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Guest DonGalt

The Fundamental Fallacy of Government

by John T. Kennedy

Why do we need government?

Government is a monopoly of force. Why is it that most people favor such a monopoly?

The Declaration of Independence says:

We hold these truths to be self ? evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Setting aside the question of a Creator, I agree in principle that first sentence. It says that there are values which are appropriate to men according to  their nature and  that rights are implicit in their relationship with those values.

The next sentence offers a reason why we are supposed to need government: We need government to secure rights. This quaint notion has gone a bit out of fashion with many advocates of government, today they typically want government to secure all kinds of things, many of which have nothing to do with rights, but they all want government to secure something. And they're convinced that only government can do it.

Why can't people secure their rights, or anything else they need, by voluntary means? Why can't people freely contract to secure whatever they need to secure? Why is a government, a monopoly on force, necessary to secure anything essential?

The fundamental answer which advocates of government offer for these questions is that we need government to solve a public goods problem. We are told that there is something that we all need, but that we will not secure by voluntary means.  Often the argument is used for defense.  The argument is that we all need to be defended from foreign invaders but the necessary means to do so cannot be funded on a voluntary basis. If the funding of defense is to be voluntary, what incentive is there for the individual to fund it? After all, for the defense to be viable a large number of people must voluntarily contribute their resources to it, but the individual only controls the actions of one person. Thus the individual has substantial incentive to be a free rider, he'll get the benefit of defense whether he contributes or not, and the defense will be funded or not regardless of whether the particular individual contributes or not.

I acknowledge this is a legitimate concern and I don't offer any easy answers.

I just  point out that the government as a cure is worse than the disease.

Government "solves" one public goods problem by creating another that cannot be solved. Let's assume a government is instituted to solve the public goods problem of defense. A mandatory tax is imposed on everyone in the territory to fund defense. Of course force will be used to extract the taxes from any who would not pay voluntarily. But in the end we get the defense we all need by eliminating free riding.

So far so good?

Oops, there's a catch.

You see, by instituting a monopoly of force you've created another threat that people need protection from ? the government itself. How will people restrain that government? How can they prevent it from becoming a tyranny?

You have another public goods problem on your hands. And you can't solve this one the way you "solved" the first. Everyone needs government restrained but that can only be achieved by the voluntary donation of efforts by a great many people. But government will be restrained or not regardless of what the individual does, so he has the very same incentive to be a free rider with respect to the restraint of government as he had with respect to defense. And while you can force people to fund defense you cannot even in principle force people to restrain government since the act of forcing them would be an act of governing.

So government can only be restrained by widespread voluntary donations of effort. But the argument for instituting this government in the first place was that individuals could not be relied on to make such voluntary donations of effort. If you can't rely on people to voluntarily donate the effort required to repel a foreign invader, how can you rely upon them to voluntarily donate the effort to restrain government?

If voluntary effort can be relied upon to restrain government then you don't need government because voluntary effort could then be relied upon to solve the problems that government is supposed to solve. In this case there is no justification for government since there is no public goods problem to be solved by a monopoly of force. There's no way to justify forcing people to solve problems that they are perfectly capable of solving voluntarily.

And if voluntary effort cannot be relied upon to restrain government then there is no justification for government because you haven't solved any public goods problem by instituting government, you've only made things worse by creating a public goods problem that cannot be solved.

In either case government makes things worse.

Sorry folks, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch,  and the argument that government is necessary to secure something that we all need has never been anything but an argument for a free lunch.

July 30, 2001

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This argument is a great example of what I believe Rand termed "the fallacy of the frozen abstraction":

Substituting a narrower set of concretes (in this case, governments that rely on the initiation of physical force to exist, through involuntary taxation, etc., or governments that currently exist) for a more general concept (here, the concept of government).

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In order for an Objectivist government to be enacted the majority of people in a given region must first accept most objectivist ideas- at the least the criminality of the initiation of force or fraud.

These people then go on to write a Constitution, which delimits the powers of government. If it is based on Objective principles, then said Constitution only gives the government the power of retaliatory force.

(Note: Rand and others often misstate this point. They give the government the power of force in self-defense, which should properly remain in the hands of every individual. In extreme situations, when the police are not around, it is properly legal to defend oneself by the use of force when the crime is underway, if necessary. This is different than retaliatory force, which is used after a given crime has taken place.)

The Constitution is just a piece of paper, but the ideas incorporated in it (individual freedom, separation of government powers, etc.) are the will of the majority of the people. It is this will that keeps the government at bay. It is this will backed by the citizenry’s own arsenals that prevents the government from becoming tyrannical and in line with the Constitution.

Proper governments are enacted by the people, not tyrants bent on doing whatever they want.

As far as voluntary donations to the government for its function (the police, the military and the courts) go, these will be provided by the citizenry, who, hold Objectivism as their philosophy, and thus know that in reality there are no free lunches, and therefore pay for what they get. Namely, security to do what the hell they want.

The argument that enough people will not pay for the government’s service, causing the government to go bankrupt and, presumably, be disbanded, is based on the philosophies held by the majority of the people in our world, who are largely collectivists. It is they who expect a free lunch, not the Objectivists.

Additionally, a proper government that has a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force is not an initiator of force. The people that formed the government voluntarily created it because they recognize the fact that government is necessary.

Government is necessary because anarchy results in gang warfare- each gang, its own mini-statist regime.

People form a government because it provides each individual with the protection of a whole Army. Protection against criminals, foreign and domestic.

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(Note: Rand and others often misstate this point. They give the government the power of force in self-defense, which should properly remain in the hands of every individual. In extreme situations, when the police are not around, it is properly legal to defend oneself by the use of force when the crime is underway, if necessary. This is different than retaliatory force, which is used after a given crime has taken place.)
Incorrect. I refer you to Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand:

"By its nature, government has a monopoly on the use of force. In a rational society, individuals agree to delegate their right of self-defense; they renounce the private use of physical force in self-protection (except during those emergencies that require that action at once, before the police can be summoned). If a society is to uphold man's rights, such delegation is essential." [Emphasis mine]

The Constitution is just a piece of paper, but the ideas incorporated in it (individual freedom, separation of government powers, etc.) are the will of the majority of the people. It is this will that keeps the government at bay. It is this will backed by the citizenry’s own arsenals that prevents the government from becoming tyrannical and in line with the Constitution.

Also incorrect. the constitution of said government is a system of OBJECTIVE laws under OBJECTIVE control. The formulation of said government is not primarily based on the subjective whims of the people, and said government is not kept in power by the subjective whims of the people. The government is formulated based on a completely objective system of laws and rights in which said system is placed under objective control. However, only a group of citizens can give the power to this government for its formulation in the first place. But this DOES NOT mean that any single aspect of the government is based on subjective decrees from the citizens. What keeps said government in check is an objective system of checks and balances designed to require the government by objective law to only act in certain ways. Neither "the will of the people" nor "the citizenry's own arsenals" are the primary means of checking the power of said government.

As far as voluntary donations to the government for its function (the police, the military and the courts) go, these will be provided by the citizenry, who, hold Objectivism as their philosophy, and thus know that in reality there are no free lunches, and therefore pay for what they get. Namely, security to do what the hell they want.

Also incorrect. Said government would not be funded by those people who do not believe in a free lunch. Said government would be funded by those who want the services of the government (police, military, objective law court system.) You don't pay for the service, you don't get the service. Perhaps this is what you meant when you said the government is checked by the will of the people. (However, I note that it is possible that said government could be funded by requiring payment merely from voluntary donations and a charge for legally insuring contracts, as Ayn Rand suggested as a possibility.)

Wilderness, you seem like you understand at least partially what a proper government is, and you might be trying to advocate the same proper government that Rand did (from one post I can not tell.) However, you need to be extremely careful with your choice of words and arguments, because I have just demonstrated three ways in which what you said violates the definition of a proper government according to Objectivism.

I might add this quote:

"If you agree with some tenets of Objectivism, but disagree with others, do not call yourself an Objectivist; give proper authorship credit for the parts you agree with — and then indulge in any flights of fancy you wish, on your own.” Rand

Objectivism is a closed system. Either you agree with the philosophy of Objectivism, as Rand created (which she had FULL rights to the use of that name and now Peikoff and ARI have the FULL rights to the use of that name) or you don't and you're NOT an Objectivist. If you do consider yourself a student of Objectivism, don't make claims about what an Objectivist government is or isn't without being very sure of what you are saying. This does not mean that one needs to be omniscient about what Objectivism is, but just be committed to properly identifying the philosophy and correcting any error you make (as I will do if there is any error in what I have said).

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NeoRand4774,

I stand by my statements. And, yes, I am an Objectivist. Perhaps I oversimplified in some cases, but I was trying to make my point short so that our seemingly anarchist fellow-poster, DonGalt, might get the point.

As far as your comments go:

I recently heard someone quote that passage from Peikoff's book (which I have read) and they left out the part in parenthesis, which led me to stipulate exactly was is in the parenthesis. As far as Rand using the word self-defense, I do consider that incorrect. The dictionaries I have seen define self-defense as I did and retaliation as I did. Whereas I do prefer Rand's definitions in almost all cases, I think in this matter the distinction is important, and Rand, seemingly, lumped retaliation and self-defense together (although, yes, see does make the comment in parenthesis). Example from dictionary.com:

Self-defense: Defense of oneself when physically attacked.

Retaliation: Action taken in return for an injury or offense.

The rest of your corrections to my argument are apt, and I appreciate the clarification.

Wilderness

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"Why is a government, a monopoly on force, necessary to secure anything essential?" -Don Galt

To paraphrase Rand, If physical force is to be kept out of personal relationships, there must be an institution vested with the sole legal use of force, aka a monopoly on force. This institution is the government. It is absolutely "essential" for me, for my creative capacity, and for me to be willing to live, that physical force be banned from my personal relationships. The absence of this one very fundamental institution would mean ANARCHY, the opposite of civilization. In order for rights to exist in practice, not just theory, a government must be instituted to ensure the absence of anarchy. If there were no government, then there would be nothing to stop any chance robber from taking my property, even my "essential" property: My Life. There can be no rights without property rights; property rights are the basis of all other rights. They can not exist in an Anarchy. Only in a country with a PROPER government can rights exist.

As to your comment that government is more of the poison acting as the cure, I would agree to the extent that a government oversteps its proper bounds. The only proper function of a government is the protection of individual rights, micro- and macro-cosmically. Protection of individual rights for individuals (police, courts), and protection of individual rights for the country (army only used for self-defense). Any time people advocate the expansion of government beyond these bounds, they are begging for that poison. I see this CONSTANTLY. People will complain endlessly about the public school system (a problem that would be solved with privitization of all schools and no taxes), and then they beg for MORE TAXES, aka more government, to solve the "public" problem. This is only one example, there are millions. If this is what you meant, I completely agree. Is this what you meant? Or is it your opinion that government AS SUCH is evil? Not merely when it ventures into areas not proper to it?

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It seems that Don Galt is not posting here anymore (too much of a rational argument for him I guess). Also, I'm pretty sure that he regards government as such to be evil. For evidence of this, I refer you to the Introductions section, Introducting Don Galt.

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Guest RadCap

Wilderness defines "Self-defense: Defense of oneself when physically attacked." He uses this definition in the context of govt and the delegation of one's right to self-defense, saying govt is not delegated that right, but only the 'right of retaliation' which he defines as "Action taken in return for an injury or offense."

I disagree.

First off, wilderness' definition of defense is merely an instance of his definition for retaliation. Defense when physically attacked IS action taken in return for an injury or offense. So, by saying govt only properly retaliates, he is STILL including defensive force as well (I won't get into the qualifier "self" because the concepts "agent" and "delegate" take care of it).

The point is, however, that govt is granted a monopoly over the use of force - period. Properly that force is limited to self-defense (because no one has the right to initiate force. And since one cannot delegate a right one does not possess, one cannot delegate the initiate of force). The REASON such a delegation is important is because it places the use of force under objective control guided by rational laws. It applies these objective guides to ANY and ALL uses of force. This means IT, and not the individual, is the ultimate judge of what constitutes 'self-defense' (otherwise anyone could claim "self-defense' and bar the govt from any interference in their use of force, regardless of its actual nature).

In other words, while an individual may indeed use force against another individual (or group) because he believes force is being initiated against him and his agent of self-defense is not available, his belief does not mean that he is indeed acting in self-defense. Because an individual may be irrational, may not understand all the facts of an instance or not understand them correctly, or may be engaged in faulty reasoning, it is therefore possible an individual's perceived defensive force may in fact be an initiation of force. That is why his force is properly reviewed by the objectively governed judicial system. IT rationally determines whether the use of force was defensive or an initiation and acts accordingly, to either sanction or condemn that force. IT is the ultimate arbitor of what constitutes self-defense, and is therefore the agent of self-defense (regardless of whether it was the body which performed the act or not).

Put simply, because the concept right includes judgement of what actions constitute adherence or violation of a right, govt IS the agent of one's self-defense, not just one's "retaliation" after the fact.

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...wilderness' definition of defense is merely an instance of his definition for retaliation.  Defense when physically attacked IS action taken in return for an injury or offense.  So, by saying govt only properly retaliates, he is STILL including defensive force as well (I won't get into the qualifier "self" because the concepts "agent" and "delegate" take care of it)...

Good point. I agree with your reasoning.

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After giving the issue some further thought, I think that it is valid to distinguish self-defense from retaliation--which I don't think RadCap was denying, I just took his post on my first reading of it to mean that there is no distinction between what Wilderness was referring to as "self-defense" and any other retaliatory use of force (as opposed to the initiation of the use of force). That distinction just doesn't make any difference in this context (which I think was RadCap's point). When he says that someone who uses force himself should have that use of force "properly reviewed by the objectively governed judicial system" to "rationally [determine] whether the use of force was defensive or an initiation," I think that the context in which someone's personal use of force actually was defensive is the context in which the concept of "self-defense" is legitimately differentiated from other instances of retaliation.

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Guest DonGalt
Government is necessary because anarchy results in gang warfare- each gang, its own mini-statist regime.

This is false.

Iceland was an anarcho-capitalists state for about 300 years-- longer than the US was a free country (before its quick descent into socialism).

Somalia is currently an anarcho-capitalist state. With the exception of British Colonization, and the Barre regime, Somalia has been a peaceful anarcho-capitalist system for a thousand years.

This does not mean there are not fights, or periods of conflct. But it does not devolve into "gang warfare"--- for everyone knows warfar is bad for business, and people are naturally capitalists.

I do not believe you can be an objectivist and not be an anarcho-capitalist. I have yet to see any objectivist arguments for the kind of state they want that does not require a violation of the NAP.

Yes, socialists want a larger free lunch than Objectivists, but Objectivists seem to have followed Rands opinions here, and not really thought it thru.

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Guest DonGalt
"Why is a government, a monopoly on force, necessary to secure anything essential?" -Don Galt

To paraphrase Rand, If physical force is to be kept out of personal relationships, there must be an institution vested with the sole legal use of force, aka a monopoly on force.  This institution is the government.  It is absolutely "essential" for me, for my creative capacity, and for me to be willing to live, that physical force be banned from my personal relationships.  The absence of this one very fundamental institution would mean ANARCHY, the opposite of civilization.  In order for rights to exist in practice, not just theory, a government must be instituted to ensure the absence of anarchy.  If there were no government, then there would be nothing to stop any chance robber from taking my property, even my "essential" property: My Life.  There can be no rights without property rights; property rights are the basis of all other rights.  They can not exist in an Anarchy.  Only in a country with a PROPER government can rights exist.

As to your comment that government is more of the poison acting as the cure, I would agree to the extent that a government oversteps its proper bounds.  The only proper function of a government is the protection of individual rights, micro- and macro-cosmically.  Protection of individual rights for individuals (police, courts), and protection of individual rights for the country (army only used for self-defense).  Any time people advocate the expansion of government beyond these bounds, they are begging for that poison.  I see this CONSTANTLY.  People will complain endlessly about the public school system (a problem that would be solved with privitization of all schools and no taxes), and then they beg for MORE TAXES, aka more government, to solve the "public" problem.  This is only one example, there are millions.  If this is what you meant, I completely agree.  Is this what you meant?  Or is it your opinion that government AS SUCH is evil?  Not merely when it ventures into areas not proper to it?

"To paraphrase Rand, If physical force is to be kept out of personal relationships, there must be an institution vested with the sole legal use of force, aka a monopoly on force."

This is an assertion.

" This institution is the government. It is absolutely "essential" for me, for my creative capacity, and for me to be willing to live, that physical force be banned from my personal relationships. "

Also an assertion. I find it interesting that you feel government bans physical force from your relationships-- the government does not even try to do this. If you are attacked the government merely sends burocrats to take notes about what happened. They do not protect you.

The only protection you have from violence is a willingness and ability for self defense.

"The absence of this one very fundamental institution would mean ANARCHY, the opposite of civilization."

This is also an assertion, and a false one. First off, you incorrectly define anarchy. Anarchy is the absense of government-- or, put another way, the absence of socialism. I suspect you are confusing Anarchy with Chaos, and the two are not the same thing.

"In order for rights to exist in practice, not just theory, a government must be instituted to ensure the absence of anarchy. "

This is another assertion. Rights were protected in Medieval Iceland and there was no government there. Somalia has a thousand year tradition of rights protection, and mutual abitration agreements without any government.

" If there were no government, then there would be nothing to stop any chance robber from taking my property, even my "essential" property: My Life. "

Another assertion. And its ironic you would think this because in reality the only thing stoppign such a person from taking your property is YOU. The government will merely note that the crime happened ,and if somehow they manage to run into the guy, maybe they will prosecute him.

But they don't prevent anything.

" There can be no rights without property rights; property rights are the basis of all other rights. They can not exist in an Anarchy. Only in a country with a PROPER government can rights exist."

I agree that there can be no rights without property rights-- so why do you advocate the violation of property rights?

If you are not allowed to defend yourself-- if government has a monopoly on defense-- then your property rights are violated.

AS to only a government being able to defend rights, you're mistaken.

"The only proper function of a government is the protection of individual rights, micro- and macro-cosmically. Protection of individual rights for individuals (police, courts), and protection of individual rights for the country (army only used for self-defense). "

I find it amusing that a bunch of mystical founding fathers were more objectivist than todays objectivists.

Back then, they did not say "rely on forcible taxation of your bretheren for your defense" No. They defended liberty themselves- they saw it as a personal duty. They also, rightly as it turned out, expressed grave concern at a standing army (What they would call both our army and our police forces-- did you not know that there were no police in this country ofr about 70 years?)

But you're on the right track-- the evils of government come from expansion beyond its rightful bounds. you've just assumed it has rightful bounds without noticing that it doesn't.

You're letting your fear of being responsible for your own life cloud you from seeing the fact that you ARE responsible for your own life, and are getting no benefit from the value forced out of you.

Remember, without government, we'd have a vastly more profitable society, vastly higher standards of living, and essentially no crime-- a lot of crime comes from the essential immorality of the socialsit society we live in. (An assertion on my part, but I assume you can see why I say it.)

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Guest DonGalt
It seems that Don Galt is not posting here anymore (too much of a rational argument for him I guess).  Also, I'm pretty sure that he regards government as such to be evil.  For evidence of this, I refer you to the Introductions section, Introducting Don Galt.

Except tht you have failed to make any rational argument.

You have failed to respond to my arguments.

You have failed to do anything other than quote Piekoff and assert over and over your mystical beliefs.

I have shown directly how you contradict objectivism, and all you can do is call me irrational.

Try making a rational argument, before declaring victory.

Please explain to me why we should alll be living for the benefit of you, or Piekoff, or any would be cult leader.

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Guest DonGalt
The point is, however, that govt is granted a monopoly over the use of force - period.  Properly that force is limited to self-defense (because no one has the right to initiate force.  And since one cannot delegate a right one does not possess, one cannot delegate the initiate of force).

I find it amazing that you guys think that individuals can be irrational but that governments never can be!

Just look at all the socialist laws that get upheld in supposedly rational courts in this country.

Furthermore, granting the government a monopoly on the use of force IS An initiation of force-- granting a monopoly requires using force to defend the monopoly.

The government-- as a collective-- cannot engage in self defense. Only individuals can.

I will always be perplexed that supposedly individualist people will endorse the collective that is "government" and attribute to it all kinds of impossible abilities (like being rational).

But at the end of the day, no matter how much faith you have in government, government cannot exist without initiating force.

Unless you have unanimous vote. Otherwise, government is imposed on someone, and if they did not consent to pay taxes, for instance, when they are forced to, that is the initiation of force.

And you guys are advocating this initiation of force! Despite saying "one cannot delegate .. the initiation of force".

So there's a direct contradiction.

Government IS the subjugation of a whole people to the rule of a minority (in a democracy).

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I will repeat my post here, because your crap, Don Galt, is spewed everywhere.

Your problem, Don Galt, is that you do not have an accurate idea of what rights are. You seem to have the idea that a person has the right to do whatever they want to do, and can only be punished for an action if they agree to the validity of that punishment. You believe that an initiation of force is forcing someone to do something that they don't want to do. A person kills another, and that person must agree to the punishment system set up by the government of the victim in order to be justly punished.

In a free society, a person can refuse to pay for the services of the government, but they can not refuse to suffer the consequences of violating another person's rights!

A proper government has the legal use of force because, and only because, it is placed under objective control. The retaliatory use of force is only right when it is placed under objective control. A person does not have the right to "defend themself," in the sense that they do not have the right to kill everyone on their street whom they suspect of stealing their wallet.

Your ideas are ridiculous. Please don't post here anymore.

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Guest RadCap

DG

I have to ask if you have ever read any objectivist philosophy, because all your posts demonstrate a profound lack of understanding about the philosophy.

I find it amazing that you guys think that individuals can be irrational but that governments never can be!
This is a staw man. No one has even suggested this. Please provide the quote which substantiates this claim - or retract the claim please.

Just look at all the socialist laws that get upheld in supposedly rational courts in this country.

More straw men. No one has claimed this country is a proper social system. No one has claimed our courts are rational either. In fact, IF you had read objectivist literature, you would know that objectivism does NOT consider the mixed system which exists in America as a proper system. The reason for this are the inherent contradictions built into the US Constitution.

Furthermore, granting the government a monopoly on the use of force IS An initiation of force-- granting a monopoly requires using force to defend the monopoly.
Here you explicitly equivocate (logical fallacy). You claim govt monopoly of force is an INITIATION of force because DEFENSIVE force would be required to maintain the monopoly. This is an obvious contradiction. Initiation and defense are OPPOSITES. You, however, treat them erroneously as if they were synonymous. They are not.

The government-- as a collective-- cannot engage in self defense.  Only individuals can.

And since the government is not an entity, but in fact a number of individuals working together towards a common end, your statement is an non-sequitor in relation to the arguments presented to you.

I will always be perplexed that supposedly individualist people will endorse the collective that is "government" and attribute to it all kinds of impossible abilities (like being rational).
Mere repeat of initial straw man, combined with an almost subtle insult (ie two logical fallacies for the price of one).

But at the end of the day, no matter how much faith you have in government, government cannot exist without initiating force.

Another repeat. This time of an unsupported assertion based on a logical fallacy (equivocation).

Unless you have unanimous vote.  Otherwise, government is imposed on someone
This is false as well. I do not require the approval (vote) of others to defend myself against the initiation of force. Nor do I require the approval (vote) of others to hire one or more others to act as my agent of self-defense. When I act to defend myself, I am not initiating force. When my agent acts to defend me, that agent does not initiate force. Your implication is ANY action taking in a conflict is an initiation of force. That is ALSO false.

and if they did not consent to pay taxes, for instance, when they are forced to, that is the initiation of force.

Straw man again. Objectivism clearly states taxation is an initiation of force. To even ATTEMPT a rational argument here, you must present an example which objectivists consider to be defensive force, and demonstrate how that force is actually an initiation.

And you guys are advocating this initiation of force!  Despite saying "one cannot delegate .. the initiation of force".  So there's a direct contradiction.
For reasons made explicit above, this is an unsupported assertion, again based upon logical fallacies.

Government IS the subjugation of a whole people to the rule of a minority (in a democracy).

All of the above makes this final statement unsupported as well.

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Guest Ceol Mhor

Since an Objectivist government can't be funded by taxation, it must instead be based on voluntary funding, such as requiring a fee for its retaliatory services (or any other services) at such a time as they are utilized by an individual.

But what if the individual explicitly rejects the service being offered? The government is left with only three choices. They can either provide the service anyway and force payment (thus violating the NAP), provide the service for free (and soon go broke), or not provide the service (and thus lose their monopoly on it).

The first choice is blatant initiation of force. The second is impractical and will lead to the collapse of the government. The third is anarchy. There is no such thing as a government capable of respecting the rights of individuals it claims dominion over.

Allow me to roll my eyes at what I've read on this board to date. One day you will look up from debating the nature of the salivary gland of the tiger that is government and discover that the tiger is gnawing your limbs from your body. Hopefully that realization will come before it's too late to save yourselves.

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Guest RadCap

I believe your alternatives are vague AND false. Perhaps if you provided a concrete example of your three alternatives (forced payment, free service, no service) in the context of an individual's rejection of government services, one could provide a rational response. As it stands, your claim is not nearly clear enough to warrant a thoughtful response.

While waiting for that clarification, allow me to roll my eyes at what I have read of your comments thus far. One day you will look up from your attempts to blank out the nature of the different kinds of force possible to man and discover that there ARE proper forms of force - including government. Hopefully that realization will come before it's too late to save yourself.

I believe that is enough condescension for one thread. If rational discussion is your aim, a repeat performance is strongly discouraged. If such discussion is NOT your aim, then you will not find yourself welcome here.

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  • 1 month later...
I will repeat my post here, because your crap, Don Galt, is spewed everywhere.

Your problem, Don Galt, is that you do not have an accurate idea of what rights are. You seem to have the idea that a person has the right to do whatever they want to do, and can only be punished for an action if they agree to the validity of that punishment.  You believe that an initiation of force is forcing someone to do something that they don't want to do. A person kills another, and that person must agree to the punishment system set up by the government of the victim in order to be justly punished.

In a free society, a person can refuse to pay for the services of the government, but they can not refuse to suffer the consequences of violating another person's rights!

A proper government has the legal use of force because, and only because, it is placed under objective control. The retaliatory use of force is only right when it is placed under objective control. A person does not have the right to "defend themself," in the sense that they do not have the right to kill everyone on their street whom they suspect of stealing their wallet.

Your ideas are ridiculous.  Please don't post here anymore.

First off, it is very easy, but very poor form to put words in your opponents mouth that they did not say.

I should hope creating a strawman would not be the mode of argument on this forum, but I have been let down.

You continue to ignore my point. Government cannot have a monopoly on the use of force without violating others rights. By doing so, it forces people to depend on the government for protection-- since the government has a monopoly. Furthermore, preventing people from pursuing their best course of action violates their rights as well. IF your best course of action is to be an entrepreneur and form a security agency, the government violates your rights.

Your argument could be used to claim that the governmetn should have a monopoly on the mail, software development, the internet, the road system, food production, electricity production, etc because the government is "Rational". In other words, this is a non-argument you make.

To disprove it, all one needs to do is point to an irrational ruling by any of the courts in the government, and thus their use of the monopoly on the use of force will shown to not be rational.

My ideas are not rediculous, your refusal to step up to the plate and make logical argument is.

To claim that "Self defense" is "killing everyone on their stree they suspect of stealing their wallet" is rediculous.

I invite you to stop being stupid, and start making an argument... or if you cannot do that, stop LYING about what I have said. At least be honest.

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Isn't Somalia the country ruled by warlords that has a massive famine problem?

No.

This is the thing about being an objectivist. You have to rely on objective facts, and you have to use your judgement to discern when you are being lied to.

Or do you believe that Oswald acted alone?

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Since an Objectivist government can't be funded by taxation, it must instead be based on voluntary funding, such as requiring a fee for its retaliatory services (or any other services) at such a time as they are utilized by an individual.

But what if the individual explicitly rejects the service being offered? The government is left with only three choices. They can either provide the service anyway and force payment (thus violating the NAP), provide the service for free (and soon go broke), or not provide the service (and thus lose their monopoly on it).

The first choice is blatant initiation of force. The second is impractical and will lead to the collapse of the government. The third is anarchy. There is no such thing as a government capable of respecting the rights of individuals it claims dominion over.

Allow me to roll my eyes at what I've read on this board to date. One day you will look up from debating the nature of the salivary gland of the tiger that is government and discover that the tiger is gnawing your limbs from your body. Hopefully that realization will come before it's too late to save yourselves.

Thank you for concisely pointing out what I have been trying to illuminate.

The concepts of Government and the NAP are contradictory.

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I believe your alternatives are vague AND false.  Perhaps if you provided a concrete example of your three alternatives (forced payment, free service, no service) in the context of an individual's rejection of government services, one could provide a rational response.  As it stands, your claim is not nearly clear enough to warrant a thoughtful response.

While waiting for that clarification, allow me to roll my eyes at what I have read of your comments thus far.  One day you will look up from your attempts to blank out the nature of the different kinds of force possible to man and discover that there ARE proper forms of force - including government.  Hopefully that realization will come before it's too late to save yourself.

I believe that is enough condescension for one thread.  If rational discussion is your aim, a repeat performance is strongly discouraged.  If such discussion is NOT your aim, then you will not find yourself welcome here.

You have yet to put forth a rational argument.

In fact, I notice that nobody has bothered to anwser the points I have made. Here again you ignore them when he makes them as well.

Why does government have a monopoly on mail? Private businesses can do it better. Objectivists would point out that there's no reason for a government monopoly here.

Same thing with defense.

Oh, and when an individual siezes property from another, or removes that persons rights (such as incarcerating him without cause) even if they didn't strike of physically attack the person in the process, that is an initiation of force. You somehow think you can just claim that doing so is "Defensive"... but you are wrong.

The decree, and enforcement of a monopoly on the use of force by the governemnt IS an initiation of force.

It is removing the right of self defense from individuals.

I think you guys need to stop repeating things spoken by the "high priests" of objectivism, and start thinking abou the conclusions the philosophy requires. I'm totally in agreement with the philosophy, while you are arguing for its violation... and you don't even see it!

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  • 11 months later...

The thing is that almost all people, anarchist, communists,socialists, objectivist agree on one thing, THERE ARE TIMES WHEN FORCE SHOULD BE USED. So the question isnt if force should be used or not, the real question is WHEN should force be used?

I think that all Goverment is force, and all force is GOVERNMENT (becuase its governing somebody) and it doesnt matter if its a thug on the street using force on you asking for your money, THE THUG IS GOVERNING YOUR LIFE AT THAT MOMENT. So i think that even anarchist believe in government becuase they still want a "protection agencie" using force on somebody. But which one do you choose?

So even if you live in some anarcho-capitalist land the question still remains, when should force be used ? and what governemnt that i choose is going to use it in that way? An who said anarcho-christians, anarcho-islamists, anarco-communists, anarcho-socialists wont also exist in those esame areas that the capitalists exist?

Anarcho-capitalism still has governemnt, nothing has changed.

So can there ba many competing governments like the anarcho-capitalist say?

I think that the governments use of force, based on political laws(which are based on mans rights),should be the same as the laws of physics...... they shold be consistent .

Having many government would be like having multiple universes with multiple laws of physics spread out all over the place. I dont know about you, but i think there is ONE universe and one set of laws of physics and there should be ONE politcal universe with one set of correct political laws just the same.

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