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Everything posted by Mnrchst

  1. By what standard? This just sounds like boilerplate pragmatism. So what if socialism brings the best outcome by this standard you aren't elaborating on? Does that mean you'd support socialism? Does all of Rand's work go out the window? She didn't say "Minarchism creates a good outcome by some vague utilitarian standard" she said "I know A, so now I know B, so now I know C, etc" First, doesn't this mean that if the % of people who want the elimination of taxation immediately gradually increases to 51% over several years that it is then moral for taxation to be eliminated immediately bec
  2. Yes. So what? No one can predict what people will choose to do. Suppose that transitioning to an O-ist society (gradually) leads to outright socialism. Does that mean we should oppose O-ism? Suppose that transitioning to an O-ist society (gradually) makes all the socialists here go on murder rampages. Does that mean we should oppose O-ism? This is like arguing that it isn't immoral for a criminal to take your money because you gave it to them. The best thing for us to do is do what is moral. So why is eliminating taxation immediately necessarily immoral regardless of how people rea
  3. I don't know why I have to tell you this again: I'm currently opposed to copyrights. I am NOT advocating a new type of copyright. What I'm saying is that if copyrights are justified on the grounds that people get control of their ideas, then this must apply to ALL new ideas, even if they are very similar to other ideas. I don't see how a book which is similar to another is a "new idea", but if it's very similar, then it isn't. Simply re-writing 4 pages of a 400 page book can make the story significantly different.
  4. I'm not asking about that. I'm not asking about that. Yes (as long as it's temporary, maybe 5 to 20 years).
  5. Couldn't you just as easily say that figuring out that we need to live in a moral society doesn't tell us what it is (anarchy vs state). Once we figure out that there are ways of figuring out how to live in a moral society in political terms, why can't we include eliminating taxation? And if we can't, why is your position any better than mine? Why wouldn't it be better to eliminate taxes over 100 years instead of 5 years? Finally, suppose you're right that there's no real way to know how long it should take to eliminate taxes--that's there's no objective answer. We can still argue about it
  6. There's two problems here. One, you're still not explaining how it would be immoral if we eliminated taxes overnight. All you're saying is that doing so "might not work so well" (which means what exactly?) Two, your analogy is begging the question. Yes, if we discover a country is "probably" a security threat, it doesn't mean we need to go all in. But we haven't established that eliminating all taxes at once is "probably" going to cause problems. I think your point about a "slight" reduction in taxes validates my argument. There's probably only going to be a slight reduction in the
  7. No, I'm talking about MORALITY. It sounds like you're arguing from pragmatism/consequentialism instead of Rand's style of ontology. Consider this: if a socialist system could get you the "best" society by your standard, would you want it? Couldn't you use the same reasoning to say "Let's not eliminate slavery overnight. Let's do it in 2 years--now people have 2 years notice." You may respond that "Slavery is immoral," but you also agree (I assume) that taxation is immoral. So why are there immoral things you want to eliminate now, and immoral things you want to eliminate gradually?
  8. It's not relevant--I'm discussing morality (in a political context), not strategy. And the ONLY way we will eventually eliminate taxation is if 51% want it gone. Just because we could argue that we should eliminate taxes immediately doesn't mean we couldn't also say "And it would be almost as good if we did it gradually over 5 years" and manage to convince people that we should do it over 5 years instead of right now. It's not like if everyone who is against taxation in principle (right now) started arguing that we should eliminate it immediately instead of gradually over 5 years that we'd nev
  9. This is extremely vague. Also, look at it this way: Some guy: "JASKN, I'm not going to keep saying the same thing five different ways. We just disagree. I think you are posing your questions in the context of a fantasy land. And that's why I think we must always have taxes, strong antitrust legislation, a ban on the sale of hard drugs, and a good minimum wage." You: "But here are my arguments. If you're not addressing them, why are you so sure you're right?" Some guy: "Look, you're just living in a fantasy land. I really don't know what else to say."
  10. "If you created something with your mind, it is yours just the same as if you create it from raw materials with your hands." But you're not including a book which is very similar to one which already exists. Why does this book not get included? It was created by someone's mind. I think patents work because a patent doesn't exclude someone from making a new invention. Copyrights seem to me to be an attack on the mind, because they limit the ideas people can come up with and distribute (similar ideas). Once you recognize a copyright, you're stopping people from creating/distributing simi
  11. I doubt there would be backlash if people generally decide that taxation is, in principle, immoral. But let's suppose there is. So what? Does this mean we shouldn't advocate lowering taxes gradually if we knew there would be a backlash to that? It's like you're saying "Let's only advocate whatever people will like."
  12. I'm not talking about how liking it is that all taxes will be eliminated tomorrow. I'm asking why doing so would be immoral. People can spend their whole lives dependent on charity with no guarantee the money will keep coming in, but they might still build their whole life around continuing to get it. Does this mean there should be no charity? Of course not. If people want to keep donating to these people, they're still going to get it. There doesn't have to be any fundamental change in their life--money keeps getting sent to them by people. How is this relevant? Are we talking abo
  13. I'm not talking about how likely this scenario is (I know most people will, probably, remain very anti-Objectivism/similar for a long time). WHY is there no chance that such big changes could be made overnight? People have free will.
  14. I was demonstrating the absurdity of everyone getting a copyright for an original (as in unique) work as an argument against copyrights; I wasn't advocating a new type of copyright. So why should you be able to have an original work be your property (assuming we're confident with our brightline between original enough and not original enough). I agree with the first part; I'm not sure about the second part.
  15. "not even realistic for the world today" Not realistic how?
  16. "I'll say it again: these charities don't exist and couldn't exist in time for everyone to transition in the best possible way." What is the best possible way? Why is it the best possible way? Why couldn't these charities exist in time? The government already has this list, so all people have to do is (within a week? a month? however often the checks go out) donate to a charity. To simplify the issue, let's assume it's the same government people doing this, and their salaries are from donations. All people would have to do is go online/make a phone call/mail a check, etc. I don't see thi
  17. Wouldn't the logical conclusion of this be to never eliminate SS? If you eliminate it at any point, many people will be getting a lot less than they paid in. Rand said she wanted all controls out in 3-5 years, which for someone who's 60 years old, basically means they paid into this system for a very long time and get nothing back. Do you object to her position and want SS to be phased out over a period of something like 20 or 40 years? (I'm not saying this would necessarily be worse than the 3-5 years phase out) I assume you're talking specifically about the poor only. This includes
  18. Why? Billionaires aren't the only people paying for these things as it is. People can just pool their money together the way they do now (except voluntarily). What if you're a slave owner? How are you going to feed yourself with that much of your income gone? I'm honestly not sure what to say other than I find this too vague to understand. Could you please elaborate?
  19. The other criticisms seem plausible to me, but this criticism is incredibly expansive. Just because we got to wherever we are now incrementally doesn't mean we should do everything incrementally (even Rand said we should eliminate all antitrust immediately). Does it take time for things to improve? Sure. Time would still be going by with the elimination of controls immediately. There have been plenty of large/sudden changes our society has made for the better. This reminds me of how Keynesians said 1946 would be a terrible year for the American economy.
  20. Why does it matter that people act in accordance with them? Should we have kept subsidizing slave owners once their slaves were freed? I don't see how the massive distortions couldn't be solved quickly. If ethanol subsidies ended overnight, then employment would transition to other sources of fuel. If it were detrimental to society (in terms of overall economic production) for a lot of jobs in the ethanol industry to end, I don't see how that would happen in the first place (it would merely become less popular). When you say "adjust", you're implying that something bad would happen if
  21. Why would anyone starve? Most people object to the idea of no-taxes (eventually) by saying "But what about all those people who depend on the government to like!" This means that even without taxation, most people would still be donating enough money to the poor so they could live. Anyone who would starve would just be the person who no one wants to support (they'd have to be pretty terrible). Just because the charity doesn't exist now doesn't mean it couldn't exist very very quickly. If the government has a list of the people getting help, people can take this list and create a charity fo
  22. You haven't established that what you've done is theft.My point is that if there should be copyrights for people's stories/songs because they made it, then I can't see how this wouldn't apply to stories/songs which are very similar to others because they are still unique, and therefore a creation of the person who made the new one. What about when someone makes a book that is different enough that you'd want to copyright it, but still could not have been made were it not for the creation of another book to inspire the author?In essence, why should copyrights only be awarded to works which are
  23. Rand said we should transition from the status quo to the tax-free non-government regulated society gradually (over a few years). I'm not sure why we should. Why not just do it overnight? Rand said that this would mean some people wouldn't have time to adjust/they thought that their social security would keep coming indefinitely. I'm not sure how this is a problem. They can appeal to charity. Why does it matter that they thought SS/welfare would keep coming? Would we object to eliminating slavery immediately because people expected to keep getting revenue from it? If initiating force is wr
  24. I started a thread of patents/copyrights a while back. I started skeptical of both. I'm now convinced that patents are good, but I'm still not convinced that copyrights are good (or that they are bad). I figured I might as well start a new thread on this. Rand's argument is that people should have the right to exclusive control over (some) ideas they have for a limited time. I'm not sure how this can be used to justify copyrights. The only way copyrights can be effective is if they apply to works that are very similar to their own. Otherwise, someone might make small changes to a b
  25. http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/philn/philn036.pdf Thoughts?
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