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Libertarianism, Anarchism, and Society with Voluntary Self Governance

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Posts

  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote: »
    Still the most entertaining thread of the day. The best part of it is that I now have a lot more ammunition to use in arguments with self-described Libertarians.

    97% of libertarian arguments can be taken down with basic Socratic method.

    I do not claim to be a master debater. These threads are very instructional for me.

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote: »
    Still the most entertaining thread of the day. The best part of it is that I now have a lot more ammunition to use in arguments with self-described Libertarians.

    I recommend the baby bath wheels analogy, myself. Making too much sense with your argument will only compound your frustration when they hand wave it away.

    Automata-Sg.png
  • notdroidnotdroid Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Every single Libertarian I've ever met considers national health care to be a scam, describes the judicial system as 'men with guns' and cites every single example they can find of government malfeasance or tyranny while ignoring all examples of malfeasance or tyranny from the private sector. They don't talk about how government should make adjustments or shrink, they talk about it as if it's the one terrible cancer at the root of all problems.

    Then they go on to talk about Freedom Ships.

    Yep, this kind of mental gymnastics is truly astonishing. We apparently can't trust elected officials to hold any power, because they're corrupt, but we can trust private businesses to hold those very same powers, even though they're the ones corrupting elected officials in the first place. "We can't trust people to watch over the sheep because they might run away when the wolves show up, let's have the wolves watch the sheep instead!" sums up their line of thinking. Illogical would be the nicest way to describe it.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    You can always also go watch 'How the World Works' on YouTube.

    I honestly thought he was a parody 'Tuber for a while; then it turned-out that it was entirely unintentional to show the planet spinning in the wrong direction while claiming to explain 'How the World Works!', which made it much more funny.


    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • Boring7Boring7 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Quid wrote: »
    I mean I will be perfectly honest. If it came down to it and tomorrow would be government disappears forever day, I would do almost anything within my abilities to take advantage of other people. Not necessarily cruelly, but I would amass power and solidify it as best I could at the expense of others. Because God knows if I didn't some other, much worse, jack off probably would.

    I'm not entirely sure that people in general are just a teeming horde of complete pricks that would visit all manner of vile evils on their fellow human beings. I think that for the most part people have some serious drives to be pretty decent, and I think that there's some decent research into human behavior that is starting to support that.

    "For the most part" is a not all, and among those that remain outside that sample are those that would seek control over said 'most part.' Those brutal or charismatic enough to achieve that control will turn those decent people into a weapon, and wield them against anyone contesting their world view. It's what we do.

    One bad apple, etc.

    The maximum percentage of Nazi Party Members to German Population was 7%. That's all it took to get the darkest social engine in living memory rolling. And they had skulls on their caps, they were clearly the baddies.

    Personally I always like the Somalia argument, its short, sweet, and the ONLY answer they've ever managed to come up with (that I've seen) is some incredibly tortured doublethink that makes it out to be the fault of what used to be the Somalian government with an unspoken racist explanation that Africans just can't build a decent state because they're all subhuman.

    Boring7 on
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Goldman Sachs may as well be named COBRA.
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    I mean I will be perfectly honest. If it came down to it and tomorrow would be government disappears forever day, I would do almost anything within my abilities to take advantage of other people. Not necessarily cruelly, but I would amass power and solidify it as best I could at the expense of others. Because God knows if I didn't some other, much worse, jack off probably would.

    I'm not entirely sure that people in general are just a teeming horde of complete pricks that would visit all manner of vile evils on their fellow human beings. I think that for the most part people have some serious drives to be pretty decent, and I think that there's some decent research into human behavior that is starting to support that.

    Even if human beings have a serious drive towards fundamental decency (and I'd say that large chunks of recorded human history provide a compelling counter-argument), nothing would subvert that drive faster than an "anarcho-capitalist" society.
    However, I think that it's disingenuous to treat everyone who believes that the state ought to be eliminated as either naive or evil.

    Actually, I think that pretty much sums up the two most popular threads of anarchist thought. Left-anarchists are pretty aptly described as being hopelessly naive (in an occasionally charming way) while anarcho-capitalists and their ilk are advocating ideas so horrible that calling them "evil" is only a slight exaggeration.

    Although to be fair, a lot of the free market anarcho-Randians are also naive as fuck.

  • HacksawHacksaw J Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    Guys, you're not going to be able to reason with ray: in his view, government = coercion.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    Or more specifically his view, coercion =/= coercion.

    PSN: allenquid
  • Boring7Boring7 Registered User regular
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Guys, you're not going to be able to reason with ray: in his view, government = coercion.

    Of course he does, because it is. Anything that keeps a huge psychopath with a club from walkin' around going, "I think I'll have rape for dinner" is coercion, be it law or sky cake.

    It's just the incorrigible libertarians have never been screwed hard enough by the freedoms of others to understand why that's a good thing.

    Thanatos wrote: »
    Goldman Sachs may as well be named COBRA.
  • HacksawHacksaw J Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I'm guessing ray is also a straight, white male.

    Really, I've yet to meet a libertarian that isn't.

    EDIT: I take that back; I once met a straight, white woman who was a libertarian.

    Hacksaw on
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Boring7 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    I mean I will be perfectly honest. If it came down to it and tomorrow would be government disappears forever day, I would do almost anything within my abilities to take advantage of other people. Not necessarily cruelly, but I would amass power and solidify it as best I could at the expense of others. Because God knows if I didn't some other, much worse, jack off probably would.

    I'm not entirely sure that people in general are just a teeming horde of complete pricks that would visit all manner of vile evils on their fellow human beings. I think that for the most part people have some serious drives to be pretty decent, and I think that there's some decent research into human behavior that is starting to support that.

    "For the most part" is a not all, and among those that remain outside that sample are those that would seek control over said 'most part.' Those brutal or charismatic enough to achieve that control will turn those decent people into a weapon, and wield them against anyone contesting their world view. It's what we do.

    One bad apple, etc.

    The maximum percentage of Nazi Party Members to German Population was 7%. That's all it took to get the darkest social engine in living memory rolling. And they had skulls on their caps, they were clearly the baddies.

    Personally I always like the Somalia argument, its short, sweet, and the ONLY answer they've ever managed to come up with (that I've seen) is some incredibly tortured doublethink that makes it out to be the fault of what used to be the Somalian government with an unspoken racist explanation that Africans just can't build a decent state because they're all subhuman.

    Well, that's overly simplistic. You had a country full of brutalized and impoverished people, with the outgoing government attempting to scapegoat it's own failures on elitist academics & Jews, and even though most of the population was not necessarily anti-semitic (though that was certainly widespread at the time), people in Germany were pissed off, somewhat legitimately. The thugs in German Socialist Worker's Party provided emotional satisfaction to an angry population, and in combination with a lack of any precedent for the kind of atrocity & state criminality that the Nazis were about to engage in, the average person was content to watch by the sidelines as Hitler started lighting the fires.

    It takes more than just a few nutty officials to start an industrial-scale extermination campaign.

    What you will get, though, is - over time - a recess back to old tribal rivalry & paranoia. It's not like the other shoe will fall as soon as the government collapses; it'd probably be a slow erosion of all of our progress until we're back to killing anyone we don't recognize who's intruding on our territory because we can't take the risk that they might be part of a raid.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    I'm guessing ray is also a straight, white male.

    Really, I've yet to meet a libertarian that isn't.

    I met a gay one once.

    He worked for the government.

    PSN: allenquid
  • HacksawHacksaw J Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Quid wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    I'm guessing ray is also a straight, white male.

    Really, I've yet to meet a libertarian that isn't.

    I met a gay one once.

    He worked for the government.

    Irony!

    Honestly I think he was trolling you.

    Hacksaw on
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    I mean I will be perfectly honest. If it came down to it and tomorrow would be government disappears forever day, I would do almost anything within my abilities to take advantage of other people. Not necessarily cruelly, but I would amass power and solidify it as best I could at the expense of others. Because God knows if I didn't some other, much worse, jack off probably would.

    I'm not entirely sure that people in general are just a teeming horde of complete pricks that would visit all manner of vile evils on their fellow human beings. I think that for the most part people have some serious drives to be pretty decent, and I think that there's some decent research into human behavior that is starting to support that.

    "For the most part" is a not all, and among those that remain outside that sample are those that would seek control over said 'most part.' Those brutal or charismatic enough to achieve that control will turn those decent people into a weapon, and wield them against anyone contesting their world view. It's what we do.

    One bad apple, etc.

    I think it's reasonable to claim that in a state where people are given as complete a freedom as possible and someone comes along to take that freedom away that people might be motivated to stand up for those freedoms. I'm not sure it would be quite as easy for someone to come along and force a large population into servitude as some might think. I mean, do you really think that the only thing that's preventing the United States from devolving into some sort of Mad Max style wasteland are the people we've elected to political office? I just think that most people aren't down for something like that, and have the relatively small amount of good sense it takes to say no. It's just not newsworthy to talk about all the people who aren't part of some crazy nutbar's fringe group.

    I could be wrong though.

    I also think it's really awful to characterize people with Libertarian philosophies as being universally "evil." My friend who very wholeheartedly believes it isn't evil. He's a good guy. In fact, he doesn't even think that somehow in his capitalist paradise that all of a sudden his life is going to be great. He probably wont be rich, or famous, or anything like that. But he feels that it is the only justified form of human social organization. I think that people can actually have good reasons for believing in some form of Libertarianism. Fundamentally, I think that they just disagree on what the primary goods are. That's a hard argument to have though, because it's not easy to convince someone that the most basically valuable thing isn't really valuable, and that something else is.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Entertaining thread!

    I do think what Rayofash was trying to get at is less of a "non-government" thing and more of a real-life version of Reddit (plus a dash of Wikipedia, to taste), where community feedback determines who gets trusted to sell fish, adjudicate disputes, and wield defensive force on behalf of the group, and no command organization forces any individual to sell fish, adjudicate disputes, or wield defensive force on behalf of the group. It would be a government, but a loose and flowy one where leaders, authorities, and rules would be based in majority approval (or minority approval and majority apathy) and subject to change based on passing whims ("Fire Marshall Martins was ousted yesterday in a flurry of down-voting..."). A government based not only in the consent of the governed but also the consensus.

    The major problems with this system would be its short-term instability, the need to solve problems with politics (when your neighbor refuses to stop noise polluting but isn't being violent, your only recourse is to convince people to down-vote him), and the oppression (or expulsion) of minorities. The "but another society will take my stuff!" issue is immaterial--in a Darwinian sense, a society which can't agree to establish a sufficient militia and point it at the enemy doesn't deserve to survive. (I don't think an overarching federal government adjudicating disputes between communes would be possible, though, as the system doesn't scale very well.)

    Astaereth on
    Find more of my writing at The Thieves' Den.
    Currently airing: board game reviews on Thursdays, plus Teen Wolf!
  • Boring7Boring7 Registered User regular
    So, a faster, more unstable torches-and-pitchforks frontier town version of what we already have.

    Yeah I don't think I need to say anything else.

    Thanatos wrote: »
    Goldman Sachs may as well be named COBRA.
  • Squidget0Squidget0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Astaereth wrote: »
    I do think what Rayofash was trying to get at is less of a "non-government" thing and more of a real-life version of Reddit (plus a dash of Wikipedia, to taste), where community feedback determines who gets trusted to sell fish, adjudicate disputes, and wield defensive force on behalf of the group, and no command organization forces any individual to sell fish, adjudicate disputes, or wield defensive force on behalf of the group. It would be a government, but a loose and flowy one where leaders, authorities, and rules would be based in majority approval (or minority approval and majority apathy) and subject to change based on passing whims ("Fire Marshall Martins was ousted yesterday in a flurry of down-voting..."). A government based not only in the consent of the governed but also the consensus.

    Even though Reddit does have top-down government (in the form of admins who regulate the content), it's still a pretty good example of some of the problems of libertarian society, in that it's dominated largely by angry bigots. For a similar example, see the comments section of any large website, which inevitably devolves into racist sexist homophobic drivel the moment it grows past a moderator's ability to contain.

    Removing moderation does not create freedom of speech, any more than removing traffic lights creates freedom to drive. All you accomplish is to allow the loudest angriest most aggressive people to dominate your society. That is all relatively harmless when you're in the business of posting cat photos, but it's significantly more damaging when you're tasked with protecting property and public safety. The racist spam underneath every YouTube video is a lot less ignorable when it's coming from screaming people with pitchforks and torches banging on the door of your house.

    It's not a perfect example of course, but perhaps it will help those who simply haven't read the history to understand why libertarianism does not and cannot work.

    Squidget0 on
    Arch wrote: »
    the lynch mob is a feature, not a bug in the democratic system
  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    Oh, I agree it's probably not workable (although I'm not entirely sure the world in general wouldn't be better off if angry bigots sequestered themselves on floating islands of hate). I just thought Rayofash was so bad at actually expressing his ideas that somebody should try and make a reasonable argument on his behalf, as it were.

    What does work sometimes on the Internet doesn't work in real life, because real life has consequences and permanence that post-hoc feedback can't absolve.

    Find more of my writing at The Thieves' Den.
    Currently airing: board game reviews on Thursdays, plus Teen Wolf!
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I think it's reasonable to claim that in a state where people are given as complete a freedom as possible and someone comes along to take that freedom away that people might be motivated to stand up for those freedoms. I'm not sure it would be quite as easy for someone to come along and force a large population into servitude as some might think. I mean, do you really think that the only thing that's preventing the United States from devolving into some sort of Mad Max style wasteland are the people we've elected to political office? I just think that most people aren't down for something like that, and have the relatively small amount of good sense it takes to say no. It's just not newsworthy to talk about all the people who aren't part of some crazy nutbar's fringe group.

    I could be wrong though.

    I also think it's really awful to characterize people with Libertarian philosophies as being universally "evil." My friend who very wholeheartedly believes it isn't evil. He's a good guy. In fact, he doesn't even think that somehow in his capitalist paradise that all of a sudden his life is going to be great. He probably wont be rich, or famous, or anything like that. But he feels that it is the only justified form of human social organization. I think that people can actually have good reasons for believing in some form of Libertarianism. Fundamentally, I think that they just disagree on what the primary goods are. That's a hard argument to have though, because it's not easy to convince someone that the most basically valuable thing isn't really valuable, and that something else is.

    It's a slow burn. You're right, of course: if the government just up and 'quit' tomorrow, cannibals aren't going to suddenly blow down your front door and start chasing your kids around. But sooner or later community disputes are going to crop-up: enough small disputes and/or a few large disputes later, and you'll have people rallied into different camps. That's when things get dangerous, when gangs start getting forged, etc, because there is no way for these different groups to have their disputes mediated.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • BehemothBehemoth Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Quid wrote: »
    I mean I will be perfectly honest. If it came down to it and tomorrow would be government disappears forever day, I would do almost anything within my abilities to take advantage of other people. Not necessarily cruelly, but I would amass power and solidify it as best I could at the expense of others. Because God knows if I didn't some other, much worse, jack off probably would.

    I'm not entirely sure that people in general are just a teeming horde of complete pricks that would visit all manner of vile evils on their fellow human beings. I think that for the most part people have some serious drives to be pretty decent, and I think that there's some decent research into human behavior that is starting to support that.

    "For the most part" is a not all, and among those that remain outside that sample are those that would seek control over said 'most part.' Those brutal or charismatic enough to achieve that control will turn those decent people into a weapon, and wield them against anyone contesting their world view. It's what we do.

    One bad apple, etc.

    I think it's reasonable to claim that in a state where people are given as complete a freedom as possible and someone comes along to take that freedom away that people might be motivated to stand up for those freedoms. I'm not sure it would be quite as easy for someone to come along and force a large population into servitude as some might think. I mean, do you really think that the only thing that's preventing the United States from devolving into some sort of Mad Max style wasteland are the people we've elected to political office? I just think that most people aren't down for something like that, and have the relatively small amount of good sense it takes to say no. It's just not newsworthy to talk about all the people who aren't part of some crazy nutbar's fringe group.

    I could be wrong though.

    Well, let's think about this. What prevents the United States from being a might-makes-right horrorscape? I mean, you can just go buy guns, and there are only so many police. Clearly if people were so monstrous, this would already be the reality. But it isn't, so the government is unnecessary for the purpose of preventing it. This is the argument, correct?

    But there are still murders and rapes and other horrible things going on in the US. Not on a Mad Max scale, obviously, but they do happen. We don't have a utopian society with (at times overzealous, at times inadequate) enforcement of the law. Even when people know they are likely to be arrested and locked up, they still commit these heinous acts. Are the vast majority of people just normal and good? Yes. That's why we need a government to protect from the crazy ones. It's not going to be some ravaging horde that appears on the horizon once the government is gone, crime will just get worse, and continue to get worse. Not to mention organized crime, which would likely come in to replace the implicit, soft coercion of the government with more direct coercion.

    But people will just say no, right? How? What if the people who are coming to dominate the community have, you know, guns? Assault rifles and machine guns and whatnot? Do people just have to be armed at all times and execute fascists on the spot?

    Behemoth on
    iQbUbQsZXyt8I.png
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    But there are still murders and rapes and other horrible things going on in the US. Not on a Mad Max scale, obviously, but they do happen. We don't have a utopian society with (at times overzealous) enforcement of the law. Even when people know they are likely to be arrested and locked up, they still commit these heinous acts. Are the vast majority of people just normal and good? Yes. That's why we need a government to protect from the crazy ones. It's not going to be some ravaging horde that appears on the horizon once the government is gone, crime will just get worse, and continue to get worse. Not to mention organized crime, which would likely come in to replace the implicit, soft coercion of the government with more direct coercion.

    ...And, also, to ultimately protect criminals (or those accused of being criminals) from public retribution.

    There's are many good reasons to have the state step-in and say, "We will settle this matter and deliver a proportionate punishment," and one of the key reasons is that absent this, you'll eventually have a culture of vendetta & paranoia.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    I don't even think you'd have to wait for the slow increase in crime. The minute a Trayvon Martin type case comes along, vigilante justice (which is your only form of justice) arises in response, and when nobody's there to sort out the pieces you get blood feuds and vendettas and chains of back and forth vengeance that will wipe out a population. Meanwhile everybody else gets their paranoia dialed up to eleven, knowing that they could be set upon by somebody like Zimmerman without provocation, or find themselves trapped in a situation where the public doesn't believe their innocence because there's no court system to determine the facts of the case*, or find themselves the accidental victim of misplaced vigilantism... And so those people get guns and wander around trigger-happy and maybe when the winter is hard they decide to start using those guns because nobody's around to stop them.

    Things are going to get bad really fucking fast, and not just because serial killers and gangbangers will flourish unchecked.

    *in LibertarianLand, the West Memphis 3 don't even get a bad trial, let alone an eventual exoneration; they get strung up from the nearest tree.

    Find more of my writing at The Thieves' Den.
    Currently airing: board game reviews on Thursdays, plus Teen Wolf!
  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Since I haven't seen it, I thought I'd take the opportunity to mention the irony of someone decrying the benefits of government on the internet

    override367 on
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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Astaereth wrote: »
    I don't even think you'd have to wait for the slow increase in crime. The minute a Trayvon Martin type case comes along, vigilante justice (which is your only form of justice) arises in response, and when nobody's there to sort out the pieces you get blood feuds and vendettas and chains of back and forth vengeance that will wipe out a population. Meanwhile everybody else gets their paranoia dialed up to eleven, knowing that they could be set upon by somebody like Zimmerman without provocation, or find themselves trapped in a situation where the public doesn't believe their innocence because there's no court system to determine the facts of the case*, or find themselves the accidental victim of misplaced vigilantism... And so those people get guns and wander around trigger-happy and maybe when the winter is hard they decide to start using those guns because nobody's around to stop them.

    Things are going to get bad really fucking fast, and not just because serial killers and gangbangers will flourish unchecked.

    *in LibertarianLand, the West Memphis 3 don't even get a bad trial, let alone an eventual exoneration; they get strung up from the nearest tree.

    I know I brought-up the Martin vs Zimmerman case earlier, but that might be an extreme example: that type of incident isn't likely to crop-up very often.

    Things that would slowly but surely eat away at every community would be things like school board disagreements, zoning disputes, property line challenges, etc. I mean, look at the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. What are the parents supposed to do without a functioning court and a constitution that guarantees neutrality on theological matters? Clearly this was not something that people could just 'talk through' reasonably.

    The Ender on
    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Quid wrote: »
    I mean I will be perfectly honest. If it came down to it and tomorrow would be government disappears forever day, I would do almost anything within my abilities to take advantage of other people. Not necessarily cruelly, but I would amass power and solidify it as best I could at the expense of others. Because God knows if I didn't some other, much worse, jack off probably would.

    I'm not entirely sure that people in general are just a teeming horde of complete pricks that would visit all manner of vile evils on their fellow human beings. I think that for the most part people have some serious drives to be pretty decent, and I think that there's some decent research into human behavior that is starting to support that.

    "For the most part" is a not all, and among those that remain outside that sample are those that would seek control over said 'most part.' Those brutal or charismatic enough to achieve that control will turn those decent people into a weapon, and wield them against anyone contesting their world view. It's what we do.

    One bad apple, etc.

    I think it's reasonable to claim that in a state where people are given as complete a freedom as possible and someone comes along to take that freedom away that people might be motivated to stand up for those freedoms. I'm not sure it would be quite as easy for someone to come along and force a large population into servitude as some might think. I mean, do you really think that the only thing that's preventing the United States from devolving into some sort of Mad Max style wasteland are the people we've elected to political office? I just think that most people aren't down for something like that, and have the relatively small amount of good sense it takes to say no. It's just not newsworthy to talk about all the people who aren't part of some crazy nutbar's fringe group.

    Scarcity, and not a lack of congressmen, is the key factor behind the post-nuclear Mad-Max scenario. However, you don't need a Hitler-like demagogue to make life unpleasant for the majority of people. You can see the early signs of it in the hours or days following a major hurricane. Those who were already desperate may turn to crime. Those already inclined to break the law may grow bolder. This, or there mere perception of this, causes average people to get nervous. Neighbors and families band together, and strangers run a far greater risk of being accosted, even violently, for trespassing into their domain. That's just a passing storm, in a town with a fully functional police force, and an even more functional national guard.

    Remove the soldiers and the curfews, leave only the equivalent man-power of the town police, and people are going to get even more tense, paranoid, and xenophobic; and nair-do-wells will grow ever bolder. From there it's not hard to imagine how the town might begin to fragment into various neighborhoods and sub-groups, or how this further decentralization of legal authority and security would weaken the overall town's security and further embolden bad behavior; be it out right banditry, shop keepers gouging prices, or anything in between.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
    Automata-Sg.png
  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    Since I haven't seen it, I thought I'd take the opportunity to mention the irony of someone decrying the benefits of government on the internet

    Always reminds me of this quote.
    This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock, powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watch this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

    At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress, and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door, I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

    After work, I drive my NHTSA bar back home on DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

    I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post of FreeRepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

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  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular


    But seriously, I like democracy. It's not perfect. It's not clean. But goddamn, the alternatives are all so very worse.

    Raoul Duke wrote:
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    But there are still murders and rapes and other horrible things going on in the US. Not on a Mad Max scale, obviously, but they do happen. We don't have a utopian society with (at times overzealous) enforcement of the law. Even when people know they are likely to be arrested and locked up, they still commit these heinous acts. Are the vast majority of people just normal and good? Yes. That's why we need a government to protect from the crazy ones. It's not going to be some ravaging horde that appears on the horizon once the government is gone, crime will just get worse, and continue to get worse. Not to mention organized crime, which would likely come in to replace the implicit, soft coercion of the government with more direct coercion.

    ...And, also, to ultimately protect criminals (or those accused of being criminals) from public retribution.

    There's are many good reasons to have the state step-in and say, "We will settle this matter and deliver a proportionate punishment," and one of the key reasons is that absent this, you'll eventually have a culture of vendetta & paranoia.

    Ray mentioned Iceland earlier as an example of his "land without government". How it really worked was that Iceland was ruled by a collection of clans/families that occasionally meet in an weak parliament called the Allthing. The Allthing could in theory settle disputes, but in effect it was so weak that a powerful family could ignore it. This is why Icelandic sagas are collections of vendettas and murders lasting years. One saga starts with a woman insulting another woman's scarf and ends with around 10-20 dead.

    Want to know how this age ended? The king of Norway came in and declared Iceland a subject kingdom. He declared that anybody that ignored his judges and laws where breaking the Kings peace and forfeit their lives. He redistributed the land from those clans that disagreed to clans that signed up with him.

    Amazingly the majority of Icelandic people did not violently rebel against this coercion and loss of freedom. Most people signed up and Iceland lost its independence for 800 years. When they regained it, they did not go back to the previous way of life.

    THAT is how a libertarian society ends.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    rayofash wrote: »
    rayofash wrote: »
    >"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    Except science does that all the time. Also you ignored the whole Democracy part.

    What makes you think democracy will be what your system ends up with when in practice?

    There isn't, people get to decide how they want to live. They could form a representative constitutional republic if they wanted to, one that doesn't have a monopoly on force and violence and is voluntary.

    I. . . I. . . I. . .

    This post has broken me.

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  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    rayofash wrote: »
    rayofash wrote: »
    >"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    Except science does that all the time. Also you ignored the whole Democracy part.

    What makes you think democracy will be what your system ends up with when in practice?

    There isn't, people get to decide how they want to live. They could form a representative constitutional republic if they wanted to, one that doesn't have a monopoly on force and violence and is voluntary.

    I. . . I. . . I. . .

    This post has broken me.

    Deep breaths, deep breaths.

    You know, before I played BioShock I read Atlas Shrugged. You have no idea how much nicer it is thwacking doodz with a wrench in that game when you imagine they're all Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart.

    Raoul Duke wrote:
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

    I have a tumblr.
    Check it out.
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    rayofash wrote: »
    rayofash wrote: »
    >"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    Except science does that all the time. Also you ignored the whole Democracy part.

    What makes you think democracy will be what your system ends up with when in practice?

    There isn't, people get to decide how they want to live. They could form a representative constitutional republic if they wanted to, one that doesn't have a monopoly on force and violence and is voluntary.

    I. . . I. . . I. . .

    This post has broken me.

    Deep breaths, deep breaths.

    You know, before I played BioShock I read Atlas Shrugged. You have no idea how much nicer it is thwacking doodz with a wrench in that game when you imagine they're all Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart.

    It's also fun to note things like the fact that Ayn Rand was ultimately a victim of the tobacco companies & unethical marketing practices she so vigorously defended, succumbing to heart failure at an early age due to the abuse her tobacco addiction put her body through.

    Whoops.

    And then all of her asshole 'friends' decided to commemorate her death by creating a big dollar sign out of flowers and putting it on her grave. Trolololololol.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    rayofash wrote: »
    rayofash wrote: »
    >"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    Except science does that all the time. Also you ignored the whole Democracy part.

    What makes you think democracy will be what your system ends up with when in practice?

    There isn't, people get to decide how they want to live. They could form a representative constitutional republic if they wanted to, one that doesn't have a monopoly on force and violence and is voluntary.

    I. . . I. . . I. . .

    This post has broken me.

    Deep breaths, deep breaths.

    You know, before I played BioShock I read Atlas Shrugged. You have no idea how much nicer it is thwacking doodz with a wrench in that game when you imagine they're all Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart.

    It's also fun to note things like the fact that Ayn Rand was ultimately a victim of the tobacco companies & unethical marketing practices she so vigorously defended, succumbing to heart failure at an early age due to the abuse her tobacco addiction put her body through.

    Whoops.

    And then all of her asshole 'friends' decided to commemorate her death by creating a big dollar sign out of flowers and putting it on her grave. Trolololololol.

    Well she was mooching off the state at that point anyway, so really she deserved to die.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Well she was mooching off the state at that point anyway, so really she deserved to die.

    ...Y'know, beyond the surface of it, Rand deciding to take subsidy money to pay for her cancer treatment doesn't seem terribly hypocritical. I mean, when your motto is 'self above all else', it does make sense to take advantage of social programs even while telling everyone else that doing so is immoral.

    I mean, it makes her immoral, but it also fits neatly within her anti-altruistic little ideology.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    What is there to say about Libertarian government other than it doesn't work because it's essentially a utopian ideal. Utopian ideals are impossible because as flawed beings humans are incapible of achieving perfection. The only way we can survive and function is to have systems in place to manage our flaws on an ongoing basis. Arguably, democratic government has proven to be the best of these systems.

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  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    Most of the anarchists (and there haven't been many) I've dealt with have been incredibly caustic. It's all "liberals this, and bourgeoisie that" , and a weird fetish for wrecking people's shit. One friend of mine was all about that until he came back from basic, and then he was a regular dude. I didn't even bother asking what changed or if what he believed before still applied.

    Also from what I can tell there's not much to it other than the last scene from Fight Club.

    And all the Libertarians I know believe Dr. Ron Paul is Jesus, and that His ideas will fix the world full stop.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Malkor wrote: »
    Most of the anarchists (and there haven't been many) I've dealt with have been incredibly caustic. It's all "liberals this, and bourgeoisie that" , and a weird fetish for wrecking people's shit. One friend of mine was all about that until he came back from basic, and then he was a regular dude. I didn't even bother asking what changed or if what he believed before still applied.

    Also from what I can tell there's not much to it other than the last scene from Fight Club.

    And all the Libertarians I know believe Dr. Ron Paul is Jesus, and that His ideas will fix the world full stop.

    You know. The movie Fight Club is enjoyable, but it always drives me nuts how they ended it. Deliberately or not, it leads people to thinking the author originally intended to reveal some great anarchist motive. The book, though, makes it clear that the confusion over masculine identity is really just an isolating factor in men's lives. It's about loneliness and an inability to connect with others. It's not some disestablishment manifesto, it comments on how lonely men in the modern world can end up. In fact, I think the whole book and movie clearly demonstrate the NEED for government, as Project Mayhem escalates beyond the control of the semi-benevolent fascist leader.

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    It may have already been confronted, but I wouldn't mind Ray (or any libertarian) answer the inevitable Superpower Dilemma--namely, the United States is the world superpower, and it didn't get there through magnetism, clever diplomatic ruses, and smoke screens: it got there by having the largest economy in the world, and funneling a huge chunk of it for things like trying to make satellites that could shoot down ICBMs, and having ten super gigantic aircraft carriers.

    You can't really have that in a libertarian state. And America has been a superpower for a very long time. And like most superpowers, it seems fairly opposed to the notion of not being a superpower. So...do what? Tell all those militarists "Go fuck yourselves," and resort to threatening people with nuclear weapons and not being able to kill whoever we want when we want? That seems like a hell of a thing to give up.

    And you can believe that there are many, many countries in the world--China, India, Russian Fed.--that do not give a shit about libertarianism and will very happily fill that gap.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well she was mooching off the state at that point anyway, so really she deserved to die.

    ...Y'know, beyond the surface of it, Rand deciding to take subsidy money to pay for her cancer treatment doesn't seem terribly hypocritical. I mean, when your motto is 'self above all else', it does make sense to take advantage of social programs even while telling everyone else that doing so is immoral.

    I mean, it makes her immoral, but it also fits neatly within her anti-altruistic little ideology.

    Wait what? It's incredibly hypocritical. She spends her entire professional career railing against "coercive government" taking money from "achievers" like her to help "moochers", and then the minute she needs some of that sweet, sweet subsidised healthcare herself, it's fine.

    She was exactly on a par with those "the only good abortion is my abortion" types.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I used to think of myself as an anarchist. I don't use that word about myself any more, but that's not because my views have changed. I've just realised how the language is wrong.

    I don't want government to go away. Neither does rayofash, although he seems a bit hard of understanding. Most anarchists want there to be rules. And they want there to be government. It's just that their conception of how government should be is so different that they don't even realise they are proposing a radically different kind of government rather than the removal of government.

    So, of course, the language is a problem. Our idea of government has become horribly tainted by the bullshit that the ruling elites of our quasi-democracies promote. So other forms of government don't even sound like government.

    Secondly, any conversation has the same problem that any radical philosophy has: it may work as a whole, but any given part of it will not work within the current system. So it may be possible to have an area with a widely-distributed system of governance and no strong central authority, but obviously not tomorrow, because it wouldn't work. And if it did work, current nation-states would bomb the fuck out of it, shitting themselves copiously all the while. Equally, the disappearance of a professional military is something I hope for, but obviously not tomorrow, or even generations from now, because a state with a professional military would immediately invade the hippy pacifists like me and put us in salt-mines or Nike factories.

    And so lastly, we get to the reason why people don't debate the potential of radically different systems. Paucity of imagination. In the past and across the wide world, there have been radically different cultures, radically different systems of governance. But any discussion of these has to be imaginable to the majority of the audience. At PA, this is largely 20-something Americans, who are themselves, I speculate, often caught in an existential crisis caused by the shock of discovering the best nation in the world is not. So people get all Francis Fukuyama about radical political imaginings.

    That's why I like political SF. You can get away with imagining and discussing possible state-forms without someone going, 'But in the real world...'

    Just so you know, the reason this post isn't worth crap is not primarily because you're being smug and condescending. Its because your views are as shallow as a two dimensional plane and as thoroughly described as Godot. Saying "we should debate radically different systems" is dumb because there are literally an infinite amount of "radically different systems."

    Hand waving to say there's some paradigm of this "radically different system" that would work but you won't debate it because only you have the imagination to talk about it is ass hattery of the highest caliber.

    If you can't elucidate your political philosophy but believe it to be so far advanced that only you can understand it, I suggest you should consult with a medical professional. For millenia across different cultures political philosophy has been studied by some of the finest minds in history from Plato to Confucius to Marcus Aurelius to Kant to Locke to Hobbes to Marx to Mill to Rawls. You're not that smart and you just might have serious mental health problems.

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    I don't even think you'd have to wait for the slow increase in crime. The minute a Trayvon Martin type case comes along, vigilante justice (which is your only form of justice) arises in response, and when nobody's there to sort out the pieces you get blood feuds and vendettas and chains of back and forth vengeance that will wipe out a population. Meanwhile everybody else gets their paranoia dialed up to eleven, knowing that they could be set upon by somebody like Zimmerman without provocation, or find themselves trapped in a situation where the public doesn't believe their innocence because there's no court system to determine the facts of the case*, or find themselves the accidental victim of misplaced vigilantism... And so those people get guns and wander around trigger-happy and maybe when the winter is hard they decide to start using those guns because nobody's around to stop them.

    Things are going to get bad really fucking fast, and not just because serial killers and gangbangers will flourish unchecked.

    *in LibertarianLand, the West Memphis 3 don't even get a bad trial, let alone an eventual exoneration; they get strung up from the nearest tree.

    I know I brought-up the Martin vs Zimmerman case earlier, but that might be an extreme example: that type of incident isn't likely to crop-up very often.

    Things that would slowly but surely eat away at every community would be things like school board disagreements, zoning disputes, property line challenges, etc. I mean, look at the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. What are the parents supposed to do without a functioning court and a constitution that guarantees neutrality on theological matters? Clearly this was not something that people could just 'talk through' reasonably.

    Ahahaha you think there would be state schools?

    No.

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