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  • #16
    Let me add something Jerk… and this is inchoate, but something that might cause me to disaffiliate was if extra layers (even ones I agreed with) were added to the "pure" message. I like that the platform is "pure" and individual Libertarians can be right, left, or plumb-line. Left Libertarians have gotten really raucous, and while what they have had to add is valuable, I don't think it is libertarianism qua libertarianism. I think it is perfectly libertarian for a bunch of religious fundamentalists to voluntary start some community with rules that others consider repressive, but they agree to them. Some left Libertarians say that it is antithetical to libertarianism itself.. that allowing certain liberties is anti-liberty which makes as much sense to me as slavery is freedom and war is peace. If that group started putting stuff like that in the Platform, I would likely disaffiliate. I do not think freedom means anything unless there is freedom to allow people to be voluntarily doing things I don't like (and I don't like that my faith has become known as the denier of cakes rather than the ambassadors of peace). And the rest of us could boycott, shame, ostracize, not move there, etc, as we deem fit or not.

    And if the word "micro aggression" ever appeared in the sense used by SJWs, I would be gone. And ask someone to shoot me. So triggered.

    The same with right Libertarians btw, but they are not as vocal or influential right now (they are supporting Rand Paul-- when he doesn't get the nomination, we may have an influx). Some argue that Libertarianism require a socially conservative society discriminatory to homosexuals. I reject that. Though I would argue in LibPar they could do just that. And more libertine groups could have their own that frowned on what they would consider prudery. I would not live in either.

    (if you haven't guessed, I sympathize with plumb-line Libertarians, though my pragmatic side probably ends up aligning more with left Libertarians, for peace and practice, not for philosophy)
    Last edited by Darth Xena; 05-03-2015, 11:57 PM.
    The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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    • #17
      Oh crap, adding something more Jerk. I re-read through some of what I wrote on LINO and the like, and it seems kinda butthurt, and I don't want to give that impression. I see value in calling out other Libertarians for deviations, just not how it is usually done. When that is said of me, I actually do find value in it because I step back and ask, am I really just not libertarian in philosophy on this issue or is the objection merely that I advocate for incrementalism and pragmatism on the way to LibPar (though some would say that approach is inherently wrong--- they are welcome to that opinion). For example, I had a discussion with a friend wherein I defended the radical opposition to any anti-discimination laws, and finally at the end he just said, well I am not a very good libertarian on these issues. I totally respect that. When someone is generally a libertarian but has some deviations, I usually just say "well on that issue, such and such is not libertarian." Likely Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson falls into that category on several issues. But I am not going to say he in toto is "not a libertarian," that would be silly.

      As another example, I am a very bad libertarian on issues of end-of-life decisions such as euthanasia. I know the libertarian position, I am a terrible libertarian when it comes to that. I hope this wasn't just a ramble,but actually clarified things. The last thing I want to be is a butthurt libertarian, they are THE WORST:)
      The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Darth Xena View Post
        You know what, I must apologize, you opened my eyes to the fact that I am way too used to rapping with other Libertarians and just assuming everyone knows the "lingo." Christians do that all the time, and it is annoying to non-Christians… sorry:(
        So long as you don't threaten me with LibHades, it's all good.

        Oh crap, I'm turning pinko:)


        I can't believe you could read that out of what I said.

        I hear ya. There were actually a few ideological shifts that came first along these lines. First I went from being philosophically in favour of the death penalty but pragmatically opposed to being just plain opposed. Which led to me becoming much more skeptical of war.
        In 1947, the War Department was reconstituted as the Department of Defense, no doubt much to the delight of a certain "English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic" who otherwise could never have lived to see 1984. I'm less sure he'd favour Yankees absconding with his English spellings.

        LOL, a bit of both. Anarchists (some) are kinda resentful of what they see as a hijacking of the name for their philosophy by minarchists. So some anarchists call me a libertarian in name only, but yes, I have have had non-Party members pull a “you should just read your Bible” moment on me, by saying “you should just read your Platform” line when I support gay marriage. And let me explain. I do not believe the government has a right to license personal relationships. The “pure” Libertarian position (which is in the Platform) is to deny government that right. Practically I see that isn’t happening soon, and I see a minority that wants the same recognitions and privileges and is denied them. Though I am loath to get the State involved, pragmatically, I think State recognition of gay marriage is equitable, and is a stepping stone. It isn’t ideal. I think the State will get out of marriage when polygamy (and ironically I think it will be a religious liberties issues as we get more fundamentalist Muslim immigrants) comes ot the fore, and I think it will. It is kinda convoluted and not pure, so that makes me a LINO to some.
        When individuals support each other, there's less need for government assistance. This is a positive argument for state recognition and encouragement of stable, self-supporting relationships, including gay marriage. I suspect this is an issue where "better" can be the enemy of "best" for a libertarian.

        A better irony is in that civics thread where a participant criticized libertarians for calling other libertarians, not libertarian, and called them pseudolibertarian. It hurt my head.
        Pman, if you're reading this, we need another thread: "You just might be a pseudolibertarian if ..."

        I am sure, but I also know that my level of skill at defense hasn’t caught up to my convictions. I get schooled almost daily by other libertarians. And I am still deciding where I land on the “thick” v “thin” scale etc.
        If you're talking about this, then I don't have time this morning to suss it out. If you know of a better summary of the differences, please post a link.

        Indeed we can have our thought world, but we have to live in the real one. While philosophically I can cheer on Rothbard when he said something like “If there was a magical button to be pushed to abolish all State infringements of liberty, I would break my finger pushing it” – realistically if that button were pushed, society would collapse.
        Full context might change my opinion, but as written, I'd call Rothbard's quote an act of intellectual abnegation. It conveniently neglects the need to illuminate a path from here to there.

        A positive right is an obligation that someone has to provide you with something. Libertarians generally deny positive rights (unless agreed to under contract, or under principles of guardianship as with children). There are no natural positive rights for adults under libertarianism (this is a generalization, speaking of majority views). A negative right is the right you have that someone not interfere, such as your right to life and liberty.

        For instance, I have no obligation to feed you, clothe you, or provide you with sustenance. I do have an obligation not to prevent you from doing those things yourself. Once again, we are talking about proper uses of force and coercion, and with a minarchist, the role of the State. This does not mean I cannot feel or argue for or shame others for not having a moral obligation to do those things.
        Okay, this is very ... different ... for me. I think of rights as defining what I can or can't do, whereas these definitions seem to be focused on the obligations of others. Positive in the sense of things they must do for me, and negative in the sense of things they must not do to me. It seems to make sense in context, but the context is foreign for me, and seems to deny or evade the need for personal responsibility. I'll have to think more about this.

        Gracias, I appreciate it.

        Unfortunately it is serious. People actually do argue the affirmative--- we have our extremists. I hate just posting links… but since this is somewhat of a side issue, the fact that there are people who do argue such ridiculous thing is what makes an article entitled “The Case Against Egoistic, Libertarian Baby-Starving” necessary. It makes me die a little inside each time. http://www.rogerbissell.com/id11kk.html
        Re-ordered for a perceived common relevance:

        Sorry, truly I am. The Free State Project is kinda fascinating…. A bunch of libertarians moved to New Hampshire to try to get something close to LibPar. It is libertarians of all kind, and a ton of anarchists.
        On an unexpectedly related note, a friend posted a link on FB to Mother Jones' auto-biography yesterday (to a chapter on child labor anyway), and I found myself reading the whole thing. I think you'll like this.
        In 1893, J. A. Wayland with a number of others decided to demonstrate to the workers the advantage of co-operation over competition. A group of people bought land in Tennessee and founded the Ruskin Colony. They invited me to join them.

        "No," said I, "your colony will not succeed. You have to have religion to make a colony successful, and labor is not yet a religion with labor."

        ...

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        • #19
          While I've considered the entire post I've broken off above, and glanced at the sequels, I'll have to continue my responses tomorrow, or maybe even Thursday. My work-week is front-loaded, but I wanted to respond to as much as I could today. Try not to get too far ahead of me, cannibal.

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          • #20
            Hi Jerk, I won't go ahead of you, take your time. It will get too chaotic if I spin off. The only thing I wanted to add was on that "thick" v "thin" link… yes that link did a decent job in an overview of the issues, I just personally don't care for that site or that author, too much flowery terms and appeals to fluff. And on some issues, I don't think he is particularly libertarian (though massively libertarian on others)-- he can see a justification for single-payer healthcare system if I understand him right, and there is not way I can justify that as even remotely libertarian ---unless I am misunderstanding him, which is possible.

            Here is an article I found instructive on libertarianism qua libertarianism (i.e. thin libertarianism):

            http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/29/rp_29_10.pdf

            And one on "purity" which I think is important (it is highly critical of the LP, and the criticisms are valid):

            https://www.lewrockwell.com/2006/07/...tarian-purity/

            From the piece:

            A political movement needs radicals to keep its end goals in mind and to inspire and encourage those entering into the movement, and those who may deviate here or there, to hold their sights high.
            PS I work 10 hours a day during the week, so my no worries.
            The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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            • #21
              Now where was I? Somewhere around here, I'm thinking ...

              Originally posted by Darth Xena View Post
              I am likely one of those kooks:) but I am nowhere near qualified to argue well on economics. Most Libertarians are adherents to an Austrian model of economics. Whether or not this is essential to Libertarianism is debatable as I can conceive of a voluntary society organized on communistic principles in LibPar (abbreviation that Libertarians love to use for Libertarian Paradise.)
              The flashing lights started with the founder's statement that ... maybe ... a land tax would be better than an income tax ... and the sirens went off when he went full flatline on the gold standard. It appears he believes a gold standard can somehow annul his otherwise undisclosed issues with a "fiat" currency. Surely, you can peg x dollars to y grams, but the market will scale that right back to a floating standard. To believe this is not so, is to embrace kookery ... or Venezuelan economics if we're looking for a real world example.

              The Austrian model, for all its flaws, has the advantage of at least getting it wrong, and the even greater advantage of getting some things right. But I'd happily invite anyone who doesn't believe in econometrics to step into the market with me and watch while I arbitrage their last dime. Admittedly, markets do not always behave rationally. There is a human factor. That's a fact. But if you bet against the objective models on a consistent basis, you will lose your shirt ... and no, I'm not going there, lovely as the prospect might be.

              If you're not ready to make substantive comments on this, no worries, we've got plenty of other things to look at.

              Such as ...

              Originally posted by The Jerk™
              Now, to your justice argument, there's no prima facie reason to believe abstract rights can't conflict.
              Originally posted by The Cannibal®
              I am not sure I can adequately defend this right now, but I actually do think there is such a reason. Let me try to explain. Remember, we are talking not about moral duties or rights, but justified force (in a legal—state sense)
              That much is granted.

              I was taking as a premise in my statement, a best case scenario where all facts are known.
              As is this.

              I don’t think we can make philosophical statements about rights without starting there.
              But this much is not, which is why I can acknowledge the premises above without admitting a prima facie premise of non-conflicting rights. In fact, I've seen theological arguments about divine omniscience that successfully, in my view, split the difference between knowing all that will happen and knowing all that could happen. Without taking a position on either horn, the point remains that philosophical arguments do not require all facts be known.

              Originally posted by There is no Jerk™
              Real life is messy. In this instance, we've granted that no one else is going to be harmed, but that's a claim that could be true, or false, or even false without the knowledge of either participant ... a small child sleeping by the bank of the river he's about to drive into. But it could be that the guy trying to stop the driver knows, and has the right under justice to try to prevent it, and the driver doesn't, and retains the right to resist.
              Originally posted by Only a cannibal® from 9-to-5
              When I speak of rights here, I am speaking of actionable rights, and have to presume the stance of the outside observer with all the facts. In that circumstance, you have the right to stand in the place of the child and exercise the rights of self-defense to that child. You are not exercising a right over the man to prevent him from killing himself, but to prevent him from killing someone else. While the parties at the time may not all know this, in adjucticating the matter or philosophically talking about rights, these facts are relevant. The man does not have the right to resist you preventing him from harming someone else, but does have the right to resist you stopping him from killing himself. I know this is splitting hairs, but this is how I resolve it, and still maintain there cannot be this conflict in rights. I could argue that if you know that there is a child, in tackling him, in order to resolve the conflict over proper coercion, you should be saying “look you asshat, go jump over there, there’s a kid there.” These are the types of facts that would go into an after the fact adjudication. But yes, life gets messy, and sometimes the causal chains and relationships are not immediately clear.
              "Adjudicating" is exactly the right word here, in the sense that participants in an action cannot be the final arbiters of whether their conflicting rights (see what I did there?) were defensible. But neither can we require full knowledge for human actors without divorcing them from free exercise of their rights. Acolytes at a thousand Buddhist temples may be satisfied to sit and wait for enlightenment, but the rest of us want to get something done, today maybe, and the philosophical freedom to do so before we've risen to join the Bodhisattvas.

              THANK you for that insight… you are right. Motivations make all the difference in the world for determining if someone holds to something or not. Externally, then, your actions would not be unlibertarian. And your last sentence is very interesting to me, because things that like are why I hold to a deontological view of the proper role of coercion and force and not a utilitarian one. I don’t think we can ever really know the ultimate utilitiy. Deontological ethics are probably the most popular in Libertarians today.
              The closest I come to deontological ethics is in my support for the 1st amendment.

              We Libertarians don’t trust the government to pay attention to the Constitution so we like to repeat the things that we think are important. Many Libertarians are not Constitutionalists either… that is another issue.
              The government regularly passes laws that the government finds unconstitutional, too.


              Okay, I think that's enough on these ancillary issues, though I'll chase any other thoughts you'd like to share on them later. In my next post, I want to get back to the less controversial aspects of Libertarianism, the "You might be ..." issues.

              Tomorrow maybe?

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              • #22
                So long as you don't threaten me with LibHades, it's all good.
                Arguably we are already … (just kidding). LibHades is where you have to attend Party Board meetings.

                When individuals support each other, there's less need for government assistance. This is a positive argument for state recognition and encouragement of stable, self-supporting relationships, including gay marriage. I suspect this is an issue where "better" can be the enemy of "best" for a libertarian.
                That argument is why I changed my mind on the issue before I was a Libertarian. It was an outgrowth of why I thought the state had a case to recognize and encourage infertile couples or those that said they would not have children, to be a model in general and provide stability. Now I don’t think there is any argument for state recognition or encouragement and that such is the role of a free society, but pragmatics…. And arguably equal protection. Though I think polygamous people are getting denied it if we go down the equal protection road, and we go down the rabbit hole… which is what I ultimately want. I see zero reason for free people to not have “line marriages” ala The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

                Full context might change my opinion, but as written, I'd call Rothbard's quote an act of intellectual abnegation. It conveniently neglects the need to illuminate a path from here to there.
                He is macho flashing somewhat, so I let it go at that. So that you don’t have to look it up: http://michiganlp.org/?page_id=1578

                The Libertarian Macho Flash has much in common with sexual exhibitionism. A common-looking person exposes his political beliefs in a shocking way. Invariably, he disgusts people or at least shakes them up. The Libertarian Macho Flasher displays his views in the most offensive way or exhibits whichever views are most likely to offend the audience.


                I don't agree entirely with that author, I like to flash once in a while, but I take his point and try to tone it down. Running into a room of Christians and just dropping, "Well you know, why shouldn't heroin be legal?" isn't going to be as effective as "Well you know, no one has a right to have a cake."

                The flashing lights started with the founder's statement that ... maybe ... a land tax would be better than an income tax ... and the sirens went off when he went full flatline on the gold standard. It appears he believes a gold standard can somehow annul his otherwise undisclosed issues with a "fiat" currency. Surely, you can peg x dollars to y grams, but the market will scale that right back to a floating standard. To believe this is not so, is to embrace kookery ... or Venezuelan economics if we're looking for a real world example.

                The Austrian model, for all its flaws, has the advantage of at least getting it wrong, and the even greater advantage of getting some things right. But I'd happily invite anyone who doesn't believe in econometrics to step into the market with me and watch while I arbitrage their last dime. Admittedly, markets do not always behave rationally. There is a human factor. That's a fact. But if you bet against the objective models on a consistent basis, you will lose your shirt ... and no, I'm not going there, lovely as the prospect might be.
                And it would be a lovely prospect indeed…. Uh oh, I might be macho flashing.

                If you're not ready to make substantive comments on this, no worries, we've got plenty of other things to look at.
                I am really not. I understand the stuff when I am knee deep in the works talking about it, but not qualified to make substantive comments, other to say I do agree with Noland on these things--- he wasn't opposed to a floating standard btw, as long as it was determined by a truly free market. (nitpick, Noland is probably the most influential founder of the LP, but there were others, he described himself as co-founder, but he is prominent enough that he is referred to both bitterly and fondly as The Noland.) I do think a very Libertarian argument can be made for a land tax (having to do with grounding a Lockean concept of private property and considering the payment for the common defense and minarchist services to be tied at least in part for physical land and the paying of the taxes to be part of mixing your labor with the land to establish homesteading rights). Also I think a minarchist presupposition can support a consumption tax. This is another issue that sometimes draws the charge of LINO as to some unless you say all taxation is theft at all times, you have left the plantation. I do think nearly all taxation is theft. And if I could be persuaded that there are viable alternative means to raise the funds needed for the only just functions of the state, I would be persuaded that all taxation was theft. Right now, I am in the uncomfortable position of some taxation is a necessary evil, but this could be due to a lack of imaginative fund-raising ideas on my part. I do believe at this time though that a land tax or other natural resource tax could be crafted that was not theft (and I think that is what Noland was getting at). And let me add, that I don’t think he was fixed on a gold standard, though that is what is preferred. He favoured competing non-state currencies that could be somewhat “fiat”--- I am positive he would have had no issue with bitcoin (he died before that came about). It was government-mandated currency that is in focus in his statement.

                Abolishing the income tax is pretty much scripture with Libertarians as it views taxing productivity and targeted income redistribution as inherently immoral and state aggression against property. And I don’t deviate from that orthodoxy.


                But this much is not, which is why I can acknowledge the premises above without admitting a prima facie premise of non-conflicting rights. In fact, I've seen theological arguments about divine omniscience that successfully, in my view, split the difference between knowing all that will happen and knowing all that could happen. Without taking a position on either horn, the point remains that philosophical arguments do not require all facts be known.
                We probably have to agree to disagree because I just “see” the fundamental conflict and to establish “rules” from which to work out from, you do have to presume you know the situation you are philosophizing from. I find equal competing rights that are mutually exclusive (i.e. a right to assert force justly and a right to resist force justly) incoherent. If I have a right to do something, I have a right to do it without force against me, you don’t have the right to stop me through force. But if you have a right to defend yourself, there is a conflict. If I have a right that you stop, I have a cause of action against you for the harm you did to me. When you add in the third party, you add in different motivations for the force. You do not have the right in justice to stop me from keeping you from harming someone, but I only have the right to stop you to insure that end, not to keep you from jumping off the cliff at a point away from the third party. Does it get complex? Yes. All ethical/justice systems will.

                I don’t see a purpose into getting into the divine, since we are not divine.

                "Adjudicating" is exactly the right word here, in the sense that participants in an action cannot be the final arbiters of whether their conflicting rights (see what I did there?) were defensible.
                Ultimately and perfectly? No. But we have to live in the world we have. I do see what you did, but I don’t think describing them as “conflicting” rights makes them actually conflicting rights but is an artifact of the way we use language. It makes them apparently conflicting rights, but I don’t think rights can truly ever conflict. Are there going to be fuzzy-edged situations? Yes of course. I think abortion ends up being one of those fuzzy-edged situations which is why it bitterly divides Libertarians. Some (on the fringe to my way of thinking) reject a hierarchy of rights and as I said, proportionality (otherwise known as the MAP, which is minimization of aggression). I believe a right to life is higher on the scale than a right to property, which is why I am obligated to find the “gentlest” means possible to defend my property rights if possible in order to respect your right to life. This is of course once again deontologically based.

                But neither can we require full knowledge for human actors without divorcing them from free exercise of their rights. Acolytes at a thousand Buddhist temples may be satisfied to sit and wait for enlightenment, but the rest of us want to get something done, today maybe, and the philosophical freedom to do so before we've risen to join the Bodhisattvas.
                I don’t see where we disagree, we have to act in the world we know.

                The closest I come to deontological ethics is in my support for the 1st amendment.
                There are other kinds of Libertarians, but the vast majority support a deontological framework and most with some consequentialism thrown in (though most don’t recognize it--- I think monarchism requires some pragmatic consequentialism. Von Mises and Hayek both thought so as well.) IMHO deontological premises obviates the need to need to know the whole scope as utilitarianism would seem to and avoids treating humans as a means rather than an end in themselves, which is a foundational presupposition of most Libertarians.


                The government regularly passes laws that the government finds unconstitutional, too.
                Okay, I think that's enough on these ancillary issues, though I'll chase any other thoughts you'd like to share on them later. In my next post, I want to get back to the less controversial aspects of Libertarianism, the "You might be ..." issues.

                Tomorrow maybe?
                Hopefully you don’t mind if I start another post right now, only because I found a great article that has a quote that says it better than I could.
                Last edited by Darth Xena; 05-05-2015, 01:41 PM.
                The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                • #23
                  So if I understood you right, we are going on to a next "you might be a libertarian if…" (and looking through what we have already gone through, we have gone through a great deal of it--- the foundations of what puts someone in Club Libertarian are not very numerous, as you saw Noland articulated only five, and others dispute that monetary policy part)

                  Here is from a good article I read earlier, it can seem a bit macho-flashy, but I do think it contains a great deal of truth:

                  The drug war is a great libertarian litmus test. No one who supports government at any level having any kind of a war on drugs is even remotely a libertarian. It doesn’t matter what else he believes about foreign policy, the welfare state, the warfare state, or the surveillance state. No one can “lean libertarian” and support such a gross violation of individual liberty, personal freedom, property rights, a free market, and a free society as the war on drugs.
                  The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                  • #24
                    I'm going to hit back on a couple more of these before we move on, because I want to avoid the need to do more reading until my work-week ends tomorrow ... (though there's a good chance I'm about to have a new class dumped on me to start on Monday, and I'll have to go into overdrive to get prepped up ... I'll know by tonight ... I really need to learn to say no.)

                    Originally posted by Darth Xena View Post
                    Abolishing the income tax is pretty much scripture with Libertarians as it views taxing productivity and targeted income redistribution as inherently immoral and state aggression against property. And I don’t deviate from that orthodoxy.
                    I've read condemnation of both corporatist and state-sponsored aggression in these links, but the real vitriol seems directed solely at the state, which brings up some interesting questions. Are libertarians even aware that "targeted income redistribution" occurs in both of these domains? Just as a practical consideration, what force outside the state is powerful enough to push back against the modern trend of flat-lined wages during a period of radically increased productivity?

                    Now that's a big old rabbit hole, so maybe we should just skip it.

                    But I remain interested in seeing why libertarians think a productivity tax should be considered less moral than a wealth tax (which is what a land tax amounts to), or a consumption tax for that matter (even assuming we considered the acquisition of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds consumption as well.) To me, it seems uncontroversial that those who acquire most of the benefits should pay most of the freight.

                    We probably have to agree to disagree because I just “see” the fundamental conflict and to establish “rules” from which to work out from, you do have to presume you know the situation you are philosophizing from. I find equal competing rights that are mutually exclusive (i.e. a right to assert force justly and a right to resist force justly) incoherent. If I have a right to do something, I have a right to do it without force against me, you don’t have the right to stop me through force. But if you have a right to defend yourself, there is a conflict. If I have a right that you stop, I have a cause of action against you for the harm you did to me. When you add in the third party, you add in different motivations for the force. You do not have the right in justice to stop me from keeping you from harming someone, but I only have the right to stop you to insure that end, not to keep you from jumping off the cliff at a point away from the third party. Does it get complex? Yes. All ethical/justice systems will.

                    [...]

                    Ultimately and perfectly? No. But we have to live in the world we have. I do see what you did, but I don’t think describing them as “conflicting” rights makes them actually conflicting rights but is an artifact of the way we use language. It makes them apparently conflicting rights, but I don’t think rights can truly ever conflict. Are there going to be fuzzy-edged situations? Yes of course. I think abortion ends up being one of those fuzzy-edged situations which is why it bitterly divides Libertarians. Some (on the fringe to my way of thinking) reject a hierarchy of rights and as I said, proportionality (otherwise known as the MAP, which is minimization of aggression). I believe a right to life is higher on the scale than a right to property, which is why I am obligated to find the “gentlest” means possible to defend my property rights if possible in order to respect your right to life. This is of course once again deontologically based.
                    Now here, I see the admission of a hierarchy of rights as tacit acceptance of conflicting rights, and so I'm happy to join with you and Yossarian, shaking hands and exiting smiling.

                    Hopefully you don’t mind if I start another post right now, only because I found a great article that has a quote that says it better than I could.
                    I'm actually okay with you getting ahead of me, so long as it's not too far. I'm doing my best to engage with everything substantive, but if it turns into a smörgåsbord, I'll have to start picking my favorite dishes.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Darth Xena View Post
                      That argument is why I changed my mind on the issue before I was a Libertarian. It was an outgrowth of why I thought the state had a case to recognize and encourage infertile couples or those that said they would not have children, to be a model in general and provide stability. Now I don’t think there is any argument for state recognition or encouragement and that such is the role of a free society, but pragmatics…. And arguably equal protection. Though I think polygamous people are getting denied it if we go down the equal protection road, and we go down the rabbit hole… which is what I ultimately want. I see zero reason for free people to not have “line marriages” ala The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
                      Now this is worthy of its own response.

                      I think Heinlein's conception of a line marriage is easier to defend than polygamy because of its durability. Even in a traditional marriage, the loss of one spouse can be relatively easy to repair through remarriage. And while that's true for polygamous marriages as well, the durability is not symmetric. It's only if the spouse is female. My Senegalese friend Afia lost his biological mother while retaining three moms, making the loss far more limited than in a traditional marriage. But if it had been his dad instead ... that's a lot of women and kids tossed out into the cold, or the heat rather, as we're talking about sub-Saharan Africa.

                      That said, beyond my inherent interest in the subject, the real reason I'm responding to this piecemeal is because this is you, on TWeb, supporting gay marriage. The mind boggles at the conniptions that would ensue out in Civics if this wasn't a one-on-one. Just imagine the dudgeon! Now that would truly be a lovely prospect.

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                      • #26
                        Hola Jerk:)

                        Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                        I'm going to hit back on a couple more of these before we move on, because I want to avoid the need to do more reading until my work-week ends tomorrow ... (though there's a good chance I'm about to have a new class dumped on me to start on Monday, and I'll have to go into overdrive to get prepped up ... I'll know by tonight ... I really need to learn to say no.)
                        No worries, I always have a brutal work schedule. She works hard for the money.

                        I've read condemnation of both corporatist and state-sponsored aggression in these links, but the real vitriol seems directed solely at the state, which brings up some interesting questions. Are libertarians even aware that "targeted income redistribution" occurs in both of these domains?
                        Because the crony capitalism is enabled and feeds the State. If the State was minimal, this wouldn’t be the issue. And the State has a monopoly on coercive legal force, so it makes it more pernicious.

                        Just as a practical consideration, what force outside the state is powerful enough to push back against the modern trend of flat-lined wages during a period of radically increased productivity?
                        A truly freed market. The defense of this would be beyond my capabilities at this time however.


                        But I remain interested in seeing why libertarians think a productivity tax should be considered less moral than a wealth tax (which is what a land tax amounts to), or a consumption tax for that matter (even assuming we considered the acquisition of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds consumption as well.) To me, it seems uncontroversial that those who acquire most of the benefits should pay most of the freight.
                        Since the freight should be minimal, as we have no rights-based obligations to sacrifice ourselves for others, there isn’t more benefits. Other than unequal outcomes that is just life. Taxes are a burden, and the last thing that should be burdened is productivity, particularly unevenly burdened as it disincentivizes achievement and the market. This discussion is difficult in the midst of a non-minarchist State as the dynamics have way too many factors. Some (and I could be persuaded as well) would support a flat tax that isn’t tiered, in which those producing more would pay more, but at the same rate as that is not forcing others to sacrifice for the benefit of others sheerly because they are more successful. A land tax is not necessarily a wealth tax (and I am only competent to address this only tangentially) in the hypothetical minarchist state for these reasons (though there could be more): common defense and infrastructure could be proportioned by how much of the national land is owned and Libertarians generally base property rights on a Lockean philosophical foundation in which your right to the land is based on homesteading principles, including mixing your labour with the land. What is sufficient labour is debatable, and it could be argued that maintenance of the infrastructure and defense needed to secure those rights is a necessary mixing. A consumption tax is much more voluntary in that for most good people choose to buy or not buy. Of course, Libertarians are looking for other ways to fund necessary minarchist needs, for instance, a lottery (such were done in the country’s founding). It is then just a tax on people who can’t do math, like me.


                        Now here, I see the admission of a hierarchy of rights as tacit acceptance of conflicting rights, and so I'm happy to join with you and Yossarian, shaking hands and exiting smiling.
                        <unclasps hands> First you don’t want to remove my shirt, and now you want to hold my hand? Such mixed signals! Oh wait, you just said shake hands. I feel somehow let down.

                        Actually, this is truly helpful for the apparent agreement is due to my lack of skill at wording things that are in my head. My terminology of hierarchy of rights was unfortunate and confusing to someone who isn’t ideologically on the same plane. It would have been likely not confusing to another libertarian as we have the same presuppositions. What I was calling the hierarchy of rights (bad me, bad me) was just another way to say that I believe the NAP implies the MAP (minimization of aggression principle). In a simple case, you unknowingly trespass on my property, and I know it was an unknowing trespass. You are violating my property rights. You are not threatening me in any way. You are a living person with a right to life, but your right to life does not impose any obligation on me to support it, only not to aggress against it. If I don’t just ask you to leave my property but instead shoot you in the head, I have initiated aggression against you as it was not necessary to do that to enforce my rights. It may appear that there was an conflict of rights, but in actuality there wasn’t. (other cases get dicier, yes, I agree)

                        As an aside, this comes into play with Block’s evictionist abortion position, which he claims is the “only consistent libertarian position.” I am not sure I agree (other principles such as the fact that the fetus was made helpless by the actions of someone else’s body). In this he holds that the fetus has a right to life, but the mother has self-ownership, and she merely has a right of eviction, and must do so following the MAP (he calls it “gentleness”). So, practically this means, in the absence of artificial wombs, that the fetus would be killed in the act of eviction in the first 20 weeks or so but after that, perhaps not, and as technology advanced this would effectively push back that barrier.

                        I know you know this, but others are reading as well, and I just wanted to leave this here, particularly for people who might be thinking, wth? You don’t want to feed the hungry you heartless d-bag! (don’t know if I am allowed to say that, guess I will find out--- I have developed a bit of a blue streak since leaving here)

                        Robert Nozick: Libertarianism never really claimed that all of ethics was exhausted by what could be enforced, by what one could legitimately be coerced to do or not do. That's the political, interpersonal realm that libertarian principles were about, not what might be the highest ethical aspiration.


                        And what I have said, just because a Libertarian says they do not want the State to do something does not mean that they don’t want it done.


                        I'm actually okay with you getting ahead of me, so long as it's not too far. I'm doing my best to engage with everything substantive, but if it turns into a smörgåsbord, I'll have to start picking my favorite dishes.
                        I won’t☺ My time is very seriously constricted, and please take it as a gesture of fondness and respect that I wanted to do this. You are on a short list of people I would do this with.

                        Now this is worthy of its own response.

                        I think Heinlein's conception of a line marriage is easier to defend than polygamy because of its durability.
                        It might be societally easier to defend (of course I am going to base any societal preferences on a Christian worldview—I just don’t believe I have the right to demand that the State use coerce force or denial to enforce my worldview), but as far as politics go, I believe in radical freedom of association. So I don’t need anymore to support the right other than adults and consent. My approval or lack thereof is irrelevant.

                        That said, beyond my inherent interest in the subject, the real reason I'm responding to this piecemeal is because this is you, on TWeb, supporting gay marriage. The mind boggles at the conniptions that would ensue out in Civics if this wasn't a one-on-one. Just imagine the dudgeon! Now that would truly be a lovely prospect.
                        Most of my conservative TWeb friends are my FB friends, so they have seen the transformation, and there has been some wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mostly we just agree to ignore this stuff from each other for the sake of peace.

                        I changed my view on the issue probably within a few months of leaving. I was already getting there, and flirting with the idea of the State having no business licensing personal relationships. I had only the vaguest idea that this kind of idea was a “thing.”

                        My views on gay marriage are in tension between pragmatics, potential losses of civil liberties for others in granting these civil liberties to gay couples, and pure Libertarian thought. In purity, I should oppose legalization because the State has no business being in it---actually I should oppose the continuation legalization of hetero marriages. But in pragmatics, the State has no basis (in my view) to be denying a personal relationship status in a way that affects 2% of the population. Oddly enough, it was my reading on the Spanish Flu that connected the dots where some accounts talked about 2% of the population dying in a short period of time. It struck me that such is a LOT of people.

                        The problem with trying to act in Libertarian purity is that too many policies are connected. For instance, if we opened up the borders more…. (a generally Libertarian idea), then we drain on services, causing more unjust government… It is all of one cloth, it is hard to be purely Libertarian piecemeal. So with the marriage thing, I am really torn because we have the govt interference with private affairs by creating classes of people that others lose their freedom to chose to freely contract with etc (discrimination laws) so granting these rights (a good thing) is going to lead to more restrictions in property rights/association rights (bad thing).

                        I find three things some of the most egregious violations by the State (on the civil liberties side, not the economics side) and I am often forced to support something that infringes another.

                        1. Licensing of personal relationships
                        2. Radical freedom of association/property rights meaning I have the right to choose what I am going to use my labor and property for, without State restriction. The market and society can chose to respond in whatever peaceful way it wishes.
                        3. Telling people they can’t ingest a substance that harms only them.
                        Last edited by Darth Xena; 05-06-2015, 01:53 PM.
                        The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Darth Xena View Post
                          Hola Jerk:)
                          Ciao bella, cannibal.

                          No worries, I always have a brutal work schedule. She works hard for the money.
                          True to form, the Virtual College didn't get back to me yesterday, not that I blame the coordinator. Their chair lets their full-time faculty dither until the last minute and then some, which is just nuts considering the demand for those virtual lines. And ya know, I think the kids should know which professor is teaching when they sign up, but maybe that's just me. I set my own schedule at my main job, but I still have to set it two months before the next term begins, excepting overloads if we have to open another section.

                          Because the crony capitalism is enabled and feeds the State. If the State was minimal, this wouldn’t be the issue. And the State has a monopoly on coercive legal force, so it makes it more pernicious.
                          Less of an issue, I'd agree. But freed of government regulation, monopolies have historically formed their own pseudo-states when given the chance, complete with company scrip, company stores to spend it in, company land rights allowing repossession of employee homes, and company thugs to shoot up the tent cities of the repossessed ... pour encourager les autres.

                          A truly freed market. The defense of this would be beyond my capabilities at this time however.
                          Accepted, for now, while maintaining that freedom needs policing, and policing needs police. A hoe in one hand and a howitzer in the other is no way to farm a field.

                          Since the freight should be minimal, as we have no rights-based obligations to sacrifice ourselves for others, there isn’t more benefits. Other than unequal outcomes that is just life. Taxes are a burden, and the last thing that should be burdened is productivity, particularly unevenly burdened as it disincentivizes achievement and the market. This discussion is difficult in the midst of a non-minarchist State as the dynamics have way too many factors. Some (and I could be persuaded as well) would support a flat tax that isn’t tiered, in which those producing more would pay more, but at the same rate as that is not forcing others to sacrifice for the benefit of others sheerly because they are more successful. A land tax is not necessarily a wealth tax (and I am only competent to address this only tangentially) in the hypothetical minarchist state for these reasons (though there could be more): common defense and infrastructure could be proportioned by how much of the national land is owned and Libertarians generally base property rights on a Lockean philosophical foundation in which your right to the land is based on homesteading principles, including mixing your labour with the land. What is sufficient labour is debatable, and it could be argued that maintenance of the infrastructure and defense needed to secure those rights is a necessary mixing. A consumption tax is much more voluntary in that for most good people choose to buy or not buy. Of course, Libertarians are looking for other ways to fund necessary minarchist needs, for instance, a lottery (such were done in the country’s founding). It is then just a tax on people who can’t do math, like me.
                          A lot of this disincentive speech is just guff, I'm afraid. The market is just as quick to arbitrage a penny on the dollar as it is to arbitrage a dime, and more-so in fact, if the dime's not available. There's this odd double-think I encounter quite often in these discussions, where a "conservative" (in name only?) argues that increasing the burden on the poor will incentivize them to work harder, while increasing the burden on the wealthy will cause them to give up. I'll grant that burdens create muscle, but I can't ignore the fact that the folks who are more muscular can lift more, even proportionately, and the strongest are the least likely to break under the strain.

                          "From each according to their abilities" may be ideologically objectionable, but it's pointless to argue that it's not pragmatic.

                          Now I honestly don't know what to do with "a land tax is not necessarily a wealth tax." Yes, it is. It might be justifiable, or equivocated with a tax on wealth earned by one's own personal labor, but a justifiable wealth tax is still a wealth tax. And while some consumption is voluntary, much is not, and proportionately less for the less wealthy. I work hard for my money too, but I also turn a decent dime. The next big "choice" on my radar is a decision between a $50k or $70k car. The difference between the two is voluntary, but even that difference is still less than the median American spends on a car. I mention this only to make it clear that I'm not merely arguing for my own interests. All of these alternatives to an income tax would net me more money. I've done the math on this.

                          The question for me is what's best for society as a whole, not so much because I'm altruistic (though I'd like to think or at least flatter myself that that plays a role), but because that's the argument that must be won to gather general agreement on changing the order of society.

                          <unclasps hands> First you don’t want to remove my shirt, and now you want to hold my hand? Such mixed signals! Oh wait, you just said shake hands. I feel somehow let down.
                          Why d'ya have to be such a girl? I can take off your shirt, or I can take pictures. Make up your mind!

                          Did you know there's a fashion trend toward backless t-shirts now? Had a gal show up for a final last week in one, an oversize t-shirt mind you, sans bra, meaning side-cleavage when she was sitting up straight — which I could deal with, seeing as it's Miami — and about a foot and a half of free space when she leaned over to start her test — which I couldn't, or wouldn't anyway because I needed their attention on other smooth continuous curves: the ones provided in the exam.

                          These kids!

                          It's time to pack up and go. Even with online classes in the mix and no on-ground classes on Fridays, I still commute 350 miles a week, so I envy your work from home.

                          Mas tarde, chica.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                            Ciao bella, canniba
                            Less of an issue, I'd agree. But freed of government regulation, monopolies have historically formed their own pseudo-states when given the chance, complete with company scrip, company stores to spend it in, company land rights allowing repossession of employee homes, and company thugs to shoot up the tent cities of the repossessed ... pour encourager les autres.
                            As I am not really equipped (nor even if equipped, time equipped) to argue the ins and outs of this, I would dispute two things. First, we have never had a truly free market, and I hold the “robber baron monopoly” to be more myth than substance.
                            And just broadly speaking since we don’t have a specific situation to look at, with the exception of the “company thugs” (in a minarchy, thuggery is still a State function), a company could do those other things, and the market can respond.

                            Accepted, for now, while maintaining that freedom needs policing, and policing needs police. A hoe in one hand and a howitzer in the other is no way to farm a field.
                            As a minarchist, I don’t disagree. An anarchist would have an entirely different take. Well not entirely different, but different enough.

                            A lot of this disincentive speech is just guff, I'm afraid. The market is just as quick to arbitrage a penny on the dollar as it is to arbitrage a dime, and more-so in fact, if the dime's not available. There's this odd double-think I encounter quite often in these discussions, where a "conservative" (in name only?) argues that increasing the burden on the poor will incentivize them to work harder, while increasing the burden on the wealthy will cause them to give up. I'll grant that burdens create muscle, but I can't ignore the fact that the folks who are more muscular can lift more, even proportionately, and the strongest are the least likely to break under the strain.
                            I would only add that we don’t have and never have had a truly free market, and that the regulations and other issues already unduly burden the poor—I don’t think removing the State interference would increase the burden, it would decrease it, and provide incentive for further advancement. It isn’t the wealthy who get disincentivized (they find a way to “cheat” and curry favor with the State—we get the crony capitalism with have right now where the very wealthy are unjustly screwing the rest of us) it is the middle. Without getting into particulars (which I again am not entirely qualified to do at this time and would a long bit that I don’t have), that is the libertarian reasoning, which was my goal. And contra Ayn Rand, I believe in and support the voluntary altruistic spirit, and I do believe that without the State, humanity would step in, voluntarily and much more effectively (and justly, without aggression and theft).

                            "From each according to their abilities" may be ideologically objectionable, but it's pointless to argue that it's not pragmatic.
                            I do think it is not pragmatic and never has worked. There simply is no such thing as equal outcomes, which is the ultimate goal of that saying. Plus I reject utilitarianism and pure consequentialism, so even if it did work, I would object. But I am in the happy position of absolutely rejecting that it does. A bastardized version of it right now isn’t even remotely working.

                            Now I honestly don't know what to do with "a land tax is not necessarily a wealth tax." Yes, it is. It might be justifiable, or equivocated with a tax on wealth earned by one's own personal labor, but a justifiable wealth tax is still a wealth tax.
                            I still don’t see it, it is more like a maintenance fee, but I understand how that could be seen as a “tax”--- so I won’t quibble over the terminology. I care more about the philosophy behind it. Some people who object to a land tax argue that you never really own anything then, you are only renting it. I think that also doesn’t get it right, because even without land tax, certain Lockean-inspired homesteading theories require you to continue to mix labour and claim your homesteading rights, others squatters can take over. (not all accept that idea, I do, and for those that do, I find their objection to the land tax incoherent). This again though is after alternative funding means are exhausted.

                            And while some consumption is voluntary, much is not, and proportionately less for the less wealthy.
                            Some is not. I will not agree that much is not, and the some that is not is the price of self-support. Life isn’t fair, and one cannot force it to be by saying someone else has to be coerced into it. I understand we likely disagree, but that is where I am coming from.

                            I work hard for my money too, but I also turn a decent dime. The next big "choice" on my radar is a decision between a $50k or $70k car. The difference between the two is voluntary, but even that difference is still less than the median American spends on a car. I mention this only to make it clear that I'm not merely arguing for my own interests. All of these alternatives to an income tax would net me more money. I've done the math on this.
                            Having a car at all makes us more wealthy that the majority of the world’s population. If individual people think it is their obligation to help shoulder the burden of others, do it. There is no right to coerce others to do it. And very inefficiently. The State not only shouldn’t be doing it, it is doing what it shouldn’t do abysmally badly. BTW, by the sounds of it, you do much better than I do. I just bought and sweated about buying a used $14K car. But here is what I have to say about that…. GOOD ON YOU. I made a lot of poor choices in my life and made the best of them. I could have been doing a helluva lot better. No one’s fault but my own. I am content, if I weren’t, I would do more about it.

                            The question for me is what's best for society as a whole, not so much because I'm altruistic (though I'd like to think or at least flatter myself that that plays a role), but because that's the argument that must be won to gather general agreement on changing the order of society.
                            I am in my pessimistic phase (politically bi-polar I am), right now, I don’t think there is hope and we are doomed. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but I am not overly hopeful. If it is true we are in a “libertarian moment,” societal attitude is changing. And I do believe that healthy normally functional human beings are altruistic. I don’t believe the impetus behind the State and some of its programs are just sheer evil, but the bad use of a good impulse.

                            Why d'ya have to be such a girl? I can take off your shirt, or I can take pictures. Make up your mind!
                            Sooo triggered. Hey, I do get the ignorant trolls on FB who argue that since the word “libertarian” comes from “libertine” that I must have no morals at all and advocate daily orgies and opium. Lots of opium. I do swear that some of old friends are now convinced that I shoot heroin with a secret girlfriend when I really [libertarian joke coming] just want gay married couples to have the right to defend their marijuana grow with guns.

                            Did you know there's a fashion trend toward backless t-shirts now? Had a gal show up for a final last week in one, an oversize t-shirt mind you, sans bra, meaning side-cleavage when she was sitting up straight — which I could deal with, seeing as it's Miami — and about a foot and a half of free space when she leaned over to start her test — which I couldn't, or wouldn't anyway because I needed their attention on other smooth continuous curves: the ones provided in the exam.
                            You did mention to sneak in sideboob. Somehow I knew it☺


                            It's time to pack up and go. Even with online classes in the mix and no on-ground classes on Fridays, I still commute 350 miles a week, so I envy your work from home.

                            Mas tarde, chica.
                            Great opportunity to listen to podcasts and audiobooks though! I am actually home sick today…. TMI moment coming……. Massive UTI, really sucks bad.
                            The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                              True to form, the Virtual College didn't get back to me yesterday, not that I blame the coordinator. Their chair lets their full-time faculty dither until the last minute and then some, which is just nuts considering the demand for those virtual lines. And ya know, I think the kids should know which professor is teaching when they sign up, but maybe that's just me. I set my own schedule at my main job, but I still have to set it two months before the next term begins, excepting overloads if we have to open another section.
                              This just in:
                              From: ..., Maria ...
                              Subject: 2014-3 Virtual College Assignment – J ... (REVISED)
                              Date: May 8, 2015 at 4:34 PM
                              To: ..., Jesse

                              (New Assignment)
                              5/11/2015
                              7/31/2015
                              ...

                              Good afternoon Prof. ...,

                              An additional section of ... has been assigned to you for the 2014-3 term.

                              In case you're wondering, yes, the final deadline for faculty changes is at 5:00 p.m. I've got 48 hours to prep this ... in Blackboard Learn, which just replaced ANGEL, and which I've never used before though I've been through the orientation and glanced through the course that starts at the end of June.

                              I'm gonna busy for a bit, but I'll try to carve out some time for me and you, Sunday night maybe?

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                              • #30
                                Jerk take your time. I am busy losing my ever-loving mind on FB over free speech. Such a massive #libertarianfail fest.
                                The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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