Atheism and Libertarianism

zarathustra
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Atheism and Libertarianism

The video series below raises some interesting points in regard to theism and statism, with the claim that both employ the same logical fallacies (with the implication that atheism and libertarianism are the most logical positions to hold).   One can see that people may think logically in regard to one of the topics, while illogically in regard to the other.  Stalin and Mao, for example, were atheists; it is questionable, however, whether they ran their states rationally.  Conversely:  Ron Paul & Paul Ryal are fans of the atheist Ayn Rand in regard to the economy, yet card-carrying christians.  

It does raise a worthwhile question:  If atheism is the conclusion when logic is applied to the existence of god, what is the conclusion when logic is applied to the state?

 

Some of the points raised so far in the series:

 

  1.  Negative philosophies - Neither atheism nor libertarianism do not make positive claims.  
    • Atheism is not the assertion there is no god, but the rejection of the proposition that there is one.  
    • Likewise, libertarianism is rejection of the initiation of force as a means of achieving social or political goals.  
    • Just as the atheist does not have the burden of explaining how the universe got here (where in failing to do so vindicates god as an explanation); the libertarian does not have the burden of proving how society will function well in absence of government (where failing to do so vindicates the establishment of government).
  2.  Special Pleading ⁃ Theism and statism both posit a universal rule, then make an exception.
    • Theism - first cause or fine tuning - everything needs a cause, or the universe is fine-tuned, but god didn't need a cause or fine-tuner itself.  
    • Statism -  Actions considered criminal when performed by individuals are acceptable when performed by the state.  Killing someone over a perceived threat is considered murder, but it is acceptable for the government to order drone strikes in which innocent people are killed.
  3. Pascal's Wager
    • Theism - There's a potential gain for wagering god exists and being right, but nothing to lose by being wrong. (A promise of delayed gratification). This is a false dichotomy as there are multiple religions to choose from.
    • Statism - Wager that government is good, rather than take the chance of chaos without it.  This is likewise a false dichotomy, as there are multiple types of government to choose from.  
  4. Bottom-up vs. Top-Down organization 
    • Theism claims a top-down designer is necessary to explain order, ignorant of the phenomenon of emergent complexity / or how evolution by natural selection can account for complex organs such as the eye.
    • Statism claims a top-down organization (government) is necessary, ignorant of Adam Smith's Invisible Hand.  As an example, he provides the example of a pencil, which no one person knows how to make.
  5. Argument from Incredulity  Advancing one hypothesis while ignoring alternative hypotheses, justified by the absence of evidence
    • Theism  
      • god of the gaps ("You can't explain how life started, so it must be god" )
      • or missing links in the fossil record ("You don't have a transitional fossil between A and B, so evolution is false".
    • Statism
      • government of the gaps ("Who will build the roads; feed the poor; keep companies from polluting?  You can't explain how, so we need government." )
  6. Exclusivity - Intolerance of others
    • Religion seeks to place restrictions on people's lives, even when their actions/beliefs (or lack thereof) do not affect others.  Secularism, on the other hand, allows the religious to belief whatever they want.
    • Statism places restrictions on private exchanges.  This applies even to "atheist" ideologies like communism.  Libertarianism, on the other hand, allows others to conduct exchanges as they wish (i.e., if a group of individuals wish to practice communism amongst themselves, libertarianism does not stipulate they can't).
  7. Paradox of Interests - Concentration of benefit, with dispersion of cost.  A small group reaps huge benefits by the imposition of cost on a large group.  While the distributed cost to individuals in the large group is small enough that noone has incentive to contest the imposition, the concentrated benefit to the members of the small group is great enough incentive to impose the cost.
    • Church members have less incentive to object to tithing, yet the church profits exorbitantly by the accumulated tithes of the congregation (even if the whole congregation does not donate).
    • Consumers may not find it worth their effort to fight a few extra cents here and there in taxes, even though the government gets rich in aggregate.
      • I actually find myself vulnerable to this in regard to the recent NSA stories.  While it's obvious the government is encroaching far too greatly on our privacy, I haven't yet been so outraged to do anything about it  -- since I don't yet feel my personal loss of freedom is great enough to warrant it.

 

There are no theists on operating tables.

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The statists are apparently

The statists are apparently under the delusion that if the government doesn't provide police and fire protection, education, healthcare, pensions, etc..., that it is impossible to provide these for themselves. Yet we see people having to provide their own supplemental services because the government is so inadequate at doing this.

I think just like with religion, the delusional expect people to play along with their little games. Their game is to use government to get free stuff at others expense. They don't really believe one can't provide all these services for themselves on a pay as you go basis. They just want them for free and not be forced to work or study to receive these services.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Emergency services are paid

Emergency services are paid for by taxes, moron. They have never been free.

Pay as you go has worked so well with emergency services before. Just look at all the countries who use it successfully!

Oh.. wait...

Keep living in your untenable world, foolish libertarian. I'd laugh when someone robs you and you can't afford to pay the cops to hunt them down because the criminals already paid them off, but fortunately your delusional views of how things should work will never become reality.

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Kemono wrote:How should the

Kemono wrote:

How should the non-statist minority go about helping the statist majority of atheists throw off this delusion? Of course I do not know the answer, but the Socratic method would seem a good bet. When a statist tries to justify an act of violence committed by an agent of the state, ask whether the same justification would apply to a non-state actor committing a similar act.

When arguing against the delusion of authority, never be distracted by appeals to consequences. 'Without the state we would not have the public good X,' a statist will inevitably object. Resist the temptation to shift the focus of the discussion to this claim. At most, point out that not having X is not a necessary consequense of not believing in the right to rule and the duty to obey.

The message we non-statists must (if not in these exact words) convey to our statist friends is this: 'You may believe that subjugation to the state is preferable to individual sovereignty. Indeed, you may believe that individual sovereignty is impossible. Nevertheless you must as a skeptical thinker critically evaluate which individual acts of violence, if any, are morally permissible. This applies to those actors who claim to act as representatives of the state as well as to those who do not.'

The problem with the Socratic method is that it is only effective when a person really wants to question their beliefs. At which point, they are asking themselves the questions already and it isn't necessary for someone else to ask them. Much like religion, people are raised from the time they are children that some people rule and others obey, to respect authority and that people in authority can do things that others can't. It is dominant in family structure, organizations, businesses and virtually every social interaction we have. It isn't difficult to convince someone that the state's use of violence is not acceptable when they are willing to follow questions to their logical conclusion, the difficulty is in getting them to even be willing to go through the process.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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EXC wrote: I think just like

EXC wrote:
I think just like with religion, the delusional expect people to play along with their little games. Their game is to use government to get free stuff at others expense. They don't really believe one can't provide all these services for themselves on a pay as you go basis. They just want them for free and not be forced to work or study to receive these services.

Much like religion relies on believers being offended by criticism of supernaturalism, the state relies on the individual's emotional need to justify whatever perk allows his interest group to pick everyone else's pocket. Unfortunately this emotional response fails to factor in the reality that at the same time, a hundred other interest groups are picking his pocket.

There is a war of all against all (at least Hobbes got that right), and it is the state. How much more prosperous and humane a world would we inhabit if only we directed our efforts not into keeping our fellow man down through the violent power of the state but into producing the goods and services that we value!


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Part 10: Belief In Belief

10:  Belief In Belief- This topic draws on a concept developed by Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell: "belief in belief"

  • Someone may claim a belief in something which they don't actually believe in.  Examples of such would be those who claim homeopathy or psychic power is real, but are wholly unwilling to submit to controlled, double-blind tests of such claims.
  • Someone may even believe he believes something, but not actually believe it.  An example to explain this would be the "Dragon In My Garage", taken from Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World.:  A person claims there is a dragon in his garage, and a skeptic offers a series of tests to demonstrate its existence, while the claimant counters with excuses for why such tests won't work.  The claim of the dragon in the garage turns out to be untestable and unfalsifiable; hence indistinguishable from a nonexistent dragon.  The point illustrated is that the claimant may actually believe in such a dragon, yet presents in advance excuses for why any proposed test for its existence will fail; knowing in advance that they will fail.  Hence he believes he believes in the dragon, but does not actually believe in it.  (This is different from a claimant who fully expects a proposed test to succeed, then after the failure of the test creates excuses for its failure.  At least in this case, the claimant genuinely believed his claim.) 
  • Theism - Despite adamant professions of their belief in god, theists have pre-emptive excuses for why the existence of their god should not be (or cannot be) empirically tested.
    • "You shall not put the lord your god to the test" (Lk 4:17, Mt 4:7)
    • "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 1:11)
    • This suggests the biblical writers knew in advance tests for their god would fail, and the universe would behave exactly as if their god did not exist.
    • Prayer studies have been conducted, and advocates have offered post-facto rationalizations when no clear link between prayer and the well-being of patients was demonstrated.  However, C.S. Lewis for one, offered explanations in advance for why prayer studies won't work (since praying for the test group but not the control group as well, would not constitute genuine prayer).
    • Hence by appealing to faith as excuse not to empirically test their god's existence, theists may believe they believe, but don't actually believe.  By contrast, it's safe to say anyone would confidently submit to a test of gravity, without any need for preemptive excuses.
  • Statism - Shane claims that libertarians encounter similar reasoning from statists (I will point out here that I am doubtful that in this particular case, the theistic flaw of "belief in belief" corresponds aptly to statism)
    • Some opposed to libertarianism claim there has never been a libertarian society in all of history; the implied point being it should therefore not be implemented now.  One could likewise have said in the 16th century there had hitherto not been a country in all of history that had banned slavery, as a reason not to ban it at that time.
    • Hence we can't actually try libertarianism until there is an actual libertarian society, and we can see how it works.  Shane suggests, therefore, that statists are unwilling to try libertarianism, because they know in advance what the results will be, and will not go the way they want, or at least think the results likely enough to be afraid of them. 
    • Some critics of libertarianism also say, "Libertarianism is like communism:  It looks good in theory, but doesn't work in reality."
      • First of all, communism doesn't work in theory.  It is "...mathematically unsustainable, and economically non-viable".
      • Regardless, libertarianism has not been implemented, so the claim it doesn't work in reality is not based on empirical data, as is the claim communism doesn't work.
      • Again, Shane concludes those opposed to libertarianism know in advance what the results will be and what they will have to respond to; hence, what they believe they believe doesn't match their actual expectations of the results.
    • Cognitive dissonance - where one's "stated political position is at odds with their internal model of of how the universe behaves".
      • Example #1:  Minimum wage
        • Proponents state we need a living wage, and therefore should raise the minimum.
        • "Then why not just raise the minimum wage to $20, $50, or even $1 million/hour, and then we can all be rich?"  Mininum-wage proponents will balk at such a prospect, stating that won't work and will be destructive to the economy.  Yet within such objections is the acknowledgment that raising the minimum is destructive to the economy; so raising it even a small amount is destructive, albeit on a lesser scale.
        • So minimum wage proponents know that a big increase will cost jobs and raise prices, and the destruction caused by their policy will be obvious.  A small increase, however, will only incur a small amount of damage to the economy, which will get lost in the details.
      • Example #2:  Inflation
        • Governments inflate currency, with the justification that inflation indicates a growing economy.
        • However, when studies are done to assess the growth of the economy, figures are adjusted for inflation.  If inflation is an indicator of economic growth, it should be included in the figures.
        • Hence, those who control for inflation don't actually believe there's a link between inflation and economic growth, even if they profess the belief that there is such a link.
    • Conclusion
      • Some statists, like some theists, offer a priori excuses for why tests of their claims will fail.  They therefore do not genuinely believe in their own stated beliefs.  Whether theist or statist, they know there's no dragon in the garage.
      • Shane states that there is no difference in thinking between "Thou shalt not put your lord god to the test", and "There's never been a libertarian society".

My thoughts:  While the comparison between theism and statism in regard to "belief in belief" is interesting, I'm not sure the correspondence is accurate.  At the very least, statists are far more willing to put their policies to the test than are theists, whether or not they come up with pre- or post-facto rationalizations for any policy failures.    

I don't see a semantic equivalence between "Thou shalt not put your lord god to the test", and "There's never been a libertarian society".  The former refers to a test of god's existence; however, the latter does not refer to a test of statism, but the lack thereof.  At best, it suggests that statists "know" that a libertarian society will succeed, and therefore demonstrate the falsehood of their statist policies; just as the theist "knows" a test for his god will fail and demonstrate the falsehood of this belief.  It raises the question whether anyone is willing to attempt a libertarian society, with the committment not to provide any pre- or post-facto excuses for its failure. 

Lastly, there is a real-world cost to be considered in the testing of statist policies, or lack thereof.  Whereas test for god can be conceived which are relatively innocuous, real lives are at stake in the testing of statism or libertarianism.  One can say that communism has been empirically tested and shown to be a failure; but it was at the cost of millions of lives.  It is unlikely anyone will be willing to allow for potential suffering and death as the inherent cost of testing libertarianism.

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Vastet
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Kemono wrote:EXC wrote: I

Kemono wrote:

EXC wrote:
I think just like with religion, the delusional expect people to play along with their little games. Their game is to use government to get free stuff at others expense. They don't really believe one can't provide all these services for themselves on a pay as you go basis. They just want them for free and not be forced to work or study to receive these services.

Much like religion relies on believers being offended by criticism of supernaturalism, the state relies on the individual's emotional need to justify whatever perk allows his interest group to pick everyone else's pocket. Unfortunately this emotional response fails to factor in the reality that at the same time, a hundred other interest groups are picking his pocket.

There is a war of all against all (at least Hobbes got that right), and it is the state. How much more prosperous and humane a world would we inhabit if only we directed our efforts not into keeping our fellow man down through the violent power of the state but into producing the goods and services that we value!

Without the violent power of a state forcing people to comply with rules necessary for a functioning society things would be much worse. The war would still exist, you'd just be removing all the referees.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Kemono wrote:There is a war

Kemono wrote:

There is a war of all against all (at least Hobbes got that right), and it is the state. How much more prosperous and humane a world would we inhabit if only we directed our efforts not into keeping our fellow man down through the violent power of the state but into producing the goods and services that we value!

The source of the conflict is not the state. The source of conflict always comes back to population preasures. We only have a finite amount of resources on this planet to produce "the goods and services that we value", therefore we must wage war and political battles for survival.

Until the state uses 'violent power' to force birth control and closed borders, we're all slaves(except the 1% war profiteers that work the system), doomed to toil away in a world of constant conflict. A Hobbes social contract or meritocracy is not possible.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Kemono wrote:There is a war

Question for you Kemono. 

If a farmer uses land and water to grow food. Doesn't the state need to defend his right to use the land to grow the food?Otherwise anyone could just come along and take the food for themselves.

Land ownership is a benefit the government provides to individuals and corporations at the expense of everyone else. Same as welfare payments. So people that call themselves libertarian aren't really libertarian all the time. Only when it suits themselves, otherwise libertarians are welfare queens. The want people that don't own land to pay to defend their right to own land.

Just like Vastet, he's a socialist when he believes it could benefit him otherwise he's libertarian.

So any kind of rational society with a ration social contract is impossible with so many irrational people leftist, conservative and libertarian all using government for their own special interest.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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I'm neither socialist nor

I'm neither socialist nor libertarian. A term to define my political views doesn't exist. And despite EXC's neverending claims to the contrary, my personal politics have very little to do with how it might benefit me. In fact, I wouldn't be a particularly happy person if I were able to see my positions implemented. But the benefits to the species would be worth a few people being unhappy (even if I am one of them), so I'd deal with it.

If socialism and libertarianism were the only political points one could hold then I'd be a socialist, because libertarianism is irrevocably critically and fundamentally flawed, while socialism is at least workable. But they aren't the only options, and I don't see eye to eye with most people who identify as socialist.

Socialism is the greatest framework ever conceived for a society, but it isn't perfect and needs tweaking. So really, it wouldn't be socialism that I'd like to see. Just something similar, with all the correctable flaws hammered out.

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Vastet wrote:Without the

Vastet wrote:

Without the violent power of a state forcing people to comply with rules necessary for a functioning society things would be much worse. The war would still exist, you'd just be removing all the referees.

One can conceive of a great multitude of ways in which a society can exist. The presence or absence of a state is only one variable. The absence of a state is by no means a sufficient condition for ending the war of all against all, but I think it would be premature to declare that in every possible stateless scenario the war would continue and actually be worse.

It is of course possible that you are right and the war of all against all can never be ended as long as mankind exists. Even if that is the case (which I do not think it is), it is still true that belief in authority is a delusion.


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EXC wrote:The source of the

EXC wrote:

The source of the conflict is not the state. The source of conflict always comes back to population preasures. We only have a finite amount of resources on this planet to produce "the goods and services that we value", therefore we must wage war and political battles for survival.

Institutions and incentive structures matter. In the current statist system suppressing competition through lobbying for legislation is cost-effective and socially acceptable. This is not a feature of all possible legal systems.

EXC wrote:
Question for you Kemono. If a farmer uses land and water to grow food. Doesn't the state need to defend his right to use the land to grow the food? Otherwise anyone could just come along and take the food for themselves.

In the absence of alternative institutions that may be true.

EXC wrote:
Land ownership is a benefit the government provides to individuals and corporations at the expense of everyone else. Same as welfare payments. So people that call themselves libertarian aren't really libertarian all the time. Only when it suits themselves, otherwise libertarians are welfare queens. The want people that don't own land to pay to defend their right to own land.

Some self-styled libertarians do indeed want the state to enforce land ownership. I do not, save as a stopgap measure until better non-aggressive institutions can come about. But the state will of course not take kindly to such new institutions.


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Kemono wrote:One can

Kemono wrote:
One can conceive of a great multitude of ways in which a society can exist.

One can conceive a great many impossible things. That doesn't make them possible.

Kemono wrote:
The presence or absence of a state is only one variable.

It is the only variable that matters. There has never been a society without someone or a group of someones in power. Even social species which have not achieved a society still have individuals with more power than others. Power is a prerequisite for society.

Kemono wrote:
The absence of a state is by no means a sufficient condition for ending the war of all against all, but I think it would be premature to declare that in every possible stateless scenario the war would continue and actually be worse.

Until you can present a practical scenario where the nature of the universe (war) is curtailed I'll regard your opinion as ridiculous. War will never end as long as there is life to perpetuate it. The best you can do is police it, which requires power and authority, which necessitates a state.

Kemono wrote:
It is of course possible that you are right and the war of all against all can never be ended as long as mankind exists. Even if that is the case (which I do not think it is), it is still true that belief in authority is a delusion.

Belief in authority creates authority. Since authority exists it cannot be a delusion.

And, by the way, the war will continue even if man is wiped out. Life needs to consume life to exist. Violence is a condition of existence.

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Vastet,By both 'the delusion

Vastet,

By both 'the delusion of authority' and 'the war of all against all' I mean something quite different from what you take them to mean. For an explication of the former, please see the first post I made in this thread.

The latter concept is not worth the trouble for me to explain and for you to follow because the context in which I used it was not intended as an argument and not really even meant for statists to comprehend. I will drop the issue because it is irrelevant and a distraction.

(In passing, let me put one peripheral issue to rest. When I said that the presence or absence of a state is only one variable in the makeup of a society, I meant something that is quite obvious and undeniable. That is, North Korea and Luxemburgh are very different societies despite the fact that both have a state. Primitive communities in Papua New Guinea are quite different from Medieval Iceland despite the fact that both are stateless (or at least relatively stateless). This explanation is of course a dead end for the purposes of this thread as I have dropped the subject in whose context the matter came up.)


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Part 10: Belief In Belief (Re-Post)

 

10:  Belief In Belief- This topic draws on a concept developed by Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell: "belief in belief"

  • Someone may claim a belief in something which they don't actually believe in.  Examples of such would be those who claim homeopathy or psychic power is real, but are wholly unwilling to submit to controlled, double-blind tests of such claims.
  • Someone may even believe he believes something, but not actually believe it.  An example to explain this would be the "Dragon In My Garage", taken from Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World.:  A person claims there is a dragon in his garage, and a skeptic offers a series of tests to demonstrate its existence, while the claimant counters with excuses for why such tests won't work.  The claim of the dragon in the garage turns out to be untestable and unfalsifiable; hence indistinguishable from a nonexistent dragon.  The point illustrated is that the claimant may actually believe in such a dragon, yet presents in advance excuses for why any proposed test for its existence will fail; knowing in advance that they will fail.  Hence he believes he believes in the dragon, but does not actually believe in it.  (This is different from a claimant who fully expects a proposed test to succeed, then after the failure of the test creates excuses for its failure.  At least in this case, the claimant genuinely believed his claim.) 
  • Theism - Despite adamant professions of their belief in god, theists have pre-emptive excuses for why the existence of their god should not be (or cannot be) empirically tested.
    • "You shall not put the lord your god to the test" (Lk 4:17, Mt 4:7)
    • "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 1:11)
    • This suggests the biblical writers knew in advance tests for their god would fail, and the universe would behave exactly as if their god did not exist.
    • Prayer studies have been conducted, and advocates have offered post-facto rationalizations when no clear link between prayer and the well-being of patients was demonstrated.  However, C.S. Lewis for one, offered explanations in advance for why prayer studies won't work (since praying for the test group but not the control group as well, would not constitute genuine prayer).
    • Hence by appealing to faith as excuse not to empirically test their god's existence, theists may believe they believe, but don't actually believe.  By contrast, it's safe to say anyone would confidently submit to a test of gravity, without any need for preemptive excuses.
  • Statism - Shane claims that libertarians encounter similar reasoning from statists (I will point out here that I am doubtful that in this particular case, the theistic flaw of "belief in belief" corresponds aptly to statism)
    • Some opposed to libertarianism claim there has never been a libertarian society in all of history; the implied point being it should therefore not be implemented now.  One could likewise have said in the 16th century there had hitherto not been a country in all of history that had banned slavery, as a reason not to ban it at that time.
    • Hence we can't actually try libertarianism until there is an actual libertarian society, and we can see how it works.  Shane suggests, therefore, that statists are unwilling to try libertarianism, because they know in advance what the results will be, and will not go the way they want, or at least think the results likely enough to be afraid of them. 
    • Some critics of libertarianism also say, "Libertarianism is like communism:  It looks good in theory, but doesn't work in reality."
      • First of all, communism doesn't work in theory.  It is "...mathematically unsustainable, and economically non-viable".
      • Regardless, libertarianism has not been implemented, so the claim it doesn't work in reality is not based on empirical data, as is the claim communism doesn't work.
      • Again, Shane concludes those opposed to libertarianism know in advance what the results will be and what they will have to respond to; hence, what they believe they believe doesn't match their actual expectations of the results.
    • Cognitive dissonance - where one's "stated political position is at odds with their internal model of of how the universe behaves".
      • Example #1:  Minimum wage
        • Proponents state we need a living wage, and therefore should raise the minimum.
        • "Then why not just raise the minimum wage to $20, $50, or even $1 million/hour, and then we can all be rich?"  Mininum-wage proponents will balk at such a prospect, stating that won't work and will be destructive to the economy.  Yet within such objections is the acknowledgment that raising the minimum is destructive to the economy; so raising it even a small amount is destructive, albeit on a lesser scale.
        • So minimum wage proponents know that a big increase will cost jobs and raise prices, and the destruction caused by their policy will be obvious.  A small increase, however, will only incur a small amount of damage to the economy, which will get lost in the details.
      • Example #2:  Inflation
        • Governments inflate currency, with the justification that inflation indicates a growing economy.
        • However, when studies are done to assess the growth of the economy, figures are adjusted for inflation.  If inflation is an indicator of economic growth, it should be included in the figures.
        • Hence, those who control for inflation don't actually believe there's a link between inflation and economic growth, even if they profess the belief that there is such a link.
  • Conclusion
    • Some statists, like some theists, offer a priori excuses for why tests of their claims will fail.  They therefore do not genuinely believe in their own stated beliefs.  Whether theist or statist, they know there's no dragon in the garage.
    • Shane states that there is no difference in thinking between "Thou shalt not put your lord god to the test", and "There's never been a libertarian society".

My thoughts:  While the comparison between theism and statism in regard to "belief in belief" is interesting, I'm not sure the correspondence is accurate.  At the very least, statists are far more willing to put their policies to the test than are theists, whether or not they come up with pre- or post-facto rationalizations for any policy failures.    

I don't see a semantic equivalence between "Thou shalt not put your lord god to the test", and "There's never been a libertarian society".  The former refers to a test of god's existence; however, the latter does not refer to a test of statism, but the lack thereof.  At best, it suggests that statists "know" that a libertarian society will succeed, and therefore demonstrate the falsehood of their statist policies; just as the theist "knows" a test for his god will fail and demonstrate the falsehood of this belief.  It raises the question whether anyone is willing to attempt a libertarian society, with the committment not to provide any pre- or post-facto excuses for its failure. 

Lastly, there is a real-world cost to be considered in the testing of statist policies, or lack thereof.  Whereas tests for god can be conceived which are relatively innocuous, real lives are at stake in the testing of statism or libertarianism.  One can say that communism has been empirically tested and shown to be a failure; but it was at the cost of millions of lives.  It is unlikely anyone will be willing to allow for potential suffering and death as the inherent cost of testing libertarianism. 

 

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Kemono wrote:Vastet,By both

Kemono wrote:

Vastet,

By both 'the delusion of authority' and 'the war of all against all' I mean something quite different from what you take them to mean. For an explication of the former, please see the first post I made in this thread.

I don't think so:

Kemono wrote:
What is the delusion of authority? To put it succinctly, it is the belief in the right to rule and the duty to obey.

Without these beliefs authority wouldn't exist, but neither would society. If noone has to obey and noone can earn the right to rule then all you have left is anarchy. Until someone picks up a gun and forces people to obey and takes the right to rule.

Kemono wrote:
(In passing, let me put one peripheral issue to rest. When I said that the presence or absence of a state is only one variable in the makeup of a society, I meant something that is quite obvious and undeniable. That is, North Korea and Luxemburgh are very different societies despite the fact that both have a state. Primitive communities in Papua New Guinea are quite different from Medieval Iceland despite the fact that both are stateless (or at least relatively stateless). This explanation is of course a dead end for the purposes of this thread as I have dropped the subject in whose context the matter came up.)

The fact you ignore is that all societies share the most basic tenets of society. Just because N.K. and Papua and Luxembourgh are all different doesn't mean they are so different that a state cannot be recognised. Even ants share enough features with N.K., Papua, and Luxembourgh to clearly identify the power of the state at work. With force, lethal or otherwise, being the glue keeping it together. If there is a power structure of any kind, then there is a state: the only variable with relevance.

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Part 11: What If We're Wrong?

11. What If We're Wrong?   When a theist or statist fails to convince an atheist or libertarian with his arguments, he might then say the atheist/libertarian will simlply never admit to being wrong.  

  • This is by and large backwards, as society in general is theist and statist, and atheists/libertarians typically represent those who have broken from the prevailing disposition, rather than having begun as an atheist or libertarian, and stubbornly refusing to adopt theism/statism.  
  • Theism - Even if convincing evidence for god were presented, that would not vindicate any particular religion; nor if one claim by a particular religion were proven true, would it thus vindicate every other claim made by that religion.  
    • Even if there is a god, christianity could be right about one aspect, islam about another, and hinduism right about yet another.  
    • Even if the resurrection were proven true, the genesis account would still be scientifically false, and evolution true.
  • Statism - What would it mean for a libertarian to be wrong?  If one thing is demonstrated that only the state can do (for example:  build the roads), that would not vindicate the state as a whole.  That would only mean there was one problem which monopoly power is required to solve; not that monopoly power should be used to solve all problems.  
    • Minimum wage would still lead to unemployment
    • It would still be wrong for the NSA to spy on private citizens
    • Prohibition still wouldn't work, and would lead to greater crime.
    • Libertarians only want the option to try other solutions.  If it turns out it's true that only the state can provide a solution, then noone wil be able to offer a viable alternative.
    • If it's shown that roads can only be built by force and that fires can only be fought by force, it does not mean the same entity (the state) has to provide both.  
  • Conclusion Both theism and statism have the burden of proof, but meeting the burden for one claim does not vindicate all other claims (proof for the resurrection does not also prove genesis; proof the state is needed to build roads does not prove minimum wage is necessary).  


 

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Beyond Saving wrote:Teralek

Beyond Saving wrote:

Teralek wrote:

However there are a few things I want to say:

I don't agree completely with you analysis on the oil industry. Oil is a finite resource, you can only drill so much. Drilling on the middle east has not the same price as drilling at deep water. Forget about cheap oil. It will never happen again. I would bet with you on this because I'm 100% sure of this. The price is not artificially high, its a supply constrain and cost of production. I can show you a multitude of studies showing this too.

Oil from shale is very expensive, uses tons of water and is causes damage to the environment. The reason why shale oil is being extracted now is because before was not profitable with low prices.

Yes and no. Oil is a limited resource and eventually we will reach a point where prices must increase simply because enough oil doesn't exist. We are not there yet. The US has at least 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, about 1 trillion of that is deemed recoverable using current methods. That is a huge resource of mostly untapped oil, it dwarfs the stated oil reserves of the major OPEC countries (of course I believe that they have been lying and probably have much more than they have publicly stated). I have seen people theorize that there is actually as much as 4 trillion barrels of oil in the US in areas we haven't looked yet, but until we find it we certainly can't count on it. Even if we talking less than a trillion, that is enough oil to have a significant effect on the market for our lifetimes. At some point, it will become whale oil and be so rare that prices become too high, we are not there yet and won't be for many decades. The only way oil is disappearing soon is if we fail to exploit US reserves or if someone develops a new technology that is significantly cheaper.

As far as cost of production is concerned, yes shale oil and deep water drilling is more expensive than conventional methods which is why they have not been fully developed yet. At initial investment the costs of extracting the oil are $70-90 per barrel, for a smaller operation they can even get as high as $110. However, most of this high cost is associated with the initial investment, purchasing the land, hiring/training new workers, drilling the well, buying the equipment, building the infrastructure, roads, transportation network, living quarters for workers etc. Start up investments range anywhere from $3 billion to $10 billion, that is a lot of money even for large oil companies.

Once the well is pumping, the costs per barrel drop dramatically. Most estimates are that by 500 million barrels a projects cost per barrel should be down to around $40 per barrel. Shell thinks they can get costs per barrel down to a point where they could actually profit at a wholesale price of $30 per barrel, a bold claim but perhaps not impossible. Shell is willing to bet tens of billions on it.

We can see this taking place in the US oil fields that have been operating in Bakken and Eagle Ford. The pumps that are running are getting progressively cheaper and this is putting a squeeze on some of the companies that have been slower at developing or joined the party too late because they can't compete. There is no doubt that many of the small companies are going to go bankrupt because their capital investments are not going to be patient enough and stop sending money. What happens to all the equipment they already purchased when they go bankrupt? BP, Exxon, Shell and every other big company with cash is going to drool as they scoop up billions worth of equipment and active wells for substantial discounts. Above in my reply to Latin I detailed the story of Rockefeller and how he made his fortune and buying up small companies which couldn't compete on price point was one of his major strategies. He was able to purchase already operational refineries for less than it would have cost him to build one. The initial investors lose their money, and the new investor has a much smaller initial capital outlay and is therefore able to profit with smaller margins.

The ironic thing about markets is that just because a particular industry is going to boom does not mean that the individual companies within the industry are going to do well. It isn't even certain that a majority of the companies will do well. Often, one or two companies do extraordinarily well and all the others don't. Which is how so many investors lose their shirts joining the gravy train and investing massive amounts in "safe" investments that are "guaranteed" because everyone knows such and such industry is booming, only to find themselves selling the stock for pennies on the dollar. Which is why I am not personally invested in any of the small companies that have sprung up to build wells in the US. I believe the wells will be profitable, I don't believe the companies currently operating them are going to be the ones to profit. Of course, there might be one of those small companies that is going to be brilliantly run and will become the next huge oil company of the future, but being able to make that prediction with accuracy requires very personal knowledge of the people involved. 

So while I agree completely that eventually oil will go up in price to a point where it is no longer economically feasible to use, I disagree that we are at that point. We will probably never see $20 a barrel oil, but oil prices are going to drop significantly. I would say in the ball park of $60 a barrel would be reasonable. So if you want that bet, I will bet you the value of one barrel of oil that by 2025 oil will drop below $60 a barrel at some point. Payable in 2025 to a charity of the winners choice. (And I will hope that the environmentalists don't conquer the world and oil skyrockets to $20000 a barrel lol)

 

Teralek wrote:
 

Resources are not created magically. There are physical limits, Money can only buy so much...

Not magically, but they are created. For example, oil mostly came about because of a shortage of whale oil. We completely destroyed a natural resource to the point that only the extremely wealthy could afford it. It was this shortage that led to investments in kerosene. So yeah, we didn't magically create a resource, but the lack of one resource provided the incentive to find a replacement. As it turns out, that replacement was not only effective for the immediate need to light lanterns, but also led to us discovering all sorts of uses for petroleum that really has shaped how we live today in the modern world. It was the discovery/invention of the technology that created a vast pool of resources that was previously unavailable. 

I don't think we are anywhere near maxing out our technological limits. I think that eventually we will find a way to harness essentially infinite amounts of power and when we do, fossil fuels will become an interesting footnote in history like whale oil is. The only thing money does is it encourages or discourages the use of a commodity and where labor efforts should be allocated. Like shale oil, the primary hurdle for solar power, wind power, geo thermal power etc. is the initial cost of investment. Once the power source is built, the day to day operations are not terribly expensive. If I am right in my bet on oil, then over the next decade private funding of such sources will probably decrease which will slow down their development. If you are right, it will increase. 

Which brings up what I consider to be a very valid criticism of libertarianism which I am surprised no one has really mentioned. The environment. There is little incentive to worry about long term environmental concerns. While it is quite easy to show that chemical runoff from a farm into drinking water has an immediate detrimental effect on others and therefore constitutes an initiation of force which the government has some role in punishing or preventing. Get a group of libertarians drinking beers and you can have some very passionate arguments over whether CO2 emissions are significant enough to constitute an initiation of force. Just goes to show your previous point that it isn't always black and white is on the mark.

The difference is that in a crowd of libertarians the assumption isn't going to be that the government should do something by default. The burden is going to be on those who insist the government has to get involved to prove that the harm occurring is significant enough to justify it and that government involvement is a good/the best way of dealing with it.  

There are a number of other issues like this, which is to be expected. A general political theory can't be expected to provide you with an absolute determination of all the specific issues. It really is more of a starting point of ideals/goals from which you base your determinations. For example, if you want to get pedantic a drunk person giving you an unwanted hug at a bar is an initiation of force. You don't want to be touched, but they are touching you anyway. I'm pretty sure that 100% of people would agree this is such a minor force that no government punishment is needed. On the other hand, a person actively trying to murder you is an initiation of force that everyone can agree is appropriate to use government force to punish.  

 The disagreements come in the middle area as to how serious an offence should be before government force is an acceptable retaliation. In my personal life, I tend to lean a bit far in keeping government force off the table. You can punch me out of the blue and I'm not going to file assault charges. Although, an unprovoked assault is certainly an initiation of force and there is plenty of reasons to have laws against it and use government force to punish those who do it. Just goes to show, libertarianism isn't monolithic.

In general, I would say most libertarians can agree on a rough line when it comes to physical conflicts, but there are real significant disagreements when it comes to environmental damages, what constitutes harassment, things like noise ordinances etc. As humans, we are going to conflict with each other regularly even if we don't intend to and those types of conflicts can be very difficult to deal with on an idealistic level. Philosophy has its limitations when it comes in contact with the real world. 

 

Teralek wrote:
 

We (you and I, and other interested people) care about knowing stuff. Other people dont' want to care about everything. I can't blame them, life is complex enough. Let me give you an example; I know FDA controls much of the safety of products and keep harmful substances from consumers. Other people don't even know what FDA does. Our ethical duty is to protect the ignorants too. Passivity and indiference can be an "initiation of violence".

I hate to speak for all libertarians, but passivity and indifference are generally not interpreted to be initiations of force. I'm sure you have seen versions of the theoretical morality exercise where pushing a button kills one person while not pushing the button kills X more people and you have to decide whether or not it is moral to push the button. The libertarian answer is that inaction is more moral. Libertarianism is not a utilitarian or utopian philosophy.

In the case where action does not conflict with the base principle then action might be a nice thing to do, might be the moral thing to do, but not a legitimate reason to force people to do it. The philosophy doesn't seek to make things great for everyone and accepts that some people will have miserable lives. However, I think it is quite arguable that while statism often promises that it can make everyone have a better life, the actual results never measure up to the promise.

Maybe society would be better off if we simply sacrificed the quality of living for a few people to improve the lives of a majority. Certainly, a single house slave improves the standard of living for an entire family. You sacrifice the living standard of one human to improve the standard for a whole family. An extreme example, but the underlying philosophy is the same. Is it ok to take from one person simply because it benefits many people? The standard answer in statism today is yes, within reason. So you can take a certain amount of resources/money from them, put restrictions on how they live, maybe force them to serve in the military etc. but you can't make them a slave. The libertarian answer is no, that is not sufficient reason.

  

 

Teralek wrote:

It is true that the examples you gave control the safety of products to a certain extent. But doesn't avoid that dangerous products enter the market because it's not mandatory and across the board. A dangerous product is an initiation of violence. A person ignorant of the fact that the product is harmful will buy it and probably the dangerous product would be cheaper than the safe. I would still have the nuisance of having to go to the BBB or something else to see if I was buying a safe thing.

Furthermore these entities like BBB can only do so much. Tobacco industry tried hard for decades to give the idea that smoking was harmless and could in fact be good for you. How on Earth a no state interference would avoid this situation better?

Finally open market economy tends to create a huge wage span, meaning many people will have very low wages, and this would force them to buy cheap unsafe stuff.

The existence of an FDA is able to rest the minds of both rich and poor, and focus our attention to something else. You can argue that the FDA is not doing a good job and you might be right. But if it didn't exist it would be worse. Europe is stricter on regulations than the US and I must say I trust more EU regulations and safety than US ones.

Final point is that whoever "initiates violence" (puts on sale a carcinogen and claims safety) needs to be penalized. It is always better to prevent than to resolve. The bait of easy and huge profits from dangerous products can be too good for some unethical people. Information is the key, like in so many other things.

I am sure that in Sweden there are people that don't agree with the health system and don't want to pay half of their income in taxes. I have actually met a guy in Norway precisely like this. Question is: is it fair that those who want to pay force those who don't want? If not, those who don't contribute should not, ethically, use public hospitals... which in turn can create awkward situations in medical emergencies...

Finally even though many things you've said make sense, in practical terms I find countries with very mixed economies like Sweden, Denmark and Norway, very organized and close to my ideal place to live.

Thanks anyway for you in depth answers.

Edit: Oh I forgot to say that if you want to continue to be coherent in your line of thought you cannot be against spontaneously formed worker unions as well. Unions can be a non cooperation, and very powerful weapon in a non violence philosophy.

In regard to dangerous products, certainly if a product causes harm that is not inherent in its proper use, the company can and should be sued. That certainly does constitute an initiation of force if the company knew the product was dangerous or was somehow negligent. I think in general most libertarians probably have a more forgiving attitude towards companies not having warning labels. The 3 year old chokes on marbles, well hey dumb ass you don't put small objects near your kid, it isn't the companies fault. In cases where the dangers are not immediately obvious to the consumer, the company should bear responsibility. If a car company makes shoddy brakes on cars for example, they should be sued into bankruptcy. And I have no problem with modifying bankruptcy laws so that the people who make such products lose all of their personal assets too. 

For things like cigarettes, I can see holding them responsible for their claims of safety after they had internal studies proving that the product was not safe. For that dishonesty, they should be punished. As far as modern day smoking, everyone knows it is unhealthy and consumers are purchasing them knowing that so there is no issue anymore. 

Ideally, prevention is nicer than punishment afterwards if you can do so at the same cost. In reality, prevention is nearly impossible. Unethical people find ways around whatever preventative methods the government devises and have for hundreds of years. The FDA was founded in 1906, yet it wasn't until the 1980's into the '90s that they did anything about tobacco. The government didn't prevent anything.

In order to be effective at preventing things, you have to have an extreme amount of control and therefore, a significant amount of infringement on the freedom of innocent people to catch the bad guys. So yeah, a completely free market is going to have more problems with unethical people, but those people will be dealt with and weeded out as they get caught. With our modern communication through the internet, it will happen much faster. I don't think it is a situation where people routinely going to the grocery store are going to have a reasonable fear for their health. And I think it is better to leave innocent people free from government force than to catch a few more bad guys. 

As far as hospitals are concerned, you do have an ethical dilemma when a person who didn't pay for the system shows up and has a life threatening problem. Most people would agree that the hospital should save their life, and in the vast majority of cases the hospital will. Certainly, people will abuse that and refuse to pay, knowing that if something happens their lives will be saved anyway. There are a few ways to handle that situation. First, allow the hospital to aggressively seek financial reimbursement for their services. As far as I'm concerned, going in and using a service like medical care without paying constitutes an initiation of force, so if you have the money in your bank somewhere, I have no problem with government power being used to seize the money you owe and give it to the hospital. If you don't have the money, well under any system you are not paying anyway.

In any system, you are going to have a certain number of people who are not going to be productive and be a net drain on the system. Either we kill them (or refuse treatment allowing them to die) or we just accept that they are a cost of doing business. I vote for the latter. I don't think hospitals should be forced to treat everyone, but I also don't think any hospital that refused to treat someone in the emergency room would survive the public outrage. This is a fabrication that people make up of horror stories of people being refused life saving treatment but can't point to a single real example.

Doctors aren't monsters and every hospital in the US has funds set aside specifically for the purpose of treating patients who are indigent. Sometimes those funds are raised through charity, sometimes they come from a small premium added to the cost of every service. It really is no different than retail stores which routinely add a small premium to make up for theft. Those who can't/won't pay are not going to get top priority and are not going to get the best care, but why should they?

And as far as unions are concerned, I fully support them as long as they are voluntary. I think unions played a vital role in improving labor conditions. I oppose the sometimes violent actions such as sabotage, attacking scabs and riots, but I have no problem with peaceful strikes. Government's role should be to step in when either side resorts to violence. Short of that, workers and employers should figure it out on their own. If the workers decide that sticking together is better than negotiating individually they should be free to do so. If the employer thinks that firing everyone and hiring new people is a better option than catering to demands, then they should be free to do so. If the working conditions are really that bad, the employer will be forced to negotiate as new people won't be willing to do the work either. Hiring new people every 3 months is prohibitively expensive. Which is why employers bent on union busting often tried to resort to violent tactics, in which case it is appropriate for government to become involved.  

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Vastet wrote:Emergency

Vastet wrote:
Emergency services are paid for by taxes, moron. They have never been free. Pay as you go has worked so well with emergency services before. Just look at all the countries who use it successfully! Oh.. wait... Keep living in your untenable world, foolish libertarian. I'd laugh when someone robs you and you can't afford to pay the cops to hunt them down because the criminals already paid them off, but fortunately your delusional views of how things should work will never become reality.

So anyone that thinks one should pay for the food one eats is a libertarian? What is so fucking sacred about police services?

People all the time pay for Private Investigators and lawyers to go after criminals that have wronged them. They buy private security because the state is far too inadequate to protect them and their property.

I've had to hire lawyers to go after corporations that have ripped me off, I have to own a gun to protect myself. The state is too busy handing out welfare to poor that vote and rich that donate to politics to protect me.

So why the hell do I need to pay a  police force that doesn't do shit for me?

The example you gave could be handled by insurance.  Either the insurance company would find the stuff or pay up.

There is a need for public police, but it would be to go after things like insurance companies that don't pay up, wall street fraud and corrupt politicians. We've got it all backwards, the big corporations are un-policed, while the guy in the ghetto is over-policed. Government by the elites.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:There is a need

EXC wrote:
There is a need for public police, but it would be to go after things like insurance companies that don't pay up, wall street fraud and corrupt politicians.



there's no need for public police at all. if you do business with an insurer or corporation and they rip you off, tough fucking titty. you should have been a better judge of character. or you can hire an assassin to murder them, then go take your shit back and then some. fuck the police.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
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EXC wrote:So anyone that

EXC wrote:
So anyone that thinks one should pay for the food one eats is a libertarian?

Strawman, red herring.

EXC wrote:
What is so fucking sacred about police services?

Nothing is sacred. Emergency services, when correctly utilised, make society safer. Therefore they are inall our best interest.

EXC wrote:
People all the time pay for Private Investigators and lawyers to go after criminals that have wronged them.

That the system has flaws is not an argument to abolish the system entirely. Merely that it needs some work. On that point, I would say the entire population of Earth would agree.

EXC wrote:
So why the hell do I need to pay a  police force that doesn't do shit for me?

This is an absolutely ridiculous claim. You have benefited from emergency services, whether you want to admit it or not.

EXC wrote:
The example you gave could be handled by insurance.  Either the insurance company would find the stuff or pay up.

Insurance companies are scam artists and should be illegal. I'd sooner trust Kim Jong Un to head a police service than an insurance company.

EXC wrote:
There is a need for public police, but it would be to go after things like insurance companies that don't pay up

That's all of them, and they have no power or authority. I shudder to think what would happen if that were to change and they were given power and authority..It would be disastrous for everyone not working for them, and even for many that do.

EXC wrote:
wall street fraud and corrupt politicians. We've got it all backwards, the big corporations are un-policed, while the guy in the ghetto is over-policed. Government by the elites.

That the system has flaws is not an argument to abolish the system entirely. Merely that it needs some work.

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Vastet wrote:EXC wrote:So

Vastet wrote:

EXC wrote:
So anyone that thinks one should pay for the food one eats is a libertarian?
Strawman, red herring.

No you implied that want to privatize current government services is libertarian. Is that not true?

 

Vastet wrote:

Emergency services, when correctly utilised, make society safer. Therefore they are inall our best interest.

Food delivery services, when correctly utilised, make society safer. Therefore they are inall our best interest.

Vastet wrote:

That the system has flaws is not an argument to abolish the system entirely. Merely that it needs some work. On that point, I would say the entire population of Earth would agree.

The current system protects the interests of the rich an powerful. They go after Michael Brown and Eric Garner with full force, but try getting a corporate criminal arrested. It makes lawyers and judges rich and lets the police unions bankrupt us.

Vastet wrote:

This is an absolutely ridiculous claim. You have benefited from emergency services, whether you want to admit it or not.

Why can't society have volunteer police and fire as was done before? It is a scam to make working people slaves. There would not be any muggings or reckless drivers if 'everyone was a cop. Instead the criminals do there deeds when they cops are not looking.

Your house is on fire, wait for fire dept. The taxes you spend on the fire department pensions could have bought your own fire suppresion system that works right away.

Vastet wrote:

Insurance companies are scam artists and should be illegal. I'd sooner trust Kim Jong Un to head a police service than an insurance company.

Exactly my point, corporate privlege. The cops go after Eric Garner but not the CEO of AIG. So that is why they are scam artists, they don't fear the law at all.

Corporations should pay a tax to have the government police them and force them to pay out damages. Instead they want to tax me to death to pay, when I can handle my own person security.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Kemono wrote:zarathustra

Kemono wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

It does raise a worthwhile question:  If atheism is the conclusion when logic is applied to the existence of god, what is the conclusion when logic is applied to the state?

(I apologize if my non-native English is difficult to read. I have hardly written a word of English in years, but bear with me if you will.)

Are you kidding?


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Kemono wrote:zarathustra

Kemono wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

It does raise a worthwhile question:  If atheism is the conclusion when logic is applied to the existence of god, what is the conclusion when logic is applied to the state?

(I apologize if my non-native English is difficult to read. I have hardly written a word of English in years, but bear with me if you will.)

Are you kidding?


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EXC wrote:No you implied

EXC wrote:
No you implied that want to privatize current government services is libertarian. Is that not true?

I implied nothing. I implicitly stated that privatization of emergency services is a stupid libertarian position. I said nothing about food or other services, and I'm not going to let you change the subject.

EXC wrote:
Food delivery services, when correctly utilised, make society safer. Therefore they are inall our best interest.

Food delivery services do not necessarily have an impact on the safety of people. Emergency services do. I will not allow you to change the subject.

EXC wrote:
The current system protects the interests of the rich an powerful. They go after Michael Brown and Eric Garner with full force, but try getting a corporate criminal arrested. It makes lawyers and judges rich and lets the police unions bankrupt us.

A libertarian system would exacerbate those problems, so you don't appear to have a point.

EXC wrote:
Why can't society have volunteer police and fire as was done before?

We do. I've lived in more places with volunteer firefighters than I have professional firefighters.
Volunteer police have never existed in sustainable society. No matter how far back you go. The first police force in any way similar to today were royal and city guardsmen, not volunteers.

EXC wrote:
There would not be any muggings or reckless drivers if 'everyone was a cop.

Then why are some cops criminals? Why are most cops reckless drivers? You haven't a clue.

EXC wrote:
Your house is on fire, wait for fire dept. The taxes you spend on the fire department pensions could have bought your own fire suppresion system that works right away.

No it couldn't. Not even close. Installation of a useful fire suppression system is extremely expensive. I'd have to save the money I pay through taxes to the fire department my entire life before I could afford such a system. By which point I might have already lost everything in fire. Multiple times over. I also would no longer have any use for that system, as I would be dead from old age.

EXC wrote:
Exactly my point, corporate privlege. The cops go after Eric Garner but not the CEO of AIG. So that is why they are scam artists, they don't fear the law at all.

Flaws in the system do not suggest the concept of the system itself is flawed, merely that it needs work.

EXC wrote:
Corporations should pay a tax to have the government police them and force them to pay out damages. Instead they want to tax me to death to pay, when I can handle my own person security.

Lol. I guarantee you that most corporations pay more in one year towards police than you will in your entire life.

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Vastet wrote: We do. I've

Vastet wrote:
We do. I've lived in more places with volunteer firefighters than I have professional firefighters. Volunteer police have never existed in sustainable society. No matter how far back you go. The first police force in any way similar to today were royal and city guardsmen, not volunteers.

Not true at all. There is a fairly significant history of volunteer police forces in many countries that are still around today. www.reservepolice.org/history_of_reserves.htm 

In the US, they became very common during WWII due to a shortage of manpower. Also, during the westward expansion, most towns didn't have a paid police officer. Policing was done by a volunteer deputy who would call upon citizens to create a posse if they needed more manpower. To this day, volunteer police work in New York City, for the Florida State Highway Patrol and hundreds of cities and towns across the country. Usually, they have the full power to make arrests and some are armed, others aren't. We use volunteer police in my town whenever something is happening that brings extra people into the area like holidays, festivals and whatnot.

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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You rather make my point.

You rather make my point. Though I obviously should have been more clear. None of the forces you mention are or were perpetual. They are or were emergency scenarios that are or were temporary. None of them are or were permanent national police forces.

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What a fool believes. The

What a fool believes. The goal of the police in present society is self-perpetuation, not your safety and security. As such, the need to maximize the amount of money the extract from the rest of society. They need only provide the illusion of providing safety and security, since the irrational are presently a majority.

For example, everytime you drive, you always see a few wreckless drivers and speeders. The rational thing to do would be to ask for volunteers or draft people to be auxillary police that can ticket these drivers. Have police drive in unmarked cars with popup sirens. Instead, these speeder are even more dangerous because they have one eye on the road and the other eye looking out for marked cop cars.  

The police don't want competition from any unpaid people or do-it-yourselfers. government unions enjoy a monopoly by force. If the police and lawbreakers are enemies, why would the police give up the weapon of stealth? The lawbreakers just look around to make sure no cop is around. Marked vehicles and uniforms provide the illusion of safety to fools so they'll support high taxes. It all for marketing.

The police need there to be a moderate amount of crime to justify their existence. If there was less crime, we'd say we don't need to spend so much on police, if there was more we'd fire them. If the police passed out more speeding tickets, no one would speed and they'd loose revenue long term. If there were fewer tickets, they'd immediately loose revenue and eventually get fired because they roads were to dangerous.

So we are stuck a moderate amount of street crime and car accidents. Not good value for all the money we spend. But fools like you just say the police can't be everywhere.

Same thing is true with the legal system. Matters that can be handled in hours take years to resolve. The wheels of justice spin at a speed that maximizes money and job security for the lawyers, judges and prosecutors. Same story with prisions, fire protection and education.

They all exist to exist. Nothing will change until people stop being so easily duped.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:What a fool

EXC wrote:

What a fool believes. The goal of the police in present society is self-perpetuation, not your safety and security.

What a fool indeed. The safety and security of society is a prerequisite to technological and social advancement.

EXC wrote:
As such, the need to maximize the amount of money the extract from the rest of society. They need only provide the illusion of providing safety and security, since the irrational are presently a majority.

Illusions are effective, but not so much so that illusions alone can accomplish anything. Those illusions must be at least partly based on reality, and so they are. You might not be more safe on an aeroplane today than you would have been 20 years ago, but you are much better off than anyone a hundred years ago under any circumstance.

EXC wrote:
For example, everytime you drive, you always see a few wreckless drivers and speeders. The rational thing to do would be to ask for volunteers or draft people to be auxillary police that can ticket these drivers. Have police drive in unmarked cars with popup sirens. Instead, these speeder are even more dangerous because they have one eye on the road and the other eye looking out for marked cop cars.

Shows how much you know. A speeder is actually less of a danger to others than someone driving below the average speed of vehicles in the area. 

Also, it would only be rational to draft additional forces if the resources necessary to supply them existed, and they don't. Unless you are personally volunteering billions of dollars to train, supply, deploy, and keep honest; the necessary numbers of people to accomplish this ridiculous idea that you foolishly call rational. 

Even that wouldn't accomplish anything. The people who get paid to enforce traffic laws are as likely to be reckless as those who don't enforce traffic laws. There is absolutely no reason to expect volunteers would be any more likely to obey traffic laws than the professional and paid police forces do.

EXC wrote:
The police don't want competition from any unpaid people or do-it-yourselfers. government unions enjoy a monopoly by force.

A necessary monopoly. Even as things are, there are constant problems with jurisdiction. If police weren't overseen by a single authority as they are, things would be a million times worse. Every single homeowner and their dog would make up their own rules and attempt to enforce them. You haven't the slightest idea how much of a fail your preferred system of government is, by definition.

EXC wrote:
If the police and lawbreakers are enemies, why would the police give up the weapon of stealth? The lawbreakers just look around to make sure no cop is around. Marked vehicles and uniforms provide the illusion of safety to fools so they'll support high taxes. It all for marketing.

And when a cop is around they move on. Marked vehicles and uniforms accomplish far more than illusions, as anyone who had any experience at all in law enforcement would attest to. The benefits are well beyond your capacity to understant, as is apparent from your ridiculous and ignorant assertions.

EXC wrote:
The police need there to be a moderate amount of crime to justify their existence. If there was less crime, we'd say we don't need to spend so much on police, if there was more we'd fire them. If the police passed out more speeding tickets, no one would speed and they'd loose revenue long term. If there were fewer tickets, they'd immediately loose revenue and eventually get fired because they roads were to dangerous.

I suspect a demonstration of ignorance is about to appear.

EXC wrote:
So we are stuck a moderate amount of street crime and car accidents. Not good value for all the money we spend. But fools like you just say the police can't be everywhere.

I was right. Supply and demand are in effect here. If there is more crime, more police are hired. If crime drops, police forces are reduced. Fools like you don't understand that supply and demand are the basis of all society, not just economics. 

EXC wrote:
Same thing is true with the legal system. Matters that can be handled in hours take years to resolve. The wheels of justice spin at a speed that maximizes money and job security for the lawyers, judges and prosecutors. Same story with prisions, fire protection and education.

They all exist to exist. Nothing will change until people stop being so easily duped.

You are oversimplifying things to such a degree as to be absurd. And you are biased by the flaws in the system you live under, failing to recognise that other systems are far superior in many or even every way(s). Yes, the US has the shittiest justice system in the world. I've been saying that for decades. So leave already.

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Vastet wrote:What a fool

Vastet wrote:

What a fool indeed. The safety and security of society is a prerequisite to technological and social advancement.

So why not make the goal of government to eliminate crime, rather than maximize the money they make off of it?

Vastet wrote:

Shows how much you know. A speeder is actually less of a danger to others than someone driving below the average speed of vehicles in the area. 

Any studies you can site? I know a moderate amount over the limit is not much of a problem. Very slow drivers are often elderly or impared that should have their licenses yanked.

But again, speed limits are set not so much for public safety and public utility but to maximize power and profit for government.. But you fall for the illusion.

Vastet wrote:

Also, it would only be rational to draft additional forces if the resources necessary to supply them existed, and they don't. Unless you are personally volunteering billions of dollars to train, supply, deploy, and keep honest; the necessary numbers of people to accomplish this ridiculous idea that you foolishly call rational. 

Again, the training and equiping of police is also a business designed to maximize profit. That is why it is so expensive.

There is no cost to deploy with volunteer citizen police. They lead their normal lives and only interviene when they see something or get an alert on their cell phone.  training could be done by videos and other volunteers.

Vastet wrote:

Even that wouldn't accomplish anything. The people who get paid to enforce traffic laws are as likely to be reckless as those who don't enforce traffic laws. There is absolutely no reason to expect volunteers would be any more likely to obey traffic laws than the professional and paid police forces do.

No. It's hard to get away with anything if almost everyone around is cop. Cops are corrupt now because they think no other cop is looking. Also you require them to videotape any police actions they take.

Vastet wrote:

A necessary monopoly. Even as things are, there are constant problems with jurisdiction. If police weren't overseen by a single authority as they are, things would be a million times worse. Every single homeowner and their dog would make up their own rules and attempt to enforce them. You haven't the slightest idea how much of a fail your preferred system of government is, by definition.

Might have been a problem in the past. But with video, people with policing authority won't get away with anything. Also police can check immediatly with a panel of judges if there is any question before they act on their cell phone.

You're so 20th century in your thinking. Technology should make things a lot cheaper including policing.

Vastet wrote:

And when a cop is around they move on. Marked vehicles and uniforms accomplish far more than illusions, as anyone who had any experience at all in law enforcement would attest to. The benefits are well beyond your capacity to understant, as is apparent from your ridiculous and ignorant assertions.

Exactly my point. You see the expensive uniforms and equipment so you feel safe so you want to pay more, a sucker for their marketing.

I say more cops for less money.

Vastet wrote:

If there is more crime, more police are hired. If crime drops, police forces are reduced. Fools like you don't understand that supply and demand are the basis of all society, not just economics. 

No when there is very high crime it drives away the business and taxpayers. Then you can't get more money for more cops. The police chief loses his job. So there is an incentive to not have too much crime, but no incentive to eliminate it. As long as people like you are OK with being a slave through high taxation, nothing will change.

Vastet wrote:

 Yes, the US has the shittiest justice system in the world. I've been saying that for decades. So leave already.

So why rely on the government for so much since they are so shitty and overpriced? Do it yourself whenever possible and don't make government services such a for-profit monopolistic enterprise.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:What

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

What a fool indeed. The safety and security of society is a prerequisite to technological and social advancement.

So why not make the goal of government to eliminate crime, rather than maximize the money they make off of it?

Because the complete elimination of crime is absolutely impossible. Reducing crime is rational. Attempting to eliminate it is irrational.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Shows how much you know. A speeder is actually less of a danger to others than someone driving below the average speed of vehicles in the area. 

Any studies you can site?

Sure. Here's one: http://www.sense.bc.ca/research.htm

If you spend a few minutes looking around with google, you'll find tens of thousands more.

EXC wrote:
I know a moderate amount over the limit is not much of a problem. Very slow drivers are often elderly or impared that should have their licenses yanked.

But again, speed limits are set not so much for public safety and public utility but to maximize power and profit for government.. But you fall for the illusion.

In fact it is mixture of both, and other factors as well. But you fall for your bias.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Also, it would only be rational to draft additional forces if the resources necessary to supply them existed, and they don't. Unless you are personally volunteering billions of dollars to train, supply, deploy, and keep honest; the necessary numbers of people to accomplish this ridiculous idea that you foolishly call rational. 

Again, the training and equiping of police is also a business designed to maximize profit. That is why it is so expensive.

And changing it to maximize efficiency instead would still be ridiculously expensive. More so, in fact, because you must first devise an entirely new strategy of education, and then implement it.

EXC wrote:
There is no cost to deploy with volunteer citizen police. They lead their normal lives and only interviene when they see something or get an alert on their cell phone.  training could be done by videos and other volunteers.

That's great for the rare incident where someone sees someone else throw a brick through a window. But then we already have in place a system which allows you to make an arrest under the conditions that you witnessed the crime. Any citizen of either of our countries can make such an arrest. So actually, you are suggesting no real changes to the system at all.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Even that wouldn't accomplish anything. The people who get paid to enforce traffic laws are as likely to be reckless as those who don't enforce traffic laws. There is absolutely no reason to expect volunteers would be any more likely to obey traffic laws than the professional and paid police forces do.

No. It's hard to get away with anything if almost everyone around is cop. Cops are corrupt now because they think no other cop is looking. Also you require them to videotape any police actions they take.

Everyone is already a volunteer cop, as per above.

Ironically, socialism could fix the problems you state better than any other system. By making participation in emergency services a requirement for all citizens. Libertarianism is absolutely incapable of arranging such.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

A necessary monopoly. Even as things are, there are constant problems with jurisdiction. If police weren't overseen by a single authority as they are, things would be a million times worse. Every single homeowner and their dog would make up their own rules and attempt to enforce them. You haven't the slightest idea how much of a fail your preferred system of government is, by definition.

Might have been a problem in the past. But with video, people with policing authority won't get away with anything. Also police can check immediatly with a panel of judges if there is any question before they act on their cell phone.

Like a cop has time to call a panel of judges while chasing a suspect down the highway. Oh, and doing so would also happen to be illegal. Good call. ROTFL

EXC wrote:
You're so 20th century in your thinking. Technology should make things a lot cheaper including policing.

If you say so. Considering that your thinking is stuck in the 10th century, I don't particularly care what your opinion on my thinking is.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

And when a cop is around they move on. Marked vehicles and uniforms accomplish far more than illusions, as anyone who had any experience at all in law enforcement would attest to. The benefits are well beyond your capacity to understant, as is apparent from your ridiculous and ignorant assertions.

Exactly my point. You see the expensive uniforms and equipment so you feel safe so you want to pay more, a sucker for their marketing.

Actually when I'm safe I want to pay less. Everyone wants to pay less when they feel safe. It is only when people feel threatened that they want to pay more.

EXC wrote:
I say more cops for less money.

Yeah there's a great strategy. Make it easier for criminals to be criminals by reducing oversight on the police, and reduce the motivation of the police forces to do their job by reducing their wages. Brilliant. Are you in a mafia?

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

If there is more crime, more police are hired. If crime drops, police forces are reduced. Fools like you don't understand that supply and demand are the basis of all society, not just economics. 

No when there is very high crime it drives away the business and taxpayers. Then you can't get more money for more cops. The police chief loses his job. So there is an incentive to not have too much crime, but no incentive to eliminate it. As long as people like you are OK with being a slave through high taxation, nothing will change.

All of history refutes your beliefs with facts. I'll let you look them up yourself. I've already given you a link to ignore. I'm not going to pull out a hundred links for you to ignore.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

 Yes, the US has the shittiest justice system in the world. I've been saying that for decades. So leave already.

So why rely on the government for so much since they are so shitty and overpriced?

I don't. I live in Canada, which happens to have a far superior justice system. Most of the problems you have to experience don't exist here.

EXC wrote:
 Do it yourself whenever possible and don't make government services such a for-profit monopolistic enterprise.

 

In other words might makes right. Because the dark ages were such an awesome time, we must resurrect them. Not.

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Vastet wrote:And changing it

Vastet wrote:

And changing it to maximize efficiency instead would still be ridiculously expensive. More so, in fact, because you must first devise an entirely new strategy of education, and then implement it.

It's already here it's called web based learning. And it practially costs nothing.

The reason education still costs so much is again it's a monopolistic goverment-business that exists to soak as much money as possible from the rest of society.

Vastet wrote:

That's great for the rare incident where someone sees someone else throw a brick through a window. But then we already have in place a system which allows you to make an arrest under the conditions that you witnessed the crime. Any citizen of either of our countries can make such an arrest. So actually, you are suggesting no real changes to the system at all.

Fire a ton of police and tell them to get a job in the competitive marketplace like the rest of us. You may need to draft people if you don't get enough volunteers. Today, people are too busy working to pay taxes that they have not time to train or serve.

 

Vastet wrote:

Everyone is already a volunteer cop, as per above.

OK where is my siren I can use to pull people over? Where can I get my non-consealed carry permit?

Vastet wrote:

Ironically, socialism could fix the problems you state better than any other system. By making participation in emergency services a requirement for all citizens. Libertarianism is absolutely incapable of arranging such.

You finally get it! I'm the true socialist.. If you define socailism as wanting  a ratiaion social contract. The rest are just scammers using government to get free stuff at everyone's expense.

Government is big business of the worst kind because it is a monopoly.

 

Vastet wrote:

Like a cop has time to call a panel of judges while chasing a suspect down the highway. Oh, and doing so would also happen to be illegal. Good call. ROTFL

I guess you've never heard of hands free calling and voice activated dialing. You're still living in 1970 with all your thinking. Even so, police call for backup all the time in emergency situations.

 

Vastet wrote:

Yeah there's a great strategy. Make it easier for criminals to be criminals by reducing oversight on the police, and reduce the motivation of the police forces to do their job by reducing their wages. Brilliant. Are you in a mafia?

If half the adult population was police, then each person on average would actually do very little. Maybe only a few hours of work you're whole life. So there is no  motivation or burnout issues.

As it is now. In high crime areas, they suffer from stress and burnout from too much dangerous work. In low crime areas, they sit on their ass most of the time or  pass out tickets for nothing while the rest of us work to pay them off.

Vastet wrote:

In other words might makes right. Because the dark ages were such an awesome time, we must resurrect them. Not.

In the dark ages, kings had massive armies they sent out to collect massive taxes and force the poor  feudal serfs to work to pay for the royal court and nobility and all the king's benefactors. What has changed, the illusion of democracy we have?

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen