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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government (Read 749 times)
Jeff
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #10 - Dec 25th, 2018 at 7:06am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 24th, 2018 at 6:24pm:
Your problem is that you think you can skim, when you obviously can't. We were discussing what it would be moral to do.
Robert Nozick develops the idea that private security is moral, and that private security, through an invisible-hand process, will become an ultraminimal government, which, in order to remain moral, must transform itself into a minimal government.

The possible immorality of "free riders" on the benefits of minimal governments is far outweighed by the moral benefits of actually having a minimal government.

In any case, having a powerful private security firm that must use it's power to protect it's members against non-subscribers or other less powerful security services (which will have their own standards of "law" to enforce) ends up treating non-subscribers immorally by necessarily using force against them without their consent, which is why the only moral solution is for the most powerful private security firm to protect everyone equally, that is, become a minimal government.

Is it moral to allow anarchy when a minimal government can prevent it?
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #11 - Dec 25th, 2018 at 7:22am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 24th, 2018 at 1:24am:
We don't live in some pre-K fantasy where the right action always carries a reward, and the wrong action is always punished. People who want to pretend we live in that world are still children. When you grow up, you learn that doing the right thing is more often a sacrifice... and you still do it.
The rewards of the cumulative right actions of many people over time might not be gold stars for the individuals trying to do the "right" things, but they produce, by an invisible-hand process, a community or society or nation that is largely directed to moral actions.

Free markets with protected property rights are one of the best examples of how this occurs.

Much like Adam Smith's example, people working for selfish reasons, in order to accomplish their own goals (provide for their families, get rich, leave their children well off) end up making quality products that other people want and find useful.

The alternative, when people imagine that they are acting "for the common good" with purely selfless motives, does not end up producing good products that people want and find useful.

Again, in either instance, it's the cumulative actions of many people over time and place that produce the end results, whether they be good or bad.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #12 - Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:26pm
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 24th, 2018 at 6:24pm:
This is where the force starts, because even if the warlord doesn't make the freeloader pay, the farmers will demand it, or they'll toss him out (off his own property) on his ass.



Man, you are so right about that part.  I didn't realize how much so until I read for about the fifth time. 

The same villagers/farmers who will sheeplike hand over large chunks of their crops wouldn't revolt if the demanded percent were doubled but they would if they found out that red headed people weren't paying and were still getting the protection.

They'd run to the warlord and say, "You gotta make those redheads pay like everwon else!  What the hell do you have all those swords for?"

If the warrior said, "To protect you from pillagers?"

They'd say, "Well them redheads is robbin' us just as much as them pillagers by not paying their fair share!"

People are crappity smacking children is my point. 

Oh, you really sent me to my dark place with that one, Oppo!

  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #13 - Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:44pm
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Little Big Man wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:26pm:
The same villagers/farmers who will sheeplike hand over large chunks of their crops wouldn't revolt if the demanded percent were doubled but they would if they found out that red headed people weren't paying and were still getting the protection.
That seems like a completely unreasonable assertion Sack.

Would you mind trying to make it more clear and substantiating it somehow? Thanks.

Is the warlord in your example some sort of private protection agency? Or is it a ruthless tyrant?
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #14 - Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:59pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 7:06am:
Robert Nozick develops the idea that private security is moral, and that private security, through an invisible-hand process, will become an ultraminimal government, which, in order to remain moral, must transform itself into a minimal government.


Apparently I am totally channeling Nozick (which I've done before) with the lot of this. Great minds do sometimes think alike. I'll probably read Anarchy, State, and Utopia and be nodding my head the whole time.

Jeff wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 7:06am:
...which is why the only moral solution is for the most powerful private security firm to protect everyone equally, that is, become a minimal government.


See, this is where I want to draw a distinction between moral and fair.

When the warlord realises that more and more people are freeloading, so he just starts taking the tax money, this is absolutely immoral. But it's in the service of being fair. Now everyone is paying for what everyone is getting.

Jeff wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 7:06am:
Is it moral to allow anarchy when a minimal government can prevent it?


It's always moral to allow anything. The alternative is that it's my fault so many children are staving in Africa.

The whole reason morality alone can't possibly create positive duties is that no one can help everyone.

And because forming that minimal government - that first step you mention when the private security company realises it's going out of business because of the freeloaders, so it cracks down on them and becomes a government - is decidedly force, I have no choice but to say it shouldn't be done.

Yes, anarchy is going to be more violent, with more aggression. Should I commit a small aggression to stop much, much more aggression? No, because I should never commit an aggression.

Little Big Man wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:26pm:
Man, you are so right about that part.  I didn't realize how much so until I read for about the fifth time. 

The same villagers/farmers who will sheeplike hand over large chunks of their crops wouldn't revolt if the demanded percent were doubled but they would if they found out that red headed people weren't paying and were still getting the protection.

They'd run to the warlord and say, "You gotta make those redheads pay like everwon else!  What the hell do you have all those swords for?"

If the warrior said, "To protect you from pillagers?"

They'd say, "Well them redheads is robbin' us just as much as them pillagers by not paying their fair share!"

People are crappity smacking children is my point. 

Oh, you really sent me to my dark place with that one, Oppo!


Thanks. I tend to do that a lot.

The thing about the people who immediately snap when faced with freeloading is that they're sort of right to do so (within this %$#&ed up system that's made up of children).

I'm not saying it's ultimately morally correct, I'm just saying that if you let people freeload, they gain an advantage, and they win natural selection, which destroys the society you were just trying to create.

I think every societal collapse is ultimately due to freeloaders.

Society creates wealth. Wealth attracts parasites. Parasites increase more greatly than non-parasites. Wealth can't be created, because everyone is parasites. Society collapses.

Break this cycle, and you can have a sustainable, basically utopia.

I think one of the things to pay attention to is who just wants to live away from the other guy, and who is insisting on proximity.

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/aiy8GJHlozA/maxresdefault.jpg

This is a picture of mangoworms infesting a dog. If each could speak, the mangoworms would insist on proximity, and the dog would be happy to just live away from the mangoworms.

If the mangoworms were cleverer than the dog, it's not hard to imagine the mental gymnastics they would use and what they would say to justify their goal of proximity. My guess is that they would structure society so as to bind the issue of proximity inextricably to other issues, then demonise the dog.

The real world is complex and parasitism is not only difficult to identify, it often isn't aggression, and not only that, the world is often structured so that taking actions against the parasitism would be aggression.

But I think the simple question of who would flourish and who would die as a result of mere separation really reduces the equation to something everyone can grasp.

...And I know it departs from capitalism, but if you want a functional, sustainable society, you absolutely have to ask the question.

You have two classes of people: A, and B. When A and B live together, A flourishes and B is just barely hanging on.

If, when separated, B suddenly flourishes and A dies, A was a parasite.

If there can't be separation, but all B does is cry for separation, and B is demonised for it by A, there's only one conclusion I can come to about the matter, unless B is smarter than I am (LOL!), has already figured all this out, and is trying to deceive me specifically (since no one else seems to have figured this out), and furthermore with the ultimate goal of achieving the separation (as if I could do anything about it) and then actually being worse off for it.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #15 - Dec 25th, 2018 at 5:04pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:44pm:
That seems like a completely unreasonable assertion Sack.

Would you mind trying to make it more clear and substantiating it somehow? Thanks.

Is the warlord in your example some sort of private protection agency? Or is it a ruthless tyrant?


Excellent question!  It would go the same either under a voluntarily paid government that performs limited service like protection or under a tyrannical government that existed primarily for the purpose of collecting taxes.  Where it would not happen is in a system like ours.

People are much more apt to whine about some perceived "unfairness" than about how much of their wealth is being taken.

It's only in a representative republic that profiteers of the franchise can use their "right to vote," to convince their elected representatives to steal wealth from producers and give it to them.
  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #16 - Dec 25th, 2018 at 6:50pm
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I've said in the past that there is a sharp line between a government that taxes and a government that doesn't tax.  My belief has been that the government will always spiral into corruption and tyranny if it is ever allowed to use force against non-aggressors to take their wealth.

My evidence for that is that this is what has happened every single time a government has claimed or been given the power to tax.

But, I am starting to backtrack.  I am starting to think that it is at this point:

Little Big Man wrote on Dec 24th, 2018 at 1:12pm:
If a group of farmers wants to pay people who don't like pushing plows to carry guns on their behalf instead, that's perfectly legitimate.  If the nomadic tribes offer to protect them from other nomadic tribes for a fee, or just for the privilege of dropping in for supper from time to time, that's legitimate also. 




that the spiral into tyranny begins.  The mistake is to turn over responsibility for our safety to strangers.  Why would we expect them to respect us?  The kind of people with the ability and inclination to earn their living through violence, even the very legitimate violence of defending property, are only going to respect people with the same propensity.  They are unlikely to be respectful of people who are able to pay their fees because they are really really good at growing turnips.  Growing turnips is much more valuable than waving a sword around, but try to tell the warrior that.

If communities band together to protect each other, it must be through some form of militia with no government agency above them.  All families who want to remain both free and safe have an incentive to contribute not only funding but staffing for that militia.  The minute the people's arms are in any way subservient to the government's arms, tyranny is inevitable if history is any guide.

  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #17 - Dec 26th, 2018 at 8:24am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:59pm:
See, this is where I want to draw a distinction between moral and fair.

When the warlord realises that more and more people are freeloading, so he just starts taking the tax money, this is absolutely immoral. But it's in the service of being fair. Now everyone is paying for what everyone is getting.


There is certainly a danger that a private security firm or security association could turn into a tyrannical government ruled by a warlord, but Nozick was theorizing and demonstrating logically and rationally how it is possible for a minimal government to be created morally, that is without ever having to use force or fraud against anyone. I believe his point was that if minimal governments can be created without violating libertarian moral strictures, that minimal governments that exist can be viewed as moral rather than illegitimate.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #18 - Dec 26th, 2018 at 8:28am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 4:59pm:
It's always moral to allow anything.
This is far to broad and I can't accept it. Clearly you claim it would be immoral to stop theft and murder and moral to allow thieves and murderers to do what they want to others.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #19 - Dec 26th, 2018 at 8:34am
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Little Big Man wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 5:04pm:
Excellent question!  It would go the same either under a voluntarily paid government that performs limited service like protection or under a tyrannical government that existed primarily for the purpose of collecting taxes.  Where it would not happen is in a system like ours.

People are much more apt to whine about some perceived "unfairness" than about how much of their wealth is being taken.

It's only in a representative republic that profiteers of the franchise can use their "right to vote," to convince their elected representatives to steal wealth from producers and give it to them.
You're saying that people will accept exorbitant taxation without complaint as long as none of the revenue raised by the taxing is spent on "redheads" or some other dis-favored minority group?

Do I have that right?

What can you offer to substantiate that claim?

Have you ever wondered why a simple majority of voters made up of middle class people haven't used the process you imagine to take control of the government and plunder the rich for their own benefit?
  
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