About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 20

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 12:08pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Stephan Kinsella wrote:

Here's the problem Objectivists never answer. Logicaly, you have to favor one-world government, as there is currently anarchy between nations. But you never do.


Okay, let me reply to my old friend Stephan.

For a government to operate legitimately, i. e., in accordance with individual rights, presupposes the existence of a supporting culture, one respectful of the philosophic premises at the base of the rule of law and individual liberty: reason, individual rights, constitutionally limited government. Today, such an Enlightenment-based cultural infrastructure may be possible at the level of single nations.

But globally?

A precondition of a legitimate one-world government would be the existence of a global culture endorsing these Enlightenment premises. While that may be theoretically possible in the future, it certainly doesn't exist, and it's highly unlikely. And for us to endorse a "one-world government" in a world that rejects Enlightenment premises is suicidal.

For all those reasons, the "final arbiter" of conflicts among Americans must remain within U. S. borders, at the federal level. Conflicts between us and those in foreign lands can be addressed, where possible, by treaties -- but not treaties that undermine U. S. sovereignty and the rights of U. S. citizens.

Stephan continues:

Rand herself had Galt say that no man may start the use of force. This is quite simple, and quite good. A state necessarily initiates force, and thus commits aggression, as I have elaborated in this article: What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist. If you endorse any state, you either think some aggression is okay, or you think states don't necessarily employ aggression. One or the other. Which is it?



Stephan, the claim that "a state necessarily initiates force" is simply false. Let me not once more belabor the fallacies of that argument here. I think I more than adequately addressed them, at length, in a series of articles posted on my blog, under the subheading, "Anarchism and Limited Government."

Moreover, as I showed there, NONE of the "anarcho-capitalist" systems advanced by ANY major proponents of anarchism has come to grips with anarchism's fatal, fundamental dilemma:

At some point, the "competing agencies" under anarchism must forcibly resolve enduring disagreements and conflicts -- either by (a) imposing on the disputants a final resolution (which itself would amount to the hated "monopoly on force" for which anarchists condemn governments) -- or else (b) by devolving into a state of eternal gang warfare ("anarchism" in the familiar sense of the term).

In short, either "competing agencies" set up a "final arbiter" of disputes (a government) to enforce their verdicts -- or they grant individuals a universal "right of secession" from EVERY verdict...thus granting all aggressors a carte blanche to impose social chaos.

Anarchists evade a simple fact of reality: In conflict resolution, some mechanism of enforcement is logically unavoidable, because even "reasonable" individuals and groups will continue to disagree with verdicts. If you recognize an unlimited right for dissatisfied individuals to "secede" from such verdicts, then the entire system collapses.

All the subsequent tap-dancing and rope-a-dope from anarchists in response to my argument hasn't left a dent in this unavoidable real-world dilemma.

So if the "moral" complaint of anarchists against government is that it necessarily imposes itself on unwilling participants, then "anarcho-capitalism" is no alternative. If it establishes a mechanism of enforcement, it becomes a de facto government; if it doesn't, it paves the way for civil war...where the most powerful gang will ultimately impose its agenda by force.

The anarchist rejoinder -- that "market incentives" will be sufficient to prevent people from coming to blows -- is so preposterously naive as to be unworthy of discussion. The initiation of force is always destructive, harming even the initiator's rational interests; yet that fact hasn't stopped aggression since the beginning of human society. To believe that armed private agencies, competing to satisfy paying clients, would fail to respond to "market demand" guiding the employment of force, ignores the whole of history, and is just too silly for further words.


To Mark Humphrey:

You wrote...

Bidinotto's brief commentary about the posts made by Anthony Gregory (with whom I have areas of agreement and disagreement) and presumably myself, read like a religious leader inveighing the Faithful to avert their eyes from sin: "Satan, get thee behind me!"


Mark, like Stephan, you too are an old friend. Had I meant to single you out for rebuke, you would not have had to guess that my remarks "presumably" included yourself. Please don't presume: I know how to make myself clear. I find Anthony Gregory's manner here contemptible. But while I disagree strongly with your views, I didn't find the same attitude in how you expressed your positions, or else I would have mentioned you by name.

In "inveighing" against the libertarian movement, as it has devolved, I am necessarily generalizing. Many self-described "libertarians" (including anarchists) are wonderful individuals, of course, and I count you, Tibor Machan, Eric Mack, Stephan Kinsella and many other libertarians among them.

But there comes a time in which an organized movement -- in terms of its institutions, publications and even its label -- have been hijacked, and have come to be dominated by a different and much less reputable sort. Even disregarding questions of character, the bald fact that the libertarian movement is now dominated by those whose philosophic orientation is anarchist has a host of important policy implications, such as what kind of criminal justice system and defense policy are consistent with liberty.

If the debates raging on this forum prove anything, it is the complete incompatibility of the worldviews, strategies, institutions and policy recommendations between those holding anarchist views, and those advancing limited government views.

Sadly, the anarchist position now reigns supreme on the staffs at virtually all the major self-defined "libertarian" organs: the Libertarian Party, Liberty magazine, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Foundation for Economic Education, Future of Freedom Foundation, The Mises Institute (Dr. Mises is probably spinning in his grave), Center for Libertarian Studies, ISIL, Libertarian Alliance, Libertarian International, Laissez Faire Books, Independent Institute, LewRockwell.com, Strike-the-Root.com and AntiWar.com, and many, many more. And though they may not (yet) dominate venerable institutions such as Cato and Reason, anarchists (and certainly "non-interventionist" libertarians) are heavily represented there, too.

More fundamentally: leading libertarian thinkers are all but unanimous in equating "libertarianism" with philosophic agnosticism: the view that libertarian politics is compatible with, and even can be derived from, virtually any philosophical position -- i. e., any form of theism, hedonism, relativism, skepticism, altruism, environmentalism, free will, determinism and, oh yes, Objectivism. Under this philosophically open-ended definition of "libertarianism," the views of even the worst subjectivists -- from racists to pedophiles to druggies and other sundry libertines -- cannot be dismissed as incompatible with "libertarianism."

This agnosticism only works to the advantage of the scum. There was a time, for example, when Justin Raimondo (AntiWar.com) was a very marginal figure in the libertarian movement; and at that time, Peter Schwartz of ARI came under considerable (and justifiable) criticism for portraying him as being representative of "libertarianism." Since 9/11, however, Raimondo has moved center stage within the movement. It turns out that Schwartz's criticism wasn't so much wrong as it was premature. The libertarian movement's philosophical admissions policy mirrors its immigration policy: indiscriminately open borders.

The result? Today, no sane observer outside the libertarian movement could survey it and conclude that "libertarianism" really means such things as constitutionally limited government, protection of intellectual property via patents and copyrights, or a strong national defense (especially one that projects U. S. force beyond our borders in order to defend our rights and interests against international threats). Quite the contrary.

Ayn Rand wrote that rational ideas, such as Objectivism, will succeed in the world to the extent that the logical alternatives are clearly, publicly defined. If so, then what is the value for Objectivists in contributing to ongoing public confusion, by continuing to associate themselves with a movement now dominated by anarchists (and infiltrated by worse)? Such a linkage will only confuse and repulse the public, muddle the intellectual debates, and obliterate the simple fact that we hold completely incompatible positions on a host of political issues -- ranging from criminal justice to intellectual property to national defense and war.

Let me clarify one other matter. Philosophical disagreement does not necessarily translate into personal animosity or social ostracism. We are, after all, individuals, and as individuals we should judge and be judged. While ad hoc forms of cooperation (and certainly individual friendships!) remain possible among inhabitants of the two movements, the incompatibility of Objectivism with what "libertarianism" has come to mean requires that we erect a clear definitional firewall between the two movements per se.

This is not a conclusion I come to with pleasure. One of my first efforts in joining the staff of The Objectivist Center in the mid-1990s was to try to bridge the chasms between Objectivists and libertarians. And I worked hard at it.

But that was at a time when the movement was still up for grabs, philosophically speaking. It was also before 9/11. Contrary to what many have said, that traumatic event did not drive ideological divisions into the libertarian movement: it merely revealed them. The divisions had been there all along.

Here's hoping that the reasons for my "inveighing" is now clearer. Mark, this is not a religious zealot inveighing the Faithful. I think it is plain common sense: the simple recognition of a deep philosophic division that we shouldn't pretend to ignore.



Post 21

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 12:10pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"1) Saddam Hussein is not an honest person."

Of course not. He's a politician.

"2) Saddam Hussein constantly inhibited the U.N. inspectors from doing there jobs."

No, that was a lie.
Really?

 
"3) Saddam Hussein said "we have no WMD.""

And....?
And, given his status as a liar, only a fool would beleive him

 
"4) Saddam Hussein rewarded Palestinian Suicide Bombers families with $$."

True.

 
"5) Saddam Hussein was a totalitarian murdering torturing nut case."

He was authoritarian, I wouldn't say totalitarian. But at any rate, he did his most murder while a U.S. ally.
Split the hair as you like. I now see your one of those who would hold us to the mistakes of our past. Any criminals in your family? Any liars? Your due to be punished for them by your "reasoning".

 
"6) Saddam Hussein's forces regularly attacked U.S. forces in the no-fly zones."

Americans don't have a right to enforce no-fly zones wherever they want, you know.
Nice, except it was predicated upon his earlier aggression....context you know.

 
"7) Saddam Hussein could have given WMD technology to terrorists and/or financially supported terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and businesses both in the U.S. and abroad."

 
Yeah, and so could any dictator.
One at a time.

 
"8) We gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatem."

Bush gave Saddam a few ultimatems, and changed the terms of them whenever Saddam seemed like he might comply.

 
"9) We invaded Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power and established a means for the Iraqi people to govern themselves."

"We" didn't do this. The U.S. government did the first thing. The second one can't be called yet. (Though last time the U.S. government did regime change in Iraq, it was disaster: remember, when the U.S. helped Saddam rise to power?
Holding us to the past mistakes again?

"10) We thus attracted the attention of Al Qaida and other terrorist groups in Iraq who wanted either the destruction of the U.S., its citizens, and/or its freedom loving way of life and to return Iraq to the days of dictatorship."

Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until this stupid war.
Not what I said. Sure, Iraq was a great place before Mr Moore.

"
11) We are fighting said terrorists in Iraq, Afganistan, elswhere.

Where do you get the idea that this is not defensive? Should we let them strike first? They did. The invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia where U.S. citizens and businesses have interests. WAKE UP!"

 
Saddam invaded Kuwait, it's true. And Bush I invaded Panama. That doesn't mean that France has a right to invade the United States.
This is a meaningless statement.

 
A defensive war isn't merely a war against a country with a bad leader. There are dozens of countries with horrible ruling despots. That doesn't give "us" a right to kill tens of thousands of those people.
Give us a right? We have the right to depose any dictator. We do not, however, have the responsibility. You missed the part where I noted Saddam initiation of force against us. No, you glossed it over saying we have no rights to enforce no-fly zones or toss Saddam out of Kuwait, or do anything but sit in our closet.

 
Saddam is safe in a cell right now.
Thanks to the U.S.

This wasn't a defensive war because the people that force was initiated against didn't initiate force upon American. Period.
 See above, deny it if you like. If I called your house and threatened your family while holding your neighbors captive, you wouldn't think this was an initiation of force.
This wasn't a defensive war because the people that force was initiated against didn't initiate force upon American. Period. Every innocent victim of U.S. war is a murder victim. People don't lose their right to not be killed by the U.S. only by virtue of having a murderous ruler. (Especially if that ruler was armed, assisted, funded, and given intelligence by the U.S., and committed his greatest crimes with U.S. help.)
I don't know what to say to you other than note what is in my opinion a sad cowardice and hatred of rights wrapped in a veil proclaiming rights. You DO wish Saddam was still in power as you would not ever want to do anything about it. I know, you'll say its the U.S. fault for this, because you hate the U.S. and would hold us to ruin for every past mistake, while never doing the same for yourself. I now begin to understand how insulated I have been from people like this. While that is a good thing for my spirits, to see someone like yourself serve up this dreadful stuff has caught me off guard. I must appologise to Lindsay for taking him to task over the term Saddamite. While I noted that it doesn't apply to many of our regular posters such as DDD and Matt, it does apply to you Mr Gregory.

I also regret that when going for the REPLY button I accidently checked the APPROVE button and gave you ATLAS points for this disgrace of a post.




Post 22

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 1:03pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Stephan Kinsella wrote, "A state necessarily initiates force, and thus commits aggression, as I have elaborated in this article: What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist. If you endorse any state, you either think some aggression is okay, or you think states don't necessarily employ aggression. One or the other. Which is it?"

Why must a state "necessarily" initiate force and against whom does it apply its force? These are important questions. Too important to drop the context and make generalizations.

The basis for your post and your article is the notion that states are inherently aggressive. You "prove" this by noting that every state that has existed has initiated force at one time or another, as if this were the defining characteristic of government. At no point do you consider the possibility of a state that does not initiate force [this would be a contradiction in terms, in your thinking], which would solve both the problem of the threat of force and the problem of how to bring the idea into waking life. Instead, you advocate the absence of a state altogether. You can dream of the ideal of anarchy, but your imagination fails to conjure a non-aggressive state.

You conclude your article with a package deal: If you are against aggression, then you are necessarily for anarchism.

It seems to me that you espouse the non-initiation of force and call that system anarchy, then you turn around and criticize Laissez-Faire Capitalists, who also advocate the same ideal of the non-initiation of force, for basing their thinking in and applying the concept to reality.



Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 23

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 3:01pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"2) Saddam Hussein constantly inhibited the U.N. inspectors from doing there jobs."

"No, that was a lie."

Really?


Yes.
 
http://www.fair.org/activism/post-expulsions.html

"3) Saddam Hussein said "we have no WMD.""
"And....?"
And, given his status as a liar, only a fool would beleive him


Well, the "fools" who listened to Scott Ritter and Jude Wanninski, who both claimed that Bush, the seasoned liar, was lying about the WMD, ended up being right, apparently. Personally, I never thought WMD was a sufficient case for war.
 
"5) Saddam Hussein was a totalitarian murdering torturing nut case."
"He was authoritarian, I wouldn't say totalitarian. But at any rate, he did his most murder while a U.S. ally."
Split the hair as you like. I now see your one of those who would hold us to the mistakes of our past. Any criminals in your family? Any liars? Your due to be punished for them by your "reasoning".


If Saddam's crimes against his own people justify killing his innocent subjects, then Reagan's crimes would justify killing innocent Americans.
 
"6) Saddam Hussein's forces regularly attacked U.S. forces in the no-fly zones."
"Americans don't have a right to enforce no-fly zones wherever they want, you know."
Nice, except it was predicated upon his earlier aggression....context you know.


Which aggression? The invasion of Kuwait that the US said was none of our business and essentially told him he could launch, or the gassing of the Kurds with gas from the US government?
 
"7) Saddam Hussein could have given WMD technology to terrorists and/or financially supported terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and businesses both in the U.S. and abroad."
 
"Yeah, and so could any dictator."

One at a time.


So you do advocate world war, don't you?

"
"9) We invaded Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power and established a means for the Iraqi people to govern themselves."
"'We' didn't do this. The U.S. government did the first thing. The second one can't be called yet. (Though last time the U.S. government did regime change in Iraq, it was disaster: remember, when the U.S. helped Saddam rise to power?"
Holding us to the past mistakes again?


If you can legitimately say the government is "we," then you have an awful lot of blood on "your" hands. You can't have it both ways in collectivism. If you claim credit, you must take responsibility. The trouble with democracy is that the government can continue its aggression and people give it a blank check because they assume its past presidents are gone and therefore the current regime deserves no scrutiny for past crimes.

"10) We thus attracted the attention of Al Qaida and other terrorist groups in Iraq who wanted either the destruction of the U.S., its citizens, and/or its freedom loving way of life and to return Iraq to the days of dictatorship."
"Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until this stupid war."
Not what I said. Sure, Iraq was a great place before Mr Moore.


It wasn't a great place. But it was the most secular, liberal Arab country. People could by alcohol and guns (before the US enforced a gun ban in Baghdad). Women didn't have to wear anything in particular, could go to college, learn English. There was more religious tolerance than we see now.

11) We are fighting said terrorists in Iraq, Afganistan, elswhere.
Where do you get the idea that this is not defensive? Should we let them strike first? They did. The invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia where U.S. citizens and businesses have interests. WAKE UP!"
 

"Saddam invaded Kuwait, it's true. And Bush I invaded Panama. That doesn't mean that France has a right to invade the United States."
This is a meaningless statement.


No it's not. You just hold our government to a different standard, a much lower one, than other governments. I hold it to the same standard. Ideally, we'd hold it to a higher standard.
 
Give us a right? We have the right to depose any dictator. We do not, however, have the responsibility. You missed the part where I noted Saddam initiation of force against us. No, you glossed it over saying we have no rights to enforce no-fly zones or toss Saddam out of Kuwait, or do anything but sit in our closet.


You have a right to freely go and voluntarily fight to overthrow anyone you please. You do not have a right to force others to fund it, or to kill innocent people in the process. If the US has a right to put dictators in power, as it did with Saddam, and then overthrow those dictators, killing thousands of innocents in the process, you're giving near unlimited power to the state.
 
Saddam is safe in a cell right now.
Thanks to the U.S.


Sure. But you still don't seem to think that the CIA, and Reagan administration support of Saddam complicates your case that US foreign policy has been humane, just or rational.

"This wasn't a defensive war because the people that force was initiated against didn't initiate force upon American. Period."
 See above, deny it if you like. If I called your house and threatened your family while holding your neighbors captive, you wouldn't think this was an initiation of force.


Yes I would. But if in my attempt to protect my family I bombed the neighborhood and killed innocent people, I would be an aggressor too.

"This wasn't a defensive war because the people that force was initiated against didn't initiate force upon American. Period. Every innocent victim of U.S. war is a murder victim. People don't lose their right to not be killed by the U.S. only by virtue of having a murderous ruler. (Especially if that ruler was armed, assisted, funded, and given intelligence by the U.S., and committed his greatest crimes with U.S. help.)"
I don't know what to say to you other than note what is in my opinion a sad cowardice and hatred of rights wrapped in a veil proclaiming rights. You DO wish Saddam was still in power as you would not ever want to do anything about it. I know, you'll say its the U.S. fault for this, because you hate the U.S. and would hold us to ruin for every past mistake, while never doing the same for yourself. I now begin to understand how insulated I have been from people like this. While that is a good thing for my spirits, to see someone like yourself serve up this dreadful stuff has caught me off guard. I must appologise to Lindsay for taking him to task over the term Saddamite. While I noted that it doesn't apply to many of our regular posters such as DDD and Matt, it does apply to you Mr Gregory.
I also regret that when going for the REPLY button I accidently checked the APPROVE button and gave you ATLAS points for this disgrace of a post.


I have not insulted anyone personally, and you call me a coward. How brave does one have to be to side with the most powerful government in the history of the world? Is that what individualists are supposed to do?

And by the way, opposing the US government's wars is not the same thing as hating America or the US, any more than opposing US government welfare is hating America or the poor. There are plenty of moral and practical reasons to oppose government activity that have nothing to do with hating the people who live under that government. I wouldn't speak up if I didn't love America, and to think that you can't oppose the US government and love America is, I think, to misunderstand what it was that made America the greatest and freest country in history.




Post 24

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 4:51pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Anthony Gregory: "Under market anarchy, there wouldn't be any agencies that monopolize aggressive violence, or practice such violence systematically -- that's what makes it anarchy."

Indeed, we see here displayed what makes it anarchy: wishful thinking - the leitmotif of the hippies of the right. "If only we'd all just get on," simper the hippies of both right and left while arguing for unilateral disarmament and a posture of pacifism, "then perhaps peace could break out." Yeah, right.

What in so-called 'market anarchy' would stop there being agencies that monopolize aggressive violence, or practice such violence systematically? Answer: Blank out.

Anarchy as it's been espoused by anarcho-capitalists is a phony and unstable ideal - it is not possible; it is not desirable; and if the ideal were realised we would simply see a swift transition to the type of anarchy the rest of us know by the word: a vicious war of all against all, in which the one with the biggest club gets to take home the loot.




Post 25

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 4:35pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I'm writing here to chime in with Stephan Kinsella. I too was happy to read Mark Humphrey's thoughtful post. But I was also surprised to see Lew & Company described as utilitiarians.

The praxeological approach to economics replaces cause and effect with choice and consequence, while making no assumptions as to the desirability of particular ends. Just as knowledge of chemistry might assist one in preparing nitroglycerine, while providing no guidance on issue of whether or not to do so, a knowledge of economic principles cannot tell us whether to welcome or rue the gasoline shortage that results from a legislative cap on the price. There are people who desire to make travel by individually owned cars as inconvenient as possible, and certainly a long line at the pump would well serve that end.

Murray Rothbard was rather clear on the notion that the mere observance of economic principles does not and cannot make the case for liberty. In fact, he wrote a book on the subject entitled The Ethics of Liberty.

As for his impassioned anti-statism, I have to ask: how virulent an anti-statism should you exhibit when you consider the state to be the arch-enemy of mankind?

Saddamite, though I apparently am, I am glad to see the elections proceed as peacefully as they have. But the celebrations here remind me of the old Bob Newhart drinking game. How many times has the US Government declared victory in Iraq?




Post 26

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 5:09pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
A libertarian state is wishful thinking, too. When has such a state existed?



Post 27

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 8:06pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Anthony,

To paraphrase Bill Handel, just how are you able to type through that straightjacket?

I will leave aside all your comments about this war and American foreign policy and Reagan, as they are too odious to be worth addressing. It seems as if your words are in competition with each other: the newest one trying to be even more odious than the last. (Indeed, that seems to be the case for most anti-war dogmatists. The more they say, the worse they sound.)

As for the matter of statism: nobody but a utopian actually expects for there to be a perfect libertarian state someday (although it is infinitely more likely to exist than a perfect anarchist society). In these types of arguments we are almost always talking about the lesser of evils. We're talking about where a state with a libertarian foundation (such as America) would lead as opposed to an anarchic society. Hence, empiricism must come into play.

So, to measure the wishfulness of your thinking, can you name a single empirical example of an anarchist society having any success? As compared to imperfect constitutional democracies? In history?

You might say that there has never been a purely libertarian state. Fine. But there have been -- and are -- impurely libertarian states, and they have been the most successful societies ever. There have also been numerous examples of anarchy. Care to compare?   

Alec  




Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 28

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 8:12pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
P. Cresswell writes:

> What in so-called 'market anarchy' would stop
> there being agencies that monopolize aggressive
> violence, or practice such violence systematically?
> Answer: Blank out.

Market anarchists have written at length in answer to this question.  Maybe our arguments are no good, but we've certainly made them.  (See, for example, http://praxeology.net/anarcres.htm .)  Hence the "blank out" line, suggesting that we offer no response, seems rather unfair.




Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 29

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 9:28pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Roderick said: "Market anarchists have written at length in answer to this question.  Maybe our arguments are no good, but we've certainly made them.  (See, for example, http://praxeology.net/anarcres.htm .)  Hence the "blank out" line, suggesting that we offer no response, seems rather unfair."

'No response' is what the anarcho-capitalist argument is on this point. Whatever the variant of the argument, it amounts to just hoping that "agencies that monopolize aggressive violence, or practice such violence systematically" will be stopped. How? Somehow.

Frankly, anarcho-capitalists don't know how they'd be stopped. But they can talk about it. And they do - at length, as you say.




Post 30

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 9:47pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
All hail Cresswell, for arguing better that I have been trying to say for a long, long time.

M. Gregory, you bring up the "rapist assaulting woman" example, and say you are justified in stopping the rape. Why? He didn't do anything to YOU! Just to her. Insert you for United States, woman for Iraqi people, and Saddam Hussein for rapist (although infinitely more evil) and you'll see our point.

And tell M. DiLorenzo that he is nothing but a context-dropper and he knows it, and that I would be glad to debate his intellectually dishonest ass anytime, anywhere.



Post 31

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 2:35amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Just a small digression to say, I thought this line was a classic:
...it is in their attempts to justify secessions of states that Rockwellians show their true colors, and those colors look suspiciously like the top of the Duke boys’ car.




Post 32

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 8:25amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mr. Peter Cresswell wrote:

"'No response' is what the anarcho-capitalist argument is on this point. Whatever the variant of the argument, it amounts to just hoping that "agencies that monopolize aggressive violence, or practice such violence systematically" will be stopped. How? Somehow."


Which brings us to the obvious travesty:

"'No response' is what the _minarchist_ argument is on this point. Whatever the variant of the argument, it amounts to just hoping that "agencies that monopolize aggressive violence, or practice such violence systematically" will be stopped. How? Somehow."

As long as human beings are to be endowed with free will, there can of course be only one answer answer for _both_ anarchists _and_ minarchists (an answer that "strangely" is deemed by the latter to constitute "no response" only in the case of the former): a (revolutionary) change in the generally held (political) philosophy of mankind.

_Summa summarum:_ In regards to the never-ending problem of Power, all that _both_ anarchists _and_ minarchists can do is to be ever vigilant: both _physically_ and _philosophically_. Of course, _ceteris paribus_ it will help if the philosophy in question is consistent, so naturally the anarchists will have the upper hand.



Post 33

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 3:11pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
P. Cresswell writes:

> 'No response' is what the anarcho-capitalist
> argument is on this point. Whatever the variant
> of the argument, it amounts to just hoping that
> "agencies that monopolize aggressive violence,
> or practice such violence systematically" will
> be stopped. How? Somehow.

There seems to be a double standard here. When Objectivists are asked what will prevent a minarchic government from violating rights, they appeal to checks and balances, separation of powers, etc. -- in other words, to incentive structures. But when anarchists likewise appeal to incentive structures to explain what will prevent private security agencies from violating rights, what was supposed to be a good response when the minarchist said it suddenly becomes "no response" because an anarchist has said it. What's up with that?

On these points see my debate with Robert Bidinotto, parts one, two, and three.




Post 34

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 3:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert Bidinotto writes:

> More fundamentally: leading libertarian
> thinkers are all but unanimous in equating
> "libertarianism" with philosophic agnosticism:
> the view that libertarian politics is
> compatible with, and even can be derived from,
> virtually any philosophical position -- i. e.,
> any form of theism, hedonism, relativism,
> skepticism, altruism, environmentalism, free will,
> determinism and, oh yes, Objectivism. Under this
> philosophically open-ended definition of
> "libertarianism," the views of even the worst
> subjectivists -- from racists to pedophiles to
> druggies and other sundry libertines -- cannot
> be dismissed as incompatible with "libertarianism."

Well, I would want to make a distinction here. It's certainly true that libertarianism is logically compatible with, and can be derived from, many different philosophical positions, both true ones and false ones. It's often possible to derive true conclusions from false premises. For example:

1. All frogs are birds.
2. All birds are amphibians.
3. Therefore all frogs are amphibians.

So there's nothing "agnostic" about claiming that "libertarian politics is compatible with, and even can be derived from, virtually any philosophical position." That's consistent with saying that some philosophical positions are true and others are false.

A different question is: how far should one cooperate with other libertarians whose philosophical foundations are different from one's own? Here there is a range of views in the libertarian movement. But I don't know of anybody who holds either of the views at the extremes. That is, I don't know of anybody who occupies the maximally permissive position that we should happily cooperate with a libertarian whose reason for being a libertarian is "libertarianism would cause widespread poverty, and I'm in favour of widespread poverty." (One reason nobody holds the maximally permissive position is that all libertarians realize, at least implicitly, that a given viewpoint can tend to undermine libertarianism even if it isn't strictly logically inconsistent with it.) And I also don't know of anybody who occupies the opposite position and thinks we should cooperate solely with libertarians who share our entire philosophical base. (Some might think Rand occupied that position, but she didn't really; after all, she voted for Barry Goldwater.)





Post 35

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 2:06pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mr. Drunkenmiller said:

M. Gregory, you bring up the "rapist assaulting woman" example, and say you are justified in stopping the rape. Why? He didn't do anything to YOU! Just to her. Insert you for United States, woman for Iraqi people, and Saddam Hussein for rapist (although infinitely more evil) and you'll see our point.



I said:

If someone is raping a woman on the street, and I steal someone's gun to defend the woman, I might very well, and probably should, be pardoned for the offense. But I still committed a crime. Individuals might sometimes need to make these calculations in these very strange situations, but states can't be trusted to bring good out of evil.


In the example I gave, my whole point was to show that sometimes an individual might commit a retroactively pardonable offense to defend rights. But it's still an offense. And I said states can't be trusted to make these decisions. States aren't accontable to their actions the way that people are. This is the whole reason free markets work and socialism doesn't -- the same reason that private self-defense and defense of others is superior to governmental socialist war.

Now, your analogy to Iraq is flawed. If, in attempting to stop the rape, I blew up a neighborhood, killed innocent people, and severely injured the woman herself, I couldn't simply plea "collateral damage" and blame all my aggression on the rapist. The rapist is undeniably guilty of an offense -- perhaps the greatest of human offenses up to murder. This cannot be overstated. But I can't simply kill innocent people in taking him out and blame it on him.

There are rapists and dictators throughout the world. The US government can't morally bomb every capital city of a dictatorship and every house with a registered sex offender and say all the victims are victims of the dictators and rapists.

Furthermore, the Iraqi people by and large do not consider the US government to be liberators.



Post 36

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 8:03pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
M. Gregory,

So, if the rapist has innocent babies attached to him, do we allow the crime to continue in the name of "not harming innocent life to prevent crime"? It is on the rapist that any actions taken to secure the liberty of the woman cause harm, because he INITIATED force. Again, how would you handle the rape case, and how would you, as someone who is not involved or harmed in any way, justify this action? What if the woman didn't, ex post facto, view you as a liberator?

Let's face it, the analogy is apt: action to prevent crime is moral, and the transgressor abdicates all expectations of mercy when he transgresses. Furthermore, refusing to destroy innocent life in the name of justice means that any tinpot dictator with a dilapidated tank and a hundred babies inside could run rampant through New York city. How do you defend this?




Sanction: 7, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 7, No Sanction: 0
Post 37

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 8:08pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Roderick Long is a prominent anarcho-capitalist writer, and a strong critic of my arguments against anarcho-capitalism. Here, he has provided us with an illuminating look at the basic "logical" method he has been employing to attack my views and defend anarchism.

Long writes:

It's certainly true that libertarianism is logically compatible with, and can be derived from, many different philosophical positions, both true ones and false ones. It's often possible to derive true conclusions from false premises. For example:

1. All frogs are birds.
2. All birds are amphibians.
3. Therefore all frogs are amphibians.

So there's nothing "agnostic" about claiming that "libertarian politics is compatible with, and even can be derived from, virtually any philosophical position." That's consistent with saying that some philosophical positions are true and others are false.



Let's unpack this:

"True" means in accord with reality, i. e., "real."

"False" means contrary to reality, i. e., "unreal."

Therefore I would like to inquire, first, what Long means by the word "derive" when he says:

"It's often possible to derive true [i. e., real] conclusions from false [i. e., unreal] premises."

How, pray, does one "derive" anything from unreality?

The problem here, as those familiar with the Objectivist theory of epistemology well know, is that Long subscribes to the contemporary philosophic convention of viewing logic as some sort of formalistic intellectual method, to be exercised entirely independent of factual reality. Put another way, it represents a formalized way of divorcing reason from reality.

But the laws of logic, including syllogistic reasoning, don't arise in a vacuum, nor inhabit some abstract universe of Platonic Forms, independent of facts. Even the laws of logic themselves are inferences that have been drawn from observations of reality. Thus the "truth" of logical inferences arises not from their internal formalistic "coherence," but from their direct "correspondence" to observable facts of reality.

To suggest otherwise, is to argue that the "true" and the "real" are completely unrelated.

Yet that's exactly what Long is doing here, and that's exactly what's wrong with his "syllogism." Its major and minor premises -- "All frogs are birds," and "All birds are amphibians" -- amount to nothing more than meaningless gibberish, unconnected to anything in reality. They are not "premises"; they do not mean anything intelligible -- which means: they do not mean anything at all.

So, a few little questions to him:

* How can any conclusion be drawn from strings of meaningless gibberish?

* If not, how can such a conclusion be validated as "true"?

* If logic itself is not to be rooted in factual reality, how can one even distinguish a "true" premise or conclusion from a "false" one?

* How, then, can you distinguish your arguments for "libertarianism" and anarcho-capitalism from arbitrary assertions?

* At bottom, aren't you really saying that the truth or falsehood of premises you use to define "libertarianism" and defend anarcho-capitalism simply don't matter?


Translated, Long's claim "that libertarianism is logically compatible with, and can be derived from, many different philosophical positions, both true ones and false ones," can only mean this:

"Libertarianism can be derived from unreality."

Given what passes for "libertarianism" these days, I am convinced that I should agree with him.
(Edited by Robert Bidinotto on 2/02, 8:15pm)




Post 38

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 8:43pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Well said, Robert.

Modern academics are pathetic. Your exchange here reminds me of my own exchanges with a philosophy professor who, like Long, argued that all there is to logic is the forms of it. Unfortunately, that *is* the academy's view. Even David Kelley weighed in on his side. I asked the professor, Robert Nola, if he would regard the following as logic:

All philosophy professor are dogs.
Robert Nola is a philosophy professor.
Robert Nola is a dog.

He couldn't bring himself to endorse that specifically, but he was quite clear that logic did not require "certification" as he put it, from reality. What bollocks.

Joe & I toyed with the idea of reprising the exchanges. I was reluctant, because it would bring a million hair-splitting smart-ass sophists onto the board.

Linz



Post 39

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 8:55pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I meant to add, though, that I agree with whoever it was you quoted saying, "As long as they all agree to leave me alone, I don't care how they get to that position." This is the same issue you & I debated at TOC. I believe you can have a workable liaison with those who get to NIOF via irrational premises or no premises. You say they can't *understand* NIOF *by definition* unless they get to it via a rational metaphysics & epistemology. You point to the various areas of disagreement between U/ists & libertarians as to what NIOF means in practice. Fact is, Objectivists, who presumably have got to NIOF the right way, disagree on those self-same matters of implementation among themselves, as a moment's perusing of SOLOHQ will abundantly demonstrate! :-)

I think O/ists & others can share a sufficiently reasonable grasp of "leave me alone" to be able to collaborate.

I would draw the line at anarcho-Saddamites, though, because they're not about NIOF; their imperative is, "Whoever has the bigger club, enslave me. As long as you're not America."

Linz



Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.