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Zip
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MOR, I'd like to address some of your points and I will later tonight. Please do not be deterred.

I will continue this discussion with you Zip, and any reasonable man here. However, this is apparently not the proper place for this topic. I am disturbing those that are shaken by a differing, but still logical and ethical, view than Ms. Rand's. It is not my wish to force anything upon anybody (that is the whole point).

You know where to find me.

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I will continue this discussion with you Zip, and any reasonable man here. However, this is apparently not the proper place for this topic. I am disturbing those that are shaken by a differing, but still logical and ethical, view than Ms. Rand's. It is not my wish to force anything upon anybody (that is the whole point).

You know where to find me.

No, this is the right place for this discussion. If it weren't the Mods here would have already shut it down.

There are always some members of any organization or group only want to voice their ideas to a sounding board. Those people are usually a minority, and if they aren't then the group/organization is in it butt deep!!

I'm not going to sign up for your forum, I'll make my responses here.

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There are always some members of any organization or group only want to voice their ideas to a sounding board. Those people are usually a minority, and if they aren't then the group/organization is in it butt deep!!

I'm honestly curious about what you meant to say there. Please explain. I'm especially having trouble with the word "sounding". (Can't seem to figure out what it means)

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I'm honestly curious about what you meant to say there. Please explain. I'm especially having trouble with the word "sounding". (Can't seem to figure out what it means)

The sounding board or soundboard is the part of a string instrument that transmits the vibrations of the strings to the air, greatly increasing the loudness of sound over that of the string alone.

The reference to a sounding board was in allusion to the fact that some people want to preach to the choir as it were. They do not want to hear opposing views or to have to justify their own ideas or thoughts by pitting them against those thoughts and ideas of people who disagree. Instead as the sounding board does, they want to voice their opinions only to have them amplified and sent back to them.

Speaking to a group of people who have the same views as you do and will only reply in gushing concordance with what you say is the argumentative equivalent of masturbation. It feels good, but you'll never know if your fantasy(arguments) will withstand first contact with a real partner(someone who disagrees).

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The reference to a sounding board was in allusion to the fact that some people want to preach to the choir as it were. They do not want to hear opposing views or to have to justify their own ideas or thoughts by pitting them against those thoughts and ideas of people who disagree. Instead as the sounding board does, they want to voice their opinions only to have them amplified and sent back to them.

Speaking to a group of people who have the same views as you do and will only reply in gushing concordance with what you say is the argumentative equivalent of masturbation. It feels good, but you'll never know if your fantasy(arguments) will withstand first contact with a real partner(someone who disagrees).

Oh, ok. I thought you meant something else by board, and treated the sounding as an adjective. You learn something new every day.

As far as talking with someone with opposing views, you can check for yourself, I've made an effort to stay on the topic monopolyonreason chose, and I addressed every single point he made in his first two posts, without even once relying on objectivist phylosophy as "the truth" . Unfortunately he didn't return the favor, instead he continued to write unrelated essays, ignoring every single point I made and repeating things I refuted previously.

Having a conversation with someone like him is the argumentative equivalent of talking to your TV set. If you dissagree, please point out the parts in his post where he is addressing any concerns I raised.

Or for that matter, point out something in my first two posts, where I am doing something other than direcly addressing something he wrote. (isn't thast the definition of dialogue? Back and forth between two people on the same subject?)

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Oh, ok. I thought you meant something else by board, and treated the sounding as an adjective. You learn something new every day.

As far as talking with someone with opposing views, you can check for yourself, I've made an effort to stay on the topic monopolyonreason chose, and I addressed every single point he made in his first two posts, without even once relying on objectivist phylosophy as "the truth" . Unfortunately he didn't return the favor, instead he continued to write unrelated essays, ignoring every single point I made and repeating things I refuted previously.

Having a conversation with someone like him is the argumentative equivalent of talking to your TV set. If you dissagree, please point out the parts in his post where he is addressing any concerns I raised.

Or for that matter, point out something in my first two posts, where I am doing something other than direcly addressing something he wrote. (isn't thast the definition of dialogue? Back and forth between two people on the same subject?)

MOR's ideological start point is obviously far removed from the philosophy of Objectivism, he may have read some of Rands works but the understanding of the underlying premises has, it seems, eluded him.

I re-read your response to him, both the first and the second and in the first you make statements without asking any questions to lead the discussion other than to inquire about his moral code and in the second you launch into an attack on him for spreading his ideology...

Perhaps I was a little harsh in my assessment vis a vis the sounding board, but I still think that since I asked for this debate it was in poor form for you to then try to shut it down because someone did not reply to some hidden implied question.

You categorically stating "This is what I think..." is not a question. To then accuse MOR of evading the question you didn't ask when he replied with his own point of view is shoddy debating at least.

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No, this is the right place for this discussion. If it weren't the Mods here would have already shut it down.
Yes, in fact while I'm often skeptical about the kind of low-level trolling that takes place under the pretense of being a debate, I consider this discussion to be productive and exactly correct w.r.t. the purpose of this subforum. Naturally I want him to focus his attention on my questions about which laws and procedures, because this is where the "free market of force" position collapses.
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MOR's ideological start point is obviously far removed from the philosophy of Objectivism, he may have read some of Rands works but the understanding of the underlying premises has, it seems, eluded him.

Wow. That's a harsher judgment of him than I ever made, and yet you're the one jumping to his defense, for some reason.

All I did was inform him that I no longer wished to continue the discussion, and explained why.

You on the other hand are basically calling him stupid. I guess you're not a lawyer, huh?

I re-read your response to him, both the first and the second and in the first you make statements without asking any questions to lead the discussion other than to inquire about his moral code and in the second you launch into an attack on him for spreading his ideology...

That's not true. I aked him several questions in both my first and my third posts. My second post was just a short comment letting you know you've made a good point, and then in my fourth post I said I'm done with the conversation, and explained why. I didn't even characterize the act of "spreading his ideology", why would I attack him for that. I just said this is not the place to do it, if he is unwilling to engage people in debate over it.

Perhaps I was a little harsh in my assessment vis a vis the sounding board, but I still think that since I asked for this debate it was in poor form for you to then try to shut it down because someone did not reply to some hidden implied question.

1. You are not "perhaps a little harsh", you are instead struggling with relatively simple facts and data, such as the contents of this thread.

2. It is ridiculous to suggest I tried to shut something down just because I expressed the fact that I dissaprove of its contents. Not only did I not say this thread should be shut down , I didn't even suggest such an action should be considered by someone who would have the right to shut it down.

I just let it be known, using very careful wording, why I see no reason to take part in the conversation. ( more precisely what changed compared to the point in time when I wanted to have a conversation on the subject)

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There are certainly agreements that can be reached that fall between individual self defense and a monopolistic central authority. If we are talking past each other because of a misunderstanding of definitions, allow me clear it up. I define "a monopolistic central single organization in the region to which every individual is subject" to be a government. If the entity you describe indeed has not been granted additional powers and cannot compel all individuals to subjugate themselves to it, what then defines it as the one true government and not just another private security agency?

A government is a social institution that claims the legitimate use of force within a defined territory and over a specific population.

If multiple instances cropped up, by what right is one anointed the "real" government?

By it’s institution through free and fair election and it’s constitutional guarantee to be responsible to the population.

If instead, we are discussing the exact same scenario with different terms

We are not.

- that a private security force will be employed to protect individuals according to those that voluntary pay dues, then are you just hoping for the particular outcome of a single entity? It seems that either you have predetermined the outcome and are willing to coerce to reach it or you cannot know in advance what type of free market private security agencies will be created.

Which one is rightfully using force if two of them collide? Rand addressed almost this exact scenario in TVOS, only difference being it was used to illustrate the idiocy of the “Competing Governments” idea but it applies here too.

Lets say Al and Fred enter into an agreement. Al is protected by Private Security Force #1 (PSF #1) and Fred is protected by PSF #2.

So at some point Al and Fred have a falling out. Al approaches PSF#1 and demands that Fred pay up. PSF#1 cops move to arrest Fred

The PSF#1 cops are met at Fred’s house by cops from PSF#2 who are acting to prevent a violation of Freds Rights by PSF#1…

Can you see where this is going?

Hm, another thought; Who is going to decide what is legal and what isn’t in your anarchic society?

Without a government how would a judge derive his legal authority? If I follow your reasoning then there would be numerous private judiciaries each establishing rulings according to their own bias or theocracy or political denomination.

As far as government coercion, I am not referring to a paid security agent helping to protect a customer from harm, as I agree that is the right of anyone to do the same.

So PSF’s have no purview to protect the individual from harm and that is the individual’s right? So when one tough guy bumps into another on a crowded street the second has the right to defend himself as he sees fit, with a knife or pistol perhaps? For the love of Reason, talk about a giant step backwards. I’d say it would be the wild-west but that would be giving most of the west a bad rap.

However, I would not grant immunity for bad acts to private security personnel or label anything acceptable when they do it and unacceptable for anyone else.

Your prejudice is showing. Do you believe that immunity is currently granted to police or soldiers that commit “bad acts” or that anything they do is labeled acceptable?

What I am saying is that anything I would term a government, namely extracting involuntary funding or subjugating individuals that do not participate, is coercion and I still do not see, in principle, how that is different from two out of three people in a room voting that the third should pay for unsolicited services, even if the two genuinely believe it is in the third's best interests.

I am certainly not against groups of citizens pooling their risk and resources for social or defense issues any more than I am against that arrangement for business transactions. The difference comes when it is suggested that multiple groups cannot exist or that membership is not optional. I assume that we agree, otherwise, it seems that the most logical next step for your premises is that nations should not exist because you would be safer under an even larger one world government.

Interesting, I don’t understand how you can take the Objectivist political ideal of a government as a delineated entity who’s only purpose is to defend the people against the initiation of force and turn that into some sort of big brother collective. But instead you would offer up your security to a private company, arm that entity and hope and pray that it didn’t use its power to stifle you. If you can’t abide the thought of an elected government in control, presumably because of the possibility of such an entity overstepping its bounds, how can you go from that premise to the idea of a private entity with the same amount of power being in control without fear?

Before you tell me it’s about the size of the entities in question I’ll point out that 50 men with automatic weapons, determined to control your neighbourhood and without an established and recognized legal system are much more dangerous than 5000 bonifide Police officers bound by laws, responsible to an electorate in a city with similar weapons.

We have collective voluntary action right now in the form of insurance companies or banks. They pool the risk of large groups of individuals and resolve conflicts between agencies. Individuals can freely join and leave these groups at will. The free market determines which survive and which do not. It might be more efficient if there was only one insurance company, but centralizing power in that way will not likely yield the best result. Banks handle accounts from individuals all of the time. Individuals can open and close accounts. When one bank customer writes a bad check to another, the banks have agreements in place to handle the situation. I would classify neither of these as government, although they are certainly a hired authority in certain areas.

I see no reason that security or dispute resolution must be handled by a central authority. There is no reason to assume that rejection of monopoly on force leads to a "free for all" with each but the last person in existence eventually being gunned down.

Like I asked earlier, in a disagreement between persons represented by two of these agencies which one is right? Who would you go to to arbitrate the situation? When your nation is invaded who defends you? Who negotiates with the nations of the world on matters of defence? How do you establish the boundaries of your nation? What real sovereign nation would accept your anarchy’s existence?

Snip

When I replied to Zip that I choose moral principle over specifics, I meant that if an act is correct in principle, it does not matter if the outcome is worse by some arbitrary measurement. An example is gun control. The NRA argues that guns owned by citizens make people safer in terms of gun deaths per capita. Perhaps that is true - I tend to believe it is, but it is a weak argument. I assert that the right to own guns is simply that there is not an entity with the legitimate standing to say that I cannot. Even if it were proven that gun deaths per capita increased in areas where individuals owned guns, the basic facts have not changed. I do not agree with arguing from efficiency or utility over principles. Many of your arguments are basically (I think flawed) assessments of how terrible life would be without government. I find that somewhat irrelevant to the issue at hand. The principles of individual liberty and not initiating force demand that individuals not be coerced, even if there is some utilitarian belief that they are better off in some arbitrary measurement.

You won’t find anyone in here arguing on behalf of utilitarianism

I am not suggesting that there are no courts or conditions on behavior. I am suggesting instead that those functions will be handled as well by private concerns through the same free market mechanisms that you support in other areas without coercion. I am suggesting that submitting to private courts will likely be a ticket to society and it will be difficult to function without that standing. I am suggesting that instead of coercing individuals to adhere to positive ideals, the market is more than capable of making it the easiest way to live.

Who selects the judges? Which court do two persons represented by opposing security firms go to? Who decides? Who do appeals go to? From where do these courts derive their legality? Who’s laws? When the offended Shī‘ah practitioner raises a legitimate complaint under Sharia law and hauls your ass in and you are condemned to death for homosexuality or something what happens then?

Right now, if somebody owes me money and does not pay, while suing them is technically an option, the fact of the matter is that having government does not guarantee recovery. If the deadbeat lives in another state or has no assets, the degree to which I can recover is further limited. In a more capitalistic society, the faulty mechanisms for dispute resolution will likely be replaced by free market alternatives, perhaps similar in this case to credit ratings. Even with government, if someone stops paying the mortgage, the mortgage company probably does not even recover, other than repossessing the house. That person has probably gotten away with it, but they have greatly lowered the opportunities to get into that situation again. The reality is that retaliation and revenge is not always the goal. The actual outcome is probably that people will be more careful with whom they transact business and begin with smaller transactions, as most businesses already do today.

Wait a second. With no government, with no established overarching legal system with no single police force suddenly it will be more likely to get a defaulter to pay up? LOL, all any crook has to do is commit his fraud and move to a place where Private security force #1 has no authority, where Judge Judy is unrecognized and the Law of the land says it is illegal to charge interest!

That’s a pretty rosy assessment of a system that would collapse into open warfare and gang rule the very instant that all your rationalization and goodwill comes up against a group like Al-Qaeda or the Hells Angels.

Edited by Zip
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I anyone is interested, I have carried on my debate on the Monopoly on Reason website (he is known as 'TheTruth' there). As I have now sort of implicitly nominated myself as the resident Objectivist on the site, I would appreciate it if one of the moderators here would keep an eye on it for me and let me know if they think I am unintentionally misrepresenting the philosophy. I might still stand by my opinions, but I would be sure to state clearly that those are my own opinions, and not explicitly derived from Objectivism.

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