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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government (Read 542 times)
Jeff
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #30 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 7:26am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 7:32pm:
It isn't the hiring of the security that leads to the tyranny, necessarily.  It's the almost inevitable mindset that, "It's not my job to protect myself, my family and my neighbors." 

I see some dude breaking in next door and I'm calling 9/11 knowing fully well that my neighbors will be raped, robbed and killed long before the typical police response time but I just shrug and say, "not my problem."  Sadly, most people would do exactly the same if it were themselves getting broken into.  That's how we have been trained to think.  No wonder the government runs over us. 

It could happen that farmers, storekeepers and blacksmiths could hire a sheriff to be on duty at all times and still consider themselves fully able to cancel that contract at any time and fully able to tell the sheriff to crappity smack off if he tries to get bossy.  But, even if the original founders of this government kept the free man mindset, likely their children would be too interested in plying their own trades to think about that.



Having some sort of organized full time security doesn't negate rights of self defense, it supplements them.

The Sheriff in my county is elected, so if people don't think he's doing a good job, he won't be re-elected, but yes, it's easier to fire private security because you can do it anytime. If there is a contract, the contract becomes void if the private security doeen't fulfill their obligations.

There is no cure for people being lazy and negligent, but requiring that people take responsibility for their own lives, teaching them from an early age that they will, as adults, be responsible for themselves and held responsible for the results of their actions certainly helps.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #31 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 7:42am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 7:32pm:
Because I know of so few examples of government that started that way and stayed that way.  In fact, I know zero examples of that.  But there are countless examples of governments that purported to be minimal government that will protect everyone equally and became authoritarian, most often in less than a generation.


Almost all of the problem governments began with grants of general power, either because their constitutions were written by governments and ratified by governments and empowered the government to alter the constitution without approval of the people. One party states were often to blame for this. The philosophical roots of these unlimited governments were not libertarian but "progressive". From their creation, they were based on the idea that government power can and should be used for the "common good" and the "general welfare" (as those ideals are defined by "elites" who are placed in control of the government.)

For the purpose of Nozick's philosophical demonstration, it is only important that a minimal government can be created by means that are moral by libertarian standards of morality.

If you are lucky enough to have a minimal government, it's probably best to ignore how it might have been created and worry about how to keep it minimal.

The government created by the U.S. Constitution was minimal, and we know how it became unlimited and thus immoral... Unfortunately, it was by an unconstitutional procedure that you approve of,  alteration of the Constitution by interpretations of SCOTUS, alterations that never received the approval of the people as per Article V, and thus are not legal alterations.

It is also obvious that some of the protection built into the Constitution to prevent the government from attempting to exercise powers that were not granted and thus breaching the limits of the Constitution were removed (i.e. the 17th Amendment.)
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #32 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 7:51am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:33pm:
That's right.  Each of these groups benefits from government "generosity" in some way.  They may well realize that they pay more than they get (except for those who live off government exclusively), but they go along with it because they don't view eliminating taxes as an option but they see that it is relatively easy to convince government to give your group more from the trough. 

Labor unions, in particular, have both large amounts of money to donate and large numbers of voters to deliver.   Of course they're going to get what they want.  Those of age for Social Security know that no government is ever going to reduce their payments, because old people vote.  You can see it in line at the polls, that they are over represented.



They could, in theory.  In practice, they don't.  That's a fact.  Why don't they?
The large majority of wealth transfers today are to the middle class.

Of course (some) wealthy business owners get subsidies, and unions get to keep their government granted monopoly powers, and non-working people get enough to keep them from being motivated to work...

There are numerous constituencies (including government employees) with motivation to make sure that people who are elected will keep the wealth transfers going, which is what makes it important to address the issue of wealth transfers by government from the perspective of morality and constitutional legality rather than trying to pit one recipient group against the others.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #33 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 7:54am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:33pm:
What if we don't grant them that power, but they take it anyway?  You often argue that is exactly what has happened in the U.S.



Take it away from them by the legal means of Article V of the Constitution. The states need to call for a constitutional convention and re-limit the federal government. (I'm not holding my breath...)
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #34 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 8:01am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:33pm:
A horrible system, but that is the natural consequence of granting government any power that we ourselves do not possess as individual rights.
You mean like the power to control the economy by "regulation" or the power to create a Central Bank that is given the power to create "money" and control finance?

But, no, those aren't granted powers.

Of course, as usual, you think that all the un-granted powers currently being exercised by our government arose somehow directly from the granted power to tax, and my reply, as usual, is that the federal government is not granted any unlimited power to tax.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #35 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 8:04am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:33pm:
Examples?


Current examples of limited representative government? I can't think of any.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #36 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 8:18am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 11:20pm:
Libertarians are often accused of being "anarchists."  Most especially, we are accused of that by by people who think that the U.S. Constitution is a libertarian plan for government. 

So this thread is for nothing else but for libertarians to say what is good about government.  The overwhelming majority of government actions are to the detriment of the people unfortunately, but some government actions are downright positive.

I'll start:

Farming.




Without government to keep roving bands of still-nomadic tribes from simply taking our food before we could harvest it, farming could never worked.
You began this thread by praising the existence of a government powerful enough to protect individual's property, and I agree with you on that, it's a proper function of government.

You've gone on in the thread to claim that the government you initially praised can't be prevented from usurping power and becoming tyrannical, claiming that if that government actually exists and has the power to tax to support it's function of protecting property, it will inevitably usurp more powers and soon be telling people what they must plant and how much of it, what they can't plant, and what they must do with the crops they harvest...

Are you sure you wanted to praise a government empowered to protect property?

Of course you meant that the "government" that would protect crops from invading tribes of barbarians would actually just be a completely voluntary militia composed of the farmers whose crops were under threat who would get together when someone's crops were stolen and try to prevent every one else's crops from being stolen too... but that's not a government, that's just what tribes did anyway before there was any government.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #37 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 11:34am
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Jeff wrote on Dec 28th, 2018 at 8:18am:
You began this thread by praising the existence of a government powerful enough to protect individual's property, and I agree with you on that, it's a proper function of government.

You've gone on in the thread to claim that the government you initially praised can't be prevented from usurping power and becoming tyrannical, claiming that if that government actually exists and has the power to tax to support it's function of protecting property, it will inevitably usurp more powers and soon be telling people what they must plant and how much of it, what they can't plant, and what they must do with the crops they harvest...

Are you sure you wanted to praise a government empowered to protect property?


Yes.  Because you can't farm if you can't own land.  People will just help themselves to what you grow and there won't be a way to stop them.  You can make canoes, mine gold and make jewelry or any other products and sell them and defend them from theft with locks, etc.  But what would you sell them for if not food?  So it is the farming that allows for those kinds of innovations. 

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Of course you meant that the "government" that would protect crops from invading tribes of barbarians would actually just be a completely voluntary militia composed of the farmers whose crops were under threat who would get together when someone's crops were stolen and try to prevent every one else's crops from being stolen too... but that's not a government, that's just what tribes did anyway before there was any government.


That was all the government they needed, assuming that same volunteer militia would also act as a police force. 

We've never had a government like that.  Most of the time government has simply been the nomads raiding the farmers in a systematic way by allowing them to keep enough of their crops to sustain and grow another crop next year.  They were only interested in protecting the farmers from other nomads. 

They had such contempt for the farmers who did not fight back that they imagined themselves to be divinely chosen royalty and passed that belief on to their children.  That was the genesis of government. 

The gradual acceptance of democracy and republican forms of government led to an era of relative freedom.  But the urge to control others is strong so that brief freedom was usurped by socialism which put the government right back on top of the people instead of the other way around.  It was greed that motivated people to accept socialism not the fear that motivated acceptance of the kings.

My suggestion is that we can should evolve again to the type of limited government that does protect property without infringing rights.

Not sure if we can, but I'm sure it's worth a try.



  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #38 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 4:04pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 28th, 2018 at 11:34am:
Yes.  Because you can't farm if you can't own land.  People will just help themselves to what you grow and there won't be a way to stop them.  You can make canoes, mine gold and make jewelry or any other products and sell them and defend them from theft with locks, etc.  But what would you sell them for if not food?  So it is the farming that allows for those kinds of innovations. 



I agree, malnourished people aren't great innovators.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #39 - Dec 28th, 2018 at 4:08pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 28th, 2018 at 11:34am:
That was all the government they needed, assuming that same volunteer militia would also act as a police force. 
They did, but not as any sort of militia. Policing was done by individuals or sometimes family combinations. That's how feuds got started.

The militia wasn't called out every time someone claimed their chicken had been stolen.
  
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