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Posts posted by tadmjones

  1. I appreciate it of course, but I don't want to run afoul of the forum rules, so I don't open a new thread. However, I trust responding to or analyzing various arguments presented falls under the category of "honest questions about such subjects." I think the links in #18 are definitely worth reading in regards how a free market legal order could work, and historical examples are discussed. A good starting point for understanding how law without a state is possible is books like Bruno Leoni, Freedom and the Law, Edward P. Stringham (Editor), Anarchy and the Law, Bruce Benson, The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State.

    I didn't read, nor do I think I shall ,any of the source material you posted. The reason I won't is contained in your statement "..a good starting point for understanding how law without a state is possible.." , if the materail suggested are sources to find justifications for this and like assertions are ridiculous on face.

    As to why should we have a free market legal order, the foundations are the same as the argument for a laissez-faire capitalist society. The question of what kind of constitutional structure we should have goes along with the question of what our goals are. So you have articulated philosophical principles on the one hand, and the question of political structure on the other hand. We get conclusions like, we should have a society that respects the non-initiation of force principle, we should have restraints on the use of retalitatory force, so we should have objective law, etc. So then what kind of system will produce objective law and will have the best incentive structure for maintaining respect for individual rights. So what is objective law? What are its requirements? Can a state satisfy these requirements, or does objective law require a free market? I mean, you could imagine a dictator that only wanted objective law, but that kind of system would have a terrible incentive structure, so you wouldn't want it. You would want a constitutional structure incorporating checks and balances, separation of powers, etc. So where Rand stopped short and supported representative democracy, I think if we analyze her arguments, you will find defficiencies, and I think that the incentive structure of the free market provides the best constitution for a free society.

    If the foundations of a free market legal are the same as a LFC society, how do they not incorporate a monolopy of the use of just force vested in the state?(ignoring any grammatical errors they may lead to differing interpretations of meaning)

    So the question boils down to what kind of constitution should a free nation have? In trying to answer that question we immediately think in terms of a Bill of Rights, restrictions on governmental power, and so forth. And any constitution worth having would certainly include those things. Usually Objectivists answer "well we should have a written constitution," and that would solve a lot of the structural problems. But mere paper constitutions are neither necessary (look at Britain) nor sufficient (look at Soviet Russia) for actually operative restraints. What matters is a nation's constitution in the original sense of the actual institutions, practices, and incentive structures that are in place.

    In the context of a discussion on politics from a philosophic perspective, who believes a constitution is but the mere words(text) printed on paper? What do you mean here?

    So a constitution has no existence independent of the actual behaviour and interactions of actual human beings.Things like "separations and divisions of powers, and checks and balances," are not structures that exist as external limitations on society, as if they are being imposed from without. But in fact those structures exist only insofar as they are continually maintained in existence by human agents acting in certain systematic ways. A constitution is not some impersonal, miraculously self-enforcing robot. It's an ongoing pattern of behaviour, and it persists only so long as human agents continue to conform to that pattern in their actions.

    What? Are you saying that concepts like legality, rights , justice and capitalism only exist in the actions of concrete indiviual humans and that unless they act in manners consistent with those concepts , the very idea of such things would be impossible?

    So if a constitution is to be more than a wish list, it must also specify the political structure necessary to ensure that people have an incentive to keep acting in a manner consistent with the articulated philosophical principles that you're attempted to put in place. And so the incentive structure you put in place must encourage people to act in a manner consistent with individual rights, to produce objective law, to encouraging social cooperation, persuasion instead of force, and peace. So in discussing whether a government or the market is the best for this, you have to look at the incentives of each strucutres, and I think there are problems with coerced monopoly, and I think the opponent of competition has some considerations to surmount before they can prove their case.

    Perhaps just a semantic difference(though I doubt it), but in organizing the proper structure for a civilized society incorporating rational principles into the idea of a state and its mechanics is not the same as trying to put in place philosophic principles. Rational principles are what they are , there is no choice or competition between principles as to their respective rationality.

  2. Grames in post 11 said

    The appeal of this theory is that the underlying existent treats all of the many paths the same without weighting the classical ones more heavily than paths that violate conservation of energy, the least distance principle, or what have you. The underlying existent does not somehow have built into it a priori knowledge of what it is supposed to do, rather much of what we recognize as laws of physics simply falls out of the constructive and destructive summation of all the paths

    How here do you mean "the underlying existent treats..."?

    I understand this theory in more laymens' terminology as " a canonball will travel every possible trajectory including the one observed, because String Theory somehow postulates multiverses and since infinity can happen an infinite amount of times , basically you saw one of them."

    How is what you are, postulating, or quoting, essentially different or is it the same thing ?

  3. Mea culpa deprived/depraved (thanks btw)


    Yes. My point is that it's for our own good that we have the ability to choose to act contrary to our thoughts. And that ability to override thought arises from the fact that we can observe thoughts from the point of view as if we are not the thinker of those thoughts.

    By' for our own good', do you mean to suggest that it(volition) is beneficial to humanity by some purpose, or design?

  4. Right but arguing the second sentence doesn't commit you to the first sentence. You can say that my position might be that rule of objective law is possible (or even necessary) on the free market, but that that position is wrong and would lead to there being no stable rule of law. But then we are owed an argument for that, not self-evident assertions.

    One can only argue from the stand point of the conditions necessary for a market, you can not start with a market system. On the premise that traders must know in advance that their rights would be recognized and protected, by some entity or agency, prior to trading. If trading value for vlaue were contingent on nothing other than force, who but those that can wield the most force would even think of entering any type of 'market' activity. It seems to go against human nature to purposely put oneself in that position, the position of being at somones mercy that a trade will in fact occur.

  5. That doesn't make any more sense than saying than asking if the Internet can operate without objective rules to its operation. The Internet has protocols and all that without a central, monopolized agency. In some sense there is a market, but little deviation exists precisely because no one would get along.

    Yeah Google does what they do(and Ebay) regardless of knowing they have a civil court system to protect their "internet" property, hey they must be anarcho-capitalists.

  6. Concepts refer to concretes in reality, the referent of a concept is an aspect of reality.

    An actual cat is a concrete. The concept cat can in a proper context be spoken of as a concrete, in that the referent in that instance is the concept of cat as a concept. Is this what you mean?

    The broadest abstraction there is , is existence. Although in the proper context the concept of existence can be treated as a concrete, but context is the issue.

  7. The editting suggestions do make the letter better, but is it possible to arrange a face to face to meeting with the person who interviewed you ? It seems they would have hired you for the position originally, and if other like positions are available and they are/were aware of your qualifications a year ago , it seems they would grant you the same chance at an interview, especially if you demonstrate any benefits from what training or orientation you may have experienced.

  8. moralist said

    I make money in the private sector by using public roads as a tool. The taxes I pay for my share of the use of those roads are all included in the price of products and services I sell. So I don't pay them... the cost is all passed on to the end users. They pay.

    Which is all well and good , until you meet a competitor that has enough political pull to be relieved of having to pay the taxes in the first place and then undercuts your price.

  9. I don't understand that either. Good thing that's not what we're arguing here, as I have explained to you at least 5 times now. At some point you have to stop ignoring responses and make an argument instead of asserting things.

    Actually I think the situation is just that your assertions are more verbose, you have not shown, at least 5 times, that markets can operate without the rule of law.

  10. Why the discussion about mind/brain dicothomy? In a philosophic sense it doesn't matter , unless you are trying to show that consciousness does not exist. If you agree that consciousness exists , than the scientific explanation of the phenomenon is tangential to consciousness as such. If it could be shown that the mind actually resides or emerges from the liver, how would that change or affect what consciousness is?

  11. 1) Ayn Rand misdefines value. She says a value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep. Here she confuses "value" (which is a place within a hierarchy) with possessions, priorities, and objects of pursuit.

    Do you mean Rand did not correctly recognize and describe an aspect of reality(the concept of living)? Or is this along your lines of setting Johnson straight? Did Rand use the wrong word? If so, what is the correct term for that thing(s) that living entities act to gain and or keep?

  12. Economist Hyman Minsky categorized borrowing. In "hedge-borrowing", the productiveness of the capital is enough to cover interest and repayment. Taken further, in "speculative borrowing" the capital can produce enough to cover interest payments, but it has to be constantly refinanced. Finally, one has "ponzi borrowing" where the only way the repayment can be made is if the asset purchased with the capital appreciates.

    Consumer debt is fine for large value purchases, as long as the borrower stays within safe limits. A house is a good example, as long as one puts enough money down and as long as one's income is enough to cover payments easily, it can be worth borrowing rather than renting for a few more years.

    I agree(I have a mortgage,one we can afford), my point was more toward to the op equating credit and debt, and how in a capitalistic division of labor society credit is a beneficial(to the parties directly involved and ultimately if successful to untold unintended beneficiaires) agreement between traders.

  13. SoftwareNerd is helping to make my point between consumer debt, accumulating and consuming goods in the present with a promise to pay in future, is different than using pre-existing wealth(credit) to develope future wealth. When men like Carnagie or Rockefeller used profits from year n to fund activity in year n+1 , they were using credit(albeit their own) to produce more wealth. The fact that they may not have received the capital in the form of credit from a seperate institution, does not alter the fact that the capital invested in their business ventures was at risk and that without that capital being invested there would not have been,could not have been creation of more wealth(capital).

  14. Moralist

    Do you not see a difference between credit/debt? In your posts it seems you disparage what I would call legitimate credit with debt and that both concepts are equally immoral, am I reading you right?

    By legitimate credit , I mean things like funding Ted Turner to build CNN, as opposed to consumer credit card debt.

  15. Knowledge of an event of the Sun expanding to a red giant and vaporizing the Earth can only be validated and integrated similarly by differentiating other observations and integrating them into a new causal understanding of those observations. At that point, the sun will continue to appear cyclically in the sky until then, or unless another phenomena is discovered that would alter that understanding.

    Given, at least implicitly, that one recognizes that new "facts" are possible.

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