to one or more of its core principles.
Zak, that is my point; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Would you agree? I shot your libertarian NAP chain in half and it no longer is a viable principle. :D Insert horselaugh icon here.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 01:03 PM
BigG,

I wasn't evading the point about judges and renumeration, I just thought it would be a waste of time to go describe fifty different methods of judgement, renumeration, moderation, etc, which would be acceptible in a libertarian universe, when authors such as L. Neil Smith have already done so.

For example, if you steal my horse, you have initiated force and I have a right to take back the horse, or recover the lost value from you some other way. So for example, I could go and take back the horse by force, or if you've already sold it or eaten it or whatever, I could take from you the value of the horse in some other form, by taking some of your gold or cows, or whatever.

While this is justified under Lib/NAP, people in a Lib may want to subscribe to a moderation or judgement service, which would have no more power that the inherent rights they had, delegated to the service. However, it would provide a more constructive and rights-protecting forum than me just raiding your house at night. After all, if I mistakenly concluded that you stole my horse, when it was your evil twin who lives across town, then I have initiated force against you and you are justified in defending yourself or taking renumeration from me. So it is in my best interests that I get it right the first time.

objections to libertarianism will distill down to an objection to one or more of its core principles.Zak, that is my point; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Would you agree? I shot your libertarian NAP in half and it no longer is a viable principle.

How have you shot it in half? Because you can go around pre-emptively murdering people?

Since you disagree with the NAP, why or under what circumstances do you think it is acceptible to initiate force? What ensures that you are not infringing on that person's right to life, liberty, and property?

-z

__________________

Owen
January 7, 2004, 01:38 PM
BigG,

Thing is BigG, for relationships betwwen individuals, the NAP is already in force in most places as far as violent physical force goes.

In no state can you shoot someone in the head because they MAY be a threat. They have to pass the reasonable man test. Would a reasonable man feel that he was in danger of death or serious physical harm? Until that threshhold has been crossed, no private individual may use force. Anywhere. Period. The same goes for the NAP... the threat in the first place is the initial use of force. Responding to the threat does not violate the principle.

Once again, bashing someone in the head becasue they may be a threat is violation of the NAP, but it is also a violation of the law in all 50 states, and AFAIK, the entire Western World. NOWHERE, can you, as an individual, use force before a threat has been identified, and the hurdle that threat must jump is high.

You only blow the NAP out of the water, because of your desire to be a criminal.

owen

BigG
January 7, 2004, 01:39 PM
Zak, I am not the so-called Libertarian; you are. I do not, in case there is any doubt, subscribe to the NAP, nor have I ever, nor do I think I ever will however you never know. ;)

The NAP fails on the astounding reality that people are not perfect, nor do they keep their word, nor do they act like adults, or do the expected. This is a big problem between theoretical politics and practical application.

I would never espouse a principle that ties my hands while leaving everybody else free to do what they will to me until they violate my "rights." For those that can straightfacedly tell me that the NAP is workable I have another name for that principle. I call that the "Sucker Principle." :uhoh:

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 01:51 PM
BigG,

So I guess it's your turn to dodge the questions. :D

A Lib/NAP system does not depend on people acting like adults, or that nobody initiate force. It just says that if you want to not deprive anyone else of the liberty of life & property like you enjoy, all you must do is not initiate force. The Lib/NAP system explicitly allows for your defense and your protection.

If you, on the other hand, want to do whatever you want including murdering people and taking their stuff whenver it suits you, then the political system you propose is indistinguishable from you being King.

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 02:44 PM
The NAP fails on the astounding reality that people are not perfect, nor do they keep their word, nor do they act like adults, or do the expected. Wow, that really sounds like the antis' argument against CCW.I would never espouse a principle that ties my hands while leaving everybody else free to do what they will to me until they violate my "rights." No one would. The NAP certainly doesn't demand that. They are not "free to do what they will to me until xyz." Once they "do what they will to me" they have initiated force, so there is no delay period until some additional trigger occurs. Strawman argument.

Or are you talking about being able to punch someone in the face because he called you a poopyhead? Yeah, the NAP wouldn't allow that, but so what? You can't do it now legally anyway.What is to stop two or three of these adherents to the NAP to go kill the guy and seize his wealth. What stops them now? Your dislike of the NAP seems to be based on its lack of pre-emption, so how does the current system pre-emptively stop them?

tyme
January 7, 2004, 02:45 PM
Wow, is this ever a neat series of mini-essays on libertarianism.
http://www.libertysoft.com/liberty/features/73symposium.html

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 02:57 PM
dischord,

BigG doesn't yet understand that the level of preemption and prior restraint required for what he wants is tyranny.

-z

cordex
January 7, 2004, 03:17 PM
I'm sorry ... I must just be one o' them slow libertarian types, because I'm having trouble following the anti-NAP arguments around here.
The NAP fails on the astounding reality that people are not perfect, nor do they keep their word, nor do they act like adults, or do the expected.
What prevents people from being imperfect, or breaking their word, or acting like children, or doing something unexpected in our system today? How does a "savage" throw a monkey wrench into the workings of the NAP and somehow leave our current system untouched?

The NAP isn't some huge new concept, nor does it break down as soon as someone doesn't follow it. I don't see why this is so hard to understand.
BigG doesn't yet understand that the level of preemption and prior restraint required for what he wants is tyranny.
At best ...

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 03:49 PM
I shot your libertarian NAP chain in half and it no longer is a viable principle. :D

You seem to be confusing "shooting chains" and "splitting hairs".

Shall I shoot your GOP statist chain in half, or will we take that as a given? ;) :p

As I pointed out to Thumper above, 99.9% of the laws you agree with are based on the NAP...

"I was in fear for my life, officer..."
"He who sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed..."
"Did you start the fight, LittleG?"
"Do unto others..."

:neener:

dustind
January 7, 2004, 04:14 PM
The thing is, where do you draw the line? When you stroll out of the bathroom at the stop n' go and the local hood has the patrons proned out in front of the register, what do you do? Certainly not an act of aggression towards you. Yet. Merely the potential, so what do you do? You only have two choices in situations like this, shoot everyone one of them dead, or decide not to do a thing even if they later decide to rob the place. You have to remember that us Libertarians are extremists in everything we do. There is no thinking and responding to situations as they develop. No changing your mind, and absolutely no passive defenses like making sure your weapon is ready, locking doors, calling for others to escort you, running away, etc. Using defensive measures that do not violate anyone's rights is taking the easy way out. Whatever you do, do not do what you would normally do in a situation like this. A libertarian society would be so radically different in every way that the slightest move would get everyone on you with machingun fire for violating their rights. :neener:

Does that help clear things up. Lets try another example.

Say someone's car is out of control and heading right at you. Now, this guy has not ran you over yet, he has not violated your rights thus you should just stand there. When he gets close point a gun at him and wait for him to hit you, then immediately shoot him for violating your rights. Getting out of his way is what statists want you to do. :uhoh:

As a libertarian you should not plan ahead, avoid danger, or lock your doors. Always wait for your rights to be fully violated before even thinking of a counter action.

[/end over the top sarcasm]

This was just a joke, hopefully someone found it amusing. I should refine it into a parody of what I think people think of libertarian ideals.

EDIT: My response to this thread is. No one said in a libertarian society everyone would follow this principal. There would likely be some robbers, rapists, and people out to cheat other out of their money. We are saying to be a libertarian you must follow the non aggression principal.

harpethriver
January 7, 2004, 04:20 PM
Now I know why libertarians are OK with the usage of drugs-after trying to decipher some of the arguments on this thread the only thing left that makes sense would be to burn a big fat spliff.

cordex
January 7, 2004, 04:39 PM
I know this was an attempt at humor, but ...
Now I know why libertarians are OK with the usage of drugs-after trying to decipher some of the arguments on this thread the only thing left that makes sense would be to burn a big fat spliff.
Seriously, what's to decipher?
Is "your right to punch ends at my nose" really too hard to understand? Is "do not initiate force" some mystical lore? Is it really that complex? Does "don't start fights" make your head spin?

I may not be a terribly intelligent fellow, but even I can wrap my mind around those simple concepts. It also strikes me that they're the basis of the good laws that we have, and see that they're missing in the bad laws.

The real reason libertarians are for drug legalization (note: not necessarily the usage of drugs - just getting Uncle Sam to stop granting a monopoly to gangsters and lowlifes) is that what you choose to do to yourself is your business. That means a libertarian would not try to use the force of the government to keep you from eating fatty foods, getting a tattoo, practicing poor personal hygiene, or smoking that spliff. They might try to talk you out of it, but they won't get a bunch of police to play militia and storm your house because they don't like what you're doing to yourself.

tyme
January 7, 2004, 04:51 PM
Who decides what aggression is? Isn't that exactly what the current political system does? People's rights are legislated away because exercise of those rights is seen to be aggression against others' lives/property/happiness.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 04:55 PM
The current political system outlaws many things which are not initiation of force.

-z

BigG
January 7, 2004, 06:40 PM
Now I know why libertarians are OK with the usage of drugs-after trying to decipher some of the arguments on this thread the only thing left that makes sense would be to burn a big fat spliff.

This just put the frosting on the cake. Thanks, bud!

All you who kindly wrote in opposition to my posts on this thread. Thank you. I consider you friends but you have not a leg to stand on by comparing the current status quo political system to L/l. Damning by faint praise is not a valid argument for advancing a new era in political interaction.

Tamara: The great GOP "statist" chain of mine has shot itself in the foot many times, no need for you to shoot it in half. ;) Thanks, anyway. The one thing is, it works, it may be hairy, overweight, and full of warts but it is not some utopian half baked mantra like I hear the glassy-eyed and conditioned (all half dozen of you) mumbling. Faint hope with such doctrinaire thinking, I'm afraid. Or am I supposed to be indoctrinated now, with your scorn? Bad BigG! ...I know. I'm too illiterate to "get" these higher political concepts. :o

It's nice to joust with y'all concerning political beliefs, but next time PLEASE bring some ammunition! :neener:

Marko Kloos
January 7, 2004, 06:49 PM
Is "your right to punch ends at my nose" really too hard to understand? Is "do not initiate force" some mystical lore? Is it really that complex? Does "don't start fights" make your head spin?


It seems that way. All those concepts just translate as "unworkable pipe dreams" to some folks. They're so used to controlling and being controlled that they would fight to the death to preserve the status quo. All they can offer in return is "you're a glassy-eyed dreamer," "you just want to smoke pot," and that ultimate conservative rebuke, "you just don't want anyone to tell you what to do."

It's nice to joust with y'all concerning political beliefs, but next time PLEASE bring some ammunition!

Physician, heal thyself. Your whole argument seems to boil down to sticking your fingers in your ears and saying over and over, "It won't work! It won't work!"

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 06:52 PM
BigG,

How about instead of saying that we "don't have a leg to stand on", you take the high road and re-enter the debate? We've responded to your questions and objections to Lib/NAP and the best you can now offer is, "Well, the current system works and Lib/NAP doesn't."

What parts of the Lib/NAP tenets do you disagree with and why? I ask again: why or under what circumstances do you think it is acceptible to initiate force? What ensures that you are not infringing on that person's right to life, liberty, and property?

The great GOP "statist" chain of mine has shot itself in the foot many times, no need for you to shoot it in half. Thanks, anyway. The one thing is, it works, it may be hairy, overweight, and full of warts

Does it "work"? Well, it sure does something- It takes my hard-earned money by force and spends it on frivolous social programs, wealth redistribution, by invading my and every other Americans' privacy, dictating what arms I cannot possess as a serf, who I may sleep with, etc. The list goes on.

How do you know it "works"? You must base this conclusion on some concept of what a state should do.

It's nice to joust with y'all concerning political beliefs, but next time PLEASE bring some ammunition!
Taking your ball and going home?

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 06:57 PM
It's nice to joust with y'all concerning political beliefs, but next time PLEASE bring some ammunition! You're the one who failed, bud. You set up some strawman arguments and knocked them down. Big whoop.

You: The NAP is absurd because it does XYZ

Us: No, actualy the NAP does ABC not XYZ

You: But you can't justify XYZ

Us: Well, the NAP actually does ABC not XYZ

You: This XYZ stuff is absurd. It's why the NAP fails.

Us: But it does ABC not XYZ

You: I win. Nice jousting with you.


I've found that people declare victory and go home when they know they've lost.

BigG
January 7, 2004, 06:58 PM
Since we've gotten to the folding our arms and saying, "Hmmmph," point here, let me restate where I started here: It was about the NAP and how is that some "principle to base a government on." If we are all graduates of kindergarten we already know my right to swing my fist stops where you nose begins. It's not nice to pick a fight, etc. We already have this concept well integrated into our CULTURE. We can even call it good manners and dispense with it. On the other hand, it is NOT a basis for GOVERNMENT. It is a naive dream to feel that a nation in the information age can relate with all other nations through "playing nice." I simply asked for a defense of how this can be worked into a cornerstone of an independent nation. Teach me and I will learn. Scorn me and I'll tell you to piss up a rope.

dischord
January 7, 2004, 07:05 PM
It is a naive dream to feel that a nation in the information age can relate with all other nations through "playing nice." dustind's tongue-in-cheek post addresses this part of your bogus strawman argument quite well.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 07:12 PM
If we are all graduates of kindergarten we already know my right to swing my fist stops where you nose begins. It's not nice to pick a fight, etc. We already have this concept well integrated into our CULTURE. We can even call it good manners and dispense with it. On the other hand, it is NOT a basis for GOVERNMENT.

It is relevant to government because the government's fist should stop at my nose, too!.

Justify why any law should exist which is more restrictive than the NAP.

For example, you could justify income redistribution.
For example, you could justify the AWB.
Etc.

It is a naive dream to feel that a nation in the information age can relate with all other nations through "playing nice

Just as the Lib/NAP system does not require each person to "play nice", it does not require other nations to "play nice." The exact same arguments - which I've been repeating for the last two pages - apply there as well.

You don't go around nuking countries because they have Islamic governments; You nuke them (or invade, whatever), when they have the means, opportunity, and intent to attack you.

-z

BigG
January 7, 2004, 07:13 PM
It is immoral to initiate force or fraud against any sentient being. Just to prove I am a good sport, Is that or is that not the so-called Non Agression Principle?

Dischord, I give you credit for some reading ability but you seem to think I am illiterate. Where does it say the nap does a, b, c? I don't see that it says anything other than the exact twelve words. Or is there a corrolary that is missing above that you are quoting from?

We have gone over what does this principle mean in other threads and there are some who find great things in it. Things others fail to see because the words do not exist. Are we having a difference similar to a discussion between a loose constructionist and a strict constructionist? All I know is the the libertarians claim it as the basis of their political platform. I asked how does this work in a practical sense and received a bunch of yada yada lawyer talk and evasion. Now if that is your idea of practical implementation, I'm still not convinced.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 07:15 PM
I asked how does this work in a practical sense and received a bunch of yada yada lawyer talk and evasion.

If detailed concrete examples are yada yada lawyer talk then I'm guilty.

-z

BigG
January 7, 2004, 07:18 PM
Hi again, Zak! About nuking countries, which you mentioned; that makes me think of having the infrastructure to have nukes in the first place. The practical side of me says, OK, Zak, how do you plan to fund the infrastructure? With bake sales or subscriptions? The ability to have nukes depends on a bunch of pure science called The Manhattan Project which was a bloated, super secret govt conspiracy way back when and a whole lot of other things, too. No way l/Ls are going to sign on for a pig in a poke like that. Besides, once they have it, the bad gomit might turn it on US!!:what:

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 07:18 PM
You don't go around nuking countries because they have Islamic governments; You nuke them (or invade, whatever), when they have the means, opportunity, and intent to attack you.

Ah...if that's the case, then we're reaching some manner of agreement. I was mistaken in thinking that the NAP meant I had to wait for the other guy to strike first. Obviously not an option in the nuclear age.

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 07:23 PM
BigG, with regards to the nuclear program thing,I think it's a foregone conclusion that a Lib country wouldn't possess Stealth Bombers, Space Shuttles, or currently have a lander on Mars.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 07:24 PM
Thumper,

There is a good analogy in the NAP comparing individual self-defense to national defense. If Bad Guy X walks up and pulls a gun on you, you do not have to wait for him to shoot you to act defensively. He's fair game already because of the opportunity, means, intent doctrine.

MAD is an interesting case as a study of the "intent" part of the triad. Neither country wanted complete destruction of themselves, while they may have wanted control or destruction of the other country. Because both sides were intelligent enough to understand MAD, neither had the actual intent.

-z

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 07:31 PM
With regards to the nuclear program thing, I think it's a foregone conclusion that a Lib country wouldn't possess Stealth Bombers, Space Shuttles, or currently have a lander on Mars.

Libertarianism stresses the importance of the individual over the State. I think it is correct to say that a Lib country's government would not have a space program. However, that is a far cry from there being no space programs in the country. Private individuals and industry would take over the role-- admittedly, they would probably focus on profit-making missions like GPS, satellite communications, mining, or even frontier exploration.

How much money would be left in the economy if the government's function was minimized? Those with lots of wealth would be motivated to ensure its protection. One concrete way this could happen would be that those with wealth to protect would buy "insurance" or a "protection service." The insurance and protection companies would band together as a matter of economics (economy of scale) to fund national defense projects to the extent that force is needed vs. monetary protection.

Would a nuclear bomb have been created by a Lib country? I don't know. The USA had an advantage during the war that many great minds escaped to here and helped with bomb work. It is my belief that a Lib country would drain the brains of more tyrannical countries in short order.

-z

BigG
January 7, 2004, 07:32 PM
I think it's a foregone conclusion that a Lib country wouldn't possess Stealth Bombers, Space Shuttles, or currently have a lander on Mars. :eek: Thumper, then it could not be the USA now. If a libertarian govt would scrap all that stuff people dedicated their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to build, it don't seem right. Maybe an agrarian country 200 years ago, but not 21st Century USA.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 07:37 PM
Thumper, then it could not be the USA now.


Bingo! There would be fewer jackboots and more liberty.

If a libertarian govt would scrap all that stuff people dedicated their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to build, it don't seem right.

It's no knock on those people who spent their lives working for the DOD or NASA, but one cannot deny that those projects were funded with stolen money, taken at gunpoint.

By the way, where in the Constitution does it say the FedGov has the power to tax for NASA?

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 07:46 PM
Where does it say the nap does a, b, c? I don't see that it says anything other than the exact twelve words. sigh,

The point is that you've been incorrectly saying the NAP demands things it doesn't (e.g. "ABC"). No matter how many times people explain to you that you are misrepresnting the NAP, you simply ignore them and repeat your mischaracterization.

Big G: "I would never espouse a principle that ties my hands while leaving everybody else free to do what they will to me until they violate my "rights.""

That is an absurd twisting of the NAP -- your strawman argument. You seem to think you've "won" because you knocked down an argument that no one ever made.

BTW, the NAP I know is L. Neil Smith's, "No one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, nor to delegate its initiation."

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 08:16 PM
Now I know why libertarians are OK with the usage of drugs-after trying to decipher some of the arguments on this thread the only thing left that makes sense would be to burn a big fat spliff.

It's so easy to make "big fat spliff" jokes rather than rational arguments, n'est ce pas? :rolleyes:

cordex
January 7, 2004, 08:17 PM
Teach me and I will learn. Scorn me and I'll tell you to piss up a rope.
Y'know ... I think it's interesting that you'd say something like this after repeatedly going out of your way to scorn anyone who believes in the concept of libertarianism.
I think it's a foregone conclusion that a Lib country wouldn't possess Stealth Bombers, Space Shuttles, or currently have a lander on Mars.
Maybe, maybe not. If enough people wanted 'em, they'd be built and maintained. If not, they won't be built, but if not enough people want them to pay for them anyway, why should they be built?

Also, does the end justify the means? Does the creation of the Great Pyramids justify the oppression of the Egyption people?

If you got to choose how much money you'd spend on the gov't and where it'd go, would you invest in the space program and the military?

Thumper
January 7, 2004, 08:21 PM
Is anyone here willing to make the case that the U.S., as a strictly Libertarian country, could have competed with the Soviet Union through the cold war? I'm pretty sure they had their eyes on our amber waves of grain.

The Randian ideal vs Communism militarily...interesting concept.

dischord
January 7, 2004, 08:31 PM
Is anyone here willing to make the case that the U.S., as a strictly Libertarian country, could have competed with the Soviet Union through the cold war?

Let's see,

A) The U.S. never attacked the Soviet Union. Meets the NAP.

B) The U.S. built a huge arsenal in repsonse to the Soviet threat. Meets the NAP.

C) The U.S. stood by allies (bases in Europe) in case the Soviets attacked them. Meets the NAP.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 08:46 PM
B) The U.S. built a huge arsenal in repsonse to the Soviet threat. Meets the NAP.
Dischord,

This only meets the NAP if the funds for the arsenal were not taken by force.

-z

Sean Smith
January 7, 2004, 08:51 PM
Well, providing for the common defense is one of the few legitimate government functions under the Constitution. Hard to say how you are going to do that without a government taking in revenue in some fashon.

It is also one of the few things that arguably lends itself to having a central government do it. 50 heterogenous state militias cannot do what 1 Army with uniform standards and discipline can. Heck, the whole "minuteman" idea didn't really work all that well during the Revolutionary War.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 08:55 PM
A hardline Lib/NAP adherent would say that the government may not tax.
A moderate Lib/NAP would allow taxes for extremely limited functions.

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 08:59 PM
Well Zak,

I guess I'm a "moderate Lib/NAP."

<points back to dustind's parody post about Libs having to be exreme in all they do and believe>

Glock Glockler
January 7, 2004, 08:59 PM
I find it rather difficult to believe that companies would band together in order to secure a private defense force. Any defense company would have to show a profit in order to keep it's doors open, so how do you do that by keeping peace?

If the military was doing it's job by practicing good diplomacy and silently killing Al Queda types, you wouldn't know about any problems for them to solve. They would be thought to be unnecessary and their funding would soon cease.

The only way you can successfully run a for-profit military would be something akin to what the Romans would do: conquer an area, tapp whatever resources you can (materials, slaves, etc) and move on.

Sean Smith
January 7, 2004, 09:12 PM
You know, it is hard to get fired up by all this ideological blather when the Libertarian Party is still less relevant than the Green Party in American politics. Their ideas are much stupider, of course. But they also pounded the Libertarian Party into goo in the last presidential election. Ideas don't get you political power. Perhaps libertarians should spend more time thinking about how they can actually get votes and matter, and less time debating the fine points of the NAP.

dischord
January 7, 2004, 09:21 PM
Ideas don't get you political power. Perhaps libertarians should spend more time thinking about how they can actually get votes and matter, and less time debating the fine points of the NAP. I'll agree with you there. The LP needs to build on its growing number of local and state level successes. Compare the number of LP elected officials to the number of Greens. Yeah, some of the elected LPs are dog catchers, but the Greens don't even have that.

In any event, in 2000 the Greens' showing was due to having a celebrity candidate, Nader, and I really doubt they'll do as well this year.

Perhaps, in Presidential elections, a third-party needs a celebrity -- otherwise the media ignores the campaign. If Joe Tiedye, rather than Nader, had been the Green candidate, he would have done just as poorly as Browne.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 09:22 PM
I find it rather difficult to believe that companies would band together in order to secure a private defense force. Any defense company would have to show a profit in order to keep it's doors open, so how do you do that by keeping peace?

That's why I proposed that insurance companies might pay a "defense" conglomerate for defense, based on the actuarial need of defense forces vs. monetary insurance. The defense force would provide underlying security for the insurance companies. The money ultimately comes from property owners who want their "stuff" protected.

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 09:37 PM
More on "moderate Lib/NAP."

I think we all here can agree that movement towards a more-libertarian society would be a good thing.

Yeah, the extreme ideal utopia is most-probably unattainable. But if we can get halfway there, shouldn't we do it?

You know what? Democracy is an unattainable utopian ideal too. But Western society didn't simply chuck out the idea. It created a halfway point that works in the real world -- the republic. We should try to do the same with the libertarian philosphy.

BigG
January 7, 2004, 09:44 PM
Y'know ... I think it's interesting that you'd say something like this after repeatedly going out of your way to scorn anyone who believes in the concept of libertarianism. Any scorn was directed at the inability to defend the NAP when asked practical applications of it. Sorry if you feel slighted, Cordex.

The idea of private armies has been tried before. Ever hear of warlords? How about Julius Caesar, and his predecessors Sulla, Marius, et al? When you have a private army, it serves the interest of its OWNER. How is that for some cool private property? "I don't need a CCW, I've got a battalion of armed thugs." ;)

The idea that I do not have the right to initiate force against another human being nor to delegate that right sounds good on paper but it fails when I remember that just because I happen to believe it and adhere to it, the other guy probably will not. Another straw man, I know, I know. :neener:

dischord
January 7, 2004, 09:53 PM
The idea that I do not have the right to initiate force against another human being nor to delegate that right sounds good on paper but it fails when I remember that just because I happen to believe it and adhere to it, the other guy probably will not. As Tamara pointed out a few pages ago, millions of CCW-holders have been doing this every day for years. When "the other guy" initiates force, they respond and not before.

And if the possibility that "the other guy" might not adhere to the principle is a fatal flaw, then there are zero valid codes of conduct. All codes of conduct are rendered invalid with BigG's "logic."

BigG
January 7, 2004, 10:07 PM
Pretty thin, Dischord. Comparing CCW with running a nation under the NAP is valid in what way, may I ask?

CCW, imho, is a controlled privilege that many use merely for the convenience of buying a handgun without a background check. The idea that "millions" of citizens are circulating around legally heeled 24/7 does not stand up under much "logical" examination either. /BigG logic

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 10:17 PM
The private army would serve those defensive interests of its shareholders. And if it got out of line, the armed people themselves can whack it down.

Since you are so enamored with the status quo, notice that many of the wars in America's history - probably the most celebrated ones too - have been initiated by others and we stepped in for our own and our allies' defense: The Revolutionary War, WWI, WWII, GW1, GW2.

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 10:18 PM
Comparing CCW with running a nation under the NAP is valid in what way, may I ask? The vast majority of CCW holders adhere to the NAP (whatever the exact number carrying at any point in time).

I note that you totally ignored my second point. All codes of conduct are rendered invalid by your "other guy" fatal flaw.

BigG
January 7, 2004, 10:26 PM
I didn't say it was a fatal flaw; you did, dischord. I just pointed it out as a problem that needs to be addressed and has not been, at least in this discussion so far.

Next point. Many conflicts are over resources. I find an oil deposit off shore of my territory. While I'm back scaring up capital so I can exploit my "find" another guy who secretly spied on me gets his rig up there first and tells me to piss off. What are my rights there? Does it matter if he's from a different nation? Why?

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 10:28 PM
With regard to a private army taking over, let's compare it to what we have now.

Today, the military is funded by taxes which we are forced to pay. Furthermore, we have little control over how much money is spent on the military. They are limited in what they do basically by the guy who signs their check. He can in fact spend however much he wants, and charge us for the bill later.

The Lib/NAP scheme I described is actually more resistant to abuse of power because its funding is directly controlled by those paying for it - namely the citizens who employ it for their defense. If it starts to go awry, we simply stop funding it.

Note that today, there is nothing fundamentally stopping the army from pillaging Europe to fund itself.

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 10:34 PM
I didn't say it was a fatal flaw; Yes you did. You said it caused libertarian principles to fail.

BigG said, "The idea that I do not have the right to initiate force against another human being nor to delegate that right sounds good on paper but it fails when I remember that just because I happen to believe it and adhere to it, the other guy probably will not."

If failure can be based on your "other guy" principle, I defy you to come up with any workable code of conduct.I just pointed it out as a problem that needs to be addressed and has not been, at least in this discussion so far. Yes it has. Multiple times.Next point. Many conflicts are over resources. That's a valid point of discussion, but I won't discuss it until you provide an example of any code of conduct that stands up to your "other guy" failure test.

Zak Smith
January 7, 2004, 10:42 PM
I didn't say it was a fatal flaw; you did, dischord. I just pointed it out as a problem that needs to be addressed and has not been, at least in this discussion so far.

What exactly is your problem with a "country running under NAP"? We keep explaining how it would work and you keep coming back with this.

Re: the Oil Rig example.

Property rights don't go out the window with Lib/NAP. In fact, one of the tenets of Libertarianism is property rights, and they are much stronger than what we have today in the USA. As long as nobody else has claimed the property yet, you can. And if someone then takes your stuff, they've initiated force against you. Of course, how do we know you've claimed that oil deposit? It would be in your best interest to somehow publicize the claim. People have to have some way to know what's yours and what's not.

Since it's in everyone's best interest to have their property rights respected, it makes sense to have some sort of public registry for who owns what estate. Right now this is usually done in a county records office. In the Lib/NAP, it could be done in any appropriate forum, or by a consortium of private recording firms. And it's in everyone's best interest to make sure property and estate dispute are resolved properly, you will likely get help in resolving the problem.

In your specific example, he set out to defraud you and steal your property, so you are justified in reclaiming it, or delegating that task to others in your employ.

-z

dischord
January 7, 2004, 10:54 PM
We keep explaining how it would work and you keep coming back with this. Actually, Zak, he's flip-flopping. In one post, he says his "other guy" principle supposedly causes the NAP to fail. Then when I ask him to provide an example of any another code that doesn't have this supposed fatal flaw, he back peddles, claiming he never said it was a fatal flaw (and then he absurdly claims that a point that's been addressed multiple times was never addressed).

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 11:11 PM
Thumper,

Is anyone here willing to make the case that the U.S., as a strictly Libertarian country, could have competed with the Soviet Union through the cold war? I'm pretty sure they had their eyes on our amber waves of grain.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Soviet Onion would've been under a more constant and subversive pressure from a more libertarian USA. All those potential customers, and all you have to do to get their cash is get them to revolt... Radio Free Europe would be a Kukla, Fran, and Ollie show by comparison to what folks unshackled by the .gov would've done to gain access to the amber waves of the Ukraine. :uhoh:

BigG,

Another straw man, I know, I know.

Yet it doesn't stop you from raising it. Odd...

Logical fallacies are fun, though, aren't they? :scrutiny:

BigG
January 7, 2004, 11:18 PM
Before you put your arms out of joint patting yourselves on the back, the argument that I have to be able to name some system of conduct that will satisfy the other guy criteria otherwise my point that you haven't driven a nail thru that objection yet except to your smirking buddy, does not hold water. I asked you if NAP could work in the information age with things as they are in the USA. You conveniently forgot that. And seized on a straw to cover yourself with a fig leaf.

To prove I'm a good sport, I WILL name a code of conduct that satisfies your question. The current ethical code, call it Judaeo-Christian, or whatever you wish. Whether or not you believe in it, you adhere to it just the same. What I can't understand is why you make such a big deal about semantics when you fail to adress practical questions about YOUR belief system.

dischord
January 7, 2004, 11:25 PM
To prove I'm a good sport, I WILL name a code of conduct that satisfies your question. The current ethical code, call it Judaeo-Christian, or whatever you wish. Whether or not you believe in it, you adhere to it just the same.The "other guy" doesn't aways adhere to the Judao-Christian code. Under your "other guy" principle, Christianity is a failed philosophy. Please try again to provide an example of a code that can pass your test.What I can't understand is why you make such a big deal about semantics when you fail to adress practical questions about YOUR belief system. Semantics? You said your "other guy" test caused the NAP to fail. I pointed out that you set up an absurd test that no code of conduct can pass. None.

Tamara
January 7, 2004, 11:34 PM
The current ethical code, call it Judaeo-Christian, or whatever you wish.

...which says something about "doing unto others" and so forth and discourages aggressive acts against non-offensive people, right? Or is that the one where they say "Take out the other guy's eye before he can take out yours." Amazing... :uhoh:

Like I said: It's pretty funny to watch folks mock the code they live by. (Shot anyone for no good reason lately?)

cordex
January 7, 2004, 11:36 PM
BigG,

Would you mind telling me which domestic laws you just absolutely must have that violate the NAP?

Tamara,
Like I said: It's pretty funny to watch folks mock the code they live by. (Shot anyone for no good reason lately?)
Himself. In the foot.

Sean Smith
January 7, 2004, 11:58 PM
Going back a few rants.... :p

The "all taxation is armed robbery" angle is an interesting philosophical ramble. It is, of course, true, insofar as if you stop and think about it, eventually the government is going to use guns to get your money. But saying it over and over also makes libertarians look like loony, dope-smoking utopian ideologues insetad of a potentially credible political force in the United States. People are used to Big Lies, telling them the truth all at once just makes you look insane.

"No taxes, period? Gee, are they promising free beer and rub-downs from the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders whenever I want, too?"

Run a party platform that disavows national armed forces, and you might as well be asking people to vote for the Christian Falangist Party of America... politically suicidal. It would make Howard Dean look like Geroge S. Patton.

"Wow, these libertarians make me crave the unbridaled militarism of Michael Dukakis..."

Maybe there is a good argument to be had about that, but it will be about 200 years AFTER Libertarians first become politically relevant in the United States... which may or may not happen at all at some undisclosed time in the future.

It kind of reminds me of what I read about all the small right-wing parties that were floating around Germany in the 1920s. They were full of ideas (mostly bad in their case), and talked about their ideas over beer all the time. They also had their lunch eaten by somebody who could actually do politics. The Nazis hardly had any ideas at all... people joked about them in the 1930s that their ideology was "the World as Will Without Idea," and we can agree that any ideas that they did have were bad ones. But it just didn't matter. Being right in politics means exactly NOTHING if you never get power to do something about it.

Me, I think the Libertarian party needs to learn how to do politics better.

In any event, in 2000 the Greens' showing was due to having a celebrity candidate, Nader, and I really doubt they'll do as well this year.

In 2000, the Greens were the only people on the TV aside from Democrats and Republicans, and maybe that fascist Pat Buchannan. With a washed-up grade-Z "celebrity" the Green Party pounded the Libertarians into goo. And let's face it, Nader is about as inconsequential and dull as you can get and still qualifiy as a "celebrity," it isn't like the Greens got Oprah to run on their ticket or something. They did a better job than the Libertarians at the national level by an order of magnitude or two, not just in picking their candidate. And national visibility matters, even if you aren't ready to win national office yet. You can't run bland nullities and expect results, and the apparent total non-grasp of that simple idea by the LP speaks volumes.

dischord
January 8, 2004, 12:12 AM
"No taxes, period? Gee, are they promising free beer and rub-downs from the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders whenever I want, too?" What's with the strawman arguments today? The LP promises lower taxes, not no taxes. See: http://www.lp.org/issues/cut-taxes.htmlRun a party platform that disavows national armed forces, and you might as well be asking people to vote for the Christian Falangist Party of America... politically suicidal. How about some fire scarecrow! Yet another strawman. The LP does not disavow national armed forces. See: http://www.lp.org/issues/national-defense.htmlIt seems like alot of libertarians seem to think that they can just be right, debate various utopian abstractions amongst themselves, and wait for America to get smart enough to vote for them at some point in the future. Yeah, a lot of libertarians you meet on the internet do that. But don't confuse their behavior with the practices of the LP -- there are hundreds of libertarians holding public office, and the LP needs to translate that success up to the national level. See: http://www.lp.org/organization/officials.php

Zak Smith
January 8, 2004, 12:45 AM
BigG,


I asked you if NAP could work in the information age with things as they are in the USA. You conveniently forgot that. And seized on a straw to cover yourself with a fig leaf.
I replied directly to you the first time you mentioned the "information age", namely:


It is a naive dream to feel that a nation in the information age can relate with all other nations through "playing nice

Just as the Lib/NAP system does not require each person to "play nice", it does not require other nations to "play nice." The exact same arguments - which I've been repeating for the last two pages - apply there as well.

You don't go around nuking countries because they have Islamic governments; You nuke them (or invade, whatever), when they have the means, opportunity, and intent to attack you.


Sean,

I completely agree that the "No Taxes!" platform will not gain political power due to the "looney" angle. Transitioning to a more libertarian society will not be as easy as being warped into L. Neil's universe ("The Probability Broach") or falling out of the sky into Galt's Gulch. And the Libertarian party has no political power. One inherent problem is that organizing libertarians to gain political power is like herding cats or maintaining a "Indivudualists' Club."

I do think if they chose a "one issue" besides the drug war they might be taken more seriously.

To clarify, in this discussion so far, the "Lib/NAP"'s I have referred to are those hardest-line libertarians who do believe that all taxation is theft. From a person standpoint, I am willing to concede - at least in the "transition period" - that some tax can be just, under certain circumstances.

-z

Zak Smith
January 8, 2004, 12:50 AM
I am glad that dischord brought up the "other guy" objection again. I mentioned it back on page 1:
If "But I can still bash your head in..." is used to refute Lib/NAP, then it can be used to argue against any system of ethics, and it effectively argues best for barbarism.

The Judeo-Christian system fails the test miserably. It only proscribes the behavior of those who follow it, and if my heathen self comes in and takes over the place, you are worse off for following your own doctrine and surviving than the libertarians are.

If your best argument - the "other guy" objection - argues equally well against all political philosophies, then it can argue for none, and ends up with nihilism.

-z

dischord
January 8, 2004, 12:52 AM
I completely agree that the "No Taxes!" platform will not gain political power due to the "looney" angle. Could we please dispense with the false notion that "No Taxes!" is part of the LP platform? http://www.lp.org/issues/cut-taxes.html :)

Zak Smith
January 8, 2004, 01:02 AM
Yes, it's not part of the LP.

It's part of the NAP, however.

-z

Geech
January 8, 2004, 01:11 AM
The Judeo-Christian system fails the test miserably.

It basically is NAP. No properly interpreted bible passages say that under no circumstances should we use violence. Even the much touted 'turn the other cheek' passage refers to insults and not phsyical violence.

Zak Smith
January 8, 2004, 01:14 AM
Geech,

Exactly. BigG proposed a test no system could "pass", not even his own.

-z

Geech
January 8, 2004, 01:19 AM
Ok, I thought that's what you were getting at, but I wanted to make sure you weren't claiming christianity was an organization of suckers. ;)

Combat-wombat
January 8, 2004, 02:10 AM
I like the idea... Hell, I've thought of libertarians pooling their money and just making a new country on some island!

Hal
January 8, 2004, 05:52 AM
but feel free to riff it for whatever yuks you reckon you can get. ;) <-- wink back atcha kiddo :D
(just sign me an old guy that's seen too many people try to run away from home to the utopian commune in Ca or the sunshine on the rocky mtn high)

Moparmike
January 8, 2004, 06:46 AM
I think that a 1% sales tax across the board, with tarriffs, could completely negate the need for an income tax. Grocieries and medical supplies would not be taxed.

With easy to read and explain numbers backing this principle, it would be a cinch to win people based on taxes alone. If they could just shut up about their open borders policy (I personally as a libertarian-minded person still wants to increase Border Patrol by about 50k people), they could do something. Get more grass roots going, and then work their way up.

BigG
January 8, 2004, 09:09 AM
Thanks for all the attention guys. You have explained how the NAP works to the extent that I'm still solidly in the GOP camp. Cheers! Stepping out for a latte.

Tamara
January 8, 2004, 09:24 AM
Cheers! Stepping out for a latte.

Don't shoot any innocents on the way to Starbucks, please!

:D

Sean Smith
January 8, 2004, 09:34 AM
Dischord Says:
What's with the strawman arguments today?

I wasn't making straw man arguments, tough guy. I was responding to posts on this topic by self-declared libertarians. Try reading the posts, it can really help you. ;)

For instance (courtesy of Zak Smith, no relation :p ):

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B) The U.S. built a huge arsenal in repsonse to the Soviet threat. Meets the NAP.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dischord,

This only meets the NAP if the funds for the arsenal were not taken by force.

It's no knock on those people who spent their lives working for the DOD or NASA, but one cannot deny that those projects were funded with stolen money, taken at gunpoint.

The private army would serve those defensive interests of its shareholders. And if it got out of line, the armed people themselves can whack it down.

And there we have the "taxes are armed robbery" and getting rid of the national armed forces points addressed in my post. HINT: It ain't a straw man if I can quote exactly what I'm arguing against from the person I'm arguing with. ;)

harpethriver
January 8, 2004, 10:53 AM
Actually Tam it was rather easy-I'm not sure why some of us took that so personally. There was so much hair-splitting and hypothesizing that I thought a little humor might lighten (no pun intended this time) things up. All political philosophy seems to be perfect in theory. The reality of injecting the human elemant trumps this idealism every time. We have a passionate, intelligent, and opinionated bunch of people at THR. Threads like this only further prove that. That we have thought about subjects like this and have deeply held opinions is the reason I choose to remain a participant in THR. Unfortunately this medium (the net) can veil one's true intentions and feelings. Most of us have not met and therefore don't know what our individual personalities are really like. I had no intention of insulting anyone-and don't feel I did. I did intend on "needling"(no pun intended again). Happy New Year Everyone!!

dischord
January 8, 2004, 11:39 AM
I was responding to posts on this topic by self-declared libertarians ... It ain't a straw man if I can quote exactly what I'm arguing against from the person I'm arguing with. Sean, you spoke of it in terms of the party platform, and then said, "Me, I think the Libertarian party needs to learn how to do politics better.

Your contribution to this thread has been a side argument that the discussion here is beside the point because the Libertarian Party itself has problems (I agreed with some points). When I point out that you are making false arguments about the LP platform (your word), you suddenly flipflop and claim you were not speaking of the party but just the discussion here. Spare me. :rolleyes:

You either engaged in a stawman argument or you didn't bother to find out what the platform actually is.

Good attempt at backpeddling though. :p Thanks for all the attention guys. You have explained how the NAP works to the extent that I'm still solidly in the GOP camp. Cheers! Stepping out for a latte. Like I said earlier, BigG, people who declare victory and go home usually do so because they know they were beat. :p

Thanks for being an easy opponent. ;)

Sean Smith
January 8, 2004, 11:58 AM
Sean, you spoke of it in terms of the party platform

As in, the ideas espoused here would make an insane party platform. Very simple. Since I never said "the Libertarian Party platform consists of X and I don't like it," but rather that "X that libertarians harp on would make an insane party platform," no backpedaling on my part is required.

Your contribution to this thread has been a side argument

As has almost everything you have posted, if we look back and see what the topic of this thread was originally. ;)

But I promise to be good and not interrupt any more ideological navel-gazing posts about the NAP, or whatever. :p

dischord
January 8, 2004, 12:10 PM
As in, the ideas espoused here would make an insane party platform. Sean, your backpeddling is starting to embarass me. You made it clear that you were speaking of the party and not the ideas here. :D You know, it is hard to get fired up by all this ideological blather when the Libertarian Party is still less relevant than the Green Party in American politics. and Me, I think the Libertarian party needs to learn how to do politics better.

Zak Smith
January 8, 2004, 12:44 PM
Embracing some of the Lib/NAP philosophy need not cause a completely different form of government to be required. There are incremental changes to our form of government which could make a significant step towards a more libertarian society.

For example, libertarians think that victimless "crimes" should not be crimes. This is a consequence of liberty and the NAP. If a constitutional amendment existed which basically said, "No level of government has the power to outlaw 'victimless crimes.'".

Alternatively, the same could be said about the NAP: "No level of government has the power to outlaw actions which are not initiations of force."

Don't like the AWB? The same could be said for possession of property vs. the act of a crime, "No level of government shall ban possession of any particular object; only actions may be crimes."

You could also imagine a constitution which is stronger with respect to limiting government power, its ability to tax (even if you believe tax is okay, some absolute limit like 10% could be set), or prohibiting wealth or income redistribution.

I think some of these changes are possible. One can imagine a nation ruled under our same constitution, but with some amendments which more strongly limit government power and emphasize individual libeerty.

-z

Daniel T
January 8, 2004, 12:51 PM
Sean Smith:

With a washed-up grade-Z "celebrity" the Green Party pounded the Libertarians into goo.

So you are taking a single presidential election and holding it up as proof positive that Libertarians will never get votes? Huh. Have you every bothered to check your own state's voting records? Or local records across the state?

Also, you seem think that having someone with name recognition as a candidate has absolutely no effect. What do you think would happen if, say, Kurt Russel decided to run for president as a Libertarian candidate? You still think they'd get "pounded into goo"? I think you're totally underestimating the effect that name recognition has on both voting and fund raising.

dischord
January 8, 2004, 12:53 PM
Zak, I couldn't agree more! Like I wrote a couple of pages back: I think we all here can agree that movement towards a more-libertarian society would be a good thing.

Yeah, the extreme ideal utopia is most-probably unattainable. But if we can get halfway there, shouldn't we do it?

You know what? Democracy is an unattainable utopian ideal too. But Western society didn't simply chuck out the idea. It created a halfway point that works in the real world -- the republic. We should try to do the same with the libertarian philosphy.

Zak Smith
January 8, 2004, 12:57 PM
With regard to Libertarians getting votes..

One my my co-workers and friend was roped into running for a Colorado representative or senate seat. After being barred from the local debates and doing no advertisement, he got something like 18% of the vote just because he was the Libertarian candidiate.

-z

BigG
January 8, 2004, 04:01 PM
The ideas espoused here are an embarrassment to the libertarian party. If you guys are their champions, they need to hire a new PR team. Cheers! :D

dischord
January 8, 2004, 04:31 PM
Don't feed the troll :rolleyes:

Geech
January 8, 2004, 04:37 PM
Don't feed the troll

As an 'outsider looking in', that's exactly what BigG looks like at this point.

Bruce H
January 8, 2004, 04:43 PM
Libertarianism is great political idea. The flaw with it ever being workable is human emotion.

Zak Smith
January 8, 2004, 04:48 PM
Libertarianism is great political idea. The flaw with it ever being workable is human emotion.

On the contrary, it is compatible with the basic human emotion of survival of the self, that is: self interest. Anyone who has ever felt cheated because his hard-earned dollars go to a welfare bum has an interest that coincides with libertarianism.

-z

Daniel T
January 8, 2004, 04:50 PM
BigG

The ideas espoused here are an embarrassment to the libertarian party. If you guys are their champions, they need to hire a new PR team. Cheers!

What, you think you're some kind of credit to whatever-the-hell it is that you support? Think again, princess.

-----

Bruce H:

Libertarianism is great political idea. The flaw with it ever being workable is human emotion.

You're absolutely right. But then again, that's the flaw with every single human endeavor. However, we somehow succeed.

And don't forget: there are many levels of "workable".

Marko Kloos
January 8, 2004, 04:58 PM
BigG,

your contributions to this thread have managed to convince me that libertarianism is a lost cause. People not only want the chain of control around their necks, they get downright hostile when someone else suggests to remove it. As such, I wish you get what you vote for.

You have managed to accomplish two more things besides that.

First, your refusal to attempt a reasoned debate, and your constant trollish nose-thumbing, have earned you the honor of being the first person on my "ignore" list.

Second, since Libertarianism has no chance of succeeding, I'll do my best to get it over with and cast my vote for whatever statist stooge the Democrats manage to put up for office come election time. Since the cause of freedom is lost, we might as well accelerate the fall towards statism, so the inevitable collapse comes sooner rather than later. Just because of you, and just for you, I may just vote a Democrat ticket next election time. Thank you for making me see the error of my starry-eyed, utopian ways.

Sean Smith
January 8, 2004, 06:25 PM
So you are taking a single presidential election and holding it up as proof positive that Libertarians will never get votes?

No I'm not. Read closer. The election results are merely evidence that the LP is irrelevant at the national level NOW. Hard to argue otherwise without engaging in wishful thinking. I for one actually hope the LP can get votes at some point... having politics be dominated by two parties based on moronic ideas is not a good thing in my book.

Huh. Have you every bothered to check your own state's voting records? Or local records across the state?

Well, I checked the LP site & looked up the state where I'm from originally, and apparently NOBODY from the LP holds any elected office there. Texas had a few, courtesy of stretching the definition of "elected official" to the breaking point. But hey, good LP propaganda. :D

Also, you seem think that having someone with name recognition as a candidate has absolutely no effect.

Um, no, I didn't say that.

But let's face facts, the LP wasn't beaten by a real celebrity, they were beaten by Ralph Nader. There is no good face to put on that, especially since it wasn't even close. What do you say to people? "Yeah, we lost, in fact we got gang-raped, but everyone knows how hardcore Ralph Nader is..." :D

Sean, your backpeddling is starting to embarass me. You made it clear that you were speaking of the party and not the ideas here.

Actually, I was talking about BOTH. Pretty simple, actually. And your infantile need to paint me as "backpeddling" (sic) is rather annoying. :rolleyes:

P.S. And yes, BigG is acting mental.

Bruce H
January 8, 2004, 06:38 PM
Pure libertarianisn won't work for that most evil on emotions, envy. Take a careful look around now.

dischord
January 8, 2004, 06:48 PM
Bruce H:Pure libertarianisn won't work for that most evil on emotions, envy. Yeah, everyone here has pretty much agreed that the extreme utopian ideal is unattainable, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to move in that direction.

Pure democracy also fails on the same "envy" grounds, but we didn't chuck the idea out the window. We came up with a compromise -- the republic :)

-----

Sean Smith:Actually, I was talking about BOTH. Pretty simple, actually. And your infantile need to paint me as "backpeddling" (sic) is rather annoying. Hey, I let it go about 6 hours ago, but thanks for the spelling correction. At least I'm not backpedaling and saying that I really meant you were selling things (peddling) from your back. ;)

Bruce H
January 8, 2004, 06:57 PM
As close as we are ever going to get to libertarianism it very short absolute term limits. We are also going to have to break ourselves of raids on the public treasury. Representatives two terms. Senators two terms. No govt. retirement. What we have can work much better but we have to take the graft and corruption out of it.

Daniel T
January 8, 2004, 07:04 PM
Sean Smith:

Well, I checked the LP site & looked up the state where I'm from originally, and apparently NOBODY from the LP holds any elected office there. Texas had a few, courtesy of stretching the definition of "elected official" to the breaking point. But hey, good LP propaganda.

Actually, I was refering to votes cast for Libertarians, not just actual Libertarians elected. I mean, Ralphie didn't get elected either, right?

But let's face facts, the LP wasn't beaten by a real celebrity, they were beaten by Ralph Nader. There is no good face to put on that, especially since it wasn't even close. What do you say to people? "Yeah, we lost, in fact we got gang-raped, but everyone knows how hardcore Ralph Nader is..."

Real celebrity or not, I guarantee that more people heard Ralphie's name before he ever decided to run for Pres. than they did the Libertarian candidate. That's pretty much the sole reason the Greens "pounded" the Libertarians in that single election.

Alaska had a Lib governor. In Texas, 5 times as many Libs hold elected office than Greens. :D The Libs have been fielding a pres. candidate that has been on every state ballot for at least the past 4 elections, probably more. They've gotten increasing numbers of votes in every election as more and more people find out about them.

It's a good thing.

dischord
January 8, 2004, 07:18 PM
Are the Greens even going to field a presidential candidate this election?

dustind
January 8, 2004, 08:48 PM
Privatizing everything including the armed forces and police is the Anarchists platform. There would be no taxes because there would be no government.

Limiting the government to only protecting against force and fraud is the big L Libertarian platform. There would be no involuntary taxes. This may be possible, I forget how the debates on it went. The government may need voluntary taxes, user fees?? not sure.

Privatizing what can be, user fees for what can not, and the bare minimum highly visible least evil taxes for what is necessary is the little l libertarian platform. This is the what the Libertarian party is. You this thread went deep into big L and even Anarchist territory.

BigG: If NAP does not work, then how does common law rape-murder-robbery being wrong work? Both have the exact same flaw, bad guys will do it despite society being against it. Everyone knows it is wrong, our society lives by it, and we do just fine despite a few criminals that we work to lock up.

In response to the topic: Why didn't blacks move away from whites that did not like them? Why did the Jews stay in places through history where they were not wanted? People do not leave just because they do not fit in, and being isolated is not fun, nor is a good long term plan. I also doubt there are any islands big enough to move thousands of people to live happily, and with the needed resources for independence.

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