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Author Topic: Philosophy and Libertarianism  (Read 17343 times)

neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #100 on: February 14, 2015, 09:26:36 pm »

I agree with you about Native American treatment.  It was one-sided because European settlers had the technology.  It happened before my time and I am not responsible for the actions of others. Nor do I feel a debt to the descendants of the murdered.  I do agree that they were mistreated in general.  Horrible, I'll admit to that too.  All we can do now is acknowledge that it happened and vow not to repeat it.   

As for Natural Rights, I believe they exist as a consequence of human existence.  To say that they are social conventions implies they can be removed by social conventions.  That happened in 1930s Germany and in 1950s Russia.  Whole populations were denied their right to life. The trials at Nuremberg refuted the Nazis' excuse that they were just following the laws of Germany at the time.  The trials established that there existed a Natural Law higher than any of Man's laws.  That was the right to life.

I think you're right about Man's purpose.  It's to live his life for himself.  To seek happiness how he sees fit.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 05:11:49 pm by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #101 on: February 14, 2015, 09:44:24 pm »

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BUT, the Native American culture was doomed to fail because they did not respect the right to property or life

I would not use the Native American (or most conquered groups to that matter) as an example of anything but illustrating group bias. When a group member says "we", "everyone", etc it always implies "now and within my group".  Founding fathers were no exempt - slaves did not belong to the group, their purpose was to sustain life and were naturally not part of the discussion.

And it's true here and now. For example when talking about "the right to life" it does not imply chickens. In today's opinion differences between us and them are so vast that they are (naturally) excluded from belonging to our (social) group. We do care about well being of chickens, for example cruelty towards them is highly discouraged. But we confiscate the fruits of their labor (and lives) nevertheless. I can assure you that 250 years from now (in the eyes of a strictly vegetarian society, where human-animal marriages are the norm) our current practices would seem like heinous crimes...

Agree and agree.   However, I believe societies (even our own) that do not recognize individual rights are destined to fail or at the very least stagnate and limp along. The Native Americans were such an example.  They may have been here for 15,000 years before us and lived as a collective, but they did not advance their civilization and the settlers saw them as savages. That's where they were wrong.  As more and more rights are violated, chipped at one by one, more people become dependent on the power of government to survive.  They survive by the effort of others until there are no more working people left to support the moochers. (Ayn Rand's word)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 09:55:20 pm by neofelis »
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kwilliams

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #102 on: February 15, 2015, 12:27:59 am »

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I believe societies (even our own) that do not recognize individual rights are destined to fail or at the very least stagnate and limp along. The Native Americans were such an example

While true that native American defenders stood no chance against European invaders, I'm not inclined to blame it on a single social trait (like failure to "recognize individual rights" for example). The encounter of the two groups was a classic Darwinian event - they both claimed the same resource and it went to the fittest. Attempts to come up with moral excuses after the fact are largely pointless. Yes, technology played a major part and it would seem "individual rights" are at the core of technological advancements. However it's not always that simple, The Golden Horde (Ggenghis Khan & co) were a communal force and yet they sacked most of Europe, Middle East & China - all of which were more populous and technologically advanced.

Which brings about my second point - a Libertarian society is only viable if it can defend itself. Indeed if such society was ever established (and turns out immensely prosperous), it should be capable of projecting enough violence to defend its prosperity. The greater the prosperity - the greater the violence needed.

This is especially true if libertarians achieve their dreams trough voluntary segregation. What will the remaining (80%) of non-libertarians do if they run out of resources? Convert to libertarianism? ... hardly (look at the history of religion). Blame their misfortune on Libertarians? ... very likely. Raise an army & come to plunder? - guaranteed!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 12:57:27 am by kwilliams »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #103 on: February 15, 2015, 12:58:34 am »


While true that native American defenders stood no chance against European invaders, I'm not inclined to blame it on a single social trait (like failure to "recognize individual rights" for example). The encounter of the two groups was a classic Darwinian event - they both claimed the same resource and it went to the fittest. Attempts to come up with moral excuses after the fact are largely pointless.

I guess my point with that comment would be that had they established a society based on individual rights, they may have been more advanced and easier to relate to by European settlers. Who knows what would've happened. Probably the same result based on racism on the part of the Europeans. Again, sadly.


Which brings about my second point - a Libertarian society is only viable if it can defend itself. Indeed if such society was ever established (and turns out immensely prosperous), it should be capable of projecting enough violence to defend its prosperity. The greater the prosperity - the greater the violence needed for defending it.

Very true. I would hope that other societies would learn from the examples and adapt their culture to increase their own prosperity. Still, defending your morally acquired property is a natural right.

This is especially true if libertarians achieve their dreams trough voluntary segregation. What will the remaining (80%) of non-libertarians do if they run out of resources? Convert to libertarianism? ... hardly (look at the history of religion). Blame their misfortune on Libertarians? ... very likely. Raise an army come to plunder? - guaranteed!

Again, the right of self defense would come into play. Shameful it if ever happened. War sets everybody back.
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kwilliams

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #104 on: February 15, 2015, 01:19:56 am »

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Again, the right of self defense would come into play. Shameful it if ever happened. War sets everybody back.

And here's already an example of how "righteous" societies often fail (google "kondratieff cycles"). Trough just laws you amass great wealth. To protect it, you develop great power. And finally, you start using power for economic gain (It is precisely why founding fathers warned us about the danger of standing armies)

Note that the adoption of a doctrine permitting the use of power for economic gain could be entirely market driven. The market sees the army as an under-utilized resource and tries to optimize its use. If the army is defensive in nature, events will be manufactured to provoke "defensive actions", leading to more optimal utilization of the asset (army).

The conscious use of force for economic gain trickles down to all aspects of life, undermines the moral strengths of the laws (legal is no longer considered just) and leads to poverty & decay.

So even if Libertarian society is established and if it becomes very prosperous and if it develops great power to defend its prosperity, the ultimate challenge would be preserving its character and not succumbing to Kondratieff cycles.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 01:35:58 am by kwilliams »
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #105 on: February 15, 2015, 07:34:42 am »

Which brings about my second point - a Libertarian society is only viable if it can defend itself. Indeed if such society was ever established (and turns out immensely prosperous), it should be capable of projecting enough violence to defend its prosperity. The greater the prosperity - the greater the violence needed.

This is especially true if libertarians achieve their dreams trough voluntary segregation. What will the remaining (80%) of non-libertarians do if they run out of resources? Convert to libertarianism? ... hardly (look at the history of religion). Blame their misfortune on Libertarians? ... very likely. Raise an army & come to plunder? - guaranteed!

Their whole concept of society is to steal from the producers by force and give to non-producers. Of course they would attack any libertarian society violently. In fact, they would never let it form in the first place. Think of the mindset of a slave owner. Is he just going to let his slaves, which produce his wealth, to walk freely off the field where they work? I don't think so. The concept of strong defense should be at the top of the list for any libertarian society.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #106 on: February 15, 2015, 04:27:43 pm »

So even if Libertarian society is established and if it becomes very prosperous and if it develops great power to defend its prosperity, the ultimate challenge would be preserving its character and not succumbing to Kondratieff cycles.

Therein lies the problem.  How to preserve the character of a nation over time.  I believe the answer lies in philosophy.  As a big Ayn Rand student and supporter, I see Objectivism as the answer. In order to not ultimately use military power for economic gain (which would surely violate somebody's individual rights), society must be taught from a very early age the tenets of Objectivism.  Individual rights is one of the first conclusions that can be drawn by it's study. 

Too many people live in a state of acceptance of government.  Like it was always there and always would be there.  I was never taught in school how or why governments were formed or evaluated the morality or immorality of that action.  I was instead taught that governments already exist and were there to help all their citizens.  I believed that for most of my life until I started to look at Objectivism and really study philosophy. I have examined all philosophies I can find.  Rejecting some outright and analyzing others for flaws. My second posting on this thread gets into this in a little more detail.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 05:13:54 pm by neofelis »
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