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neofelis

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Philosophy and Libertarianism
« on: February 10, 2015, 03:16:50 am »

   I started this new thread to continue a discussion I was having on the price speculation thread.  That thread seems to be a catch-all for almost any subject except price, and I got all caught up in defending the concept of Libertarianism.  Many of those participating in the discussion posed good and well-thought out questions (especially Damelon, whom I respect in this forum), and I attempted to answer as many as possible before realizing I needed a new and separate thread.  I will continue to write on this thread and keep it current as long as there is interest and people post to it.  I have been dedicated to NXT since May 2014 and read this forum daily, although I rarely post.  Until now. This is subject I know alot about, and I believe that there are many libertarians in this community but I suspect few who have studied this as much as I have.  For those that have, I welcome dissention.  I am always capable of learning.

   For the past eight years I have extensively studied philosophy and all it’s branches.  They are politics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and metaphysics.  They are all interrelated, but can be discussed individually most times.  The discussion in the price speculation thread dealt mostly with politics and ethics.  I talk about philosophy because it is the foundation of any society, and the study of how man should live his life.  I believe that, as a race, we are on a collision course with pain and suffering and a repeat of the dark ages if we continue on the path that we are taking. That path leads to socialism and I am not hopeful we will correct this.

   For the first 42 years of my life, I lived as most people.  I believed that the purpose of government was to protect its country from foreign invasion and care for it’s citizens.  I believed in welfare for the poor and social security for the elderly.  I am an American if you haven’t guessed already.  I believed that some problems could only be solved by the government.  Public utilities needed regulation as these were essential services. Monopolies could not stand as they were detrimental to the citizens. I could not have been more wrong.  In fact, I was worse than wrong.  By believing in and practicing that philosophy, I was actually working against the betterment of mankind. That philosophy is called altruism.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 03:30:11 am by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2015, 03:17:16 am »

   I am not a philosopher.  I only regurgitate what true philosophers have said before me.  I have studied philosophy back to the days of Thales, Plato and Aristotle and forward to present time.  Philosophy was originally the study of everything and philosophers were the rock stars of their time.  They literally knew the entire sum of human knowledge.  As human knowledge expanded, no one person could learn it all and specialization became necessary.  People who mastered a discipline were given by their peers the tile of,  “Doctor of Philosophy”, a PhD.  This obviously persists today.

   As human knowledge progressed, philosophy evolved.  Thales believed that everything was made of water in different states.  Plato believed that knowledge existed inherently our our minds and what we saw as reality was only a reflection of an object’s true form which we posses in our mind.  That was called the Theory of Forms.  It’s no wonder that people nowadays aren’t interested in studying philosophy.  They are so knowledgable about modern science and current human knowledge that they can’t understand what ancient philosophers were thinking. Those ancient philosophers were doing their best with limited knowledge.  Finally,  Aristotle said that knowledge was gained through the use of our senses and the application of reason and he was the first philosopher to get it right although he also believed some things that most of us would reject.

   One of the more recent philosophers that I’ve studied is Ayn Rand.  Her philosophy of Objectivism is based on reason and the use of the senses to acquire knowledge.  It closely parallels Aristotle’s theories and is basically the same philosophy updated with current human knowledge. The study of Objectivism leads to the conclusion that the only moral system of economics is that of laissez faire Capitalism and the only moral system of government is one that places individual rights as supreme and unalienable. Libertarianism is the current manifestation of Objectivism.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 03:33:33 am by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2015, 03:17:35 am »

   I was asked today to define Libertarianism.  EvilDave has given some links to define it and I’ve found that Wikipedia does a pretty good job in it’s first sentence.

Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement.

   My definition is simply - a libertarian is anybody who is for anything that increases freedom and against anything that decreases freedom while simultaneously preserving natural rights.

   That part about natural rights is paramount.  You cannot violate anybody’s natural rights in the exercise of freedom. 

   You cannot violate anybody’s natural rights in the exercise of freedom.

   Freedom is not easy.  Everybody wants it for themselves but find it difficult to allow others that same freedom.  Most people want to use the force of government to get others to do what they think is “right”.  Every time the government uses force, it is violating an individuals natural rights.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 03:35:57 am by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2015, 03:17:54 am »

I’m sure that if this thread progresses, I will start talking about the nature of Man and Man’s purpose on the Earth.  I also think to fully explain some of the tenets of libertarianism, one needs to examine this esoteric topic in detail.  The answer I hope to get to is the ends rarely justify the means. Both the ends and the means must be evaluated for morality and must pass the test of, “Is this in keeping with the Nature of Man?” If the answer is “no”, then that act is wrong/immoral/evil.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2015, 03:18:15 am »

   Damelon asked me about a scenario in which one person controlled all of a “vital resource” in a community and refused to allow anybody else access.  He also stipulated that this resource would be passed from generation to generation and would NEVER be available to the community.  Is this right?  Is it moral?  My response was that this is a fantasy scenario and has never happened and will never happen, IF that society is based on pure Libertarianism and the absolute freedom that involves. 
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barbierir

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2015, 06:49:43 am »

   Damelon asked me about a scenario in which one person controlled all of a “vital resource” in a community and refused to allow anybody else access.  He also stipulated that this resource would be passed from generation to generation and would NEVER be available to the community.

seems the description of a state :)

I am a libertarian too and I like to present the idea in the following terms:

Fact: there are some services, mainly security and legal order, that today are esclusive monopoly of the State, that is an organization that exercises ultimate monopoly of force on a given territory.

Question: is such ultimate monopoly a necessary condition in order to provide those services? Or is it possible to imagine a society where multiple providers of such services work side by side on the same territory? Are the services of security and legal order inherently different from others?

This seems counterintuitive to the common experience of most of us but I believe that is possibile and would be by far better than now. Also the XXI century is slowly moving in that direction thanks to internet and crypto.
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youyou

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2015, 09:56:13 am »

i'm a kind of skeptical relativist.

how do you define "natural rights" ?

how do you define "the nature of Man and Man’s purpose on the Earth"
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Damelon

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2015, 10:24:12 am »

   Damelon asked me about a scenario in which one person controlled all of a “vital resource” in a community and refused to allow anybody else access.  He also stipulated that this resource would be passed from generation to generation and would NEVER be available to the community.  Is this right?  Is it moral?  My response was that this is a fantasy scenario and has never happened and will never happen, IF that society is based on pure Libertarianism and the absolute freedom that involves.

Good thread and much better to continue it separately.

My first rebuttal would be that much as you consider my scenario a fantasy IF it's a perfectly libertarian society, is that in our world we cannot have a theoretically perfect society.

I've done some reading up on the concept of property in the various libertarian groups and there is no consensus. One group (the one you seem to adhere to) claims that anyone who stakes a claim and adds his own labor gains those rights. Other groups says that even when labor is added, personal property is still not possible. I won't use "left" and "right" here, as those labels are loaded. They cloud the issue.

Now I posit that where personal property is involved, and given human nature, that there is a HUGE probability that this woúld lead to hydraulic despotism. If this happens: is this considered moral under that philosophy, yes or no?

I also would like to repeat my question that given that resources are scarce by definition, gaining a resource should automatically limit the freedom of the "other". How is this reconciled in libertarianism?
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Classical Cat

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2015, 12:16:28 pm »

Hi all! I have a few questions.

How is justice handled in a libertarian society? Who owns the monopoly of legitimate violence to make sure sentences are enforced? Is it the most powerful supercorporation or is it some kind of elected governing body? Then what's the difference with a normal nation state?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 12:50:34 pm by Classical Cat »
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gs02xzz

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2015, 04:28:01 pm »

It seems the crypto technology can be libertarians' best friend and it can help your guys to build a more objective society.
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ThomasVeil

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2015, 04:42:50 pm »

I can't believe anyone follows the ideas of that vile creature Ayn Rand. Did you listen to what she said about the Native Americans? Calling them savages with no right to live in America? About the Middle East - saying that they are primitive societies that have no rights to their own resources? Let alone about all the "only help others if it serves yourself".
It gives me the shivers that people could agree to any of that. One of the most disgusting personalities I've ever read about.

No surprise that she's a great example of the hypocrisy of Libertarianism - after preaching about self-reliance, she secretly lived her last eight years off Social Security and Medicare.

My definition is simply - a libertarian is anybody who is for anything that increases freedom and against anything that decreases freedom while simultaneously preserving natural rights.

Like I asked in the other thread:
Do you support universal healthcare? (certainly being sick or dead is less freedom than paying taxes)
Free education?
Fee base income? The freedom not to work?

I think what it is really about is the worship of ownership. Because strangely that is the only right that the Government is supposed to defend with violence.
But why is ownership a "natural right"? Not that I'm against it - but there is nothing natural about it. Especially land-property is a modern human concept - it doesn't exist in nature.

The contradictions are clear. The complete impracticality of a Libertarian society is clear. Can't see whats so philosophical about it.
I'm personal someone more relying on science - and that's another field that debunked ideas that all this rests on: Like the myth of efficient markets. Of rational people. Of endless resources...
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crumb-bum

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2015, 05:39:00 pm »

I tend to agree with your sentiment about the vile creature, but I have to admit that Stefan Molyneux's apology for Ayn Rand made me change my mind on a couple of important points. He does address the problem with the American Natives. Have a listen if you're interested. It's four parts long, I think, but fascinating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-2c7Keic_A

Edit: He also addresses her use of medicare, as I recall.
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gs02xzz

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2015, 05:45:50 pm »

The contradictions are clear. The complete impracticality of a Libertarian society is clear. Can't see whats so philosophical about it.
I'm personal someone more relying on science - and that's another field that debunked ideas that all this rests on: Like the myth of efficient markets. Of rational people. Of endless resources...

However, it seems that the creators of the cryptos such as Satoshi and BCNext all look more or less like John Galt who are technologically super smart individuals and want to bring better things anonymously to this world.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 02:07:40 pm by gs02xzz »
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kwilliams

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2015, 06:33:21 pm »

Quote
Damelon asked me about a scenario in which one person controlled all of a “vital resource” in a community and refused to allow anybody else access.  He also stipulated that this resource would be passed from generation to generation and would NEVER be available to the community.

When it comes to resource competition, the process is governed by the laws of Darwin which (unlike libertarianism) are natural  -  their effects can be observed regardless of the time, place or the beliefs of the observer. According to these laws when a (vital) resource is denied to an actor,  the later ether have to perish or win it back. In the process, all available means will be used (regardless whether they comply with prevailing ideology or not).

Quote
Do you support universal healthcare? (certainly being sick or dead is less freedom than paying taxes)

As to that, it's a deliberate misuse of the term. In libertarian sense, freedoms apply to things occurring naturally and certainly not someone else's labor. You have freedom of speech, sleep, air, etc,. You don't have freedom of education or healthcare because these things are results of someone else's labor. To claim otherwise would be to justify slavery. If "free education" is mandated by law, it only means labor (teachers or someone else's) must be confiscated to back the service. Confiscation of labor is the very definition of slavery. But wait you'll say - even if part of my labor is confiscated (for the benefits of others), I'm still not a slave since I also benefit (get free things back) from "the system".... Yea, sure - olden day slaves were also provided with "free" food, shelter and safety by their masters (to maximize labor output). What they did not have was freedom
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2015, 08:18:47 pm »

Oh dear, I am late to this thread. Hope I can catch up with you guys.

One of the more recent philosophers that I’ve studied is Ayn Rand.  Her philosophy of Objectivism is based on reason and the use of the senses to acquire knowledge.

I love Ayn Rand. Reading Atlas Shrugged changed my life. It warms my heart to know there are other Objectivists here.

I can't believe anyone follows the ideas of that vile creature Ayn Rand. Did you listen to what she said about the Native Americans? Calling them savages with no right to live in America? About the Middle East - saying that they are primitive societies that have no rights to their own resources? Let alone about all the "only help others if it serves yourself".
It gives me the shivers that people could agree to any of that. One of the most disgusting personalities I've ever read about.

No surprise that she's a great example of the hypocrisy of Libertarianism - after preaching about self-reliance, she secretly lived her last eight years off Social Security and Medicare.

You sound very hateful. So, you try to find one sentence that she said that makes her "bad", and then propose that it invalidates the other 99% of what she said?
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2015, 08:35:07 pm »

Hi all! I have a few questions.

How is justice handled in a libertarian society? Who owns the monopoly of legitimate violence to make sure sentences are enforced? Is it the most powerful supercorporation or is it some kind of elected governing body? Then what's the difference with a normal nation state?

I don't speak for libertarianism but objectivism supports the idea of a minimal state, not the abolishment of state (that's anarchy). So, state owns the monopoly to the use of physical force, it just doesn't do much else. This is also known as a night-watchman state.
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Damelon

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2015, 08:36:05 pm »

To keep this thread clear, I think we should clearly distinguish between Objectivism and Libertarianism.

These two are not identical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_(Ayn_Rand)
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duluth

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2015, 08:54:16 pm »

Until today I had never heard about Ayn Rand. I guess the Wiki page is a bit short for forming an opinion, but I couldn't agree less with objectivism!

IMO, there is no such thing as objective reality http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5%ABnyat%C4%81

Amazing as Human Thought is rich and diversified, isn't it?  :D
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2015, 08:39:08 am »

To keep this thread clear, I think we should clearly distinguish between Objectivism and Libertarianism. These two are not identical.

That's really important, and precisely the reason why I made the distinction between the two in my previous post.

The problem with "libertarianism" is that there is no clearly defined meaning for it. It is used to refer to a wide range of political systems which are not compatible. Here's a quote from the wikipedia article:

Quote
Rather than embodying a singular, rigid systematic theory or ideology, libertarianism has been applied as an umbrella term to a wide range of sometimes discordant political ideas...

So, how can we discuss about "libertarianism", when it has no clearly defined meaning? Intelligent discussion becomes rather difficult if a word means something to one person, but something else to another. There is even something called "libertarian socialism", how's that for a contradiction?

Objectivism, on the other hand, is fairly strictly defined. That's why I prefer to use that word.
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Classical Cat

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2015, 12:17:54 pm »

Hi all! I have a few questions.

How is justice handled in a libertarian society? Who owns the monopoly of legitimate violence to make sure sentences are enforced? Is it the most powerful supercorporation or is it some kind of elected governing body? Then what's the difference with a normal nation state?

I don't speak for libertarianism but objectivism supports the idea of a minimal state, not the abolishment of state (that's anarchy). So, state owns the monopoly to the use of physical force, it just doesn't do much else. This is also known as a night-watchman state.

Thanks for the answer! I read the wiki articles.
But now I have more questions.
How is objectivism different from classical liberalism? How do you define "minimal state"?  Won't there be a different instance for each populations or is it one-size-fits-all (and then a world government becomes desirable for its efficiency)?

Also, in such a system, how is it not in the interest of the average worker to organize into unions and ask more from their government and the owners of the means of production? One could be altruistic and argue that it weakens the whole system for everyone but on average each organized worker does get an individual gain. Now that sounds very similar to the system we live in.

Is there a perfect political/economical system or is the long term survival of the human race not grounded in the diversity and dialectics of its political systems instead, just like all systems with a dynamics of "natural selection"?

Personally I think that more transparency in governments would alleviate a lot of our problems (corruption, growing social inequalities, inefficiencies, etc.) and blockchain technologies are a very big step in this direction once we can force our way into the system.

But then we are slowing creating an autonomous Skynet ... so we are all doomed anyway.

Have a good day!
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2015, 12:32:12 pm »

I don't speak for libertarianism but objectivism supports the idea of a minimal state, not the abolishment of state (that's anarchy). So, state owns the monopoly to the use of physical force, it just doesn't do much else. This is also known as a night-watchman state.
While the idea of "minimal state", also called minarchism is appealing, I see one problem: every state that started as a minarchy [USA is the prime example] ended up becoming a police state. That's why I don't think it's sustainable, we've seen it fail many times.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 12:36:00 pm by bcdev »
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2015, 01:26:22 pm »

It is important to distinguish whether we are talking in theory or in practice.

Almost any political system "works" if it is a system that the majority of people support and want to live under. Conversely, almost any political system is a bad outcome if it is forced on people who don't want it. So, while I think Objectivism is the "best" system, that is true only in a scenario where the people living under it are objectivists.

In general, I don't think it is realistic to try to change the political system of a whole country. Much better path is to live your own life according to your values, and if possible, find like-minded people that share those values.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 01:29:13 pm by maddy83 »
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rdanneskjoldr

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2015, 02:36:14 pm »


It gives me the shivers that people could agree to any of that. One of the most disgusting personalities I've ever read about.


Thats the problem, youve read about her, probably biased info, but not read her.
I am absolutely sure you would LOVE many fragments from Atlas Shrugged.

Maybe her as a person had some attitudes we could criticize, but NO ONE, not even Cfb, remains mentally sane forever, and Atlas Shrugged is without doubt a book that should be much more important than the bible.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 02:40:42 pm by rdanneskjoldr »
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rdanneskjoldr

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2015, 02:57:05 pm »


Like I asked in the other thread:
Do you support universal healthcare? (certainly being sick or dead is less freedom than paying taxes)
Free education?
Fee base income? The freedom not to work?


If i personally support it or not doesnt matter, am i not free to have a personal opinion on any matter??  What i absolutely wouldnt do is make everyone pay for it by the use of violence.
 In a libertarian society they would have the health and education system their members want, and if not you are free to walk away from it. And if the most rational option is to pay for public health and education, they would probably end up doing it for THEIR OWN GOOD, but on a rational and consensed way where its objective is GOOD EDUCATION AND HEALTH SYSTEM, not on the corrupted governments way which objective is more control on resources,money, and manipulation + mafia on giving responsability jobs and public jobs who only care on receiving money each month and not trying their best.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 03:00:36 pm by rdanneskjoldr »
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Uniqueorn

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2015, 03:04:43 pm »

Atlas Shrugged is without doubt a book that should be much more important than the bible.

I could write some random stuff on a toilet paper while drunk and it would be more important than the bible in 2015..

As for Atla Shrugged and the whole objectivism philosophy: it's superficial. It's rare that I quote Obama on anything, but I agree very much with his comment: "Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity -– that that's a pretty narrow vision."

It is indeed something you pick up in your teens when you start wanting to understand "the bigger picture" / more than your immediate experiences. For many Ayn Rand is a first step towards philosophy and for that it is great. It challenges a lot of notions people hold dear and subtly hint towards deeper perspectives. Sadly most people stop here and adopt this as a life philosophy. I must say every time I speak with someone above the age of 30 who is still praising Ayn Rand as a hero, I can't help but cringe.

You can split objectivism into 2 categories, the metaphysics and ethics.

The metaphysics part is not so controversial. There is an objective reality, there are objective facts, people (consciousnesses) discover this world, not create it etc. This is common sense realism. But it's falls short of any depth. It's just basic as hell. Then there is the issue of "identity" in objectivist metaphysics, it's extremely shallow from a physics and metaphysics POV. This becomes painfully apparent when you apply it to the question of free will. *Most* objectivists I've discussed this with argue that free will exists, yet they accept that the universe is objective and that everything has an identity (with properties). This is a blatant contradiction. Eventhough we can reason and evaluate situations, ultimately we are a part of this objective reality, we are not separate from it and thus our choices are not free in the literal sense.


Ethics is where objectivism really collapses in most peoples minds who give it some deeper consideration, but it would take up too much time.

My biggest question to objectivists is: how much other philosophy have you actually read?

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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2015, 04:21:13 pm »

Disclaimer: I don't know what Libertarian means, just like I don't know what Christian means. I title myself anarcho-capitalist because it's a much better defined term.

Like I asked in the other thread:
Do you support universal healthcare? (certainly being sick or dead is less freedom than paying taxes)
Free education?
Fee base income? The freedom not to work?
Universal healthcare: You mean state-enforced healthcare? Like in Poland, Canada and USA?
No, I don't support state enforced healthcare. State enforced == monopoly, and monopoly == shitty service. Examples:
1. Canada - there is no private healthcare industry in Canada. None at all. All hospitals are state-supported. Even if you have $1,000,000 you need to wait in line. That is a problem, because some people cannot/don't want to wait for a visits, and go to US to privately do things faster. [Example: Stefan Molyneux went to US to cut out a tumor]
2. Poland - here the situation is a little better. We have a public, but we also have a private healthcare. The problem with a public healthcare is that the waiting lines to specialists can be long, sometimes > 1 year. What's funny is that if you work many jobs [for example you're a business owner and working full-time], you need to pay the healthcare tax two times. Obviously you won't get two beds in hospital if something happens to you. [google "termin do kardiologa"]

Both examples are corrupt and inefficient. There is no incentive to make them better, because you have to pay no matter how shitty they are. And if something really bad happens, you'd have to go to the private industry anyway.
What I'd support? No public health system. Instead, a healthcare subsidized by insurance companies. This way:
1. People with higher risk would pay more. [obese, smokers, etc.]
2. People with lower risk would pay less. [Just like it is with car insurance - better drivers pay less]
3. Overall, the service-per-dollar would get better because bad hospitals would get out of business and good ones would thrive.
4. Insurance companies would get their cut simply because of the law of large numbers.
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ShawnLeary

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2015, 04:31:19 pm »

One of the primary tenants of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle

Here is a link to the next logical step, see what do you think?

Larkin Rose takes us down the thought pattern of most minarchist, the palatable everyday Libertarianism.  Where does it lead? 

Minarchism (Libertarians) vs Anarchism (Libertarians)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB6EUnq6yX0
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2015, 04:41:58 pm »

Like I asked in the other thread:
Do you support universal healthcare? (certainly being sick or dead is less freedom than paying taxes)
Free education?
Fee base income? The freedom not to work?
I'm against "free" education. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/11/08/get-rich-with-the-library/
Ok, maybe not with a library, but with the internet.

My school years were a total waste. Primary == 95% wasted time. *Middle == 70% wasted time. **University == 95% wasted time.
1. There is nothing [with the exception of fields, where you need to have a physical device to acquire practical knowledge] you cannot learn on your own from the internet.
2. School rarely makes you learn useful things. 90% of it is a total crap that you won't ever use.
3. School rarely teaches you to think. Most of the time it teaches you to remember something, write it on an exam, and forget. As my memory is quite bad, I've had a hard time in a system like that.

* I've learned a lot about computer science in middle school because I trained for an Olympics. That's why the score is so low.
** I'm a high school dropout. My story is: Got a job, decided to stop wasting time.

"Free" education is paid from taxes, so it's not free.

Fee base income? The freedom not to work?
Can you elaborate? I don't think I understand the question.
If you're a consumerist sucka, you give away your freedom not to work [also called savings] for the crap you buy. If you save 75% of your salary, you can retire in 5 years.
Did I understand your question correctly?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 04:47:15 pm by bcdev »
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ShawnLeary

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2015, 04:55:32 pm »

Education should be earned, not handed out.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 04:58:21 pm by ShawnLeary »
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2015, 05:11:53 pm »

One of the primary tenants of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle

Here is a link to the next logical step, see what do you think?

Larkin Rose takes us down the thought pattern of most minarchist, the palatable everyday Libertarianism.  Where does it lead? 

Minarchism (Libertarians) vs Anarchism (Libertarians)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB6EUnq6yX0

Very interesting interview, and some good points. A lot of the facts about getting rid of government completely sound good in theory, but how would it work in practice? Everyone would have their own private police and military? Then it becomes a question of who has the most guns (or most money to buy those guns). How does the non-aggression principle work if there is no-one to enforce that principle?
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davethetrousers

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2015, 05:34:45 pm »

What I'd support? No public health system. Instead, a healthcare subsidized by insurance companies.

You're advocating precisely the US system pre-Obamacare. We know this system is/was really, really bad, especially in a cost/benefit analysis. Highest costs in the world, with mediocre medical outcomes at best. For those that are insured at all of course, others are roadkill.


Education should be earned, not handed out.

Are you really sure you know what you are saying here?

And if so: Why?

primary tenants

:D :D SCNR
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2015, 05:36:05 pm »

A lot of the facts about getting rid of government completely sound good in theory, but how would it work in practice? Everyone would have their own private police and military? Then it becomes a question of who has the most guns (or most money to buy those guns). How does the non-aggression principle work if there is no-one to enforce that principle?
How are you going about this today? How often did you need police or military? Most people never in their life need an intervention of a police. Usually police is associated with tickets and fines.
How often do you need to go to a court? With court fees often reaching tens and hundred thousands of dollars?

As for private armies: They are expensive. If you really want to use a private army, you better make sure that the thing you're trying to get is really worth it. 99% of times it'd be cheaper to buy the thing. Also, if you're a company, hiring an army to do evil is a bad pr.
An anarchistic society would be as armed as Switzerland [no gun regulations].

How an anarchistic court could work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispute_resolution_organization It's just a one concept how it could work, there are many more.
As for a police, why can't there be 5 different free-market alternatives? If someone breaks into your house, you call [or alarm system calls] them. If they're brutal, corrupt or inefficient, you just subscribe to a different "police", and the bad ones go out of business.

I used the term "police", but in reality they wouldn't have any special rights. Just a bunch of dudes you signed a protection contract with. You could easily start your own "police" if you see a market niche.


The reality is nobody knows how will it work, just like nobody knew how decentralized internet currency could work in 2008.
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2015, 05:46:21 pm »

What I'd support? No public health system. Instead, a healthcare subsidized by insurance companies.
You're advocating precisely the US system pre-Obamacare. We know this system is/was really, really bad, especially in a cost/benefit analysis. Highest costs in the world, with mediocre medical outcomes at best. For those that are insured at all of course, others are roadkill.
Not really. Both systems [insurance and medical] were still heavily and unnecessary regulated. I'd be for throwing the regulations out of a window and instead going with reputation.
If you think that "no regulation" is a problem, there can be a free market "certificate authorities", that could rate hospitals and insurance companies. I think there would be enough information to make an informed decision.
In fact "insurance company" could be a blockchain corporation that doesn't need any fees, with full transparency, accountability and decentralization.
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kwilliams

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2015, 06:30:22 pm »

Let me interject here. Please make clear distinction between the means and the outcome. Whereas we all want the same outcome (happiness?) the means of achieving it are many. Some want security, health & wealth yet others like risk, challenge and struggle. Further still there are those who enjoy harming others...

A system of government is only viable if a) capable of balancing internal competing groups and b) able to withstand external attacks. Libertarians (or any other ideology adherents) imagine that following their doctrine will result in a viable system of government with maximum happiness for everyone. Whereas I like Libertarianism as a way of thought, it has yet to prove itself as a ruling doctrine. Many of it values will begin to collapse for example when it has to raise an army to defend the national borders.

Libertarians often think that socialism is evil and what people want (freedom) is good. What if people want socialism? What if they genuinely want someone else to do their chores (coercion or not)?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 06:38:35 pm by kwilliams »
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2015, 06:39:04 pm »

A lot of the facts about getting rid of government completely sound good in theory, but how would it work in practice? Everyone would have their own private police and military? Then it becomes a question of who has the most guns (or most money to buy those guns). How does the non-aggression principle work if there is no-one to enforce that principle?
How are you going about this today? How often did you need police or military? Most people never in their life need an intervention of a police. Usually police is associated with tickets and fines.
How often do you need to go to a court? With court fees often reaching tens and hundred thousands of dollars?

As for private armies: They are expensive. If you really want to use a private army, you better make sure that the thing you're trying to get is really worth it. 99% of times it'd be cheaper to buy the thing. Also, if you're a company, hiring an army to do evil is a bad pr.
An anarchistic society would be as armed as Switzerland [no gun regulations].

How an anarchistic court could work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispute_resolution_organization It's just a one concept how it could work, there are many more.
As for a police, why can't there be 5 different free-market alternatives? If someone breaks into your house, you call [or alarm system calls] them. If they're brutal, corrupt or inefficient, you just subscribe to a different "police", and the bad ones go out of business.

I used the term "police", but in reality they wouldn't have any special rights. Just a bunch of dudes you signed a protection contract with. You could easily start your own "police" if you see a market niche.

The reality is nobody knows how will it work, just like nobody knew how decentralized internet currency could work in 2008.

You know there are people who don't have a moral problem with using physical force right? It doesn't matter if 99% "play it nice" and act rationally, the 1% who don't will still be a problem to everyone.

There obviously can't be laws since they would require a state to enforce them. So everything what we think of as "illegal" today would be "legal" in anarchy.

Somalia is a good example of a country which didn't have a centralized government. What followed was endless gang warfare and civil war. In such a system, the most ruthless people tend to rise to the top.
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kwilliams

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2015, 07:10:23 pm »

The question is not whether to have a state or not - the history had spoken on this one already.

What libertarians propose, is a way of scaling back state in times of plenty. Unfortunately, most states turn into oppressive systems (sooner or later) which ultimately cause as much harm (if not more) than they prevented. Your typical state will maintain calm and security (for prolonged intervals), then wage war and kill millions in a short time.
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2015, 07:33:50 pm »

There obviously can't be laws since they would require a state to enforce them. So everything what we think of as "illegal" today would be "legal" in anarchy.
Anarchy means "no rulers". Rules can still exist. And there are rules with which almost all people agree like "no violence" or "no stealing".
So being a murderer or a rapist in an anarchy would end badly, moral people have guns too.

You know there are people who don't have a moral problem with using physical force right? It doesn't matter if 99% "play it nice" and act rationally, the 1% who don't will still be a problem to everyone.

Somalia is a good example of a country which didn't have a centralized government. What followed was endless gang warfare and civil war. In such a system, the most ruthless people tend to rise to the top.
I agree with your example. Somalia is not a good place to live. However it's not a problem of anarchy, it's a problem of people. You cannot take criminals and make them act morally in a free market.
There were some examples where anarchy did work, like Neutral Moresnet [population 4000, about 100 years] or Ireland [population > 100k, > 1000 years].

Do you think that if New Hampshire was removed from US law, protection and other services it would end up violently? I am sure that this experiment would succeed because people there know how to live in an anarchy. There are places on earth though, where anarchy would end up violently. Usually in these places the government is a mafia by itself, adding an oil to the fire.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 08:11:16 pm by bcdev »
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davethetrousers

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2015, 08:08:12 pm »

What if people want socialism? What if they genuinely want someone else to do their chores (coercion or not)?

That last bit is the definition of capital value realization, by the way. Which system was it again that came up with sweatshops on one hand and fully automatic mass profuction factories on the other? Oh right, it was capitalism :D

Whoever came up with the whole "but socialism is forcing other people to work instead you" routine should get an international holiday of being laughed at.
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ShawnLeary

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2015, 04:33:32 am »

One of the primary tenants of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle

Here is a link to the next logical step, see what do you think?

Larkin Rose takes us down the thought pattern of most minarchist, the palatable everyday Libertarianism.  Where does it lead? 

Minarchism (Libertarians) vs Anarchism (Libertarians)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB6EUnq6yX0

Very interesting interview, and some good points. A lot of the facts about getting rid of government completely sound good in theory, but how would it work in practice? Everyone would have their own private police and military? Then it becomes a question of who has the most guns (or most money to buy those guns). How does the non-aggression principle work if there is no-one to enforce that principle?

I imagine there would be competing police forces.  Most of it is mental masturbation as we all know its not going to happen in our lifetimes.  As technology grows, I believe freedom will as well.  Our ideas today could eventually lead to reality for our kids or grandkids. 
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2015, 08:08:57 pm »

   Damelon asked me about a scenario in which one person controlled all of a “vital resource” in a community and refused to allow anybody else access.  He also stipulated that this resource would be passed from generation to generation and would NEVER be available to the community.

seems the description of a state :)

I am a libertarian too and I like to present the idea in the following terms:

Fact: there are some services, mainly security and legal order, that today are esclusive monopoly of the State, that is an organization that exercises ultimate monopoly of force on a given territory.

Question: is such ultimate monopoly a necessary condition in order to provide those services? Or is it possible to imagine a society where multiple providers of such services work side by side on the same territory? Are the services of security and legal order inherently different from others?

This seems counterintuitive to the common experience of most of us but I believe that is possibile and would be by far better than now. Also the XXI century is slowly moving in that direction thanks to internet and crypto.

I've been working for the past couple of days and see that my thread has been moved to the "never gets read" section.  Oh well, it mostly isn't about NXT and probably belongs here.  If anybody continues to follow it, I will continue to post.

To answer your question about what I think is competing providers of protective services, I'd have to say that it wouldn't work and would likely lead to gang rule.  My police force vs yours, etc.    I believe the proper function go government is to protect the nation with a military and protect the citizens from themselves with a police force.  These two services increase freedom which is my main ideal to always strive to and the benchmark by which all actions must be measured. If you can't leave your house of fear of robbery, you cannot get to market to trade and that's not good for anybody.  That's why a police force is necessary.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:37:17 pm by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2015, 08:25:35 pm »

i'm a kind of skeptical relativist.

how do you define "natural rights" ?

how do you define "the nature of Man and Man’s purpose on the Earth"

These are two easy questions and I will refer you to a book called "What ever happened to justice?" by Richard Maybury.  It's very simple to read a provides an excellent understanding of Natural Rights and the concept of justice.

Simply put, and I quite from the above book, I'll put this in big letters so it sinks in…

"Do all you have agreed to do."
"Do not encroach on other people or their property"


These are the two fundamental rules that define the basis of common law.

As for natural rights, they all originate from the right to life.  If you agree that humans have a right to life that cannot be taken from them without reason, all other rights stem from that.  The right to life means a human has the right to do what is necessary to maintain their life.  It does not guarantee them success. The first right I can think of that comes directly from the right to life is the right to own property. If you, as a naked human in the woods by yourself, pick up a stick and use it to till the soil or make a spear to hunt, or anything else.  That stick now belongs to you and if any other human to takes it from you, he is in violation of your right to life.  You can resist his force with force of your own and it would be a moral thing to do.

Once you get really good at making spears, you can start trading with your fellow humans for things such as clothing and shelter.  This is called the division of labor and it has allowed us to thrive as a race.  Imagine if you had to invent everything on your own.

The Nature of Man and our purpose on earth.  We are born without claws or fur or any way to care for ourselves.  We have to survive using our minds and reason to guide us. Without reason, we will die.  Reason tells us not to eat dirt, or at least don't try it twice.  Our purpose on earth is to LIVE and to achieve our own happiness in whatever way we can.  We should not really on others to provide us happiness and we cannot demand others work for our survival.  To do either of those would violate the two fundamental laws, specifically encroachment.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:40:41 pm by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2015, 08:44:25 pm »

   Damelon asked me about a scenario in which one person controlled all of a “vital resource” in a community and refused to allow anybody else access.  He also stipulated that this resource would be passed from generation to generation and would NEVER be available to the community.  Is this right?  Is it moral?  My response was that this is a fantasy scenario and has never happened and will never happen, IF that society is based on pure Libertarianism and the absolute freedom that involves.

Good thread and much better to continue it separately.

My first rebuttal would be that much as you consider my scenario a fantasy IF it's a perfectly libertarian society, is that in our world we cannot have a theoretically perfect society.

I've done some reading up on the concept of property in the various libertarian groups and there is no consensus. One group (the one you seem to adhere to) claims that anyone who stakes a claim and adds his own labor gains those rights. Other groups says that even when labor is added, personal property is still not possible. I won't use "left" and "right" here, as those labels are loaded. They cloud the issue.

Now I posit that where personal property is involved, and given human nature, that there is a HUGE probability that this woúld lead to hydraulic despotism. If this happens: is this considered moral under that philosophy, yes or no?

I also would like to repeat my question that given that resources are scarce by definition, gaining a resource should automatically limit the freedom of the "other". How is this reconciled in libertarianism?

I disagree that we can't have a perfectly libertarian society.  All we have to do is to respect individual rights.  We almost did it at the start of the United States but it quickly degraded into a few in power using the force given to them by the people to enact whatever programs they thought would be good for the nation. As soon as they started collecting taxes for that, they violated the citizens individual rights, specifically that of property rights.

I agree that not all self-proclaimed libertarians have the same ideals.  I don't understand why anybody would think that if you invent a spear to go hunting with, anybody else would have the right to take that from you by force. To me, that is a direct violation of your right to life.  When I come up with these examples, I am imagining only myself and one other person living on the earth.  That makes it easier to understand the fundamental natural of property rights.

If people respect individual rights, I don't believe hydraulic despotism is possible.  The oppressed people would likely form a government and recruit an army to defend their right to life.  If we are not talking about the use of violence, then the courts would solve the problem using the principles of common law.  The two fundamental theorems of common law are…

Do all you have agreed to.
Do not encroach on other persons or their property.


If somebody is somehow hoarding all the water, say building a dam, then they may be found guilty of denying others down stream the right to life.  Courts would have to evaluate that argument using common law as a standard and in keeping with the two fundamental laws stated above.

To answer your last question about scarcity, I'd have to say that there are some things that are scarce but they are not necessary for life, usually.  In the Sahara Desert this might be re-thought out.  But that's why so few people live there.  They moved away to live.

I don't know anything that is not found in multiple places on the earth and I think that it would be hard to own them all.  If that substance was truly sought after, whoever owned it could command a high price and people would pay it.  Nothing wrong with that.  IF they chose not to ever sell it, people would adapt and learn to live without it.  But then the person who owned it all, would have missed out on a opportunity to improve his lifestyle.  I think eventually, the substance would be distributed as generations passed.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2015, 08:52:37 pm »

Hi all! I have a few questions.

How is justice handled in a libertarian society? Who owns the monopoly of legitimate violence to make sure sentences are enforced? Is it the most powerful supercorporation or is it some kind of elected governing body? Then what's the difference with a normal nation state?

I refer you to "Whatever Happened to Justice" by Richard Maybury, an easy read.

Justice would be handled by the application of Common which is based on Natural Rights.  The two fundamental laws are as follows.

Do all you have agreed to.
Do not encroach on other persons or their property.


Enforcement would be through the use of police force.  A police force is necessary and moral because it increases the freedom of those it serves. Remember, I am for anything that increases freedom.  I don't necessarily agree with jails and prisons although I am still working on how we could do without them.  It is possible and it is discussed in the above mentioned book.

If somebody burned down your house with all your possessions, would you rather see that person placed into jail or set to work off his debt to you?

The application of common law sets right a lot of injustice.  We used to have it in the US but it has long since been dominated by political law.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:44:28 pm by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2015, 08:55:40 pm »

It seems the crypto technology can be libertarians' best friend and it can help your guys to build a more objective society.

I agree 100%.  Crypto frees us from the horrible dilution of our money by the government.  Go here to see how much our money in the US has been debased in the post 30 years.  It's sickening.

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?graph_id=221118&category_id=
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EvilDave

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2015, 09:02:24 pm »

Don't forget the most important philosophical rule of them all:

Be excellent to each other.

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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2015, 09:18:03 pm »

I can't believe anyone follows the ideas of that vile creature Ayn Rand. Did you listen to what she said about the Native Americans? Calling them savages with no right to live in America? About the Middle East - saying that they are primitive societies that have no rights to their own resources? Let alone about all the "only help others if it serves yourself".
It gives me the shivers that people could agree to any of that. One of the most disgusting personalities I've ever read about.

No surprise that she's a great example of the hypocrisy of Libertarianism - after preaching about self-reliance, she secretly lived her last eight years off Social Security and Medicare.

My definition is simply - a libertarian is anybody who is for anything that increases freedom and against anything that decreases freedom while simultaneously preserving natural rights.

Like I asked in the other thread:
Do you support universal healthcare? (certainly being sick or dead is less freedom than paying taxes)
Free education?
Fee base income? The freedom not to work?

I think what it is really about is the worship of ownership. Because strangely that is the only right that the Government is supposed to defend with violence.
But why is ownership a "natural right"? Not that I'm against it - but there is nothing natural about it. Especially land-property is a modern human concept - it doesn't exist in nature.

The contradictions are clear. The complete impracticality of a Libertarian society is clear. Can't see whats so philosophical about it.
I'm personal someone more relying on science - and that's another field that debunked ideas that all this rests on: Like the myth of efficient markets. Of rational people. Of endless resources...

I agree with you about Ayn Rand's rather harsh words about American Indians.  That's a whole discussion in itself.  But, putting that aside, her work on the development of Objectivism is an amazing feat of intelligence and thought.  She created an entire philosophy based on reason and it's application to the way humans live. I have read everything she ever wrote and some of it is hard to digest but after thinking about it it for awhile, it makes sense.  It seems crazy to say that altruism is evil as she posits. But after some serious soul searching, I have come to believe that she was right and it was the philosophy of altruism that has lead to the down fall of Western civilization. 

Imagine a person who believes that sacrifice (no matter how small or large) is a virtue and something to be admired. Now imagine that person in a position of political power.  They would to see a wealthy man who gives nothing to charity as evil even though he is working hard for everything he owns and has acquired it through value-for-value free trade with others.  That person in power would say "He has enough and has not given back to society" and use his power to tax the successful man.  Some would even take everything that successful man has created.  Remember "You didn't earn that, somebody else built that."  Obama's mantra. 

I, and I suspect most self-proclaimed libertarians, do not believe in free universal healthcare, free education, or free base income.  First of all, nothing is free.  Somebody is paying for it.  It is usually the successful in society that pay the tab for all these social programs.  Those of ability pay for those without ability or motivation.  Taxing for that purpose violates the individual right to property and is clearly immoral under a system based on reason.  This is not to say that the poor or uneducated should not be helped.  I believe in charity, although it is not a virtue.  Before the government took over education and healthcare, there were plenty of charitable organizations who helped the needy.  More on this later if you want to talk about it.

Remember, you cannot violate individual rights under any circumstance in the application of any government program.  The ends never justify the means.  If the means are immoral, the result will be immoral.

Land ownership is a natural right and comes from the right to property.  If the land is yours and has been worked by you for whatever purpose.  Say farming.  You till the land that nobody else has worked before you, and that land should be yours. 

The government's job is to defend all individual rights, life, liberty and property.  And yes they are authorized to use force to do this.  The citizens of a free country voluntarily give up their right to use force to defend their property and give it to the government.

Lastly, you have not made clear your claim that Libertarianism is impractical.  You have given no evidence to support that.  Please elaborate.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:49:43 pm by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2015, 01:59:24 am »

No surprise that she's a great example of the hypocrisy of Libertarianism - after preaching about self-reliance, she secretly lived her last eight years off Social Security and Medicare.

As a citizen, she was taxed by force to pay for both Medicare and Social Security.  She has every right to recoup these losses plus any interest she may have earned.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2015, 02:01:16 am »

I tend to agree with your sentiment about the vile creature, but I have to admit that Stefan Molyneux's apology for Ayn Rand made me change my mind on a couple of important points. He does address the problem with the American Natives. Have a listen if you're interested. It's four parts long, I think, but fascinating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-2c7Keic_A

Edit: He also addresses her use of medicare, as I recall.

I've seen these. They are long but well thought out.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2015, 02:19:19 am »

When it comes to resource competition, the process is governed by the laws of Darwin which (unlike libertarianism) are natural  -  their effects can be observed regardless of the time, place or the beliefs of the observer. According to these laws when a (vital) resource is denied to an actor,  the later ether have to perish or win it back. In the process, all available means will be used (regardless whether they comply with prevailing ideology or not).

Unlike animals, humans have the faculty of reason. Animals survive by violence, taking what they need from whatever they can get it from. They don't recognize property rights and they don't freely trade with each other.  By your definition, whenever a person has something you want (or think you need), you have the natural right to take it from them.  Hardly civilized.  Humans are not animals.

I agree with your analysis of healthcare, though. :)
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2015, 02:25:03 am »

Oh dear, I am late to this thread. Hope I can catch up with you guys.

One of the more recent philosophers that I’ve studied is Ayn Rand.  Her philosophy of Objectivism is based on reason and the use of the senses to acquire knowledge.

I love Ayn Rand. Reading Atlas Shrugged changed my life. It warms my heart to know there are other Objectivists here.

I can't believe anyone follows the ideas of that vile creature Ayn Rand. Did you listen to what she said about the Native Americans? Calling them savages with no right to live in America? About the Middle East - saying that they are primitive societies that have no rights to their own resources? Let alone about all the "only help others if it serves yourself".
It gives me the shivers that people could agree to any of that. One of the most disgusting personalities I've ever read about.

No surprise that she's a great example of the hypocrisy of Libertarianism - after preaching about self-reliance, she secretly lived her last eight years off Social Security and Medicare.

You sound very hateful. So, you try to find one sentence that she said that makes her "bad", and then propose that it invalidates the other 99% of what she said?

+1440

I find that those that condemn Ayn Rand, haven't read much, if any, of her work.  They certainly can't explain it coherently and frequently make giant leaps in logic that don't follow reason.  I started this thread to try and get some of those views out there as I believe most people who would support crypto would also agree with the whole concept of individual rights. I'm kinda disappointed it got sent to the Pub Crawl section.  I think everything we talk about is very relevant to crypto.  Besides, there are a lot of threads in the general discussion that don't deal with NXT.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2015, 02:39:04 am »

To keep this thread clear, I think we should clearly distinguish between Objectivism and Libertarianism.

These two are not identical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_(Ayn_Rand)

True.  Objectivism is a philosophy and Libertarianism is a political movement.  In her time, Ayn Rand thought Libertarians were completely wrong but that was in the early 60s.  I don't know what she'd say about today's Libertarians.  IMHO, not many practice what I call Pure Libertarianism.  If you ask someone about freedom, they'll all agree that more freedom is better.  That is, until you tell them that their favorite government program (usually Medicare or Social Security) is a complete violation of property rights.  Then they steadfastly defend that program.  They are hypocrites.  When my time comes, I will definitely take Social Security and Medicare because I was forced to pay into those systems, but I will always fight to eliminate those. They are immoral and America will be better off without them. The world would be better off without them.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:52:29 pm by neofelis »
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2015, 02:43:11 am »

Until today I had never heard about Ayn Rand. I guess the Wiki page is a bit short for forming an opinion, but I couldn't agree less with objectivism!

IMO, there is no such thing as objective reality http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5%ABnyat%C4%81

Amazing as Human Thought is rich and diversified, isn't it?  :D

If you don't believe in objective reality, then you definitely would not agree with Objectivism.  It merely states that man learns through the use of his senses and the process of reason.  Anything else is pure mysticism.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2015, 02:47:26 am »

To keep this thread clear, I think we should clearly distinguish between Objectivism and Libertarianism. These two are not identical.

That's really important, and precisely the reason why I made the distinction between the two in my previous post.

The problem with "libertarianism" is that there is no clearly defined meaning for it. It is used to refer to a wide range of political systems which are not compatible. Here's a quote from the wikipedia article:

Quote
Rather than embodying a singular, rigid systematic theory or ideology, libertarianism has been applied as an umbrella term to a wide range of sometimes discordant political ideas...

So, how can we discuss about "libertarianism", when it has no clearly defined meaning? Intelligent discussion becomes rather difficult if a word means something to one person, but something else to another. There is even something called "libertarian socialism", how's that for a contradiction?

Objectivism, on the other hand, is fairly strictly defined. That's why I prefer to use that word.

I agree.  That's why I choose to call my own little version of libertarianism pure.  Because it simply means that all freedom is good and lack of freedom is bad, so long as man's natural rights are not violated. When you violate someone's rights exercising your freedom, it is immoral and wrong. That's what courts are for.  To sort out the conflicts.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:53:52 pm by neofelis »
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2015, 03:00:16 am »


Thanks for the answer! I read the wiki articles.
But now I have more questions.
How is objectivism different from classical liberalism? How do you define "minimal state"?  Won't there be a different instance for each populations or is it one-size-fits-all (and then a world government becomes desirable for its efficiency)?

Also, in such a system, how is it not in the interest of the average worker to organize into unions and ask more from their government and the owners of the means of production? One could be altruistic and argue that it weakens the whole system for everyone but on average each organized worker does get an individual gain. Now that sounds very similar to the system we live in.

Is there a perfect political/economical system or is the long term survival of the human race not grounded in the diversity and dialectics of its political systems instead, just like all systems with a dynamics of "natural selection"?

Personally I think that more transparency in governments would alleviate a lot of our problems (corruption, growing social inequalities, inefficiencies, etc.) and blockchain technologies are a very big step in this direction once we can force our way into the system.

But then we are slowing creating an autonomous Skynet ... so we are all doomed anyway.

Have a good day!

An Objectivist minimal state would be one that provides only a military and a police force.  These two entities protect individual rights and do nothing else. 

Any group of workers in a free society can organize into a union if they desire it.  That's what freedom is all about.  I'm all for unions. Of course, any employer can choose not to negotiate with a union if he so chooses.  He could fire them all if they strike.  That's HIS freedom.  Freedom works both ways.  If a union has skilled labor that the employer needs, he may have to negotiate with the union if he wants his skilled workers to keep working. Unions could ask for more power from the government but it wouldn't have the authority to give it to them.  Any special favors given to the unions would be a violation of somebody else's freedom and would not be permissible.

Freedom is NOT EASY.  You may want yourself to be completely free but you may have a hard time allowing somebody else that same freedom.  So many people want to use the force of government to get others to bend to their will.  Sad.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2015, 03:02:59 am »

While the idea of "minimal state", also called minarchism is appealing, I see one problem: every state that started as a minarchy [USA is the prime example] ended up becoming a police state. That's why I don't think it's sustainable, we've seen it fail many times.

Sad but true.  The US almost did it, but the constitution wasn't crystal clear on what was and was not permitted.  Nor did it emphasize freedom.  I'm sure the founding fathers would have a lot to say about all our social programs a our lovely central bank.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2015, 03:11:34 am »

If i personally support it or not doesnt matter, am i not free to have a personal opinion on any matter??  What i absolutely wouldnt do is make everyone pay for it by the use of violence.
 In a libertarian society they would have the health and education system their members want, and if not you are free to walk away from it. And if the most rational option is to pay for public health and education, they would probably end up doing it for THEIR OWN GOOD, but on a rational and consensed way where its objective is GOOD EDUCATION AND HEALTH SYSTEM, not on the corrupted governments way which objective is more control on resources,money, and manipulation + mafia on giving responsability jobs and public jobs who only care on receiving money each month and not trying their best.

I work in the healthcare system and the only reason it is so expensive is because of government intervention.  Government sets prices with Medicare and price fixing leads to shortages.  US healthcare is far far far from a free market.

As for education, the only reason it is so expensive is because of government intervention yet again. If you can get into a college and study for ANY degree, the government is happy to loan you as much as it takes to graduate. That is why we have people with degrees in Lesbian Studies and >$100,000 debt.  That's debt, by the way, you can't escape from.  No bankruptcy will absolve you from student loan debt and guess who will be knocking on your door to collect?  You guessed it! The IRS.  Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be reasonable.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2015, 03:23:52 am »

My biggest question to objectivists is: how much other philosophy have you actually read?

Thales, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Siddartha, Machiavelli, Martin Luther, Francis Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Newton, Locke, Voltaire, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzche, and of course RAND.

There's more to Philosophy than metaphysics and ethics.  Haven't you heard of epistemology, politics, and aesthetics?  If you study Objectivist epistemology (There's a book on it written by Rand herself), you may change you opinion on the metaphysics.  It's based on pure logic and quite compelling. It's only about 50 pages but they are slow to digest.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2015, 03:29:17 am »

What I'd support? No public health system. Instead, a healthcare subsidized by insurance companies.
You're advocating precisely the US system pre-Obamacare. We know this system is/was really, really bad, especially in a cost/benefit analysis. Highest costs in the world, with mediocre medical outcomes at best. For those that are insured at all of course, others are roadkill.
Not really. Both systems [insurance and medical] were still heavily and unnecessary regulated. I'd be for throwing the regulations out of a window and instead going with reputation.
If you think that "no regulation" is a problem, there can be a free market "certificate authorities", that could rate hospitals and insurance companies. I think there would be enough information to make an informed decision.
In fact "insurance company" could be a blockchain corporation that doesn't need any fees, with full transparency, accountability and decentralization.

Even before Obamacare, the healthcare industry was dominated by Medicare.  There has not been a free market in healthcare since 1965.  Insurance companies set their rates based on Medicare.  Medicare reimbursement goes up and insurance reimbursement goes up. Rarely happens.  Medicare reimbursement goes down, insurance reimbursements go down.  BUT , insurance premiums always go up.  No competition.  Ugly system. 
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2015, 03:32:29 am »

Libertarians often think that socialism is evil and what people want (freedom) is good. What if people want socialism? What if they genuinely want someone else to do their chores (coercion or not)?

People can have socialism if they can get enough other people to donate to their socialist society.  They are free to try this.  What they can't do, however, is force others to join and pay for their socialism.  Socialism is force.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2015, 03:41:06 am »


That last bit is the definition of capital value realization, by the way. Which system was it again that came up with sweatshops on one hand and fully automatic mass profuction factories on the other? Oh right, it was capitalism :D

Whoever came up with the whole "but socialism is forcing other people to work instead you" routine should get an international holiday of being laughed at.

In very poor countries, there are people who work in factories (you call them sweatshops) to make goods for us, true.  So lets close down these factories and where will the people work?  They are working voluntarily and getting paid to do so.  Nobody is forcing anybody to work.  Hmmm lets looks at places where these 'sweatshops' were operating in the 70s and 80s.  Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philipines.  These places are now thriving and have increased their standard of living five fold in just one generation.  Let's hear it for Capitalism!  I suppose davethetrousers would have them still poor so he wouldn't feel guilty about exploiting them.  I call that free trade, BTW.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 04:57:59 pm by neofelis »
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2015, 05:05:49 am »

No surprise that she's a great example of the hypocrisy of Libertarianism - after preaching about self-reliance, she secretly lived her last eight years off Social Security and Medicare.
I don't know about Ayn Rand, I haven't read anything from her, nor I don't know her story. Maybe my example doesn't fit the situation.
That being said:
1. You didn't state what hypocrisy is in Libertarianism. Both of your examples are a hypocrisy of a person [Ayn Rand], not of an ideology [Libertarianism]. Please state your case what do you see hypocritical in it?
2. Imagine the following story:
One value you cherish the most is honesty.
You live in a small village, 500km from the nearest village.
Everyone in a village is a part of a cult that believes that all blasphemers should be killed.
You become an atheist.

Someone asks you how strong is your faith. Do you:
- Answer truthfully? - you die
- Lie? - you become a hypocrite

Unfortunately that's the reality we all live in. There is no freedom to choose. You have to pay taxes or you'll be thrown into a cage. When you're ill, you have to go to the state-sponsored medical clinic or you'll die. About 0.0001% of people would choose death over hypocrisy.

Don't forget the most important philosophical rule of them all:

Be excellent to each other.
I think, that so far we're doing a good job. I haven't heard one personal attack over the entire discussion. The NXT community is great.
Two rules of the internet: Don't talk about politics and religion. ;) Try having this discussion on BitcoinTalk.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 05:09:09 am by bcdev »
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jl777

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2015, 05:40:40 am »

It seems the crypto technology can be libertarians' best friend and it can help your guys to build a more objective society.

I agree 100%.  Crypto frees us from the horrible dilution of our money by the government.  Go here to see how much our money in the US has been debased in the post 30 years.  It's sickening.

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?graph_id=221118&category_id=
I am confused, this shows about 600% inflation over ~35 years.
but the USSA govt reports are saying there is no inflation or its ~2%?
even using compounding at 2% this is 200% over this time period
The numbers just dont seem to add up.
surely the USSA govt wouldnt underreport official inflation numbers? That sort of thing is an exclusive to countries like Argentina
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2015, 05:43:57 am »

Quote
Unlike animals, humans have the faculty of reason. Animals survive by violence, taking what they need from whatever they can get it from. They don't recognize property rights and they don't freely trade with each other.  By your definition, whenever a person has something you want (or think you need), you have the natural right to take it from them.  Hardly civilized.  Humans are not animals.

The faculty of reason does not exempt us from the laws of natural evolution. We can't escape natural selection by simply wising it away or declaring it immoral. We encounter nature's limiting factors (hunger, thirst, lust, exposure, boredom, etc) on a daily basis. Some navigate that maze successfully and pro-create. Others fail and perish. Today's winning genes influence behaviors of future actors.

Exact same thing happens to social groups (families, tribes, villages, towns and states). They too are subjects of the laws of natural selection and evolution.

And finally on violence. Ironically (by employing "faculty of reason") we have discovered that violence is most effective when fully overwhelming (one can only be sure of one's survival when competition is dead). Overwhelming violence requires large groups. To maintain coherence, such groups tend to limit internal strife (hence the sense of security within the group). This creates a "peace dividend", which usually goes towards the ability of the group to project external violence (standing army). Along the way, the "faculty of reason" is heavily used by trained professionals (propaganda) to rationalize the confiscation of labor and life (war) as being not only necessary, but also commendable and even nobble.

As our reasoning abilities increase, so does the body count. The most evolved social groups now have weapons capable of destroying all human life on Earth. We can reason all day long on whether they have the "moral right" to do so, but the capabilities are undeniable. And they are result of natural selection - the groups less capable of organized violence are no longer with us.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 06:00:36 am by kwilliams »
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2015, 05:50:33 am »

To answer your question about what I think is competing providers of protective services, I'd have to say that it wouldn't work and would likely lead to gang rule.  My police force vs yours, etc.    I believe the proper function go government is to protect the nation with a military and protect the citizens from themselves with a police force.
I don't think that "gang rule" would be the outcome. Look at the police as a business.
Right now the police gets founding from the rulers, which means that what rulers order, police will do. Even if it's jailing people for peaceful protests or growing bad kinds of plants in their homes.
A police officer can lie in court without consequences. He can shoot an innocent civilian and simply get fired from job [no other penalty]. If there is no other evidence, the word of a police officer is more important than yours in a court.
There is no accountability. You cannot vote for police officers. There is no way to fire them. Whatever police does, they'll get founding.

In a libertarian society a "police" [plural], would answer to their investors, people they protect. If a "police force" decided to wage an open war with another "police force", they would get defunded to bankrupcy like every other bad business. If they'd provide a bad service, clients would go to competitors. If they'd be brutal, people would defund them.

These two services increase freedom which is my main ideal to always strive to and the benchmark by which all actions must be measured. If you can't leave your house of fear of robbery, you cannot get to market to trade and that's not goof for anybody.  That's why a police force is necessary.
95% of your neighbors are peaceful, that's why it's safe for you to go to the market. Police has nothing to do with this. There are places where it's unsafe to walk on a street despite police. Also, there are places where it's unsafe to walk on a street because of police.

These two services do not increase freedom. Nobody's freedom has ever been increased by a threat of violence.
Every war was fought because of a military. No military forces means no war.

Obama looks to expand ISIS fight, asks Congress to send troops to Iraq and Syria
What the ****! US is an ocean away from a nearest threat, yet they have a greatest army in the world. And they attack countries on the other side of the globe.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2015, 06:00:50 am »

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?graph_id=221118&category_id=
I am confused, this shows about 600% inflation over ~35 years.
but the USSA govt reports are saying there is no inflation or its ~2%?
even using compounding at 2% this is 200% over this time period
The numbers just dont seem to add up.
surely the USSA govt wouldnt underreport official inflation numbers? That sort of thing is an exclusive to countries like Argentina
The link shows "Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items". Reported inflation rate from 1980-2015 is about 298%.
Inflation calculator returns 201% over the same peroid.
It seems that it's just calculated using a different basket of goods.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2015, 06:44:04 am »

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?graph_id=221118&category_id=
I am confused, this shows about 600% inflation over ~35 years.
but the USSA govt reports are saying there is no inflation or its ~2%?
even using compounding at 2% this is 200% over this time period
The numbers just dont seem to add up.
surely the USSA govt wouldnt underreport official inflation numbers? That sort of thing is an exclusive to countries like Argentina
The link shows "Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items". Reported inflation rate from 1980-2015 is about 298%.
Inflation calculator returns 201% over the same peroid.
It seems that it's just calculated using a different basket of goods.
well thats only a small difference, so it is just a rounding error.
basically the difference between people losing 50% or 2/3rd's of their real net worth. I guess hardly worth quibbling over.

but i look at this chart and as a simple C programmer, I see the line at ~40 and then it goes to ~240. I divide and it is 6. convert to percentage so it becomes 600%. But you tell me it is only 200% or 300%. For a minute there I thought the USSA peoples lost 85% of their real networth from this silent tax.

so glad all is well

James
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #66 on: February 13, 2015, 07:31:09 am »

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?graph_id=221118&category_id=
I am confused, this shows about 600% inflation over ~35 years.
but the USSA govt reports are saying there is no inflation or its ~2%?
even using compounding at 2% this is 200% over this time period
The numbers just dont seem to add up.
surely the USSA govt wouldnt underreport official inflation numbers? That sort of thing is an exclusive to countries like Argentina
The link shows "Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items". Reported inflation rate from 1980-2015 is about 298%.
Inflation calculator returns 201% over the same peroid.
It seems that it's just calculated using a different basket of goods.
well thats only a small difference, so it is just a rounding error.
basically the difference between people losing 50% or 2/3rd's of their real net worth. I guess hardly worth quibbling over.

but i look at this chart and as a simple C programmer, I see the line at ~40 and then it goes to ~240. I divide and it is 6. convert to percentage so it becomes 600%. But you tell me it is only 200% or 300%. For a minute there I thought the USSA peoples lost 85% of their real networth from this silent tax.

so glad all is well

James

Someone needs to add "quality of goods" to these statistics.  "Inflation" is even higher if you figure in the quality of the merchandise.  Sure, the pair of pants is three times more expensive, but the quality of workmanship is 10x less.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #67 on: February 13, 2015, 10:29:12 am »

I started this thread to try and get some of those views out there as I believe most people who would support crypto would also agree with the whole concept of individual rights. I'm kinda disappointed it got sent to the Pub Crawl section.  I think everything we talk about is very relevant to crypto.  Besides, there are a lot of threads in the general discussion that don't deal with NXT.

Agreed. This topic is serious and relevant to the Nxt project, which does have a philosophical basis. I don't see it as "Off-beat", and certainly not associated with the custom of staggering from one pub to the next in order to consume a quota of alcohol.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #68 on: February 13, 2015, 10:35:39 am »

well thats only a small difference, so it is just a rounding error.
basically the difference between people losing 50% or 2/3rd's of their real net worth. I guess hardly worth quibbling over.

but i look at this chart and as a simple C programmer, I see the line at ~40 and then it goes to ~240. I divide and it is 6. convert to percentage so it becomes 600%. But you tell me it is only 200% or 300%. For a minute there I thought the USSA peoples lost 85% of their real networth from this silent tax.

so glad all is well

James
I've calculated the data for a period of 35 years [1980-2015]. The chart starts from 79 [1980] to 240 [2015], which roughly equals to 300%.
You took the data from 40 [1971] to 240 [2015], which is 44 years. So you compared the data from 44 years to the data from 35 years, that's why your calculations are off by so much.

People lost 66% over the period of 35 years, and 85% over the period of 44 years according to the index. 50% [government] vs 66% [index] isn't such a big difference and imo points to a different method of calculation.

It's funny though, that the government always uses a method that results in lowest possible number. ;)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 10:47:04 am by bcdev »
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #69 on: February 13, 2015, 10:40:40 am »

I started this thread to try and get some of those views out there as I believe most people who would support crypto would also agree with the whole concept of individual rights. I'm kinda disappointed it got sent to the Pub Crawl section.  I think everything we talk about is very relevant to crypto.  Besides, there are a lot of threads in the general discussion that don't deal with NXT.

Agreed. This topic is serious and relevant to the Nxt project, which does have a philosophical basis. I don't see it as "Off-beat", and certainly not associated with the custom of staggering from one pub to the next in order to consume a quota of alcohol.

Nxt should be philosophy agnostic. Socialists/capitalists/libertarians can all use it as they see fit. So this is as offtopic as any other political or philosophy thread would be.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #70 on: February 13, 2015, 10:49:00 am »

Nxt should be philosophy agnostic. Socialists/capitalists/libertarians can all use it as they see fit. So this is as offtopic as any other political or philosophy thread would be.
Is not agnosticism a philosophy (having something in common with objectivism)? Is not decentralization a philosophy?
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #71 on: February 13, 2015, 11:25:46 am »

well thats only a small difference, so it is just a rounding error.
basically the difference between people losing 50% or 2/3rd's of their real net worth. I guess hardly worth quibbling over.

but i look at this chart and as a simple C programmer, I see the line at ~40 and then it goes to ~240. I divide and it is 6. convert to percentage so it becomes 600%. But you tell me it is only 200% or 300%. For a minute there I thought the USSA peoples lost 85% of their real networth from this silent tax.

so glad all is well

James
I've calculated the data for a period of 35 years [1980-2015]. The chart starts from 79 [1980] to 240 [2015], which roughly equals to 300%.
You took the data from 40 [1971] to 240 [2015], which is 44 years. So you compared the data from 44 years to the data from 35 years, that's why your calculations are off by so much.

People lost 66% over the period of 35 years, and 85% over the period of 44 years according to the index. 50% [government] vs 66% [index] isn't such a big difference and imo points to a different method of calculation.

It's funny though, that the government always uses a method that results in lowest possible number. ;)
maybe this is a good thing?
it forces fiat whales to do something, cuz if they dont, they wont be whales anymore
regardless of the exact amount, it is clear the vast majority is disappearing.
where does this go? is this what finances all the good things the USSA is doing for the world?
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #72 on: February 13, 2015, 12:03:54 pm »

maybe this is a good thing?
it forces fiat whales to do something, cuz if they dont, they wont be whales anymore
regardless of the exact amount, it is clear the vast majority is disappearing.
where does this go? is this what finances all the good things the USSA is doing for the world?
There are no "fiat whales". All whales get their net value from stock ownership.
If by "doing something" you mean "investing in indexes" - just Buy&Hold SMP500, that gives you 9% on average every year, > 4% above inflation for doing nothing. In a fiat system money is going from the poor who hoard fiat, to the rich who hold stocks.

In the long term I expect the biggest cryptocurrency to behave like "industrial average index" - steady growth of a few % a year, but also used as a currency. Think of being paid for work and buying things using "SMP500", value of which grows every year.
That way everyone in the economy benefits, but if you'd want to beat the market, you'd need to take risks. SMP500 is both steadily rising and less risky than USD. What a scam USD is... >:(
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 12:08:09 pm by bcdev »
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #73 on: February 13, 2015, 12:23:36 pm »

maybe this is a good thing?
it forces fiat whales to do something, cuz if they dont, they wont be whales anymore
regardless of the exact amount, it is clear the vast majority is disappearing.
where does this go? is this what finances all the good things the USSA is doing for the world?
There are no "fiat whales". All whales get their net value from stock ownership.
If by "doing something" you mean "investing in indexes" - just Buy&Hold SMP500, that gives you 9% on average every year, > 4% above inflation for doing nothing. In a fiat system money is going from the poor who hoard fiat, to the rich who hold stocks.

In the long term I expect the biggest cryptocurrency to behave like "industrial average index" - steady growth of a few % a year, but also used as a currency. Think of being paid for work and buying things using "SMP500", value of which grows every year.
That way everyone in the economy benefits, but if you'd want to beat the market, you'd need to take risks. SMP500 is both steadily rising and less risky than USD. What a scam USD is... >:(
we should make MS coin pegged to the greater of USD or SMP500, so even if stockmarket goes down, it doesnt lose value. maybe it would only gain half as much in up years for this stability

we just need to be able to lock some USD to back the SMP500 MS coin
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #74 on: February 13, 2015, 02:25:01 pm »

It seems the crypto technology can be libertarians' best friend and it can help your guys to build a more objective society.

I agree 100%.  Crypto frees us from the horrible dilution of our money by the government.  Go here to see how much our money in the US has been debased in the post 30 years.  It's sickening.

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?graph_id=221118&category_id=
I am confused, this shows about 600% inflation over ~35 years.
but the USSA govt reports are saying there is no inflation or its ~2%?
even using compounding at 2% this is 200% over this time period
The numbers just dont seem to add up.
surely the USSA govt wouldnt underreport official inflation numbers? That sort of thing is an exclusive to countries like Argentina

Actually, it shows prices in 1980 as about 83 and in 2010 as about 217.  that's an increase of 261%.  Which is bad enough.  Especially if you retired in 1980 and watched your savings buying power diminish.  :(
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #75 on: February 13, 2015, 05:36:49 pm »

maybe this is a good thing?
it forces fiat whales to do something, cuz if they dont, they wont be whales anymore
regardless of the exact amount, it is clear the vast majority is disappearing.
where does this go? is this what finances all the good things the USSA is doing for the world?

Inflation is good. It creates an incentive for spending and investing. The more money "goes around" in an economy, the better. On the other hand, the more people hoard money and let it sit in bank accounts, the worse the economy is.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #76 on: February 13, 2015, 06:20:51 pm »

Inflation is good. It creates an incentive for spending and investing. The more money "goes around" in an economy, the better. On the other hand, the more people hoard money and let it sit in bank accounts, the worse the economy is.
I don't agree with this statement. Here is why:
1) Credit cards & consumer credit: Most people cannot defer gratification, even if they will have to pay more later. "Inflationary vs deflationary" is imo good analogy to "money vs credit" in this case.
2) Savings accounts: Holding money in deflationary currency will be analogous to today's holding money in an investment/savings account. Just as market always goes up, savings accounts generate few % every year, holding money in a deflationary currency would be exactly like holding money with interest today. People's spending habits won't change.
3) We've seen deflation [falling prices] in technology for years. PC's and mobile phones are booming right now, despite being deflationary [getting better every year]. Nobody thinks "I'll wait another year for a better phone".
4) For hundreds [?thousands?] of years people used gold & gold parity currencies.
5) Even if the means most people start hoarding saving money, is it bad? People won't save on food, shelter and other necessary utilities. They would save on luxury purchases. Things they don't need. I hate to see people drive every day to work in instead of relocating/biking/using public transportation. It would be positive for an economy to scrap the luxury boat/car/golf/etc. industries and redirect this energy into useful industries [medical/scientific research, food production, etc.].

In deflationary economy people's habits wouldn't change [people would still live from salary to salary, spending all their money on junk]. And even if they'd start hoarding saving money, it'd be a good thing because the economy could stop producing luxurious junk.

The more money "goes around" in an economy, the better. On the other hand, the more people hoard money and let it sit in bank accounts, the worse the economy is.
Can you elaborate why?

EDIT: You have not responded to my previous rebuttals. "I agree" or "I don't agree because" would be nice. ;)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 06:56:33 pm by bcdev »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #77 on: February 13, 2015, 07:54:50 pm »


The faculty of reason does not exempt us from the laws of natural evolution. We can't escape natural selection by simply wising it away or declaring it immoral. We encounter nature's limiting factors (hunger, thirst, lust, exposure, boredom, etc) on a daily basis. Some navigate that maze successfully and pro-create. Others fail and perish. Today's winning genes influence behaviors of future actors.

Exact same thing happens to social groups (families, tribes, villages, towns and states). They too are subjects of the laws of natural selection and evolution.

And finally on violence. Ironically (by employing "faculty of reason") we have discovered that violence is most effective when fully overwhelming (one can only be sure of one's survival when competition is dead). Overwhelming violence requires large groups. To maintain coherence, such groups tend to limit internal strife (hence the sense of security within the group). This creates a "peace dividend", which usually goes towards the ability of the group to project external violence (standing army). Along the way, the "faculty of reason" is heavily used by trained professionals (propaganda) to rationalize the confiscation of labor and life (war) as being not only necessary, but also commendable and even nobble.

As our reasoning abilities increase, so does the body count. The most evolved social groups now have weapons capable of destroying all human life on Earth. We can reason all day long on whether they have the "moral right" to do so, but the capabilities are undeniable. And they are result of natural selection - the groups less capable of organized violence are no longer with us.

Using reason to justify violation of individual rights would mean using flawed reason. If everybody from hundreds of years ago started respecting individual rights, there would not have been wars or nuclear weapons.  That's a pretty far fetched fantasy but as long as there are aggressors that do not respect individual rights, powerful weapons are going to be needed.  Sad, I know.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #78 on: February 13, 2015, 08:02:16 pm »

Obama looks to expand ISIS fight, asks Congress to send troops to Iraq and Syria
What the ****! US is an ocean away from a nearest threat, yet they have a greatest army in the world. And they attack countries on the other side of the globe.

I think that since ISIS has made clear that they intend on striking the US, that justifies attacking them on their turf. In the days of homegrown terrorism and international flights and a porous US southern border, an attack on the US is more than possible, it's probable.  Again, sadly.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #79 on: February 13, 2015, 08:03:46 pm »

I started this thread to try and get some of those views out there as I believe most people who would support crypto would also agree with the whole concept of individual rights. I'm kinda disappointed it got sent to the Pub Crawl section.  I think everything we talk about is very relevant to crypto.  Besides, there are a lot of threads in the general discussion that don't deal with NXT.

Agreed. This topic is serious and relevant to the Nxt project, which does have a philosophical basis. I don't see it as "Off-beat", and certainly not associated with the custom of staggering from one pub to the next in order to consume a quota of alcohol.

I appreciate your support. :)
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #80 on: February 13, 2015, 08:08:57 pm »

Nxt should be philosophy agnostic. Socialists/capitalists/libertarians can all use it as they see fit. So this is as offtopic as any other political or philosophy thread would be.

Agree with the agnosticism part. People are free to choose how they want to live. Unfortunately, too many of them want to force others to live as they do. That's not freedom in my world.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #81 on: February 13, 2015, 08:17:24 pm »

Inflation is good. It creates an incentive for spending and investing. The more money "goes around" in an economy, the better. On the other hand, the more people hoard money and let it sit in bank accounts, the worse the economy is.

There is something to be said for this. If there is a small inflation rate, people would spend their money now vice later when it is worth less. Plus, if there is deflation, people would put off purchases while they wait for prices to drop. That would be bad for the economy.  HOWEVER, no government can resist inflating waaay beyond that to fund their social programs.

I'd rather have crypto that may deflate slowly over time than trust any government to handle the money supply.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 05:03:41 pm by neofelis »
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #82 on: February 13, 2015, 08:24:45 pm »

People won't save on food, shelter and other necessary utilities. They would save on luxury purchases. Things they don't need. I hate to see people drive every day to work in instead of relocating/biking/using public transportation. It would be positive for an economy to scrap the luxury boat/car/golf/etc. industries and redirect this energy into useful industries [medical/scientific research, food production, etc.].

This statement I find very worrying. The essence of free market is that it is driven by supply and demand. So what if people want to spend on luxury items? Why is that bad?

You make judgements on what people should spend their money on. You make statements on what kind of spending would be "positive" for the economy, and what kind of industries would be "useful". If you (or anyone else, or any group of people) makes these kinds of decisions, then we are not talking about a free market. We are talking about a "planned economy".

The more money "goes around" in an economy, the better. On the other hand, the more people hoard money and let it sit in bank accounts, the worse the economy is.
Can you elaborate why?

Because when capital flows freely, it tends to flow to people who can multiply it, thus increasing the wealth of the whole economy (e.g. the GDP of the country). When capital sits in a bank it is "idle". The potential is not being used. But lets say the stock of a company is bought with the capital, and that company is able to earn 10% return on equity per year. Now that capital is being utilized effectively.

This mechanism is the same for NXT assets and stock of real companies btw. If you don't agree with this concept then you shouldn't invest in NXT assets either, as then you would be better off by just holding NXT.

EDIT: You have not responded to my previous rebuttals. "I agree" or "I don't agree because" would be nice. ;)

Sorry I don't have time to respond to everything. :) I try to pick and choose few things here and there.
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #83 on: February 13, 2015, 08:35:02 pm »

The more money "goes around" in an economy, the better. On the other hand, the more people hoard money....

Which is why the capital gains tax should be zero.
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kwilliams

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #84 on: February 13, 2015, 08:41:09 pm »

Quote
Inflation is good. It creates an incentive for spending and investing. The more money "goes around" in an economy, the better. On the other hand, the more people hoard money and let it sit in bank accounts, the worse the economy is.

Logically maybe but ethically questionable. Basically you say it's OK to take from one group (savers) to benefit another (spenders), as long as resulting system is more efficient. In this line of thought for example the compulsory sterilization (of people having certain genetic diseases) would be permissible, since it enhances the overall health of the population?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 08:53:36 pm by kwilliams »
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #85 on: February 13, 2015, 09:08:24 pm »

Basically you say it's OK to take from one group (savers) to benefit another (spenders), as long as resulting system is more efficient.

In this case, I imagine there would be some small inflation rate, which would benefit both groups the most in the long run. At first it may look like the savers lose, but if the whole GDP grows to offset it, they win. More interesting question is why should a system benefit both groups equally? Since each person is free to be a saver or an investor to the degree they choose to. If a system benefits one or the other, rational people will adjust their habits accordingly anyway, right?

But in principle, no, I do not support taking from any group and giving to another. And I wouldn't trust government to determine the "right" inflation rate.

Of course, in a completely free economy, there likely wouldn't be one "official currency" at all, but a group of competing currencies (like we have in crypto). That way there would be inflationary and deflationary currencies, and everything else people can come up with, and everyone is free to use the currency of their choice.

I also find it a bit strange that people are so fixed on inflation as some big problem. What does it matter if I lose 2% to inflation every year when taxes and other payments to government take probably 60% of my income every year? I'd like to get that figure to 10% first, and then worry about the 2% inflation.

In this line of thought for example the compulsory sterilization (of people having certain genetic diseases) would be permissible, since it enhances the overall health of the population?

No.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 09:15:34 pm by maddy83 »
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #86 on: February 13, 2015, 09:22:06 pm »

At first it may look like the savers lose, but if the whole GDP grows to offset it, they win.
You confused a growth of monetary base with inflation in this sentence. Positive inflation means that savers always loose, regardless of how much GDP grows.
I also find it a bit strange that people are so fixed on inflation as some big problem. What does it matter if I lose 2% to inflation every year when taxes and other payments to government take probably 60% of my income every year? I'd like to get that figure to 10% first, and then worry about the 2% inflation.
I agree, the inflation in single % numbers isn't that bad for us. We know, that we should hold as small amount of capital in fiat as possible and invest the rest.
However, the "ignorant Igor" doesn't have this knowledge, and he can easily loose large amounts of money if he saves $100,000 in USD without learning about investing first.

I see growth of monetary supply as just another tax, few % yearly on the whole monetary base. And the taxes of 30% are already 6 times higher than 100 years ago. What's worse, the inflation tax mostly hits poorest people, not you or me.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 09:34:21 pm by bcdev »
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #87 on: February 13, 2015, 09:56:45 pm »

However, the "ignorant Igor" doesn't have this knowledge, and he can easily loose large amounts of money if he saves $100,000 in USD without learning about investing first.

In my opinion this is the real problem, not the inflation. I am amazed this kind of basic economics is not taught in schools. I was just blown away when I understood how compounding interest works and how powerful it is. Had I known that earlier, I would have begun saving and investing at a much younger age. Even better would be if my parents had known.

What's worse, the inflation tax mostly hits poorest people, not you or me.

Probably true. But why do you place such emphasis on the poor, if you are not one? Do you think the poor should be "helped" somehow by others, maybe even involuntarily? That still feels like the "planned economy" stuff.

Free market doesn't care about the poor (or the rich). It only asks one question: Can you create value or not? If you can, sky is the limit. If not, you are not worth a dime.

Don't get me wrong, I want to help the poor. I just think the mistake is to make that somekind of primary goal. Disclaimer: I am not rich, I am average or slightly below it in my country.
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #88 on: February 13, 2015, 10:22:51 pm »

What's worse, the inflation tax mostly hits poorest people, not you or me.
Probably true. But why do you place such emphasis on the poor, if you are not one? Do you think the poor should be "helped" somehow by others, maybe even involuntarily? That still feels like the "planned economy" stuff.

Free market doesn't care about the poor (or the rich). It only asks one question: Can you create value or not? If you can, sky is the limit. If not, you are not worth a dime.
I just point the flaws in this artificial system. The system should not make things harder, and right now it does. Inflation is artificial and wouldn't have existed in for example gold based economy.
I don't think that inflation would've existed in a free market economy, because *people would gravitate towards assets that increase in value. There would be no problem in migrating towards an economy based on "SMP500onNXTalwaysApreciating" asset if NXT was inflationary. Unfortunately, USD is the "currency" blessed by the government, that's why you cannot pay for your bread in market indexes or gold ETF's.

* History of Liberty Dollar is an interesting read on what happens if someone tries to create a deflationary currency competing with USD. Thankfully, unlike the Liberty Dollar, Bitcoin has no vault to be raided by thugs. And before it was raided, it was massively successful.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #89 on: February 14, 2015, 08:27:32 am »

Quote
I also find it a bit strange that people are so fixed on inflation as some big problem

Totally agreed.  It’s a fine example of single issue politics. Because we don’t have time to explore people’s unique opinions and fine nuances, we give them “the quiz”:  in USA is sounds like this: “god?”, “abortion?”, “crime?”, “gay rights?”, “2nd amendment?”, “climate change?”, “the 1%?”, “inflation?”. Then we decide if he /she/it is “one of us”

Economy is a social phenomenon (occurs naturally). It can be influenced by government actions. Inflation is just one of the many parts of an economy. As long as the gov is given mandate of managing the entire economy, complaining that it chooses to create inflation seems like a mute argument to me. It’s like laying at the surgeon’s table and complaining that they are giving you too much morphine (versus focusing on why you are being sedated in the first place)

The official narrative is gov managing the economy to maximize common good.  So gov has the full right of stating that "even tough ignorant Igor will have less purchasing power, he will be living in a better society", thus justifying its actions. Just like the surgeon of the above example will tell you "even tough you'll wake up with less organs, you will end up living longer and better after the operation". In booth cases we have no choice but to believe
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 08:38:03 am by kwilliams »
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maddy83

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #90 on: February 14, 2015, 09:59:15 am »

So, it seems like most people participating in this thread agree that we prefer a small government, rather than a big one. I also assume we are not happy with "status quo", and would like to see change in society [towards smaller government]. So lets try to make some logical statements based on this.

So, lets make the following premises:

1. We have a democracy, so whatever system is adopted, tends to be what the majority wants.
2. What we have currently is classified as "big government".

Now we get two conclusions based on that:

3. The majority of people want a "big government".
4. We, the supporters of "small government", are a minority.

Further, in order to change society towards the direction of small government, we have two possibilities:

5. Try to move away from democracy, towards a system where a minority would have more power than the majority.
6. Try to convert members of the "majority" into our "minority", and eventually reverse the two, and become the majority.

Do you think my logic is sound? If you disagree, tell me which part is incorrect. If you agree, tell me what you think of 5 and 6.
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bcdev

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #91 on: February 14, 2015, 11:34:23 am »

Further, in order to change society towards the direction of small government, we have two possibilities:

5. Try to move away from democracy, towards a system where a minority would have more power than the majority.
6. Try to convert members of the "majority" into our "minority", and eventually reverse the two, and become the majority.

Do you think my logic is sound? If you disagree, tell me which part is incorrect. If you agree, tell me what you think of 5 and 6.
5. That is the government. Minority [a very small minority] having more power than the majority. We don't want that.
6. This has been tried many times, almost never successful. People are too entrenched in their way of thinking.

What I suggest is to go to one place, become a majority there, and after a critical mass is gathered, things will continue automatically.
The Free State Project is an example of such movement, and there are many more all around the world. [albeit not that popular]
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #92 on: February 14, 2015, 04:21:14 pm »

Of course, in a completely free economy, there likely wouldn't be one "official currency" at all, but a group of competing currencies (like we have in crypto). That way there would be inflationary and deflationary currencies, and everything else people can come up with, and everyone is free to use the currency of their choice.

True.  This is how gold and silver became the predominant means of exchange, by outlasting all other forms of exchange.

In this line of thought for example the compulsory sterilization (of people having certain genetic diseases) would be permissible, since it enhances the overall health of the population?

The general rule that I, as a libertarian, believe is that individual rights trump all other concerns.  If some action is attempted that violates anybody's individual rights, it is immoral.  This tenet has vast consequences and I believe leads to a better and more productive civilization.  This was how the US was pretty much for the first 125 years and in that time, it advanced far beyond the rest of the world in terms of invention, innovation, and wealth. And it did it without violating anybody's rights.*

*caveat:  Everybody knows the US has a poor track record on slavery and treatment of the indigenous natives. That is a whole other topic for debate.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 05:25:58 pm by neofelis »
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EvilDave

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #93 on: February 14, 2015, 04:25:44 pm »

The deliberate slaughter (as a matter of state policy) of the U.S indigenous population is 'a poor track record' ?

I somehow feel that the US was built on the basis of violating the rights of the original population..........Google ' nits make lice '
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 04:30:29 pm by EvilDave »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #94 on: February 14, 2015, 04:37:23 pm »

The official narrative is gov managing the economy to maximize common good.  So gov has the full right of stating that "even tough ignorant Igor will have less purchasing power, he will be living in a better society", thus justifying its actions. Just like the surgeon of the above example will tell you "even tough you'll wake up with less organs, you will end up living longer and better after the operation". In booth cases we have no choice but to believe

Maximizing the "common good" that involves violating individual rights is wrong and would not be allowed in a just society  When the government uses imminent domain and takes (forces them to sell) land from somebody who rightfully owns it, human progress takes a step back.  Immorality cannot lead to happiness.  A thousand little immoral deeds done for one big good deed is still wrong.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 05:06:12 pm by neofelis »
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #95 on: February 14, 2015, 04:44:53 pm »

So, lets make the following premises:

1. We have a democracy, so whatever system is adopted, tends to be what the majority wants.
2. What we have currently is classified as "big government".

Now we get two conclusions based on that:

3. The majority of people want a "big government".
4. We, the supporters of "small government", are a minority.

Further, in order to change society towards the direction of small government, we have two possibilities:

5. Try to move away from democracy, towards a system where a minority would have more power than the majority.
6. Try to convert members of the "majority" into our "minority", and eventually reverse the two, and become the majority.

Do you think my logic is sound? If you disagree, tell me which part is incorrect. If you agree, tell me what you think of 5 and 6.

A government based solely on democracy cannot stand.  That's what the Greeks did 2600 years ago. They invented democracy.  Majority rule leads to majority domination.  Until the next majority gets in power.  Hey, lets vote to take all the wealth from the top 1% just because we want it. This leads to ruin.

Democracy is fine when it is tempered with individual rights.  When individual rights are held in the highest regard (i.e. they cannot be violated under any circumstances), democracy will work.  Of course, you'll quickly find that almost anything that is voted on that involves taxes will violate individual rights. 
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #96 on: February 14, 2015, 05:20:08 pm »

The deliberate slaughter (as a matter of state policy) of the U.S indigenous population is 'a poor track record' ?

I somehow feel that the US was built on the basis of violating the rights of the original population..........Google ' nits make lice '

Since you brought up Native Americans, let's go there.  True, there were horrible injustices done in the name of Manifest Destiny.  Early Americans didn't respect the right to life of the American Indian.  Treaties were broken and people massacred. This took place on both sides so I'm not putting the Native Americans on the moral high ground either. I'm quite sure Native Americans were slaughtering each other long before we arrived.

BUT, the Native American culture was doomed to fail because they did not respect the right to property or life.  When you ask a native, "Where is your land?" and they point from one mountain range to another and claim this as theirs, that doesn't leave much left for the rest of us. Plus, they were not here originally either, they moved here from other lands and just took over. 

By that reasoning, I can claim the entire earth as my land, my planet.  So the rest of you need to leave.

The land you can claim as your own is the land that you put the effort into to work and use for whatever purpose you choose.  Without the right to property, no other rights can exist.  This is a Natural right that Man claims and is derived from nature by his existence as a man and his right to life.  Rights cannot be violated, ever.  That is why we call them rights.


This is the part of philosophy that I really love.  How to live in nature as a man.  What is man's purpose?  What is his nature?  All are conversations for later, but the Native American history gets us pointed in the right direction to discuss it.

I don't have all the answers, I wish I did.  It is our job as humans to ask these questions and try to figure them out, and we have a long way to go.  Who owns the oceans?  Is there a right to pollute your own shores? How about the atmosphere? Who has a right to life?  Is it only humans or do some animals have it?  Is it based on intelligence or genetics?  There are some animals that are smarter than some humans.  Do the profoundly retarded have the right to life merely because they are human?  Remember Terri Schiavo?  She got denied her right to life or are we as humans required to care for her and people in similar circumstances? Scary thoughts I know.

Common law had set out to answer these and was making progress before we got sidetracked with overbearing governments and socialism.  It's really a shame. 

I recommend a book I mentioned earlier. "Whatever Happened to Justice?" by Richard Maybury.  Excellent reading.  He also wrote another one called "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy" that deals with economics.  They are very easy to read and are quite informative.

Off my soap box for now.  :)
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neofelis

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #97 on: February 14, 2015, 05:33:12 pm »

I Googled "nits make lice" and found the Sand Creek Massacre.  Horrible stuff humans are capable of. 

But because our ancestors did not respect individual rights, does that mean we cannot? It has to start somewhere.
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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #98 on: February 14, 2015, 06:42:11 pm »

Purple bits are mine.....
The deliberate slaughter (as a matter of state policy) of the U.S indigenous population is 'a poor track record' ?

I somehow feel that the US was built on the basis of violating the rights of the original population..........Google ' nits make lice '

Since you brought up Native Americans, let's go there.  True, there were horrible injustices done in the name of Manifest Destiny.  Early Americans didn't respect the right to life of the American Indian.  Treaties were broken and people massacred. This took place on both sides so I'm not putting the Native Americans on the moral high ground either. I'm quite sure Native Americans were slaughtering each other long before we arrived.

The only problem here is that one side got slaughtered by the other, in a completely unbalanced fight.
Tribal wars generally didn't focus on exterminating the enemy, including women and children, while the fledgling US did precisely that.   

BUT, the Native American culture was doomed to fail because they did not respect the right to property or life.  When you ask a native, "Where is your land?" and they point from one mountain range to another and claim this as theirs, that doesn't leave much left for the rest of us. Plus, they were not here originally either, they moved here from other lands and just took over.
Yeah, except the Natives moved into an unpopulated continent around 15,000 years ago. Not the same situation at all. Their culture had survived, and thrived for a very long time, before they made the mistake of thinking that they could co-exist with the colonizers.


By that reasoning, I can claim the entire earth as my land, my planet.  So the rest of you need to leave.

The land you can claim as your own is the land that you put the effort into to work and use for whatever purpose you choose.  Without the right to property, no other rights can exist.  This is a Natural right that Man claims and is derived from nature by his existence as a man and his right to life.  Rights cannot be violated, ever.  That is why we call them rights.

There is no such thing as a natural right. All rights are social conventions, nothing more.


This is the part of philosophy that I really love.  How to live in nature as a man.  What is man's purpose?  What is his nature?  All are conversations for later, but the Native American history gets us pointed in the right direction to discuss it.

Mans purpose is exactly the same as that of bacteria. Make more people, preferably with your own genes included. Any claim that the human race has a 'purpose' is fuzzy psuedo-religious thinking.


I don't have all the answers, I wish I did.  It is our job as humans to ask these questions and try to figure them out, and we have a long way to go.  Who owns the oceans?  Is there a right to pollute your own shores? How about the atmosphere? Who has a right to life?  Is it only humans or do some animals have it?  Is it based on intelligence or genetics?  There are some animals that are smarter than some humans.  Do the profoundly retarded have the right to life merely because they are human?  Remember Terri Schiavo?  She got denied her right to life or are we as humans required to care for her and people in similar circumstances? Scary thoughts I know.

Thats the tricky bit......in a purposeless, random universe that doesn't give a fuck, how should we behave?


Common law had set out to answer these and was making progress before we got sidetracked with overbearing governments and socialism.  It's really a shame. 

I recommend a book I mentioned earlier. "Whatever Happened to Justice?" by Richard Maybury.  Excellent reading.  He also wrote another one called "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy" that deals with economics.  They are very easy to read and are quite informative.

Off my soap box for now.  :)
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kwilliams

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Re: Philosophy and Libertarianism
« Reply #99 on: February 14, 2015, 08:41:09 pm »

Quote
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...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 09:03:26 pm by kwilliams »
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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 »

Quote
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 »

Quote
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 »

Quote
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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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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