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Everything posted by nanite1018

  1. Well I'd have to agree with the libertarian crowd then. It isn't an initiation of force if you do not actually use nor directly threaten force. Driving drunk does neither (as obviously you aren't capable of threatening someone with force if you cannot interact with them in any way). Now, if you do in fact damage someone's property then I do see a justification, perhaps, in increasing the punishment because you were negligent.
  2. The question is not "should initiation of force be illegal/banned?" (duh, yes it should), but rather "is dueling an instance of initiation of force?" It isn't obvious, as it is a consensual activity (perhaps with somewhat higher standards of proof of consent than most other such activities, but consensual just the same). It probably wouldn't be rational to ever participate in a duel (I can't think of an instance, though perhaps it will come to me), but that does not mean it should be banned. I can't think of any instance when the use of heroine would be rational, but it shouldn't be banned eit
  3. I had typed up a very detailed response. If this sounds snippy, it is because the work of nearly an hour I put in was deleted in under a second by an unknown typo (I believe I selected all text and then typed a letter, all at once, without meaning to). I'm a bit peeved as of this writing. Did you infringe on someone's rights before? Yes or no? If yes, then they are probably not violating your rights (depends on what exactly they are doing, but it wouldn't be hard to tell). If no, then they are. Where'd the certainty go? Sure, as long as they do not use force against those who are tryi
  4. Right now, I am saying we all "deal" in force, except that the vast majority elect to have the people employed as policemen do the work of defending us. Criminals have their protectorate now (themselves, each other, etc.), and so do we (the government), and the two are at war. That is reality, and it will always be so. It is an unwinnable war, in that all criminals will not be once and for all vanquished, but one side can consistently be winning handily (namely, government, as it is today). I deny they are separate in any sense. I can defend/retaliate so long as I do so by not violating th
  5. Well that would be the concept, yes. But it is a result from my analysis that the possible actions of government can be broken into essentially three categories, and of the various possible political viewpoints with reference to those categories, each has important differences that make it relevant for discussion of political views. The people in the "individual rights only" camp are very different in terms of their political views and aims than those in the other camps with respect to those categories. They also share a lot in common with respect to political views and aims. Classifying po
  6. The basis is the conceptual common denominator, the essential commonality between all units of the concept which differentiates them from the others. If you are trying to classify someone's political positions, then what are the essential differences/commonalities? It is impossible to be extremely precise about it, as even with Objectivists political positions (as to who to go to war with, etc.) vary. But in general, you can classify government action as predominantly of three types. 1) Enforcement of individual rights. 2) Intervention in social matters. 3) Intervention in economic matters. No
  7. The war on society I was discussing is what the Mafia and serial killers do. It is one which we have to fight in any society, including and Objectivist one, because there will always be crazies. Without illegal drugs it has always been on the fringes of society in the modern era, as it will necessarily continue to be once such restrictions are removed. I do not say that no one will use force. I am saying that anyone wishing to deal in force will face constant threat from the rest of society, and so those who do initiate force will be few in number, and that force can be as well restrained
  8. If all acts of retaliatory force are also up for review according to the law we are dealing with, then why make a differentiation? Any and ALL acts of force would be (at least could) subject to review. You must agree with this, because the acts of the police must necessarily be subject to judicial review in any conceivably objective government. But if everything is up for review, why do you need "police" in the sense of a specific institution, rather than defense/enforcement agencies that enforce the decisions of courts? If a court sentences a man to die, and I hunt him down and execute him wi
  9. Binding as in universally regarded as enforceable. So, if someone disagrees even after the process of arbitration dictated in the contract has been finished, that's just too bad. No one will care, because we've already gone through the judicial process (according to the law). It would be similar to if the Supreme Court hands down a ruling. By law, what they say is final. Therefore, there decision is carried out by everyone, and if it is not, they are punished because they broke the law. You can try to set up or sign with a defense agency that doesn't care about the law, but then it will be an
  10. The need for law is unquestioned. Rules must be in place and enforced by people. That such rules can and should be objective isn't questioned either. The question is in the administration and enforcement of said laws. The question is not whether we need a "monopoly" in law, i.e. a set or rules enforced over a region (such will necessarily develop, as is the case with common law, for example; alternatively it might be created at the outset, through a form of constitution, though different in character than ones we have today). The question is whether or not one and only one group should be able
  11. I do not deny the need for objective law that is enforced by the courts and police. There is a need for objective rules. But I do not see a reason why there must be, for example, a single court of final appeal. Couldn't we simply have, for example, a rule that states that the decision of any two or three courts on a case is final (after all, I pick a court, you pick a court, and then a final court of appeal seems like it should be enough to cover all eventualities). Then we can specify in the contract we sign that we will go to courts X, Y, and Z in that order if there is a disagreement. If th
  12. I'm sorry, I thought you were talking about Communism, not a desire for a world of voluntary communes. Communism, as in rule be Communists, results in total destruction. Someone who wants to live in a totally voluntary commune is not a problem, so long as it is indeed totally voluntary (it won't last for long after all, or it will cease to be voluntary, in which case people can do something about that). If you reject the validity of libertarianism as a concept, than you must also reject ALL concepts of political viewpoints, liberal, conservative, socialist, communist, progressive, populist, et
  13. You do all the time. You buy groceries from them, watch movies in the same theater, live in the same country. You go to work with them, perhaps sell to them. Why do you do this? Because you have a goal, and they can help you reach that goal (and their other philosophical positions do not eliminate their usefulness). The goal in this case is a proper government and the growth of the number of people who accept Objectivism. Libertarians a) want many of the same present policy proposals as Objectivists as well as many long term goals and b ) for that reason would be relatively easy (at least I sh
  14. More to the point, if people will, through voluntary action, be unable to set up a system that deals with criminals (that is, initiators of force), then how can they set up a system that excludes all alternative arrangements (as there are many ways of setting up a government, in terms of its mechanics of operation, that are in line with Objectivist principles) that deals with them? Objectivity isn't intersubjective, it is open to the all rational people, and the transition from an individual being able to make objective evaluations about everything, to only some specified body being capable of
  15. Anyone can identify themselves as anything, doesn't mean that is in fact what they are. Him saying he is a Libertarian is no different than John Keynes calling himself a capitalist, or if Rand called herself a socialist. Just because they said so doesn't make it true.
  16. I agree that they both have fundamental issues, and that if they desire to be consistent they must either reject the idea they have the right to initiate physical force for any reason, or wholeheartedly support it (though that path would lead to death, at least they would have a glaring contradiction in their political philosophy, even if there ethics would be way out of whack). And that is their most important characteristic, though I still think they can be useful categories so as to organize the nature of certain errors in political philosophy. This is where we differ. The question of
  17. Well, actually, non-anarchist libertarians all want a military to defend the country. The major difference is an insistence on a) being attacked directly by that country first before striking (Iran hasn't, directly, attacked us for instance) and b ) an insistence that civilian deaths should be minimized. But if that is the major difference then we aren't very different at all, in the political sphere. There is a LOT of similarity between Objectivists and libertarians. If you ask an Objectivist and a libertarian/minarchist what they think on issue X they will agree almost all the time (or, the
  18. See, but "libertarian" does not force together disparate units in the political sphere (unless, perhaps, you include the anarcho-capitalists, then there might be more of a case). If you very explicitly confine your discussion to the political sphere alone, and say that someone being a libertarian has no necessary connection the other branches of philosophy, such as ethics or epistemology, then you can have a valid concept. The justification for their belief in a "small" (defined in terms of scope, not actual size or power) government may be different, but libertarians are all in a similar plac
  19. Alright, well then at least you are consistent. So, in your opinion, there is no essential difference between a liberal (wants a very strict separation of religion from the public sphere, large welfare programs, few restrictions on non-economic behavior) and a conservative (essentially switch things around)? Grouping the two into categories serves no cognitively useful function whatsoever? I understand that neither take up an Objectivist definition of rights (and most do not agree that government's only function is the protection of rights), but they do have fairly major differences, with each
  20. If "libertarian" is a meaningless/invalid concept, so is liberal, progressive, conservative, and perhaps even socialist. What is a conservative? What do "conservatives" say on issue X? They aren't all the same. Nor do they all have a similar ethical basis, or explicit political philosophy. There are conservatives who are pro-choice (though not many), and liberals who are pro-life. There are conservatives who want a sizable amount of regulation, others who want none. Progressives may want certain industries to be nationalized, or keep them private but regulated. Many conservatives (and some, bu
  21. Not so much. Justice demands the programs be eliminated as quickly as they possibly can be. "The program should only be eliminated at rate Y" means that if one were politically able to eliminate it quicker, one should not. Whereas a non-gradualist strategy would work to eliminate the program as quickly as one possibly can at any given point in time (so if one were able to viably speed up the phase out of some program, one would do that as well). Indeed, gradualism is what implies a split between moral and practical, as it maintains that while the initiation of force is evil and must be elimina
  22. The problem here is that that money has already changed hands, to other people (the people the spent it on) who got that money illegally (as it was gotten by illegal means), so they have no right to it, and then on and on and on, in a chain of untraceable interactions. The property is gone, lost in a blizzard of transactions and receipts rotted away in landfills. The money stolen has changed hands an enormous number of times since then. The key is that no one should now control property which is not rightfully their's. That is the principle we must base our analysis on. Except for perhaps the
  23. I'll respond to both of you at once, as it will be faster. The man who opposed SS all his life but couldn't save might warrant me helping him. But it does NOT warrant someone stealing my money to help him. That is a violation of my rights. If I, or anyone else, choose to help him, then so be it. It is impossible to do as softwareNerd suggests and go through and take back everyone's property, because the property was thrown into a common pot and redistributed. The original owner cannot be located, and since the present possessor did not commit the crime in question, it can justly be said to be
  24. Alright, let's examine social security. The person about to retire has been living under this system, expecting, indeed relying, on social security in order to finance his retirement, is complicit in the violation of property rights in the system. The man who is only 25 has no such plans (as he likely isn't too concerned about retirement at this point), and has only been involved in the system for a few years. Justice would say that the person who was relying on theft to finance his retirement (primarily) can justly have that swept out from under him. The young man can justly have his propert
  25. It is gradualism, but in practice. The difference is that while I will advocate the biggest changes I could ever in my wildest dreams actually get through Congress, if those changes are somehow going to be enormous (like a bill that eliminates Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the minimum wage, and the income tax effective in, say, three months) then I'd do it. Gradualism in theory says that we can't change too fast, and need to wind down programs like Social Security, or the income tax. The problem with gradualism in theory is that since society generally doesn't agree with us, they won't
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