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Statement: Rights are moral principles that have a valid usage outside of the context of government.

What does not follow: Advocacy of the above position amounts to support for anarchy.

I'll give you another chance if you want to put forth a serious argument. Like I said, maybe you could include some page references. You may have stumbled on to a new concept. To prove it, you'll have to differentiate it from a right.

 

Edit: I regard your last post as a cowardly way out of this argument, BTW.

Edited by FeatherFall
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This actually isn't true. Rand repeatedly said that compulsory taxation is wrong, and Objectivism is opposed to it. How are you going to protect rights with an agency that is violating rights as a mea

I have no idea, but one could track down the references listed on the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_taxation

A similar example: some economists will say that the free-market "rations" production one way, while a socialist state rations it a different way, but that national product has to be rationed out one

Yeah, there's pretty much no point in simply repeating what I said several times before, just to have everything I said ignored and things I didn't say argued against and refuted. I've created examples, citations of Ayn Rand's works, and reasonable arguments. Those apparently don't count though.

 

It's not cowardly, it's wearily... This conversation is pointless...

Edited by CrowEpistemologist
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Who's supporting stawman anarchism?  A voluntarily funded, constitutionally limited republic created soley for the task of upholding and defending individual rights is hardly a form of anarchism.

 

As I mentioned before, a volunteer government violates the rights of those who need its support and are willing to pay for it. It enables and makes fully legal the practice of freeloading and even encourages it (freeloaders get more money to thrive). I do not buy that people will "think different" in some utopian future Objectivist world, and even those who do must concede, if they believe in volition at all, that freeloaders absolutely will exist in some quantity and thus this form of government will not fulfill a proper government's role of protecting individual rights.

 

The anarchism comment was directed at those who think that individual rights are compatible with a society without a government. If those people are right, then of course, why have a government at all...

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I do not buy that people will "think different" in some utopian future Objectivist world, and even those who do must concede, if they believe in volition at all, that freeloaders absolutely will exist in some quantity and thus this form of government will not fulfill a proper government's role of protecting individual rights.

 

Strawman. (Again.....)

 

Refer you to an earlier post:

 

 

Ninth Doctor, on 03 Nov 2013 - 12:09 PM, said:snapback.png

Say what? Are you saying Objectivist principles only apply in the context of an Objectivist society? Is this true for reason, egoism, and rights? Or is it only the case when we run into serious difficulties, then we get to invoke this floating abstraction of an unprecedented and dare one say Utopian Objectivist society?

 

CrowEpistemologist, on 04 Nov 2013 - 03:50 AM, said:snapback.png

Hence the idea of a "Objectivist Society" is... well, not a very useful concept (read: invalid). One where its influence is much more pronounced, sure, but humans will not ever turn into a race of robots who automatically follow the right path in anything.

 

Anyhow, even in the alleged robot society, you still concede that only "most" people would want to donate to the government (how much?)...

 

Just to be clear: I am not claiming there will ever be a society of Objectivists or that people will automatically be rational. All I am saying is that the context in which a capitalist voluntarily funded government can be created and sustained necessarily is a society in which rational egoism is the dominant philosophical trend. This does not imply that all people will be rational or that they will even understand Objectivist principles fully (or at all).

 

I never claimed that an Objectivist Society where all people act rationally automatically like robots will exist. I never even used the term "Objectivist Society", it was a straw man created and perpetuated by the above posters. 

 

------

 

 

Do you read people's posts at all or just talk past everyone, even after you are refuted? The point of speaking of the dominant philosophical trend (rational egoism), which is a necessary and IMPLIED context for a sustainable voluntarily funded capitalist government, was to point out the OP was context dropping and to explain why funding won't be an issue.

 

This does have implications for the freeloaders (namely, social pressures), but was not addressing that point directly.

Edited by thenelli01
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I never claimed that an Objectivist Society where all people act rationally automatically like robots will exist. I never even used the term "Objectivist Society", it was a straw man created and perpetuated by the above posters. 

 

The undeniable nature of Man says that we have volition, and even if "most" follow the right path, it's impossible that all will follow the right path. Insofar as anybody is legally allowed (and financially encouraged in this case) to be a freeloader, then there will be freeloaders. There is no "future context" where this will not be the case except for a future where the nature of Man changes into, yes, that of a robot.

 

So insofar as humans maintain the faculty of volition, there will be freeloaders. Freeloaders violate the rights of non-freeloaders. There is no escaping this. That's the first point.

 

A society that encourages freeloaders by giving them more money to spend will proliferate the practice of freeloading, regardless of what the 1% of us who deal in philosophical principles think. That will be a society wherein more rights violations will occur than even occur today. It legalizes an entire nation of freeloaders. That's the second point.

 

To be clear, I mentioned above the alternative to a volunteer system wherein only those who pay for their government will be allowed to enjoy its protections. This is an extension of the "stamps" idea of Ayn Rand's. Others pointed out that such a system has practical problems in implementation (i.e. it's hard to only protect some people's rights and not others in a context where everybody is physically adjacent and/or trading with each other). I do think that idea could work in limited contexts though. National defense, however, is a context where it fails for instance. (However I offered this as a solution: that one can think of an entire country as a private club where you belong and must necessarily pay dues in order to stay and enjoy it's services, e.g. national defense).

Edited by CrowEpistemologist
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A society that encourages freeloaders by giving them more money to spend will proliferate the practice of freeloading, regardless of what the 1% of us who deal in philosophical principles think. That will be a society wherein more rights violations will occur than even occur today. It legalizes an entire nation of freeloaders. That's the second point.

How is protecting an individual's rights giving him money? Let's be real, here. At most, it's giving him the "free" opportunity to earn an easier living than others, by not having to pay for protection like everyone else. But it's not actually giving him money. Even this scenario drops the context that this great wealth creator would never NOT pay a government to protect his assets. And context is dropped further as you continue to ignore that a society which voluntarily funds their government would only have a minuscule part of the population seeking to "beat" the system.

Maybe in the lengthy transition from this society to the great, free, rights-respecting society, we would still pay taxes. Not ideally, however, when a society is ready.

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How is protecting an individual's rights giving him money? Let's be real, here. At most, it's giving him the "free" opportunity to earn an easier living than others, by not having to pay for protection like everyone else. But it's not actually giving him money. Even this scenario drops the context that this great wealth creator would never NOT pay a government to protect his assets. And context is dropped further as you continue to ignore that a society which voluntarily funds their government would only have a minuscule part of the population seeking to "beat" the system.

Maybe in the lengthy transition from this society to the great, free, rights-respecting society, we would still pay taxes. Not ideally, however, when a society is ready.

 

How about providing them a house, too? How about a car? Free health care.

 

I guess it's not giving people my money "directly" in the sense of cash payments, but giving somebody something I pay for thus increasing the costs to myself is the same thing.

 

A "great wealth creator" (or even a not-so-great one) will certainly want their wealth protected. It doesn't follow that they'd automatically want to pay for that protection if they are allowed to skip out on doing so.

 

And remember, a volunteer scenario wouldn't require clever people to "beat the system". Quite the opposite: paying would require effort, and not paying would require no effort at all.

 

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You're simply sensationalizing.

To be clear here, you're saying it's better to force citizens who would pay voluntarily, as long as everybody else is forced, too? The way to a free society is by protecting rights, by violating them on the path to protection?

Edited by JASKN
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You're simply sensationalizing.

To be clear here, you're saying it's better to force citizens who would pay voluntarily, as long as everybody else is forced, too? The way to a free society is by protecting rights, by violating them on the path to protection?

 

Either you force some to pay for others' protection or you force everybody to pay for their own. Insofar as you cannot consider the act of being a citizen of a given country a voluntary act (and thus paying for it, voluntary), then it's either/or.

 

Put it another way, in a voluntary scheme you'd carefully account for all government services you consume and remit that to the government, along with a ta... er, um, an "extra percentage" added on to account for those who didn't feel like paying that you must pay for lest the services you desire (and are willing to pay for) cease to exist.

 

That's one scenario. Another is to assume that your citizenship in a given country is a voluntary act, and with that decision comes the promise to pay a certain part (according to a pre-agreed upon scheme) for the protection and administration of said country.

 

A volunteer scheme is necessarily a defense of deadbeats who do not wish to pay for the requirements of their own survival--which is an odd defense to hear among Objectivists :-).

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The undeniable nature of Man says that we have volition, and even if "most" follow the right path, it's impossible that all will follow the right path. Insofar as anybody is legally allowed (and financially encouraged in this case) to be a freeloader, then there will be freeloaders. There is no "future context" where this will not be the case except for a future where the nature of Man changes into, yes, that of a robot.

 

So insofar as humans maintain the faculty of volition, there will be freeloaders. Freeloaders violate the rights of non-freeloaders. There is no escaping this. That's the first point.

 

1st point is a strawman (or moot) - I never claimed that there wouldn't be free loaders. Can you cite where I did?

 

A society that encourages freeloaders by giving them more money to spend will proliferate the practice of freeloading, regardless of what the 1% of us who deal in philosophical principles think. That will be a society wherein more rights violations will occur than even occur today. It legalizes an entire nation of freeloaders. That's the second point.

 

To be clear, I mentioned above the alternative to a volunteer system wherein only those who pay for their government will be allowed to enjoy its protections. This is an extension of the "stamps" idea of Ayn Rand's. 

 

My argument was to come up with solutions to limit the number of freeloaders. Your argument seems to be: "I can't think of anything to solve this issue, therefore, no solution exists. Freeloaders violate contributors' rights (which isn't true and has been disputed. There is no coercion, no matter how much you equivocate), therefore we need to come up with a system that violates everyone's rights."

 

And as I stated before, it is in your interest to have a society that protects everybody's rights. Take this example: Man robs a woman who does not contribute. Her rights don't deserve to be protected, according to you. Therefore, a known robber is free, which is a direct threat to everyone in society.

 

National defense, however, is a context where it fails for instance. (However I offered this as a solution: that one can think of an entire country as a private club where you belong and must necessarily pay dues in order to stay and enjoy it's services, e.g. national defense).

 

Well, thankfully the entire country isn't a private club (it is a geographical area made up of individual property owners) and you don't have to pay anything just to exercise your right to move. --- by the way, it is interesting to see an Objectivist(?) saying that the right to move isn't a right, it is a privilege granted by the state.

Edited by thenelli01
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Nice straw man attack. I said you must do what is necessary to sustain your life, including the purchasing of food, shelter, and protection. Why is that last something you can opt out of paying?

Protection from what?  Disease, poverty, cigarettes, meteors?  If not then what you're saying is that not only are human beings inherently violent, they're all doomed to be victimized as well.

 

And how's the weather in that universe?

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If people here are in favor of anarchism, or find that it is in any way compatible with Rights, let me know. That will let me know where you are coming from.

Aye.

I'm also strongly against evasion, especially when it's searching for reasons to excuse open violence.

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"Anarchy, as a political concept, is a naive floating abstraction: . . . a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare. But the possibility of human immorality is not the only objection to anarchy: even a society whose every member were fully rational and faultlessly moral, could not function in a state of anarchy; it is the need of objective laws and of an arbiter for honest disagreements among men that necessitates the establishment of a government."

See the Argument from Depravity:

 

This argument runs as follows: since men are weak, fallible, non-omniscient and innately depraved, no man may be entrusted with the responsibility of being a dictator and of ruling everybody else; therefore, a free society is the proper way of life for imperfect creatures. Please grasp fully the implications of this argument: since men are depraved, they are not good enough for a dictatorship; freedom is all that they deserve; if they were perfect, they would be worthy of a totalitarian state.

Dictatorship—this theory asserts—believe it or not, is the result of faith in man and in man’s goodness; if people believed that man is depraved by nature, they would not entrust a dictator with power. This means that a belief in human depravity protects human freedom—that it is wrong to enslave the depraved, but would be right to enslave the virtuous. And more: dictatorships—this theory declares—and all the other disasters of the modern world are man’s punishment for the sin of relying on his intellect and of attempting to improve his life on earth by seeking to devise a perfect political system and to establish a rational society. This means that humility, passivity, lethargic resignation and a belief in Original Sin are the bulwarks of capitalism. One could not go farther than this in historical, political, and psychological ignorance or subversion. This is truly the voice of the Dark Ages rising again—in the midst of our industrial civilization.

The cynical, man-hating advocates of this theory sneer at all ideals, scoff at all human aspirations and deride all attempts to improve men’s existence. “You can’t change human nature,” is their stock answer to the socialists. Thus they concede that socialism is the ideal, but human nature is unworthy of it; after which, they invite men to crusade for capitalism—a crusade one would have to start by spitting in one’s own face. Who will fight and die to defend his status as a miserable sinner? If, as a result of such theories, people become contemptuous of “conservatism,” do not wonder and do not ascribe it to the cleverness of the socialists.

-Conservatism: an Obituary, by Ayn Rand

 

Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture?

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I do not buy that people will "think different" in some utopian future Objectivist world, and even those who do must concede, if they believe in volition at all, that freeloaders absolutely will exist in some quantity and thus this form of government will not fulfill a proper government's role of protecting individual rights.

Oh, my. It's impossible for any group of people to properly form a voluntary government- because they have free will. Oh.

 

A society that encourages freeloaders by giving them more money to spend will proliferate the practice of freeloading, regardless of what the 1% of us who deal in philosophical principles think.

That's the irrelevance of ideas.

 

A volunteer scheme is necessarily a defense of deadbeats who do not wish to pay for the requirements of their own survival--which is an odd defense to hear among Objectivists :-).

That's an appeal to authority, bastardized because Rand would've been disgusted by anyone who took her word over their own mind, and doubly ironic since you're invoking it in the name of compulsory taxation.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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See the Argument from Depravity:

 

 

Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture?

Nothing is wrong.

 

Rand explains why the Argument from Depravity does not work as a defense of capitalism.  Its inherent nihilism makes it impossible to take seriously as an argument in favor of anything.

 

The argument against anarchism is not an Argument from Depravity, it is a "Rotten Apple"/"House of Cards" argument.  Where as the Argument from Depravity holds that no single man can found good enough to be the dictator of all, the House of Cards argument against anarchism is that a single bad actor can spoil the whole utopian scheme even if everyone else was good.

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Protection from what?  Disease, poverty, cigarettes, meteors?  If not then what you're saying is that not only are human beings inherently violent, they're all doomed to be victimized as well.

 

And how's the weather in that universe?

 

I don't know why I'm even answering this, but here goes: crime exists insofar as Men have freewill. Protection from crime is necessary in order to live freely in a society.

 

Men aren't doomed to be victimized--except maybe for Men who think anarchism is a realistic solution to government and put their money where their mouth is and move to Somalia, where there is effectively no government. Those people are certainly in store for some serious victimization.

 

The rest of us are fine: we believe in objective laws and individual rights protected by a government.

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The argument against anarchism is not an Argument from Depravity, it is a "Rotten Apple"/"House of Cards" argument.  Where as the Argument from Depravity holds that no single man can found good enough to be the dictator of all, the House of Cards argument against anarchism is that a single bad actor can spoil the whole utopian scheme even if everyone else was good.

Yes.  One bad guy can ruin the whole thing- because nobody is capable of/ qualified to retaliate for themselves.  Given that government power is coercive power and to sue someone is to take their money involuntarily, even her statement about a fully and perfectly rational society needing some civil court essentially means "everyone needs a swift kick now and then."

So no, the Rotten Apple argument isn't identical to the Argument from Depravity, but they are remarkably similar.

But there are other threads dedicated to just such subjects.

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NinthDoctor began this thread by disputing whether voluntary taxation could ever work, and more recently, CrowEpistemologist echoed his sentiment with such nonsense as "crime exists so long as men have free will."

Such pessimism is ultimately reducible to the conviction that mankind is inherently irrational, stupid and illogical- which has been implicitly defended and advanced throughout.

 

But assuming that these pessimists are themselves human, "everyone is a little bit illogical" is ultimately self-referential.  And who are they to be conjecturing about hypothetical societies, except mere mortals who allegedly can't see beyond the next paycheck?

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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To deny the possibility of a completely rightful society is to assert man's innate irrationality.

To call all men irrational is to admit to one's own irrationality and invalidate ALL derivative knowledge.

And I don't know about you, tovarisch, but I'm capable of being (and intend to be) this "robotic", fully rational man.  If you aren't then we're discussing two different forms of men and I have absolutely no interest in yours.

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To deny the possibility of a completely rightful society is to assert man's innate irrationality.

To call all men irrational is to admit to one's own irrationality and invalidate ALL derivative knowledge.

And I don't know about you, tovarisch, but I'm capable of being (and intend to be) this "robotic", fully rational man.  If you aren't then we're discussing two different forms of men and I have absolutely no interest in yours.

 

I don't think Crow was calling all men irrational. Man has volition, we aren't robots. This means that man can be irrational (and often is), and can choose not to think or evade or can come up with different conclusions than other men. There will never be a fully rational society because man has volition and rationality isn't effortless nor instinctual.

 

To suggest a Utopian Objectivist Society where all men are rational even as a possibility is to suggest a fantasy world.

Edited by thenelli01
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Nothing is wrong.

 

Rand explains why the Argument from Depravity does not work as a defense of capitalism.  Its inherent nihilism makes it impossible to take seriously as an argument in favor of anything.

 

The argument against anarchism is not an Argument from Depravity, it is a "Rotten Apple"/"House of Cards" argument.  Where as the Argument from Depravity holds that no single man can found good enough to be the dictator of all, the House of Cards argument against anarchism is that a single bad actor can spoil the whole utopian scheme even if everyone else was good.

I'd like to take this a step farther,

 

The "Rotten Apple" denounces a single actor being found good enough to be a dictator of all.

The "House of Cards" denounces a single actor being found bad enough to bring down an anarchistic society.

 

The common denominator being 'the single actor' either being either good enough or bad enough to upset the "Apple Cart" or bring down the "House of Cards".

 

Existence is not comprised of single actors on either the metaphysical or the epistemological stage.

 

Capitalism endorses the discovery of those who best represent the most efficacious meld between the metaphysical and epistemological stages; the exchange of value metaphysically for value epistemologically.

 

This should encapsulate or embrace why "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" is both 'the individually moral' and simultaneously 'the socially moral" systems available to mankind, at their respective roots.

Edited by dream_weaver
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 CrowEpistemologist echoed his sentiment with such nonsense as "crime exists so long as men have free will."

Such pessimism is ultimately reducible to the conviction that mankind is inherently irrational, stupid and illogical- which has been implicitly defended and advanced throughout.

 

Yeeeeeeeah....... I knew it was pointless to answer that point up there...

 

Interesting argument in favor of anarchy though. Novel.

 

"If a society provided no organized protection against force, it would compel every citizen to go about armed, to turn his home into a fortress, to shoot any strangers approaching his door—or to join a protective gang of citizens who would fight other gangs, formed for the same purpose, and thus bring about the degeneration of that society into the chaos of gang-rule, i.e., rule by brute force, into perpetual tribal warfare of prehistorical savages."

 

-- Some "pessimistic" writer from the 60s...

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Protection from crime is necessary in order to live freely in a society.

Guess what else is necessary to live freely: the initiation of force must be outlawed. You want to make the initiation of force lawful! Which, of course, is the contradiction inherent in your position.

How are you protecting people from crime by making the government a criminal?

 

--except maybe for Men who think anarchism is a realistic solution to government

Your position is much more conducive to anarchism than an Objectivist's. You want to make the initiation of force part of the government's proper role. In principle you support anarchism.

Even more malevolent though is your psychological justification for such. Supposedly you are worried about the "free riders" and you want to turn them into criminals, the disgusting part is that you want to treat the rest of us as if we were criminals. The people who would have donated to the government of their own free will will be indistinguishable from those that wouldn't have. In a free society we would probably know who those people are and we can act accordingly.

Nor can you see a legitimate reason not to pay. What about those who can't afford to pay? In a free society this group would probably be very small but nonetheless you would send a rational hard working person to jail for doing nothing. Much more important though are those who wouldn't pay, or who would restrict their payment, on principle, whether they are right or wrong in their reasons. You want to not only outlaw independent thought, you want to abrogate rational, objective thought.

All of these actions and thought processes betray a malevolent psychology and align you politically with not only anarchists but socialists and totalitarians.

 

The rest of us are fine: we believe in objective laws and individual rights protected by a government.

Objectivists are fine because they apply principles consistently. Those who think that objective laws require the government to initiate force and that individual rights can be protected only by violating them are delusional dumdums (to use your terminology (which really should be spelled dumbdumbs)).

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Guess what else is necessary to live freely: the initiation of force must be outlawed. You want to make the initiation of force lawful! Which, of course, is the contradiction inherent in your position.

How are you protecting people from crime by making the government a criminal?

 

[Remainder of nasty personalized rant ignored]

 

You are equivocating between the personal use of force and that of the government's use of force:

 

"No individual or private group or private organization has the legal power to initiate the use of physical force against other individuals or groups and to compel them to act against their own voluntary choice. Only a government holds that power. The nature of governmental action is: *coercive *action. The nature of political power is: the power to force obedience under threat of physical injury—the threat of property expropriation, imprisonment, or death."

 

Sorry fellas, Ayn Rand was not an anarchist no matter how much you try to cram her into that mold. She wasn't an anarchist because anarchy is retarded... It's not even worth arguing against since it's self-evident how unworkable it is. A society without a government is no society at all.

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