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Fred Weiss

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Everything posted by Fred Weiss

  1. At the point at which your immediate self-defense is not an issue and at the point at which one must consider the rights of the accused, i.e. at the point at which objectivity and impartiality is mandatory if the principles of civilization vs. vigilantism are to be upheld. Fred Weiss
  2. It was written after Atlas and after many private discussions he had with Ayn Rand. Is it really necessary for me to cite the specific passages in the piece which are virtually verbatim from AR - without him offering a single cite or acknowledgement. I was responding to the original comment that it sounds like something that Galt or Francisco could have said. Well, it does because they did. Fred Weiss
  3. Irrational means contrary to reason or in conflict with reason which is not the case here. Since there is no basis for picking one card over any other, just guessing is the rational thing to do (assuming there are no other relevant factors to consider). Fred Weiss
  4. In a discussion awhile ago on hpo Richard Lawrence (I believe) raised a number of questions about whether Iceland in that period even represented the kind of "anarcho-capitalism" which Friedman has alleged it did. I also don't think it's coincedental that the only purported example of these principles have to be dredged up from some highly isolated and relatively short-lived society 100's of years ago. The other examples are uncontroversial association and trade agreements which beg the question since no one maintains that private individuals cannot have agreements that people voluntarily abide by without the necessity of legal enforcement (in order, for example, to maintain their professional or business reputations). They do not address the concerns of how one deals with cases that fall outside of those agreements. Fred Weiss
  5. Of course, because he blatantly steals ideas from Ayn Rand (note the date of the piece) - without however acknowledging it. Fred Weiss
  6. But there are only repercussions if they are recognized in the law and there is a means for enforcing them. You're blithely - and arbitrarily - assuming that all "competing agencies" will recognize the same principles. In fact, it would clearly be to the perceived interest of criminals to sign up with agencies - such as the Mafia - which do not recognize them. In fact, if "competition" is the operative principle of the law - not rights - than agencies will offer all sorts of variations of governance to appeal to the "market" for any and every type of irrationality, including slavery, theft, rape, etc. The marketing campaign of Agency A might very well include building a large army to conquer surrounding territory and sharing the loot with its customers. The fact that gov'ts have engaged in such practises is why we need a rational gov't based on individual rights, not an argument against gov't, per se. But a governing system merely based on competition has no such basis or objective. It is in effect "anything goes" so long as there is a market for it. That is an appropriate principle in an economy but not in a gov't. A gov't must be based on rights, which are objective and definable - and once identified and defined there is no basis for competition. One doesn't compete about which of our rights a gov't should uphold. A gov't must uphold them - all of them. If it doesn't, then one must act to change it. If one were to secede from a gov't therefore it could only be to uphold rights, not on some primary of "competition". If the primary were competition, then one could compete on the basis of *not* upholding rights, e.g. as the South attempted in the Civil War. And in any event, even allowing for such secession (for the sake of argument) it is still in the form of an alternate *gov't*, with the power of enforcement. It is not some private entity which people could choose or not choose to obey. One cannot choose or not choose to uphold rights. It is a precondition of living in society that one chooses to uphold them. Not upholding them is not an option. Such an option by its very nature is the end of society. Look, this has already been explained to you and all you are doing now is engaging in endless sophistry to evade the issue. I for one don't have the patience to continue this much longer. I've also been down this endless road with you and other anarchists many, many times before and it is always totally futile because you are defending a system which exists only in your fantasy and with absolutely no basis in reality. So, you'll claim it'll work this way or that way but you have absolutely no evidence to support your claim. It's a total floating abstraction based on pure rationalism. (Which is why no one with any understanding of Objectivism would ever argue for it and why the vast majority of anarchists are vehement opponents of Objectivism, esp. its leading spokesmen, e.g. Rothbard, Friedman, etc.) Fred Weiss
  7. So, the state hasn't seceded. All that's happened is that a bunch of people - actually even one person apparently if they so declare - has not only seceded from the Union, but from New Hampshire itself. And when a New Hamshire police officer goes to arrest this secessionist for committing a crime under the laws of New Hamshire and is confronted with armed resistance, what happens next? The secessionist presumably announces that they have no authority to arrest him since he has seceded from New Hampshire and that he (with or without the support of his "protection agency") will resist with force to defend "his rights". Is that it? Fred Weiss
  8. Charlotte, you are being deliberately dense. What prompted this comparison was your question, "Where is the proof that a monopoly in protection services must necessarily provide better safeguards of the rights of the accused than a set of competing protection agencies?" Then when I cite the Sudan you declare, "Oh, those aren't "competing protecting agencies" because they are using force. Tell us how an "agency" protects unless it can use force? And what happens when two (or more) of these "agencies" are in conflict? How is it resolved unless there is some authority which can render a final verdict and enforce it, i.e use force to impliment its decision? The relevance of the Sudan - or similar situations - is that you don't have a single entity enforcing a single body of law. You have multiple warlords, i.e. "competing protecting agencies", each enforcing their own version of the law, each in effect being a law unto themselves, thus producing not some pseudo elevated notion of freedom but the exact opposite: the compete breakdown of law and the wholesale violation of rights. And that is the inherent contradiction in anarchism. Fred Weiss
  9. Answer the question, Charlotte. Does or doesn't New Hamshire secede? You're the one who brought it up. Fred Weiss
  10. Oh, do the warlords in the Sudan (or in Somalia or in Afghanistan) have monopolies? I thought good ol' anarchist "competition" prevailed and whichever "agency" won this week's battle in this or that region had the "protection racket" in that area? (That is, until next week's battle). Tell us why this isn't the way that anarchism will work. Fred Weiss
  11. The United States vs. the Sudan. Fred Weiss
  12. Then, you might find this interesting and relevant: http://www.freecolorado.com/2004/07/principlesmatter.html Fred Weiss
  13. So, what happens then? Does or doesn't New Hampshire secede? Fred Weiss
  14. I'm saying that in order to make any sense anarchism presupposes - and must presuppose - the very thing it is purportedly arguing against, namely, the necessity of a final authority which enforces the law. If you have a final authority which enforces the law then you don't have anarchism. I don't have any problem with someone objecting to free market capitalism anymore than have a problem with someone objecting to free speech, the separation of church and state, trial by jury, the right to own property, etc. I only object when they attempt to impliment those beliefs and violate our rights in the process. Fred Weiss
  15. You mean the decision to secede is unanimous or that those who oppose it can secede from the secession and stay with the union, so that you have some people in the state seceding and others not? Or that those who oppose it are forced to go along with it? Fred Weiss
  16. This again is the same stolen concept. If you acknowledge that there is an objective standard (for proper retribution), then one should advocate implimentating and enforcing it - and not leaving it up to personal whim Anarchism isn't new. The problem isn't that anarchism hasn't existed. It has (and does). The problem is that anarchists always deny that those represent what they are advocating. So how are they going to get what they (claim to) want - unless again they steal the very concept which they reject and are denying, i.e. the necessity of enforcement? Fred Weiss
  17. There's also the small matter of "Vanuatu, one of the most forward-thinking countries as far as IT issues go" Fred Weiss
  18. You are stealing the concept of "proper" in your reference to "proper retaliatory force", since that presupposes an objective body of law and procedures which must govern it - to avoid it becoming vigilantism. And also when you refer to "moral grounds" in this instance, the actually proper "moral grounds" for retaliatory force must include the protection of the rights of accused. Without that, again, it is just vigilantism. The contradiction therefore is entirely on the side of anarchism - the claim that you are upholding rights by maintaining your "right" to violate them with impunity. In this instance the rights you are violating are those of the accused. Once again, we are involved in tedious discussions of the anarchist fantasy which has no reference in reality or any actual examples of its rational implimentation. What evidence we do have - of actual anarchy - reduces your point to the kind of blood feuds and inter-tribal warfare which we can witness even today in some primitive parts of the world. Of course, like Marxists arguing for their fantasies, these are never the "real" examples of how it would "actually" work. It's all very convenient. Fred Weiss
  19. David Friedman is an extreme philosophical sceptic, a total subjectivist in ethics, and a political anarchist. I think that should answer your question. I've never met him in person. He and I debated often over a period of many years on another forum. Fred Weiss
  20. Again, the proper concept here is primary, i.e. that the primary defense of capitalism should be moral. However that it is the primary issue does not minimize the importance of other aspects of it. Capitalism is, afterall, an economic system and to attempt to defend it solely on moral grounds renders it something of a "floating abstraction". It is important in my view to grasp the economic issues as well. I don't know who this is supposed to be addressed to or to what it refers, but stated as such in this out-of-context way, I consider it a smear and highly insulting. And, I might add, therefore particularly offensive and inappropriate on this Forum. For one thing, I don't recognize the legitimacy of a notion like "Objectivist orthodoxy". There is: Objectivism: the philosophy of Ayn Rand. It was her philosophy. There aren't variations of it. Anyone is free to disagree with some aspect of it, but they are not, if they are honest, free to then call it Objectivism. Fred Weiss
  21. I'm sure that's not the reason. Economics is not a "side issue" for Objectivism, although you are correct that it is not the primary issue. But I don't know what the reason is. I haven't done an inventory of ARB listings with the idea in mind of questioning them. I'm just pleased that they carry a fair number of my books Fred Weiss
  22. The contradiction is actually inherent in the view that the gov't not maintain such a monopoly, since without such a monopoly there would be no way to resolve disputes between "competing agencies". And thus, instead of anarchism upholding individual rights, it must devolve into open warfare and the destruction of civilization. It is my understanding that Child's himself came to realize this - although he died before he was able to publish his thinking on the subject. There is in fact no contradiction in forcing people to uphold individual rights (which is really: forcing them to not violate rights) because if you don't, then you don't have individual rights. What's the alternative - that people be able to choose not to uphold individual rights? If that's not a contradiction, then I don't know what is. Fred Weiss
  23. That is not consistent with the stated LP Party Platform which states: "We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid, guarantees, and diplomatic meddling. We make no exceptions." http://www.lp.org/issues/platform/execsumm.html Incidentally on the subject of secession, it states: "We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals." So, your sarcasm regarding my "infinite regress" argument was misplaced. They themselves push the reductio ad absurdum right in your face. Fred Weiss
  24. But this is a local, not a national, issue - and hardly constitutes a basis for seceding from the country. I also consider it unlikely that the wealthy would have any less influence in a laissez-faire society than they do today and likely they would have more. For one thing, since there would be no restrictions on the amount of money that could be spent on political campaigns, they would have far greater influence on the candidates who got elected. Furthermore, since "taxes" would be far, far less than they are today, the wealthy would be far more able to supplement their protection with (appropriate) private security services. One of the reasons I find it tedious to argue about such issues is because we are discussing speculations about a society which has never existed. When you throw in your anarchist fantasies on top of it, it all becomes even more disconnected from reality. Look Charlotte, these are relatively trivial issues which we will not have to deal with for decades at minimum, if ever. I would be happy to see our society reach a point of a general consensus for a much reduced gov't and much greater economic freedom. That will be tough enough to reach without having to deal with the anarchist fantasy which (hopefully) will never happen anyway. Fred Weiss
  25. Laissez-faire economics and the idea of limited gov't of course preceded Ayn Rand and there were many thinkers who upheld it before her. The problem is that no thinker before her provided it with a strong enough philosophical base to withstand the moral antagonism against it. It cannot be properly and effectively defended on the grounds of subjectivism (Mises) and certainly cannot be made consistent with altruism (Christian conservatism). Speaking for myself, as a former communist, I know that no amount of economic argument ever could have convinced me. It required an Ayn Rand to get me to take a fresh look at the argument for capitalism. Then, at that point, I found Mises (and others) very helpful. You know, today, leftists almost concede that the economic argument for capitalism is irrefutable. Ironically, they consider that an argument against it I made this point a number of times to David Friedman who always kept insisting that the economic argument was carrying the day but I think even he finally conceded that I was right (I think as a result of arguing with some environmentalists). Fred Weiss
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