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Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 618435 times)

Leigh S

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13770 on: 17 August, 2017, 03:51:07 pm »
I think the root problem I ahve is that you see Government only having vilene as a fall back to enforcement, whereas I see the very nature of enforcement is to ahve violene to back it up.  hyou want to remove enforcement, fine.  At that point, how do you organise a society where a vast number of people will say, "I'm doing my own thing, thanks" - the Peoples Couts would still need to have a threat of incarceration and "violence" - the guy who mugs me has to pay me back with interest, but he doesnt, or he does so by committing more crimes... Government or none, someone is going to have to address the abuse of the new system as much as they need to address the abuses of the existing one

The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13771 on: 17 August, 2017, 05:08:37 pm »
Once violence has been caused (your mugging) or threatened (threat of mugging) defensive and proportionate violence is automatically justified - it is the initiation of violence that is outlawed. The defensive violence does not have to happen immediately but can happen later through arrest, for example.

A society full of people doing their own thing is very similar to the one we have today and is actually what Libertarians want - nobody being forced to do anything against their will or conscience. Left to their own devices, people tend to cooperate and help one another. Take that terrible block fire in London a few weeks ago; private citizens mobilised immediately to bring help, aid and succour to the victims whilst the state dithered, wrung its hands, covered its arse and generally faffed about. So when people ask, "who's going to do this thing without government permission or enforcement?" the answer is simple; people are. People do it now, people will still do it then.

Societies, like most complex systems in nature, are largely self-organising. People love to organise things and will continue to do so, and even thrive, in a free society.

Enforcement, in my view, is a relatively new  and wholly heinous trend. When I was growing up it was the role of the police to uphold the law but slowly that role has mutated into the enforcement of legislation. People do not generally need to have law and order enforced upon them. The vast majority of people understand how to behave, and in my personal experience I have walked alone through villages, towns and cities all over without being mugged or attacked.

Yes, of course there are some people who act badly and there always will be. Libertarianism understands and acknowledges this while statism tries to legislate it away. Libertarianism takes the view that the vast majority of people are decent and cooperative while statism tries to convince you that the world is primarily staffed by horrible, evil bastards from whom you must be segregated and protected, providing justification for their violence of enforcement.

Just the word itself gives me the shivers - enforcement. Really? Isn't this supposed to be a free country? Aren't we supposed to value our liberties? Didn't our ancestors spill their blood and guts all over Europe to protect these things? Are they, after all, nothing but illusions and empty promises given the lie by our casual acceptance of Orwellian labels like law enforcement? *shudder*

There will always be people who abuse the system, this is inevitable. At the moment, the biggest abusers work within the system because we have given them leave to do so by ignoring their appropriated superhuman rights and powers. The way to stop people abusing the system in such a fashion is to strip away these superhuman rights and powers and make everyone equal under natural human law. There will still be abusers, as I said, and there always will be - but they abuse then at their own risk and without the protection of a superior position.


Leigh S

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13772 on: 17 August, 2017, 05:36:31 pm »
But when the mugger is caught and refuses to pay me back or comply with whatever alternative to incarceration in place (he can't be incarcerated, because he can;t afford to pay for it and no one else should be made to fund that) - what then?

I think people can very well organise for a Grenfell style event, or for Comic Relief or for a surprise party - I agree that people are generally good.  but what you propose is people deal witha Grenfell every day - they dont step in for the short period that the State dithers, they have to dedicate themselves to this daily.

I Liberteranism is possible, it would surely have happened, either through rich benefactors stepping in to replace state education or welfare, or via charity.  You could then argue that people dont because tax, but give people back their tax and they might fund the local hospital, but would they fund drug addiction services or planned parenting?  I would say, look to America for your answer - they are further down a Libertarian route - does it appeal? I know my view on that

The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13773 on: 17 August, 2017, 06:04:35 pm »
Libertarian prisons are more akin to workhouses and incarceration a form of indentured servitude. The convict is put in a place where there is the opportunity to work off a debt. If he refuses to compensate you as lawfully ordered, a loan could be taken out in the convict's name and paid to you. The convict is then indentured until he's earned enough to pay off the loan and cover his keep. The amount of time he spends locked up is entirely in his own hands, he can work hard or be a slacker, and you do not suffer at all.

As for emergencies, there is nothing to stop permanent organisations being formed. There will still be fire services, hospitals, ambulances and suchlike, these things will not evaporate. They will be funded differently, that's all. It doesn't mean that every emergency will be met by do-gooders in pyjamas and a tin hat who rock up without any training on their days off.

The Native American Nations existed in a libertarian fashion for centuries, rubbing along in a largely cooperative anarchic way before statists turned up with legislation, infected blankets and Gatling guns. Anarchism is nothing new and, I believe, the default setting of humanity.

It doesn't take a rich benefactor to educate children. In the olden days, children of all ages shared classrooms. The teacher would concentrate on the younger students, teaching them how to learn through the trivium and, later, the quadrivium (the seven liberal arts), and setting the curriculum for the older students, who would help each other learn. It was an effective method and quite cheap and there's nothing to stop communities from reviving this method or constructing their own. This idea that nothing can be done without first securing a rich investor is a modern malaise and part of the learned helplessness with which we are all infected.

I would say that the United States is a lot further away from libertarianism than even the UK is. They have a tyranny rising over there which seems breathtaking in its scope and depth and threatens to ensnare us all.

Leigh S

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13774 on: 17 August, 2017, 11:10:36 pm »
Male fragility is a nice term I just heard that seems useful to get into the heads of these white supremacists and possibly also your extremists of all factions who feel traditional power structures being removed by modernity.

If you have something, then having that taken from you, or believing someone is taking it from you, creates a visceral reaction.  If you haven't had privilege, you can fight for it, but you don't have it so you don't fear the situation of not having it - if you aren't on the top, you can agitate for a slice of that, but you know you won't be any worse off without it, because you have nothing and survive day to day.  If you are insecure in your individual ability to deserve a privileged place, you are gonig to be very fragile about anything that would ask you to justify your advantage beyond "my ancestors built this for me".

The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13775 on: 18 August, 2017, 11:06:58 am »
Thought some of you might find this essay interesting...

Quote

How Welfare States Make Us Less Civilized

by Per Bylund

Throughout history, the state has justified itself on the grounds that it is necessary to protect us from others whose habits and beliefs — we are meant to believe — are dangerous. For millennia, this fiction was easy to maintain because most people interacted so little with people outside their nearly autarkic — and therefore impoverished — communities.

But, with the rise of industrialization and international trade in recent centuries, the state's claim that it is necessary to keep us “safe” from outsiders has become increasingly undermined. Much of this is thanks to the fact that in order to benefit from the market, one must engage in activities designed to serve others and anticipate their needs. As a result, trade increases our understanding for both members of our community and even the stranger; it also makes us realize that other people are much like us. Even if they speak strange languages or have odd customs and traditions.

The Market Order and Civilization

This is in essence Say’s Law, or the Law of Markets, which states that in the market we produce in order to trade with others so that we can thereby, indirectly, satisfy our own wants: our demand for goods in the market is constituted by our supply of goods to it. In order to effectively satisfy other people’s wants we need to not only communicate with them, but understand them.

If we don’t, then we’re wasting our productive efforts for a random result. Obviously, we’d benefit personally from learning what other people want, both their present wants and anticipated future wants, and then produce it for them.

So far so good. Most people (except for Keynesians) grasp this very simple point about the market — and how it contributes to civilization and peaceful interaction. But all people aren’t saints, so good, hard-working people risk being taken advantage of as they have nothing to set against such actions. Without a central power such as the state, who will protect us from such people?

Answer: the web of voluntary transactions aligns people’s interests. In the market, “bad people” are not only defrauding, stealing from, or robbing a single person or family. They are, in effect, attacking the community of interdependent producers and network of traders.

Imagine a town with a baker who specializes in baking bread that people in the town like, but that he doesn’t necessarily fancy himself. Instead, he sells the bread in order to earn money that he uses to buy from others what he truly wants. Others similarly specialize their production to produce what others want, including the baker, so that they can use part of their income to buy bread. When a thief steals from this baker, he negatively affects the town’s bread supply — and thereby also makes the baker unable to effectively demand goods from others. This affects a lot of people, not only the baker: it affects all people who wanted to but now can’t buy bread and all those who expected to but no longer can sell their goods to the baker.

The network of exchanges and the specialized production for others thus creates a community of interdependent producers whose interests are generally aligned: they have all increased their productive effort by supplying a single good that is in high demand, and thereby made everybody better off. But it also means it is in their own interest that no one is unjustly treated and disadvantaged, whether the victim of a “bad person” is an existing or potential supplier of goods they desire or existing or potential customer of the goods they produce.

They all benefit from this order, since their productive efforts are used where they do most good. But they are also all in it together — they are all affected if things go wrong. It is not strange, then, to see how towns used to spontaneously organize to deal with crime.

Robbing the baker involves not only a robber and his victim: an attack on one is an attack on the community. The robber has by his very actions chosen to not partake in community — to be an outcast.

Effect of the Welfare State

What’s happened over the course of the last century with the rise of the democratic welfare state is that these market-based bonds between people within a community have been severed. With the growing state, more and more people have found positions in the economy and society where they do not need to serve others. In other words, the state has made it possible to live off what other people produce rather than contribute to satisfying everybody’s wants.

As these bonds between people are severed, the threshold to engage in criminal behavior becomes lower. But more importantly, as people do not need to rely on their ability to satisfy the wants of others, they don’t understand other people: they have no incentive to learn about their needs and wants, and they have nothing to gain personally from satisfying them. In other words, there is no interdependence and therefore less of a reason to stay away from destructive behavior.

This is exactly what we’ve seen over the course of the past century when the very large state has replaced civil society with centralized systems and market with power. The problem is that when people stop learning about each other, it is easier to resort to conflict rather than cooperation — and it is much easier to see other people as obstructions to your own happiness. Getting rid of them thus increases your share of the (now diminishing) pie, and using and exploiting others for your own benefit appears a means toward satisfaction of one’s own wants.

We increasingly see examples of this type of thinking among entrepreneurs and those who want to be entrepreneurs. They start businesses not as a means to make a living — that is, to indirectly benefit themselves according to the Law of Markets — but in order to do “what they like.” It’s a lifestyle choice that many seem to think they have a “right” to make.

Even worse, sometimes they even blame their entrepreneurial failure on “society” for not being supportive enough and not appreciating what they’re offering at the price they’re demanding.

This is exactly backward: to be able to do what you like for a living is a privilege that you can enjoy only if you, by doing so, satisfy others. If you create value for others, you gain value for yourself.

In this type of society where the bonds between people are weakening, it is not strange that people find the idea of a decentralized, spontaneous order outrageously naïve. Competition is here not the sound striving to better serve others by trying different and differentiated ways of satisfying wants, but rather a zero-sum game where there are winners and losers. In this situation, whoever is willing to cut corners, lie, and deceive is immediately better off. The incentives, in other words, are for destroying value and to prioritize short-term gains even if they come at high long-term costs — because those costs may be another’s burden. It’s the very opposite of civilization and an existence that will, if left unchecked and unchanged, eventually degenerate into a Lord of the Flies- type tribalism.

It is not strange that people have a hard time understanding the harmony argument for markets in a time when the state has alienated them from productive interdependence as explained by Say’s Law. The market’s informal, spontaneous cooperation for mutual benefit has been replaced by a statist mindset, which seeks guarantees — and finds it only in formal power.

But it should be obvious from the discussion above that this is not in any sense a guarantee — especially against bad behavior. It is the opposite. Yet it should be recognized that the market also offers no guarantee, strictly speaking. But do we need one when people’s interests are aligned? All we need to trust is that people do what is good for themselves.

That’s hardly naïve.


Leigh S

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13776 on: 18 August, 2017, 11:45:59 am »
That alls eems very logical, but does predispose to assume that the vast majority of users of the welfare state abuse it as a life style choice - sure, a good number may, but they are vastly outweighed by people who transition through it, either rarely or less so, as a means to gain temporary support between employment.

By all means attempt to target those who use the "safety net" as a web to live on, but A: don't assume that net isn;t vital to millions of others and B: that some of those people "caught in the web" would be very hard to actively integrate into mainstream employment due to learning or mental health difficulties or other issues such as addiction and abuse. 

As ever, proposing a new system or solution can seem very easy when you assume everyone else is starting from the same "reasonable" view of life that most people operate by, but whatever the system, tehre will be people unable to navigate it due to disadvantages, and willing to game it due to sociopathic tendencies.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #13777 on: 18 August, 2017, 12:09:11 pm »
Indeed. No system can be perfect.


Tjm86

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Politicians Saying Something Stupid
« Reply #13778 on: 19 August, 2017, 06:54:55 pm »
I've been umming and awing about this all afternoon.  Potentially this could spiral out of control since at present it looks like some of our's and our American brethren's 'democratically elected representatives' (careful now Sharky!) seem to suffer from permanent 'foot in mouth' disease.  That said, I do wonder if our political thread needs a light hearted cousin of sorts (in this case, perhaps mutated offspring of Donald Trump and Theresa May) where we could revel in some of the choicer moments, or perhaps cower in fear at the thought of the awesome power these muppets wield!

Anyway.  For me Jeremy Hunt has set a new standard this week.  He decides to question Hawkings' ability to appropriately critically evaluate scientific evidence.  Not content with shooting himself in the foot on this point he continues to try to undermine the eminent, world renowned scientist by questioning his integrity and suggesting that he is being mendacious in questioning the direction of travel of health policy in this country.  Do we have a winner for the political equivalent of the Darwin Awards?

Something Fishy

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Re: Politicians Saying Something Stupid
« Reply #13779 on: 19 August, 2017, 07:08:28 pm »
Yup he proved what a great A turd he is with this one  :lol:

Professor Bear

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Re: Politicians Saying Something Stupid
« Reply #13780 on: 19 August, 2017, 09:16:29 pm »
Geez you guys, I don't know who to side with in this: the most famous boffin in the world, or a man who insists that he didn't write a book with his name on it and who has killed 3 times more people than the IRA ever managed.

Something Fishy

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Re: Politicians Saying Something Stupid
« Reply #13781 on: 19 August, 2017, 09:50:33 pm »
Tricky one isn't it.

Goaty

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Re: Politicians Saying Something Stupid
« Reply #13782 on: 19 August, 2017, 09:57:12 pm »

Richard

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Re: Politicians Saying Something Stupid
« Reply #13783 on: 19 August, 2017, 11:15:36 pm »
 :lol:  :D

sheridan

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Re: Politicians Saying Something Stupid
« Reply #13784 on: 20 August, 2017, 12:42:27 am »
 :D

p.s. great idea to have a more light-hearted political thread.