A child’s curiosity and natural desire to learn are like a tiny flame, easily extinguished unless it’s protected and given fuel. This book will help you as a parent both protect that flame of curiosity and supply it with the fuel necessary to make it burn bright throughout your child’s life. Let’s ignite our children’s natural love of learning!
April 10th, 2013
Children of the Collective: The State’s Attack on Individuality
An independent thinker is an incredible threat to the state.
For this reason, statists throughout history have attempted, through propaganda and brute force, to shape and subdue society by controlling the education of the rising generation. As Hitler himself said, “He alone who owns the youth, gains the future.”
Of course, the oppressive state is not threatened by an ignorant, innocent, and vulnerable child. The child is no match for the state’s subtle tactics, wherein it wraps its power grabs in emotionally persuasive language. A child does not have the wisdom and experience to understand history and recognize its repeatedly occurring patterns today. He is not aware of how despots and central planners have worked throughout the ages, and therefore is unable to resist their efforts in his own life.
As I explain in Latter-day Responsibility, the nuclear family has long been the interposing institution to protect children from the state. Strong families defend their young from the state’s attempts to snatch them away—physically, intellectually, or morally. They provide an environment in which the innocent child can better learn truth, and prepare to combat falsehood.
The prolific cultural commentator Michael Novak observed it this way:
Between the omnipotent state and the naked individual looms the first line of resistance against totalitarianism: the economically and politically independent family, protecting the space within which free and independent individuals may receive the necessary years of nurture.
This is truth. Its application is not relegated to the repressive regimes of history. Out of many modern examples that might be shared, a recent one stands out. Melissa Harris-Perry, a talking head for MSNBC, recently recorded a promo for her employer in which she advocated against the family and for the state. She said:
We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had a private notion of children, [that] your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children.
So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.
Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, we start making better investments.
Of course, her remarks are framed in the context of increased funding for public education (a tool used by the state to create conformity). But they are a shadow of the statist belief regarding the individual.
To such persons, the individual is secondary in importance. The collective is the optimal organization, say the statists, and deserves our primary focus and support. Individuals must acquiesce to the will of the collective, and their efforts must be made to fulfill the collective’s goals, ideals, and priorities.
To diminish or discard parental stewardship over and responsibility for children is to directly attack the most fundamental and originating institution in existence: the family. Our independence from the state cannot be secured unless this interposing shield between the child and the state fulfills its duties. Sadly, most families willingly place their children into the care of the state from an early age, surrendering and subjecting them to its daily influence.
The collective strengthens itself by such actions. Like the machines in the Matrix surviving and thriving by harvesting humans and molding children into mere cogs of the machine, the collective in our day lives only by making sure that the individuals who comprise it remain submissive and even supportive.
Suggesting that a child is the collective’s responsibility is, in the end, an argument in favor of no responsibility. There is no such entity as a community or collective—there are only individuals, who can group together for various purposes. As such, when individual accountability is removed, when the parent-child stewardship relationship is altered or altogether severed, then the child becomes nobody’s responsibility.
This is not a rhetorical flourish. It is demonstrated fact. Consider this idea’s application to police protection. As I further document in my recent book, the government has no legal obligation to protect people from crime. One lawsuit after another by individuals against the state have concluded with the judges affirming that police officers are not obligated to help individuals, but rather to provide services to the “public at large.”
There exists a “fundamental principle,” one court said, “that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen. Accordingly,” they continued, “courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.”
Individuals have delegated their protective care to an institution that turns around and tells them that it is under no obligation to actually protect them. The state has assumed the responsibility of police protection for its citizens, and then refuses to use the police to protect each of them.
Such circumstances stand as a warning against government encroachment into other areas, including and especially education of children. The argument that children should become everybody’s responsibility—effectively, wards of the state—likewise affirms that the state actually bears no responsibility for your child, or my child, but only is involved in caring for children in general. With that understanding, the collective assuming responsibility for a certain child is in fact an abdication of any sort of responsibility for the child.
Predictably, Harris-Perry has responded to the outcry her commercial generated. She “doubled down” on her message, while aiming to clarify that she’s not looking to take away anybody’s children. How comforting. It is important to note that her response deals with superficiality and strategy, not substance; she still wants the state to bear the burden of responsibility and care for your child.
If families are to fulfill their intended objective by repositioning themselves as the “first line of resistance against totalitarianism” then they must emphatically and proactively object to the collectivist arguments the state uses to justify its incremental and ever-increasing intervention into the lives of those over whom it governs.
The fact that so many families have remained silent and subservient for so long speaks volumes regarding the current situation and what the future relationship of our children and the state will one day (soon) become.
The Matrix example used above is important to ponder, and that movie’s story is alarmingly accurate, much like some of George Orwell’s “fiction”. Those already free from the system work tirelessly to identify and liberate those who are ready to live independent of the machine. Our task is, or should be, the same.
232 Responses to “Children of the Collective: The State’s Attack on Individuality”
June 3, 2013
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Great article Connor. If we are not careful, today’s socialists will be tomorrows communists.
Very well written Connor!
I started resisting the state in the eighties by choosing home birth and then schooling my children at home for a time. I was not involved in politics or political thought, just hated being told what my options were in my personal life. Now I read widely and incessantly about how to promote liberty and the designs of evil men (and women) that fight against it. The more I read, the sharper the focus be becomes. But I have to admit I dispair at how resistant good people are to disengaging from the state and it’s control. Sure appreciate your putting into words the ideas I’ve been pondering. Will continue to share your articles and posts.
People should also be aware that marriage licenses create a 3-way contract between the two marrying people and the State and that the State, under this contract, assumes the superior position of interest over the marriage and its fruits (the children). Thus, folks who ignorantly marry under a marriage license (this includes me), have unknowingly given the state control over their children and are really just allowed to have stewardship over them by the State until such time as the State decides that they don’t like the way you are raising them, and then all bets are off as to what will be done with them.
You could take the first three paragraphs of this post and replace references to the State with references to Religion and it would also work.
You’re worried that children will be molded into uniformity by public education and so to protect against this horrible outcome… it sounds like you’re suggesting that the children need to be primarily educated by the family, which means they’ll all have a very small world of influence and be indoctrinated with exactly the same ideas and beliefs as the family. That’s why kids of conservatives generally grow up conservative, kids of Christians generally grow up to be Christian, kids of liberals generally grow up to be liberal, etc.
Being in public school actually introduces your kids to MANY different ideas and encourages them to learn about history. If you do not want kids to be molded into a conformist uniformity, then you should actually WANT to send them to public school.
Having recently (Christmas) had a run in with CPS. I know how scary it is to repel the state. They came to investigate us because our 5 yr old daughter was holding our baby and someone called the cops. Even though the 5 yr old was responsibly holding the baby. I told the CPS lady that she needed warrant to enter our home. At which point she threatened to get armed men to come to my home and enter regardless (because, according to her, she did not need a warrant – even though AZ law says that CPS workers must be trained in 4th amendment rights – apparently they are, just in the wrong way) and that she might take our kids away. At which point my wife and I became afraid and backed down and let her intrude into our home.
Now my wife is afraid to go out in public with the children for fear of the government and what they can do.
We now pay into HSLDA so we always have a lawyer on hand which we can call. We also have set up video recording so I can video tape any governmental official which comes to our home.
Kenny, Schools create uniformity and don’t teach history (doesn’t common core propose that they don’t learn history?). History is reading source material. Schools don’t have children read source material.
I second what Kenny said.
Jon, you’re statements are factually incorrect. Common Core does include History requirements and, at least in my state of California, a High School diploma requires History classes which include US and world history, American civics and government as well as economics.
I shouldn’t have made that remark, it was off hand – since I haven’t looked into the allegation.
Regardless, common core treats kids as automatons and so does the government schooling program. It does not teach history, it teaches government propaganda. If it did teach history it would teach how Lincoln was a monster and how the civil war was mainly fought over money and not slavery. It would also teach that the states were told that they could secede from the union at their will, so the states signed up under false pretenses. Among other various false propaganda that the government teaches.
A free people educate their own children, not through the threat of violence like the US system, but through private enterprise and initiative of the individual. Government schooling is antithetical to a free people.
Jon, so after admitting that you don’t know what is in the Common Core standards, you go on to state what is being taught and how wrong it is? That seems like a bold decision.
Private enterprise and the initiate of the individual DID NOT WORK. That’s WHY the public school system was created in the first place, because a ludicrous number of children (and adults) were illiterate. An educated and literate population is the largest positive driving force in favor of our economy and any nation’s economy in the world. Public schools have existed in this country before we were even established as an independent nation.
Conspiracy theories about the big, bad government brainwashing your children are just nonsense like 9/11 conspiracies and FEMA concentration camp conspiracies.
At certain time periods the LDS faith has recognized a joint family unit as being of equal worth as a nuclear family, one alternative to the nuclear family is particularly noted.
In general religion and culture also places a lot of value on conformity.
“…the individual is secondary in importance. The collective is the optimal organization…”
Compare with the following:
“…the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—”
I didn’t state what is taught at all. All I said was that common core assumes people are automatons. This is shown by creating a centralized entity that says it knows what is best for all children. Fairly elementary, I would think.
Public schools didn’t come into existence because private education didn’t work. Read some history. Murray Rothbard commented on why they were created in his great book “Conceived in Liberty.” If I recall correctly it was basically for control of the population (like in Massachusetts). But public schools were more of the exception not the rule.
It’s a myth that people were massive amounts of illiterate people before government schools. Many of the founders of the nation were home educated – many of which were very intelligent and well read. Great books like Moby Dick were common to read along with the bible, books that many people now days would find difficult to read – and not just because they are old.
The greater the control of government over the government school system the worse the literacy becomes. This is a natural phenomena, not something unexpected.
The CIA fact book says the US had 97.9% in 2009. Yet, according to National Right to Read Foundation, “20% of high school seniors can be classified as being functionally illiterate at the time they graduate.”
I agree that “An educated and literate population is the largest positive driving force in favor of our economy and any nation’s economy in the world.” But I disagree using violence as a means to an end is the best way to go about it and, as shown through history and logic, only leads to the opposite result. You might enjoy the book “Healing Our World: In an Age of Aggression” by Dr. Mary Ruwart. She goes into painstaking detail on how the initiation of violence is antithetical to a free people and how it causes the opposite of the desired results.
I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes:
“A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful?, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.”
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859
“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”
That last quote probably explains your thought process.
Jon, trying to use the elite, educated people like the Founding Fathers as the basis for an argument about literacy throughout the populace? That’s just a failing argument on Step 1. It’s like saying, “Hey, this rich and privileged guy has a PhD, so everyone clearly has PhDs.” It’s a ludicrous attempt at an argument.
“Public schools didn’t come into existence because private education didn’t work.”
Actually, yeah, they did, but that aside… The fact that you think public schools were created to CONTROL THE POPULATION is just another indicator that you aren’t basing your ideas on reality and instead you’re basing your ideas on fear and some wild conspiracy theory about the big, bad government which is always trying to control you and take your freedom. It must be a tiring way to live, to think you’re constantly being stalked by some Illuminati-type shadow government.
Just take a look at the history of schooling in the south, where the literacy rates were the worst. Private education meant that the rich families hired private tutors to teach their children. The only education being offered to the general public was being done through local churches, but they used funding from the government in order to keep their doors open and teach the children.
Your claim that literacy rates get worse is just factually incorrect. After the Civil War we had about 20% illiteracy rate… it has continued to drop and drop and drop as we expanded our public education system.
“But I disagree using violence as a means to an end is the best way to go about it…”
No one is using violence to force you into public school, that’s a ridiculous red herring. If you want to have a rational conversation, please try to avoid that kind of silliness.
A question… did you go to public school?
You are misconstruing the argument. The argument was that private home education was common even among the “elites” and not all of them grew up in wealthy homes btw.
Conspiracy: The act of two or more persons, called conspirators, working secretly to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations.
It was conspiracy it was in the open public as far as I know. There has always been conspiracy throughout the ages, to deny such is to deny history and humanity. I’m not suggesting that government schooling was conspiracy though. All I suggest is what the creators stated for the reasons.
First off lets go back to 1671:
And now to 1704:
As for the use of violence as a means to an end? What do you think compulsory attendance laws are? Yes, luckily the courts have pushed back on states forcing all kids to go to government schools, but they haven’t stopped governments from dictating what the children are taught and from taking state tests (not in all states but some) – creating a de-facto compulsory indoctrination. But where is the gun in the room? Taxes, another word for theft which make it harder for people to be able to choose private/home education alternatives.
Kenny, you need to start reading more history beyond government sanctioned history. You also need to stop taking my arguments out of context, reading more into them then there really is.
Those three passages, that you’ve copied and pasted from some website, seem to be rife with RELIGIOUS control of schools and really have nothing to do with education in general. It seems to kind of reinforce my initial points that the first 3 paragraphs of the original article above could easily have “state” removed and replaced with “religion” and they would work just fine… and it reinforces the idea that keeping kids home to educate them personally would also reinforce those narrow ideas and produce conformist children, which the original article rails against.
In public schools, children are introduced to more perspectives than just those at home which means they’ll inherently get a more diverse education in public school.
“As for the use of violence as a means to an end? What do you think compulsory attendance laws are?”
Not violent. You clearly have no idea what the word violence means.
“But where is the gun in the room? Taxes, another word for theft which make it harder for people to be able to choose private/home education alternatives.”
Oh great Zeus, are you really that disconnected from reality?
TAXES ARE NOT THEFT. What the hell is wrong with you? Do you not remember our own history? The Patriots weren’t refusing to pay taxes, they were refusing to pay taxes WHEN THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY INPUT INTO HOW THOSE TAXES WERE LEVIED. No taxation WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.
Have you forgotten the second part of that famous phrase? Taxes are not theft… you seem to be a great example of why better education is needed, because you’ve allowed yourself to be tricked into thinking some factually incorrect information.
You never answered my question though, did you go to public school?
It is obvious that you do not wish to see the gun in the room and the violence that it does to a peaceful society. I would suggest that you open your mind to new ideas and learn some logic and reasoning skills. You, obviously, have never interacted with a voluntaryist before.
If you could not see the government schools and their intention as stated in the last quote as proof to my assertion as a use of control of the population then you don’t see the gun in the room. Sure, the government was used by the religious zealots but in the end it was the use the government that caused the coercion, not the religion. Religions do use a type of coercion but not nearly as bad as the coercion used by governments.
No, the is no gun in the room and yes, I’ve dealt with PLENTY of people who spout the same nonsense you do about taxes being theft and the big, bad government using completely passive, violence-like, intimidation-y violence-y violence against its own populace… and it’s all bullshit. Just like your conspiracy theories about the big, bad government indoctrinating your children… probably in FEMA concentration camps, where they are all brainwashed into the New World Order because the Fiat Money destroyed everything, blah blah blah.
It makes you feel better to try to dismiss me by saying I should go learn logic, but I’ve shown you several times that your statements are factually incorrect as well as stupid ideas like taxes=theft… If you want to see brainwashing in action, just look on your bookshelf at home. There’s plenty of it there, but it’s not based in reality.
Jeez, Jon, sum it up for us: What do you think the government’s “indoctrination” goal is? What is their end? I see more obvious agendas in among home-schooling parents: I don’t like anyone’s ideas but my own, and church trumps science, therefore I’m teaching my own kids my own way. And the ignorance limps on.
I have public education to thank for pulling me out of the quagmire. Literature opened my mind, the scientific method put all kinds of things to the test, and I was given plenty of ideas to accept or reject based on that.
So again, I ask, what are these schemers’ goals?
The assumption that there needs to be an overarching goal is incorrect. It is a problem of the system not the people.
Although the current US government schooling system was originally based off of the Prussian education system (see John Taylor Gatto’s work) it doesn’t imply that there are any conspiracies or malice intended, although it does show the problems of the current system. You could read some of Dewey’s work, et. al., during this period and read some of their reasoning, which hasn’t always been of the best intentions it appears.
I’m not going to give you a straight answer since it appears that you come from the same thought process as Kenny. So I’m really wasting my time writing to either of you.
Here’s a five part series with John Taylor Gatto, well documented with sources, if you are truly interested. He talks about the origin of the modern government schooling system. But just because that is the origin doesn’t imply that the overarching reasons still hold. It just shows the problems.
Right, Jon. Just keep waving your hands and avoiding the questions, because you know if you start answering them or trying to defend your logic that it will fall apart.
A conspiracy wherein there is no goal and no one is actually involved, but oh trust me, they (not in the actual “they” sense) are totally trying to CONTROL you (although not in any tangible or directed way, it’s more of a vague and meandering control).
I’ve given plenty of sources and examples if you don’t have comprehension skills then I cannot help you.
Yes, you’ve copied and pasted lots of stuff from other websites, but you can’t directly address the logic or the arguments involved. You just wave your hands and avoid the questions because these ideas aren’t YOURS. They’ve been given to you by someone else and you’re just repeating them.
If you could defend them, you would just do it instead of the age-old “go read something” defense which you feel absolves you of the need to defend your statements.
The quotes came from “Conceived in Liberty” by Murray Rothbard. Like I mentioned before.
Kenny, it is difficult to debate with someone who is just looking to fight.
I’m not looking for a fight, Jon, and that’s just another lame attempt to wave your hands and avoid the questions.
I’ve come to realize the hard way that hard core statists and hard core libertarians are never going to see eye to eye on things and that it’s pretty much useless to try and convince the other that your side is correct. They are just too fundamentally different in how they see the world and the proper role of government. Most are also so set in their ways (on both sides) that they can rarely be budged from their positions even with mountains of evidence to the contrary.
Republican = Democrat
You’re right. I have conceded when proven wrong in the past though. I think “debating” over the internet is pretty useless too. Rarely does anyone look at each others views and consider them, at least in the comments. I suppose that is why the OP is the most important part!
Jon, I’m simply asking for a summation of what you’re getting at. Your dodging the questions doesn’t help your case. Give me a sample and maybe then I’ll consider your cuts and pastes.
OK, from the quotes the argument shows that historically schooling and/or the refusal to let people be educated has been used to control people. I then showed that the current system in the US used amongst the majority of government schools (and private schools for that matter) are based off of the Prussian schooling system – a system designed to create thoughtless warriors.
This leads to the point that things like common core or whatever system is used don’t work because they assume humans are the same and need the same result and that the purposes of government education are not always what they seem. It is the idea that a central authority can know best what millions of people need to succeed in life. It isn’t of the people by the people anymore but of the central authority for the central authority because people act in their self interest, AKA, human nature.
Government schooling is antithetical to a free people because, by their very nature they assume subservience to statism (statism is the idea that certain people are privileged over others like masters and servants idea).
There could be nefarious actors in the background but I don’t think it really matters, it is the belief in the system that creates these actions. People wouldn’t normally steal from their neighbors but when government does it they assume that it is OK because they believe in the idea of statism (that some people can do things that others can’t).
Kenny, I have unapproved a couple of your comments due to foul language. This is a family-friendly environment, and if you’d like to participate, please keep the language clean. Thanks.
Ok, I’ll repost them without that language, sorry about that.
You know what? I’ve totally changed my mind, you’re absolutely right about the whole statist indoctrination thing. Our public schools are CLEARLY turning everyone into mindless automatons who support the State in everything it does. I mean, sure, there are some people who resist the programming, but we get a good 80-90% of them to conform to our brainwashing…
… it’s so obviously true, because you can see that almost everyone in the country thinks the same way, votes the same way, has the same feelings about the government… I mean, at least 80-90%, right? Those 10% fringers slipped through the brainwashing.
How could I have missed it all this time? Oh right, it’s because it’s all nonsense and public schools don’t program everyone to think the same way.
You should stop saying things that are factually incorrect. That’s why your worldview is so completely broken and disconnected from reality, because you base it on falsehoods.
So much of public schooling is left to the state and local levels, I hardly see an all-powerful central authority. (But wait, that’s what the central authority wants!!! That I don’t see it!) Those things that are mandated by Conspiracy Central are pretty rudimentary concepts: reading, writing, and arithmetic, basic knowledge.
Is your problem with compulsory attendance?
And like Kenny said, I don’t see the masses crying out in unison, “Hail to the state. The state is good.” So I guess we should be glad the state is a bunch of bumbling fools whose own indoctrination system doesn’t work?
What system do you propose as an alternative?
And what is the purpose of the state?
P.S. People would normally steal from their neighbors. It’s human nature. Survival and all that. But we got together in groups and said, “here’s the deal: I won’t steal from you if you won’t steal from me. Let’s have a society and a government to enforce and amend that stuff.” Nobody steals because they see their higher-ups do.
Schooling is left to the state and local only in partiality and every year it becomes less and less. Just ask a school board what they can change and, if they are honest, will tell you that their hands are tied except for the least important things.
I never said there is an all-powerful central authority. You are characterizing me beyond what I have stated, just like Kenny likes to do.
The 3 Rs are important but the centralized authority has put in laws far beyond the 3 Rs.
You don’t hear people saying “Hail to the state?” I guess you have never gone to school and watched the kids say the pledge of allegiance, or to a ball game, or to a boy scout activity, or looked out the window and seen American flags flying everywhere. Or looked at the currency and seen presidents faces on the coinage.
The only system I propose is freedom and liberty operated under a free market. In other words power to the people and rule of law in an orderly society.
People don’t normally steal from each other because they would be shunned or receive some other punishment – that is a natural consequence, we don’t need a coercive government to do that.
If there was no coercive government you would really start stealing? That is not what keeps me from not stealing. Do you see all people as being so wicked? When I drive on the road I don’t see people driving into each other. Most normal people have the self interest to protect themselves and they know if they steal or if they drive on the wrong side of the road they will receive negative consequences.
Civil society is what keeps normal people from doing these harmful things to each other. A coercive government is antithetical to society and creates chaos by its very existence. The first thing that a coercive government does is set up men above others and say that the rules don’t apply to them, then they say they can steal from the populace to fund themselves and their thievery – that is not rule of law nor equality before the law.
One more thing I forgot to put in. You don’t see people say “hail to the state?” But look at what Kenny did when I said taxes are theft. He got very upset and started verbally abusing me. Look at what you do. You prop up statism like it is something good. Like it is good to have masters and slaves. This is what the slave population in the south did. They would say they were supposed to be slaves, etc. This is a form of saying “Hail to the state.”
“But look at what Kenny did when I said taxes are theft. He got very upset and started verbally abusing me.”
Yeah, because when someone says something stupid and patently false, exhibiting their rampant ignorance… you smack them on the knuckles with a proverbial ruler.
I’ve heard this taxes=theft idea over and over again and it is a poisonous and FALSE idea.
What? You don’t like that I said “all-powerful central authority”? That’s what you’ve been getting at, isn’t it? Fine, I’ll let you play super strict semantics . . . “Central authority.” But I guess since they’re not all-powerful, we have nothing to worry about, right?
People don’t steal because they got together and made rules and governments. Simple as that. There are consequences, created by the people. Government enforces and amends those. Fear of consequences is the ultimate detriment to stealing. You said, “People wouldn’t normally steal from their neighbors but when government does it they assume that it is OK.” So you’re saying because the government steals (e.g. taxes) a bunch of people see that and are now stealing? Are we talking subtle stealing, like the corporation withholding a fair wage from the worker, false reporting of profits, etc.?
And, forgive me, but you should just delete post #37. Pure buffoonery.
Is ours a coercive government? Do you believe electing representatives is “setting men up above others?”
Consequences are created by the people. It has nothing to do with the government. Even without the government there would still be consequences. Government does not equate to civil society. They are two different things. It is a pretty sad thing that the only thing that keeps you from stealing is bad consequences, unless you are the exception to the rule?
You need to understand property rights if you want to understand stealing. It is obvious you haven’t considered it much. What’s a fair wage? It is no more nor no less than an employee agreeing with an employer on an agreed upon wage for a certain amount or time of work. That is fair.
There is a huge difference between an all powerful central authority and a central authority. This is not merely semantics but the continuum of full dictatorship vs partial. You are reducing my argument to a simplified state.
You need to give me a logical rebuttal to my position stated in #37. Name calling isn’t an argument.
“Is ours a coercive government?”
Does the US, state, and local governments give authority of men above others which cannot be done by all men under natural law?
“Do you believe electing representatives is “setting men up above others?””
No. Now, if you give those representatives powers beyond what the general populace can do – under natural law – (like steal) then yes. One does not imply the other.
When we consider what was occurring in Germany prior to WWII there are frightening similarities.
Economic collapse, but with the technology (and central bank) to still present the illusion that it wasn’t/isn’t as bad as it is.
Wars of distinctly religious/eugenic nature, but with globally interwoven financial interests and enough restraint after each nation conquered for the international community to support, rather than abhor us. We fight in the name of democracy that we don’t even have and have thus made even democracy a religious cause.
Keep in mind that up until the moment we declared war with Japan and Germany our corporations were still doing business with our adversaries. Such is still the case but done through Trusts and third parties often after sanctions have been put into place. We have armed the world. The Taliban against Russia. Iraq against Iran. Israel against Palestine.
Our banks launder money for the drug cartels and who knows who else. What do we do? Fine them a small percentage of the profits, establishing precedent for the profitability of money laundering. According to the post 9/11 laws these are organizations providing ‘material support’ of terrorism, but those laws only apply to hose holding less than $1bn in assets. Remember Air America? Iran-Contra? Our very own CIA has been trafficking drugs FOR the drug cartels since prior to the inception of the War on Some Drugs. What makes anyone think they have stopped? Oliver North is still a close ‘consultant’ working with the military.
The War on Some Drugs itself reeks of Nazi beginnings based upon race and minority cultures. Remember Josef Mengele, Angel of Death, who conducted countless unethical medical studies for the Nazi regime? He couldn’t have established a better system himself than our current FDA/Big Pharma and Monsanto/FDA partnerships of ‘expedited approval’. We are all the test subjects of new drugs and modified food supply which are not necessary and usually serve to perpetuate profits rather than fix problems.
And so it seems that we are on the doorstep of yet another World War. I guess it really started in 2001, but won’t be recognized as such for at least another decade to come. Hopefully we will realize before we destroy it all that the world has shrunken immensely and that any World War is a war against ourselves and against humanity.
The government is the people, jon. They act in the name of the people. Government/people create the consequences.
I didn’t say consequences are what keep me from stealing. I was talking about the majority. But, yes, consequences are what keep me from stealing. Imagine a world in which I was free to steal. I could expect to be stolen from. Total anarchy. Because I don’t want the immediate consequences (jail) and the greater consequences (anarchy), I don’t steal.
Post #37 . . . .Kenny’s attacking you on your tax ideas was not him saying “hail to the state.” And it’s hard to give a “logical” rebuttal when the whole post was just totally illogical. “Masters and slaves”? The South? I’m stupefied.
As for politicans and backroom deals and unethical actions, nobody, none of us, gave them that power. Their actions does not mean the system is broken. The system can be fine-tuned, improved.
What is the purpose of the state then, I ask. What do you feel is the ideal system of education? Of public services? None? No state? No taxes? No roads? Are these to be controlled by private entities? Wouldn’t that be switching one master for another?
I don’t steal because I recognize that people have property rights and I don’t like it when people steal from me so I won’t steal from them. Now that I understand the only reason you don’t steal is for fear of the club, well, I guess that is your prerogative.
People create man made law. When the law is within the bounds of natural law then it is good law and creates ordered anarchy/good government. When it is outside of the bounds of natural law it is called statism or coercive government which creates chaos.
Before the 20th century there existed a thing called slavery (in abundance – there still is slavery today but not as much – not counting slavery caused by statism), where people were enslaved one to another. There was a former slave named Frederick Douglas who wrote a memoir and stated that when his master let him work off the farm and earn money, his master would first take all the money, but then he started giving Mr. Douglas some of the money he earned. At first Mr Douglas was elated, but soon after he realized that this isn’t a good thing, because he thought he had liberty but it was all a facade he wasn’t free. He said that he thought this form of slavery was worse because it made him thing he had liberty but in reality he truly wasn’t. Likewise with taxes.
The slaves back then would use the bible to explain their enslavement. If a slave would tell them that it is not a natural state that one man be the master of another they would ridicule and demean them to make them fall in line. Likewise has Kenny done and you have done.
My proposed system is voluntaryism. No, it is not a new master because then I would be my only master. I would still interact with others, but when I pay for road service it would be voluntary not coerced.
Saying what about the roads, etc is like saying, “But who will pick the cotton?” It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it is wrong to enslave a person.
“At first Mr Douglas was elated, but soon after he realized that this isn’t a good thing, because he thought he had liberty but it was all a facade he wasn’t free. He said that he thought this form of slavery was worse because it made him thing he had liberty but in reality he truly wasn’t. Likewise with taxes.”
WOW is that a stupid and false comparison.
Hey, do you have the freedom to leave if you don’t like it here? Did Douglas? NOPE.
Do you have the freedom to choose not to work at all and therefore not pay any income or payroll taxes? Did Douglas? NOPE, because he was PROPERTY and FORCED to work for his Master.
To compare paying taxes with actual slavery of people is not only stupid and incorrect, it’s downright offensive.
The people voted to allow taxation and your hand waving about Natural Law is silly. We, as citizens, built a Representative Democracy and we choose to live within collective rules or face self-imposed punishments.
True, it is not a perfect analogy, but just because the life stock can leave doesn’t make it any better. Where would one go that is freer? Or more importantly this is my home why should I move to appease the master?
I didn’t vote to allow taxation. So why should I be part of having my property plundered? Lysander Spooner has written some great work on the subject of why democracy is a farce. Of course, you aren’t up for learning new things so I won’t waste my time.
“Where would one go that is freer?”
YOU ARE ALLOWED TO GO SOMEWHERE… SLAVES ARE NOT.
“I didn’t vote to allow taxation.”
By choosing to live and work here then you are accepting the Constitution and Laws of this Land which explicitly include taxation as voted on and ratified by The People. We have a Representative Democracy.
Well, my point about stealing, that I don’t want anarchy also includes the fact that I don’t want to be stolen from, so I won’t steal.
How does voluntaryism address property disputes, crime, etc.? Who resolves those things?
There are many ideas on how voluntaryism would deal with disputes, crimes, etc. The free market tends towards the least expensive way to fix problems, so one would think it would target the source of problems, abusive families. So it would probably find some way to help parents become better parents. It really is impossible to know what type of new innovations could exist without a monopoly the current system.
We could look to the private sector to see what they have done under a coercive government. In a completely free market I would think there would be even more innovation.
So some examples. Car theft: car alarms, tracking devices, locks on doors, etc. Smart phone theft: Passwords to unlock phone, contact info on screen saver in case it is lost, ability to track phone, etc(?). E-bay: rating systems, etc. Credit cards: automatic refund of money for illegitimate purchases, refunds for bad businesses, etc. Property disputes: private arbitration organizations (even among the uber-rich – they seem to want to avoid the costly and timely court system). Crime – what kind?
Who resolves these things? We all do through voluntary interactions. Some people come up with ideas and the best one wins. The free market doesn’t always come of with perfect solutions and won’t be a utopia, but it would be much better than what we have now since it won’t be centrally managed and the marketplace of ideas would truly be able to take place.
I didn’t accept anything. I was forced into it. As long as I don’t use the initiation of force and abide by contracts I voluntarily agree upon then why should I be placed under this system? I own my property but you are saying that a central government owns it instead, making me but a serf or slave just because I live on my own property.
Whose “The People”? People that lived hundreds of years ago? What was it, 51% of the people? So 51% of the people are the masters? Oh, wait, only white male property owners could vote, so that makes it 10% of the people, or whatever that amounts to, but then not all vote, either way it is only a small fraction of “The People.” I propose a system that is truly of the people by the people. A system of competing ideas that doesn’t enslave one man to another.
Deregulation, highest bidder, monopolies, no accountability — that’s not a world I want to live in. I don’t even know how you’d account for currency and legal tender. Who is responsible for that?
The very idea of this would throw us one giant leap back to serfdom (yes, I understand you feel we are in that situation already).
Honestly, would you rather be in a regulated boxing match, where the referee can stop the fight and save your skin, or one in which the opponent can pound you to death? And who’s going to stop him? Not the other guys. They’re looking out for themselves.
And under your system, I see “coercive taxes” simply replaced by subscriptions, tribute, protection money, etc. Same stuff, different brand.
Oh really? Who is forcing you to live here? You aren’t a prisoner or slave here. You choose to live here of your own free will and you are aware of the laws of the land, which means by choosing you live here you accept those laws.
I see, so you don’t support the idea of representative democracy then. So, presumably in your ideal world, we just have no government at all, essentially anarchy?
Monopolies. Isn’t that the definition of government, it is one big monopoly of force. Corporations that are defacto monopolies are created by the government. Corporations themselves are an entity created by the government that wouldn’t exist in a free market. The banks didn’t receive any accountability during this last crash – just the opposite, they were rewarded. Look at 9/11 – the government really screwed that one but but then got more money and were rewarded for their incompetence.
There are many competing currencies but the government bans them. Gold and silver were used as currency historically but has be pretty much banned by the government – because of the government’s monopoly on money. There are new currencies, like bit coin – don’t know how it will work out or if it will be banned eventually to. Gamers have their currencies too, but in China they have banned them as currency.
The boxing match with a referee is what I want. Two people contracting with each other voluntarily and picking an arbitrator to work out any differences in opinion about the contract that was voluntarily agreed upon, not forced upon them. I don’t want chaos or tribalism, I want civil society where there is rule of law – Something that we have some parts of today but is rapidly disappearing every year that goes by – we are living off the past where there was more rule of law.
Yes, there will still be costs for protection, subscriptions, etc. But you will be able to pick which group you would like to pay, so they will have to compete for their services to make it so you do want to contract with them. So, in the end, it should be cheaper, largely because competition pushes towards the least inexpensive way of getting the same or better results – unless it is something that isn’t desired by society.
Yes, Kenny, that is what I have been saying. I desire ordered anarchy. To live without rulers. So the opposite of that would be to live with rulers. A ruler is nothing less than a master which would make those that aren’t the masters slaves or serfs.
Once again, this is an admission on your part that we are but serfs/slaves.
Kenny and Nick,
Let me start off by say my beliefs more closely align with Jon’s. Now having said that I think both of you bring up some valid logical arguments which need to be addressed. I think that Jon has been doing a pretty good job of trying to address them. I think the problem is that some of the ideas Jon has expressed have been tried and have worked very successfully and some of the ideas are theoretical and have not been tried on any significant scale. Because they have not been tried doesn’t mean they will or will not work.
In your comments, in response to Jon, you have both been using a some logical fallacies to try and prove your points. A few examples being “ad hominem” (“conspiracy theories”etc…) and the second being creating a “false dilemma” (“boxing referee” and “love it or leave it arguments).
In following the exchange of between both of you and Jon I can say that we all agree that there are problems in our society. I think that what we don’t agree on is the methods used to solve the problems. Both of you believe, or have faith in, the the idea that the only way to address these problems is by using the state methods of fear and force to get people to be good. Jon, on the other hand, has faith in the individual/ society, and wants to find ways to eliminate force and use peaceful persuasion to solve these problems.
I think that both of you would agree that if there was a better way to handle relationships between each other we should use it.
By the way Kenny you have a nice website. I visited it the other day and read a couple of articles. I liked the Obama controversy about “you didn’t build your business”. When I first heard that my first reaction was to think that he was being pretty gutty saying that. Then my logical mind took over and said I better read what he actually said. I read what he actually said and in the context he intended it to be. He (or his speech writer) could have worded it better and avoided a false controversy.
How do you make anarchy ordered? The guy down the street decides he likes my house better than his own, so he invades my house and kicks me out. Nick has asked you HOW that order is maintained, but all you’ve said is, “there are many ways” but you won’t actually address is. Just more hand waving.
Is it even wrong for the guy down the street to take my house from me? After all, you’ve rejected the idea that a democratic majority can decide what is Law and what is not Law. This “ordered anarchy” is a fantasy. You’ll end up with tribal warlords like you see in Afghanistan because when there isn’t a collective agreement and enforcement of those agreements, then you’ve got chaos.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! SLAVERY DOES NOT INVOLVE CHOICE! What is so frakking hard for you to understand about that concept. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE HERE. A SLAVE does not have a choice!
What is broken in your head that prevents you from understanding the ACTUAL definition of slavery?
I need to make a correction. In my third paragraph I forgot to eliminate the word “of” which is between “exchange” and “between”.
No, I don’t believe that the only way to make people be good is by using fear and force. I think most people are generally good and don’t need any pressure to be good. However, I know that not ALL people are good all the time and so to prevent and/or discourage the BAD, people have banded together as a community to form a stable society.
Thanks, Gary! I appreciate it!
What’s your address? I will call Jon and Nick and we’ll come and help defend you so you can keep your house.
The problem is that the guy down the street has 8 other guys who are family and friends and the 3 of us aren’t any kind of match against the 9 of them.
… it sounds like you’re building the wild, wild west of shoot-outs, chaos and violence. It sounds like you’re removing the philosophical “fear and force” you feel is applied to you when you are expected to follow the Laws of the land and you’re replacing with active fear and force where you have to violently defend your property and lives against any random person who comes along.
You are correct. I made an assumption about what you believe. I apologize.
I fully agree with you when you said…
“I think most people are generally good and don’t need any pressure to be good. However, I know that not ALL people are good all the time and so to prevent and/or discourage the BAD, people have banded together as a community to form a stable society.”
The disagreement comes in the method and means with which we band together.
Just so you know my belief (or philosophy) at this time is somewhere between what many would label as “min-archist” and “anarchist”. I hate labels because it doesn’t give an accurate description of one’s beliefs. I like what the great historian Howard Zinn said when he was asked about his political philosophy. He answered…
“something of an anarchist, something of a socialist. Maybe a democratic socialist,”.
As I see it those who favor “government” or “anarchy” both make good, and what I would consider valid arguments. That’s why I’m stuck in-between.
Let’s used your house analogy. The “pro government” person would argue that he could call the police and the police will arrest the thief. The “anarchist” would counter with “who would protect you when it is the government who is coming to take your house?”
The “anarchist” would say argue that you could get together with your neighbors and/ or hire a security service to protect your home. The “government” person would counter with “what if my neighbors won’t help me and I can’t afford to hire a security company.” Both sides give valid arguments of what might happen, but the fact is we don’t know what would work best.
That’s why I find myself arguing, with myself, between government vs. anarchy.
I hope you understand that my comment was intended to make you laugh and cool down the heat of the conversation. And by the way, I think we could handle them.
When does that actually happen? We live in a Representative Democracy where in the powers of the State are enumerated by the consensus of the citizenry. When has the US government been just kicking people out of their homes and taking them? This A-B scenario you provide has a real situation has happens commonly on one hand and a fantasy situation that only exists in hypotheticals and isn’t based on our reality. Even when it comes to actions involving Emminent Domain, those actions are open to public debate, can be appealed, etc. and then after all of that when Emminent Domain is enacted the State is required to pay you Fair Market Value for your home. The thug living in my house with his 8 friends and family doesn’t have any of those rules. It fosters tribal warlords and is the epitome of the Might Makes Right principle which seems so antithetical to the entire premise.
There have been cases where a company wants land to build a plant and had the government declare eminent domain on whole neighborhoods, even with some of the people of that own the land refuses to cede their land. Although it doesn’t happen often with entire neighborhoods, it happens often enough. Typically it happens with individual homes though. Just because you might be compensated for your home (typically poorly), doesn’t make it right, your property is still being stolen.
A free society requires a people that are willing to respect other people’s property on a whole. This is even required in societies with governments. So, tribalism, isn’t an ordered anarchy society because the people don’t respect each others property. You could hire people to protect your property or get insurance in a group of people that says they will protect your property. So there are alternatives.
Police officers won’t even enter some neighborhoods in this country because they are too rough and basically live tribally. So, even in your current government utopia it fails fundamentally. Whereas in a voluntaryist society you could hire people to protect you and if they don’t protect you then you don’t have to pay them anymore, like you currently have to. With coercive government just by their very existence the first thing they do is become the first group of people that regularly steal from you. They have stolen far more from me than any thief. They have also threatened me far more than any private individual or group.
I agree whole heartedly. I think it is good to ban together to help each other not be hurt by bad people. Why do you think we wouldn’t help each other? Government typically has the effect of getting people to be apathetic towards each other and not help. Ever hear of people saying, why should I help, that’s the government’s job? I have.
It’s a false choice to think that you would live in the wild wild west just because you don’t have government. There can still be law and order with out everyone going at each others throat. But, your fear already exists with police and other enforcers intimidating people and even killing innocent people without regress. Just follow Cop Block for a while and you will read all sorts of stories of bad cops getting away with murder, literally, murder.
Remember consensus of whom? The 10% of the people that voted and had the law go their way? Doesn’t sound like consensus to me. I thought the ideal of a republic was to make it so the minority got their rights protected, not the majority.
NO, it’s NOT being stolen. The government only has the power of eminent domain because we give it that power. If you don’t want the government to have that power, then get the law changed. YOU have power in our government to change the parts you disagree with. You keep dodging this point, why do you hate democracy so much?
Did you notice that you avoided the actual example of my home invasion? Why can’t you address that real situation and explain how your anarchy resolves that violation of my property without devolving into random, violent clashes?
YOU. By CHOOSING to live here then you are CHOOSING TO ACCEPT the Laws of this Land.
By a woman choosing to live on 4th street she is choosing to be raped, because everyone knows that women are raped on 4th street. You see the ridiculousness of your argument? No, the perpetrator is the one at fault. It is similar to Stockholm syndrome to say it is OK to be hurt by someone else.
I didn’t give it that power and never would. I don’t know why you keep saying we. I’ll have to look up Lysander Spooner’s argument on this, he gives a much better explanation then I could. It is just indoctrination that makes you believe this.
I didn’t avoid your example. I used a counter example to show you what you fear is already happening under a statist system. Under voluntaryism you would have protection from what you described and I described possible scenarios on how it could be avoided.
GREAT ZEUS are you stupid. *sigh* You just equated FOLLOWING the Law with VIOLENT AND HORRIBLE BREAKING of the Law.
It is SHOCKING to me that you can be this stupid. To equate RAPE with following the Laws of land.
What the hell is wrong with you?
OK, here’s the refutation of your “voluntary” government:
You wrap yourself in offensive RAPE and SLAVERY equivalences, all the while refusing to accept YOUR CHOICE to live in this country with its Laws.
And you wonder why people think your ideas are stupid and crazy, because you say things like that and equate following the law with being raped, a violent and horrible violation of the law.
For the rest of us who mostly just read comments and don’t post often, I just want to say that your use of the word “stupid” and “crazy” are not very persuasive. In the years I attended public school, (K-5th), those words were the common means of “persuasion” by bullies on the schoolyard. At some point, you gotta grow up man.
Jon, I still want to know the solution to 8 thugs coming at me for my house.
And what Kenny is saying, that I don’t think you fully comprehend, is why do you still live here? You clearly don’t support the Constitution. You claim citizenship but also claim to be a victim of theft. Why aren’t you on a deserted island?
To remain here, in the U.S., is a choice. Your choice. Your choosing to live here comes with it obligations.
I will first address what you said here …
“This A-B scenario you provide has a real situation has happens commonly on one hand and a fantasy situation that only exists in hypotheticals and isn’t based on our reality.”
Is the “real situation” the one where the bully is taking your house or the government is taking your house? I am unaware of any situations where bullies are going around the USA and kicking people out of their houses. I am aware situations where the government has kicked people out of their homes right here in the “good old USA.”
You asked “When does this happen?” I think it would be appropriate for you to ask native American tribes about their homes and lands being taken and them driven out by the US government. Or you could ask the US citizens of Japanese decent what happened to them during World War 2.
In regards to what you said about eminent domain and the state is required to pay fair market value. Well that may be the law but this law is violated all the time by the state. Let me give you one example.
I have a friend who’s family owned a farm in the city we both grew up in. This land was the best land in the area. It had trees, rolling hills etc…. One day in the early 1970’s the city decided they wanted to build a golf course. They approached my friends father and asked him if he would sell the city enough of his farm land to build an 18 hole golf course. He said he would consider it if he could get fair market value out of the land.
My friends father and the city got together paid for an independent appraisal on the portion of land the city needed to do the golf course. The market value was about three times what the city had budgeted for the purchase so my friends father said he wouldn’t sell it to them at the price they were able to offer.
Immediately the city pursued an eminent domain taking of the property. My friends father fought it in several courts for as long as he had money to do so, but in the end, the courts ruled that the city could take the land and pay him 1/3 of its value. They said “for the public good.”
Not only did my friends family lose 2/3’s of the value of the land, they also lost the income the land generated for them.
Finally, I am an architect. On every project I work on (25-30 per year) I help my clients get their plans through government agencies. In order to do this we have to conform our design with zoning ordinances, building codes and other laws and regulation required by government agencies. The problem I run into most frequently is when a bureaucrat of one of these agencies goes beyond the adopted ordinances, regulations, laws etc… and require my client to spend more money to meet these arbitrary requirements. Some times it is only a couple thousand dollars, but most of the time it involves tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Thanks Gary, Once again they have objections that are fairly unrealistic but fail to look in the mirror for the questions they are asking.
I love it here in Arizona. This is where my family lives. This is where I own property. This is my home. So, I should leave if there are people stealing from me? Or should I stand up and advocate for freedom and liberty and try and help free the minds of those around me? According to you guys I should leave. Isn’t that contrary to the traditional values of humanity where we try to create a better world? I will stand up for my values and will stand up for those that are being persecuted in the name of freedom and liberty.
The woman being raped, it is not her fault and if she wants to live on 4th street she should be allowed. It is the perpetrators that we must fight, not the woman being abused.
So why do you guys believe it is the woman that should be persecuted? Why does the woman have to leave her home? Especially where ever she goes they also rape you, in all the world there is no free place, worse, the other places rape you even worse than in the place she currently lives. I think she should stand up and fight and try and help people understand that her being raped is not right, but immoral and unethical.
Yes, it does, and those obligations are to try and help people understand that taxation is theft and that it is not right that one flesh be above another. That one man be master and another slave. That there are ethical values that we must consider to become a people that values the rights of others.
You wouldn’t be able to find those examples, because we HAVE a police force. 🙂 But to step outside the House example specifically to something that happens in the US and then bring it back to the House… just take a look at any major city with a gang problem. The gangs violently clash over territory, and the police do their best to stop or catch them afterward. Those gangs may shoot at each other in the street (and the cops do their best to protect us), but those gangs don’t invade my house and claim it as their own because they know if they do it will only last as long as it takes for the cops to show up and arrest them. A gang loitering in the street isn’t necessarily doing anything wrong and if someone got hurt, but no one will testify when the cops show up (because they fear reprisal) then it is hard for the cops to do anything. However, if the gang is IN MY HOUSE the proof is self-evident and the cops WILL eject them and arrest them. They are willing to break laws because they think they can get away with it often enough, but they’ll never get away with stealing my home through invasion.
… but if there wasn’t a Police force, is there nothing to stop them… nothing except for more gang-style warfare.
Yes, we as a People, make mistakes and we do our best to fix them and prevent those mistakes from happening again.
Yes, I’m a real estate investor, in addition to being a Computer Nerd, so I understand this can happen and I also know more times when Fair Market Value was given without any problems. However, the important part of the example you gave, is that the Law wasn’t violated. The Law states that a Judge can rule in that fashion. So, if you don’t like it, you have the power to organize your fellow citizens and change the law.
BECAUSE THEY AREN’T STEALING FROM YOU.
It’s April 15th. Did you mail your taxes in voluntarily? Or did a Jack Booted Thug from the IRS hold a gun to your head and force you to mail in your taxes?
It’s not STEALING, because you CHOSE to live in Arizona and along with it, you accepted the Laws of the Land. Now, you might not like those Laws and you might want to change them (which is in your power because we live in a Representative Democracy), but just because you don’t LIKE the tax laws doesn’t make those laws THEFT.
There are benefits to living here and you enjoy all of those benefits. You chose to live here and by choosing to live here, you agree to live by the Laws of our Nation, and your State and your City.
I agree. I think they are the ones who are not always living in the real world. Kenny was correct in saying that we have laws and other procedures in place, which are there to help us try and get justice. The sad fact is the some time they are not followed by the powers that be and many ended up losing their life, liberty and property. Even on some occasions they lose all three.
As far as the “love it or leave it” argument is concerned, what they are doing is setting up a “false dilemma” or “false alternative” senario, which is a logical fallacy. The cassical example of this logical fallacy is as follows…
Let’s say you are walking down the street. A thief comes up to you, pulls out a gun and says … “give me your wallet or I will kill you.” You do a quick “cost benefit analysis” and give him your wallet.
The reason this is a logical fallacy is that the thief (the aggressor) has taken away your free will. Your only choices are the ones this criminal has given you.
I think we have beaten this dead horse enough. Let’s move on to Connors next posting which deals with a less controversial subject, taxation. I have started it off with the first comment.
No, the fallacy lies in this old and tired analogy:
Analogy is a very powerful tool, but very few people ever use it correctly. This analogy is completely wrong and that’s why when you base an argument on top of this analogy, then your argument fails as well.
The missing part of your analogy is that before you started walking down this road, you were presented with a letter sent collectively by everyone who lives on this street. The letter explains that this is a really lovely street and if you would like to walk down this street, then you’ll be required to pay a fee to help maintain the street, but you’ll also get lots of wonderful benefits while you’re on the street. So, you take this knowledge, and choose to walk down the street. Then you encounter a man who accepts your fee and you continue on your way… and maybe decide to set up a shop on the side of the street because so many people love this wonderful street and you’ll be able to make some good money here.
If you didn’t want to pay that fee, you could just walk one street over. It’s not as nice of a street, but it would still get you were you want to go and you wouldn’t have to pay the fee.
Do you see the difference? Your theft analogy is fundamentally flawed and that’s why every argument that you extend from it is also wrong.
I appreciate your comments. I am at work. I will respond later this evening.
Kenny’s right on the bad analogy, and that’s why Jon’s rape example several posts back was flawed as well. Being a victim of theft, being a victim of rape, it’s all chance, however likely or unlikely. Paying taxes, on the other hand, is a guarantee. You will pay them, just like when you received the notice to walk down the lovely street and pay a fee. If A, then B, not If A, maybe B.
Gary, I hope Kenny’s #75 cleared this up.
No, Jon, those obligations are taxes and such.
Jon, it sounds like you want a completely new constitution.
I won’t even get started on how your model fails in national defense.
You know how your free-wheeling system will end up, don’t you? We saw it over a hundred years ago, when Teddy Roosevelt started busting up trusts and monopolies. In your system, unregulated, competition eventually dies, because the successful buy out the moderately successful. They absorb, grow bigger, until there’s just a few big guys, or even one.
My issue with the “if you hate it here so much, why don’t you leave?” argument:
This country is our home. If some people look at it and think it’s a mess, if they consider it their home they’ll try to clean it up and fix it. Abandonment is an absolutely last resort, one that many would not seriously consider unless one’s life is in immediate peril. That, and maybe there isn’t a better alternative. Better to stay and try to fix things than to go to another country that is just as messed up.
People argue about the different messes they see, but in one way or another, those who consider this country their home are trying to fix the mess they perceive. Nobody has the standing to declare that someone else ought to leave just because they have a different view of the environment.
To be clear, I’m NOT actually saying, “If you hate it here so much, why don’t you leave?” What I’m saying is, “You’ve chosen to live here, which means you’ve agreed to live by the Laws of his Land.”
Those are very different statements.
I’ve never said that there won’t be enforcers to enforce property rights. All I’ve said is that there won’t be a monopoly on force and that paying them is voluntary. This is called competition. With competition typically comes cheaper prices and higher quality.
Part of the problem of using a monopoly of force and democracy is that it takes so much effort to change anything that it isn’t worth it for most people except those that are in the business of stealing from you (like people that are paid by the government – their incentive is ever higher taxes to pay their paychecks). Whereas in a free market you don’t like something, most of the time you just need to sit on your butt and not do anything. Not so with the government, you have to organize people, plan, rub shoulders with politicians, have good communication skills, have lots of money, etc.
Actually, what you’ve done is avoid the question as best you could, specifically avoiding the home invasion scenario. My guess is that any specific answer you give will show that your system either devolves into chaos or a Might Makes Right scenario, both of which are antithetical to your entire position.
There won’t be a monopoly on force? Uh, ok, right, so we’ll instead have roaming gangs of enforcers who are either paid hitmen for the richest among us or they are their own free agents, bullying the populace for whatever they want.
Oh, I’ll buy insurance so that people will come protect me in case of a home invasion? You mean protection money.. like the mob used to extort from local businesses? Yeah, all of that money was totally voluntary.
This is a fantasy world that you’ve created in your mind. It doesn’t even stand up to the slighest of pressures.
You can cut and paste this crap over and over again, but it DOES NOT ADDRESS the argument! I never said your VOTING was the agreement to follow the Laws of the Land. Your CHOICE to LIVE HERE is your agreement to follow the laws of the land. You understand that taxes are the price you must pay if you want to live here, work here, own land here, etc.
When you made THAT CHOICE (or THOSE CHOICES) then you agreed to live by those laws. You saw the option, “If I live here, then I agree to pay taxes” and you chose to live here, which means you agreed to pay taxes. Therefore, those taxes ARE NOT IN ANY WAY THEFT.
You can’t even take personal responsibility for your choice to live in this country and you think it would be better to have more reliance on honor and personal responsibility? That’s laughable.
I am finally back. Boy did I get robbed by the government today!
I will first address the analogy comments. The paragraph I wrote about the robber was only intended to give a simple example of what a “false dilemma” or “false alternative” is. I did not intend it to be a direct analogy to your comment about one being free to move to another country. However including both in the same comments was a mistake on my part and I understand how you would take it that way. I would take it that way.
In your analogy you are assuming government existed before people. “Before you walk down the street…” Your analogy would only apply to a potential immigrant. All the others were either born on the street or were there before your government existed. When a baby is born into a geographical location they are not giving their consent to be governed by the local authorities. This is also true of most people who pre-existed the government. Most people didn’t give their consent, it was forced upon them.
Every area on the earth is controlled by some government authority. In your analogy you said you could go to the next street and not pay the fee. This is true in only one sense. You would not have to pay the US fee. However you would have to pay the fee for that street. It could be the China fee or the England fee etc…. It may have been possible a couple of hundred years ago but not today.
This is what I meant by saying that you set up a false alternative when you told Jon that he could choose to live here or go somewhere else which is more to his liking. There are no other areas which are more to his liking. The only options he has is government “A”, government “B” or government “C”.
There are two different types of consent.
1. Consent : A voluntary, free will agreement between two or more parties.
2. Implied Consent: It does not involve a voluntary agreement. It is more circumstantial in nature. You are born in a territory governed by a certain authority. You choose to stay in a certain country because it is the lesser of two evils.
I believe I have answered the question multiple times. Unlike you I don’t pretend to know everything. That is why I want competition so the best system can exist. Under your idea of a centralized authority, the authorities are supposed to know the very best system. But we know that under monopolies inertia is the rule, not change and innovation.
Like what we have now? Is that the worst you can come up with? So the worse it will be is what we have now, OK, gotcha.
Umm, right now it is like the mob/mafia. 9/11, what did they do? They started stealing more of our money after it. They were rewarded for incompetence. Like the Baseline Killer in Phoenix. They had the evidence to find the man but never did the DNA testing until others were killed to. But in the meantime the PHX police extorted the populace for more money to “keep them safe.” Like the cops that kill innocent people and then get to keep their jobs. Right now it is far more like the mafia/mob. I don’t have a choice to pay up, if I don’t pay up I get put in a cage or, if I try to protect my property with enough force, I am killed.
Yep, it is a fantasy world you live in. You don’t even recognize all the bad things the government does.
The quote gave the same argument for what you said. Gary Hunt said it very well. By saying that just by living here from birth I agree to the monopoly power is the equivalent to saying that we are all serfs to the masters.
No, I’m not. In my analogy, I’m assuming the government existed before YOU (or the guy in the analogy) which it does. If we want to rewind back to the founding of the government, then we can use a different analogy, but the analogy for today… whether or not you or Jon are being robbed… the government DID exist before you.
False. When you legally became an adult, you made the choice to stay. Every day, every week, every month, every year… you again make a choice to stay here which means you agree to live by the laws of the land.
This point keeps getting avoided, so let me break it out separately and will you please address it directly: By choosing to live in this country, are you agreeing to follow the Laws of this Country?
False. You can live on a boat and you can have your perfect voluntary society and lifestyle. You’ll be vulnerable to pirates and will not have all of the protections that inherently come with stable society, but you can fish in international waters, you can grow food using hydroponics, etc. You do not have to stand on any other nation’s land.
Ugh, no wonder your ideas are so broken, you’ve built them on SO many WRONG foundations!
Let’s get one thing very clear: Competition and free-markets DO NOT make things BETTER. They make them MORE PROFITABLE. McDonalds doesn’t make the greatest hamburger ever, it makes one that is fast, cheap and uniform. You can get the same burger in San Diego or Munich. This idea that competition and free-markets inherently make BETTER products is WRONG. Competition and free-markets encourage MORE PROFITABLE products.
I don’t know what fantasy world you live in, but the police respond when I call and they protect me from criminals even though I’m not in “the richest among us.”
It must be very tiring for you to live in this fantasy world where you are constantly surrounded by jack-booted thugs who are always menacing you.
Again, you try to change my words so you can avoid the point. I never said just because you were BORN here then you must submit. I have said, REPEATEDLY, that you CHOOSE to live here. As an adult, you have the ability to CHOOSE to live somewhere else, but you have CHOSEN to live here. There is no coercion in this action. You have FREE WILL over this choice… but you can’t even take personal responsibility for THAT choice and yet you claim you want a society built entirely on personal responsibility? You’re a joke.
You’re not a very good listener.
You are right about free markets though, free market doesn’t create the best thing all the time. If you only want a $200 computer you can buy one. If you want top of the line you can buy a $10k computer. Government doesn’t give you a choice though, you only get the crappy $10 computer with government except they charge you $10k for it.
Try going to a poor part of the country where there many minorities. Yep, not a lot of protection there. You are the one living in a fantasy, thinking the only thing that makes people good is a gun pointed at them. Try living in the Middle East where they keep getting bombed just for living there. Remember in the 20th century private murders were at 8 million and government murders were over 250 million and that doesn’t even include starvation and other privations that governments have reaped upon the people.
They have done studies showing that false authority makes man bad, without the false authority men will behave much better. (See the prison study and the shock “therapy” study).
OK, I’m done.
Is this STILL going on? lol
I see you’re moving the goal posts and instead of railing against non-existent tyranny, you’re instead complaining about the inefficiency. Ok, that’s fine. I agree, the government is inefficient. EVERY sufficiently large entity is inefficient, even private entities are horrendously inefficient once they get even moderately large.
Dude, I live in a poor area where “minorities” are the majority, right next to Compton. So, don’t give me this “you don’t know what it’s really like” kind of crap.
You’re just grasping for straws on a bunch of other topics now to try to avoid answering my DIRECT questions about your CHOICE to live here. It’s sad.
Yeah, I think the more important parts of “debating” over the internet is to vet your own ideas. I’ve changed a lot of my ideas through reading on the internet and some of my ideas by debating. Of course, I still need to improve my debate skills.
Sorry, I don’t have much time right now. I think we need to define what government is, because your definition may be different than mine. If we can’t agree on a definition, then we can just go on arguing our concepts forever just like in the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant.
Why don’t you post what you believe an accurate definition of government is and later tonight I will post my definition or concept.
By the way, after yesterday I don’t have enough money left over to even drive to the coast, let alone even try to make monthly payments on my own, personal floating country. Also even if I did, the Bush and Obama administrations have both claimed the right to attack anyone, anywhere on the face of the earth who they believe might be a terrorist threat. With my luck Obama would send one of his drones over to take care of me.
One more note. Here’s a link to what you are suggesting that I and Jon could do.
Which style do you like?
You can just assume I’m talking about the US government, because we’re talking about living in the US and paying taxes in the US. This isn’t a theoretical discussion of the semantics of what constitutes an intangible something-or-other. It’s now, it’s here.
See, now you’re getting it! Individuals don’t really have the means to maintain all of these things by themselves. That’s why we have banded together and created structures like taxation in order to pay for the collective needs to keep and maintain a stable nation in which we can prosper.
The megapyramid looks pretty good, but you shouldn’t take my advice on it, because I like it here. I don’t mind contributing to the nation which provides me one of the safest and most free locations in the world, allowing me and my family to prosper. I choose to live here, rather than Canada or England or Singapore, etc. because I feel it’s the best choice.
Bottom line, Jon, it’s not theft when you consent to living here.
And roaming gangs? Just because a tiny minority of neighborhoods must deal with this (and I use the term “roaming gangs” very, very liberally) doesn’t mean it is the current situation of our nation. Under your system, however, I see much, much, much more of it.
Have fun in fantasy.
You consent by living here! Now stop resisting arrest while I beat you to a bloody pulp!
It is true I voluntarily live in the society in the geographic area called the United States of America, I am a non-member and unwilling participant of the government called the United States of America.
See? You’re such a joke, you can’t even accept responsibility for your choice to live in this country. If you choose to live here, you choose to live according to the Laws of this nation.
You’re a joke.
And the Japanese voluntarily put themselves in concentration camps. But it’s a democracy, they could use the system to tell their legislators to let them out!
It’s all good. There was no wrong done to the Japanese, because it was all voluntary, after all, they could have left the country.
Once again, you’re DESPERATELY trying to talk about something else so you don’t have to respond to the fact that you CHOOSE to live here and therefore taxes are NOT THEFT, because you CHOOSE to accept the laws of this land when you CHOOSE to live here.
Change the subject ALL you want, but it just makes you look more desperate. You can’t defend your ideas, so you try to change the subject.
You’re a joke.
Japanese internment is a direct comparison with taxes. You can’t accept one without the other.
No, they aren’t, they are wildly different topics. You just don’t want to talk about taxes because I’ve shown everyone here that your argument is invalid.
You live here. Therefore you voluntarily agree to all laws of the land and said laws are valid by the voice of the people.
If a law is contrary to natural law then it is invalid and does not bind me (although I will obey an unjust law to save my life and the lives of my family).
Right, you refuse to accept the personal responsibility for your choice and you feel you are entitled to ignore any law you don’t like.
That definitely sounds like your fantasy volunterism world would totally work, especially considering that you can’t even handle the FIRST choice of many. You’re ridiculous.
I am confused. In Jon’s last post, He said…”I will obey an unjust law”…. In your last post (which came 39 minutes after Jon’s) you say…”you feel you are entitled to ignore any law you don’t like.” To me it sounds like he is not ignoring the laws he disagrees with, but that he “will obey” them. Please explain.
You and Nick keep making statements like “…your fantasy volunteerism world”… and how it would create a world where violence, murder, rape, pillage and plunder would reign! Nobody would be safe! Fear! Fear! Fear!
Not counting my wife and family, my first love is architecture. Next would come the study of history. In fact one day I added up all the pages of books I’ve read and I have averaged about 10,000 pages, per year, for the last 20 years. The reason I bring this up is that you and nick keep asking for examples of “volunteerist” societies which have actually worked. I can tell you there are many. Here’s a couple.
1. Colonial America: I know you will probably disagree with me because your perspective of Colonial America most likely comes from the public school version, or should I say “Hollywood” and/or “Disney” versions. In a nutshell what was really going on was a whole lot of “anarchy/ volunteerism”.
It is true that the British had Goverers and Magistrates etc… over here, but they had to get their operating expenses and salaries from the people (taxation), because the King and Parliament wouldn’t give them the funds. The people were not very cooperative, and very little in taxation was collected. Those evil colonists! Didn’t they know that because they chose to live where they lived that they gave their consent to obey their government!
The only other groups of people trying to govern the people were the religion. A prime example were the Puritans. They were “control freaks.” But over time even their influence and control was greatly eliminated.
2. The Wild, Wild West: The fact is it wasn’t all that wild. Until the late 1960’s, early 1970’s most historians assumed it was lawless, chaotic and wild because there was not goverrnment to keep the peace. Well come to find out the historians were just passing on myths (most likely unintentionally) based upon the “fantasy” western dime store novels, which were very popular in the East at the time.
In 1774, the historian Eugene Hollon writes that the western frontier “was a far more civilized, and more peaceful and safer place than American society today.”
In 1979, Terry Hill and P.J. Anderson wrote”(t)he West… is percieved as a place of great chaos, with little respect for property or life,” their reasearch “indicates that this was not the case; property right were protected and civil order prevailed. Private agencies provided the necessary basis for an orderly society in which property was protected and conflicts resolved.”
There’s your real world examples.
Interesting information. I wish I was as great of a reader as you are!
Although examples are good in the end I don’t know if it really matters. Even if no society lived without slavery before it ended it doesn’t change the fact that it is unethical. The argument that a voluntaryist society has never existed (which you showed to be incorrect and, of course, there are other societies too that you didn’t mention) is mute. To say something can’t be because it never existed before is to say computers can’t exist because they never existed before, etc.
I like the counter argument when people say, but who will build the roads, etc. is similar to who will pick the cotton? Well, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that it is immoral and unethical for one man to be master of another.
Regardless, it is nice to read about societies like that! Thanks for posting.
I agree whole heartedly with you that the bottom line is that it is unethical. It is best stated by the “non-agression principle”. No one has the right to initiate force, even though they may have the power.
I know I am not going to convince Kenny or Nick on this subject. Their world views are cast in concrete. I believe they have given you “false dilemma” senarios because that’s really all they see. One of my best friends is an “Eastern liberal”. We sit down and have discussion where we discuss everything. You name it and we’ve probably debated it. These civil discussions last 2-3 hour sometimes. We are still friends!
Thanks for all your comments. By the way are you the Jon who hangs out over at Pure Mormonism? If you are, I hear that over there someones “pants are on fire”!
Shame on you, Gary. You cut off his quote and changed the message of his statement. He said:
He claims he IS NOT BOUND by any law with which he disagrees, but he’ll follow a law if it directly threatens his life or the lives of his family.
My point still stands, Jon refuses to accept responsibility for his actions.
No, I’m not the one selling fear. I’m merely asking how your proposed system handles these situations, because this argument always starts with complaining about the “use of force” from the government, taking taxes at the point of a gun, or whatever tired phrase gets used… but upon simple cursory examination of the ideas presented, the level of “use of force”, chaos, dangerous, instability, etc, only INCREASES with the implementation of these ideas even though the dogma presented claims the opposite.
I’m not selling fear, I’m exposing the failures of the argument to acheive stated goals.
Actually, I don’t and I’m not sure why you would say that. Do you assume I’ve been asking that because other people you talk to ask for those? I haven’t been. I’ve been presenting an example of what would happen in your volunteerism world after a home invasion.
So, if you could, please try to address my concerns and not the strawman requests of others.
Agreed. When I used it the first time, I was only using it in its colloquial meaning, which I understand is not based in truth. If you notice, I stopped referencing the Wild West and instead just used the modern day example of gangland warfare because I didn’t want to confuse the issue.
The only issue this brings forward is that the analogy with the thief.. which turned out to really be an analogy of a toll road… is just incomplete. As is true of ALL analogies, they are imperfect because any perfect explanation of the situation would have to be the explanation of the ACTUAL situation and not an analogous one. The analogies are simplified to help highlight an idea.
Beyond all that, the Colonial references are really just red herrings and unrelated to the question of theft. There are two major issues with your presentation of this as a valid point on the argument at hand:
1) The lesser of the two reasons… You’ll remember that the Patriots weren’t angry about taxation. They were angry at the lack of Representation because it meant they had no control over how much they were being taxed or how that tax money was subsequently being spent. That doesn’t apply to today because we DO have input on how much we are taxed and how that money is spent.
2) More importantly though, while the Colonial Patriots fought to replace the government with one of their own choosing, that is a completely separate topic from whether or not the taxes levied in the name of the Crown were THEFT. Whether or not those taxes were THEFT is a completely disconnected topic from whether or not those people overthrew the British and set up a new government. A can be either true or false while B is also either true or false. They are unrelated to one another.
I enjoy some of Rock’s posts and comment occasionally. I’m not really a believer anymore though. There could be other Jons too. I haven’t commented on the last post. The penultimate post I thought was a bit distasteful, Rock normally does a better job than that. Very well thought out.
Yeah, I agree, with people like Kenny there isn’t much you can do to have a discussion. They come with entirely different assumptions about the world. It is interesting the statist’s assumptions are that the world is very dangerous, therefore we need gunvernment to control things or help the poor, etc. But for some reason this assumption doesn’t include the assumption that the people that will actually rise in power will be the corrupt ones.
-YOU- can’t have a discussion with me, because you repeatedly avoid simple and direct questions which point out the falsehoods and fallacies in your argument.
Yeah, I never asked for a volunteerist society that actually worked either.
*an example of a volunteerist society
Couldn’t the same be said about you, jon? 🙂
In any case, I STILL haven’t heard your solution to the 8 thugs coming to take my house . . .
Yes. But I’ll accept rational arguments and try and work through them. I used to think much differently than I do now and I try to understand new ideas and remove contradictions from my thinking.
Comment #63 Paragraph 2 Sentence 4. It should be noted that I don’t know how it will really work out. In a free market each individual has the potential to come up with a solution and many solutions might work themselves up to be the most popular. Some solutions that might have worked out my be supplanted by other solutions. Under a central monopolistic government there is no competition to come up with better and cheaper solutions and there is no monetary feedback to make change and continue to improve.
You’re perpetuating that falsehood again.
… and not necessarily more profitable for everyone. Monopolies, which are the logical conclusion to unregulated free markets, so your public monopoly is just replaced with a private monopoly. You’ve still got a monopoly, but now the motivations behind that monopoly are different and you have absolutely no say in that monopoly.
I don’t understand where in the process your brain leaps off the track when trying to follow this idea to its logical conclusion.
No way, Kenny, the market will figure out the best way to undo its own success! That’s what free markets are for!
Jon, as I said before, you’re just trading one master for another, a private master whose decision makers you didn’t vote for.
I’ll quote myself, Jon. I don’t think you caught it the first time.
“Shame on you, Gary. You cut off his quote and changed the message of his statement.”
Obviously you didn’t get my point. As I understand it, you said to Jon that if he choose to stay in this country he consents to obey its laws. You can’t pick and choose the laws you want to obey. Correct me if I’m wrong.
He has made it clear that he has chosen to stay in this country. He has made it clear that he has chosen to obey the laws, even the ones he believes to be unjust. What else are you looking for?
“He claims he IS NOT BOUND by any law with which he disagrees, but he’ll follow a law if it directly threatens his life or the lives of his family.”
You twist his words ever so slightly as to alter their meaning. What I believe he is saying is that he believes that there are unjust laws which he, being under duress, will obey. When he says he “is not bound”, I believe he is not binding himself morally, mentally to them or agreeing with them. My understand of contract law is that if you sign a contract under duress (threat of violence) you have future recourse to make the contract null and void. Jon can correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what I would say if it were me.
There are some semantic problems with the above statement which make it technically different than what I am saying. Let me re-explain what I’m saying and then I’ll describe the specifics of how it differs from your statement above.
When one chooses to live in this country, one chooses then to accept the Laws of the Land. This means that taxes are not theft, because the ability to levy taxes is an explicit power of the government. You are aware that taxes exist and you are aware of what behaviors will cause taxes to be levied. So, when you CHOOSE to live here, then you are CHOOSING to accept those conditions. You can dislike taxes all you want, but they ARE NOT THEFT. You ARE NOT under duress when you make the choice to live here. However, when you make that choice, then you are accepting the Laws of the Land.
Now, the semantic disagreement I wish to take with your re-statement of my position has to do with the difference between “accepting” the laws and “obeying” the Laws. One can choose not to obey the Laws, even while recognizing the government’s authority to enact and enforce those laws. I can choose to speed in my car (disobey the law), but still understand that the government has the authority to enact speed limits and punish me for breaking those laws. When I choose to drive on the roads, then I must accept the laws of the roads. Just like when I choose to live here, I must accept the laws of the land.
No, I got your point, but your point explicitly ignored the IF portion of his statement. He explicitly added a conditional clause to his statement and you ignored that part even though it inherently changed the meaning of his statement.
He’s not under duress to make the choice to live here, but he’s too childish to accept the ramifications of his choice. He wants all of the benefits of living in this wonderful country, but then throws a tantrum when it comes to paying taxes and tries to claim that the govt doesn’t have the rightful authority to levy taxes… and yet, he advocates for a society which is entirely based on personal responsibility while simultaneously refusing to take personal responsibility for his choices.
Oh boy. The Japanese Americans that chose to live here during WWII chose to live by the laws of the land and, therefore, chose to be in internments camps. After all, they could have left. But it was their choice to be here. They totally loved being in the internment camps and they totally chose to lose all their property that they had built up but then lost when they chose to leave the interment camps. They weren’t being kidnapped and put in those camps, it was totally their choice.
Yeah, Kenny, makes total sense. When you choose to live in a country all actions by the government that oversees that territory are moral. That’s why the Trail of Tears should be called the Trail of All Actions by US Government Are Moral because You Chose to Live Here.
Your arguments do not make sense. I am going to break it down to you in the simplest terms I know how to do.
1. Jon has chosen to stay in this country. For his siuation there is no other realistic option. (False dilemma)
2. Jon has chosen to obey the laws. (If he doesn’t fines, prison or death)
3. Jon has chosen to try and change the laws. (You said said he should do this)
What else will satisfy you? Do you want Jon to go against his conscience and sday he loves and agrees with the laws? I would not want you to be forced to accept or agree with a law that violates your conscience.
I will quote you so that it appears again so that everyone following this blog can be sure they read and understand what you are saying.
“You know how your free-wheeling system will end up, don’t you? We saw it over a hundred years ago, when Teddy Roosevelt started busting up trusts and monopolies. In your system, unregulated, competition eventually dies, because the successful buy out the moderately successful. They absorb, grow bigger, until there’s just a few big guys, or even one.”
The rest of the story which you leave out is how they became trusts and monopolies. I will give you the first letter of the answer.
G_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Did you figure it out?
When I read the last two sentences of your statement above ,I thought you were talking about what is happening today. Because you are accurately describing what has been happen for the last several decades. Even though there are literally tens of thousands of regulations and laws on the books trying to prevent this. Lets make tens of thousands more.
via Coyote Blog
It is amazing how 165 years can pass and we continue on with the same conversations. Can we not evolve?
Thanks again Gary for bringing in the historical perspective. Monopolies by their very nature and by definition can’t exist without the government. It is interesting, even with the government creating monopolies that, in the end, can’t stop competition from creeping in.
I found it interesting how Lysander Spooner decided to compete with the postal service when it was a monopoly. He ended up drastically reducing the cost to mail items when he showed how expensive it was through competition. Unfortunately he ended up losing that battle. I found it interesting how he also fought the monopoly of the state on Lawyers, he won back then, unfortunately we lost in the long run and now there is a monopoly on lawyers again.
Did you notice that you had to read back to WWII and use this example of being being imprisoned? Why didn’t you just choose any of the people who were imprisoned this year? If your argument is valid, then any of those people who were imprisoned should be a valid example as well, right?
It’s because it’s not a valid analogy to the question of taxes being theft. The internment of the Japanese wasn’t a Law of the Land that the people could look at ahead of time and make a decision about. It happened on the fly and is therefore not the same as you having full foreknowledge of the requirement to pay taxes. That’s why would didn’t use an example of anyone incarcerated this year because it would have shown a better example. All of those people knew their actions were a crime ahead of time, but still committed them.
Until you actually take personal responsibility for your choices, you can’t be taken seriously.
Kenny, Nick and Jon,
I don’t know where you guys get the time to blog so voraciously. I can’t keep up with you guys. It is literally wearing me out. As you can see from the times I post, I have to post late at night (or early morning) or steal time from my business during the day. You guys must be either independently waelthy, retired, work for the government or a large corporation, or maybe unemployed. I’m sure there may be other options I don’t see.
I am going to bow out for a while. I need some sleep. I have several aggressive deadlines which I need to meet in the next 4 weeks. I will be working 10-12 hours per day and weekends. I will still try to find time to read your comments. You will have to wait a while for my responses. Have fun!
IT IS NOT a false dilemma. There are PLENTY of other realistic options, but he doesn’t want to choose those other options because living someplace other than the USA isn’t nearly as good as living in the USA for many reasons. THAT’S PART OF THE POINT. His choice to live here has good and bad aspects. He wants the good, but he doesn’t want the bad. The other choices he could make have much less good, and either more bad or only slightly less bad… which isn’t enough to offset the loss of good.
Just because you don’t like the options at hand doesn’t mean those options cease to exist.
Gary, seriously. I would like you to go back through my comments and show me where, at all, that I said Jon needed to profess his love for laws which he does not like.
Oh? I didn’t do that? and you’re just putting that ridiculous extreme forward in an attempt to create a strawman argument?
Oh, I see. That’s a shame.
I’ve said, REPEATEDLY, that you can dislike the Law all you want, but it’s NOT THEFT.
Wow, that’s just blatantly, factually wrong.
It’s interesting to me that you could come up with so many options and not get the right one.
I’m an entrepreneur.
Now you’re changing your argument. You see, by living here you accept that the laws can change at any moment. If you don’t like this then you can move, but you must take responsibility for your actions. If you don’t like it move, otherwise you must accept that laws can change at any moment. Your argument has to accept this and it also has to accept that putting Japanese in internment camps or marching native Americans out of their homes is OK.
My argument remains the same. That just because the government does it doesn’t make it OK.
Modern day examples? Oh, killing a 16 year old boy just because his father was deemed a “terrorist” without due process. Or, how about throwing someone in prison for smoking a plant or growing a plant or selling a plant. Or kidnapping someone’s kids because you don’t like how they parent? Or killing someone for being drunk even though his car is pinned up against a fence and he is no longer a threat to anyone? I could go on for pages. Or keeping someone locked up in Guantanamo bay even though they were found innocent.
I work from home programming. Yes, I shouldn’t be spending so much time on this.
You have stated that I must state my love for the law. You said I can’t call taxation theft. If I don’t call it theft then I am calling it my love for the law. I call it the opposite. I call it what it is.
No, I’m not changing my argument. You’re trying to drag the argument to a different location so you can try to raise your hands in victory, when you’re actually just constantly avoiding the question.
You are fully aware taxes exist. You knew about them. You knew they were required if you live here. You chose to accept that. Suck it up, take responsibility for your choice, and quit whining.
No, I haven’t. You are LYING.
This is what your argument has come to… avoidance and outright lies.
Kenny, I’m confused. I have taken responsibility for my actions. I have chosen to pay taxes. What more do you want? You want me to state that I love taxes? That is what you are asking me to do when you say, ” and quit whining.” So you say that we should accept all laws and not try and change anything? That is what you are saying.
I’m not trying to avoid the argument. I’m using counter arguments that show where your ideology leads to. Simple as that. I think you are just afraid of the ramifications of your ideas.
You claim those taxes are theft because you refuse to accept the responsibility for choosing to live here. Taxes are not theft and you are choosing to live here of your own free will and therefore accepting the responsibility to pay taxes and therefore taxes ARE. NOT. THEFT.
If I take my family to a bad neighborhood and a robber comes up to me and tells me to give him a certain amount of money and he’ll leave me alone. I’ll take the responsibility for the protection of my family and pay the man. I’ll also recognize that the man’s actions are unethical. Just because I knew the neighborhood was dangerous doesn’t change what the man’s actions are. Even if everyone knows that if you go into said neighborhood you will be robbed.
That example was already shown to be utterly faulty like 100 comments ago. Please try to get some new material.
It’s not a “bad neighborhood” where there is a likelihood that you might be singled out and robbed… it’s a toll road. You decided to take your family down a toll road and were required to pay a toll. It was your choice.
How is it a faulty argument? Let me know again.
*sigh* Not only did I explain it before, but I also summarized it JUST NOW… it’s like talking to a child. *sigh*
Your faulty robber analogy describes a situation wherein an action is being taken that isn’t supposed to happen according to the laws of the land. In your faulty robber analogy, there isn’t a known, existing fee required for travelling down the road. Your faulty robber analogy is intended to misrepresent the situation in order to prove a point.
The real situation involves the foreknowledge of the fees involved and that said fees are part of the normal operation of said road.
It’s not a robber in a bad neighborhood, it’s a toll road that you willingly drove down knowing full well that it was a toll road.
So, if it is a law of the land it is inherently moral and OK. So, if the law of the land is that you can kill your neighbor if they have green hair it is no longer murder but, let’s call it “compassionate letting go” then it is OK and moral. I know this is an extreme example, but that is what you are telling me. Basically you are telling me that there is truly no morals beyond what the state tells us is moral and right.
I understand where you are coming from. You have replaced God with the State.
Gary, stop saying “false dilemma.” You don’t understand it, and you pull it out like you barely learned it yesterday in “Debate for Dummies.”
What kind of an idiotic breakdown of Kenny’s argument is that?
Why are you so bad at reading comprehension?
I have stated OVER AND OVER again, my point is that you are CHOOSING to live here KNOWING the laws and therefore you ACCEPT those laws. Taxes are not theft because you are CHOOSING to live here and ACCEPT the requirement to pay taxes. Right or Wrong is irrelevant to the question. If you borrow money from a bank to buy a house, and then fall on hard times and are unable to pay your mortgage payment, the bank can kick you out of the house. Some may feel it is wrong to kick them out onto the street, but “wrong” is irrelevant because the family made a choice to take the actions and made a choice to accept the ramifications of failing to live up to the agreements. You can assign whatever “goodness value” you want to taxes, but they are plainly and simply NOT THEFT. You are NOT under duress and you are NOT coerced. You choose these things of your own free will.
That’s just a stupid statement from beginning to end. a) God doesn’t exist and b) it’s just a wanton strawman of my thoughts about the State, because I don’t worship it, I co-exist with it and participate in it.
So, in other words, the state owns all the land and we are but serfs of the state just as in the feudal times before?
But you accept it as your moral authority. You accept that the laws that come forth from statism are true and cannot be immoral.
Jon, you are a fool. Nobody . . . NOBODY said, “If it is a law of the land, it is inherently moral.” Your terrible robbery analogy has already been tossed out. Do you understand the difference between CHANCE of robbery and KNOWN fee? Maybe we can alter your analogy? If before you start walking through the bad neighborhood, the robber down the street yells out, “Just so you know, I’m going to rob you when you get here, but feel free to go somewhere else!” then you have a choice to be robbed. Just like you have a choice to pay the toll to use a road. Just like you have a choice to live here and pay taxes. Nobody’s talking morality vs. immorality. Nobody’s telling you that you HAVE to love it.
If you don’t understand this by now, you are truly hopeless. It shouldn’t have taken this many comments for you to get this. All you gotta realize is taxes are not theft. You are free to champion a tax-free society. You are free to seek the changing of laws. But to join a club and then call membership dues “theft” is ignorant. I don’t know where you pulled the morality angle from, but you’re just going in all kinds of crazy directions at this point, gasping for air. If you feel taxes are immoral (and I’m NOT saying they are or aren’t!) then you should champion your cause. But don’t call it theft. That’s like accusing the TSA agent of molestation and/or rape, even though he followed protocol by the book. You knew what you were getting into when you chose to fly. You may not like it, but them’s the rules. And you are free to get them changed. But start accepting responsibility when you give consent to things.
And your reading comprehension is terrible. Fix it.
We’ve been talking about theft pretty much this whole conversation. Theft is a moral value. So we have been talking morals this whole time.
So, you are saying, if a robber tells you he is going to rob you if you leave your house it is no longer robbery but something else? So the robber no longer has to accept responsibility for his actions? So it is better to blame the victim, not the perpetrator?
If a woman is raped and people tell her it was her fault for dressing “slutty” or for going into a bad neighborhood then the rapist gets off the hook? It wasn’t his fault, everyone knows that people get raped X neighborhood. Dumb woman, what she think she doing living in a neighborhood where rapists live!
Jon, as a libertarian, I’m on your side, but I really have to wonder why you keep arguing with these statists. You’ll never convince them of anything. They have their view of reality and we have ours and never the twain shall meet apparently. You’ll notice that I’ve refrained from engaging in this debate. It’s pointless and will only cause you frustration. Connor has also refrained from engaging them. I don’t know for sure why, but, if I had to guess, I would guess it’s for similar reasons. Honestly, I don’t know why a statist would want to READ Connor’s column, let alone get into a long winded debate about it. At any rate, I recommend you just let it go, unless you are still having fun. lol 🙂
I am laughing at you, Jon.
I’ll see if I can take your advice this time.
Quoted for emphasis:
It’s no wonder your arguments are so fundamentally flawed… you’re so ignorant about the world itself.
First, let’s address your attempt, ONCE AGAIN, to move the goal posts to morality. Is stealing morally wrong? Entire sections of philosophy are dedicated to the question of whether or not stealing is morally wrong, just take a brief look into any philosophy book or even just a simple google search and you’ll see that it is easy to find examples of stealing being the morally right thing to do. Even when you attempt to change the question at hand because you know you’ve lost the argument… you still fail at your reframing.
Now, that aside… Your assertion that this question is a moral question is wrong. The morality of an action and its legality are separate questions which are not connected. The morality of an action and whether or not one has the authority to take that action are separate questions which are not connected. An action can be moral and legal, can be immoral and legal, can be moral and illegal and can be immoral and illegal. They are related variables.
Your inability to accept personal responsibility for your choices in life is a perfect example of why your fictional world based on personal responsibility is such a joke.
Thanks, Connor, for another good essay.
My leanings are libertarian, and I’ve been reading the discussion; I tend to agree with Jon, and I think that someone said, “you can’t argue with statists”–
That’s sad, isn’t it? I mean, it feels to me that it has become, in the past few years, impossible for people with different views even to be civil, much less to learn anything from anyone.
The divides are becoming deeper and wider–
I have seen this on other discussion blogs (mostly Mormon), where if a person doesn’t have the same perspective there can be no understanding.
I think that’s a sign of something, but I’m not sure, yet, what–
In the meantime, what jimx (z?) said–
even in canonized scripture there is a conflict between the needs/rights of the individual and the demands of the collective.
God told Nephi that if he didn’t kill Laban . . . an entire nation would dwindle in unbelief, and yet that nation DID, eventually, dwindle anyway–
I’m not saying that Laban shouldn’t have died; I just wish that he had stayed drunk long enough that Nephi could have gotten the plates and Zoram (if he wanted to go) and gotten out of there–
so I have struggled with that ethically, for decades–
the individual versus the collective–
it seems to me that individuals save society, all the time–
groups of people just carry along whatever is happening at any given time–
but individuals have greater influence–
what one person might decide can be felt for centuries–
but groups follow madly and insanely–
I don’t know; I think I’m not making sense–
but right now in the church, for example, there is a stronger emphasis on ‘society’ or on groups–
a few leaders have mentioned that the ‘exceptions’ (even when those exceptions are breaking no eternal laws) must be quietly kept backstage–
Kenny, you carefully choose your language not to be completely driven by ad hominem slurs, but you are right on the edge.
The words you use, while not directly used as ad hominem attacks . . . are supercilious. You must be aware you are doing this–
but then everyone in this discussion thinks he/she has the ‘proper’ or correct perspective.
I read all the backs and forths, and it was entertaining and . . . frustrating.
“outside”, my statements are specifically driven by logic and argument. My statements also include insults at times, because the level of ignorance shown must be called out. You can dislike my tone all you want, but I don’t hear you actually providing a logical argument which refutes my argument. Jon couldn’t either, he just kept trying to change the topic.
Wow you said something pretty amazing, brought some insight to me about something I wondered about. However, these are not directly related to this topic. I will need some time to digest before commenting, if I ever.
I can appreciate your apprehension with grey areas, and the concern about groups vs. individuals. Its reasonable, especially when people look to their religion for answers. Preferably answers which are distinctly this or that, good or evil etc concerning ethics and morals etc… and sometimes there are these uncomfortable gray areas.
I will have too look up more concerning the LDS concept of a ‘higher law’. Please let me know if this is correct, that this is a more difficult sense of ethics where not everything is spelled out for particular actions. But what might be more important is why something is done or not done. Significantly less tangible than being told specifics about every aspect of life.
I am not so specifically sure what ‘exceptions’ there might be for the LDS faith, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that there might be more concern with groups or societies. Especially those that the governing body of the LDS church might actually have some influence on. Just for the sake of continuity and uniformity of doctrine and practice is enough for the church to place this as central importance. Those that do not conform to a few very important essentials are forced out in one way or another, either by silence or complete absence.
Kenny, all the logic in the world can’t survive insults–
I won’t insult, and I won’t accept insults–
End of discussion.
I can’t remember which; did you change your screen name at some point–?
What you say makes sense. I think most of *us* want to believe that groups/religions/communities are ‘fair’, when, in fact, many of them are simply not.
And yet how do groups survive without rules? It is a . . .
oh-oh, Connor used the word first–
no, it’s iimx–
maybe my sight is beginning to go–
OTC, you missed the bus on this thread about 100 posts back. Share your thoughts in some future post, please. This thread is cooked. And you’re fine to believe as Jon does, but if you feel he had good arguments above, you are as asinine as he is. Accept my conditional insult.
For the record I’m all about order and rule of law too. Statism, by definition, is contrary rule of law since it puts men above others and lets them do things we would never have other people do. Or, from a Christian point of view, statism puts one flesh above another.
Actually, you have that exactly backwards. Truth and Logic are independent from their transmission. They can be delivered in sweet tones or in harsh vulgarity and it doesn’t change the logic of the argument.
Its an evolving handle of sorts, it was jimx at one point. I had combined some handles of other people I was having a conversation with. It became iimx at a later point for the same reason. Or with some topic I dont remember exactly.
Groups of various sorts want continuity and purpose, and requires focus I suppose. They can evolve and change and become something entirely different over time, I suppose that could happen. I used to attend a social group that had potlucks, watched movies, met at resturants in a group etc…
Yet it retained a title that had something to do with gardening. By the time I had found the group there was not a seed, pot, rake, or bag of soil to be found. I think they advanced the social aspect of doing group gardening to the point of excluding actual gardening. The social group doing the activity remained the same, so that was the continuity. Its been twenty years since I have attended, so maybe the actual social group of interest might have changed. It could have happened.
iimx, that’s amusing about the gardening club that doesn’t garden!!! VERY symbolic of a lot of things in conventional churches, I fear–
for those who love to insult others, you may (or may not) appreciate this:
Jon, I’m new to the idea of ‘statism’; I am fascinated with the topic and want to study it more. I am an old-fashioned libertarian (pro-life on that)–
back in the good old days; I knew about Ron Paul decades ago. Now he is a gentleman. He doesn’t insult people, ever. Refined, courteous, but unafraid to stand up for his principles. A true Christian.
That’s probably why a lot of LDS don’t like him–
Check out Mises.org if you haven’t already.
I listened to this song, and thought you might like it. It has nothing to do with the topic. Connor might remove it, but it really is very positive.
I really feel illumination and spirituality from listening to it. I am not sure how much Zoroastrianism has in common with the LDS faith, but from what I understand many ideas in christianity and judaism came from Zoroastriansim. I hope you enjoy. Its just singing, I am assuming in persian? Give it about 20 seconds to really get going.
iimx, I’m listening right now, and it’s beautiful. I have a family member who (while LDS/Christian) has studied “Zoroastrianism and is really fascinated about it. I’ve heard about its influence on Judaism and Christianity–
I have never believed that LDS can’t admire other religions and learn from them–
but that makes me unusual, I know! 🙂
Jon, I know some about Mises, but I appreciate the link, and I WILL look at it–
OTC, I am glad you enjoyed it. I shared it with a few other people, and so far you have given the best rating. I am glad you appreciate whatever you can. I find that particular song relaxing, and mildly stimulating. It really sets the mood for good studying for me. I love listening to this and music of simular quality when I take study breaks.
Kenny, Nick and Jon,
I’m back. Got my projects done.
When I said…
“You guys must be either independently waelthy (SIC), retired, work for the government or a large corporation, or maybe unemployed.”
I should have put ha! ha! next to it, because it was intended as a joke.
As far as all the other stuff I think that we are always going to disagree on these issue. To Jon and myself taxation as we have it now is always going to be theft or legal plunder. We see taxing everyone to fund such things as the “Billionaire Bailout” (TARP) legislation, during both the Bush and Obama Administrations, as stealing from you and me. The American people did not support these legislations. “Our representatives” voted for it anyway. So much for “Representative Democracy”.
Anyway, I and Jon come from a more “individualist” perspective, where you and Nick come from a more “collectivist” perspective.
Okay, I know this subject died several weeks ago. I promise that’s the last time I will beat this dead horse.
But you’d be wrong. It can be your opinion that red is actually blue, but there is a real answer and taxes are not theft. We’ve shown you the faulty logic in all of the examples above, but you just ignore them.
I want to thank you for your last comment. It caused me to go back and study a subject I hadn’t spent a lot of time on for many years. The subject being “Social Contract Theory.”
I think you would agree that the premise from which you argue is based up your understanding of idea of social contract.
The term “Social Contract” was first coined by Rousseau, but the concept is found among all known ancient civilizations who kept records. In the context of the founding of the United States, the founding fathers relied most heavily upon the social contract ideas of John Locke. They also used a few ideas from others such as Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume. There is even evidence that the founders used some ideas from the Iroquois system of government.
There are two areas in which we disagree. The first being “consent” and the second, “taxation”. On both accounts your arguments (tactit consent) are supported by only a few of the social contract theorists. In fact most rejected your type arguments (tacit consent) or put very strict conditions upon government regarding ideas of consent and taxes.
In fact many of them argued that if governments used the idea of consent to justify using their power to tax to benefit one class of people at the expense of another that it would be “plunder” or “theft”. That’s their words not mine. Many also argued against the geographic “tacit consent” ideas you put forth.
Your philosophy and arguments are based upon a very small section of political and social thought regarding consent, taxation etc…. You see everything as blue.There are other colors out there besides blue and red.
Uh huh, you can try to shift one more step removed… from the Founding Fathers and our actual documents to the philosophers who informed their worldviews… and that extra space and extra fuzziness I’m sure makes you feel more justified in your demonstrably false assertions because you FEEL like it gives you extra wiggle room…
… but it doesn’t, because even using your own appeal to John Locke (“the founding fathers relied most heavily upon the social contract ideas of John Locke”), you fail yet again because John Locke’s writings actually directly support the idea of tacit consent.
Locke very clearly explained that when a person chooses to live in an area, that person submits himself and his property to that area’s government.
You just don’t want to admit it because you want to enjoy all of the benefits of security gained from banding together in a government, but you don’t want to make the necessary concessions to receive that security.
Gary, Interesting comments. But don’t waste your time with Kenny et. al. No one is going to convince him and he isn’t going to convince anybody, just make your blood boil that’s all.
Some slaves will just come up with whatever they can think of to make their slavery seem more bearable. Just like the slaves in the 1800s would use the bible and each other to convince each other that it was OK and good to be enslaved. Some, though, came to the realization that it wasn’t OK. Likewise of now days. One of the last great enslavements of humanity – statism.
No, Jon, you’re just whining about having to contribute to the security of your society because you can’t handle taking responsibility for your choices.
Considering the entity which has done the most harm to me in my lifetime is the state I’m having a real hard time understanding what you mean by “security of your society.” Considering all the other people the state has harmed I would think it the main thing that makes society insecure.
You have a perfectly good understanding of what I’m referring to when I say “security of your society” just like John Locke had a perfectly good understanding of what was meant by “security of your society”, but you just want to whine some more about the big ole bad state. Property Rights do not exist in the nature. If the greatest harm done to you in your life has been done to you by the US Government, then you’ve probably had a pretty damn good life without a great deal of hardship.
The property you own, which you are whining about, is only considered YOURS because we AS A SOCIETY have banded together to protect all of our property rights.
And don’t give me any crap that it’s not true, because you can just go and re-read the comments above discussing that anarchistic society wherein there are no property rights and things are only controlled by tribal, physical violence.
I think you know very well that I wasn’t trying “to shift one more step removed…” or add “extra fuzziness” or “extra wiggle room…” in the discussion. A person reading my comments, who understands our language and grammar would understand that my intent was to establish common ground from which to continue our discussion.
In the fourth and subsequent paragraphs I stated what I believed were our differences regarding what type or level of consent and taxation is just.
I am well aware Locke believed in the idea of “tacit consent”. I never said he was opposed to it. However he was one of them which “put very strict conditions upon government regarding ideas of consent and taxes.” These ideas are as follows:
1. Individuals have “unalienable rights” and in a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his “Life, health, Liberty, or Possessions”.
2. Individuals could only delegate the same right of self-defense to a government. Taxation was to only cover the costs associated with that defense.
3. The government needs to be a just and impartial judge. If government went beyond their “just powers” it was considered usurpation and plunder.
Your philosophy that if you live in the territory of a particular government you have given consent and have to obey the laws (just or unjust) of and pay taxes (just or unjust) to that government or find a new place to live. This is more the philosophy of Socrates, Plato and Hobbes and not philosophy of Locke or the founders and the documents they created.
I apparently misjudged you as being a person who was interested in honest discussion. It is now obvious to me that you are just a “Liberal Geek”, statist, collectivist sycophant who is just interested in arguing and putting down anyone who disagrees with your philosophy. I will take the advice of Jon and put my time and efforts into more useful purposes.
The common ground you are shifting toward isn’t firm ground, that’s why you’re adding fuzziness. Saying the Founding Fathers were influenced by this and used some ideas… then you’re allowing yourself to assert a very weak connection to something a previous person may have said on the topic, without any evidence that the Founding Fathers used that specific idea or even agreed with it.
He also said that when you choose to live in a location which maintains a government, then you are agreeing to give that government rights to your possessions.
So, then you’re ok with military taxes, but no other kind of taxes?
The government hasn’t gone beyond its just powers which are enumerated in the Constitution which includes the power of taxation.
Uh huh, whatever helps you sleep at night. I have shown you again and again how flawed your analogies are and yet you ignore them. The labels are SO important to you because it makes you feel better about your prejudice. You forgot to add capitalist and entrepreneur to my list of labels… neither of which are realistically practical in your desired, beloved anarchy wherein I’m allowed to steal from you and murder you and your entire family, and the only thing you can do to stop it is to just murder and rob my family in return.
I don’t intend to get pulled into this debate, but I want to note that the Federal Government does NOT have cart blanche power to tax. There ARE limitations to their power to tax:
They have the power to impose direct taxes subject to apportionment (all such taxes have NEVER been imposed on anything but land and slaves and there is evidence that this is the extent of this direct taxation power) and they have the power to impose indirect taxes (imposts, duties, and excises) subject to the rule of uniformity. In case you don’t know what imposts, duties and excises are, an impost is like a toll road tax, a duty is a tax on the importation/exportation of goods into/out of the country, and an excise is a tax upon the exercise of a government granted privilege.
As a country in general, we have forgotten the fact that excise taxes are taxes upon government granted privileges. This is unfortunate because it has led to the greatest financial crime in the history of the world. Hundreds of millions of US citizens are under the illusion that their wages and other income are subject to income and payroll taxes (USC 26 Subtitles A & C). These taxes have NOT been imposed on the vast majority of US citizens because the income tax is an excise tax and only applies to classes of persons for whom earning US source income is a PRIVILEGE.
I’m not going to go into great detail about all this, including the proof, because, frankly, it would be impossible to do in this forum. But I will point you to a couple of resources where you can learn the truth:
The best resource I’ve found on this subject is a book called “Income Tax: Shattering the Myths” by Dave Champion. In this book, he goes over the Constitution, the 16th Amendment, the Supreme Court decisions, the statutes and regulations in the USC and CFR, Treasury Decisions, and even material from the IRS’s own manuals. It explains WHY so many have become entangled in the tax and how to get out.
Another good source can be found at http://losthorizons.com/ and the book “Cracking the Code” by Pete Hendrickson. Some great information here, but beware of the solution he suggests as it is flawed and WILL get you into trouble (read Dave Champions book to know WHY his solution is flawed).
Just thought I’d throw that out there for anyone who is interested in the true extent of the taxing powers of the Federal Government.
The Constitution -clearly- states that the government may tax incomes. There is no overreach of powers in that regard.
FWIW I pay taxes because I am afraid of the wrong end of the barrel of a gun being pointed at me.
Great info Aaron. Don’t know if I would read it though. I don’t think the government cares if it is “legal” or not, as government officials have stated before, they have the guns and power and aren’t afraid to use it.
Now, if there is something I could actually do, besides live in poverty and be killed, to fight back, I would.
In your anarchistic world, you’d have gangland thugs pointing ACTUAL guns at you demanding tribute and protection money. So, please tell me again how anarchy solves your problem with paying taxes? Yeah, it doesn’t. The difference is that you actually have power in our representative democracy to make changes and participate in the way it works. You don’t get that in your anarchistic world.
I have several friends living successfully as nontaxpayers right now, including the author of that book, Dave Champion. He has been a nontaxpayer for about 20 years now. It IS possible to do it safely, you just have to know what you’re doing and avoid the traps. THE key to living successfully as a nontaxpayer is not giving people your TIN and filling out tax forms. As soon as you do that, you are stating that you are within a class of persons subject to the tax and it doesn’t matter whether or not you actually ARE within one of those classes. You have created the legal presumption that you are and the IRS and the courts will hold you to that.
Incidently, almost all federal laws, including the tax code, are 100% constitutional. They are just mal-applied to people for whom it WOULD be unconstitutional if the code explicitly included them. Dave’s book and radio show has completely exposed the matrix for what it is to me. I highly recommend checking it out as he goes far beyond taxes.
Thanks Aaron. I’ll check it out.
I thought this was funny:
That’s because you’re unhinged from reality.
I think you are misjudging our friend Kenny. I don’t think he is a government plant. I think he ia a “TBS”, (no not the TV station) a “True Believing Statist”.
By the way, don’t you think Larken did a great job on that documentary?
Gary, I don’t know if he is or not, probably not – I didn’t mean to imply that he was. But I thought it was pretty funny how Larken did a good job showing how statists interact over the internet, how Kenny fit the bill perfectly.
In church once someone talked about how a whore is worse than a prostitute because a whore just gives away their dignity without even getting any recompense. Likewise, if Kenny – and those like him – don’t get paid for giving up their liberty then they are worse then a government agent, because they give up their liberty for naught.
Larken did an excellent job on the documentary. It was very direct and shows the hypocrisy of this day and age. Definitely one worth sharing with others. I listened to it twice and had to actually sit down and watch it. It was even better watching.
By your response to my last comments, obviously you do not understand the concept of “trying to find common ground”. When you said…
“He also said that when you choose to live in a location which maintains a government, then you are agreeing to give that government rights to your possessions.”
I know he said that, and I was agreeing with you (common ground). Where we diverge in opinion (not common ground)is the amount or extent of the governments” rights to your possessions.”
John Locke = Limited
Socrates / Hobbes = Virtually Unlimited.
Do you get it now, or is it still too “fuzzy?”
What I want to know, and would like to have you answer, is what’s the magical percentage of our “possessions” the government has “rights” to? Is it 5%, 10%, 67.13% or perhaps 100% or more – what we don’t have yet?
I fell off my chair and was rolling around, on the floor, in laughter when I read the following…
“The government hasn’t gone beyond its just powers which are enumerated in the Constitution which includes the power of taxation.”
For your statement to be true, the government would have to have 100% rights to our rights and possessions? Even you could very easily prove your own statement wrong.
“I have shown you again and again how flawed your analogies are and yet you ignore them.”
No, this is not true. There was one instance where I said you were correct. I apologized to you and corrected myself. As to you showing me… “again and again… and yet you ignore them.” I have made valid, logical counter arguments, which pokes holes in your arguements. You just brush them off.
As far as labels are concerned, the first label is your words not mine. The second, me saying you’re a “statist” is no different than you calling Jon and myself “anachists”. It fits the position you take. I’m not offended when you call me an anarchist. The third one (“sycophant”) describes the zeal with which you defend, what most people would agree, is liberal, leftist and pro-state position.
No labels are not “SO” important to me. In fact I hate them. However they seem to be very important to you because you use them quite often in many of your comments. But to quote you…
“Truth and Logic are independent from their transmission. They can be delivered in sweet tones or in harsh vulgarity and it doesn’t change the logic of the argument.”
I apologize for using those words to label you. And I also apologize for not using the labels capitalist and entreprenuer.
Your last paragraph was just a lengthy strawman argument.
The more I study history, the more I find examples of what you call “your desired, beloved anarchy” and what I would call a volunteerist society. All heck did not break loose because there was no formal state or government. In fact the opposite is true because there was more freedom, peace and prosperity and less crime than their contemporary societies which had formal governments.
No, I didn’t think you were. I was just trying to interject some dry humor. And by the way I didn’t want him to accuse you of being a “crazy conspiracy theorist!”
The church analogy is good. I have run into that same example myself.
In fact I donated money to help him with it.
This just shows that your arguments are ignorant and stupid because I do not receive “naught.” I give up unfettered anarchy (which sounds like it SUUUCKS) and in exchange I get a civil, stable society where I and my family are safe to prosper and live a good life. So when you say stupid things like “give up their liberty for naught” then you just show everyone that your argument is founded on shear ignorance.
I’m glad you brought up the church, because I’ve wanted to bring it up many times but I knew that since you guys have such a hard time grasping even the simplest of concepts that adding a layer of complexity would likely derail the conversation… but screw it.
I would love to know how you resolve your beliefs above with the THUG you call God.
Let’s use the above discussion, but instead of government, I want you to replace it with God. God demands certain things from me and if I don’t do it or give it, then I die. I haven’t given any consent to God to give him this power over me.
The difference here is that you can’t get away from your God. In my argument, you can choose not to live under the rules of the US government. You can live in a different country. You can buy a small boat for $3k and live your anarchistic life on the open sea. I assert that you have the freedom you have to avoid the rules you dislike and therefore you are exercising your freedom when you choose to live here.
You have no such freedom when it comes to God (assuming God exists, which you clearly do assume). So, that makes God the ULTIMATE TYRANT according to your own arguments. He demands things from humans even though many of those humans haven’t given consent at all… and the crucial bit is that we don’t have the freedom to go live somewhere else and we don’t have the freedom to democratically change the rules we don’t like.
So, please, tell me about all the whining about tyranny while you go and worship the Ultimate Tyrant every week.
…and thus begins the gnashing of teeth and the whining that “oh, all of these Earthly things are His to begin with” and if you think that, well then FANTASTIC! It doesn’t belong to you ANYWAY and therefore you shouldn’t have any problem paying Caesar’s things to Caesar as instructed by the Biblical Tyrant of the majority of Americans.
It’s a nonsensical question as it attempts to quantify something in a way which represents it falsely. If you want to use Locke, he described a SHARED responsibility. You own all of your stuff, but by choosing to live here, then you’re agreeing to follow the rules and give some of your things for the betterment of your society.
Uh huh, that statement was specifically referencing a previous commentor who said that the US had gone beyond its Constitutional power to levy taxes, which is a bald face lie. The Constitution explicitly gives the government the power to levy income taxes and therefore the US government has not gone beyond its just powers which are enumerated in the Constitution because the Constitution explicltly enumerates the power to levy income taxes.
Please try to keep up.
Whenever you attempted a counter-argument, I showed you where you had failed. Then in response to that, you would simply hand-wave and say it was a “false dilemma”, but Nick and I both explained to you many times that you are incorrect to claim it is a false-dilemma and your response was just to repeat it.
If I were to present to you a counter-example of a pocket of anarchy, you would simply dismiss it by claiming that there were external pressures from big, bad States which didn’t make it a “True Scotsman”.. er, I mean a True Volunterist Society. (I assume that’s what you’d do, because that’s been the response of people like you EVERY TIME I’ve had this discussion for the last 10 years).
Go live in a lawless part of Africa which is controlled by tribal warlords… and then tell me how awesome it is.
Yeah, humor is hard to perceive over the internet. I’ll have to give him some money too.
My comments, which you call “nonsensical”, are intended to get you to commit to what level of governments you consider limited government? You will not commit. At least I am willing to commit to telling you that government, at all levels, spends 67.13% of the average Americans per capita income (based upon the territory I live in)(. If you want more information regarding how I arrive at this number see my comments on Connor’s next article “Raising Taxes is the Wrong Approach”.
When you said… “The government hasn’t gone beyond its just powers which are enumerated in the Constitution which includes the power of taxation.” You were responding specifically to my comment. And what you say is false because the constitution specifically limits what the government can tax for and spend money on. The US Government has gone way beyond the limits the founders set in the founding documents. I have already given you specific examples of this, which you ignore. So who’s telling the “bald face lie”?
As far as the “my arguments better than your argument” goes we will never agree on this. I have gone back and checked my arguments and where I believe I was in error I apologized to you and correced myself.
Next, if you look close enough at the African “tribal warlords” or similar situations around the world you will find the fingerprints of the CIA or some other imperialist nations secret agencies building up and supporting them.
The reason I believe we will never come to an agreement on these issues is that you come from a collectivist world view. You believe that individuals are required to submit themselves to the state collective if they want to live in a certain territory. You believe the collective is something real and tangible. In other words you believe in a superstition.
I reject your premise because the collective, society or any other terms you use to descibe it, are just abstractions and do not exist in the real world. It is not tangible. The individual is real because the individual has a physical body and thinks and has opinions, can make decisions and can get sick, feel pain, pay taxes, be frustrated or be happy or die. The collective cannot.
So go on living on and praising the government of your nice little collectivist street. Go on ignoring the predetory violence committed there by its government and the sociopaths who run it. I will keep supporting the cause of freedom.
When did you stop beating your wife?
That’s a nice attempt to move the goal posts. You switched from “the Constitution” to “founds set in the founding documents.” The Constitution has been amended according to the procedure defined in the Constitution and in that amendment the citizens of the United States explicitly give the US govt the power to levy income taxes.
This may be my favorite statement in the entire thread, because my reference to the African tribal warlords came directly after I said this:
and you did. That’s EXACTLY how you responded. CIA fingerprints! See? You’re not intellectually honest about this process. You want to point to examples of successful volunteer societies and dismiss any possible outside influence and when I present horrible failures of volunteer societies you claim the exact influence that you dismissed in the first example.
You’re not serious.
FALSE. YET AGAIN you represent me only as a strawman. I believe that individuals CHOOSE to join a collective society. I have EXPLICITLY stated that I do not believe you are required and I have suggested that you just spend $3k on a small boat and go live your anarchistic life on the sea. You’re absolutely free to do such a thing. No one is REQUIRED as I have stated over and over again. They CHOOSE.
Well, this is just a silly argument. The Republican Party is an abstract concept as well, it doesn’t have a physical body, it doesn’t have opinions or make decisions, it can’t get sick, be frustrated or be happy or die. A collective, as well as the Republican Party, CAN pay taxes however.
The concept of love fits your description as well, but I think we can all agree that the “Republican Party” and the “love” are both real things.
I think many in the South that gave their lives to be “free” men in their own jurisdiction would take offense to that statement. If we are free to leave then we should also be free to for a group of people and say we want to “rule” ourselves. Nope, can’t do that. We’re nothing but serfs for the kings and their minions. Same game, just different names and rotating masters.
When you travel back in time to the Civil War, then you can attempt to use that logic.
Just for the record I am not in love with or a member of the Republican Party. In fact the only thing I find worse than the Democratic Party is the Republican Party. (By the way that last comment is intended as a joke)
I didn’t say the government doesn’t have power to tax. I am fully aware of the amendments and the process to adopt them. My point was that the constitution says the government could spend money on X,Y and Z. It then says it can raise money, through taxation, to spend money on X,Y and Z.
Another point I was trying to make was that the government has gone beyond and continues to go beyond the powers you refer to, which are listed in the constitution.
Only real individuals can choose to love other individuals. Now, I know scientists are trying to prove that it is a chemical process but even our thinking and choices can change our chemistry.
Technically you are correct in saying the the Republican Party pays taxes (I don’t know this for sure, since I have not seen their books). But, ultimately the money they use comes from its individual members or donors. It’s the same with a business because the taxes businesses pay are passed on to the customer or clients. If this were not true the business wouldn’t last very long.
I think you forgot what I mentioned long ago. Personally my philosophical position is between limited government and volunteerism. In the real world I see problems with both.
1. Volunteerism: Ideally I believe it would be the best system if everyone would voluntarily get along and could set up non-coersive ways to protect themselves. I think it is theoretically possible but more people would have to believe in it to work.
2. Limited Governments: This is the system we had. It was a pretty good system to start off with, however it has morphed into a creature it was never intended to be. Government is out of control. Almost every law which is passed decreases our liberty and financial resources by giving more power and money to the government. The problem is that we have not been able to keep it limited. It is heading in the direction of totalitarianism. The point of the 67.13% number is that perhaps, at least financially, we are a little over two-thirds the way there.
The point is that it is an abstract concept just like “the collective”, but it is still a real part of our world. Only real individuals can choose to [become a collective with] other individuals.
So, more people would all have to think approximately the same way… almost… collectively.
OK, I guess we’ll just ignore the ~170 billion people which were murdered by their own governments in the 20th century, not including war. Oh, we should include war in that number? Let’s bring it up to ~500 billion people. Oh, private citizen’s are more of a threat? Yeah, they were responsible to ~8 billion deaths. Hhhmmm. Yep, looks like we need governments to take care of us, just look at the statistics.
Who needs logic and reason to say we should be free? Yeah, people rule themselves through voting, that’s why you aren’t allowed to vote yourself free? Yeah, great logic.
Your stupidity is astounding.
Go buy a boat and hop on it. Congrats, you’ve voted yourself to be free.
Love is an abstract concept but it is different than the collective because individuals can love, but collectives cannot.
More people would have to individually understand the principles involved and agree with them. Then they can form a collective organization if they believe it would be mutually beneficial to each of the individuals in the group.
The problem occurs when this collective organization or certain factions or individuals within the group become more important than the individuals in the collective group. The collective organization becomes an end unto itself and the purpose for which the group was formed goes by the wayside. In other words the individual gets sacrifices for the good of the community. This is my definition of collectivism.
I am not against people working together voluntarily to achieve a common goal. This i would describe as individualism.
You’re moving your goal posts again. You said:
Love is just an abstraction. Love is not tangible, it doesn’t have a physical body, it doesn’t have an opinion… the concept of love doesn’t feel pain or pay taxes or be frustrated or happy or die.
The concept of love is an abstract concept, just like “the collective” but that doesn’t mean love isn’t a real thing. Real people engage in the abstract concept of love, just like real people engage in the abstract concept of a collective.
That’s what we have right now, you just refuse to acknowledge that you have tacitly volunteered to take part in this collectively society.
As Ludwig von Mises said (paraphrasing) “By necessity socialism/communism must have a single ruler.” I.e., so much for the collective! There isn’t one, just a few or one person bossing all the others around.
Strawman. You never learn.
From the Oxford Dictionary we get the following definition:
Definition of collectivism
the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.
• the theory and practice of the ownership of land and the means of production by the people or the state.
Websters 1913 dictionary says…
Col*lect”iv*ism (?), n. [Cf. F. collectivisme.] (Polit. Econ.) The doctrine that land and capital should be owned by society collectively or as a whole; communism. W. G. Summer.
I like your comments to me regarding Mises. As you know he wrote an excellent book entitled “Socialism, A Economic and Sociological Analysis”. He had first hand experience with socialism (collectivism) in Nazi Germany and Austria. He was the most prominent Austrian economist of his day. He spoke out publically against Hitler’s National Socialism (Nazi collectivism). Mises escaped to Switzerland before Hitler could get to him. Hitler threatened to attack Switzerland if they let Mises stay so Mise escaped to the USA. He was very disappointed when he got here to find out the US government was adopting many socialistic (collectivist) programs.
The theory of tacit Consent is just that, a theory. It is not a scientific law that has been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt. Philosophers have debated this issue since Socrates time and are still vigorously debating the concept of tacit Consent. There is no consensus. It is a tradition similar to “The Divine Right of Kings” which says “you have to do what the king because God said so!”
Communism and Socialism are by definition, collectivism. If you look at countries which claim to be socialistic or communistic you will find that they are or have been governed by a dictator or central committee. They claim to represent the will of the people. They even have gone as far to conduct elections. Usually the problem with that was they only had one person on the ballot!
I personally reject collectivism. A correct term for people getting together to achieve a common goal is voluntary cooperation.
Good analysis. I think many countries practice collectivism to a certain extent. Some European countries are freer by many comparisons to the US. Even Russia is freer to a certain extent. So, in some aspects we are definitely more collectivist than other nations currently.
One aspect that is interesting to think of, you probably already know this, is Canada’s health care system. It is driven by central committee and the doctors. Yet many of the elites, when they need good quality medical care they come to the states. So much for the collective. Stefan Molyneux recently went to one of the clinics because of a lump, the doctor said it was benign, come back in 6 months and they would take care of it. So, he came to the US, found out it was cancerous. So much for socialism! He could have died if he stayed there, which many people do die because of the waiting list.
Yeah, collectivism seems to be a bit of a really bad joke. There is no way to achieve consent through the initiation of force. Consent can only be achieved through voluntaryism, like you said. Look at the bailouts, the majority of people rejected them, yet congress still did it. The money of the children that US government is spending is not consented by them (nor by the unborn).
Any ways, I got the paraphrased quotation out Mises’ “Planned Chaos” book.
I will have to check that book out. It souinds very interesting.
There is another book entitled “Calculated Chaos – Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival” by Butler D. Schaffer.
Gary, that’s not what I’m describing with the word “collective”, so I will use a different word to describe what I mean in the future. I’m simply referring to the idea of a community working together. It isn’t specifically about means of production, etc, it’s just about the idea of working together.
There you go Gary. Kenny is a volunataryist too! Since working together implies a voluntary interaction not one with a gun pointed at your head.
And as I’ve been saying, jon, you’ve chosen (i.e. volunteered) to take part in our society which means you’ve volunteered to pay taxes and therefore they are not theft.
Oh, here we go again. Kenny bastardizing the English language.
Uh huh, jon. I’m still waiting to hear your justification for the Ultimate Tyrant. For like the last 100 comments, all you’ve been doing is sitting silent whenever you might have to actually answer a question and then just toss out stupid little quips or conspiracy theories. When you have something to contribute, I’ll respond, until then you just continue to be a joke.
There is a good video on youtube entitled “Why Libertarianism Is So Dangerous”. Its about…
“A former libertarian abandons his dream of a voluntary world and explains the potential worse case scenario after the overnight disappearance of government. The ending will SHOCK you!”
This should cure you of your idealism about volunteerism.
Yeah, that was a good one. I watched that one before. 🙂
I don’t know if you saw this short article by Thomas Woods. I found it very interesting. I agree with him.
‘The Question Libertarians Just Can’t Answer’
For some reason, the finger-waggers at Salon think they’ve got us stumped with this one: “If your approach is so great, why hasn’t any country in the world ever tried it?”
So this is the unanswerable question? What’s supposed to be so hard about it? Ninety percent of what libertarians write about answers it at least implicitly.
Let’s reword the question slightly, in order to draw out the answer. You’ll note that when stated correctly, the question contains an implicit non sequitur.
(1) “If your approach is so great, why doesn’t local law enforcement want to give up the money, supplies, and authority that come from the drug war?”
(2) “If your approach is so great, why don’t big financial firms prefer to stand or fall on their merits, and prefer bailouts instead?”
(3) “If your approach is so great, why do people prefer to earn a living by means of special privilege instead of by honest production?”
(4) “If your approach is so great, why does the military-industrial complex prefer its revolving-door arrangement and its present strategy of fleecing the taxpayers via its dual strategy of front-loading and political engineering?”
(5) “If your approach is so great, why do businessmen often prefer subsidies and special privileges?”
(6) “If your approach is so great, why do some people prefer to achieve their ends through war instead?”
(7) “If your approach is so great, why does the political class prefer to live off the labor of others, and exercise vast power over everyone else?”
(8) “Special interests win special benefits for themselves because those benefits are concentrated and significant. The costs, dispersed among the general public, are so insignificant to any particular person, that the general public has no vested interest in organizing against it. An extra 25 cents per gallon of orange juice is hardly worth devoting one’s life to opposing, but an extra $100 million per year in profits for the companies involved sure is worth the time to lobby for.
“If your approach is so great, why does this happen?”
(9) “If your approach is so great, why don’t people want to try it out, after having been propagandized against it nonstop for 17 years?” (K-12, then four years of college.)
I know it makes you feel better about yourself to think all of the above things, because you phrase all of them to show how selfish and/or deluded everyone is, but it’s intellectually dishonest.
We don’t want to live in anarchy, because I enjoy a civil, stable society wherein I’m not having to constantly defend my home from the local warlord who likes my house better so he’s just going to take it, because property rights do not exist in your fantasy world.
And that’s the tragic irony of the entire thing. You guys are whining about the rights to your money, but in your fantasy world property rights do not exist and likely neither does your money.
Did you notice that Kenny didn’t read my last post very carefully?
“I know it makes you feel better about yourself to think all of the above things, because you phrase all of them to show how selfish and/or deluded everyone is, but it’s intellectually dishonest.” Kenny
As you know the comments were made by Thomas Woods (not me) and were in response to an article posted on Salon, which is a leftist-liberal website.
The comments were made in defense of libertarianism, which argues for a limited government or minarchist view, not anarchism.
As you know Jon, the “intellectual dishonesty” is actually found in the original question posed by the Salon article, which is… “If your approach is so great, why hasn’t any country in the world ever tried it?” And again, was in reference to libertarianism not anarchy.
And did you also notice (again quoting Kenny),…” because you phrase all of them to show how selfish and/or deluded everyone is,”…, that he used the absolute “everyone”? This is the product of collectivist thinking. Thomas Woods was only putting the blame on the individuals and groups, where it is applicable in each of the nine specific catagories. In other words, “if the shoe fits, wear it.”
When you’d like to talk to me about what I’ve said, I’ll be happy to respond. You’re behaving like a child by supposedly speaking to Jon like I’m not in the conversation.
When you’ve returned to adulthood, we can continue.
Did you notice that you didn’t read my last post very carefully?
“I know it makes you feel better about yourself to think all of the above things, because you phrase all of them to show how selfish and/or deluded everyone is, but it’s intellectually dishonest.” Kenny
If you read carefully you would know the comments were made by Thomas Woods (not me) and were in response to an article posted on Salon, which is a leftist-liberal website.
The comments were made in defense of libertarianism, which argues for a limited government or minarchist view, not anarchism.
It is self evident that the “intellectual dishonesty” is actually found in the original question posed by the Salon article, which is… “If your approach is so great, why hasn’t any country in the world ever tried it?” And again, was in reference to libertarianism not anarchy.
And did you also notice, Kenny, that in your comment,…” because you phrase all of them to show how selfish and/or deluded everyone is,”…, that you used the absolute “everyone”? This is the product of collectivist thinking. Thomas Woods was only putting the blame on the individuals and groups, where it is applicable in each of the nine specific catagories. In other words, “if the shoe fits, wear it.”
Is that better? Have I “returned to adulthood” as per your standard of adulthood?
By the way, I thought a mature adult would read and try understand what another person actually said before launching into an attack.
You stated that you agreed with the statements. Yes, you specifically didn’t phrase them, but you explicitly endorsed them so I figured that was close enough.
No, it was just an example of being terse because I’m tired of it.
I know it makes you feel better about yourself to think all of the above things, because they are phrased to show how selfish and/or deluded those people are, but it’s intellectually dishonest.
Over and over this conversation has shown that same intellectual dishonesty, especially when it comes to the idea that your desired fantasy society doesn’t actually solve the problem you have in the first place.
You can’t defend individualism and rights while accepting the morality of altruism (duty to others) to any degree. The two are contradictions, and by accepting the morality of self-sacrifice, you are giving the moral high ground to the collectivists who want to impose it.
Spencer, don’t you think there’s relevance to the difference between the altruism preached by the individualists and that sought to be *imposed* by the collectivists?
I’m not sure I agree with your argument about there being a contradiction between individualism/rights and the “morality of altruism.”
sing it brotha!