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

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tbuitenh wrote: Hmm, I say
tbuitenh wrote:

Hmm, I say I don't mean you guys, and then you claim I mean you anyway. Interesting logic you have there.

You don't have to mean us for the effect to be a bad association that "accidentally" happens to slightly help your side of the argument.

But I don't care anymore.. pointless.

tbuitenh wrote:

Thanks for proving Godwin's law.

Mentioning hitler was not an attack on anyone, just a point making device. I stand by the point. Ideas should stand on their own. Who else uses these ideas as cover for bad deeds or not shouldn't matter when such deeds are not done by those who carry those ideas. And, apparently, even a subtle implication that puts us in shadow of such deeds can feel bad.

That said, you're welcome. :S

democrates wrote:

For the record I most certainly did not intent to directly accuse libervisco or kevin of being selfish, that can't possibly be true because if it were neither would be on a site discussing what's best for the world, you'd just be looking after yourselves.

I believe that.. though we developed two different definitions of selfish as you noted in the other post.

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democrates wrote: As for
democrates wrote:

As for educational loans, I recently saw another example of female students turning to the sex industry to pay their debts. Their choice, true, but in onerous circumstances engineered by the debt industry with the support of politicians.

Somehow, indeed, debt industry doesn't seem like the proper answer to the market opportunity involving serving the under-served. They shouldn't be in any sort of debt. And loans aren't exactly much of a charity anyway.

democrates wrote:

The reason is not that a market is incompatible with socioeconomic cohesion, but that the dominant category of player in markets today is the wealth concentrator.

Governments could implement tax policies that redistribute wealth, but they tend to be puppets of the greedy and bring in measures that favour the rich at the expense of the poor, they're increasing the gap.

Exactly. But a market where the dominant players are wealth concentrators or greedy lobbysts isn't what I call a free market anyway so the statement that the freer market gets the greater the gap, doesn't seem to hold. We simply never had a really free market to be able to say so.

democrates wrote:

The solution is not to get rid of government, but to make it live up to it's job - of the people, by the people, for the people.

Perhaps. It's fine that you believe so. I simply think it may be worth exploring an alternative option, let's say, should we fail to ever truly make a government of the people, by the people and for the people. If that fails, what are we left with? I'd say libertarian ideas would then start making more and more sense.

Perhaps increasing support for libertarian ideas suggests that people are already starting to believe that the failure to make government a good one is definite. I wont say just yet whether that is premature or not..

democrates wrote:

but things like keeping the levees of New Orleans up to standard or deploying an early warning system for Tsunamis are big projects which governments are best suited to funding.

Why? I mean, ok.. my post about having independent alliances of private enterprises dealing with such big projects is similar to government doing it anyway, but at least they are separate and more efficiently pool the granular effort of the people. It is not part of the top dog caring for everything, but part of the market of ordinary people like me and you who agreed it is a good thing to pool money for and formed an alliance to take care of it.. So.. I'm just not sure it always must be the government.

democrates wrote:

I'm happy that we all chip in according to our economic ability

Unfortunately, flat tax like health/pension "insurance" ruins the "according to our economic ability" part. And those are, when it comes to taxes, my biggest gripe. I'm fine with cutting a small percentage of my earnings off to the government if that's the reality of the things today, but it can be hard to add these flat fees to that as well if your earnings can't amortize it sufficiently.

democrates wrote:

It's not just my way, it's the way of the majority.

Ah the majority. I no longer believe in "majority" justifying much of anything unless there is a provision for the minority to get their way too. For those in minority it still comes down to "majority's way or high way".. But that's an old discussion of inefficiency of democracy as we know it.

democrates wrote:

Benefit to self, benefit to others = Constructive

Empower yourself by empowering others. Indeed, but every good act for others involves a reward for oneself and this reward is often the motivator, so even helping others is in fact selfish.

That said I don't want to turn this into a whose definition of "selfish" is right. It's fine either way as long as we understand each other's definitions. Bottom line is, your "selfish" is to be suboptimal. My selfish is yours "constructive".

I realize though that most people would probably find "selfish" the way you do, so that's a win for your definition, but I'm not yet sure if that's enough of a reason to adapt to that definition or should I actually try to change people's definition of "selfish" in order to encourage them to think differently about the supposed "sacrifice" of helping others.

democrates wrote:

Selfish people want to parasite off the rest of us, and they of course don't want to deal with the whole truth, but hide behind an over-simplified half-truth.

Couldn't that also be called expedient?

democrates wrote:

There is also the neutral argument, that some actions have no effect on others, fair enough. But this only goes so far. Just as economists talk of 'oppertunity cost' - the next best deployment of resources, we can see a choice not to help another means you have decided on a future with less benefit for them.

Well, true. But freedom is fundamental. Having freedom doesn't mean discourse ends and that arguments like one you just made wont hold persuasive value. Organizations formed in a free market with the general purpose of helping others would encourage people to donate or in any other way help by making, among others, such an argument as well. Albeit they wouldn't punish those who still don't help at all. But I feel that people would help en masse if it was their free choice to do so, because that makes them feel better than just staying on the sidelines, not to mention the reputation of their enterprise increases rather than decreases (which is in any market a real benefit).

It would certainly feel a lot more rewarding to help on your own than to help because you have to anyway. Even if you want to pay taxes today, wholeheartedly, this want hardly gives you as much reward as it would if you actually didn't have to. Nobody will praise you for paying taxes because everybody knows you have to do it anyway, so your state of mind doesn't matter.

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libervisco wrote:
tbuitenh wrote:

I still don't see how you are not supporting gradual abolishment of government, while at the same time you are supporting it...?

Well, of course, once you relabeled my "gradual change" into "gradual abolishment" you would come to ask that.

I wrote "gradual abolishment" to make clear it was not my intention to imply you want a revolution. You do want to remove something, so change, abolishment, tomayto, tomahto.

As for consensual lack of government, do you mean that if there is just one citizen who disagrees, the changes you propose will not happen? Interesting, but very impractical.

Quote:

... I do believe that if it could be made to work and work better, it would be an ideal way for a society to work).

IF it could be made to work, then sure.

Quote:
tbuitenh wrote:

Come live in the Netherlands Smiling

You have at least 90% public representation in government there? If you mean something like 2% of voters getting 1 representative in the parliament, I have my doubts about how exactly representative this is. There is just too much complexity (election propaganda, the person chosen based on his party slogans rather than his actual beliefs etc.) between one individual's or group of individual's opinion and what their supposed representative would express on their behalf. And we're still talking only one representative against usually an oligopoly of parties which, regardless of what that one representative says on behalf of 2% can lead things their way.

This quickly eats away from the 100% of representation to something like 60% even if that, albeit I'm speculating. Still, I'm interested in the reasoning behind you calling me to Netherlands (in this context). Smiling

You can have lots of fun with the math, but what does it mean?

All I can say is I don't see a difference between the distribution of opinions among members of parliament and the distribution of opinions among the public. The number of people who don't vote is of course much higher than 10%, this is not the USSR after all, but that is mostly because those people don't care enough. If everyone cared about politics, the percentage that still wouldn't vote would be waaaaaay below 10%. If it wouldn't be that way, someone would start a new political party and have success with it. Actually, there are one or two new parties at most national elections, it seems.
So in some sense we have a near 100% representation in parliament, the downside of which is that all the self-righteous (we have LOTS of them) and all the xenophobic people are represented too Sticking out tongue .

Looking at it another way, no party or even candidate is a 100% match of opinions to anyone, so one might just as well argue we have a 0% representation. I don't believe that perspective is useful. There are some who say there is a gap between politics and the public, most of them are politicians who I guess can't imagine there are people who don't care what politicians do. If you ask someone from the public who thinks the gap exists about their political opinions, chances are that what they tell you exactly fits one of the bigger parties, which is rather amusing. At least that's my experience.

In my totally unscientific opinion, representative democracy works fine here, except for that it works and gives us the government we deserve.

Quote:
tbuitenh wrote:

I don't really see the difference between a regulated market without the "agressive" style of competition, and the government simply owning everything in that market.

It's a start. The market is only regulated in as much to ensure that non-aggression is applied, in any as well as in this case. I believe the difference would be greater efficiency and democracy of the process because it would avoid the bloat associated with government ownership.

The Netherlands did set some previously state-owned companies free into the free market. Public transport, communications, something else that refuses to come to my mind, and healthcare and health insurance, although saying the last two things got moved to the free market is an oversimplification.

The result? More bureaucracy (also known as "management"), price hikes (the managers have to be paid), lower quality (why waste money on quality if you can give it to the managers?), and unhappy employees whose job was made boring in the name of efficiency (so managers can be paid even more). Maybe you'll say these releases to the market must have been done the wrong way. You can guess my opinion.

Quote:

I just wish for people to have more choice or say in the matter than they do as things stand. So no wonder I am looking to make a monopoly less of a monopoly, regardless of how natural it may be.

And of course a market with lots of little companies in it is very transparent and easy to influence away from sinking anyones boat...

Hey, you know what? Let's put natural monopolies into an organization that if forced by law to at least try to be transparent, and let's vote about the choices made in said organization! Laughing out loud

Quote:
tbuitenh wrote:

So you believe that if society as it is now had not corrupted them, everyone would be as nice as you are? I honestly hope you're right.

Yes! That's been in my head for, must be years now. I remember this notion pulling through my head long ago on various IRC and forum discussions. We talk about crime, about willingly selling out of freedom for convenience, about mentality of ignorance - and all I can think of.. well, it's the system - we are, after all, part of that system. If the system was different we would be different and vice versa. We tend to look down on people [cut for length]

Things are never as simple as evil people vs. good people. If they were I guess the best way to fix the world would be to exterminate the evil people.

I don't think there are any evil people at all. But everyone has a different level of altruism, and those with less altruism laugh at those with more of it because they are "playing the game the wrong way". Guess who's boss in any reasonably free market, and boss OF the market when it's not free? I hope a nicer system would encourage altruism in those who have little of it, but I see no reason to believe it.

Quote:
tbuitenh wrote:

Unfortunately, mucking about with the way the government works DOES sink my boat.

What do you mean? My exploring of libertarianism sinks your boat? Huh?

No, but implementation of your ideas might. So I should promote my own opinion as much as you promote yours, just in case it will matter in some future elections Eye .

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Quote: For the record I
Quote:

For the record I most certainly did not intent to directly accuse libervisco or kevin of being selfish, that can't possibly be true because if it were neither would be on a site discussing what's best for the world, you'd just be looking after yourselves.

I understand that you mean this to "be nice", to indicate this is a discussion about the points and not a value judgement towards the people making the points. I recognize that and appreciate it, and will proceed to refute you keeping that in mind. Smiling Understand I am here with the same mindset as you, a mature discussion on what we consider to be the best system rather than an attack on each other's views.

That out of the way - I am selfish. I live my life by a simple principle, forever enshrined on the back of my car. "Your life is not my fault. My life is not your business." This emphasizes my idea of personal responsibility. I'm not sure if it was Taco or you who said it but it was in this thread to the tune of "I support personal responsibility" and then later discussed caps on wealth, citing that it is ethically objectionable to have swimming pools while people thirst.

These two statements, as I see them, are in direct conflict. Most of the time people speak of personal responsibility in the negative - swallowing nails, for instance, will cause pain. But personal responsibility is also positive - such as the financial gains from an investment. One can argue that it is unjust to be rich while there are poor people, and I would even perhaps accept and understand that if that were, in fact, the arguement. Where I take issue is the duality. If you believe in socialism (again, I use the term regarding the ideology and NOT the dictators who have used the platform to dictate) that's fine but arguements that the rich have a responsibility to end the hunger of the poor do NOT stand side by side with my ideas of personal responsibility.

Quote:

The people I disparage are those who USE arguments about what freedom is possible for all in the future, to justify pure selfishness today.

I question the logic of anyone who claims to be libertarian and then proceed to say what is best for the world. As a libertarian I do not believe it is within my authority to actively dictate the lives of others - I also resist the claim that others should have that right over me. My arguement is that if this ideal were held by all, the resulting world would be best. Therein lies the difference, I think. I see libertarianism as a worldview that would result in a better system, not a system that must be put in place to be good.

Quote:

When you see starving African babies, saying "You choose your destiny" is patently absurd, except if you mean it's the reality we should work towards, together - that means a transfer of wealth from the better off to the less well off.

I agree with you 100% in the words you wrote, but perhaps not with the spirit in which you authored it. Locke wrote that no one ought to harm another in his life, liberty or estate, and I agree totally. Thomas Jefferson, as it was written in the Declaration of Independance expanded on this with "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The two ideas hinged on the same principal - do no harm. What this did NOT do was absolve one moral man from helping another. As human beings with compassion for other human being, we have an ethical calling to help those poor African children (though I will, as a side note, argue that I've never understood the emphasis on children over others - a starving man is as deserving of help in my eyes as a starving baby girl). My arguement is that it is not the right of others to dictate what I do with my money. Charity can exist freely, hence it SHOULD exist freely.

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Saying they should help themselves is like asking a cripple to run a race.

[url="http://www.specialolympics.org/Special+Olympics+Public+Website/default.htm"]They run races.

People who refute libertarianism, in my experience, have lacked the understanding of it that would allow it to be possible in their minds. When you live in a desert, you will not have an abundance of grain. You retort that not everyone is capable of leaving the desert because they don't have the capital but forget that our ancestors survived an ice age, predators and disease all while not having the capacity to share this information accurately with other groups of people. Saying that there is no hope for those in Africa without "our" help is a sad misunderstanding of the human capacity to thrive. You may even argue that "But when they leave, they will not be allowed to enter another place" in which case I remind you that I am the one calling for an end of regulation on how we live out lives. Smiling

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tbuitenh wrote: You do want
tbuitenh wrote:

You do want to remove something, so change, abolishment, tomayto, tomahto.

Only if it proves to be a good move.

tbuitenh wrote:

As for consensual lack of government, do you mean that if there is just one citizen who disagrees, the changes you propose will not happen? Interesting, but very impractical.

Not necessarily, but it does mean it wont be a cue or a revolution, but would rather happen when the critical mass favourable to it is achieved and the climate is such that it would be generally accepted. Those who disagree would at least not be taken any freedoms, but actually given more, not that some option of relieving them of extra responsibility coming with more freedom couldn't be devised.

tbuitenh wrote:

The number of people who don't vote is of course much higher than 10%, this is not the USSR after all, but that is mostly because those people don't care enough.

tbuitenh wrote:

In my totally unscientific opinion, representative democracy works fine here, except for that it works and gives us the government we deserve.

That too is an indicator of the state of our society. If people don't care we have to ask ourselves why? Do they feel they can't make a difference? Are they too busy surviving? Are they too busy just having fun? Or do they think everything is and always will be fine enough with or without their intervention?

I guess it's a bit of all that, but my impression is that it is mostly about that people simply don't feel they could make a difference nor that anybody really cares what they think, which is a very bad situation.

So, would the society be the way it is should people actually find a renewed sense of mattering enough to the society at large? Even of those who vote many seem to be doing it in a rather half-assed way, voting out of tradition to a given party, voting based on whose propaganda they liked more or heck, even voting randomly and hoping for the best. I don't know, but this is the kind of complexity I was referring to. There is too much of a disconnect between the public and the government, yet the government should reflect an agreement between all of them.

It seems like a self-perpetual problem that this is at the same time the government such a society deserves. The feedback of one affects another and vice versa. System discourages political action of the people which in turn makes the society even more discouraging.

tbuitenh wrote:

Maybe you'll say these releases to the market must have been done the wrong way. You can guess my opinion.

Guessing would be a "crappy style" discussion.

I don't know what is or isn't supposed to be the right way these releases should have happened, but I am pretty sure the "free market" they were released to isn't exactly a free market that I am advocating, which is something I've repeated for at least a couple of times already. Whatever free market we have it is corrupt by presence of what democrates called wealth concentrators and government aided powers. Sorry, but you can't call water dipped by someone's dirty feet a "clear water". I think all of our "free markets" have been corrupt.

tbuitenh wrote:

And of course a market with lots of little companies in it is very transparent and easy to influence away from sinking anyones boat...

You control freak! Eye You can't escape the notion that something must be controlled from the outside for it to be in a state of balance, as if all human groups are somehow part of a big experiment in "controlled environment" so that we don't "explode". I keep talking about an equilibrium. If equilibrium between humans is reached, or in other words a balance between powers, interests, desires and reasons, they would not need any hand holding from above.

You apparently see this as utopian and outright impossible. Sorry, but I'm willing to see beyond such characterizations. I neither say it will absolutely certainly work, nor that it can't possibly work. Instead I see a way we could try to make it work, and if we do, yes IF we do succeed, it will be an ideal system.

tbuitenh wrote:

No, but implementation of your ideas might. So I should promote my own opinion as much as you promote yours, just in case it will matter in some future elections Eye .

Fair enough. Interesting how you see my adoption of ideas significant enough to move them closer to their implementation. Thanks for the compliment. Eye

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Quote: My arguement is that
Quote:

My arguement is that if this ideal were held by all, the resulting world would be best. Therein lies the difference, I think. I see libertarianism as a worldview that would result in a better system, not a system that must be put in place to be good.

So beautifully said.

This just shows how poor my debating skills are. I end up arguing and arguing and almost slipping from a proper discussion yet one sentence of yours sums it up so nicely.

In that very sentence an understanding could be found that covers both my idea of exploring libertarianism instead of just causing a "libertarian revolution" and points about the equilibrium between humans should they pursue their highest potential and use their uniqueness to the fullest. Be a free human individual. That's all there is to it.

As for all the rest, I gotta say I 100% agree. Smiling

Thank you

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Quote: As for educational
Quote:

As for educational loans, I recently saw another example of female students turning to the sex industry to pay their debts.

I see NO reason at all that a consenting person couldn't have sex for profit. I see consenting sex between adults as less offensive as say, taxes.

Quote:

The freer markets get, the greater the gap between rich and poor. The prime example is the USA, and I've seen the exact same transition here in Ireland.

The United States hasn't had a free market in it's entire history. Pre-civil war there was slavery, which dramatically reduced the need for individuals to have value (one only needed more hands) such as an education or a trade-skill. Post-civil war saw the dregs of Northern versus Southern export law (Agricultural goods grown primarilty in the south were taxed more heavily than industral goods from the north). 1913 saw the creation of the Federal Reserve system, which has to this day, distorted the value of US money by artificially influencing many market variables, the most notable being the amount of money in the economy at any point, the interest rate on credit et cetera.

One arguement I have encoutered a LOT in my views is similar to "There's never been a libertarian socieity so you can't say it will be good". The same is true in reverse. There's never been a free market. Any points drawn in regard to the "Free market in the USA" will be falicious and oxymoronic. Of course, that same arguement could be used to invalidate anything I argue, so let's call that one a draw, shall we? Smiling

Quote:

Governments could implement tax policies that redistribute wealth, but they tend to be puppets of the greedy and bring in measures that favour the rich at the expense of the poor, they're increasing the gap.

You beleive that governments have a tendeny to corruption. What do you consider the best way to eliminate that tendency or corruption? I've seen arguement that we should create systems of checks-and-balances, where one part looks over another. In my view, that system simply can't work because, as you noted, governments have a tendency (not a possibility, mind you but a tendency) to become corrupt. My system advocates limiting the power of government.

When you are cooking food, you are aware of things like bactaria and mold. You heat your food to a proper temps to kill pathogens and contaminants, and you clean your dishes for the same reason. Most people, however, do not think about the bacterial content of the nails that are in their houses. This only makes a TON of sense, because even if those nails were teeming with bactaria (they are!) you're not planning on putting them in your body, and the likelyhood that the nails will find their way into your body is slim. If you decided to tear down a wall, however, those nails become a concern. Bacteria are everywhere, they're alive and like all life they have a tendency to reproduce as part of their life cycle. Given the proper environment they will reproduce in large numbers and if that environment is your food, pose a risk. If, however, that environement is NOT your food then the contamination doesn't matter. A corrupt government doesn't matter if they're not affecting your life. As you admit, there is a tendency to corrupt in government. Statistically speaking, giving power to a good government will backfire once that tendency to corrupt is realized. "A government big enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take it away."

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I accept that keeping too many public servants on the payroll in case of this or that potential emergency is inefficient, but things like keeping the levees of New Orleans up to standard or deploying an early warning system for Tsunamis are big projects which governments are best suited to funding.

I've heard you argue this before but I've never really gotten an understanding of why you beleive this is the truth. I am NOT saying this is truth, but there has been accusation that the government purposely responded slowly to Katrina because the majority of people in that region were low-income and black. To tie this into world events today, Kosovo has declared indepenance from Serbia. What benefit did the Serbian government have, the day PRIOR to their declaration, to ensure that the levee would hold? Could a corrupt government not use those responcibilities to HARM it's citizens as well?

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It's not just my way, it's the way of the majority.

It was the majority opinion at some point in the United States that people with black skin were inferior to people with white skin. It was the opinion of the majority during the Inquisition that someone that was not Christian deserved to die. What makes oppression by the majority less wrong than oppression at the hands of a dictator?

Furthermore, what makes libertarianism-by-majority wrong?

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As for using the selfish label I've dealt with that several times on this site but it doesn't seem to have been accepted.

You'll find no accusation or put-downs leveled by me, or my views, for being "selfish". I beleive that society's emphasis on selflessness is unreasonable. Giving a hungry man food because it makes you feel good does not make the man any less fed. Likewise, theft in the name of good doesn't mean the victim is any less deprived.

Quote:

Selfish people want to parasite off the rest of us

I see the "distribution of wealth" systems as a means to parasiteize on me.

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libervisco wrote:
tbuitenh wrote:

You do want to remove something, so change, abolishment, tomayto, tomahto.

Only if it proves to be a good move.

That was not the impression I got at first. I might need to have a look at the beginning of the debate again to see where that impression came from.

Quote:
tbuitenh wrote:

As for consensual lack of government, do you mean that if there is just one citizen who disagrees, the changes you propose will not happen? Interesting, but very impractical.

Not necessarily, but it does mean it wont be a cue or a revolution, but would rather happen when the critical mass favourable to it is achieved and the climate is such that it would be generally accepted. Those who disagree would at least not be taken any freedoms, but actually given more, not that some option of relieving them of extra responsibility coming with more freedom couldn't be devised.

Right, but note that not everyone has the same ideas about what "freedom" is. I for one might feel deprived of some freedoms.

Quote:

That too is an indicator of the state of our society. If people don't care we have to ask ourselves why? Do they feel they can't make a difference? Are they too busy surviving? Are they too busy just having fun? Or do they think everything is and always will be fine enough with or without their intervention?

Given that over here anyone can start a political party and make a difference if they really want to (no two-party fake democracy), I would guess they think everything would be fine enough without their effort of thinking about issues and forming an opinion. But I'm not them, so what do I know.

Quote:
tbuitenh wrote:

Maybe you'll say these releases to the market must have been done the wrong way. You can guess my opinion.

Guessing would be a "crappy style" discussion.

My opinion is that the changes should not have been made at all in any way by any method. Wasn't that obvious?

Quote:

I don't know what is or isn't supposed to be the right way these releases should have happened, but I am pretty sure the "free market" they were released to isn't exactly a free market that I am advocating, which is something I've repeated for at least a couple of times already. Whatever free market we have it is corrupt by presence of what democrates called wealth concentrators and government aided powers. Sorry, but you can't call water dipped by someone's dirty feet a "clear water". I think all of our "free markets" have been corrupt.

I believe the presence of wealth concentrators is a natural result of a market being free. Care to explain how I'm wrong? And please don't talk about "equilibrium" without explaining what is causing that equilibrium to stay. No hand from above needed? How do you know? Just an optimistic belief?

Quote:
tbuitenh wrote:

No, but implementation of your ideas might. So I should promote my own opinion as much as you promote yours, just in case it will matter in some future elections Eye .

Fair enough. Interesting how you see my adoption of ideas significant enough to move them closer to their implementation. Thanks for the compliment. Eye

You're not the only one promoting these ideas. But you matter about as much as I do, so there is a point in arguing with you.

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I feel I should make a

I feel I should make a disclaimer at this point. Convinced by what Kevin said here I don't think my goal here should be to paint the exact picture of what kind of a system a libertarians-filled society would have. Saying that if everyone was a libertarian we would have a perfect system doesn't necessarily mean we know exactly what such system could be because we did not yet see the dynamics of a libertarian society produce it in action. Saying that it will be this or that is like pretending to know what would happen in a chemical experiment you are doing for the first time.

This may make a belief that if everyone was a libertarian it would be the best possible world, seem unsubstantiated and even religious. However I think it is substantiated as a logical projection of state in which a libertarian individual ends up being, something we can possibly measure even in a world in which a true libertarian society doesn't yet exist. In other words, the reason we say we believe a libertarians-filled world would be best is because we think there is sufficient evidence to that holding of libertarian believes leads to a more fulfilled life - and hardly anyone argues that increased individual responsibility, individual independence, self-belief and self-determination aren't the traits that usually lead such a person to greater success in life. Even if we abhor what we see invasions on our freedom, such as taxes, we adapt using our individual rational thought - and make the most of what we can with the freedoms that ARE available.

So, if I describe any details of a specific system that could be libertarian, it is in the realm of speculation. It is part of the exploratory process of the question: "OK, what could a libertarians-filled society look like and why would it be better?"

tbuitenh wrote:

Right, but note that not everyone has the same ideas about what "freedom" is. I for one might feel deprived of some freedoms.

You know, actually, if you would feel deprived of some freedoms than I would have doubts about whether the enacted system really is the one. While it is true that people sometimes have different ideas of what "freedom" is I think there are certain fundamentals.

For example, if I told you that you are free to think, say or do anything as long as it doesn't harms another's right to do the same, and put absolutely no additional restrictions on you, would you feel deprived?

I think that a libertarian system which fails to do exactly that isn't exactly libertarian. Smiling

Interestingly, you may claim that some people's definition of freedom includes freedom to harm another. Well, I'd then say this is entering the realm of total relativism in which the term freedom no longer has a relevant meaning. I can't fathom a free society in which harming another is considered an exercise of freedom. Does not compute. *spills the mental screen of insanity*

I would pose that the non-aggression freedom IS the very fundamental principle of freedom without respect for which it would be totally useless to talk about it as "freedom".

tbuitenh wrote:

My opinion is that the changes should not have been made at all in any way by any method. Wasn't that obvious?

Not necessarily. Eye

tbuitenh wrote:

I believe the presence of wealth concentrators is a natural result of a market being free. Care to explain how I'm wrong? And please don't talk about "equilibrium" without explaining what is causing that equilibrium to stay. No hand from above needed? How do you know? Just an optimistic belief?

Does balance need an external cause to be a balance? The cause to the stability in balance is balance itself. The cause to equilibrium's stability IS equilibrium itself.

The forces cancel out. The power of one is balanced to the power of another which is balanced to the power of another etc. etc. This outcome is at the heart of the non-aggression principle.

Your question might make more sense if you asked how can we get to this self-perpetuating state of equilibrium. The simplistic answer is by making all people in a society respect the non-aggression principle and themselves as human beings with potential - which makes them all more likely to cherish and USE the freedoms that they have, rather than abhor the responsibility they present.

Less simplistic answer is within whatever method we can use to convince people to genuinely adopt this worldview, a belief in themselves and their potential. It wont happen in a society filled with people who think dependence is a preferable way to achieve stability in their lives and in society at large. Independence should come first.

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Quote:Interestingly, you
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Interestingly, you may claim that some people's definition of freedom includes freedom to harm another.

In a brief IRC discussion Kevin pointed out that there could be some validity in the freedom to harm another. For instance in direct self defence, an act of protecting against an intrusion of your own freedom. My immediate response was that it may more fundamentally be about reciprocity. However, reciprocity could also mean vengeance pursuance of which could result in perpetuation of intrusions and fear, enforcing a silent restriction on freedoms of individuals in a society.

So after giving this some thought one idea I came to is to upgrade the non-aggression principle to the non-intrusion principle. This way it wouldn't immediately alienate freedom to exercise aggression when it is either for the sake of protecting your freedom or with consent (for instance, two people may consent to harming one another as part of a sparring match).

This wouldn't authorize vengeance as a valid exercise of freedom because, not being in direct self defence it would have to be done as an intrusive act (uninvited, without consent of the intruded one).

This may end up being more of a semantical fix, but I think it is significant. It is not necessarily aggression we are trying to avoid if it is one tool that can be used to enforce one's freedom. The main thing being avoided instead is non-freedom. Reciprocity is a good base standard, but I think freedom is more important and therefore reciprocity should be valid only when it serves freedom rather than vice versa.

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