Skip to content
Welcome guest. | Register | Login | Add
About | Wiki | Legacy

When nationality, race and bloodline cease to matter all we have is citizenship!

58 replies [Last post]
User offline. Last seen 7 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
democrates wrote:If you
democrates wrote:

If you grow up to hold different views to your family and friends, in such a segmented world you then must choose between being close to your family and friends you grew up with or being in a society that lets you be yourself. Segfault blues.

kevin dean wrote:

You're assuming that you started in a "society that lets you be yourself" in the first place.

I was assuming the exact opposite in that scenario, that you are NOT born in a society that let's you be yourself, hence the "should I stay or should I go" dilemma.

kevin dean wrote:

Every decision a human being makes is a heirarchy - if being near your family is crucial to you (it is NOT crucial to everyone) then do so and accept what that means.

I agree very much with accepting the consequences of ones choices and the climate change example you raised is indeed very relevant. If we continue to consume and pollute ever more then we share responsibility for climate change, including the adverse effects it has on poor farmers with failing crops far away from our comfortable homes.

If we support a system that increasingly concentrates wealth, we share responsibility for the relative poverty of those who would be better off with a fairer system. Tax contributions which save poor people from freezing to death are not forced charity by my analysis, but something decent people do, and in some cases class war reparations.

democrates wrote:

In the USA there are these communes where men take multiple wives and can marry girls as young as 14, and the government seems to do nothing about it though it's illegal.

kevin dean wrote:

Firstly, when making points it's best to use facts rather than hysteria you see in the mass media.

Are you going to take on that legalistic standard yourself by using facts to prove the anecdote wrong in an online discussion forum? I've seen documentaries where people who have escaped these communes gave testimony describing the practices as I've retold. Just because these were screened by mass media doesn't make them false, all we can do is keep an open mind as we consider the balance of probability.

kevin dean wrote:

In the United States marriage is officially recognized as ONLY one man and one woman. The same laws that make homosexual marriage invalid in the US make polygamy illegal. If a man is claiming to have multiple wives, it's being done so illegally or not really being done. Do you want a government that would stop a man from living with 10 female roommates who all agree to live there? I for one do NOT.

If you still entertain the possibility that this kind of thing doesn't happen, google 'convicted polygamy'. At least in those instances something was done, by the state, with due process. Your roommates example raises the question of where you draw the line, but it doesn't amount to a case to have no line and I accept from your following point that you have your limits too on the question.

kevin dean wrote:

As far as the 14 year old girl thing, that gets tricky. Most states consider 18 the legal age to marry, but not all states. 13 is the lowest legal age, as far as I know in the US for marriage. In the US we can charge a [url="http://www.courttv.com/archive/trials/abraham/101999_ctv.html"]13 year old with murder[/url] under the premise that a 13 year old is competent enough to premeditate and kill so why should they be legally barred from marriage? This isn't a legal issue at all, it's a social issue. You see a 14 year old as a child, incapable to intelligent thought and rational decision.

I hold no extreme assumptions on the capacities of people at any age, the differences are undeniably there in emotional and intellectual development as well as physical.

In some cultures the economic realities mean getting married young adds up to a good prospect. However, in societies where the possibilities for what you may become are so much greater, is it fair for adults to effectively brainwash children as they raise them into believing that getting married and starting a family at 13/14 is their best option? You had to fight for your emancipation at that age, would you wish that freedom be preserved for those who aren't as savvy as you were at that age, so that they don't commit to a legal marriage which takes away their freedom? Do guardians have the right to brainwash those in their care, in effect, to sink their boats?

I can accept that the intrusion of law into private life is something not to be entered into lightly. A law can be so blunt an instrument that in some cases it leads to injustice. The dilemma is that if law does not clearly define what is illegal and leaves it to people to determine for themselves on a case by case basis, then that law provides no refuge for those who are wronged, because the flexibility to do wrong is protected by that law. Then the separation of powers means the judge has no choice, and the feedback to the legislature takes the form of an unjust court ruling affecting someones life.

So you lean towards the idea of getting rid of laws. Lawlessness has been tested thoroughly since antiquity, so it's not just a theory. What happened every time is that wrongdoers ran amok, innocent victims suffered, and eventually sporadic militias were formalised, usually under the command of a monarch who would tax the people in order to pay for their protection, the people were delighted with law and order, but then came a little extra tax, and a little more, until Marie Antoinette announced "let them eat cake". Modern governments play a similar role, but revolution has been replaced and the masses cowed into accepting the representative democracy charade which allows the sorry affair to persist.

kevin dean wrote:

On the flip side, at 13 years old I was legally emancipated by the courts and granted full adult rights over myself. I have no doubt that SOME 14 year olds are capable of making the marriage decisions on their own. That said, there's no shortage of adults who make stupid marriage decisions every day.

In a society that respects your rights, the government wouldn't dictate whom you can marry assuming that marriage was voluntary. Period.

This explains where you're coming from better. In order to gain your freedom you had to turn to the state, but this step was only necessary because existing law meant you had very limited freedom at that age, and were automatically subject to guardian rule.

But reverse back a few years earlier when you were absolutely dependant and in no position to make your own way, if there had been no laws, courts, or jails for guardians to worry about regardless of how they treated those supposedly in their care, is it possible your circumstances might have been worse?

I too have a history behind my pursuit of wider justice, I know what it is like to have my rights disregarded and co-incidentally at the same age you won your emancipation. If it wasn't for my belief in the state as the final arbiter of justice, I'd have taken justice into my own hands as a fiery young man and I'd have one murder on my account. The victim is the last person in a position to dispense justice with an even hand, fitting to the crime.

Not that the etiology of our concerns have any bearing on the rights and wrongs we argue, it's just that when we're so hungry to shoot from the hip at our nemesis in any guise it takes, we may be failing to give due consideration to the full consequences of our prescription for how the world ought to be. When you suffer an extreme setback at the hands of another, objectivity is usually the next casualty. I keep discussing and giving other views a fair hearing, because my worst fear is unknowing subjectivity, a form of madness that can be a life sentence.

democrates wrote:

The law of the land that works for me is "whatever floats your boat so long as it doesn't sink anyone elses". That much I like about the free state project, but I also believe in universal healthcare, education, and a survival safety net for those who fall on hard times, so the FSP would never be for me.

kevin dean wrote:

I really REALLY ask you to re-evaluate what you consider the best law of the land. I too support the non-agrression principal (the "whatever floats your boat as long as it doesn't sink mine") and the things you say very clearly contradict that. Universal health care is a system where the government provides health care to all citizens and, through taxes (collected by force), does so at no or little per-visit cost. But don't be fooled, universal healthcare is NOT free! The college student, who barely can pay his rent and buy food, is paying for universal healthcare through taxes - even though he's statistially unlikely to need it. He is being forced by the government to pay for health coverage that he doesn't provide a decent amount of benefit to him. Likewise, by supporting universal health care you're supporting a monopoly on health care. In the UK about two years ago there was a serious public debate about hospital cleanliness - something that would not have happened if said hospitals had incentive (god forbid, beyond "patient health and comfort") to maintain a clean hospital. If, like a restaurant, you could choose a different healthcare facility because it was nasty and stank of urine.

Likewise, by supporting government controlled education you're supporting a government-defined set of values. If you are Christian, that set of values doesn't include your God. If you're gay, it does not include tolerance. If you're black it may not include signifigant black contributions to history. Education is, without a doubt, the job of the PARENT and not the government. Likewise I am a DINK (Dual income, no kids) and I plan to remain that way. The taxes being taken from me for "schools" is being taken by force to support a school system that is failing (based on children's ability to think critically, based on level of comprehension of critical subjects) because it focuses more on the ciriculum than the child and focuses more on the ciriculum because they need governmental approval to teach it.

And finally, regarding "safety net" for those in hard times - nothing is preventing people from doing charity. Where I oppose it is forcable charity - donations taken by the government, lack of "giving" done by jailtime.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf, the first people "in there" were the Red Cross, a private organization. Food, clothing, temporary shelter and a shoulder to cry on - powered by the generosity of people who gave FREELY to those in need. When the government came in, days later, they brough trailers unfit to live in because they were purchased from the lowest bidder by cludgy committee.

The free market is BETTER capable of providing charitable relief than the government.

Ok the boat metaphor is over-simplified. First off the full consequences of our actions are rarely admitted. If I own all land and make a fine living from farming and renting accommodation while others own no land and are hungry and impoverished, then my insistence on keeping things that way prevents others from keeping their boats as buoyant as they would otherwise be if I were willing to accept a fairer system. The planet is finite, and individual liberty is finite where it is based on the rate our habitat can provide resources and take pollution. In these cases the system of economic relations we support has consequences for others, to make my slice of the cake bigger someone else's has to be smaller.

As for healthcare I think the best system around is the Scandinavian one, where the government does not try to RUN public healthcare but gives healthcare VOUCHERS instead, and then it's up to the private operators to compete for the business in a free market. So as you can see, by governmental provision I don't necessarily mean expanding the public service, you could equally have vouchers for education etc.

I agree the public sector is often horrendously inefficient, I've seen up close the transition of a public telephone company to semi-state (a company owned by the government) and then into private ownership. Freed from the shackles of public service bureaucracy, things as a semi-state rapidly improved. A company wide bonus scheme meant it was in everyone's interests to eliminate waste and develop new revenue sources. It was win-win all around with one exception - the monopoly on the network did not encourage open competition, so as a nation we weren't maximising all new opportunities.

To solve this it was decided to privatise, and along came the investors. They asset stripped left right and centre, the cash raised was not invested in advancing the network which went into decline but paid to the owners in windfall dividends. Instead of opening up to competition they defended the monopoly and stifled competition far more strenuously than the organisation did as a semi state, and now the market regulator faced a legal trench war in the battle to bring about a fair and free market. The money men got in, got cash, and got out, end of list. All industry insiders agree it was a mistake, some critical national infrastructure should remain in state ownership and it operates best outside the public service bureaucracy. The globe-trotting investor elite have no loyalty to our country and don't care what the best national long term strategy might be.

I fully take your point about bloated government, and it's particularly understanding for Americans when on 9/10 Rumsfeld announced 2.3 trillion dollars of the defence budget could not be accounted for, I'm sure not arguing in favour of that sort of thing, it's scandalous and no country is immune, Ireland still suffers ineptitude and I suspect outright corruption.

I've no kids either, and I've a limited tolerance for those who have a clatter of children to cash in on state handouts. Then they turn around and claim to be deprived and marginalised after the rest of us providing shelter, food, education etc. But for deserving cases and contingent on them taking responsibility for their lives, I do believe we should all chip in, and that tax contributions should take account of ability to pay.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
tbuitenh wrote: To Kevin
tbuitenh wrote:

To Kevin Dean: It is now clear to me we have completely opposite notions of what is fair. Your utopia is my dystopia, and vice versa.

Is it really so extremely opposite? All of us here care about freedom and keeping an open mind towards positive change. We just, at this point in time, happen to have differing views on how to go about it. Yet nobody suggested that change should happen in a sudden shift, but rather gradually. So it's kind of hard to be extremely opposed to each other when we don't know what could a gradual process of change bring and how could it change the terms of this discussion to a point of potentially changing minds on either side of the debate.

tbuitenh wrote:

We could continue the debate, but we'd be doing this.

You're already doing it. Eye

tbuitenh wrote:

being rich by luck: Joe owns $10000. Sue inherited $15000000. Joe doesn't want a sewage pipe ending in his back yard, while Sue plans to put hers exactly there. Should they have equal votes in this, or should money speak?

I think this is where a fundamental misunderstanding may lie. It is not as simple as replacing democratic vote with the power of money. If there is anything we are learning from the internet in this day and age it is that there is much more to business than money and, of course, much more to value than its monetary counterpart.

In a truly free market it is not just money that talks, it is the people. If Joe opposes Sue's intention because it threatens the well being and value of his own property then based on that right alone he can stop Sue in her intention. If it is determined that Sue's sewage is far enough from Joe's property and doesn't have detrimental effects then it would be fine for her to do it.

I've mentioned before that a small set of regulations would be left in the government to preserve the free market as such, including above all the principle of "whatever floats your boat as long as it doesn't sink mine". If Sue's actions would anyhow help "sink Joe's boat" then they would end up being illegal.

tbuitenh wrote:

What if they're the only ones handing out blankets, and you're freezing?

You see if it is more important for you to avoid their prayers than to not freeze. What's the big deal? Meanwhile, as you take their blankets, go and express your demand for an alternative carer - someone else to hand out the blankets. If there are enough who would agree (and there are plenty of people who despise religious organizations) it will be done. It's a free market.

tbuitenh wrote:

No, I believe people are too busy and not informed enough to make the complicated decisions that will affect the whole population. So they should choose who they trust to make the decisions for them.

I believe that they have been, in big part, made to feel too busy and ignorant to even try making complicated decisions, by the system and it's current norms as it is. How can they, in such a state of mind, be genuinely capable to choose anyone to make any decisions for them, including government representatives? Why, half the people don't even vote, and a big part of the other half merely falls to propaganda. How can that possibly be called a working system? It basically encourages ignorance. Most people you ask will tell you they're not interested in politics. Why? They feel it is all just a hen house and that they can't make a difference anyway.

I can't accept the negative outcome of the current system as a disadvantage of the alternative one I am considering, especially when the alternative one actually wants to change that negative outcome into a positive thing - people being more involved in what affects their own lives. And when everyone is more involved in what affects their own individual lives the outcome is that the lives of all are being taken care of possibly much better than a single "trusted" set of representatives would ever be capable of.

And even so, it is not like each individual in a libertarian system would have to do everything for themselves and choose no-one they would trust. There would still be plenty of organizations and companies which they can "elect" as their personal trustees, but the good thing is that whenever they feel this trust has been broken, they can actually break away and choose someone else, immediately. A true free market would have to ensure that.

We sometimes feel like we need to boycott certain corporations for doing bad things, from Microsoft due to its unfair business practices and restrictions on freedom to Coca Cola for supposedly hiring murders of the representatives of the worker syndicates. Yet when the government does something wrong, that huge organization above our heads, how can we boycott them? We need to wait for elections and "pray" that our vote counts for something.. yet in the end the propaganda-brainwashed masses prevail in bringing the same old government back into place. And if you would to sever your support for such a government (like, geez, opt not to buy their services), you would quite possibly end up in jail or with impossible fines.

Is that ethical?

tbuitenh wrote:

Let's ask you about that again when you're 80.

Yes, ask me, not my government. *I* should be the one to decide how should I take care of myself, not my government. Thank you very much. Sticking out tongue

tbuitenh wrote:

These are providing something extra on top of the public healthcare. If I'm not mistaken they actually get paid from the public healthcare system for their versions of treatments that are also in the public system. You only pay for the extras. And of course a "little" more still.

I wouldn't know exactly, just as you don't for sure. I suppose it sometimes is set up this way, but I'd be willing to accept the possibility that other times the company is on its own.

But why does government need private entities to provide the extras for *additional fees* if I am already paying it a premium to take care of me and calling it an insurance?

tbuitenh wrote:

Just look at the sorry state healthcare (for the poor to average person, not for the rich) is in in ANY country that isn't some form of social democracy.

That's way too vague. Just because it isn't a social democracy doesn't mean it is a true free market libertarnianism/anarcho-capitalism either, so it doesn't even come close to proving that the latter can't possibly work.

tbuitenh wrote:

Not everyone has people around them to depend on. These lonely cases would have to depend on either the state or on non-governmental organizations.
If the constitution and laws are right, I trust the state an infinity more than any organization of which the leaders are not elected by the whole population.

The majority of the whole population has never been nor ever will be in a state in which that poor lonely lad is. Why is it suddenly that they can all make a better decision (again, by their half-assed effort of choosing a representative based on whose propaganda they bought)?

I am continuing merely because I see there may be places where we don't merely head-on disagree, but just possibly misunderstand each others views. Say which kind of system do you feel would be better suited than what we're describing which would solve the many issues we have in the current one. Things are never so clear cut.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
democrates wrote: Tax
democrates wrote:

Tax contributions which save poor people from freezing to death are not forced charity by my analysis, but something decent people do, and in some cases class war reparations.

But is that really absolutely the only way? Can't there be a better and more sophisticated way of making sure nobody is so poor than everyone being forcibly taxed? And aren't taxes often one of the things which keep people in poverty?

Furthermore, how often do taxes really go into helping the poor instead of being wasted on some other less important government ambition?

Things aren't so clear cut. I've become convinced that exploring alternative ways is worth it. And I assure you it didn't just drop in my lap from the clear sky. There is a definite process of exploration through both discussions and circumstantial and global observations that led me to this point.

democrates wrote:

Lawlessness has been tested thoroughly since antiquity, so it's not just a theory. What happened every time is that wrongdoers ran amok, innocent victims suffered, and eventually sporadic militias were formalised,

It is not lawlessness that is being advocated. This is a huge misunderstanding. As much as anarchy has been given a bad name what Kevin and I ended up advocating is not even anarchy as such. It is a system of minimal government instead which still regulates, but only the things that really have to be regulated, only the very fundamental rules of the system. It ensures that free market IS free market. Contrary to that the lawless kind of state you are describing doesn't have a free market nor any kind of market or system whatsoever. It is whatever accidentally happens to be. There is a huge difference between that and a system which absolutely ENSURES that the market is a free market according to certain very fundamental principles taken as it's defining characteristics.

If it is so easy to take this misunderstanding, I don't wonder why you find yourself so hard to believe in the possibility of there being a better way than taxes to deal with poverty and other such issues. But think about it: if it is now lawlessness, but a strong true free market (one that I doubt has really ever been truly put in practice before even in the capitalism we have today) where balances between people's natural aspirations based on their selfish desires have been achieved what exactly would be left to fuel people into such disarray and crime that you describe? Why, if they are given equal opportunities to use what makes them unique in pursuance of wealth and happiness, would they ever opt to oppose the system that gives them such opportunities?

I was writing on my blog about being who you want to be upon discovering what that is, what you love to do, because then you can most succeed in pursuing exactly that. Well, a free market I envision would make all people intrinsically rich relying on the very fact that each one of us has something of unique value to sell and succeed.

Assuming that people need others to take care of them is assuming that we can't be ourselves. Why not explore the notion that perhaps the power is within us, and we just need a system that would ENCOURAGE rather than discourage its release? The current system mandates that everyone for the sake of all, without providing much reason for us to trust that what we're giving is actually put to good use (because it's impossible for us to tell where our money goes) instead of encouraging everyone to invest into themselves.

Why not have a government which would, instead of taxing everyone, including the poor tell everyone to invest this money into themselves, to explore what they want to be and what their purpose is, to find what their unique values are and then to pursue those. I truly believe that most people would discover that what their passion is depends on providing value to other people - which is exactly what will make them sufficiently wealthy and more importantly happy about themselves. And providing value to others obviously includes helping poor people get out of poverty.

You can call this an utopia or you could doubt that humans are really so unique individually as I describe them, but I believe this is at least enough to pose serious doubt towards whether the style of government we have today, even if polished into true social democracies or whatever, might not actually be the best ways for order and justice between people to exist.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
free market or fair market?
libervisco wrote:
tbuitenh wrote:

Not everyone has people around them to depend on. These lonely cases would have to depend on either the state or on non-governmental organizations.
If the constitution and laws are right, I trust the state an infinity more than any organization of which the leaders are not elected by the whole population.

The majority of the whole population has never been nor ever will be in a state in which that poor lonely lad is.

I don't care if the majority will never get in such trouble. Nobody should be in it. Nobody should be in a situation where they may have to choose between life and ideology.

You ask me to point out a free market in which healthcare sucks, I say "just look at all of them", and then you say there aren't any truly free markets in the world anyway. Not much sense in that.

It seems what you want isn't a small government and a free market, but a government that doesn't involve itself in things it shouldn't, and a fair market. To that I can agree, but we absolutely disagree about in what areas anything resembling a market at all is possible.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
After some more reading on

After some more reading on Libertarianism, I would say that at this point in time I definitely find myself fitting that label, if you'll excuse stating the obvious.

That said I am actually not surprised that I am so firmly coming to such conclusions because I feel I have been going in that direction and holding those fundamental beliefs all along. I just haven't had the deep enough understanding of the overall context to make it clearer what I stand for.

That said, Libertarianism has apparently not been tested in any society that we know off. There have been and are some instances of countries where government has collapsed, but the result was not a libertarian society. Furthermore, a stable libertarian society can hardly be built upon a collapse of the government, but rather a gradual reform. This is the only way to prevent the emergence of those famous "power vacuums" that critiques of libertarianism are so afraid of, which could be quickly polluted by corrupt and violent power hungry groups.

If a shift would be made in such a way to prevent emergence of power vacuums the finally resulting libertarian society would likely offer little or no motivation for people to pursue violent, corrupt and de-stabilizing acts. In other words, of course that we can expect chaos if a current system is suddenly replaced by a fundamentally different one. Such sudden shifts ALWAYS leave room for very bad things. You can't establish a balance between weights when the Earth is shaking. You need to do it in stability.

In essence, I believe that Libertarian society should NEVER be brought by way of a rapid revolution. It must be an evolutionary process.

This said, because there are currently no societies which are truly libertarian, it is both easier and harder to defend it. It is easier because I can say something like "How can you disprove it if you never saw it inaction?". It is also harder because you can say "How can you prove it when it's never been done?".

Therefore, neither side has the logical capability to take a sufficiently conclusive position on Libertarianism. Neither side can claim to be right enough to make this discussion closed indefinitely. Yet both sides could probably benefit from further exploring it.

So I ask you this. Which would be a more reasonable thing to do? Which would be more worth? To shut the notion of libertarianism out under declaration of total disagreement or to accept that it may be worth exploring, for the societies we are living in has too many problems for us to have the luxury of rejecting ideas that haven't been tested, before testing them in some way.

I just hope that people would be more open minded about this. I don't claim to absolutely know that this or that particular system is perfect and will solve everything, but just as I have long enough been willing to live with the notion that something like democracy may be a Good Thing, there are too many compelling ideas in libertarianism for me to turn away.

My personal hope is that it could work out. As the humanity continues to evolve, along with its technology, perhaps our social systems will gradually reform from democratic-government centric ones to truly libertarian ones governed by the true will of the people, not its mere oft-trusted representation.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
It doesn't matter how slow

It doesn't matter how slow or fast the change happens. If you want to protect the individual against the group (and if you want freedom, you do want that), I believe you need a bigger government rather than one that is smaller and therefore even more powerless than the current.

Of course this government would also need much stronger anti-corruption and pro-fairness and transparency measures. I really mean extreme measures, like paying all ministers and members of parliament only minimum wage, and having them fired instantly for accepting any kind of donations at all.

User offline. Last seen 7 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
libervisco wrote:But is
libervisco wrote:

But is that really absolutely the only way? Can't there be a better and more sophisticated way of making sure nobody is so poor than everyone being forcibly taxed? And aren't taxes often one of the things which keep people in poverty?

Furthermore, how often do taxes really go into helping the poor instead of being wasted on some other less important government ambition?

Things aren't so clear cut. I've become convinced that exploring alternative ways is worth it.

Supporting some people with tax contributions is needed today, as it is some are missed and die. To get to a situation where this is no longer required is of course the goal, so how do we get those from broken families and bad neighbourhoods back on track?

Education is one part of the answer, not just to give knowledge and skills but to teach personal responsibility. The private sector have been selling education including to people in these places for years, where people don't have spare cash up front they can get a loan to pay for it.

Where a person is paying their own way, they'll likely appreciate the education more than someone getting it for free. But if you can't get a loan, the market has failed. Also the prospect of a guaranteed debt burden but no guaranteed job after education is quite a gamble. Even if you get a job, then at a time when you should be saving to support the family you want to start soon, you'll be saddled with student loan repayments. For those without parents who can help financially and without a network of people who can help them get a job, it's no slam dunk, still, the possibility of prosperity versus the guarantee of a worse alternative with no education makes a good case. If that were the simple answer the problem would have been solved by now or at least we'd see the trend change from decline to improvement.

The public education sector has not achieved it's goal to the level required either and it needs drastic reform. My aunt was principal of a New York public school in a poor area up until a few years ago, the decline in standards stems from a perfect storm where more and more funds have been diverted from the schools to a growing army of government bureaucrats who enforce retrograde policies and stifle freedom to act for those close the action. It's the same story across the public service, it's soul destroying for people to be prevented from doing things right. Sack most of those administrators, give half the money saved to the operations providing services, and the other half would not be needed so tax could be reduced. That would be a good first step.

As for the rest of your post and many of the other posts here, I agree with all the positive points about people maximising their personal potential, but within the confines of what our habitat can support, and with a cap on the distribution of wealth. A private jet for everyone is not sustainable, and right now a private swimming pool while some suffer from thirst is not morally defensible.

I can accept descriptions of a future world with no poverty and little need for charity and am happy to work towards that, but today we have poverty and a need for charity. Those who want to opt out of helping others today based on ideas about a better future, are at best missing the point of the pressing needs of others right now, and in some cases they're the same old selfish scum who only care about luxuriating and care not one whit for their fellow man. Worse, they want to pretend they're on the moral high ground!

Luckily such people are in the minority, so myself and the rest of the majority will continue to vote for tax and government supports for the genuinely needy, and as for those who selfishly try to abdicate from their moral responsibility, jail time.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
So I guess as far as you are

So I guess as far as you are concerned I am wrong and you are right, and so Libertarianism deserves no consideration?

Well that's sad, honestly.

Clearly, if I was to believe individuals will never be capable to organize into benevolent groups based on mutual self interest I wouldn't be defending Libertarianism at this point, so your blunt claim that protection from the group is needed is fairly irrelevant. And that apparently seems to be what you believe. Fair enough I suppose, but I will take the liberty of saying that I expected more from people who are willing to think beyond the current framework.

tbuitenh wrote:

Of course this government would also need much stronger anti-corruption and pro-fairness and transparency measures. I really mean extreme measures, like paying all ministers and members of parliament only minimum wage, and having them fired instantly for accepting any kind of donations at all.

And who would enforce this? Government itself? You know, speaking of power vacuums, government is already filling a huge one and is even capable of creating more of them for its members. People in the government are often motivated to gain even more power. And that's the problem; even if the state of government as you describe it would be achieved, how long would it last?

It has a fundamental flaw; "power of the people" is an illusion when the government is powerful enough to veto it without severe consequences to itself. And the wheel keeps spinning.

"If you hear the words "The government should ..." you may always substitute the words "I want other people to be forced to ..."." -- European Free State Project

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
hear hear!
democrates wrote:

I can accept descriptions of a future world with no poverty and little need for charity and am happy to work towards that, but today we have poverty and a need for charity. Those who want to opt out of helping others today based on ideas about a better future, are at best missing the point of the pressing needs of others right now, and in some cases they're the same old selfish scum who only care about luxuriating and care not one whit for their fellow man. Worse, they want to pretend they're on the moral high ground!

Hear hear!

In many other cases, these people are gullible fools who believe the scum indeed does have the moral high ground (no offense intended to anyone here).

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
democrates wrote: Where a
democrates wrote:

Where a person is paying their own way, they'll likely appreciate the education more than someone getting it for free. But if you can't get a loan, the market has failed.

What else is a recognition of a potential market failure than an opportunity to serve? When you say "there is nobody to give loans" you might as well be saying "hey, is there anybody who would like to enter a business of serving loans?". Do you really think this market segment would be empty for long? Potential market failure is a market opportunity. Entrepreneurs beware!

democrates wrote:

A private jet for everyone is not sustainable, and right now a private swimming pool while some suffer from thirst is not morally defensible.

That seems to assume that a Libertarian society would actually widen the divide between rich and poor. If it would than this could only be because there are too many market failures left to transpire in the market segments dedicated to helping poor get out of poverty. Ultimately, not everyone would have a jet, and the few that would might be be viewed with as much condemnation as they may be today, if other people live fairly well still and enjoy a simple boat ride as much as the jet owner enjoys his flying. Today you have extremely poor looking up to extremely wealthy and feeling incredibly depressed.

And what happens when the poor attempt to start a business but aren't capable of paying all the money they are obliged to pay for forced government services? How are these fees encouraging poor to get out of poverty???

As I said, it is often government itself which is through its policy widening the gap between poor and wealthy.

democrates wrote:

I can accept descriptions of a future world with no poverty and little need for charity and am happy to work towards that, but today we have poverty and a need for charity.

I am not saying that Libertarian society equals a society with no need for charities and nobody to give them. Instead of government being the prime charity it would be private institutions.

What if the way you think poverty needs to be addressed is the wrong one? Who would you rather take charity from, people who give it because they have to regardless of not being in the line of work that involves working with the poor and really understanding their situation, or the ones who are in the business of giving charities because they want to? Forced charity vs. voluntary charity.

democrates wrote:

Luckily such people are in the minority, so myself and the rest of the majority will continue to vote for tax and government supports for the genuinely needy, and as for those who selfishly try to abdicate from their moral responsibility, jail time.

In other words, your way or high way. I've come to find that selfishness contains selflessness within itself. You care for others because it makes you feel good about yourself. Perhaps that would help you understand better where I am coming from.

All I was asking is for a bit more open minded consideration of other possibilities.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.