Axiom Olympics

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Trevor Watkins

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Jul 19, 2020, 11:16:58 AM7/19/20
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Axiom Olympics


Axioms are a brief statement or proposition which is regarded as being  self-evidently true. The axiom olympics is a competition to identify the "best" libertarian propositions or axioms of  political philosophy, 


The contestants are the various propositions. 


The events are a series of scenarios designed to test the integrity, comprehensiveness, real-world application, and usability of the propositions.  Readers may suggest new events.


The judges are you, the readers and responders on this googlegroup. Like a gymnastics competition, the judges rank the contestants in each event from 1 (awful) to 10 (Brilliant).


 Contestants

  1. NAP - Non Aggression Principle.   Murray Rothbard

    No violence may be employed against a nonaggressor.

  2. IP - Individualist Proposition.  Trevor Watkins

    No one should act against an innocent person or their property without their consent.

  3. ML- Mychland. Jimgee1000

     Infringement of individual property rights constitutes a punishable crime. 

  4. WR - Weiman's rule. Gavin Weiman

    All human action that impacts on others must either be either a) blameless  or b) justified.

  5. GR - Golden rule. Traditional

      Do as you would be done by.

  6.  UT - Utilitarian. Hobbes

    The greatest good for the greatest number

  7. EX - Existing Legal System 



Events

Which axiom gives the best (most in line with your expectations for a fair system) result? Mark your score from 1(awful) to 10(brilliant), and justify your score if necessary.

  1. A boxer is punched in a contest he has agreed to.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP



IP



ML



WR



GR



UT



EX




  1. A government official demands you pay tax.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP



IP



ML



WR



GR



UT



EX




  1. Your neighbour sues you for looking into her property.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP



IP



ML



WR



GR



UT



EX




  1. After the seller told you it was working, the car you purchased will not start

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP



IP



ML



WR



GR



UT



EX




  1. After signing a contract to work for R20/hour, your employee demands R30/hour.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP



IP



ML



WR



GR



UT



EX






  1. You grossly insult someone in public.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP



IP



ML



WR



GR



UT



EX




  1. You shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre


Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP



IP



ML



WR



GR



UT



EX



Garth Zietsman

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Jul 19, 2020, 11:43:19 AM7/19/20
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One thing - Utilitarianism wasn't Hobbes but Bentham.  

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jimgee1000

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Jul 19, 2020, 12:31:03 PM7/19/20
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Trevor, are the contestants free to submit a glossary?

Not a full break-down, just a glossary so people can see if their definitions are being used or not.

Jim

Trevor Watkins

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Jul 20, 2020, 4:06:10 AM7/20/20
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Hi Jim
My theory was that the readers would have been following our recent exchanges, and would get their info from there. But perhaps I should formalise the definitions as part of the contest. However, I was hoping to make the Olympics part short, and allow the lengthy discussions to take place elsewhere.
regards
Trevor Watkins
bas...@gmail.com - 083 44 11 721 - www.individualist.co.za
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330


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Gavin Weiman

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Jul 20, 2020, 7:46:44 AM7/20/20
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Another think, I did not offer my suggestions as an ‘axiom’ - in fact none of the propositions are axiomatic in the true sense.

Gavin Weiman
http://www.weiman.co.za
Cel: 082 510 0186



On 19 Jul 2020, at 17:43, Garth Zietsman <garth.z...@gmail.com> wrote:

No violence

Trevor Watkins

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Jul 20, 2020, 9:08:17 AM7/20/20
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In red below
Trevor Watkins
bas...@gmail.com - 083 44 11 721 - www.individualist.co.za
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330

On Sun, 19 Jul 2020 at 17:16, Trevor Watkins <bas...@gmail.com> wrote:

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP

1
The raw NAP would outlaw all initiated violence.

IP

10
Initiation of force is allowed with consent.

ML

4
Allowing force through consent is not implicit in statement, but appears in notes.

WR

7
Punching is not blameless, but may be justified if consent is given

GR

8
A boxer presumably expects to be punched, and to punch in return.

UT

2
This involves only 2 equal protagonists. Mathematically unspecified.

EX

6
Existing law does allow boxing, but subject to huge regulation.

  1. A government official demands you pay tax.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP

8
If one assumes that a demand to pay tax will end in force, then the NAP would forbid that force.

IP

9

Trevor Watkins

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Jul 20, 2020, 10:09:18 AM7/20/20
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Sent by mistake too soon. continues below.
Trevor Watkins
bas...@gmail.com - 083 44 11 721 - www.individualist.co.za
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330

IP

9
No one may demand payment of tax without consent of the victim.

ML

9
Infringement of property rights is a punishable crime.

WR

5
Depending on the jurisdiction, demanding tax could be justified.

GR

4
Your desire to pay tax has no bearing on me.

UT

3
The fact that 17 million profit from my tax does not make it acceptable or justified

EX

1
Essentially provides no protection from tax.

  1. Your neighbour sues you for looking into her property.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP

3
No force, so no opinion

IP

3
No real act, so no opinion. Maybe subject to review by peers

ML

4
Subject to convoluted definition of property, might be a crime.

WR

7
Human action impacting on another, maybe blameless, maybe justified.

GR

4
Maybe you are an exhibitionist, maybe not. Poor basis for a decision

UT

2
Impossible to judge

EX

6
Privacy will probably win, justice less so.

  1. After the seller told you it was working, the car you purchased will not start

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP

2
NAP does not specifically outlaw fraud with violence

IP

7
IP includes force and fraud in its wider definition.

ML

7
Infringement of property right is a punishable offense

WR

7
Human action that impacts another and is not blameless

GR

5
Most people do not want to be defrauded

UT

3
OK if the population of sellers exceeds population of buyers, otherwise not.

EX

7
Reasonable rules, if you can afford the court

  1. After signing a contract to work for R20/hour, your employee demands R30/hour.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP

3
No force, NAP does not address breach of contract

IP

7
Taking an action without consent is breach of contract

ML

5
Has property right been violated?

WR

7
Action impacts another and is not justified

GR

3
Depends if you are employer or employee

UT

3
Employees generally out number emplyers, so breach of contract OK

EX

7
Good laws covering breach of contract




  1. You grossly insult someone in public.

Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP

5
NAP does not cover freedom of speech, or whether words alone are violence

IP

9
Permitted. Protects absolute freedom of speech, as words are not real actions.

ML

4
Unclear whether words are property

WR

9
Not permitted. Action that impacts others without justification

GR

7
Most do not wish to be insulted

UT

4
OK if crowd shouting abuse at baseball ref.

EX

7
Fairly specific lbel laws.

  1. You shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre


Axiom

Score

Comments

NAP

5
No position on speech or property. May limit resultant force and injuries

IP

8
No action affecting property without consent. Theatre owner must specifically permit  shouting of "Fire."

ML

8
No action affecting property without consent. Theatre owner must specifically permit  shouting of "Fire."

WR

9
Not permitted. Action that impacts others without justification

GR

8
Most people would object to this action.

UT

8
Does not serve the majority of people.

EX

9
Strongly disallowed, except in case of actual fire.

Trevor Watkins

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Jul 25, 2020, 9:11:16 AM7/25/20
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Well, not quite the response I was hoping for.  One would have been great. 

Nevertheless, not an entirely wasted effort. I found the exercise of making a judgement on 7 different axioms (for want of a better word) against 7 criteria quite informing. It took a lot of thought, and some introspection. To my surprise I found I quite liked Gavin's formulation, and it pointed up some distinct weaknesses in the consent only approach.

Feel free to take a shot yourself.

Trevor Watkins


jimgee1000

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Jul 30, 2020, 6:17:03 AM7/30/20
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I'm busy compiling my evaluation of what you have there, Trevor, so I'll come back when I have something.

Also, about what Gavin said about the word axiom.... it may be worth defining what *you* mean by it, before we go any further. Even if it's nothing more than a google search result. Just so those with a different definition can factor it in to their answers.

Otherwise, I can see most people being reticent to even try to make sense of it.

To me, there must be a glossary of terms. Even if - and more likely because of the fact that - other people's definitions differ.

Maybe it is actually possible to engage in a debate using only one person's terms/definitions, but I would say the bare minimum pre-requisite would be a (at least one) glossary.

If you don't define your terms, how is anyone supposed to exchange views? Like I say, it doesn't have to be my definition, but there must be a starting definition for the terms that are often the source of contention. And again the only reason we need to even talk to one another, is because of the hurdles that exist to minority-secession.

For instance, the term 'aggression' is used very loosely by the Left. And the Right generally have no truck with aggression - whether defensive or offensive - (to them initiatory violence is a mark of honor, in the presence of insults (name-calling). For libertarians, the opposite is the case i.e. an insult does not constitute the first punch.

What triggers the Right is how it's used against them by the Left e.g. to get someone else to come and do their physical acts of violence for them.

Anyway. Thoughts, if you have any.

Jim

jimgee1000

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Jul 30, 2020, 6:32:15 AM7/30/20
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Forgive me, I just re-read the original post. Ha... clearly it's the first definition.. Doh!  My blond moment for the day.

The part about terms and glossaries, of course, still stands.


Jim

On Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 3:11:16 PM UTC+2, Trevor Watkins wrote:

Gavin Weiman

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Jul 30, 2020, 9:20:56 AM7/30/20
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Hi,

Just a few notes on “Gavin’s Rule” (not my choice of name), it deals in a highly summarized way with a part of the (enforceable) human actions rules setting out the rights and obligations person have/owe each other (law of individual rights and obligations), namely the right not to be harmed/obligation not to harm. (In law tort or delict). The other main part is the right/obligation to enforcement of promises that parties intend to be bound coercively too. It is in agreements that the question of consent arises and where consent can be a justification for harm.

Ludwig Von Mises coined the term praxiology (science of human action) and claimed it had two branches- history and economics. Hayek (not discussing praxiology) pointed out that economists study the economic rules derived from the spontaneous order of society while lawyers study the rules of human conduct that underpin/bring forth the spontaneous order. Hence ethics, law and manners are also subdivision of the science of human action or praxiology.
The problem with “Gavin’s Rule” like the others is that it’s only a part of the picture. It deals with harm to individuals (not consented to). Since harm to an individual is either ‘personal’ as in a physical injury, or proprietary.

This requires additional branches of law, a law of property, what is property, types of property, how acquired, transferred etc, and a law of persons. What is a person, types of capacity a person can have while alive, how personhood ends and wills and estate laws. The unborn, young children, marriage, parents and children, insanity, death.

All these laws we call “PrivateLaw” as it affects individuals and has little to do with the Libertarian bogeyman the dreaded “State” ... All these rules sort of evolved as customary practice and some became enforceable as laws over time. It’s not in this area that we fear tyranny. The libertarians fear “Public Law” this branch covers contitutional laws that are supposed to cage the state so it does not become a threat to liberty, administrative laws where we can force the government back into its cage, and criminal law, that can be a big threat to liberty, if previously  free action now becomes regulated and criminalized.
From the Magna Carta, the 1900 century us declaration, etc it’s not frequent that opportunities arrive where society needs a constitutional assembly to reset the state, fix the loopholes that allowed tyranny to emerge, and restore society to its cooperative market state.
Which brings me to my conclusion. Hayek said, each generation needs to restate the philosophy of liberty. I believe that the reason why this is so important is that there are enough informed libertarians in each generation ready to bring from the ashes that tyranny will reduce society too, a Phoenix of a good goVernment.
I oppose NAP and consent because the thinking is to limited to write a new constitution of liberty from it. And if we are not at the forefront when the time comes the constitution that emerges  will be badly flawed. 



Sent from my iPad


On 30 Jul 2020, at 12:32, jimgee1000 <jfc4l...@gmail.com> wrote:


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Trevor Watkins

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Jul 31, 2020, 6:07:14 AM7/31/20
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As ever, in red below
Trevor Watkins
bas...@gmail.com - 083 44 11 721 - www.individualist.co.za
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330

On Thu, 30 Jul 2020 at 12:17, jimgee1000 <jfc4l...@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm busy compiling my evaluation of what you have there, Trevor, so I'll come back when I have something.

Also, about what Gavin said about the word axiom.... it may be worth defining what *you* mean by it, before we go any further. Even if it's nothing more than a google search result. Just so those with a different definition can factor it in to their answers.

Otherwise, I can see most people being reticent to even try to make sense of it. An axiom is a statement that is self-evidently true and therefore does not require further justification. A classic example is Ayn Rand's statement "A is A", which is an axiom which required a further huge corpus of work to justify. The word "axiom" has generated resistance in the past (mainly from Gavin :)), and I now prefer the word proposition - not quite so arrogant, and permits further justification. For a while I will use them interchangeably.

To me, there must be a glossary of terms. Even if - and more likely because of the fact that - other people's definitions differ. I agree that a glossary is necessary, I just didn't want to put it in this post because it will be a huge thing, filled with counter-arguments. I also didn't want to summarise other people's positions on their behalf. Hence I recommended that the points made in the previous post (The Individualist Proposition) could be used to explain your and Gavin's propositions, and a little online research could explain the others (NAP, Golden rule, etc). By the underwhelming response I can see that approach was overly optimistic. I will start a new thread entitled "Axiom/proposition glossaries" in which I will do my best to provide the answers you seek. Of course, I will use your and Gavin's own definitions. Nevertheless I expect some robust disagreements.

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jimgee1000

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Sep 21, 2020, 6:55:12 AM9/21/20
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At least for the moment, I'm going with a (more or less) binary categorization system, based on the action under question. The 1-10 scoring system is perhaps a little arbitrary, but I may come back and complete that aspect at some point if need be/desired. (Hopefully that isn't too difficult to parse. I wasn't sure how to use the tables formatting so I just copy 'n pasted and typed it out).

1. A boxer is punched in a contest he has agreed to.
Action under question: punch

NAP: Legality of action: legal. The other boxer is a non-aggressor by virtue of contract.
IP: Legality of action: legal.
ML: Legality of action: legal. Since each boxer owns his body, he can do with it as he pleases, including potentially subjecting it to a series of brutal punches, which may result in his physical demise.
WR: Legality of action: legal (other boxer is blameworthy, but justified (1a, 4a)). ‘Harm’ is assumed to be forceful blows applied to opponent’s body.
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})  

2. A government official demands you pay tax.
Action under question: demand ‘X’ 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (‘Against’ would require definition)
ML: Legality of action: legal (Demands, per se, are not illegal. Government officials are merely market participants. Market participants acting extra-contractually can be legally prosecuted or ignored.)
WR: Legality of action: Illegal (1a, none of 4a,4b,4c apply). ‘Harm’ is imagined to be forceful seizure of property, where ‘property’ is not defined.
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})


3. Your neighbour sues you for looking into her property.
Actions under question: sue(assume up to delivery of summons), peep. 
 
NAP: Legality of actions: sue: legal(subject to voluntary contract), peep: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (‘Against’ would require definition)
ML: Legality of action: base contract: legal, extended contract: depends on terms(Did you agree not to look into her property?).
WR: Legality of action: sue: legal(1a,4a); peep: depends on contract(1a, 4x).
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})  


4. After the seller told you it was working, the car you purchased will not start
Action under question: mislead 
 
NAP: Legality of action: illegal. Theft by deception.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (If not ‘against’, might make the action legal)
ML: Legality of action: illegal.
WR: Legality of action: illegal (1a, none of 4a,4b,4c apply). ‘Harm/infringement’ is imagined to be deprivation of ownership(see ML glossary).
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})  


5. After signing a contract to work for R20/hour, your employee demands R30/hour.
Action under question: demand ‘X’ 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms.
ML: Legality of action: base contract: legal, extended contract: depends on terms.
WR: Legality of action: legal(none of 1a,1b apply). No imagined harm/infringement(unless contractual).
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity}) 

6. You grossly insult someone in public.
Action under question: insult 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms.
ML: Legality of action: legal. Insults do not constitute a crime. The recipient would have to assign some legitimacy to the insult for it to have any effect on him. If you chose to be bound by a contract stipulating you  were forbidden from insulting someone, and managed to find a contract enforcement service/s, you would be free to so engage. As long as the contract was voluntarily entered into.
WR: Legality of action: Indeterminate. Depends on definition of ‘harm’/’infringement’. One person may insist that name-calling causes tremendous harm. Another may treat vile insults as water off a duck’s back.
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity}) 

7. You shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre
Action under question: shout 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms.
ML: Legality of action: base contract: legal. Shouting per se, is not illegal. Extended contract: depends on terms.
WR: Legality of action: Indeterminate. Depends on definition of ‘harm’/’infringement’. Can’t assume any private terms, yet don’t know if harm/infringement occurred.
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})

Notes:
NAP: I think Rothbard’s NAP shorthand may be more accurately summarized as: ‘non-initiation of force, and private property.’
IP: Probably the purest sense of a libertarian/voluntary society i.e. Hoppe’s private law society, by the looks of it. Next question… how to get there, from a 21st century Democracy. Not possible to ascertain how digestible the legal code is, since it is all private. External jurisprudential assessment would decide and charge for the service, I presume.
ML: Relies on defined terms, primarily: ‘property’ and ‘property acquisition’. See glossary.
WR: Assume ‘others’ means other human beings. Relies on defined terms: blameworthy and justified. ‘harm’/’infringement’ not defined.
GR: Everyone’s rules apply to everyone else. Recipe for chaos. 
UT: Relies on defined terms: good.

Forgive any excess nit-picking. I will update the ML glossary.

jimgee1000

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Sep 21, 2020, 7:02:39 AM9/21/20
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... to add to my analyses:

Example scenario notes:

1. Assumed definitions for the example scenarios: demand(ordinary request not backed by law), sue(private contract), public(land not yet appropriated).

2. Where each scenario includes a private contract, the usefulness of the scenario largely falls away. The real question relates to shared laws.

3. Where a jurisdiction is opt-in/out, all law essentially becomes a contract. The only question is whether or not some kind of secession would enable the private land-owner to become legally divorced from the mother jurisdiction.  

Gavin Weiman

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Sep 22, 2020, 3:57:19 AM9/22/20
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Hi

When engaging in an Axiom discussion such as this I believe that the following propositions made by Hayek should be considered.

  • Human reason evolved with and from human action or conduct
  • That the notion of the rational animal is part of evolved human rule base conduct. i.e we are as much, if not more, ‘rule following man’ than ’rational animal.
  • The Axioms you seek to derive or argue for exist within the evolved and evolving human complex of rules
  • Humans are entirely unaware of the majority of rules that we follow,
  • Most of the rules we follow are a result of human conduct and not human design.

An axiom such as NAP finds itself in extant evolved common law in injury and criminal law relating to assault. It being a delict of a crime to cause harm or the fear of harm (unlawfully and intentionally) to another person

An axiom like Consent finds itself i extant evolved common law 
in contract law - in the notions that promises must be kept and the agreement and is terms must be consensual, also 
in Injury law and criminal law as a defence to a crime or injury.

Nowhere in history or rules or law, has it ever been suggested the notions of NAP or Consent may axiomatically serve as a stand alone, foundation of all human rules of conduct or from which all proper human action can be derived. Additions are necessary to account for other human foibles and conditions to embody the ‘rule following communities idea if intrinsic justness.

I believe that attempting to do the above is, impossible, self defeating, an impoverishes the understand of proper human action and the codification of a legal system of rules or laws that would accord to libertarian ideals.

My ‘do no harm’ axiom is taken as an isolated idea from contract law and injury law as a not-to-be-taken-seriously axiom contender.

If I had the time, my project would be the codification of a base-line libertarian legal system. Ancaps cannot do this only classical liberal styled libertarians can.

Regards
Gavin

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jimgee1000

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Sep 23, 2020, 5:34:51 AM9/23/20
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Gavin,

It is, of course, fine with me if this kind of exercise is of little or no use to you.

I will point out that it's becoming increasingly obvious to me that it probably wouldn't be so darned important to be right, or even merely acknowledged, if the right to secede was a little more accessible. Because it would mean that you don't have to shoe-horn your values into someone else's legal code. 

If it were more accessible, and perhaps there are ways to achieve sovereignty which are a lot more accessible than I'm aware of, it would surely become a matter of putting your money where your mouth is... as opposed to endlessly suffering through someone else's vision, ideas and vocabulary.

Jim

Trevor Watkins

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Sep 25, 2020, 3:59:08 AM9/25/20
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Many thanks to Jim and Gavin for your thoughtful responses. I will attempt to respond in reverse order of postings.

When I engage with people and organisations, their actions (which often affect me) are justified by a hodge podge of bad ideas, poor thinking, and outright criminality. When I oppose these ideas I am frequently asked "So what would you do?", "Do you have a better system or proposal that is more reasonable?". The Individualist Proposition is my reply to such questions. I believe it is a comprehensively consistent way of describing how humans should interact with each for their mutual benefit. It is centred on the rights of the individual to life, bodily integrity and property. I believe it can be usefully applied to most conflicts. I setup this Axiom Olympics to test this idea against various other belief systems.

I look forward to the day when the vast majority of governmental rules and regulations can be countered with the simple statement "I did not consent to that". In Ji'ms rather nice turn of phrase, we no longer have to shoe-horn our values into someone else's legal code, but proudly proclaim our own better one. .One way to bring about that day is to spread these ideas as widely as possible, so they become second nature in society. (Interestingly, consent is almost a given in most private social interactions. It is only the exception when engaging with our public representatives.) 

regards
Trevor Watkins
bas...@gmail.com - 083 44 11 721 - www.individualist.co.za
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330

Gavin Weiman

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Sep 25, 2020, 4:08:43 AM9/25/20
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Hi Jim,

Its not that the exercise as you conceive it is of little or no use to me, its just that the exercise at is appears to be conceived by you and/or Trevor vastly underestimates the magnates of even the ‘legal’ complex of rules necessary to underpin a market catalaxy /spontanious order.

You cant just subject people to some weird ‘putting your money where your mouth is’ idea its unlikely that more than a handful of libertarians would bother living i a society that tried to infer or deduce its rules from a few axioms as are described and being discussed here - no matter how easy t was to achieve a ’sovereign area’

The problem is that many Libertarians seem to be ‘constructivists’ as Hayek negatively used that term.

Gavin

Trevor Watkins

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Sep 25, 2020, 4:20:03 AM9/25/20
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Hi Gavin
There is an obvious disconnect between the idea of a spontaneous order and a "galaxy?" of legal complex rules. Spontaneously arising rules tend to be simple (understood by everyone) and few (that survive the test of time).

The vast majority of people, including libertarians, live in a society described by the consent axiom (the spontaneous rules of polie society (ask consent, don't steal, wait your tuen, etc). It is only when we debate power relations that this becomes complex.

Trevor Watkins
bas...@gmail.com - 083 44 11 721 - www.individualist.co.za
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330

jimgee1000

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Sep 26, 2020, 2:27:12 PM9/26/20
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Gavin, 

Perhaps Mises's solution to 'the calculation problem' applies to what could be termed 'the legal problem'.

If one made it legal but self-funded to secede.... IF (hypothetical).... you know us human being's... there will always be a few of us crazies who will go right ahead, be totally irresponsible and ... probably make something work, which everyone else will want to emulate.

Sometimes I think many doubters of libertarianism / free markets doubt because it seems necessary to give up their middle of the road paradise.

I say knock yourself out, not me! ;-)

There's got to be a way. It's not as though there isn't the will.

Jim

Trevor Watkins

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Sep 27, 2020, 6:33:12 AM9/27/20
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In red below
Trevor Watkins
bas...@gmail.com - 083 44 11 721 - www.individualist.co.za
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330

On Mon, 21 Sep 2020 at 12:55, jimgee1000 <jfc4l...@gmail.com> wrote:
At least for the moment, I'm going with a (more or less) binary categorization system, based on the action under question. The 1-10 scoring system is perhaps a little arbitrary, but I may come back and complete that aspect at some point if need be/desired. (Hopefully that isn't too difficult to parse. I wasn't sure how to use the tables formatting so I just copy 'n pasted and typed it out).

1. A boxer is punched in a contest he has agreed to.
Action under question: punch

NAP: Legality of action: legal. The other boxer is a non-aggressor by virtue of contract. This is my problem with the NAP. Nowhere in its formulation does it mention contract, consent or property. It is simply assumed because we're talking to libertarians. Non-libertarians would assume a boxing match is illegal in terms of the words used in the NAP.
IP: Legality of action: legal. You may act since you have consent, and be acted aginst since you have consented..
ML: Legality of action: legal. Since each boxer owns his body, he can do with it as he pleases, including potentially subjecting it to a series of brutal punches, which may result in his physical demise. Illegal. Can you as the the boxer respond? No mention of contract or consent making it legal.
WR: Legality of action: legal (other boxer is blameworthy, but justified (1a, 4a)). ‘Harm’ is assumed to be forceful blows applied to opponent’s body. Legal, as consent removes blame and provides justification.
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})   Legal, if a majority of those present benefit from the boxing match. 


2. A government official demands you pay tax.
Action under question: demand ‘X’ 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually. Illegal. Due to the threat of force, ultimately.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (‘Against’ would require definition) Illegal, in the absence of consent.
ML: Legality of action: legal (Demands, per se, are not illegal. Government officials are merely market participants. Market participants acting extra-contractually can be legally prosecuted or ignored.) Illegal. Government officials are not merely market participants, they have a monopoly on force, and will use it.  According to ML, Infringement of property rights is a punishable crime.
WR: Legality of action: Illegal (1a, none of 4a,4b,4c apply). ‘Harm’ is imagined to be forceful seizure of property, where ‘property’ is not defined. Possibly legal: Depending on the jurisdiction, demanding tax could be blameless and justified.

GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)  Your desire to pay tax has no bearing on me.

UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity}) Legal: If more people benefit from my tax, than are threatened by it.



3. Your neighbour sues you for looking into her property.
Actions under question: sue(assume up to delivery of summons), peep. 
 
NAP: Legality of actions: sue: legal(subject to voluntary contract which is not specified), peep: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (‘Against’ would require definition) Legal: No real act involved. Maybe subject to review by peers

ML: Legality of action: base contract: legal, extended contract: depends on terms(Did you agree not to look into her property?).
WR: Legality of action: sue: legal(1a,4a); peep: depends on contract(1a, 4x). Is peeping blameless or justified? Who decides?
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})   If the peepers outnumber the neighbours, then peeping is legal. What truy awful concept UT is.


4. After the seller told you it was working, the car you purchased will not start
Action under question: mislead 
 
NAP: Legality of action: illegal. Theft by deception. Legal, no force involved. NAP does not mention fraud or property.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (If not ‘against’, might make the action legal) Illegal Definition of consent does not permit fraud.
ML: Legality of action: illegal.
WR: Legality of action: illegal (1a, none of 4a,4b,4c apply). ‘Harm/infringement’ is imagined to be deprivation of ownership(see ML glossary).
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})  


5. After signing a contract to work for R20/hour, your employee demands R30/hour.
Action under question: demand ‘X’ 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually. legal: a demand is not an act.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. legal: a demand is not an act.

ML: Legality of action: base contract: legal, extended contract: depends on terms. legal: a demand is not an act.  
WR: Legality of action: legal(none of 1a,1b apply). No imagined harm/infringement(unless contractual). legal: a demand is not an act.
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})  Legal, if a majority of fellow workers will benefit.

6. You grossly insult someone in public.
Action under question: insult 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. Legal: insult is not a real act.
ML: Legality of action: legal. Insults do not constitute a crime. The recipient would have to assign some legitimacy to the insult for it to have any effect on him. If you chose to be bound by a contract stipulating you  were forbidden from insulting someone, and managed to find a contract enforcement service/s, you would be free to so engage. As long as the contract was voluntarily entered into.
WR: Legality of action: Indeterminate. Depends on definition of ‘harm’/’infringement’. One person may insist that name-calling causes tremendous harm. Another may treat vile insults as water off a duck’s back.
GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)
UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity}) 

7. You shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre
Action under question: shout 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. IllegalNo action affecting property without consent. Theatre owner must specifically permit  shouting of "Fire."
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jimgee1000

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Sep 28, 2020, 8:29:38 PM9/28/20
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Trevor, as far as the NAP goes:

1) the proposer's definitions must surely be used. I

jimgee1000

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Sep 28, 2020, 9:36:49 PM9/28/20
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I began a reply and somehow it was posted before I was finished compiling the message. Perhaps operator error.

I suspect the contention concerns 'public ownership', never 'private ownership'. Because only one of these is not an oxymoron. With contracts, the agreement is explicit, even when it's not. It's obvious who's responsibility it is to agree rules and punishments, up-front, where there is a contract or room for them under the existing law.

The answer would be to opt-in to a jurisdiction, explicitly. It would then not matter which proposal works on paper or can be easily explained to non-libertarians.

It's a little late.... I will continue my reply tomorrow. 

On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 12:33 PM Trevor Watkins <bas...@gmail.com> wrote:

Gavin Weiman

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Sep 29, 2020, 3:35:29 AM9/29/20
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Hi Jim,

Well Popper argued that ‘constructionism was, as a piecemeal process, always going to happen and could be usful. Khun argues that this causes paradigm shifts over time.

So while there’s a will, the ‘way' will always happen as the future is continually shifting. The question is how best to act in the present.

I have no desire to ‘knock’ you or anyone… however it seems the views I shared are not useful from your perspective… but keep trying to discover and shape yours ,… its good work for the mind

Gavin

Gavin Weiman

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Sep 29, 2020, 3:35:29 AM9/29/20
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Hi Trevor,

The problem with simplistic solutions is that the evolved rules complex is more complex than the human mind can easily encompass.

Even your idea of using these as meme like explanations of what your alternative is, end up being more complex than you hoped they would be.

Some tests for effective simplicity.

Neither NAP or Consent speak about property.
… this introduces the complexity of your having to explain that you own your own life and the product of your effort, oh, and any land you occupy or have traded with other for etc.
… otherwise you are met with
I don’t consent to you not consenting or  the NAP or your very existence as a free person, you are my property and as such lack the rights implied by NAP and as my property I revoke your right to consent… (this is the attraction of the Ancap view)

One of the problems I am wrestling with at the moment (in a novel I’ve been writing for the past 30 years) is the question of defence.

Let’s see how your axioms might deal with this issue, or Jim can help me.

In all extant legal systems one may not initiate force, its threat or misrepresent with the intention of harm. This is not a libertarian invention its evolved human customary law.

This comes into conflict with the notion of the state as the impartial arbiter of disputes. 

Since the state is, like all things, not omniscient and omnipresent, law allows you to use force to defend against aggression.

This defence right only applies if an attack has commenced or is immanent and cannot be avoided by other means and extends only to ending the aggression, not attacking back, making new laws  or revenge. You must allow the state to do the latter on your behalf thought law and the courts.

My creative plot problem/philosophical problem with this (and its also a problem with the consent axiom) is this.
1) what is aggression?
2) what is immanent?

A human lifespan is somewhere between 65 - 120 years, and then there is intergenerational wealth.

Let's assume someone (the villain or a socialist state with a long view) intentionally initiate a series of actions over a period of decades or centuries that will one day in the future result in my destruction or loss of all my, and my generational wealth. (this is in fact one of my novels libertarian plot themes)

Existing legal notions give me no right of self-defence against these long term actions since they would not be considered acts that were immanent or even in themselves agression. I am supposed to use a democratic process to combat this and as as a last recourse revolution. In the mean time I am expected to allow the rights of free speech (propaganda) by the villains and comply with the rule of law, and not agrees against these villains.

My hero has decided that these rights and institutions are framed like a spiders web. He turns his back on society and its evolved norms, he withdraws his consent to their consent and NAP the rule of their law etc. he uses his generational wealth to commit ‘crimes against humanity’ ends up conquering the world and establishing a new code of law making future rights of speech, property, actions, consent constrained so that actions cannot be taken that can have a long terms aggressive impact on the freedom to live without harming others.

My heroes are self-aware, historically-aware libertarians. They even look like villains to exiting liberation type thinkers. They have decide that they do not have to persuade others to allow them to be free, they will make it so even if the cost is the lives of everyone who opposes them. They will not allow ‘peaceful’ or even consenual actions that cumulatively, whether internationally or otherwise will interfere with their liberty of actions. They consider themselves bound by the same constraints they end up establishing.

In their new order they also have to allow for the knowledge problem and uncertainty.

Hope it sounds like something you may want to read. It's like a reverse 'Atlas Shrugged'. Except Atlas doesn’t shrug, he picks up a sword.

Regards
Gavin


jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 4:40:02 AM9/30/20
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1. A boxer is punched in a contest he has agreed to. 
Action under question: punch 

NAP: Legality of action: legal. The other boxer is a non-aggressor by virtue of contract. 
This is my problem with the NAP. Nowhere in its formulation does it mention contract, consent or property. It is simply assumed because we're talking to libertarians. Non-libertarians would assume a boxing match is illegal in terms of the words used in the NAP. 
It's true that I'm drawing on a closer inspection(what one might refer to as the long-form) of Rothbard's NAP to come to the 'legal' conclusion. As it happens, 'Property' is mentioned in the extract you quoted the NAP short-hand from. I accept that Rothbard's rendition of the NAP - in the short-form - can be improved upon. But I have to wonder who the target audience is, that you are referring to by 'non-libertarians'. Did you have a particular group in mind?


ML: Legality of action: legal. Since each boxer owns his body, he can do with it as he pleases, including potentially subjecting it to a series of brutal punches, which may result in his physical demise. 
Illegal. Can you as the the boxer respond? No mention of contract or consent making it legal. 
The ML short-hand is designed to draw in the interested i.e. to do some unpacking, using the long-form/glossary. If this means the rest of the scores are 0... I will be extremely upset :-)


UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})   
Legal, if a majority of those present benefit from the boxing match. 

Greatest good for the greatest number. How would you know, from the short-form, who has defined 'good'? It isn't defined anywhere that I can see. There appears to be no long-form to resort to, and no glossary. So I have be honest and say I have no idea whether a consensual boxing match would be legal.

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 5:38:46 AM9/30/20
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2. A government official demands you pay tax.

Action under question: demand ‘X’ 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually. 
Illegal. Due to the threat of force, ultimately.
Correct. But the action is specifically 'demand', not 'threaten with force' e.g. point a gun, or send out a red-letter notice. One can demand without threatening force. I think that is an important distinction, especially since libertarians, of all people, are expected to know what defensive force is i.e. where to draw the line.


IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (‘Against’ would require definition) 
Illegal, in the absence of consent. 
'Against' would have to be defined, before I could know whether a demand made, in an IP jurisdiction is legal or illegal. How would you define 'against', Trevor? It seems like a very subjective term to put even the slightest bit of legal weight onto.


ML: Legality of action: legal (Demands, per se, are not illegal. Government officials are merely market participants. Market participants acting extra-contractually can be legally prosecuted or ignored.)
Illegal. Government officials are not merely market participants, they have a monopoly on force, and will use it.  According to ML, Infringement of property rights is a punishable crime.
In a territory which operates under an ML jurisdiction - so, NOT any modern jurisdiction I am aware of - government officials are simply individuals who have opted in to the base(or 'social') contract. This is no different to a) 2 people contracting by mutual agreement, or b) someone becoming naturalized citizen of an existing country where he agrees on application to abide by the laws of that country. And again, if making non-contractual demands can be ignored, then where is the violation of private property rights? For this purpose there is no difference between someone referring to themselves as a government official and someone simply saying I demand that you pay 'tax' which in ML would be an utterly meaningless term as it legally applied in Mychland. People would probably know it's meaning in other jurisdictions but would understand it to be no different to organized theft.

Note: 'government' is not the same as 'state'. Government could be libertarian i.e. self-government, or authoritarian. 'The term government', in Mychland, certainly does not refer to a 'state' i.e. a monopoly on the use of force.


WR: Legality of action: Illegal (1a, none of 4a,4b,4c apply). ‘Harm’ is imagined to be forceful seizure of property, where ‘property’ is not defined. 
Possibly legal: Depending on the jurisdiction, demanding tax could be blameless and justified.
My interpretation is that the action of making a demand of someone for tax, would be blameworthy and intending to cause harm i.e. unjustified. Hence, illegal. But given my strict emphasis on 'demand' as the action, then, per se, it may be blameless and so it would be legal. But I'm not sure if 'demanding' per se would be illegal. Clearly the person intends to confiscate what belongs to you. So, I'm not 100% sure on this one.


GR: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective)  
Your desire to pay tax has no bearing on me.
Person A does as he would be done by e.g. confiscates the wealth of person B. Person B does as he would be done by i.e. he doesn't confiscate the wealth of Person A. It would be hard to imagine a more nonsensical proposition for a legal code.


UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity}) 
Legal: If more people benefit from my tax, than are threatened by it.
Same answer as before. I don't see how it is possible to know, upfront, without first defining 'good'. It seems entirely subjective. A recipe for chaos.

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 6:49:20 AM9/30/20
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Gavin,

I would prefer to leave anyone alone to pursue their preferred legal system. I only expect the same civility in return.

If, for example there are South Africans outside of the Western Cape, who wish to continue living under Socialist policy, I say go for it. Knock yourself out.

If there are those South Africans inside the Western Cape who wish to live under pro-Capitalist laws, I say there is no argument from my side. If after secession, there is a group of Afrikaaners who wish to secede their land to a set of laws different to that of a Cape Confederacy or a Cape Republic, I say they should not be stopped. Same for any other group, including a group that distinguishes itself using philosophical criteria, alone. As long as the independence movement is self-funded.

It seems any contention amongst libertarians when it comes to a libertarian rule-set, arises from a common assumption they are stuck with one legal code, and they have to be prepared to fight it out, in the battle of ideas, so decide who's turn it is to live under the other's values. I say no, if you have this approach to libertarianism it is not really libertarianism, it is statism. You agree to bicker and fight for your rules to apply to everyone else in an artificially-bordered jurisdiction. There is likely a 3rd party benefiting from such a perpetual legal comprise.

I say it's not necessary. If it is possible to devise a means to redraw the borders to accurately reflect the values i.e. the moral code, of the communities in a given geographical area, then I see no reason why it's a bad idea. I suspect this 'means' is similar if not the same as the 'means' of calculating prices in a country of 2 billion people, who know nothing of each others' preferences except that certain goods and services are more expensive in known areas, and others are cheaper.

Jim

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 6:53:14 AM9/30/20
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Voluntary interaction, when legal, makes price discovery possible.

Perhaps, given legal voluntary interaction, border discovery would become possible.

Jim

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 8:32:37 AM9/30/20
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3. Your neighbour sues you for looking into her property. 
Actions under question: sue(assume up to delivery of summons), peep. 
 
NAP: Legality of actions: sue: legal(subject to voluntary contract which is not specified), peep: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually. 
Given what I know about Rothbard's NAP and his position on property rights, sueing would have to entail a contract. Otherwise it simply could not happen in this jurisdiction.


IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (‘Against’ would require definition) 
Legal: No real act involved. Maybe subject to review by peers
Could you define what you understand by 'sue'. Since it doesn't involve suing the state, seems to me, this must therefore be a private contract. Contract terms would cover any legal repercussions for peeping. 

Note: The IP short-form: 'No one should act against an innocent person or their property without their consent':
- Maybe 'against' is added for emphasis, but I find it a little tautologous. Is 'consent' not sufficient?
- By my interpretation, for action to be illegal, it needs to be established that a) the action was taken 'against' a person/their property, b) this person is innocent and c) this person is consenting(which may or may be implied by point 'a').

WR: Legality of action: sue: legal(1a,4a); peep: depends on contract(1a, 4x). 
Is peeping blameless or justified? Who decides?
'blameless', since none of 1a, 1b or 1c apply, unless there is a contract... which seems to be inferred might be possible by 'harm (or infringement)'. However/wherever these two are defined... that would form a contract, I suppose.

UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})   
If the peepers outnumber the neighbours, then peeping is legal. What truy awful concept UT is.
Agreed. It is akin to mob-rule, as far as I can see.

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 8:56:00 AM9/30/20
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4. After the seller told you it was working, the car you purchased will not start 
Action under question: mislead 
 
NAP: Legality of action: illegal. Theft by deception. 
Legal, no force involved. NAP does not mention fraud or property.
Rothbardian NAP does, but in long-form. Or if it is concisely summarized, I haven't yet seen it. The closest I've come to a concise version of Rothbardian NAP, with property theory defined, is Stephan Kinsella's rendition, but I had to work to find them/it. And I'm not an expert on Rothbard, either. Thing is this kind of work is necessary to forge something that is more accessible. He, and others by the looks of things, had to work to refine their respective starting points.
Rothbardian NAP (when expounded) clearly considers misleading advertizing as fraud i.e. theft by deception.

IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. (If not ‘against’, might make the action legal) 
Illegal Definition of consent does not permit fraud.
Okay. Please clarify, if you wouldn't mind, with respect to 'against' i.e. whether it is distinct from consent, or merely added emphasis.

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 9:08:56 AM9/30/20
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5. After signing a contract to work for R20/hour, your employee demands R30/hour. 
Action under question: demand ‘X’ 
 
NAP: Legality of action: legal unless specified otherwise, contractually.
legal: a demand is not an act.
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms.
legal: a demand is not an act.
ML: Legality of action: base contract: legal, extended contract: depends on terms. 
legal: a demand is not an act.  
WR: Legality of action: legal(none of 1a,1b apply). No imagined harm/infringement(unless contractual).
legal: a demand is not an act.

Okay, well, before I can comment, then, my view is that 'demand' is a verb. And verbs are actions. The purpose of any proposal for a legal code, is to establish specifically what acts are illegal.
Would you agree with that stated purpose?

The way I'm interpreting 'demand' is : strong request, may be backed by a threat of force.
It could be specified in a private contract that no demands for 'X' will be permissable during the contract. Otherwise the contract will be considered breached and/or made null and void, with or without a due penalty.

UT: Legality of action: legal or illegal (Chaos could erupt, since rules are entirely subjective, and decided by {unspecified person/entity})  
Legal, if a majority of fellow workers will benefit.
Correct. Mob-rule. Not possible to know with any certainty what the majority will decide.

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 9:18:05 AM9/30/20
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6. You grossly insult someone in public.
Action under question: insult 
 
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. 
Legal: insult is not a real act.
What does 'public' mean, in an IP jurisdiction?
If private contracts are legal in IPland, would it not be legal to agree with someone that they not insult you in 'public'(however 'public' is defined)?

jimgee1000

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Sep 30, 2020, 9:34:29 AM9/30/20
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7. You shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre
Action under question: shout 
 
IP: Legality of action: depends on contractual terms. 
Illegal: No action affecting property without consent. 
This is a cleaner more succinct short-form. I would say that it is still a little bit vague, though :-)
Theatre owner must specifically permit  shouting of "Fire."
Since the owner knows that simply withholding consent doesn't by itself prevent someone shouting fire, it should incentivize him to forbid entry without entrants agreeing to his terms.
Therefore the legality of the action depends on the terms in the contract. If it's a movie-theatre showing a thriller involving a serial killer, he may decide to permit shouts/screams in response to the movie. 'Fire' or 'bomb' or 'spider' could be exclusions :-)
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