Fred Weiss -- question for you (or anyone else interest)

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Dan Lind

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Jun 8, 2010, 6:28:26 AM6/8/10
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This is a question primarily for Fred. Hopefully he's still lurking
in the shadows.

Do you think most people who call themselves Objectivists really
understand Rand's objection to libertarians? Could they argue
effectively for the position she held? Or do they simply pay lip
service to it because SHE held it?

I ask this for the following reason.

Recently I attended an Objectivist club meeting, the first time I have
ever attended a gathering of Objectivists -- unless you count a single
elementary class for the general public on _The Fountainhead_ maybe 15
years ago. It's not an off-the-wall club -- I found it through ARI's
website.

There was some discussion that very peripherally, and very briefly,
touched on libertarianism. The quality of the remarks led me to the
rather strong opinion that these people would not have been able to
carry on a reasonable discussion of Rand's objections. I was tempted
to probe the issue a little but I was a guest at this meeting and felt
it would be inappropriate to raise something controversial in which I
would be perceived as a potential antagonist. But I've been wondering
about this.

Any comment, Fred? Or anyone else?

Dan Lind

Charles Bell

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Jun 8, 2010, 8:08:28 AM6/8/10
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On Jun 8, 6:28 am, Dan Lind <danli...@msn.com> wrote:

> Do you think most people who call themselves Objectivists really
> understand Rand's objection to libertarians?  Could they argue
> effectively for the position she held?  Or do they simply pay lip
> service to it because SHE held it?
>

You have to admit that Rand herself did a poor job of explaining her
position.

Libertarianism = open or disguised anarchism = collectivism

On the other hand, American libertarianism (esp, as distinct from
European libertarianism) -- but not Chomsky, Nozick, Rothbard or David
Friedman or Libertarian Party, as a rule -- is limited-government 18th
century liberalism with foreign isolationism and mixed atheist-
agnostic-theist views which is different that what she describes below
and from those listed above.

<< In this connection and for the record, I shall repeat what I have
said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group
or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with and
have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives,
the so-called "hippies of the right," who attempt to snare the younger
or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultaneously to be
followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering
such a combination confesses his inability to understand either.
Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun
by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the
collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.>>

Dan Lind

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Jun 8, 2010, 9:49:38 AM6/8/10
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Anarchcism is NOT a defining characteristic of libertarianism. But
I'll go off topic with you and say that, in my judgment, Rand's
theoretical argument for government does not have the rigor typical of
her.

Sure, the purpose of government is 1) to defend against foreign force-
initiation, 2) domestic force-intitiation, 3) arbitration with respect
to and enforcement of rules governing contractual agreements. These
things require use of force, exercise of force cannot "objectively" be
done by individuals, ergo, after more argument, individuals cede their
right to use force to a "government" monopoly, --- This still smells
to me like Guardians who are watched by no one.

I've tried to figure out how to develop the logical necessity of
government (as we conceive it today) from "first principles" and can't
do it.

But this wasn't the reason for this thread.

I'd really like to know if Objectivists generally understand Rand's
objection to libertarians..

Dan Lind

Charles Bell

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Jun 8, 2010, 6:22:41 PM6/8/10
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On Jun 8, 9:49 am, Dan Lind <danli...@msn.com> wrote:
> On Jun 8, 8:08 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 8, 6:28 am, Dan Lind <danli...@msn.com> wrote:
>
> > > Do you think most people who call themselves Objectivists really
> > > understand Rand's objection to libertarians? Could they argue
> > > effectively for the position she held? Or do they simply pay lip
> > > service to it because SHE held it?
>
> > You have to admit that Rand herself did a poor job of explaining her
> > position.
>
> > Libertarianism = open or disguised anarchism = collectivism

> Anarchcism is NOT a defining characteristic of libertarianism.

Well you'd have to argue with Rand about that if you could. Weiss and
Speicher are better sources on the details in Rand's history with
libertarianism which is not reflected in her writings. It is also a
fair charge, in spite of what she wrote in /Nature of Government/, she
either did not understand or appreciate the American system of
government with respect to federalism and the Supreme Court being a
*balance* in federal power and not the final arbiter, and she must
have had a superficial knowledge of the history of the country.

>  But
> I'll go off topic with you and say that, in my judgment, Rand's
> theoretical argument for government does not have the rigor typical of
> her.
>
> Sure, the purpose of government is 1) to defend against foreign force-
> initiation, 2) domestic force-intitiation,

Actually (IMO) the Initiation of Force Principle, a principle for
individual moral behavior in a social context, does not translate to
government actions particularly well. If it did, could there be any
traffic-law enforcement without there having been an accident first?
What about conspiracy to commit crime? The Speicher-Weiss argument for
threat or potential IoF being just the same as IoF does not pass
muster. And why would fraud or trickery be "force" unless it is merely
metaphorical?

Common to Rand-influenced libertarians is that IoF as a *moral*
principle for individuals with respect to his neighbors is taken out
of context, taken as axiomatic, and implemented as. more or less. a
basis for specific legal rules. Moreover, libertarians are very
"system" oriented in that politics is top-down (oligarchical) rather
than trickle-up (populist-democratic). Perhaps Rand was a bit that
way, too.


> 3) arbitration with respect
> to and enforcement of rules governing contractual agreements.  These
> things require use of force, exercise of force cannot "objectively" be
> done by individuals, ergo, after more argument, individuals cede their
> right to use force to a "government" monopoly,  --- This still smells
> to me like Guardians who are watched by no one.

Well, that's not really the total of Rand's argument but rather
vanilla Enlightenment natural-rights argument. This is part of the
confusion over Objectivist politics being "libertarian" if
libertarianism is defined as closely related to classical English
liberalism, rather than is typical, a variant on anarchism (see
Chomsky, Friedman, etc). There is usually the element of the Common
Good (from Locke) and utilitarianism (from J.S. Mill, Bentham, and
libertarian economics in general) in liberalism that is not in
Objectivist capitalism.


> I'd really like to know if Objectivists generally understand Rand's
> objection to libertarians..
>

I'd say probably not. Given Rand's hostility toward Reagan in
1976,1980 and Peikoff's support for Kerry in 2004 -- an agnostic
liberal is better than a Christian conservative is often a libertarian
POV -- I'd say the confusion over political labels among O'ists goes
very high up.

D Lind

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Jun 9, 2010, 1:27:12 AM6/9/10
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I also said in that post,

"I've tried to figure out how to develop the logical necessity of
government (as we conceive it today) from "first principles" and can't
do it."

What I meant was something like this.

If you pyramid as Rand did what she called the branches of philosophy
and use a somewhat different vernacular than hers, you start with
metaphysics (subject matter -- that which is), then epistemology
(subject matter -- rational identification of that which is), then
ethics (subject matter -- exercise of choice in accordance with the
(thinking, rational) nature of man), then human action -- I rather like
von Mises' "praxeology" (subject matter -- human action). You could
make the argument that politics and economics, for example, are simply
forms of human action.

I throw out this scheme, which you may or may not like, to make a
point about politics, which is where defense of, or demonstrating the
logical necessity of, government resides.

That point is simply this. Given the nature of what is, given
rational identification of what is, given the ethical nature of man
and given the nature of human action I'm unable to demonstrate the
necessity of a monopoly of force.

Now you may claim that the absence of a monopoly of force is anarchism
and then claim, as do the words you attribute to Rand, that

"Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun
by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the
collectivist movement, where it properly belongs."

and you may very well be right. But in saying these things you have
not demonstrated from first principles, from the ethical nature of man
and from the nature of human action, the legitimacy, necessity or
morality of force monopolism.

.............

I should probably break out the following into another post, but I
won't.

The other topic, and the topic more closely tied to the original
question of this thread, is that libertarianism, using words that
drove Cathcart into marvelous paroxysms, does not have a philosophical
base.

Libertarianism, in so far as it is not grounded on utilitarian ethics,
claims as its moral justification the Non-Initiation of Force
principle -- do libertarians call this an axiom?

And how is this Non-Initiation of Force principle justified? No
coherent answer. It is as NIOF were the eleventh commandment brought
down from Sinai by Moses, somehow lost by Moses as he ranted and raved
about the Golden Calf. "Thou shalt not initiate force" is just
another ethical decree and an example of ethics by fiat.

It's the absence of a philosophical base, of a derivation from "first
principles," for which, as I understand it, Rand objected to
libertarianism. Hopefully Fred, or someone else more expert in
Objectivism than I, will correct me if I'm wrong.

The question I'm asking in this thread is, do Objectivists typically
understand her objection.

Dan Lind

Charles Bell

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Jun 9, 2010, 6:44:26 AM6/9/10
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On Jun 9, 1:27 am, D Lind <danli...@gmail.com> wrote:


> (thinking, rational) nature of man), then human action -- I rather like
> von Mises' "praxeology" (subject matter -- human action).  You could
> make the argument that politics and economics, for example, are simply
> forms of human action.

Most of the answers to political-economic questions Rand does not
answer does lie in Mises and Hayek, but not in any economist
thereafter except on some of the minutiae of contemporary problems.
What Rand does do is provide the philosophical tools to answer the
question of *why* one should look to Mises -- better than Mises
himself.

>
> I throw out this scheme, which you may or may not like, to make a
> point about politics, which is where defense of, or demonstrating the
> logical necessity of, government resides.
>


Define "logical necessity". Off hand, I don't think there is a
definite meaning for that. I have used that expression, of course, but
always in a narrow context such as: in order to make an egg omelet
there is a logical necessity to have eggs. However, other than the
major axioms of Objectivism (which are, of course, not limited to
Objectivism) I do not believe there is such a thing as some sort of
universal, eternal "logical necessity" for anything. I think the
notion goes against Objectivist contextual epistemology.

The Galts-Gulch anarchists point to Galt's Gulch itself and deny there
is a logical necessity for government, or a law-making, executive-
enforcing one. Other than the fact that Galt's Gulch is fantasy that
bears little connection to anything historical, one can give several
reasons why /it is only in a very limited context/ that Galt's Gulch
could ever exist.

However, pointing to the facts of history, in there being no life-
enhancing, individual-rights protecting anarchy in the history of
mankind rather points out to me that this no logical necessity at all
for anarchy. So the question becomes what would be the best life-
enhancing individual-rights protecting government.

Moreover, Rand does make various indirect arguments for anarchy being
collectivist and also a logical connection between all forms of
collectivism and *necessarily* individual-rights restricting systems.

The main collectivist trait in anarchy is some superstition that all
people will tend to do the morally right thing in all circumstances as
if by duty without law when the fact is there is no such thing as
duty, so therefore that whole house of cards collapses. One might say
there is a logical necessity for duty in anarchy. There being no such
thing as duty then there is no such thing as duty-bound (as if by
magic) individuals in anarchy.

The other, less common outside of Britain and Britain's progeny,
collectivist trait in anarchism is Utilitarianism against which Rand
was specific in her argument. This duty-less, and further essentially
amoral, utilitarian anarchy is 95% of American libertarianism [*] and
this is also where you are wrong in denying a connection between
American libertarianism and anarchism in that all of these
libertarians make the case for libertarianism almost entirely based on
Utilitarianism with no consideration of morality or with morality
tacked on as an afterthought. Government based wholly on economic
principles. Rand, of course, confuses one with her one-word
description of O'ist politics as "capitalism."

[*] This is perhaps why Christian libertarian-leaning people like Ron
Paul and Tea Partiers are Republicans, or old-style, pre-1972
Democrats, or otherwise not specifically associated with libertarian
organizations.


> and you may very well be right.  But in saying these things you have
> not demonstrated from first principles, from the ethical nature of man
> and from the nature of human action, the legitimacy, necessity or
> morality of force monopolism.
>


From first principles may be derived radical individualism whereby no
matter how social a man may be either in emotional inclination or out
of necessity, only he can individually make moral decisions for
himself. As I said above, anarchy rests heavily on the notion that
all individuals will adhere to a singular moral code and consistently
(as if by determinism -- see Marixist anarchism) make his decisions
very much like all others. This is true even of Galts-Gulch
anarchists.

>
> Libertarianism, in so far as it is not grounded on utilitarian ethics,
> claims as its moral justification the Non-Initiation of Force
> principle -- do libertarians call this an axiom?


This is where you are wrong about disconnecting libertarianism to
anarchism. With the exception of what might be called Christian
libertarians and the few remaining atheist Rand-inspired libertarians
who tend to be Republicans, all libertarians base everything on
*amoral* utilitarianism in the way I described above [economics government]. To every libertarian who knows of and applies IoF does so
as a given axiom and not from its apriori moral foundation.

Charles Bell

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Jun 9, 2010, 8:12:59 AM6/9/10
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On Jun 9, 6:44 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:

> From first principles may be derived radical individualism whereby no
> matter how social a man may be either in emotional inclination or out
> of necessity, only he can individually make moral decisions for
> himself.  

This is in contrast to the collectivist libertarian (and sometimes
plain conservative) utilitarian economics treatment of individuals as
indistinguishable billard balls where the outcome of all the actions
[the greatest good for the greatest number] is what is important.

If an O'ist can discern this one thing, then he would be able to
understand how Rand could claim libertarianism is anti-Objectivist in
being collectivist: the happiness of the individual is what is
important [from first principles], not how he may incidentally attain
to happiness through the actions of the collective. I think you said
this in other words, but you did not say if you got that impression
about those O'ists whom you know in person.

x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.


Arnold Broese

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Jun 9, 2010, 9:00:23 AM6/9/10
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"D Lind" <danl...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:33e872f3-0041-4173...@k39g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
>

>
> I throw out this scheme, which you may or may not like, to make a
> point about politics, which is where defense of, or demonstrating the
> logical necessity of, government resides.
>
> That point is simply this. Given the nature of what is, given
> rational identification of what is, given the ethical nature of man
> and given the nature of human action I'm unable to demonstrate the
> necessity of a monopoly of force.

The necessity resides in:
1) The principle that one should not initiate force against other
individuals. It is best served by considering the following:
2) The fact that allowing every individual the freedom to dispense justice
or punishment, makes the assumption that the most irrational individual will
be just.
3) The knowledge required to understand and dispense law takes specialist
knowledge. While not perfect, such study is more likely to approach a
rational judgment than the great majority of laymen are.
4) One needs a set of legal procedures to lay out the evidence, and the
police investigations to uncover it, something unlikely to be in the power
of an individual.
5) A society without the security of known laws and procedures could not
make plans with confidence. They would not know what contract, law or
quality of investigation would apply to them.
6) The nature of man, and the fact that he is not a God, means one has to be
realistic about allowing the the use of force at the discretion of the
weakest links of humanity. Reality indicates putting the use of force under
strict monopoly control is the safest way to ensure we don't descend into
gang warfare, and are all subjected to the same law. This is not to say
thuggery doesn't take place anyway, but only that a law can at least be
changed if enough people don't like it.


--
Arnold

Jim Klein

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Jun 9, 2010, 2:17:43 PM6/9/10
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On Jun 9, 9:00 am, Arnold Broese <arnold_broeseREM...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

> Reality indicates putting the use of force under
> strict monopoly control is the safest way to ensure we don't descend into

> gang warfare...

I must've missed the vid. Where was the reality that indicated
this? The one I've been looking at indicates that this is precisely
the SUREST way to ensure that we DO descend into gang warfare.

Are you offering that we haven't put the use of force under
strict monopoly control, or that we haven't descended into
gang warfare? Either claim seems mighty tough to defend.


jk

Jim Klein

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Jun 9, 2010, 2:26:27 PM6/9/10
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On Jun 8, 9:49 am, Dan Lind <danli...@msn.com> wrote:

> I've tried to figure out how to develop the logical necessity of
> government (as we conceive it today) from "first principles" and can't
> do it.

There's a reason for that, and it ain't your lack of intelligence!

There's a necessity that some things have to be done by more
than one person, and there's a strong desirability among rational
men to have a dispute resolution mechanism, but neither of those
are even close to describing what a government does, in all of
the current (and past) instantiations of government.

So unless you want to use the strategy of Jim P. and Charles B.
and just wildly redefine your terms, you'll find that
there are no "first principles of logical necessity" to coerce
something--anything--from others. Period.

But you already knew that. That's why you don't do it. It's
also why Galt's Oath reads as it does.


jk

Charles Bell

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Jun 9, 2010, 4:08:16 PM6/9/10
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On Jun 9, 2:26�pm, Jim Klein <rum...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> So unless you want to use the strategy of Jim P. and Charles B.
> and just wildly redefine your terms,

I just (1) offered Lind a opportunity to define his meaning of
"logical necessity" to make sure that he does not mean what I think he
means and (2) I implied that if he means what I think he means he is
looking down a blind alley that is probably a dead end.

And yet here you are accusing me of having designed a "strategy" to do
something or other unknowable to you as it is unknown to me.

Charles Bell

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Jun 9, 2010, 4:47:27 PM6/9/10
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On Jun 9, 9:00�am, Arnold Broese <arnold_broeseREM...@hotmail.com>
wrote:
> "D Lind" <danli...@gmail.com> wrote in message

>
> news:33e872f3-0041-4173...@k39g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > I throw out this scheme, which you may or may not like, to make a
> > point about politics, which is where defense of, or demonstrating the
> > logical necessity of, government resides.
>
> > That point is simply this. �Given the nature of what is, given
> > rational identification of what is, given the ethical nature of man
> > and given the nature of human action I'm unable to demonstrate the
> > necessity of a monopoly of force.
>
> The necessity resides in:
> �1) The principle that one should not initiate force against other
> individuals. It is best served by considering the following:

Really? There is no way that (2) necessarily follows on (1).

To follow on (1) only requires *in*action, period. It does force any
kind of action in particular, like "justice" "punishment" or anything
at all. One could be a pacifist and endure pain and death and not
contract the IoF. However, enduring pain and death, if one has been
wronged by IoF from another, is anti-Objectivst in being sacrifical,
but there is no duty for an individual to retaliate.


> 2) The fact that allowing every individual the freedom to dispense justice
> or punishment, makes the assumption that the most irrational individual will
> be just.

x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.


Charles Bell

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Jun 9, 2010, 5:21:22 PM6/9/10
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On Jun 9, 2:26 pm, Jim Klein <rum...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> But you already knew that.  That's why you don't do it.  It's
> also why Galt's Oath reads as it does.


A Jihadist, having freshly invented a special metal for the smoother
operation of any magic carpet, is admitted to Galt's Galt after taking
the Oath. He, of course, invites all his very large family in, all of
who also take the Oath.

One day jihadists blow up buildings and kill people and then threaten
that unless Sharia Law is imposed in Galt's Gulch, infidels will be
killed one by one until there are no more infidels.

==Bukhari 5,59,369 : Mohammed asked, "Who will kill Ka'b, the enemy of
Allah and Mohammed?"

Bin Maslama rose and responded, "O Mohammed! Would it please you if I
killed him?"

Mohammed answered, "Yes."

Bin Maslama then said, "Give me permission to deceive him with lies so
that my plot will succeed."

Mohammed replied, "You may speak falsely to him."


Bukhari 9,84,64 : When I relate to you the words of Mohammed, by
Allah, I would rather die than bear false witness to his teachings.
However, if I should say something unrelated to the prophet, then it
might very well be a lie so that I might deceive my enemy.

D Lind

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Jun 9, 2010, 5:29:01 PM6/9/10
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On Jun 9, 9:00 am, Arnold Broese <arnold_broeseREM...@hotmail.com>
wrote:
> "D Lind" <danli...@gmail.com> wrote in message

>
> news:33e872f3-0041-4173...@k39g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > I throw out this scheme, which you may or may not like, to make a
> > point about politics, which is where defense of, or demonstrating the
> > logical necessity of, government resides.
>
> > That point is simply this. Given the nature of what is, given
> > rational identification of what is, given the ethical nature of man
> > and given the nature of human action I'm unable to demonstrate the
> > necessity of a monopoly of force.
>
> The necessity resides in:
> 1) The principle that one should not initiate force against other
> individuals.

We both agree that one should not initiate force against others and I
believe we agree that this is inconsequence of our identity as human
beings.

> It is best served by considering the following:
> 2) The fact that allowing every individual the freedom to dispense justice
> or punishment, makes the assumption that the most irrational individual
> will be just.

Here you lose me. WHO is doing this allowing, and by what right?

> 3) The knowledge required to understand and dispense law takes
> specialist knowledge. While not perfect, such study is more likely to
> approach a rational judgment than the great majority of laymen are.

So also is "specialist knowledge" required to educate, to remove a
brain tumor, to provide insurance, to grow corn, to build roads.
While not perfect, such "study," such skills are more likely to
approach rational judgment than the great majority of laymen are.

> 4) One needs a set of legal procedures to lay out the evidence, and the
> police investigations to uncover it, something unlikely to be in the power
> of an individual.

Same sort of reply as to 3).

> 5) A society without the security of known laws and procedures could not
> make plans with confidence. They would not know what contract, law or
> quality of investigation would apply to them.

Why not? Contracts are constructed and agreed to all the time by
individual men, yes? You offer the neighborhood kid tickets to a ball
game in return for mowing your lawn. I offer you $10,000 and you
remove my appendix, details of the agreement we specify in a
contract. What's the big deal?

> 6) The nature of man, and the fact that he is not a God, means one has
> to be realistic about allowing the the use of force at the discretion of the
> weakest links of humanity.

I don't know what this means -- I'm not trying to be cute, Arnold, I
really don't know what you mean by this.

> Reality indicates putting the use of force under
> strict monopoly control is the safest way to ensure we don't descend into
> gang warfare, and are all subjected to the same law.

Sure, this is sort of what Rand's claim is. I'm neither disputing nor
agreeing with the claim. I simply don't think it is well grounded.

Look, we can say about many things that they are responsible for
enormous evil.

We can say this about the concept of Original Sin, we can say this
about the concept of collectivism, we can say this about mysticism.

We can say about many things that they have PERFORMED enormous evil by
initiation of coercion, of physical force. And among those things,
governments are very high on the list of culprits.

Governments have a piss poor track record as defenders of liberty,
defenders of individual rights, defenders of contracts, defenders of
states of affairs necessary for men to live as men.

We had damn well better be able to do better than, "Reality indicates


putting the use of force under strict monopoly control is the safest
way to ensure we don't descend into gang warfare, and are all
subjected to the same law."

Any sane man living the US today would hear these words of yours,
Arnold, and say, "Are you nuts? Washington is NOTHING if it's not one
big fucking Gang Warfare Super Bowl."

> This is not to say
> thuggery doesn't take place anyway, but only that a law can at least be
> changed if enough people don't like it.

Yeah, right.

Dan Lind

Charles Bell

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Jun 9, 2010, 6:18:14 PM6/9/10
to
On Jun 9, 5:29�pm, D Lind <danli...@gmail.com> wrote:

>We both agree that one should not initiate force against others

Do you agree that no GOVERNMENT can "initiate the use of force"?

(1) Anarchists - no (no government)

(2) Libertarians - no

(3) Objectivists - ?


Are not traffic laws on public roads at least two acts of government
initiation of force?

http://www.mwilliams.info/archive/2004/05/the-dangers-of-libertarianism-2.php
http://tinyurl.com/2afjrz9

The Dangers of Libertarianism 2
By Michael Williams


<< Take the drunk driving laws. In a libertarian society, public roads
would be replace by private ones. Private road owners would need to
carry insurance and, if they were willing to endure the cost in excess
premiums, could allow drunks to drive on their road. This is obviously
a dumb choice to make but libertarians would permit the theoretical
choice while ensuring that people don't consider actually doing it by
pinching them in the pocketbook, hard. And the pinching would occur in
multiple directions road owner and driver, as well as surrounding
property insurance. Driving in an area that permitted drunk driving
would raise the cost of automobile insurance as well so even if the
road owner is a crazy loon willing to take the financial hit in his
own pocket, his customers are not likely to be willing to do the same.
Even living on a property next to a road where the cars are more
likely to veer off and into your house would increase pressure for a
more sensible resolution to the situation than laissez *hic* faire. >>

1. We'd need private insurance for everything.

2. How would drunk drivers get pinched hard? By lawsuits. If you think
there are too many lawsuits now, just try to imagine how many there
would be in a libertarian society. We'd need a huge number of
additional judges, and in the end we'd have even more judicial
legislation than we have now. Would these judges be elected? If so,
how's that different from electing tyrants?

3. If the guy who owns the road near your house suddenly decides to
allow drunk drivers, everyone who owns property nearby sees the values
of their investments plummet. There might be financial incentives for
him not to do it, but you know how crazy some people can be. Or, he
might own adjoining property and be purposefully trying to hurt the
value of his neighbors to increase interest in his own investment. The
only recourse a homeowner would have would be to sue on some
grounds... but how long would that take?

Charles Bell

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Jun 9, 2010, 7:06:21 PM6/9/10
to
On Jun 9, 6:18 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:

> Do you agree that no GOVERNMENT can "initiate the use of force"?

. . . Should be: "any government can . . . "


>
> (1) Anarchists - no (no government)
>
> (2) Libertarians - no
>
> (3) Objectivists - ?
>

x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.

Arnold Broese

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Jun 9, 2010, 10:12:08 PM6/9/10
to
"D Lind" <danl...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:ad32b81b-d5ab-4ad1...@q29g2000vba.googlegroups.com...

> On Jun 9, 9:00 am, Arnold Broese <arnold_broeseREM...@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> It is best served by considering the following:
>> 2) The fact that allowing every individual the freedom to dispense
>> justice
>> or punishment, makes the assumption that the most irrational individual
>> will be just.
>
> Here you lose me. WHO is doing this allowing, and by what right?

"Allowing" means *no-one* stops you. There is no "Who".

>> 3) The knowledge required to understand and dispense law takes
>> specialist knowledge. While not perfect, such study is more likely to
>> approach a rational judgment than the great majority of laymen are.
>
> So also is "specialist knowledge" required to educate, to remove a
> brain tumor, to provide insurance, to grow corn, to build roads.
> While not perfect, such "study," such skills are more likely to
> approach rational judgment than the great majority of laymen are.

I don't know what you mean to say here, but if it is to equate voluntary
exchange with resolving involuntary matters of forceful action, they can't
be compared. You may not market the use of force as if it is a freely
exchanged commodity.

>> 4) One needs a set of legal procedures to lay out the evidence, and the
>> police investigations to uncover it, something unlikely to be in the
>> power
>> of an individual.
>
> Same sort of reply as to 3).
>
>> 5) A society without the security of known laws and procedures could not
>> make plans with confidence. They would not know what contract, law or
>> quality of investigation would apply to them.
>
> Why not? Contracts are constructed and agreed to all the time by
> individual men, yes? You offer the neighborhood kid tickets to a ball
> game in return for mowing your lawn. I offer you $10,000 and you
> remove my appendix, details of the agreement we specify in a
> contract. What's the big deal?

Disputes are a big deal. We need to know how they will be resolved; we need
to know the laws involved apply to everyone.

>> 6) The nature of man, and the fact that he is not a God, means one has
>> to be realistic about allowing the the use of force at the discretion of
>> the
>> weakest links of humanity.
>
> I don't know what this means -- I'm not trying to be cute, Arnold, I
> really don't know what you mean by this.

If one allows everyone to dispense his own justice, we depend on the
judgment of every individual, and that includes the most irrational
individual or fanatic. Is this acceptable, or is some restriction placed on
honour killings etc? If there is some limitation, how is this done if not
via government law?

You may well say 'Yeah right' when you come up with an alternative. I will
repeat what I said to Jim:

Again the conflating principle with application. Monopoly doesn't by it's
nature guarantee that it will be used wisely. No more than gun ownership
does. I would not vote against gun ownership on the grounds that guns have
been misused, any more than government power that is misused.

What constitutes misuse? Why the violation of individual rights. The same
applies to government as gun ownership. Misused power of government is like
misused guns - bad for individuals. Our trouble with government isn't it's
monopoly as such, but the misuse of such monopoly. Look at failed states
such as Somalia, and you will see no monopoly at all, so that is clearly no
answer.

What I argue for is getting the recognition of individual rights as the
objective of monopoly government, and stripping it of the power to initiate
force. The problem lies not in the monopoly, but it's abuse. You may well
argue that we will never bring about such a revolution because of human
failings. This will leave you to explain why such human failings would not
result in gang warfare where the strongest thug wins. Where "justice" is a
St Valentines massacre and there is no appeal.

--
Arnold

Arnold Broese

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Jun 9, 2010, 9:55:41 PM6/9/10
to
"Jim Klein" <rum...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:33c3b85c-dbab-457c...@i31g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...


Neither. Again the conflating principle with application. Monopoly doesn't

by it's nature guarantee that it will be used wisely. No more than gun
ownership does. I would not vote against gun ownership on the grounds that
guns have been misused, any more than government power that is misused.

What constitutes misuse? Why the violation of individual rights. The same
applies to government as gun ownership. Misused power of government is like
misused guns - bad for individuals. Our trouble with government isn't it's
monopoly as such, but the misuse of such monopoly. Look at failed states
such as Somalia, and you will see no monopoly at all, so that is clearly no
answer.

What I argue for is getting the recognition of individual rights as the
objective of monopoly government, and stripping it of the power to initiate
force. The problem lies not in the monopoly, but it's abuse. You may well
argue that we will never bring about such a revolution because of human
failings. This will leave you to explain why such human failings would not
result in gang warfare where the strongest thug wins. Where "justice" is a

St Valentines massacre.

--
Arnold

Evans Winner

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Jun 10, 2010, 2:03:04 AM6/10/10
to
Charles Bell <cbe...@bellsouth.net> writes:

The Dangers of Libertarianism 2
By Michael Williams

[...] How would drunk drivers get pinched hard? By
lawsuits. [...]

Lawsuits? There is such a thing as criminal negligence, and
should be. If a person who kills someone because they were
driving drunk were facing being sentenced to Manhattan
Island Ultra-Security Prison to live out their lives in the
company of the likes of Harry Dean Stanton without the
possibility of rescue, they might choose not to drive drunk
in the first place.

Evans Winner

unread,
Jun 10, 2010, 2:54:47 AM6/10/10
to
D Lind <danl...@gmail.com> writes:

Why not? Contracts are constructed and agreed to all
the time by individual men, yes? You offer the
neighborhood kid tickets to a ball game in return for
mowing your lawn. I offer you $10,000 and you remove my
appendix, details of the agreement we specify in a
contract. What's the big deal?

A contract is not the same thing as any agreement. A
contract has the force of law behind it -- that is, it can
be enforced by a third party. If you agree with the
neighbor kid to give him some money in return for mowing
your yard, and if after he has done so you renege, he has
no recourse if there is no law and government to enforce it
other than to try to enforce it himself or hire someone. In
either of those cases you have what amounts to what has been
called "gang warfare" in this thread.

One could postulate that the parties, even in an anarchist
system, could agree mutually to be bound by some
non-government third party, but that doesn't really solve
the problem, because either party is still free to renege,
and if they have a bigger club than the third party, then
they are not bound by the dictates of that third party.

The value of a government is that it holds the biggest club
and, if it is functioning correctly, wields it impartially.
How do you keep the government from misusing its club? You
can't -- not absolutely. In the end, a government is the
product of the culture it governs and will never be much
better than that culture. In the case of the United States,
the government is the remnant of a culture that was, in the
relevant respects, a better one than ours. It hangs on by a
shred, but in time will settle down completely to the level
of the culture in general. The answer then, is not throw
the government baby out with the bathwater, which has always
resulted in brief, unstable anarchy followed by tyranny, but
to try to change the culture and thereby to improve the
government.

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 10, 2010, 6:05:29 AM6/10/10
to
On Jun 10, 2:03�am, Evans Winner <tho...@unm.edu> wrote:

> Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> writes:
>
> � � The Dangers of Libertarianism 2
> � � By Michael Williams
>
> � � [...] How would drunk drivers get pinched hard? By
> � � lawsuits. [...]
>
> Lawsuits? �There is such a thing as criminal negligence,


You're not understanding the point: how is drunk driving itself or any
"negligence" an initiation of force? This is speaking to a condition
BEFORE anything that can be described as forced has happened.
Negligence (absent legal meaning) only means not exercising care.
What does that mean in the context of using force? Does that mean --
like someone here in hpo recently asserted: that there is no such
thing as an accident?

Moreover, how is any government action to prevent an event due to
negligence or other such thing that does not itself constitute the use
of physical force not an initiation of force?

Charles Bell

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Jun 10, 2010, 6:45:36 AM6/10/10
to
On Jun 9, 9:55 pm, Arnold Broese <arnold_broeseREM...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

> What constitutes misuse? Why the violation of individual rights. The same
> applies to government as gun ownership. Misused power of government is like
> misused guns - bad for individuals.

How is the misuse [of power over others] through collective decision
and the process therefrom made [via govenment in toto] carried out
under duty by individuals the same thing as an individual deciding by
his individual conscience and personal abilities?

The actions of government cannot be equated with actions of
individuals

Rand said that though individuals do not have imperative duties under
Objectivist ethics, she specifically said that government does.

Power used by government is not and can never be the same as power
used by individuals.

Government can ban the possession and use of nuclear weapons (or are
you saying it is a misuse of power to do so?) . One-to-one, how may
an individual disarm another individual should it be just to ever do
so? Is it ever just? Should he have the ability through strength and
cunning to do so, does that make it right over the individual who does
not have the strength?

By equating government using force to an individual using force, one
dishonestly sidesteps the issue of what a weaker individual may do up
against a stronger individual in the absence of government: that is,
form his gang to effect his just purposes. If there is any answer to
the question regarding the necessity of government, it exists in the
fact that government is a gang -- a collective and not an individual
and with very different rules. A proper government under objective
laws administered through honest agents is a gang that is defined by
its just, and only just, purposes. An individual is *not* defined,
and only defined, by his just purposes, nor is a gang, per se. A
government is a gang, but it is supposed to be under Objectivism
better than just a gang.

D Lind

unread,
Jun 10, 2010, 8:36:20 AM6/10/10
to
On Jun 10, 2:54 am, Evans Winner <tho...@unm.edu> wrote:
is the remnant of a culture that was, in the

...

> The answer then, is not throw
> the government baby out with the bathwater, which has always
> resulted in brief, unstable anarchy followed by tyranny, but
> to try to change the culture and thereby to improve the
> government.

You're making a utilitarian, a "what works" argument for government.

I'm questioning the premise.

You could frame it something like this.

I assume you accept the proposition that given the nature of man, men
require individiual rights.

There is no such thing as a "right" except in a social context; a
"right" describes a way in which men ought to act in relation to one
another, it's an ethical concept that applies to relationships among
men.

Men are not bound by their nature to act ethically with respect to
other men. If they were so bound the science of ethics would be moot.

Men are able to infringe on the rights of other men and this implies
the exercise of physical force, and we would say that it implies the
INITIATION of physical force.

In order to exist and in order to exist qua men, men need to protect
themselves against initiation of physical force, in a way somewhat
analogous to the fact that men to exist need to aquire and eat food.

"Government" is said to be the answer to the question, How ought men
protect their rights, protect themselves against initiation of force
by other men?

What should this "government" be? If you give me a utilitarian
argument, a "what works" argument, you'll have misunderstood my
question. Do you have a philosophical argument, an argument from
first principles?

Dan Lind

D Lind

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:44:18 AM6/10/10
to
On Jun 8, 6:28�am, Dan Lind <danli...@msn.com> wrote:
> This is a question primarily for Fred. �Hopefully he's still lurking
> in the shadows.
>
> Do you think most people who call themselves Objectivists really
> understand Rand's objection to libertarians? �Could they argue
> effectively for the position she held? �Or do they simply pay lip
> service to it because SHE held it?

I'm reposting this question. Anyone have a credible answer?

Dan Lind
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a

Arnold Broese

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:50:39 AM6/10/10
to
"Charles Bell" <cbe...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:9c146df9-0c1c-4f39...@b35g2000yqi.googlegroups.com...

>
> The actions of government cannot be equated with actions of
> individuals


Sure they can in certain aspects. Both are capable of doing the same thing -
violating rights. Both are wrong in that case - there is your equation.
Collective decisions via government are not immune because they are
collective. That does not mean both have the same justification for the
monopoly use of force, and I never said they did. If you think I am
disagreeing with Rand, you are mistaken. You are jumping to conclusions. I
said misused power by governments is bad for individuals - do you have a
problem with that? Do you not see the point I was making, that misuse of
power was not an indictment of monopoly?
--
Arnold

Bert Hyman

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:52:50 AM6/10/10
to
In news:1326ceb1-e622-4d65...@u26g2000yqu.googlegroups.com
Dan Lind <danl...@msn.com> wrote:

> Any comment, Fred? Or anyone else?

As I recall, Rand's objection to "libertarians" came during a period when a
lot of bizarre groups claiming the title "libertarian" were anything but.

The self-styled libertarian "philosophers" of the time would embrace anyone
or anything with the word "liberty" or even the letters "liber" in their
title, including things like "Peoples Liberation Army."

But I was just a kid at the time.

--
Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN be...@iphouse.com

Puppet_Sock

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:54:38 AM6/10/10
to
On Jun 8, 6:28 am, Dan Lind <danli...@msn.com> wrote:
[snip]

> Do you think most people who call themselves Objectivists really
> understand Rand's objection to libertarians?
[snip]

My personal problem with libertarians, as they exist and
operate a political party right now, is that they are a big
tent.

A circus tent.

With lots of clowns, funny cars, freaks, people acting weird to
get attention, and so on.

Ted Nugent? Ok, I might enjoy knowing him. I might even go
hunting with him if I could scare up a bullet proof vest and a
kevlar helmet. But have him in government? Nah!

And, basically, that is what Rand thought about libertarians
as they exist today. They don't have much of a worked out
philosophy, so just about any damn thing can get dragged
into the tent with them. I've seen Trotsky-ites running for
election on the Libertarian ticket. So there really isn't much
to be in favour of with respect to them.
Socks

D Lind

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:56:24 AM6/10/10
to
On Jun 9, 2:26�pm, Jim Klein <rum...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> On Jun 8, 9:49 am, Dan Lind <danli...@msn.com> wrote:
>
> > I've tried to figure out how to develop the logical necessity of
> > government (as we conceive it today) from "first principles" and can't
> > do it.
>
> There's a reason for that, and it ain't your lack of intelligence!
>
> There's a necessity that some things have to be done by more
> than one person, and there's a strong desirability among rational
> men to have a dispute resolution mechanism, but neither of those
> are even close to describing what a government does, in all of
> the current (and past) instantiations of government.

All right. That's not a bad way of loosely framing the question.

Do you have something resembling an answer?

Message has been deleted

Charles Bell

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Jun 10, 2010, 4:39:22 PM6/10/10
to
On Jun 10, 8:50 am, Arnold Broese <arnold_broeseREM...@hotmail.com>
wrote:
> "Charles Bell" <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message

>
> news:9c146df9-0c1c-4f39...@b35g2000yqi.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > The actions of government cannot be equated with actions of
> > individuals
>
> Sure they can in certain aspects. Both are capable of doing the same thing -
> violating rights.

This is a statement that is more incorrect than it is correct, but I
have brought this up before with you, and you ignored the offer to
discuss it so I won't waste time going over that,

Nevertheless, I would like libertarians and Objectivists who are of
the same mind as libertarians on the proposition that government can
never initiate force address reasonable concerns as to traffic laws,
conspiracy accusations, fraud through misrepresentation (caevat emptor
sort of thing) and the like. There are few individual-rights
respecting and freedom-loving people outside a tiny niche of
libertarians (who are also not outright anarchists) who that think
that a proper government consists of an army of civil law judges
presiding within their oligarchies of supreme power handing out
liability suit winnings to people who may be already dead or so badly
injured that no amount of money could suffice.


> Do you not see the point I was making, that misuse of
> power was not an indictment of monopoly?


I think there may be a difference in our opinions as to what
constitutes a misuse of power (see first sentence above) because for
the most part I *do* see a misuse of power as an indictment of
monopolistic government. Without the engine of a monopolist state
running on the twin propellants of monopoly of power and "positive
rights" or whatever ideology du-jour there might be, there could never
be the sort of global destruction brought to us by Europe in the 20th
century. In proposing a monopolistic state (which the U.S.A was never
designed to be and still is not quite), you are more supported by what
Rand wrote in her Rothbard-influenced years in that she actually wrote
no government can initiate force; however, I think I am supported by
Rand in her later days more by what she didn't say in her post-
Rothbard days and her specific rejection of Rothbard's nonaggression-
principle libertarianism *and* keeping the notion of a monopolistic
state. In addressing the one issue of DUI/traffic laws I never hear a
good Objectivist response that is also a clear rejection of
Rothbardian anarcho-libertarianism.


Evans Winner

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Jun 10, 2010, 6:10:43 PM6/10/10
to
D Lind <danl...@gmail.com> writes:

You're making a utilitarian, a "what works" argument for
government.

I don't think that is a correct characterization of what I
have said, but the reason I said it the way I did was to
emphasize that the specific details involved are not
something that one deduces from "first principles," like
Aquinas proving the existence of God. The principles
relevant to the question of why we need something to solve
the problems that government solves have been stated. Is
government the only solution to those problems? Whether it
is or isn't is not a metaphysical problem, but a practical
one.



What should this "government" be? If you give me a
utilitarian argument, a "what works" argument, you'll
have misunderstood my question.

-- Or disagreed that it is the right question. In any case,
what kind of government is not the same question as whether
there should be a government at all. What kind of
government is even more clearly not something you can just
deduce from principles. You can, of course, rule many
things out prima facie if they obviously are contrary to the
purpose of the government: If the purpose is to protect
rights, and a system of government is built from the ground
up to make people slaves, then you can rule that out on
philosophical grounds -- but philosophy will not invent
facts ex nihilo. You have to look at history and carefully
weigh the options. Consequently, what a good argument for a
given system of government is liable to look like is one
that includes both statements of principle as to what it is
a government seeks to achieve, and facts about what kind of
results that government has had or can reasonably be
expected to have in practice in the lives of its citizens
and about how it achieves the desired results.

Whether to have government at all is also really the same
kind of problem. Philosophy can set the stage by pointing
out the need for something, but after all, four nice people
living on four corners of a small island with lots of fruit
and no cannibals probably don't need a government at all,
and it would be silly to say they have to form a government
because metaphysics says so -- that would just be
context-dropping. Metaphysics says, in essence, that they
need to do /something/ to protect their lives if an when
they are threatened. It is a fact that most people don't
live on an island like that, and so they do, as a matter of
practical necessity, need an organized approach to solving
the problem.

Having said all that, I have yet to hear an argument for
anything other than government as the solution that didn't
strike me as very naive, immoral prima facie or based on a
hidden, unacknowledged form of government, but on principle,
I don't believe there is anything in metaphysics or ethics
that totally precludes the possibility.

RichD

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Jun 10, 2010, 6:18:52 PM6/10/10
to
D Lind wrote:
........

> > you'll find that
> > there are no "first principles of logical necessity" to coerce
> > something--anything--from others.
>
> You're mistating the issue.
> It is NOT, how to coerce something from others.
>
> It IS, what guidance do we have from first principles (ie metaphysics,
> epistemology, ethics) for establishing in practice ("protecting")
> individual rights.

>
> > But you already knew that. That's why you don't do it. It's
> > also why Galt's Oath reads as it does.
>
> Galt's Oath reflects ethics applied to relationships among men.

What is Galt's oath?
I suppose it was in "Atlas Shrugged", but I can't remember.

> Can you tell me what Galt's Oath implies with respect to how
> men ought deal with the fact that men, by nature, can choose
> to act unethically?

'right to preserve life', a/k/a self defense, is implied in
'right to life'. It's not moot. Thus you have the inalienable
right to arm yourself.

For a big enemy, you ally with your neighbors for mutual
defense; a militia. You don't need Big Brother, a country,
the state. Recall the old west - when the sheriff faced a gang,
he rounded up a posse - a militia, a true volunteer army. As
opposed to the 'Volunteer U.S. Army' lie (actually a professional
army, for imperial policy enforcement) bandied about today.

--
Rich

RichD

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Jun 10, 2010, 6:53:07 PM6/10/10
to
D Lind wrote:
> "I've tried to figure out how to develop the logical necessity of
> government (as we conceive it today) from "first principles" and can't
> do it."
>
> What I meant was something like this.
>
> If you pyramid as Rand did what she called the branches of philosophy
> and use a somewhat different vernacular than hers, you start with
> metaphysics (subject matter -- that which is), then epistemology
> (subject matter -- rational identification of that which is), then
> ethics (subject matter -- exercise of choice in accordance with the
> (thinking, rational) nature of man), then human action -- I rather like
> von Mises' "praxeology" (subject matter -- human action). You could
> make the argument that politics and economics, for example, are simply
> forms of human action.

>
> I throw out this scheme, which you may or may not like, to make a
> point about politics, which is where defense of, or demonstrating the
> logical necessity of, government resides.
>
> That point is simply this. Given the nature of what is, given
> rational identification of what is, given the ethical nature of man
> and given the nature of human action I'm unable to demonstrate the
> necessity of a monopoly of force.

You have committed the error, the sin, of independent thought.

Everybody - EVERYBODY - uinderstands the necessity
of a monopoly of force, by gubmit. Therefore it must be
true and correct.

Gubmit is those who govern - they make the rules, which you
MUST obey. Gubmit must exst... because it must. (how
can it help people, if it doesn't exist?) Anything else
would be anarchy, an inconceivable state where your life
and body would belong to you. Your only choice is in which
geographic jurisdiction you will submit, as a loyal subject, er
I mean citizen.

Desist from further foolish questions, as I am loath to
sentence you to Room 101 -

> Now you may claim that the absence of a monopoly of force is anarchism
> and then claim, as do the words you attribute to Rand, that
>
> "Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun
> by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the
> collectivist movement, where it properly belongs."

Cute
I guess when you're The Greatest Thinker Since Aristotle,
a little ignorance, smears, and lies are no big deal. The
worshippers will swallow it and defend it, no matter,
cuz they're crtiical thinkers, unlike those religionist cultie types..

> and you may very well be right. But in saying these things you have
> not demonstrated from first principles, from the ethical nature of man
> and from the nature of human action, the legitimacy, necessity or
> morality of force monopolism.
>
> The other topic, and the topic more closely tied to the original
> question of this thread, is that libertarianism, using words that
> drove Cathcart into marvelous paroxysms, does not have a philosophical
> base.
>
> Libertarianism, in so far as it is not grounded on utilitarian ethics,
> claims as its moral justification the Non-Initiation of Force
> principle -- do libertarians call this an axiom?
>
> And how is this Non-Initiation of Force principle justified? No
> coherent answer. It is as NIOF were the eleventh commandment brought
> down from Sinai by Moses. "Thou shalt not initiate force" is just
> another ethical decree and an example of ethics by fiat.
>
> It's the absence of a philosophical base, of a derivation from "first
> principles," for which, as I understand it, Rand objected to
> libertarianism.

My discussions with libertarians - and every Subjectivist
is libertarian, which makes their ravings a riot - is they simply
cut to the chase, via this axiom. If pressed, they will answer
the same as you - man's nature demands freedom of thought
and action, hence society must be organized to minimize
stepping on each other's toes, which means rules against coercion.


> The question I'm asking in this thread is, do Objectivists typically
> understand her objection.

Do astrologers understand astrology?


PS Check A.J. Nock's "Our enemy, the state" for some
interesting commentary, a century old..

--
Rich

Mark N

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Jun 10, 2010, 11:15:15 PM6/10/10
to
RichD wrote:

> Everybody - EVERYBODY - uinderstands the necessity

> of a monopoly of force, by gubmit. [...]
>
> Gubmit [...] Gubmit [...]

Is that how this person

http://tinyurl.com/mmry4d

pronounces the word "government"?

Mark

Jim Klein

unread,
Jun 11, 2010, 12:47:34 AM6/11/10
to
On Jun 10, 9:10 am, D Lind <danli...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Can you tell me what Galt's Oath implies with respect to how men ought
> deal with the fact that men, by nature, can choose to act unethically?

Sure, and you can read the whole story for the details.

"Don't deal with those men who choose to act unethically."

And don't shoot the messenger for being so trite!


jk

Jim Klein

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Jun 11, 2010, 12:44:00 AM6/11/10
to
On Jun 10, 8:56 am, D Lind <danli...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > > I've tried to figure out how to develop the logical necessity of
> > > government (as we conceive it today) from "first principles" and can't
> > > do it.
>
> > There's a reason for that, and it ain't your lack of intelligence!
>
> > There's a necessity that some things have to be done by more
> > than one person, and there's a strong desirability among rational
> > men to have a dispute resolution mechanism, but neither of those
> > are even close to describing what a government does, in all of
> > the current (and past) instantiations of government.
>
> All right. That's not a bad way of loosely framing the question.
>
> Do you have something resembling an answer?

Sort of. "You're not going to find such a logical necessity
because it doesn't exist." All that's left for you to decide is
how much time you want to waste looking for one!

I mean, it's not really a waste. We look and look for Santa
Claus and then God, but eventually we rationally conclude
that neither are there.


jk

Jim Klein

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Jun 11, 2010, 12:49:35 AM6/11/10
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On Jun 9, 4:08 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:

> > So unless you want to use the strategy of Jim P. and Charles B.
> > and just wildly redefine your terms,
>
> I just (1) offered Lind a opportunity...

Sorry; I didn't mean in this thread. Maybe it's worse...
I meant generally!


jk

Jim Klein

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Jun 11, 2010, 1:09:10 AM6/11/10
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On Jun 9, 9:55 pm, Arnold Broese <arnold_broeseREM...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

> > Are you offering that we haven't put the use of force under


> > strict monopoly control, or that we haven't descended into
> > gang warfare? Either claim seems mighty tough to defend.
>
> Neither. Again the conflating principle with application. Monopoly doesn't
> by it's nature guarantee that it will be used wisely.

Quite right. Indeed, there's a case to be made that monopoly
by its nature guarantees that it WON'T be used wisely.

That's why it's not wild to imagine that the reason the USA
thrived as it did, is precisely because there WASN'T a genuine
monopoly of force. There are many countries in Africa and
elsewhere that demonstrate what happens when there is
a true monopoly of force.


> No more than gun
> ownership does. I would not vote against gun ownership on the grounds that
> guns have been misused, any more than government power that is misused.

That's cool, but it hardly addresses the point. Just as your voting
for gun ownership doesn't in and of itself make gun ownership
beneficial, so neither does your vote about monopoly government.


> What constitutes misuse? Why the violation of individual rights. The same
> applies to government as gun ownership. Misused power of government is like
> misused guns - bad for individuals.

Sure, but guns only kill people one at a time!


> Our trouble with government isn't it's
> monopoly as such, but the misuse of such monopoly. Look at failed states
> such as Somalia, and you will see no monopoly at all, so that is clearly no
> answer.

Really now, Arnold. Are you saying that your wits and the
wits of your countrymen, are roughly equivalent to the
wits of the average Somali?


> What I argue for is getting the recognition of individual rights as the
> objective of monopoly government, and stripping it of the power to initiate
> force.

You're the implementer, so let's see the plan for that!

Princple-wise or practically, how do you propose to put all
of the power in X, but strip X of some power?

You didn't fly planes with logic like that, did you?


> The problem lies not in the monopoly, but it's abuse. You may well
> argue that we will never bring about such a revolution because of human
> failings. This will leave you to explain why such human failings would not
> result in gang warfare where the strongest thug wins. Where "justice" is a
> St Valentines massacre.

The really funny part about this is that the very premise
of your monopoly government--retaliation as justice--
is the exact same principle used by the mob.

That probably explains why your monopoly government
inevitably becomes indistinguishable from the rackets.


jk

Jim Klein

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Jun 11, 2010, 1:41:27 AM6/11/10
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On Jun 10, 2:54 am, Evans Winner <tho...@unm.edu> wrote:

> If you agree with the
> neighbor kid to give him some money in return for mowing
> your yard, and if after he has done so you renege, he has
> no recourse if there is no law and government to enforce it
> other than to try to enforce it himself or hire someone. In
> either of those cases you have what amounts to what has been
> called "gang warfare" in this thread.

Well, a lot of this rests on what "recourse" is. On the presumption
that it necessarily entails physical coercion against another, I
suppose this is right. But what if the kid concludes that the value
of not engaging coercive restitution against another person is
higher than whatever value he got screwed out of?

Would you tell him that he's making a mistake of judgment?
Me, I'd say he has a pretty good head on his shoulders and
is likely to live both a longer and happier life because of it.

> One could postulate that the parties, even in an anarchist
> system, could agree mutually to be bound by some
> non-government third party, but that doesn't really solve
> the problem, because either party is still free to renege,
> and if they have a bigger club than the third party, then
> they are not bound by the dictates of that third party.

Right again, but this too is built on the implicit premise that
the only way to be bound is by a club. That's a false premise,
and particularly ludicrous when the supposed founding
principle is that we don't want to deal with each other by club.

Generally, founding contradictions don't serve too well, though
admittedly Rand worked her way around a few of those. Here's
a rough sketch for you, Evans. Maybe it'll help you to think
outside of the box...

http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/?p=11437


> The answer then, is not throw
> the government baby out with the bathwater, which has always
> resulted in brief, unstable anarchy followed by tyranny, but
> to try to change the culture and thereby to improve the
> government.

Golly, I sure picture a lot of quibbling over what
"improve" means here!


jk

Charles Bell

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Jun 11, 2010, 7:53:03 AM6/11/10
to

Oh, heaven forbid anyone should discuss the subject of this discussion
rather than discussing the subject of another discussion about which
one is totally unaware (generally).

D Lind

unread,
Jun 11, 2010, 9:00:56 AM6/11/10
to

Is there a reason you take the time to post something that's not
responsive?

Jim Klein

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Jun 12, 2010, 1:13:57 AM6/12/10
to
On Jun 11, 9:00 am, D Lind <danli...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > > Do you have something resembling an answer?
>
> > Sort of. "You're not going to find such a logical necessity
> > because it doesn't exist." All that's left for you to decide is
> > how much time you want to waste looking for one!
>
> > I mean, it's not really a waste. We look and look for Santa
> > Claus and then God, but eventually we rationally conclude
> > that neither are there.
>
> Is there a reason you take the time to post something that's not
> responsive?

Well, there would be if I did that of course, but I thought
I was answering the question! I was responding to this...

------------------------------------


> > I've tried to figure out how to develop the logical necessity of
> > government (as we conceive it today) from "first principles" and can't
> > do it.

> There's a reason for that, and it ain't your lack of intelligence!

> There's a necessity that some things have to be done by more
> than one person, and there's a strong desirability among rational
> men to have a dispute resolution mechanism, but neither of those
> are even close to describing what a government does, in all of
> the current (and past) instantiations of government.

All right. That's not a bad way of loosely framing the question.

Do you have something resembling an answer?
------------------------------------------------

I thought the question was about "the logical necessity of


government (as we conceive it today) from 'first principles'"

and that you were asking because you "can't do it."

I intended to be directly responsive and even set off my
response in quotes...

"You're not going to find such a logical necessity
because it doesn't exist."

That's still my answer to that question, so you must be
asking a different one. Sorry if I didn't follow correctly,
but right now I can't get any other reading from it.


jk

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