Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Mr. Wynand

Trade embargoes

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

You mean initiate force against other people to make them not do something they would choose to do if they were free to decide rationally?

Let me think about that... No.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You mean initiate force against other people to make them not do something they would choose to do if they were free to decide rationally?

How is a trade embargo an initiation of force?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How is a trade embargo an initiation of force?

Start a travel agency and start selling vacations to Cuba, or make a contract with Jose from Havana that you want to import his hand rolled cigars, and find out for yourself.

It doesnt matter if Jose doesnt have rights in his own country, because you (should) have in yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Should we have embargoes on statist countries like Cuba, China, and/or Iran?

I would say it depends on the severity of the problem. Certainly trading with a country with which we are at war should be illegal.

Though I do think trade embargoes are used too often, that doesn't mean they're illegitimate. Though often, either the other country really isn't doing anything to us, or they've done far too much to us, that such middle-of-the-road treatment is unfair or unwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Start a travel agency and start selling vacations to Cuba, or make a contract with Jose from Havana that you want to import his hand rolled cigars, and find out for yourself.

Well, I'm not arguing for or against a trade embargo with Cuba, but their cigars are made with the equivalent of slave labor. Buying them seems to me to be morally in the same league as selling stolen goods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I'm not arguing for or against a trade embargo with Cuba, but their cigars are made with the equivalent of slave labor. Buying them seems to me to be morally in the same league as selling stolen goods.

*emphasis mine

The fact that you are morally opposed to this action is fundamentally no different than a christian saying that it is morally reprehensible to conduct abortions and therefore the government should prevent all abortions based on his moral judgment.

It's also interesting to note that where we (the west) have traded openly and (almost) freely with communism, it has either collapsed completely or become a mixed kind of market-communism.

Edited by Zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*emphasis mine

The fact that you are morally opposed to this action is fundamentally no different than a christian saying that it is morally reprehensible to conduct abortions and therefore the government should prevent all abortions based on his moral judgment.

Neh, slave labor is the violation of someone's rights, and the US government is well within it's proper role in preventing you from doing it, or dealing with people who do it. (As long as you are in their geographic area-US soil-, the violation itself doesn't have to be: it's still their job to stop you, as you are a criminal located on US soil.)

To answer the original question, a trade embargo is proper when it is imposed on a country that is a threat to the US or its allies, or against a country in which goods are produced through the use of slave labor. (actual slave labor- meaning for instance a fully communist country like North Korea or Cuba, where people are not allowed to leave and they would die unless they work as slaves for the State; though Cuba is beginning to change, so I agree with Obama's plan to begin easing the embargo-if that's his plan, I'm not terribly read up on that)

The point is that we are indeed talking about lifting the Cuban embargo, and to my knowledge we don't have any embargoes on other nations which aren't a threat or slave colonies, so I don't understand why are embargoes used too often: Turing, you should give an actual example in which an embargo is a violation of your rights.

It doesnt matter if Jose doesnt have rights in his own country, because you (should) have in yours.

The right to do what? Profit from slave labor abroad? That is not a right you have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neh, slave labor is the violation of someone's rights, and the US government is well within it's proper role in preventing you from doing it, or dealing with people who do it. (As long as you are in their geographic area-US soil-, the violation itself doesn't have to be: it's still their job to stop you, as you are a criminal located on US soil.)

And preventing abortion isn't a violation of someones rights?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The right to do what? Profit from slave labor abroad? That is not a right you have.

The thing you quoted was not in reference to him being a slave, an issue brought up after my post, but with the fact that it doesnt matter whether Jose has the right to sell cigars abroad in his own country. It was about your right to do business with whomever you please, and not about whether the one your doing business with has the right to do business with you in his own country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the US in its present form has the right to advocate the imposition of trade embargoes on anyone. It's just as guilty of violating its citizens' rights.

But let's say things changed and suddenly there was a proper government in place. Would it have the right to prohibit trade? I say no. The decision on whom to trade with should be in the hands of the individuals doing the trading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think the US in its present form has the right to advocate the imposition of trade embargoes on anyone. It's just as guilty of violating its citizens' rights.

Are you kidding? You think the United States is "just as guilty of violating its citizens' rights" as Cuba?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you kidding? You think the United States is "just as guilty of violating its citizens' rights" as Cuba?

Yes.

Once a government gets to the point that the US government is now at, where is the real difference between it and the rest of the hoodlums?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't be killed for disagreeing openly and publically with the ruling cartel.

Thats an important difference. The US is no ideal; but to simply state that there is no moral difference is sheer blindness. The US can still be turned around peacefully; in Cuba the only alternative is armed revolution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And preventing abortion isn't a violation of someones rights?

Yes, it is. That's why the US Supreme Court ended that practice too, in 1973. Try stopping someone from getting an abortion, and you will be arrested. Do it in Italy or Iran, come back to the US, and if the Police can find enough evidence of your crime, you will still be arrested.

An embargo is just a form of preventing a crime from occuring, rather then allowing it to happen and then putting people in jail for it.

I don't think the US in its present form has the right to advocate the imposition of trade embargoes on anyone. It's just as guilty of violating its citizens' rights.

Does the US have the right to prevent murder, or theft? If yes, then it has the right to impose embargoes.

But let's say things changed and suddenly there was a proper government in place. Would it have the right to prohibit trade? I say no. The decision on whom to trade with should be in the hands of the individuals doing the trading.

Do I also have the right to trade with the thief who stole your car? Why?

I submit to you that you only have the right to trade with people who are the true owners of whatever they are trading with. You do not have the right to trade with a slave master, because that person does not own whatever you are buying from him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I won't be killed for disagreeing openly and publically with the ruling cartel.

Thats an important difference.

Okay, you do have a point there and it is a difference worth mentioning.

The US is no ideal; but to simply state that there is no moral difference is sheer blindness.

I had forgotten that point, was not being wilfully blind.

However, given all of the million other intrusions into people's daily lives both morally & financially, with a lot more on the way thanks to Barack Insane Obama, I won't be surprised if that bit of freedom is also gone soon.

The US can still be turned around peacefully; in Cuba the only alternative is armed revolution.

It's a nice dream but I do not agree that the US can still be turned around peacefully. Very few people understand the reason for which we should abolish the tax system in its entirety and repeal the mountain of garbage masquerading as a legal system. In addition, those who benefit from the system as it is will put up quite a fight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An embargo is just a form of preventing a crime from occuring, rather then allowing it to happen and then putting people in jail for it.

An embargo is yet another intervention by government into the economy. I do not support it.

Does the US have the right to prevent murder, or theft?

No, actually it does not have that right. The idea that the Law should ban the initiation of force has definitely been mentioned, but so far it's not an actuality. Even if it were in place, it is not the same as preventing crime from being committed; it can only identify that act as illegal and provide for punishment in the event someone goes ahead and commits the offense anyway.

Do I also have the right to trade with the thief who stole your car? Why?

I submit to you that you only have the right to trade with people who are the true owners of whatever they are trading with. You do not have the right to trade with a slave master, because that person does not own whatever you are buying from him.

And how do you establish that the person you are dealing with is the true owner? In law, it would have to be proven that you had to know you were dealing with a thief.

But here again we run into the same problem everywhere. ALL governments everywhere have established themselves as legalized thieves. This is why I said that the US government can't be holding itself higher than other "slave owner" governments. There is SOME difference between the different governments, but on the issue of which ones are misappropriating assets and treating their citizens like slaves, they are ALL guilty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, actually it does not have that right. The idea that the Law should ban the initiation of force has definitely been mentioned, but so far it's not an actuality. Even if it were in place, it is not the same as preventing crime from being committed; it can only identify that act as illegal and provide for punishment in the event someone goes ahead and commits the offense anyway.

Would you then refuse Police assistance if you were being victimized by a robber or murderer?

And how do you establish that the person you are dealing with is the true owner? In law, it would have to be proven that you had to know you were dealing with a thief.

That's not true. The stolen property would be returned to its initial owner, whether you knew that your trading partner is a thief or not.

(not that the nature of countries we have embargoes againstit is a secret)

But here again we run into the same problem everywhere. ALL governments everywhere have established themselves as legalized thieves. This is why I said that the US government can't be holding itself higher than other "slave owner" governments.

That is an obvious factual error: Someone who has part of their income predictably stolen is simply not the definition of a slave.

Whatever you may have built on that statement, it's time to tear it down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An embargo is yet another intervention by government into the economy. I do not support it.

If we were at war with a country, do you think it would be immoral to set up a naval blockade, cutting off trade with the enemy?

"Free trade" is not an absolute. You can't freely trade slaves, stolen property, or weapons of mass destruction. Capitalism is based on the protection of individual rights. If some tin pot dictator takes over a country and violates its citizens' rights, then the US (or any other legitimate government) should rightfully step in and set up an embargo.

Edited by Myself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would you then refuse Police assistance if you were being victimized by a robber or murderer?

No, but that is still a "reaction" by the police to a crime-in-progress. The usual concept of crime-prevention is much more pro-active and tends to involve invasive legislation, or hadn't you noticed?

That's not true. The stolen property would be returned to its initial owner, whether you knew that your trading partner is a thief or not.

(not that the nature of countries we have embargoes againstit is a secret)

But could you be prosecuted for dealing with a thief (i.e., your question of whether you have a right to deal with a thief or not)? I thought that's where we were going with that point.

That is an obvious factual error: Someone who has part of their income predictably stolen is simply not the definition of a slave.

Whatever you may have built on that statement, it's time to tear it down.

Part of one's income predictably stolen is a new way to say legalized theft. The systematization of coercion in financial, business and moral matters draws ever closer to 100% slavery. Let's see... definition of slavery. "Slavery is a form of forced labor in which people are considered to be, or treated as, the property of others."

The "forced labor" part remains unrealized (although doesn't it seem like something that will be coming along soon), the government's general attitude towards its citizens resembles the attitude of an owner toward slaves. As in, our earnings and wealth are its property to do with as it likes. I do think it's foolhardy to kid ourselves that we're further from 100% slavery rather than drawing closer to it.

It might help to wake people up. Rather than congratulate ourselves on how much better we are than Cuba, it's time to start realizing just how SIMILAR to the Communists we have become.

Edited by AllMenAreIslands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If we were at war with a country, do you think it would be immoral to set up a naval blockade, cutting off trade with the enemy?

"Free trade" is not an absolute. You can't freely trade slaves, stolen property, or weapons of mass destruction. Capitalism is based on the protection of individual rights. If some tin pot dictator takes over a country and violates its citizens' rights, then the US (or any other legitimate government) should rightfully step in and set up an embargo.

Re a blockade, I think it would make a great deal more sense if the individual citizens were left to decide that issue. A proper government acts only in retaliation against those who initiate the use of force. Should a foreign government just "step in" and do anything? How about leaving it up to the individual citizens to decide?

Why can't you freely trade weapons of mass destruction? I thought that's what they've been doing all these years!

Since when is Capitalism based on the protection of individual rights? Capitalism requires a proper foundation that respects individual rights but I thought that was the job of a proper government - to protect individual rights so that people could engage in peaceful production and trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, it is. That's why the US Supreme Court ended that practice too, in 1973. Try stopping someone from getting an abortion, and you will be arrested. Do it in Italy or Iran, come back to the US, and if the Police can find enough evidence of your crime, you will still be arrested.

An embargo is just a form of preventing a crime from occuring, rather then allowing it to happen and then putting people in jail for it.

The US has every right to prosecute murder, theft, etc in its jurisdiction.

I believe most courts would throw out any claim against a man who prevents an abortion from being done in, say, Iran, on the grounds that it is out of their jurisdiction. Can you provide data of a man who committed a crime in another country with no relation to anything revolving around a US jurisdiction (ie not committed on a US national, on nominal US soil such as the embassy, against a US corporation, etc.) and was sentenced and served time in a US jail? I know we have extradiction treaties with many countries but I do not know that the US courts assert that they hold worldwide jurisidiction. Some factual data to back up that (to my knowledge) fantastic assertion would help.

As far as embargos, the US government, as an agent of the citizens* of the US, has as part of its responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens. You'll note that, as an agent of the citizens of the United States, the US Government has no reason, moral or practical, to protect the rights of citizens of other countries, or to try and do things in their best interest. No moral government exists that will try to enforce its claim as an agent of its citizens on people with whom it holds no such agreement. Simply put, Cuban (or Iranian, or Tibetan, or Georgian) slaves are not the concern of the US government and it has no reason to take any legal action (be it lawsuit or embargo) against people who violate the rights of individuals whom the US government is not the agent of. To make the absurd claim that the US government is the agent of the Cuban people is, of course, plain silly.

If the US government is not the agent of various slave-peoples around the world, it has no business taking any action for their benefit. If someone wants to make the absurd claim that it is, an embargo still isn't the answer; rather, immediate invasion and liberation would be. But, of course, the US Government is an agent of people who reside in the United States, not those who reside in Cuba.

*I use "citizen" here but, essentially, the US government is an agent of anyone who is located in its jurisdiction.

Edited by sanjavalen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jake, does the government then have the right to force Wal-mart to close, because it is said that Wal-mart uses foreign slave labor to make their products?

Who decides what slave labor is? Does Pakistan use slave labor, or is it confined only to South American communisms? At what point does it become simply labor and not slavery?

Cutting off trade with a country is not a function of a proper government. If you as a citizen can't stand the idea of utilizing Cuban labor for cigar manufacture then organize a boycott of companies that use them, otherwise the government has no business in business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest that everyone who's active on this thread read through these older discussions on the same topic before continuing.

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...ic=7078&hl=

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...&hl=embargo

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...&hl=embargo

If you want Rand's view on the topic, I refer you to her 1964 Playboy interview where she said:

I would advocate that which the Soviet Union fears above all else: economic boycott. I would advocate a blockade of Cuba and an economic boycott of Soviet Russia; and you would see both those regimes collapse without the loss of a single American life.
Edited by Myself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the context was different back then, though. The Soviet Union (and its allies) were actively attempting to subvert the US, and openly declared goals of worldwide revolution - and followed through with that declaration in every place they could. Direct military confrontation, due to nuclear weapons, was not a first option. Economic embargo, however, was.

What threat to the US does Cuba present today?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...