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[P]
The Free State Project has chosen New Hampshire

By Julian Morrison in Culture
Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:00:13 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Unnoticed by the wider public, a group comprising some 5000-ish libertarians has voted New Hampshire as their "Free State". Now they plan to recruit another 15,000 members, and relocate there en masse. Once there, they'll use democratic and cultural means to turn NH into a haven of free markets and individual liberty.

So, why care? Libertarians are alway proposing "pirate utopias", and then seeing them collapse from lack of support. Libertarians tend to be both self-interested, and dogmatic on their principles. Each previous scheme has foundered because folks considered it impractical, implausible, too dangerous, too self-sacrificing, too collectivist, or too half-hearted.

This time, it's different.


Quoting the FSP's "Statement of Intent", which members sign:

I hereby state my solemn intent to move to a state of the United States designated by vote of Free State Project (FSP) participants {which is now NH} as specified in the Participation Guidelines of the FSP {as soon as FSP membership reaches 20,000}. Once this move occurs, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of individuals' rights to life, liberty, and property.

Note the careful phrasing. Members aren't required to support a detailed official FSP "platform", to vote as a bloc, or even to vote at all. The only political platform is as described above, reduction of the scope of government. What sufficiently fulfils the requirement of "protection of individuals' rights to life, liberty, and property"? Deliberately unspecified. The FSP is very wary of turning off any potential supporters by taking an official stand on any "issue".

So, what's up? 20k people is too few to force the hand of democracy, in any state. On the surface this seems both futile, and wishy-washy. But that's a mistaken impression. The cunning thing about the FSP is that it's not a political movement: it's a culture hack.

Libertarians herd like cats do. You might even say this was the defining characteristic of a natural libertarian. So approaches that require mass lock-step action on any issue are guaranteed to fail. Lots of abortive "utopias" have been of such a nature, and IMO good riddance to them. By contrast, the way to entice a libertarian into action is to appeal to his personal self interest. This is where the FSP excels. They've voted to choose New Hampshire. But this vote wasn't a "horse race" like most electoral votes, a mere gamble and possibly a rigged race. This was a meaningful choice.

"All states under 1.5 million population at the time of the membership vote will be included on the ballot for the vote, excepting Hawaii and Rhode Island, which have been eliminated outright for their big-government tendencies". That resulted in ten possibilities: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Delaware. The population limit was there so that 20k people wouldn't be lost in the statistical noise.

Each state had one or more "state reports", detailing its virtues and drawbacks. Local members campaigned to promote the merits of their own state. The FSP gathered and published ratings for states in terms of various economic and social "indicators". The vote method (Simple Condorcet) was carefully chosen to be fair and to avoid "strategic" voting that would distort the result. The members themselves had and have a personal stake in the result: they have to go live there! Naturally they studied carefully before choosing. So, when the poll results were announced on the 1st of October, and New Hampshire won by a significant margin, an impartial observer could validly conclude that NH is genuinely the best place to go, if you're a libertarian.

Libertarians won't sign up to move to, say, Somalia, merely because it lacks a government. They won't go anywhere just because someone says so. But they'll keep their pledges and move with the FSP. Why wouldn't they? As far as anyone can tell, they're going to the best possible place.

In fact, expect more than just FSP members moving. Many people — such as myself — have been watching from the sidelines. Perhaps, unable to guarantee a move. Perhaps, too involved in their own workaday life to devote effort to politics. If any were considering moving, NH just jumped a few places up their preference ranking. The aggregate statistical effect will, I predict, be that several non-members move for every official member.

Okay, so, lots of libertarians in one place. What use is that?

  1. They are politically active. In electoral politics, that 20k weighs in against the actual number of voters — not the raw population figure.
  2. It's not just the 20k who will be voting, they'll be campaigning for votes and support amongst local non-members. In combination with locals, it's possible a truly libertarian state government may be elected.
  3. They'll change the cultural tone — even the anarchists who refuse to vote on ethical grounds. This is probably the biggest change, though the least immediate. NH is a very liberty-friendly place already (or it wouldn't have been chosen) but it it is destined to become gradually more so.
  4. The changes and the good company will attract in yet more libertarians, in an additive feedback process.

Libertarians have often said they need just one good chance to demonstrate in practise that freedom works. It's my prediction that they shall now get that chance!

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Poll
What is your opinion of the FSP
o Good, and will succeed 28%
o Good, but will fail 36%
o Don't care 10%
o Bad, and will fail 22%
o Bad, but will succeed 1%

Votes: 105
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o a group comprising some 5000-ish libertarians
o voted
o Statement of Intent
o Simple Condorcet
o poll results
o Also by Julian Morrison


Display: Sort:
The Free State Project has chosen New Hampshire | 333 comments (292 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
note to self: (3.26 / 30) (#1)
by rmg on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 02:21:49 AM EST

cancel plans to summer in new hampshire. more kooks than anticipated.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

That side effect is deliberate too. (n/t) (3.66 / 18) (#2)
by Julian Morrison on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 02:29:48 AM EST



[ Parent ]
yeah, libertarians don't need to make any money (2.07 / 13) (#66)
by llimllib on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:10:20 AM EST

being in a perfect society and all. Fuck the tourists, we've got... we've got... oh, shit.

Peace.
[ Parent ]
It all balances out (1.75 / 8) (#83)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:16:47 PM EST

Lose leftist and big-spender-republican tourists, gain libertarian tourism. Not just tourists either, I expect this to happen with residents. The big-government types will move out as they see the culture turn against them (and the freebies dry up); meanwhile libertarians will move in - from worldwide, not just the USA. I'd love to move, and I'm a Brit.

[ Parent ]
in all seriousness (1.57 / 7) (#92)
by llimllib on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:58:38 PM EST

I have some libertarian leanings (although I certainly wouldn't put myself square in their camp), but I fail to see why the goals of tourism and libertarianism are mutually exclusive. Why would the state's tourism have to be affected?

Peace.
[ Parent ]
It might not be (2.00 / 8) (#93)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:04:47 PM EST

I was just replying to the idea that "oh no, you'll scare off the tourists" with "only the rabidly big-government ones - and libertarian ones will come instead".

[ Parent ]
for future reference... (1.57 / 7) (#95)
by llimllib on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:29:39 PM EST

Just for future reference, saying "we're intentionally trying to scare off tourists" is not a good way to say "big-government people won't come to visit, but libertarians will".

Peace.
[ Parent ]
Lucky I didn't say that, then (1.57 / 7) (#96)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:58:17 PM EST

I said "that was deliberate" about folks, who call us "kooks", cancelling plans.

[ Parent ]
look (1.33 / 9) (#110)
by llimllib on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 04:59:24 PM EST

I'm unable to contain my sarcasm when I post to this site. I 5ed your comment, and responded with what I like to call a little "joke". relax.

Peace.
[ Parent ]
My apologies (1.55 / 9) (#140)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:30:33 PM EST

Sometimes it's hard to tell humor from flamage in plain text, without voice tones to go by.

[ Parent ]
quite alright. (1.14 / 7) (#178)
by rmg on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:38:34 AM EST

i hear maine is quite nice in that time of year. maybe i will go visit rusty while i'm there.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

Heh (2.22 / 31) (#3)
by mrman on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 02:38:33 AM EST

Free market is stupid. Some regulation isn't bad, I'm all for individual rights and such, but damn these people are like a cult.
Catnip Condoms.
Another good use (1.95 / 21) (#4)
by sticky on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 03:13:51 AM EST

5) Good location for an above ground nuclear test site.


Don't eat the shrimp.---God
Interesting story (2.77 / 22) (#18)
by A Proud American on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 10:20:03 AM EST

I, for one, welcome our new anarchist overlords.

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


I am so uncool, but (1.77 / 9) (#38)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 04:01:25 PM EST

could someone tell me where this meme came from?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
i noticed it on fark (2.00 / 9) (#41)
by Work on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 04:52:10 PM EST

a few months ago. Could've come from somethingawful though, often thats where alot of these start.

[ Parent ]
nevermind (1.81 / 11) (#42)
by Work on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 04:54:35 PM EST

its apparently from a simpsons episode where homer says "I for one welcome our new insect overlords". The simpsons is a common thing to quote on fark.

As usual slashdot dorks brought it over to there (same as with 'in soviet russia...', which fark actually filters out of messages now) and now to here.

[ Parent ]

Fark (1.70 / 10) (#62)
by STFUYHBT on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:01:55 AM EST

I refuse to believe that the cesspool of idiocy known as Fark is responsible for creating any "Internet culture" at all, even if it is just a dumb fucking meme.

-
"Of all the myriad forms of life here, the 'troll-diagnostic' is surely the lowest, yes?" -medham
[ Parent ]
heh.. (1.55 / 9) (#82)
by Work on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:16:10 PM EST

as opposed to the 'culture' of slashdot? or the humorless twits of k5?

I will give the people of fark credit: They know how to laugh. And are occasionally quite funny. I've never seen anything on slashdot that went as 'funny' that i didnt think 'god you're a loser' afterwards.

[ Parent ]

Humorless? (1.37 / 8) (#108)
by STFUYHBT on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 04:19:37 PM EST

Hey I'm a laugh riot, can't speak for anyone else here though.

Fark is only funny if by funny you mean, "very very gay."

-
"Of all the myriad forms of life here, the 'troll-diagnostic' is surely the lowest, yes?" -medham
[ Parent ]

it is from the episode of simpsons... (3.21 / 14) (#46)
by rmg on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 06:26:04 PM EST

in which homer becomes an astronaut. they have some live news feed from the shuttle during which homer accidently breaks open an ant farm that was being studied. the ants float through the cabin and some of them come extremely close to the camera and look like they are huge alien ants or whatever. then the feed cuts out. kent brockman, the reporter, then starts saying that a race of giant space ants has conquered the shuttle, there will be no stopping them, they will soon be here, etc. he is then heard to remark "and i, for one, welcome our new insect overlords."

that's where it comes from.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

tyvm :-) -nt (1.71 / 7) (#48)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 07:34:25 PM EST

nt
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
More details (2.22 / 9) (#155)
by cpt kangarooski on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 09:34:59 PM EST

Specifically it's from "Deep Space Homer," episode 1F13.

As mentioned, Homer has not merely scattered potato chips ("Careful! They're ruffled!") all throughout the cabin of the spacecraft whilst in freefall, but in trying to eat them up he has broken open an ant farm to be used in an experiment to see if ants could be trained to sort tiny screws in space.

Meanwhile, Kent Brockman, the TV news anchorman is on the air.

KENT: We're just about to get our first pictures from inside the spacecraft with 'average-naut' Homer Simpson.

(The spaceship camera shows an ant drifting by at extremely close range, making it look gigantic)

KENT: And we'd like--

(Kent screams)
(Simpson family, watching TV, screams)

(The signal from the spaceship cuts off)

KENT: Ladies and gentlemen, we've just lost the picture, but what we've seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has apparently been taken over, 'conqured' if you will, by a master race of giant space ants. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive Earthmen, or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them. The ants will soon be here.  And I for one welcome our new insect overlords.

(A graphic of a humanoid ant whipping a human slave appears in the corner of the TV)

KENT: I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Later on, after the astronauts have flushed the ants out into space, Kent comes on TV again.

KENT: Well, this reporter was possibly a little hasty earlier; would like to reaffirm his allegience to this country and its human President. It may not be perfect, but it's still the best government we have.

(Kent looks around with shifty eyes)

KENT: For now.

(Camera zooms out and we can see a crude sign reading 'HAIL ANTS' taped up on the wall behind Kent. Someone offcamera indicates to Kent that it's there and Kent tears it down.)

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]

Too damn cold... (2.11 / 9) (#19)
by dipierro on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 11:18:30 AM EST

Now if they had picked Delaware on the other hand... I'd be up for *that* Fight Club.

different, eh? (2.25 / 16) (#20)
by Dirty Sanchez on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 11:35:04 AM EST

they're still just a bunch of pompous gasbags sitting around doin' nuttin but theorizing as far as I can tell.

Nice and all, but... (2.63 / 11) (#21)
by RyoCokey on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 11:43:10 AM EST

Much of the "nanny state" is on a federal level. Good place to move to due to the early primaries, though, I suppose.

Not that I'll be moving there. Pretty damn difficult to get an oil job in NH.



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
Much of the federal BS is optional for the states (2.33 / 9) (#45)
by Julian Morrison on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 05:12:08 PM EST

The fedgov enforces it by taking huge amounts of money, "giving back" via local projects, and threatening to cut off the return flow of money if states won't play along with "tied" federal projects (eg: speed limit, alcohol drinking age). A libertarian vrsion of NH could simply turn them down, and work to be productive enough not to miss the bribes.

[ Parent ]
but (1.88 / 9) (#114)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:04:43 PM EST

even if a "libertarian state" (and I assert that such is impossible) did turn down all the federal bullshit, it's citizens would still have to pay federal taxes. And, since taxes are systematic theft, and thus enslavement, the goal of freedom hasn't been achieved.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Not achived, but approached (2.12 / 8) (#138)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:28:06 PM EST

A "libertarian state" is a compromise, agreed, and federal tax would be ongoing. But it would be more libertarian-ish than anyplace else, and a good demonstration to spread the meme. A stable minarchist state is also the best jumping-off point for full fledged libertarian anarchy.

[ Parent ]
the question though (1.57 / 7) (#165)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:18:02 PM EST

is how can a stable minarchist state be achieved. That's what our founding father's wanted, and they failed.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

The FSP is like a big happy Quaker family (2.59 / 22) (#24)
by Mr Hogan on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 12:33:51 PM EST

that likes to watch porn.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

and smoke weed. [nt] (1.42 / 7) (#29)
by fn0rd on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 02:24:10 PM EST



--------------------------------------------------------------
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
Death to the fidels!

[ Parent ]
Hmm (2.50 / 18) (#25)
by strlen on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 01:09:30 PM EST

They require 20,000 people to move, but they made the decision when only 5,000 people are signed up?

In any case, this is a great idea, but I doubt it's time for it. I don't know if NH people are ready yet for such an experiment. Libertarian ideas are great, but people have to be educated to accept them. Most people's line of thinking goes "drugs bad -> ban them!", "you can kill with a gun -> you will become a murderer with a gun -> ban them", "healthcare good! -> let's give it to everyone!" and "taxes only affect the top 1%, let's have more of them!" (even though average resident of California, now pays about 63% of what they earned through various taxes (not just income, though)).

Very few people bother to think that the government "solutions" have consitently created more problems.. and that there's no moral right for these solutions to be setup in the first place.

Thus they wouldn't care for most libertarian governments and would instead react with riots if any libertarian ideas are actually implemented.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

the subversion of real education... (2.83 / 12) (#107)
by krkrbt on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 04:10:40 PM EST

Libertarian ideas are great, but people have to be educated to accept them.

The english word "education" has been hijacked by nefarious gangsters whose goal is to re-institute a class system in america.  The root word of "Educate" means "to draw forth".  The socratic method of education involves posing questions to a student.  The student goes inside hirself (ponders the question), formulates a response, then answers. (or something like that)...  Today's educational process starts with supplying the answers.  Questions are then asked; the student goes inside to select the "proper" pre-supplied response, then answers.

Libertarian ideals are indeed great, and when people truly consider them, their genius is apparent.  Unfortunately, most people are under the influence of "mass hypnosis": libertarian ideals conflict with the belief system that has been installed by compulsory schooling, and are therefore rejected out of hand.  

Most people's line of thinking goes...

Most people are truly incapable of truly independant thinking.  Therefore, they think what the media tells them to think.  See this newspaper article: Study: Wrong impressions helped support Iraq war.  Mark Cunningham puts it this way:  "Here's a simple truth -- most of the people you meet in life are sound asleep!   They think that they're awake, yet their lives are governed by habit and ritual rather than choice." (emphasis added)

For some really good insights into how individuals have been molded into a herd, read John Taylor Gatto's Underground History of American Education.  Gatto was a school teacher in New York for 30 years, 3x NYC-teacher of the year..  For his last year of teaching, Gatto was the New York State teacher of the year... Then he wrote a short essay, sent it to the Wall Street Journal, and quit, concluding with "I can't teach this way any longer. If you hear of a job where I don't have to hurt kids to make a living, let me know. Come fall I'll be looking for work."  

[ Parent ]

By educated I didn't mean "schooled" (1.57 / 7) (#112)
by strlen on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:01:58 PM EST

I meant, educated by libertarians (and others who share their ideas), themselves. Sorry if I haven't made this clear.

I haven't read Gatto, and I don't generally buy into conspiracy theories, but I do agree American K-12 education system is deeply, to put it bluntly, fucked.


--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

gatto on conspiracy (2.50 / 8) (#127)
by krkrbt on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 06:00:59 PM EST

I haven't read Gatto, and I don't generally buy into conspiracy theories, but I do agree American K-12 education system is deeply, to put it bluntly, fucked.

you might like Gatto then - he specifically says that the problem is not the cause of some concealed conspiracy, but something much much deeper..  Here's some quotes:

Chapter Sixteen
A Conspiracy Against Ourselves

Spare yourself the anxiety of thinking of this school thing as a conspiracy, even though the project is indeed riddled with petty conspirators. It was and is a fully rational transaction in which all of us play a part. We trade the liberty of our kids and our free will for a secure social order and a very prosperous economy. It's a bargain in which most of us agree to become as children ourselves, under the same tutelage which holds the young, in exchange for food, entertainment, and safety. The difficulty is that the contract fixes the goal of human life so low that students go mad trying to escape it.

-http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/toc5.htm


With conspiracy so close to the surface of the American imagination and American reality, I can only approach with trepidation the task of discouraging you in advance from thinking my book the chronicle of some vast diabolical conspiracy to seize all our children for the personal ends of a small, elite minority.

Don't get me wrong, American schooling has been replete with chicanery from its very beginnings.*

Indeed, it isn't difficult to find various conspirators boasting in public about what they pulled off. But if you take that tack you'll miss the real horror of what I'm trying to describe, that what has happened to our schools was inherent in the original design for a planned economy and a planned society laid down so proudly at the end of the nineteenth century. I think what happened would have happened anyway--without the legions of venal, half-mad men and women who schemed so hard to make it as it is. If I'm correct, we're in a much worse position than we would be if we were merely victims of an evil genius or two.

-http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/prologue8.htm



[ Parent ]
Great idea, doomed to failure (3.23 / 17) (#33)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 02:40:18 PM EST

This is a great idea that will most likely fail. People are too comfortable right now to pack up and move. Statism isn't so bad, they say. Of course taxes suck and all, but we're not starving, most of us have jobs, and they haven't taken our guns away yet.

Personally I considered moving but I probably won't, I have friends and connections here.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

So long as you keep one eye on NH... (1.66 / 6) (#87)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:33:19 PM EST

Things might get good enough over there to make relocating much more attractive.

[ Parent ]
I'll be your friend... (1.44 / 9) (#103)
by elenchos on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:37:30 PM EST

...if you're a libertarian, and you move from Washington to New Hampshire. In fact, if you're a libertarian who leaves Washington for anywhere else, I'll be your friend. Not enough? Move and I'll let you be friends with my friends too. And I'm talking some high-quality friends, OK? You won't be disappointed.

Yes, we won't be there with you in New Hampshire, but just knowing you have me and all my great connections will make it work for you, won't it?

And by the way, if you are in my state, and you stay, don't forget that me and my friends are hard at work trying to take your guns away, raise your taxes, and jail you if you pollute the air or water. Wouldn't you rather have us on your side? Move to New Hampshire!

It's what we all want, isn't it?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

I can't see the connection (1.14 / 7) (#227)
by Maclir on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:32:09 PM EST

You say "and they haven't taken our guns away yet". Tell me, how does having guns make you free?

[ Parent ]
Not A Libertarian (3.73 / 23) (#36)
by meaningless pseudonym on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 03:18:02 PM EST

I'm a classical liberal-social democrat I suppose so, while I support some of the goals of Libertarianism, I find many of them sound awfully like bright ideas whose exponents either haven't thought through their implications fully or have and are trying to hide them. I just think it's a fairly silly fundamental platform. Never mind, though, everyone's allowed their own quirks.

So, go for it. Find yourselves a small area where you think you can convince enough of the population that your ideas are sound to get some serious debates with serious politicians and thinkers and, if I'm right, you'll be blown out of the water and shut up as a political philosophy by your own inconsistencies. And if you're right then congratulations, and the world will be a better place. Either way, the world will ultimately be a better place.

After all, an idea that's been properly scritinised, examined and ideally _tested_ just seems a better idea than the current situation of a vocal group pointing out their ideas on a regular basis but with so little backup.


Good point (3.15 / 13) (#37)
by epepke on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 03:47:23 PM EST

My attitude toward Libertarians is that I generally like the individual things that they come up with but can't really justify thinking it's a magic, complete system.

So, New Hampshire, why not? They already have license plates that say "Live Free Or Die," which is a bit different from Idaho's "Famous Potatoes." The People's Right to Revolution is in the state constitution. It's not that much land, and it's not as if anybody thinks, "gee, I'd really like to go to New Hampshire this summer". It's close enough to D.C. and Virginia that half the budget of the CIA can be wasted on watching them.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Vacationers? (2.90 / 11) (#74)
by rusty on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:40:11 AM EST

Hundreds of thousands of people think "Gee, I'd like to go to New Hampshire this summer" every year. Not to even mention winter. Tourism and recreation is a major part of their economy.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Which surely bolsters the case for the FSP (2.66 / 9) (#75)
by meaningless pseudonym on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:04:21 AM EST

Brilliant guys, go for it. I have to say my parents visited NH when they were on the East Coast a few years back but being a Brit I didn't know how common that was.

Anyway, if the state gets a major part of its income from tourism, all the better. Means that not only can the ideas be tested but they can be observed more effectively and the results disseminated around the nation. NH is sounding like a better choice with every new argument.

[ Parent ]

And if you screw it up (1.14 / 7) (#234)
by fenix down on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:45:58 PM EST

You can always go down to the "Welcome to:" sign and try and sell crap to the rich Americans.

[ Parent ]
It's been tried (2.66 / 9) (#84)
by dennis on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:24:12 PM EST

A little over two hundred years ago. Turned out to be a fairly shortlived experiment but it seemed to work out well at the time.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, right, troll (1.00 / 7) (#274)
by dennis on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 08:19:36 AM EST

Capitalism is not what I was referring to. If we patterned our society after the writings of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, most libertarians I know would be deliriously happy. Maybe you think that most people who call themselves libertarians are followers of Ayn Rand rather than the Founding Fathers...but actually I think you're just tweaking me, so I'll stop now.

[ Parent ]
Sound logic, incomplete evidence (none / 0) (#324)
by Adam Wiggins on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 05:03:16 PM EST

Your logic is completely sound.  Many (most?) ideas about how to run a society may work great in theory, but in practice they don't work.  This is because soceity is an incredibly complex machine, with inputs (human behavior) that is extremely difficult to predict.

However, your historical evidence is lacking.  In fact, there is one excellent example of a Libertarian state from history.  This is the United States of America, from 1776 up through the New Deal (1930s).  Even today, the US remains the most Libertarian government in the world, though it is slowly drifting away from those ideals.  Libertarian government produced the most successful nation-state in the history of the world; I would hardly call this an "unproven" theory.

Socialism also has its historical example: the USSR.  Socialism = great in theory, awful in practice.

But I completely agree with you that the Free State Project will be the perfect "test bed" for the concept of reverting American government back to its Libertarian roots.  I hope that US citizens, and in fact the whole world, will watch the results of FSP closely.


[ Parent ]

A message on behalf of the Commonwealth (2.94 / 17) (#47)
by Apuleius on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 06:42:55 PM EST

(of Massachusetts, that is). *chuckle* Good luck, fellas. *guffaw*


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
My prediction (3.07 / 13) (#73)
by rusty on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:36:39 AM EST

If the Free State Project does sucessfully gain control of New Hampshire and turn it into a full libertarian state, I predict it will not exist for two years before full scale war has broken out between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. A Communist state will not be able to accept a libertarian republic on its very doorstep, you mark my words.

The tragedy, really, is that Maine will be overrun with idealistic young white refugees fleeing north from the conflict. Kittery will look like Jenin after a massive airdrop of Gap clothing.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Trade war perhaps? (2.00 / 8) (#86)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:25:48 PM EST

Poor ol' MA will certainly feel the pinch. In fact I predict an almost "Atlas Shrugged" situation, where all the money makers and bright sparks move north, all the welfare spongers stay put, and then shop over the border in NH. Which will amuse us libertarians no end.

[ Parent ]
Ain't gonna happen (2.37 / 8) (#89)
by rusty on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:48:30 PM EST

The MA intelligentsia is all university-based. There's nothing for them in New Hampshire, especially if it gets even more full of libertarians. Your assumption that intelligent people will all naturally choose libertarianism is cute though. In my experience, it's been quite the opposite.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Ah but I said "bright sparks" (1.85 / 7) (#91)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:52:48 PM EST

...not "politically correct tenured commies" ;-P

[ Parent ]
And to what do the intelligent congregate? (1.42 / 7) (#94)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:11:27 PM EST

???

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

pragmatic realism [nt] (1.42 / 7) (#139)
by infinitera on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:30:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Booze. (1.14 / 7) (#230)
by fenix down on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:35:36 PM EST

What else?

[ Parent ]
why not (2.00 / 8) (#130)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 06:30:01 PM EST

Your assumption that intelligent people will all naturally choose libertarianism is cute though. In my experience, it's been quite the opposite.

Why wouldn't they? It's the only system that does not mandate the enslavement of the masses, that is completely self-consistent, that actually produces real prosperity (and would end the business cycle), and that doesn't demonize entrepreneurs as evil capitalist pigs. Why exactly would any entrepreneuring individual want to go to a communist State, where his work is constantly hindered, as opposed to a libertarian one? (unless, of course, he's part of the entrenched business benefiting from Interventionalism).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

indeed (1.33 / 6) (#159)
by speek on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:25:46 PM EST

Why would anyone want to play football/soccer/basketball/volleyball when they could play tennis/golf/boxing/run marathons?

Why doesn't everyone yearn for the old-growth forest of free-market monopolies?

Why don't we exalt those who don't mind if they do help themselves to more cake?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

hahaha (1.85 / 7) (#166)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:19:36 PM EST

all real monopolies have been created by special priviledges granted by the government. And, in cases where the government eliminated "natural [near] monopolies", it in fact did great harm.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

huh? (1.33 / 6) (#190)
by bankind on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 03:01:08 AM EST

all sectors with high fixed costs, thus creating only long-run profitability, have a tendency toward monopoly, dualopoly, etc.

See the rail road barons (US 20th century) for the textbook example.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

subject (1.33 / 6) (#203)
by speek on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 09:10:56 AM EST

all real monopolies have been created by special priviledges granted by the government

That's only true by libertarian definition, which you make clear in your second sentence...

And, in cases where the government eliminated "natural [near] monopolies", it in fact did great harm.

Right, natural monopolies are always good, and bad monopolies are always government created. This is what happens when philosophy becomes all about redefining words.

Anyway, you didn't catch the point of my old-growth forest analogy. Old-growth forests are stable, beautiful, strong, wonderful things. They've also reached a point of equilibrium where things don't change much (hence the stability). New trees don't get much light and so don't grow except in those rare times when one of the giant falls and lets in some light. Forest fires, destructive as they are, make way for new growth. Some people prefer the idea of competition, change and progress to stability and stagnation. Change always brings pain. But, that's not an argument against it.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

"natural monoplies" (1.57 / 7) (#239)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 06:13:48 PM EST

In so far as they exist -- and a true natural monopoly, in the full sense of the word, has never existed on an unhampered free market, to my knowledge -- natural monopolies occur because of consumer-preference for that company. If a company provides products of such high quality and at such low price that everyone want their products, and no-one the products of a competitor, then that company should be a monopoly.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

reasons for natural monopoly (1.33 / 6) (#250)
by pde on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 04:23:13 AM EST

In so far as they exist -- and a true natural monopoly, in the full sense of the word, has never existed on an unhampered free market, to my knowledge -- natural monopolies occur because of consumer-preference for that company.

Really? What about network externalities? What about high fixed costs? There's also endogenous demand, but I suspect your libertarian philosophy declares that to be non-existant/not a problem.

Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
[ Parent ]

non problems (1.00 / 5) (#261)
by dh003i on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 10:25:41 PM EST

Really? What about network externalities? What about high fixed costs? There's also endogenous demand, but I suspect your libertarian philosophy declares that to be non-existant/not a problem.

Firstly, "my libertarian philosophy" does not support the unhampered free market because of whether or not individuals like you think it produces the best overall results; I support it because it provides more freedom than any other system, and is completely in line with the non-aggression axiom. That it happens to be the best way of doing things from a standard-of-living point of view is a nice benefit, but hardly central. Simply because you don't like the possibility that some areas may become monopolies by consumer-choice, network externalities, high fixed costs, and endogenous demand, does not justify you initiating aggression against anyone else.

Regarding the cases you pointed out, these references are relevant:


Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Freedom, ethics and markets (1.00 / 5) (#268)
by pde on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 04:36:14 AM EST

Firstly, "my libertarian philosophy" does not support the unhampered free market because of whether or not individuals like you think it produces the best overall results; I support it because it provides more freedom than any other system, and is completely in line with the non-aggression axiom.

I realise that. But we probably also disagree because:

1. If I were going to define freedom, I'd probably define it quite differently to you.

2. If I were going to build an ethical system around freedom, I would recognise that freedoms are self-contradictory and attempt to balance them against each other. The non-aggression axiom is probably a reasonable first attempt, but it has some spectacular limitations.

3. I'm not even sure that freedom is a good ethical primitive to begin with.

That it [a true free market] happens to be the best way of doing things from a standard-of-living point of view is a nice benefit, but hardly central.

Well, if it produced the best standards of living, I'd at least be tempted to support it too. But it doesn't, so I'm not.

Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
[ Parent ]

Rothbard provides a better explanation of (1.00 / 5) (#264)
by dh003i on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 12:36:20 AM EST

Rothbard provides a better explanation of addressing externalities (much superior to that of Simpson in Why externalities are not a case of market failure) in his For a New Liberty, under the chapter titled Conservation, ecology, and growth. Search for the section "Pollution" (without the quotes); it should be the second instance of the word "Pollution".

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Externalities are very bad for libertarianism (1.00 / 5) (#267)
by pde on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 04:18:11 AM EST

I read that piece by Rothbard. I'm bleeding from ad hominems and all of my straw-man comrades have been demolished.

His argument about pollution externalities has at least two gaping holes in it. Do you know what they are?

In any case, pollution is only a special case of an externality. Network externalities, which are quite different, exist when property rights are sufficiently strong that they cover certain standards, such as telephone networks or computer file formats. In those cases, one possible outcome is that a competent and competitive firm can build a proprietary network. They can then adopt a pricing strategy which appropriates massive amounts of consumer surplus, while still preventing the creation of an effective competing network.

Depending on where the property rights fall, and the character of the value of connectivity, these networks may be natural monopolies.

In both cases, there are important roles for governments in (either by direct problem-solving or creating competitive incentives) which have nothing to do with creating or enforcing "property rights".

As far as I can tell, the arguments against high-fixed-cost natural monopolies (in the papers you posted below) are that fixed costs are never actually that high. Would you agree? That might actually be true, but it's pretty risky to just assume that fixed costs are never dominant.

Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
[ Parent ]

i think your comment here... (1.87 / 8) (#163)
by rmg on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:08:28 PM EST

illustrates rusty's assessment better than any response he could make.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

lets see (1.71 / 7) (#167)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:21:35 PM EST

I'm an entrepreneur looking to start up a business. I can either start it up in NH, with thousands and thousands of regulations I have no hope of complying with, which would cost me enormous sums of money; and there's also the crushing taxes which act as a barrier to the startup of business', and the other formalities necessary to start up a business in addition to what the fed requires. Or I can go to a state which gets out of my way and allows me to achieve something. Hmmm...tough call.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

*that* gets out of your way. (1.14 / 7) (#170)
by rmg on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:50:25 PM EST

i think you mean a state that gets out of your way.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

Rusty (1.55 / 9) (#185)
by Trollaxor on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 01:54:41 AM EST

You're such a pessimist. Maybe if you had a better attitude you'd have XHTML 1.1 and RSS 2.0 support in K5. Not even to mention CSS Level 2.

[ Parent ]
laugh it up.... (1.85 / 7) (#98)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 02:12:49 PM EST

as you "Massholes" drive up to NH to take advantage of the reduced taxes (they are already doing this, I'm sure it would just get worse)


---Lane

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Libertarianism, yah! (2.25 / 12) (#53)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 10:09:21 PM EST

The simplest system in the world: "do your own thing".

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
Damned witches! (2.22 / 9) (#54)
by Daelin on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 10:11:31 PM EST

Do as ye wilt, lest ye harm none.

[ Parent ]
heh (2.22 / 9) (#78)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:21:23 AM EST

lest ye harm none... apart from the English language.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
The libertarians have my full $upport on this. (3.52 / 36) (#59)
by elenchos on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:02:09 AM EST

Any libertarian wishing to move from my state to New Hampshire but lacking the means to get there need only email elenchos@adequacy.org and I will contribute $100 toward travel expenses. This is a bona fide offer, my libertarian friends. But wait, there's more!

Every libertarian within a five mile radius can get $150 to help you on your way! Libertarians living within 1000 feet of my home are eligible for $200 in travel expenses! Act now! Elenchos wants to help YOU move away from him and do, uh, whatever you are going to do once you get there. Something about maximum government and liberty and what have you.

The details are IRRELEVANT! Doesn't matter, I tell you. It's simple: you a libertarian? Want to leave? Live in my state? Get $100! Want to move out of my town? Get $150! Want to move out of my neighborhood! Get TWO HUNDRED SMACKERS! That's right folks! Don't let a few bucks stand in your way when you could be living in the soon-to-be paradise of New Hampshire! Pack now! Email me! Get your bus fare!

It's really THAT simple! Act NOW! NOW!

Your good friend elenchos is here to help, because I believe in all the good that can happen when up to 20,000 libertarians move away from me and I'm willing to make it a reality.

Best wishes in New Hampshire, you lucky ducks! And once you get there, remember: only sissy losers give up and go home! Stick it out for the long haul! Quitters never win and winners never quit! And if you do come back, you damn well better give back the bus fare I gave you.

Adequacy.org

Oh (2.00 / 8) (#61)
by STFUYHBT on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:56:45 AM EST

I always thought you were a chick. Go figure.

-
"Of all the myriad forms of life here, the 'troll-diagnostic' is surely the lowest, yes?" -medham
[ Parent ]
That's money (2.12 / 8) (#64)
by QuickFox on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:37:25 AM EST

when up to 20,000 libertarians move away from me

This adds up to somewhere between two and four million dollars.

Look, I've got this fabulous investment opportunity for you, a real bargain, just a couple million, and you'll get tons and tons of money in return, I promise, really!

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

It's a small price to pay, don't you think? (2.12 / 8) (#77)
by elenchos on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:17:17 AM EST

I don't really believe there are 20,000 libertarians here, although it does seem like it sometimes. It really only takes a few, you know?

And thank you for your kind offer, but honestly I just don't have the time to look into investment opportunities in the "couple million" range. If you do know of any substantial investment opportunities, however, by all means, let me know. No doubt I'll run into you down at the club.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Wait... (1.50 / 6) (#65)
by Akshay on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:09:56 AM EST

you live in New Hampshire? :-)

[ Parent ]
Hey. (1.71 / 7) (#67)
by i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:44:27 AM EST

Your website is down.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
Which state are you in? (2.14 / 7) (#68)
by godix on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 04:18:55 AM EST

I notice that you didn't say I had to actually move, I could just claim to be a libertarian who wanted to move. Once I've taken that into consideration I'm ready to admit that I'm a libertarian and I want to move to NH. When shall I expect my money?

I don't understand spending all that money for a fancy shot ... when pregnancy ain't nothing that a good coathanger or a pair of steel toed boots can't fix<
[ Parent ]
Anyone money-grubbing enough to take the offer... (3.00 / 13) (#76)
by elenchos on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:57:41 AM EST

...must be a real libertarian. All I need is proof of your location, and I'll help you move away from me and to a land where you can be surrounded by people who will treat you the same way you treat them.

Send that email NOW my friend! Have you thought about what all the other libertarians are going to do if they get there before you? All the best housing and jobs will be taken if you don't hurry, and do you think any of them are going to help you settle in? They're libertarians! Your best chance for a warm and helpful welcome in New Hampshire is to get there now before the place becomes lousy with selfish jerks.

No offense. But seriously, my kind offer could be the last generous thing fellow human being does for you if you don't act now. Move man! The time is NOW!!!

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

An unfinished AST? (1.50 / 6) (#85)
by voxol on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:24:52 PM EST

Speaking of which, I was thinking this article reads like an unfinished/unfocussed AST.

Don't you agree?

[ Parent ]

I hereby wish... (none / 0) (#314)
by Merc on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 09:53:48 PM EST

Any libertarian wishing to move from my state to New Hampshire but lacking the means to get there need only email elenchos@adequacy.org and I will contribute $100 toward travel expenses. This is a bona fide offer, my libertarian friends. But wait, there's more!

I hereby declare myself a libertarian, and wish to move from your state to New Hampshire, but lack the means to do so. Pay up.

Oh, the reason I lack the means: I probably don't live in your state. So pay up.

By the way, I'm not going to move, I just wish to do it... why? Because wishing to do so earns me $100. Pay up.



[ Parent ]
RTFM. (none / 0) (#319)
by elenchos on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 04:25:18 PM EST

Email elenchos@adequacy.org and we shall begin the arrangements. I will expect a refund if you do not remain in New Hampshire.

Natrually, as a libertarian, you will attempt to lawyer every word in the hopes of grubbing up any monetary advantage you can. The sense of entitlement libertarians have with regard to other people's money is charmingly ironic. We've all grown used to this aspect of libertarianism and in a way we've come to terms with it. It is even a little endearing. Or perhaps you just want to try anything except moving to New Hampshire to be surrounded by 20,000 other sharpers and tightwads. I don't blame you.

No matter. Contact my people and we will be more than generous in helping you on your way, and we shall not quibble over every penny and dime, nor argue every jot and tittle of what you think is "owed" to you.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Fabulous! (2.78 / 19) (#63)
by QuickFox on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 01:24:35 AM EST

If they carry this through, after some time it will inevitably founder, but lots of things will be learned in the process.

Maybe others will follow suit. Communists. Rock-throwing and rioting Anarchists. Skinhead Nazis. Each person living of their own free will in their own dream society. Which in all these cases means nightmare society, I'm sure. Each suffering the full consequences of their ideology by their own free choice. Each seeing their society founder, and humanity learning in the process.

I bet lots of things would be learned. Very worthwhile!

Unless, of course, it leads to some sort of armed conflict between the groups. There is some risk of that. Some of these groups tend to fail to understand that the reason why we have politicians is we want to have people debating rather than beating and shooting each other.

But as long as that kind of violence is avoided I think it might be fruitful, we might learn a lot.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi

You're right. (1.66 / 6) (#80)
by dennis on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:45:06 AM EST

It will founder, sooner or later. Just look what happened when the same thing was tried two centuries ago...cool libertarian constitution and all, but it didn't take long to get subverted.

(Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you can sell him stuff for the rest of his life. --Jeff Duntemann.)

[ Parent ]

Personally i reckon I know the solution (1.66 / 6) (#90)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:51:02 PM EST

Lose the constitution... lose the government entirely. Have libertarian anarchy.

Of course the best path to anarchy is via libertarianism - bcause people can "see the curve and extrapolate it through the zero".

Thoreau:

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe--"that government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that is the kind of government which they will have.


[ Parent ]
been there, done that (2.00 / 7) (#88)
by horny smurf on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 12:38:08 PM EST

This sort of thing has been done before, on a smaller scale. Usually, it's a group of overly religous people that move into a small town, get members elected to the school board, then ban evolution, etc. Generally, this only lasts until the next election cycle, since people that wouldn't care about the school board elections will vote to get rid of the subverters.

[ Parent ]
why don't they just rename libertarianism (2.08 / 24) (#71)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 06:19:08 AM EST

i'm a selfish old white manism and be done with it?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

why should they? (2.69 / 13) (#72)
by khallow on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:03:53 AM EST

Imagine if that wonderful everyday all American dandruff shampoo product, "Head and Shoulders" decided to spin that wonderful "tingling" sensation as "a dandruff shampoo so caustic it causes your nerve endings to react." The key here is marketing. Now you didn't hear it from me, but if I were to say that my single goal in life was to become a murderous, egomaniacal supreme ruler of the galaxy, it would hamper my plans a wee bit.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Possible problem (2.60 / 10) (#79)
by TheModerate on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:28:03 AM EST

"'All states under 1.5 million population at the time of the membership vote will be included on the ballot for the vote, excepting Hawaii and Rhode Island, which have been eliminated outright for their big-government tendencies'."

"They are politically active. In electoral politics, that 20k weighs in against the actual number of voters -- not the raw population figure."

Wouldn't it have been better, then, to include states with low average voter turnout rather than states with lower population?

Also, there should be some statistics on where these libertarians who will be moving are coming from. Because I fear that these libertarians, after living in NH for five years or so, that they don't agree on as much as they suspected. The problem is that libertarianism is generally a principled approach to government, and these principles simply hide the genuine sentiments and attitudes that are the actual reason for affirming these principles. Now, if these attitudes and sentiments are common between these libertarians, then I imagine everything will be hunky dory. If not, these libertarians aren't going to like their new neighbors, will probably end up complaining about the herd mentality or something like that (because democracies generally chide and flatter the herd animal in men and women). So how do you guess, beforehand, on which way it will be? Generally, people who have similar experiences have similar attitudes and sentiments that unify them, and the best way to assure this is if they come from the same general geographic location. Its this that binds all communities and allows democracy in the positive sense to happen at all.

There are other ways of having common feelings, but the simple observance of agreement certainly reveals something, but conceals still more.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer

Two libertarian factions (none / 3) (#275)
by jbuck on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 12:54:30 PM EST

There's one group of libertarians who are primarily motivated by issues of social freedom. They care a lot about the ACLU's top issues, drug laws, etc. and they often get into fights with businesses that want to impose draconian restrictions on employees and customers, even though libertarian doctrine says that non-government actors can do whatever they want. These types often make tactical alliances with Democrats, even though they oppose Democrats on many issues.

There's another group of libertarians whose focus is almost entirely on economic and property rights. They hold other civil rights as subordinate to these rights. These types feel more comfortable with Republicans, and are often fooled by "get the government off our backs" rhetoric when used by Republicans.

If these two groups ever successfully launch the Free State Project, they are likely to be at each others' throats in a short time period. Example: it's proposed that downtown streets in shopping districts be sold to the local chamber of commerce, as private ownership is better. Then the social-libertarian faction realizes that the merchants will ban pro-drug-legalization activists from the shopping district. The propertarian libertarians will say that this is their right as the owners, but the social libertarians will rebel at the notion that only conformist speech will exist in public places.

[ Parent ]

Every libertarian (none / 3) (#286)
by Julian Morrison on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:29:37 AM EST

...is typically a faction all on his lonesome. Not a bunch of people well known for moving in herds.

That said, you missed the third big meta-faction: the politicals, who lack principles, desire power, and will say whatever seems most safely bland. They reckon that getting votes for something called "the Libertarian party" will magically create liberty, even if they dilute the actual party platform down to "um, vote for us, pretty please?"

[ Parent ]
complete ignorance (1.20 / 5) (#288)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:04:19 AM EST

You've just described positions of the far right and the far left, not libertarians.

To be a libertarian means to believe in the non-aggression axiom. This states that under no circumstance is it acceptable for anyone to initiate violence against anyone else. Thus, all liberty starts with the self, with your right to be free from other initiating aggression against you. The homesteading principle can be derived from this, as well as all of our various economic and social liberties, which are really inseperable from one-another. To speak of social rights as "subordinate" to property rights misses the point. The point is that social right *cannot* exist without property rights. The right to freedom of speech is meaningless on TV, for example, because the government has regulated the airwaves.

The right to freedom of speech flows from the non-aggression principle, and is a fundamental consequence of everyone's property rights in themselves and their physical property. Me saying something negative about you in no way constitutes me initiating violence against you. However, I don't have the right to violate other's property rights to exercise my freedom of speech.

I don't, for example, have the right to march on your land proselytizing to you. If I do that, you can remove me from your land, for I'm tresspassing, just like you could remove any other tresspasser for any reason you so desire. Likewise, I may have the right to give a speech, but I in no way have the right to give it on your land, nor using a microphone that I stole from you.

Another problem with trying to separate property rights from civil rights is that it creates unclear thinking. Consider the USSC case regarding the shouting of fire in a public place. Rothbard demolishes the pathetic arguments used by our Supreme Court justices, and proposes a solid reason for why shouting fire in a movie theatre is a crime:

In fact, there are no human rights that are separable from property rights. The human right of free speech is simply the property right to hire an assembly hall from the owners, or to own one oneself; the human right of a free press is the property right to buy materials and then print leaflets or books and to sell them to those who are willing to buy. There is no extra "right of free speech" or free press beyond the property rights we can enumerate in any given case. And furthermore, discovering and identifying the property rights involved will resolve any apparent conflicts of rights that may crop up.

Consider, for example, the classic example where liberals generally concede that a person's "right of freedom of speech" must be curbed in the name of the "public interest": Justice Holmes' famous dictum that no one has the right to cry "fire" falsely in a crowded theater. Holmes and his followers have used this illustration again and again to prove the supposed necessity for all rights to be relative and tentative rather than precise and absolute.

But the problem here is not that rights cannot be pushed too far but that the whole case is discussed in terms of a vague and wooly "freedom of speech" rather than in terms of the rights of private prop­erty. Suppose we analyze the problem under the aspect of property rights. The fellow who brings on a riot by falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is, necessarily, either the owner of the theater (or the owner's agent) or a paying patron. If he is the owner, then he has commit­ted fraud on his customers. He has taken their money in exchange for a promise to put on a movie or play, and now, instead, he disrupts the show by falsely shouting "fire" and breaking up the performance. He has thus welshed on his contractual obligation, and has thereby stolen the property--the money--of his patrons and has violated their property rights.

Suppose, on the other hand, that the shouter is a patron and not the owner. In that case, he is violating the property right of the owner--as well as of the other guests to their paid-for performance. As a guest, he has gained access to the property on certain terms, including an obligation not to violate the owner's property or to disrupt the perfor­mance the owner is putting on. His malicious act, therefore, violates the property rights of the theater owner and of all the other patrons.

There is no need, therefore, for individual rights to be restricted in the case of the false shouter of "fire." The rights of the individual are still absolute; but they are property rights. The fellow who maliciously cried "fire" in a crowded theater is indeed a criminal, but not because his so-called "right of free speech" must be pragmatically restricted on behalf of the "public good"; he is a criminal because he has clearly and obviously violated the property rights of another person.

In so far as "civil libertarians" support the various social rights, I will support them. However, their support of those rights will be unclear, ambiguous, and nowhere near as extensive and rigorous as the support for those rights given by libertarians. Rothbard discusses this in Personal Liberty. If you wish to understand how inseparable "civil rights" like freedom of speech and the right to privacy are from property rights, then I suggest reading it.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Why all the Libertarian Bashing? (3.07 / 13) (#97)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 02:01:15 PM EST

I wanted to post this as an honest question... Why is there so much Libertarian bashing going on?

It seems many of the posts amount to "nice ideas, but they'll never work"

This strikes me as odd for the following reason... many Libertarians are attracted to the idea of a smaller government, like Republicans. What we don't like however, is the intrusive moral system that goes along with that (amending the constitution to exclude gay unions, abortion, religious influences, etc..)

So then, these comments seem strange to me because they basically start to sound like:

"Wanting to reduce government and taxes is a good idea, but it will never work unless you believe an intrusive moral system."

Of course, I think the real problem lies in a problem typical to many movements made up of independent minded individuals (such as Greens, and to a lesser extend Democrats).
Because of their independence, many of these individuals have trouble falling in with the party line. This makes it easy to pick out the extreme members of the party and try to cast them as the typical behavior for the party. As an example, compare the fractionalization presented by the Democrats compared to the nearly united front presented by the Republicans. Organization is something the Republicans have mastered.

In conclusion, not all Libertarians are some sort of anarchistic wackos. Many of us simply believe that it is possible to desire having a smaller federal government without this meaning that the government also suddenly has the right to tell a woman what medical procedure she can have. Is this really "wacko"?

I would encourage all posters to take the Political Compass Quiz To see where you fall. (Please note, this is not the shorter, Libertarian Party sponsored "World's Smallest Political Quiz, which is faster, but much too simple)

After doing that, take a good look at the Libertarian Party Positions on many issues and decide.

Note, please do not confuse this post with Libertarian recruiting attempt. It is more an open reply to counter the knee jerk reactions that many people have to any third party in America.


---Lane

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Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
Beware committing the sin you denounce (2.60 / 10) (#99)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 02:19:09 PM EST

"...the extreme members of the party..."
"...not all Libertarians are some sort of anarchistic wackos..."
Um, 'scuse me, but I personally am an anarchist, and a libertarian (and not a member of any party, not even the "official Libertarian party"). And IMO at least, I'm sane. I got my opinions from examining and coming to agree with reasoned ethical and pragmatic arguments.

Please don't assume that "extreme" equates to "nuts" - or even that today's extreme won't be tomorrow's norm. Not so long ago in the past, folks thought democracy was "extremist".

[ Parent ]

anarchistic wackos... (2.14 / 7) (#100)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 02:28:29 PM EST

By that comment, I meant "anarchists who happen to be wackos". Not that anarchists are necessarily wackos.

On a side note, I happen to believe that, much like Marxism, Anarchism relies too heavily on the belief that humans will "tend to do the right thing".

I do believe that a federal government is needed, but only for the bare essentials: National Defense, Currency control, etc.


---Lane

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Very few of those, actually (2.66 / 9) (#101)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 02:58:47 PM EST

Most of the wackos tend to fall into the small-government or states-rights modes of "libertarianism", since anarchy would complicate enforcement of the bees in their bonnet (racial segregation, compulsory christianity, etc).

Anarchism doesn't so much rely on people "tending to do the right thing", as it offloads the burden of justice-enforcement from government and places it onto culture. If the culture is stably libertarian-anarchist, private action is all that's needed to maintain justice.

IMO "currency control" is not a "bare essential" ( I support private currencies). And using government for defense results in a contradiction. Who guards us against the guards? The anarchic answer is "ourselves, or the other guards".

[ Parent ]

clarity... and further discussion (3.15 / 13) (#102)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:30:21 PM EST

Anarchism doesn't so much rely on people "tending to do the right thing", as it offloads the burden of justice-enforcement from government and places it onto culture

Ok, so are you saying there would not be a justice enforcement system? Would the police force be more like a "minute-man" collection of citizens? Furthermore, if all justice is derived from culture, is this not a system of strict majority rule? Who enforces the rights of minorities in such a system? Just curious.

National Defense continues in the same vein... If you are against government defense, but for "other guards", what is to stop the "other guards" from becoming corrupt and power crazed? How is the consolidation of power in "other guards" somehow different than the power being in the hands of an elected government body?

As an extension, this model might function well internally perhaps... but how would an anarchistic system build a battle ship? How would such a nation, say, build an industrial army to aid Britain when dealing with Nazi threat? Could such an army be anything other than defensive? If so, are you saying that there is no instance when a nation must "head off" a threat instead of waiting for it to come to its borders (insert appropriate Nazi reference here).

I hope the above post is read as sincere questions instead of flame/criticism, because that's what they are.


---Lane



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Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
The role of culture in anarchy, anarchic defense (2.37 / 8) (#136)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:17:37 PM EST

The primary libertarian "natural law" is the Zero Agression Principle. In concise form, this could be rendered as: "I will not initiate force against any person or their property, without their permission". There are various expansions to cover eg: delegating or threatening initiation of force, preempting imminent attack, and helping third parties. Note how the rule is a self-limit, not an imposition. It defines the boundary between what conduct from others is legitimate and I must accept and live with, and what isn't - so I may, should I so choose, intervene.

The ZAP is "topologically equivalent" to private-property absolutism, plus self-ownership.

Applied fairly to everyone, government is shown to be illegitimate. Applied by a reasonable majority, in a supportive culture, it creates libertarian anarchy.

Everyone I would call a libertarian anarchist takes that as a baseline. Within it, there is great debate about the particulars of what culture, and how best to do various things, eg: justice, defense.

In my case, my personal opinions...

On justice: the bedrock of the justice system would be the societally accepted right to "take the law into your own hands" and seek restitution and/or revenge by force. But because blood feud is very undesirable to both parties (physical danger, time-wastage, monetary expense, social ostracism, risk of harming an innocent and becoming liable) the normal everyday core of justice would be negotiation, perhaps with a private hired judge, between criminal and victim. The intent would be to find an amount of damages both would accept as preferable to open war. The algorithm would probably be restitution-plus (add on punitive damages where merited). Restitution would include recovery costs (judge, detective, bounty hunter...)

Because restitution is a form of debt, it's an "asset", and it can be pledged in advance on a no-win-no-fee basis, allowing even poor people access to the "legal system".

What about the rights of minorities? Well suppose you were a wronged negro in an anarchic version of 1950s Mississippi. Your local judges turn you away, detectives tell you to go hang, and bounty hunters won't. The restitution debt owed you doesn't go away, it's just "floating" unused. So you write a letter to Mr Fett, a renowned bounty hunter living in the racially egalitarian coastal northeast. He agrees to take your case on a revenge-and-the-victim-pays basis. A few weeks later he breezes into town, shoots the criminal, shakes down the corpse for his fee, and breezes back out. All legal and above-board.

People no longer hassle you.

On defense: basically a stable libertarian anarchy is an extremely tough military nut to crack. There is no central command structure, nobody with the authority to surrender, and a fair number of the citizens are armed. In fact, some of the citizens are very armed. If you could target shoot as a hobby with your own bazooka or tank, wouldn't you? It would beat the hell out of playing "quake". An anarchy would probably contain a large number of quasi-military hobby groups, and rent-a-cops. The diversity of these groups would prevent any from attempting a coup (hence my reference to "the other guards")

The anarchic solution to defense is basically "reduce the size, decentralize". An anarchy might not have battleships, but the typical anarchic civillian ship would carry a torpedo or two. In the same way that merchant galleons used to carry a few cannon. In troubled times, there might even be private battleships, commissioned by shipping companies.

[ Parent ]

umm.... (2.00 / 7) (#197)
by crayz on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 06:55:38 AM EST

I must be missing something. There doesn't seem to be a government here, and yet you say "he breezes into town, shoots the criminal, shakes down the corpse for his fee, and breezes back out. All legal and above-board."

Why is it legal? Because of some contract people have agreed to? But wouldn't that contract only be in that state, or town? And so perhaps the reason he's breezing back out is because the racist townfolk don't consider it legal and wound kill the bounty hunter if they could catch him?

In general what you've said is tempting until a couple neurons actually start firing. Then it just stops making sense. "Shakes down the corpse"? Do people carry huge amounts of money on them as a rule? How are you going to get the money? Go to the bank where the criminal keeps it? Why the hell would they give you the money? You have no law which says they should, it's not in their self-interest, and in this case they're a bunch of racists and it would actually hurt their business to go along w/ the death of a racist, etc.

On justice: the bedrock of the justice system would be the societally accepted right to "take the law into your own hands" and seek restitution and/or revenge by force.

And who decides when this is legitimate? No one, apparently. So if I think you've done something to me and I'm wrong, who's going to stop me from killing you over it? Or if I just use an alleged injury as a pretense for killing you and taking your money?

Also, as a general rule, criminals are the lower elements of society. One aspect of that is poverty. So if someone robs your house, what are you going to do? Get a private judge and force him to pay you restitution? Because of course he's just been robbing houses for kicks, and he actually has a large personal fortune. Hell, if he actually decides to pay - instead of just fleeing to some other little town 10 miles down the road with a completely different government - he'll probably do it by robbing another house. This isn't solving the issue of crime at all.

If you could target shoot as a hobby with your own bazooka or tank, wouldn't you?

I'm sorry, but this is lunacy. What you are saying is that the rich will be able to have direct military power. If you think people will only use this for self-defense, you've been smoking too much of Ayn Rand's stash. You're talking about reverting to feudalism and calling it progress.

Crap like this is why I rarely even bother talking to libertarians anymore. It was fun for a while, but I eventually realized that most of you are so far off the deep end that there's really no point in attempting rational discourse. A rabid dedication to a political philosophy which is willfully ignorant of common sense, human nature and reality itself...it's really just sad.

[ Parent ]

yearning for the old days (1.57 / 7) (#205)
by speek on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 09:18:05 AM EST

And I mean, the really old days. Liberatarianism works great when the population density is 1 person per hundred square miles and people wander around in hunter-gathering tribes. Not so great when there's 100 people per square mile and/or said tribe has nuclear missiles.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

bzzt! wrong (1.33 / 6) (#214)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:32:02 AM EST

actually, libertarian works best when there's 100s of people per square mile and nuclear missiles, precisely because anarcho-capistlism decentralizes all power and eliminates all states, eliminating the possibility of nuclear warfare between states. Furthermore, because it decentralizes all power (see my diary entry on the libertarian society of ancient Ireland), it makes conquest all the more difficult.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

but (1.37 / 8) (#218)
by speek on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:08:07 PM EST

does it come with a free solar-powered watch so I won't feel like an idiot?

You may have a future in sales.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

for a more cohesive explanation (1.57 / 7) (#208)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 10:55:07 AM EST

of how a libertarian system would work in regards to matters of law, see For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto -- The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Clarifications (1.50 / 6) (#211)
by Julian Morrison on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:21:42 AM EST

Why is it legal? Because of some contract people have agreed to? But wouldn't that contract only be in that state, or town? And so perhaps the reason he's breezing back out is because the racist townfolk don't consider it legal and wound kill the bounty hunter if they could catch him?
The law in this case is the ZAP, which everyone agrees the criminal violated. But they sympathize, so they won't assist in bringing the criminal to justice. While the ZAP does not allow attack, neither does it require helpful cooperation.

This matches the real problem "down south" - cops weren't lynching in uniform, they were just contriving to be elsewhere at the time, and in general turning a blind eye to what they knew was illegal.
"Shakes down the corpse"? Do people carry huge amounts of money on them as a rule? How are you going to get the money?
I simplified there for rhetorical impact.
Go to the bank where the criminal keeps it?
Yup that's what I meant. He would go to the bank, present himself as a creditor, and demand his fee.
Why the hell would they give you the money? You have no law which says they should, it's not in their self-interest, and in this case they're a bunch of racists and it would actually hurt their business to go along w/ the death of a racist, etc.
Well no, it would hurt their business infinitely more to turn away a valid creditor merely because of personal dislike. The banker who did that would rapidly lose access to creditors.

Also, by keeping Mr Fett from his legitimate earnings, he would be committing a personal crime against Mr Fett. He could expect, at the very least, a lawsuit.
And who decides when this is legitimate? No one, apparently. So if I think you've done something to me and I'm wrong, who's going to stop me from killing you over it? Or if I just use an alleged injury as a pretense for killing you and taking your money?
Because in an anarchy, unlike the government's "legal system", there are no special privileges. If I accuse you of a crime, and lynch you, and you're later proven innocent, then I would be a murderer. That was what I meant when I spoke of the risk of harming an innocent and becoming liable.

Under such circumstances it benefits everybody, even the wronged party, to see that everything is done "by the book" and that the accused gets a fair chance to counter the accusations.

I assume that our hypothetical Mr Fett would never have taken on the case without confirming its validity.

Also, as a general rule, criminals are the lower elements of society. One aspect of that is poverty. So if someone robs your house, what are you going to do? Get a private judge and force him to pay you restitution?
Can't gurantee you'll be able to force him to do anything, but you certainly could get a judge to assess the restitution he owes. If you were poor, you'd do that by allowing the judge to recover costs as part of the restitution. So in effect, now the criminal has two people with a legitimate beef against him - you, for your stolen posessions, and the judge, for his fee. And the judge is probably a whole lot richer than you are.

Because of course he's just been robbing houses for kicks, and he actually has a large personal fortune. Hell, if he actually decides to pay - instead of just fleeing to some other little town 10 miles down the road with a completely different government - he'll probably do it by robbing another house. This isn't solving the issue of crime at all.
He could try to carry on by robbing A to repay B, but soon enough people are going to get pissed, get a watertight judgement againt him, organise a posse, and hunt him down.

[ Parent ]
I doubt it. (none / 3) (#291)
by Ken Arromdee on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:18:26 PM EST

Well no, it would hurt their business infinitely more to turn away a valid creditor merely because of personal dislike. The banker who did that would rapidly lose access to creditors.

I don't believe this. It would certainly hurt the bank's business if they had a general policy of turning away valid creditors. But if the bank had a policy of turning away only creditors in specific categories, people who are not in those categories would still be willing to do business with the bank.

[ Parent ]

still has an effect (1.20 / 5) (#292)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:48:47 PM EST

They're still turning away some customers, which will go to other banks.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

wrong (2.00 / 8) (#116)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:15:04 PM EST

Anarcho-capitalists, like Murray N. Rothbard, do not "assume humans will do the right thing". That's what Statists do. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you haven't read For a New Liberty, by Rothbard, which explains how anarcho-capitalism would most likely work. I linked to a section specifically discussion laws, courts, and police. Please read that and the rest of the book before you state the anarcho-capitalists assume that everyone just does the right thing.

In short, all government would be abolished, and the free market (made up of the ambitions of entrepreneurs and the desires of consumers) would provide for all services formerly provided for by the government, in a competitive fashion. There's no reason to believe why a monopoly (government) is the best solution in any case; thus, the free market should be allowed to reign, and choose as many police enforcement companies and court companies as it so desires.

PS: Do not confuse anarcho-capitalists with syndicate anarchists, who believe in an ideal which is neither realistic nor possible without trampling over freedom.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

thoughts.... (2.00 / 7) (#124)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:42:10 PM EST

Will he rush to the victim's defense? That, of course, would be up to Company A, but it is scarcely conceivable that private police companies would not cultivate goodwill by making it a policy to give free aid to victims in emergency situations and perhaps ask the rescued victim for a voluntary donation afterward.

Don't you think this is a bit of a cop-out? If this is the policy, then more people have an incentive not to purchase police protection, leading to those who are paying subsidizing the protection of (the presumably poor) other people.

Have you investigated the process by which private fire departments (run by insurance companies) became owned by the government? Wasn't it because this is exactly what wasn't happening?

Furthermore...

Are you saying that all resources should be used in only the way that is most profitable? In this case, the government (since it would not exist) can not step in to disallow profitable action that would not be of long-term benefit to society? Or even actions that are not profitable, but needed in society?
Specifically, I'm wondering where in your world would there be room for the National Park System? I'm sure the standard answer would be that, being private they would charge admission, etc... But, if it were more profitable, wouldn't the Grand Canyon be dammed by now? Around the turn of the century, there were plans to do so, but it was not allowed by the president at the time.


---Lane

P.S. In reading the paper, all the discussion focused on enforcement of the law, without discussing where the laws would come from without a governmental body. If you could supply a link, I'd appreciate it

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Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
your conception of good (2.12 / 8) (#128)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 06:01:11 PM EST

Will he rush to the victim's defense? That, of course, would be up to Company A, but it is scarcely conceivable that private police companies would not cultivate goodwill by making it a policy to give free aid to victims in emergency situations and perhaps ask the rescued victim for a voluntary donation afterward.

Don't you think this is a bit of a cop-out? If this is the policy, then more people have an incentive not to purchase police protection, leading to those who are paying subsidizing the protection of (the presumably poor) other people.

Except that such protection would do more than just help someone in need, but would also investigate to find the criminal. Furthermore, local shops and streets would have their own patrolling police, who would always be inclined to stop crime (after all, who wants to go to a neighborhood where crimee is allowed to run rampant by those who own property there).

Even if we assume that no-one who doesn't pay an insurance premium gets protection. So what? No-one is entitled to the labor of others without compensating them; that is no different than slavery. (by "compensating", I mean paying them what they would accept of their own free will, on the free market).

Are you saying that all resources should be used in only the way that is most profitable? In this case, the government (since it would not exist) can not step in to disallow profitable action that would not be of long-term benefit to society? Or even actions that are not profitable, but needed in society?

To answer this, you have to go to Austrian economics, which does not assume that everyone seeks to maximize their monetary profit; rather, it assumes everyone seeks to maximize their psychic profit. Land-owners may very well value some things over monetary profit; after all, tulip and roses in our yard don't exactly generat profit, nor do private forests (rather, they cost one money to maintain them).

Specifically, I'm wondering where in your world would there be room for the National Park System? I'm sure the standard answer would be that, being private they would charge admission, etc... But, if it were more profitable, wouldn't the Grand Canyon be dammed by now? Around the turn of the century, there were plans to do so, but it was not allowed by the president at the time.

Well, I don't know. I can't assume that whoever would homestead the Grand Canyon would place monetary profit over other private values he may hold. It is perfectly possible that those who would homestead it would value their pyshic profit over monetary profit, and wish to preserve it for it's beauty, while making it a private park, to pay for it's preservation.

If it's so important to people that the Grand Canyon forever be preserved as it is, then those to whom that's important should join together and buy the property. But simply because I, or even myself and many others, think it's important that the Grand Canyon be preserved, doesn't mean we get to steal from others to accomplish that goal. The ends do not justify the means, and it's debateable whether the end of preserving the Grand Canyon as it currently is is the best use of that resource (after all, you could argue that for all of the US, in which case, we wouldn't have a modern nation).

As for where the law would come from, Rothbard assume that all law would come from the non-aggression axiom (that no-one should initiate violence against anyone else) and the homesteading principle. Though I don't think he explicitly states as much, he probably believes that such law would naturally emerge in a completely free, unhampered market, as such had done in Ancient Ireland (see one of my old diary entries for that).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

origin of law (1.57 / 7) (#172)
by krkrbt on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:08:11 AM EST

P.S. In reading the paper, all the discussion focused on enforcement of the law, without discussing where the laws would come from without a governmental body. If you could supply a link, I'd appreciate it

There are two types of law:  "Common Law" and "Political Law".

Political law is law that is created by kings or legislatures or whoever.  Some human had a whim, "there oughta be a law".

Common Law is discovered law, that is the same anywhere you go ("common to all areas of the country").  Before Common Law was subverted in the name of Political Law, two basic principles had been discovered:

  1. Do all you have agreed to do.  (contract law)

  2. Do not encroach on other persons or their property.

Common Law is not perfect, but it is consistent and fair to all parties concerned.  

Whenever common law emerges in a society, everyone becomes better off. (Roman Republic)

Whenever political law becomes dominant, everyone becomes poorer.  (Roman Empire -> dark ages)

Political law favors some individuals at the expense of others.

This is my understanding of the origin of law, based on my reading of Richard Maybury's Whatever Happened to Justice.  I think it's a wonderful book, like all of his "Uncle Eric" book series.

I don't have any links, though a search on google for "'common law' introduction" seemed to turn up some promising pages.

[ Parent ]

In Rothbard's fantasyland... (1.14 / 7) (#217)
by bob6 on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:05:24 PM EST

Every reader of detective fiction knows that private insurance detec­tives are far more efficient than the police in recovering stolen property.
This sums up pretty well the whole argumentation: it would work if people behave like we expect to.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
out of context quoting (1.57 / 7) (#222)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:21:34 PM EST

While I grant that that was a stupid statement, it is one statement out of many lines of supporting evidence. Whenever the free market is allowed to work unhampered, it provides superior results. Even when hampered, it provides better (though not optimal) results (see Fedex). Libertarianism does not have any inherent optimistic assumptions about the quality of men; it does not assume that the power-hungry would vanish in a libertarian world, just that they would be denied such clear and easy routes to centralized power as now exist through the state.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

the accumulation of wealth is centralized power (1.33 / 6) (#229)
by infinitera on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:33:48 PM EST

en tea

[ Parent ]
"the accumulation of wealth" (1.57 / 7) (#238)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 05:50:38 PM EST

First, you must realize that the accumulation of wealth is decentralized. It happens all over the place, with everyone. At every level short of the individual -- neighborhood, local, city, "state", "nation" (the latter two of which would not exist in a libertarian world) -- the "power" is decentralized in a completely free market system (anarcho-capitalism).

Furthermore, it is, unlike government power, not a renewable power, nor fiat, and it can neither be destroyed nor created, but only transferred from one agent to another, short of the extra value added to purchasing power by human innovations. The real "power" is in the hands of the consumers, who choose what to buy and whether to consume vs. invest. In the case of investment, money goes into the hands of entrepreneurs, so they are given opportunity due to the accumulation of wealth. That reduces an individuals present buying power in the hope of increasing future buying power. Conversely, when individuals consume, they reduce future buying power by expending some of it immediately.

As the "power" in an anarcho-capitalist system is exercised, it is also lost by the agent exercising it and transferred to another individual. The relative ratio of wealth + goods can easily shift from individual A to other individuals if individual A becomes less productive, and thus is spending more than he's taking in, particularly in daily perishable goods.

On the contrary, in the State, political power is self-renewing, created out of thin air. The government counterfeits more and more money, effecting a stealth tax. It commands obediance by force. The government is the only entity that makes it's income by coercively stealing it from others, whereas all free market enterprises must make their income by getting others to voluntarily give it to them in exchange for a good. Furthermore, in an anarcho-capitalist system, there are no easy roads to vast centralized power. There are clear roads to "power" (which only means spending power, and does not translate to the power to initiate violence against others, as the government has). However, they are localized; e.g., the President of company X. And, of course, one has to continue providing a valuable service to the consumers if one wants one's buying power to be renewed.

In short, you have mis-understood what I meant by "centralized power structure". A centralized power structure is a system where it is possible for one or a few men to exert control over many millions of men (a nation) via the excercise of coercive force. In the US, for example, the path to that centralized coercive power is clear: become a Senator, Governor, or the President, or even a US Supreme Court Justice. The path was likewise clear in pre-WWII Germany, and Hitler exploited the pre-existence of a centralized infrastructure of coercive power; had Germany been anarcho-capitalist, Hitler would have had no chance of rising to such power, the mass-murder of WWI would not have happened, and 6 million Jews wouldn't have been murdered.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I know (1.42 / 7) (#248)
by bob6 on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 03:58:44 AM EST

I sinned by quoting out of context but I couldn't resist when I saw this phrase. However I clearly stated that it was my opinion Rothbard's argumentation wasn't made of "many lines of evidence" but rather an exercice on how should people behave; he makes extensive use of the conditional form and avoids citing previous experiences of libertarianism.
The Fedex example may be valid when compared to the US postal service, but, where I live, the public state owned and state managed postal service works pretty well (only idiotic snobs use Fedex and DHL).
In the mean time, due to the lack of government and lack of police in particular, private police has been experimented in several South American countries. The result is quite not what Rothbard expects.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
btw, please note (2.00 / 8) (#118)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:20:06 PM EST

that the government *can not* be trusted with currency (or anything else for that matter). Please listen to Rothbard's lecture series on banking and the business cycle:

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

and after you listen (1.25 / 8) (#187)
by bankind on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 02:36:19 AM EST

please form a single file line for the kool-aid.


"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

because libertarian ideas are dumb? (2.30 / 10) (#104)
by Osama Bin Fabulous on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:48:41 PM EST

Why is there so much Libertarian bashing going on?

Why would you not expect people to bash political positions which they don't agree with?

It seems many of the posts amount to "nice ideas, but they'll never work"

"nice ideas" doesn't mean that the poster agrees with the ideas. It means like "Well communism has some nice ideas, but if those 'nice' ideas ever get implemented then we're all screwed."

Libertarian ideology exalts a method (no govt) rather than a goal and is as such morally bankrupt.

I would encourage all posters to take the Political Compass Quiz To see where you fall.

That test is nonsense since nobody self-describes as "authoritarian." The choice and the phrasing of the questions also seems rather haphazard and extremely subject to cultural bias.

[ Parent ]

re-read my post (2.27 / 11) (#106)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 04:01:32 PM EST

I stress again:

Republican: We want smaller government and less taxes, but the government can tell you whether you can have an abortion.

Libertarian: We want smaller government and less taxes, and the government can't tell you whether you can have an abortion

Why is the first considered a legitimate political stance (whether you agree or not) whereas the second is somehow "dumb"

exalts a method (no govt) rather than a goal

Again, do you think that just perhaps you are casting all libertarians in the light of the most radical that you've heard about? The Abolishment of all government is not part of the Libertarian platform.




-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
re: (2.40 / 10) (#109)
by Osama Bin Fabulous on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 04:44:25 PM EST

Your point is that people dismiss libertarianism without having learned anything about it, or judge it by its most radical adherents. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that in my case this isn't true. I bash libertarianism for the same reason I bash conservatism. I think they're dumb. Furthermore, there are plenty of people offering ignorant critiques of all political stances. Libertarianism doesn't get any more than its fair share of this.

In part, I can't help but judge libertarians by their more radical members, since their less radical members are called "conservatives" or "liberals."

But I think you misunderstood what I mean by "no govt" as parenthetical remark. Obviously almost all libertarians believe in having a govt to uphold the law, field an army, and perhaps build roads and other public infrastructure. I meant that in other matters, libertarians hold the method (that the government not be involved) over any kind of political end. Even in your own example, the libertarian is apathetic on the notion of abortion being a good or bad thing, but takes that stance on the principle of the government not being involved.

[ Parent ]

but... (1.42 / 7) (#113)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:02:04 PM EST

In part, I can't help but judge libertarians by their more radical members, since their less radical members are called "conservatives" or "liberals."

Don't you think that attitude comes from the common belief that the political spectrum is one dimensional? I'm merely trying to point out to people that it is possible to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I don't think such a stance warrants the label "dumb". Do you?

Even in your own example, the libertarian is apathetic on the notion of abortion being a good or bad thing, but takes that stance on the principle of the government not being involved.

But how is my opinion different from any other social liberal? Unless you are trying to argue that "pro-choice" people are that way because they believe abortion is a good thing (inasmuch as it is an inherently good act). Not many people are "pro-abortion" as much as they are "pro-choice" ie. they want the government to stay out of their lives and allowed to be able to make their own decisions.

Just to add a little flame bait to the mix ;) If Conservatism and Libertarianism are both "dumb" than what is the "smart" alternative? I would imagine that since you've rejected all forms of fiscal conservatism that you think the only "smart" thing to do is forfeit your income? Do you pay extra taxes out of this firm belief? There are ways to do so (in the US at least)


---Lane

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
re: (1.28 / 7) (#126)
by Osama Bin Fabulous on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:55:52 PM EST

People (or perhaps just people who think about and discuss politics a lot) know that it's possible to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. It also possible to be domestically fiscally liberal, internationally fiscally conservative, socially conservative, religiously liberal, and conservative on international politics, all at the same time. Why stop at two axes?

Am I not allowed to think think that libertarians are dumb? I've read their philosophy and I don't agree. Whatever pejorative you use in that situation, feel free to substitute it for "dumb" wherever you see it.

Regarding the abortion thing, just because two people feel the same way about a very particular thing doesn't put them in the same political camp. For example, both Herr Wolfowitz and I believe that the invasion of Iraq was justified, but he believes that it was necessary to project American military power into the Middle East, while I believe that it was necessary to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people under tyranny.

If Conservatism and Libertarianism are both "dumb" than what is the "smart" alternative?

Liberalism! Hooray for liberalism!

Do you pay extra taxes out of this firm belief?

I assume you've heard the answer to this one before, but maybe not everyone's heard it. The prospect of voluntary taxes puts the payer into a prisoner's dilemma. The ideal outcome is for me to not pay taxes but for everyone else to do so. Of course, when everyone figures that out, we end up with no taxes paid, which is an undesirable outcome even for libertarians. So instead we have a system where people agree to pay whatever taxes their elected representative decide are needed.

[ Parent ]

Liberalism, eh? (1.22 / 9) (#168)
by Mohammed Niyal Sayeed on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:38:31 PM EST

So, would that be Classic Liberalism, or Keep The Poor On A Short Lease And Use Them To Perpetuate Class Jealousy and a False Sense Of Entitlement In Order To Keep Our Hands On At Least One Third Of Every Dollar That People More Successful Than Ourselves At The System Of Capitalism Liberalism?

And FYI, that's a rhetorical question.


--
"You need to get your own point, then we can have an elaborate dance fight." - jmzero

[ Parent ]
taxes paid (1.37 / 8) (#180)
by krkrbt on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:42:46 AM EST

The ideal outcome is for me to not pay taxes but for everyone else to do so. Of course, when everyone figures that out, we end up with no taxes paid, which is an undesirable outcome even for libertarians.

This libertarian (me) thinks that "no taxes paid" (by anyone) is a very desirable outcome.

[ Parent ]

real libertarian (2.10 / 10) (#120)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:24:23 PM EST

libertarian: We want no State at all. All states necessarily violate the non-aggression axiom, which is that no-one has the right to initiate violence against any other person.

The abolishment of government may not be aon the Libertarian party platform, but it is the ultimate goal of libertarianism. The government, by it's very nature, *must* necessarily violate the rights of individuals, initiate violence against individuals, by systematically stealing from them (taxes) which amounts to slavery.

Please do not apologize for those who take the non-aggression axiom to it's full conclusions. I feel no need to apologize for being completely consistent and applying the same rule to the government (not to initiate violence against anyone else) that I apply to everyone else; which necessarily means that there can be no government.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Consistent... (1.57 / 7) (#125)
by thefirelane on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:49:59 PM EST

I feel no need to apologize for being completely consistent and applying the same rule to the government (not to initiate violence against anyone else) that I apply to everyone else; which necessarily means that there can be no government.


I think your real problem is simply with moderation.

Just because you are a Democrat, and want a more egalitarian society, does not mean you want to sacrifice your entire income to be given to the poor. Nor does it mean you desire a government enforced socialistic system of equality.

Likewise, just because you are a Republican does not mean you want some sort of "Christian Taliban" in America.

These of course, would be the "full conclusions" of each party, except most people are comfortable with moderation whereas you are not.


---Lane

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
moderation does not make for change (2.00 / 8) (#129)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 06:23:26 PM EST

As Hayek eloquently said, "Free trade and freedom of opportunity are ideals which still may rouse the imaginations of large numbers, but a mere 'reasonable freedom of trade' or a mere 'relaxation of controls' is neither intellectually respectable nor likely to inspire any enthusiasm."

Sure, people can be moderate. But that's not going to inspire a significant change. All change happens because of the people who hold to the ideals. If libertarians shrink away from the full conclusions of libertarian principles, then the spectrum will shift towards communism, because they certainly aren't shrinking from the full conclusions of their principles.

I mean, we can be moderate on everything, including murder and rape. To make life easier, maybe we should just say "a little bit of murder" or "a little bit of rape" is ok. If you believe in the non-aggression axiom (which necessarily means that the State is a criminal band enslaving the mass of the population), then supporting a "little state" or a "state in moderation" is not much different than supporting a little bit of murder or rape. Besides, we already tried the minimal state thing 300 years ago. It was a complete and total failure, as we can now see today. We should learn from the mistakes of our naive forefathers, who thought that the State could be restrained: If there is any State at all, it will invariably grow to mammoth proportions.

PS: In many respects, libertarians could be called "moderate", though not in the conventional sense. For example, on the issue of freedom of speech. Libertarians realize that freedom of speech is simply a derivative of the right to own property that you acquire by voluntary transaction or homestead. Aside from statements which violate the property rights of others (e.g., yelling fire in a theatre I own constitutes fraud on my part, so I've violated a contract) or as long as the statements I make aren't commands to subordinates to initiate violence against others, I can say what I will on my property. I can say that all religion is evil and idiotic. However, I have no such right to walk into a Church and say that all religion is evil and idiotic.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

hahahahahahaa!!!! (1.36 / 11) (#162)
by rmg on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:59:19 PM EST

he quotes Hayek as an authority!!!!

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

well, a nobel prize for starters (1.55 / 9) (#164)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:16:31 PM EST

which is certainly more than you've accomplished, distinguishes Hayek. Oh, and then there's the communists, who achieved all of their revolutions by sticking to their extreme values, achieving by the time of the revolution what seemed unthinkable just several decades before.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

the operative word in that sentence is 'he' (1.30 / 10) (#171)
by rmg on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:53:18 PM EST

not Hayek. whatever Hayek may be, you are not one to wield his ideas.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

more ad hominem (1.55 / 9) (#174)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:23:27 AM EST

Typical of someone who's run out of logical arguments, you resort to ad hominem attacks. Even if I'm not in a position to be wielding Hayek's ideas (I find it amusing that you seem to deny that to a libertarian), Murray N. Rothbard is, and he quoted that exact same sentence (actually, the entire paragraph it was in) in his For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto. Next please.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

i am simply suggesting... (1.50 / 10) (#176)
by rmg on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:32:38 AM EST

that your writing exhibits a certain greenness. an inexperience -- it betrays you for what you are: a highschool student with no real knowledge of the world, philosophy, or economics. it is your own blinding arrogance that makes you see solace in the writings of libertarians. your frothing arguments do neither you nor your supposed cause service.

in short, you should take up a simpler cause that you can understand more completely -- your knowledge of economics clearly comes only from your heroes and perhaps a freshman's textbook on macroeconomics. you exhibit no knowledge of political theory -- or, what's worse, even basic geography. perhaps you could read up on perl and python and argue passionately for one or the other. that is something that would be more suited to your unique intellectual gifts.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

lack of specifics, and more ad hominem (1.28 / 7) (#210)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:16:33 AM EST

It is typical of those who cannot find any real flaw in the argument of their opponent to try to belittle their opponent. This is what you have resorted to and it only shows the weakness in your own arguments. If you have anything specific to point to, then do it. I suspect, however, that you won't do that, because libertarians have demolished every specific criticism levied statists. Claims that a libertarian (anarcho-capitalist) system wouldn't be able to handle pollution, courts, police, roads, defense and so-on and so-forth have all been demolished (e.g., see this comment).

I realize that moral certitude is something that scares you, because it means you and other statists can't do anything you want. I have moral certitude that things such as enslavement and mass-murder are wrong; the former of which is mandated by the exitence of any state; the latter of which is made almost inevitable by the existence of centralized states. The only individuals who are naive are those who think that you can hand a monopoly on violence over to a few individuals and expect them not to abuse it, and those that think the "checks and balances" of our system can prevent the government from growing and abusing it's powers (the past 300 years have shown us that that is clearly not the case).

PS: For someone so perfect as yourself, who obviously never mistakes on geographical location for another in a moment of absent-mindedness, you should work on capitalizing the beginning of sentences. Please work on your logic; a moment of absent-mindedness (e.g., in regards to geography) does not make one ignorant -- though perhaps careless, as you obviously have demonstrated to be by systematically refusing to capitalize sentences.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

you're right. (1.27 / 11) (#215)
by rmg on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:54:53 AM EST

Libertarianism is a flawless philosophy. People who do not believe in Libertarianims are stupid and evil bastards.
***
THE LINEAR TIME economics is a myth. ECONOMICS is a CUBE WITH FOUR SIDES AND ONE CORNER. Educators who supress AUSTRIAN DEBATE should be killed.
====
Hey stupid, don't you understand that rational self-interest is the only course to ECONOMIC SALVATION? You are educated stupid.
***
AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS predicted the fall of the SOVIET UNION. AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS IS TRUTH. You are just too damn evil to accept it.

-----------
Any idiot can see that CAPITAL has FOUR SIMULTANEOUS DAYS -- one for EACH CORNER. You have been brainwashed to accept evil GRENWICH TIME ECONOMICS. SUPRESSING AUSTRIAN DEBATE IS NAZI LIKE EVIL.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

down to the level of mindless trolling (1.50 / 8) (#220)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:17:11 PM EST

Again, if you have anything specific that bothers you -- anything that Austrian economics has failed to deal with, or explains improperly or incompletely -- please mention it. No, Austrian economics is not perfect, not any more than Copernicus' theories were perfect when he realized that the Earth revolves around the Sun, not vica versa, not any more perfect than Newton's laws of gravity. However, it is on the right track (progress). Neither is libertarianism perfect -- it's just better than any other system, given any level of "goodness" or "badness" of man. A libertarian (anarcho-capitalist) world would not be perfect; it would be better than what we have now, but no system is going to bring heaven on earth.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

as someone (1.28 / 7) (#186)
by bankind on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 02:33:46 AM EST

with several degrees in Economics, a specialization in exchange rate regimes, and the top student lecturer at a major US university on the topic of monetary economics, I can only say... Murray N. Rothbard WHO?

Maybe if you evoke his name a couple more thousand times someone might give a damn.

BTW, FYI: the Austrian school is to economics as the Church of Scientology is to religion.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

so what? (1.33 / 6) (#209)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:05:53 AM EST

and what exactly has standard economics gained us? Nothing. Oh, wait, I'm not counting the business cycle, inflation, and other disasters caused by the ignorant economists of the past century (mostly Keynesians). Rothbard wasn't primary an economist (rather, he endeavered in economics, history, and political sciences), but Hayek was, as was Mises. The Austrian school of economics is the only school which has adequately explained the cause of the business cycle. Mises predicted the fall of communism while other "mainstream" economists were still in awe of it. An earlier Austrian stocked up on gold in anticipation of the first world war, but 40 years before it.

Your guilt by association attacks are meaningless, as is your claim that you have several degrees in economics (which even if true, wouldn't mean a thing; surely, Keynes did as well). The superiority of Austrian economics is demonstrated by the fact that it has not been repudiated by the facts of the world, as has Keynsian economics been repudiated by inflationary recessions, and so-on and so-forth. And the latest fad in economics, Game Theory, brilliant as Nash was, is arguably based on simplistic assumptions and hasn't been of much practical use (though, given more realistic and less simplistic starting assumptions, it would likely be more useful).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

you certainly are on top of things (1.33 / 6) (#245)
by bankind on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 02:53:07 AM EST

And the latest fad in economics, Game Theory, brilliant as Nash was, is arguably based on simplistic assumptions and hasn't been of much practical use (though, given more realistic and less simplistic starting assumptions, it would likely be more useful).

Fad? Game Theory? Nash? His paper is 50 years old! You seem to assume that economics is based on movies and Nobel Prizes. Is Ron Howard still in preproduction for his latest feature film, Rothbard: Frothy Vaginal Discharge?

And wow, business cycles, don't they sell that next to the divining rods and snake oil. Austrian economics is junk, has no use in empirical analysis, and has as much credibility as alchemy. Furthermore, no serious `practicing' economist would ever claim to be within the confines of a school. Rather they would base their conclusions on observation and empirical evidence. For example, see the dramatic change in the thinking of Douglas North from 1980 to 1990.

So you've read up on why Keynes and "Keynesians" are evil? Can you explicitly and in your own words explain the arguments against Keynesian theory, or even distinguish Keynesian school from the neo-Keynesian school? And you think I am a Keynesian? Maybe I'm closer to a Dornbuchian, DeGrauweian, Stiglitzian, Senian, Northian, Solowian, Ackloffian, Krugmanian and the contradictions-arian, whom enjoys the conflict between their ideas (or the ideas between any reliable economist). Better yet, call me an INDEPENDENT THINKER.

Instead you preach that you somehow understand behavior (the ultimate determinant of the economy) in your little, disregarded cult. How can a thinker from the early 20th century even come close to defining the evolution of economic theory in the past 100, 50, 10, 5 years? As I like to test all your ilk, how does YOUR little cult explain the economic revolution of East Asia?

You've already proven that you have very limited understanding of modern economic thinking, in regards to definitions of money, industrial organization, or developmental theory. You obviously have never experienced life in a dynamic, developing economy. You obviously are a discouraged white man that doesn't understand why people see through your veil of hyperbole to see a sad, unemployable lunatic.

And if you are employed, you probably work in some unrelated field (i.e. computes) and think you understand everything the field because all you see is a the top of the iceberg--in the distant horizon.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

lack of understanding of context (1.00 / 5) (#256)
by dh003i on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 06:41:16 PM EST

Nash' paper may be 50 years old, but it's greatest influences have been relatively recently. Also, Nash was only officially recognized with the Nobel in 1994. As for Game Theory's usefulness, I stand by my initial statement that it has not proved useful in analysing behavior, nor predicting it. Nash-equilibriums, for example, are only reached when every "player" thinks like a Game Theorist. For example, if a group of people are told to pick a number from 0 to 100, with the person(s) closest to half the average value getting $100, the Nash-equilibrium solution is that everyone picks 0. However, in reality, this is not what happens.

As for the assertion that no serious "practicing economist" would claim to be in a given school of economics, that is absurd non-sense. Schools of economics can only exist because serious practicing economists claim to be in, or *are* in, those schools. Serious practicing economists who claimed to be, or *were*, in the school of Austrian Economics include Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, Carl Menger, Eugen von Boehn-Bawerk, and even Ricardo. In regards to Mises, he was the chief economic advisor to the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, from 1909 to 1934, a time during which he proposed government actions (or lack thereof, when appropriate) that prevented Austria from experiencing the same kind of hyperinflation Germany experienced during the early 20's. Among his students, Wilheml Roeptke and Ludwig Ernhard, turning Germany towards freedom, kindled the "economic miracle" (which was no miracle at all, but the result of allowing the free market to work without much intervention). Mises discussed this in Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow:

[Y]ou have to remember that, in economic policies, there are no miracles. You have read in many newspapers and speeches, about the so-called German economic miracle-the recovery of Germany after its defeat and destruction in the Second World War. But this was no miracle. It was the application of the principles of the free market economy, of the methods of capitalism, even though they were not applied completely in all respects. Every country can experience the same "miracle" of economic recovery, although I must insist that economic recovery does not come from a miracle; it comes from the adoption of-and is the result of-sound economic policies.
Regarding the "lack of empirical evidence" from the Austrian school, this is hogwash, since "empirical evidence" in economics is largely worthless. Quoting from An Introduction to Austrian Economics:
Austrian economic analysis is carried out largely on the basis of theoretical, deductive reasoning; empiricism has little place in Austrian economic theory--thus their battle with the German Historical school. Economic phenomena, originating from a social environment, are deemed by the Austrians too complex and variable to permit the kind of experimental analysis that the physical scientists use. Accordingly, Austrian theory is opposed on methodological grounds to mathematics as a tool of economic analysis. Conceptual understanding, not quantitative relations, is seen as the only meaningful basis of economic science. Menger, the father of the Austrian school, insisted on and followed this qualitative orientation throughout his works, as did his successors.

The second important characteristic of Austrian theory is its methodological individualism. Austrians believe that economic phenomena are not the expression of some social force or hypostatized entity like "society." Rather, they are the result of the conduct of individuals engaged in economic activity. The total economic process cannot be understood, therefore, except by analyzing its basic elements, the actions of individuals.

The Austrian analysis uses as its data human nature and the realities of the human predicament. Individual human values and human actions, amidst limited means including perceived knowledge, are placed at the center of economic science. The factors of human error, the uncertainty of the future, and the inescapable passage of time must receive their due attention. This analytical approach cuts through the seeming complexities of an advanced market economy and provides a basic understanding of the economic process by examining essential market elements. Dispelled is any mystique surrounding the economy, market prices, business profits and losses, interest rates, inflation, and economic recessions and depressions. These phenomena are not inexplicable nor without cause, as will be shown in subsequent sections.

In short, due to the enormous number of factors involved in analysis, empirical analysis is shaky at best (I would argue especially so, when carried out by establishment economists, supported by the State, as the State will obviously select for economists who's theories support it, hence the survival of Keynes). However, in one specific case, an Austrian does engage in empirical analysis. In Taking Money Back, Rothbard writes:
When the dollar and gold were set loose from each other, we saw the closest thing to a laboratory experiment we can get in human affairs. All Establishment economists--from Keynesians to Chicagoite monetarists--insisted that gold had long lost its value as a money, that gold had only reached its exalted value of $35 an ounce because its value was "fixed" at that amount by the government. The dollar allegedly conferred value upon gold rather than the other way round, and if gold and the dollar were ever cut loose, we would see the price of gold sink rapidly to its estimated non-monetary value (for jewelry, dental fillings, etc.) of approximately $6 an ounce. In contrast to this unanimous Establishment prediction, the followers of Ludwig von Mises and other "gold bugs" insisted that gold was undervalued at 35 debased dollars, and claimed that the price of gold would rise far higher, perhaps as high as $70.

Suffice it to say that the gold price never fell below $35, and in fact vaulted upward, at one point reaching $850 an ounce, in recent years settling at somewhere around $350 an ounce.

As for the flaws of Keynesians, here are some articles discussing them: For a general overview of the superiority of Austrian economis to other economic schools (such as Keynesian and neo-Keynsian schools), see The Austrian Tradition.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

please (none / 2) (#300)
by bankind on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:33:09 PM EST

use a but broader range of sources, I don't read mises.org.

Your example was based on Breton Woods, which is 30 years OVER and not even empirical, it was speculative numerology.

BTW: the two guys that just won the Nobel are econometricians (but I doubt you understand what that means), not in the 'superior' cult of rothbard.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

some points (none / 3) (#306)
by dh003i on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:34:49 AM EST

(1) Sorry, but you don't get to disregard sources someone uses just because they're from a website you don't like or don't read regularly.

(2) Just because an example is old does not mean it is irrelevant. To assert such is fallicious. The example was extremely clear and obvious. After the dollar was completely cut from the gold standard, the "price of gold" never fell below the $35 it was artificially constrained at by the government, and indeed rose to settle around $350/ounce. That pretty clearly proves Rothbard's point.

I also quoted a section explaining why the "empirical evidence" (statistics) various econmists like to use do not necessarily make their arguments better, for the reasons cited. In another post, I referenced numerous examples of Austrians pointing to the facts of history.

(3) Hayek won the Nobel Prize for what was basically an elaboration of Mises' business cycle theory. It is possible that had Mises been alive at the time, he also would have had a Nobel (he died a year earlier). Clearly, Hayek won the Nobel Prize for what was the Austrian theory of business cycle.

PS: You again show your ignorance. Rothbard had no cult; only clearly thinking individuals who came to similar conclusions. Furthermore, Rothbard was neither the beginning nor the end of Austrian economics, nor even of Libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism. The economics you seem to be espouting is the crap of Keynes -- mathematical calculus and what-not that's obviously completely irrelevant to the behaviour of human beings, and is so complicated that it can only be refuted by the already initiated (in other words, absurd assertions are made to look respectable by the use of fancy mathematics, economic jargon, and unclear language.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

FINISH HIM!! (none / 2) (#309)
by bankind on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 03:19:43 AM EST

(2) Just because an example is old does not mean it is irrelevant. To assert such is fallicious. The example was extremely clear and obvious. After the dollar was completely cut from the gold standard, the "price of gold" never fell below the $35 it was artificially constrained at by the government, and indeed rose to settle around $350/ounce. That pretty clearly proves Rothbard's point.

NO, it proves you don't know what you are talking about. First, discussing one price and up or down is not empirical unless backed with a model and a measurement of degree. For example, my prediction that there will be a 6% GDP growth rate q1 2004 from the degrees of government spending, the low interest rate, and the tax cuts. Your example is more akin to a economics horoscope, and quite silly.

The Breton Woods system linked dollars to gold at a rate of 35 dollars per ounce as a discipline measure. Excessive external debt was to be paid off using gold. The system failed because with the onset of the Cold War no countries were willing to discipline the US regarding the inflation they were exporting (from the high costs of the Vietnam war).

OMFG I used the jargon external debt, don't get confused, it is just foreign possession of domestic currency.

NOW where the fuck does that have anything to do with the price of gold? NOWHERE. The dollar was linked to gold and other currencies fluctuated around the dollar thus allowing the price of gold to change in relation to foreign currencies. The US government would then react by changing dollars in circulation to maintain the peg of dollars to gold.

WHERE THE FUCK IS THE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS IN THAT?

There is no school, as that is what happened. Predicting that the price of gold would rise after the end of Breton Woods is only as credible as the assumptions behind it.

How can you assume that Rothbard was any more accurate in the theoretical interpretation of the rise in gold than Triffin or the N-1 problem?

The economics you seem to be espouting is the crap of Keynes -- mathematical calculus and what-not that's obviously completely irrelevant to the behaviour of human beings, and is so complicated that it can only be refuted by the already initiated (in other words, absurd assertions are made to look respectable by the use of fancy mathematics, economic jargon, and unclear language.

I'm not sure which copy of The General Theory that you read, but I don't recall any calculus, mathematical, herbal, geological or any other variety. Anyway, Keynes is macroeconomics, which is more cerebral than microeconomics. Regardless, that you are too ignorant to understand the "fancy mathematics, economic jargon, and unclear language" doesn't point out the limitations of neo-classical, Keynesian economics, only the limitations of your own dome. Really now, you've been doing pretty well so far, but you've now exposed yourself that you hate modern economics because you don't understand it. Not the best way to win an argument.

Could you point out the scary words and ideas? I'll hold your hand through the theories so the evil monster called GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION doesn't jump out and kill you.

You're main problem which is not uncommon is that you don't understand how economist work. Being that I am an economist I encounter this problem quite a bit. Basically, we are always practicing a game of looking for the perfect dataset, then testing the accuracy of that prediction with imperfect sampling. The problem comes from people like you, who want us to find support for your political inclination, but then get all pissed, when we find something else and your don't understand the process.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

being an economist makes you pretty stupid, then (1.50 / 4) (#311)
by dh003i on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 02:09:50 PM EST

not that I actually believe you're an economist. If you were, you might actuallhy have something intelligent to say. That you somehow seem to think you can win an argument by screaming and rambling on and on is humerous, or perhaps you think you can give your opponent carpel tunnel syndrome.

discussing one price and up or down is not empirical unless backed with a model and a measurement of degree

You're welcomed to try to predict "a measurement of degree", but that's highly subjective; and simply because you miss the mark doesn't mean the "model" was wrong -- it simply means you were wrong (namely, that you didn't have the infinite knowledge that would be necessary to accurately predict degree). The Austrian's prediction was pretty clear and in stark contrast to that of all other economists, who believed that gold would fall to it's non-monetary price for jewlery and what-not ($6-$7/ounce).

The Austrians, however, holding that it was gold that gave the dollar value, not vica-versa, held that it's price would increase dramatically to perhaps $70. Their only error was in understimating the value people place on gold, thus the demand for it. However, that is an error in degree, and forecasting into the future with accuracy as to degree would require god-like knowledge. That you seem not to understand this suggests that you are completely unaware of how complex the free market is, being made up of the interactions of billions of individuals.

The dollar was linked to gold and other currencies fluctuated around the dollar thus allowing the price of gold to change in relation to foreign currencies. The US government would then react by changing dollars in circulation to maintain the peg of dollars to gold.

That you seem to believe this shows how naive you are. The US government, to this day, has undervalued the price (in dollars) of even it's own gold. The obvious reason for that is to try to create more confidence in it's worthless fiat-money, which it can counterfit at will to steal from the people and redistribute wealth to it's preferred few.

As for Keynes, he used some calculus (not particularly complicated), which was, of course, completely irrelevant to economics, as is all of the calculus and mathematical model-creating done today. Only an idiot could believe that human behaviour could accurately be described by the calculus of some simplistic model with shaky assumptions. To try to predict human behaviour using calculus and other mathematics ignores the fundamental fact that humans -- unlike planets revolving around the sun, who's behaviour can be nearly perfectly predicted by mathematics -- posess the capability to choose.

Keynes is macroeconomics, which is more cerebral than microeconomics. Regardless, that you are too ignorant to understand the "fancy mathematics, economic jargon, and unclear language" doesn't point out the limitations of neo-classical, Keynesian economics, only the limitations of your own dome. Really now, you've been doing pretty well so far, but you've now exposed yourself that you hate modern economics because you don't understand it. Not the best way to win an argument.

Again, you show your complete idiocy. Macroecnomics is not somehow magically separated from microeconomics. It is necessarily based on the nature of man, as is microeconomics. The only difference is it describes larger-scale phenomena. Contrary to your assumptions, I do not hate mathematics. In fact, I love mathematics. However, it has it's limitations, one such limitation of which is that it cannot accurately predict human behaviour.

My point in bringing up the mystification of economics that is done by economists using mathematical models is that it is clearly done to confuse and befuddle the uninitiated. Whereas if they'd explained their dubious assumptions and conclusions in clear english, even non-economists could see how full of shit they are. To illustrate, I'll quote from Keynes:

The fact that two incommensurable collections of miscellaneous objects cannot in themselves provide the material for a quantitive analysis need not, of course, prevent us from making approximate statistical comparisons, depending on some broad element of judgement rather than strict calculation, which may posses significance and validty within certain limits.
This is a bunch of pretentiously inflated crap. His point was that just because you can't precisely quantify something, doesn't mean you can't make an approximate quantification and statisitcal comparison. Please read On the Politics of the English Language, by Orwell, so that you can understand the importance of using clear English.

You're main problem which is not uncommon is that you don't understand how economist work. Being that I am an economist I encounter this problem quite a bit. Basically, we are always practicing a game of looking for the perfect dataset, then testing the accuracy of that prediction with imperfect sampling. The problem comes from people like you, who want us to find support for your political inclination, but then get all pissed, when we find something else and your don't understand the process.

I understand exactly how most establishment economists work, which (if your irrelevant claim to be an economsits is true, you most certainly are). Finding a bunch of statistics and trying to draw a conclusion from it is something any imbecile could do, though finding the data for the statistics may take hard work (hardly proves intelligence, thought. Truely, the idea of "looking for the ideal data set" is laughable hogwash. The world is not a lab-room for economists; the ways in which you claim to draw conclusions, with hundreds of thousands of unaccounted-for variables, is laughable hogwash. Of course, that does not make the "data" you gathter incorrect; it merely makes your interpretation incorrect, due to superficial analysis, oversimplification by attempting to reduce it down to a mathematical model, and the existence of other relevant factors which you have not accounted for.

I'll quote a passage on why Austrians view empiricism with disdain, since you obviously didn't read it.

Austrian economic analysis is carried out largely on the basis of theoretical, deductive reasoning; empiricism has little place in Austrian economic theory--thus their battle with the German Historical school. Economic phenomena, originating from a social environment, are deemed by the Austrians too complex and variable to permit the kind of experimental analysis that the physical scientists use. Accordingly, Austrian theory is opposed on methodological grounds to mathematics as a tool of economic analysis. Conceptual understanding, not quantitative relations, is seen as the only meaningful basis of economic science. Menger, the father of the Austrian school, insisted on and followed this qualitative orientation throughout his works, as did his successors.
Anyone can gather a bunch of data and plot a curve or a line to show some kind of "relationship". It is, of course, crude, and completely meaningless, for human behaviour is not governed by some mathematical curve that economists may have grown fond of. Now, run along and go read more fallacies from your beloved Keynes and other imbecile economists, who've been responsible for most of the economic misery of the past century, with ever more severe depressions resulting from ever-more severe inflation, and the elimination of a real gold-standard. In the meanwhile, Austrians will guide "economic miracles", as seen in Germany following WWII.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

yawn.. your cult's mantra (none / 1) (#322)
by bankind on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 03:04:32 AM EST

is getting repetitive.

I really like how you talk in these general terms of Austrian economists and silly 50/50 predictions, rather than exact interpretations of economic events.

You're welcomed to try to predict "a measurement of degree",

Thanks for the opportunity to offer you my services, now please pay my consulting rate of 650 per day plus per diems and I'll send you a fan regression that will meet those needs. I won't be available until mid-May as I am employed under my current contract until that time.

The Austrians, however, holding that it was gold that gave the dollar value, not vica-versa, held that it's price would increase dramatically to perhaps $70.

Well, then under the contract out-lined above you can give me all that worthless fiat money in your pocket. Obviously, people do seem to place worth on fiat money, otherwise so many people (as in all) would be trading clams and nuggets and shit. Really now, the answer to that little bit of poor theory is obviously false, people currently use and values money. Ultimately the value of money is based in its worth as a community good, whereby the more people that use and value money, the greater the worth. Gold has never been a very stable means of valuing currency notes. Empirical evidence shows that central banks will be as loose with a gold standard as a fiat standard as long as the institution of the Central Bank is not independent. But I know your feelings differ, as the notion of government makes your nuts shrivel.

The US government, to this day, has undervalued the price (in dollars) of even it's own gold. The obvious reason for that is to try to create more confidence in it's worthless fiat-money, which it can counterfit at will to steal from the people and redistribute wealth to it's preferred few.

Actually it isn't so obvious, in fact if you want to ask an INVESTOR what instills confidence in a currency it is: official exchange reserves, the current account, and the fiscal position. But sure gold, government, tyranny, whatever...

This is a bunch of pretentiously inflated crap. His point was that just because you can't precisely quantify something, doesn't mean you can't make an approximate quantification and statisitcal comparison.

Well, David Heinrich, rather than extracting a comment from the amazon.com review, you could at least use your own source. I mean yeah sure Keynes himself was a fruitcake, but Russell and Wittgenstein (2 other fruitcakes) do seem to suggest in their writing that he was their intellectual superior. Not that I value that, but it his circle of peers were all used that style of language. Anyway you should be looking at the neo-classical interpretations anyway.

What I find funny, other than you ripping that passage from amazon.com, is that it is exactly what you've said in your comments about the weakness of static interpretations of empirical data. HOLY SHIT, you're a closet Keynsian!!

Truely, the idea of "looking for the ideal data set" is laughable hogwash. The world is not a lab-room for economists; the ways in which you claim to draw conclusions, with hundreds of thousands of unaccounted-for variables, is laughable hogwash.

I'll be sure to bring this up next time I meet George Akerloff, as it is one of his assignments. Better tell the Nobel organization as well.

BTW, "Hogwash," holy shit, you're gay. Talk about some silly language. Are you some troll from early 1900's rural America?

In the meanwhile, Austrians will guide "economic miracles", as seen in Germany following WWII.

You forgot, "with significant Keynesian inputs based on the Keynesian structures, such the IBRD, and the Keynesian style fiscal expansions that employed the Germans, built the schools, roads, etc." Come on fool, it was called the MARSHAL PLAN, and in Japan its was called the Dodge Plan. Maybe next time you leave your dirt farm in Montana you can head over to the big city and buy a fucking history book.

Or maybe you can give me a proper list of the "Autrian school acolytes" that attended the Bretton Woods conference and designed the development plan?

Anyway, how does the Austrian school direct development? It is quite counter to the basic principles of the political philosophy. It is a rather funny irony of your claims about Austrian inputs to German economic development, shouldn't you instead be praising the entrepreneurial spirit of the Germans?

Also please refrain from using the term "economic miracle" except for the place that the term is applied: EAST ASIA--where State led investment caused a much more recent and more significant economic event to destroy your silly, insignificant, soon to be forgotten cult.


"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

ps, for your reference (1.57 / 7) (#213)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:26:56 AM EST

several important pieces on economics by Austrians:

Mises:
Human Action
Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow
On the manipulation of money and credit
The theory of money and credit
Socialism

Rothbard:
Making economic sense
America's Great Depression
The Mystery of Banking
The Panic of 1819
What has government done to our money
Taking money back
Freedom, inequality, primitivism, and the division of labor

Hayek (Nobel Prize, 1974):
The Road to Serfdom
?The Trend of Economic Thinking
etc

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

alienation? (1.42 / 7) (#235)
by thefirelane on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:48:53 PM EST

Sure, people can be moderate. But that's not going to inspire a significant change. All change happens because of the people who hold to the ideals.

Don't you think that by being extreme, many people put people off from their viewpoints and shift the "spectrum" away from them?

Specifically I'm thinking of the anti-globalization protesters and PeTA here.

When PeTA (or ALF usually) bombs a cancer research lab to save some mice, don't you think it more often alienates the general populace? If they had a less radical approach don't you think it might be better for their movement in terms of respect (and consequently for the lives of more animals?)

Don't you think the anti-globalization people come off more as a bunch of whiney mal-contents more interested in their own sense of self righteousness than real change for the 3rd world?

Both these groups are extremely radical, yet I see no change coming from them (or, perhaps less change than if they were to behave more "sensible")

Do you think that your radicalism has helped the ideas of Libertarianism more, or simply alienated people from it?

Typically, people who are radicals only "convert" a couple people while alienating themselves from the rest of the populace. These radicals then retreat off into their own psuedo-intellectual havens where they continually convince themselves of their own "rightness" while remaining convinced that the only reason the others don't agree is because they are just not intelligent enough to see the "truth"

IMHO, if you wanted to do more for the cause of Libertarianism it would be wise to simply point out the huge amount of taxes we pay (gas subsidies for example), while pointing out the more efficient way in which private charities often help the poor. Combine this with discussion about how it is still possible to be socially liberal (such as pro-choice) and you have the makings of an effective campaign. From my experience, most people are drawn to the left because they think the only way to help society is through government action. Simply showing them another way is much more helpful than spouting out nonsense about a bounty-hunter filled utopia.


---Lane

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
rothbardian aim to progress (none / 1) (#331)
by dh003i on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:19:42 AM EST

the way to effect the change to what you want, the best solution (anarcho-capitalism, libertarianism, agonism) is to adhere firmly to one's principles. All libertarians should do such, because we know that they are the only one's that are morally consistent with what is right, and that will result in the best outcome. However, you accept any partial measures which bring one closer to the goal, or further away from Statism. Any reduction in taxes is to be accepted, for example.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Perhaps a bad example (1.42 / 7) (#156)
by hawkestein on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 09:35:18 PM EST

Does this blow your mind?

[ Parent ]
wrong (2.25 / 8) (#121)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:28:14 PM EST

Libertarian ideology exalts a method (no govt) rather than a goal and is as such morally bankrupt.

Wrong, anarcho-capitalism proposes a goal, which is the complete elimination of all States. This is not a method, but a goal. This arises from the non-aggression axiom, which states that no-one shall initiate violence against anyone else.

If me and 9 other people were to get together and decide to "tax" you for the good of our "society" (let's say a 20% tax), no-one would take that seriously; even we wouldn't have the temerity to claim such a defense for our theft. If we systematically "taxed" you (stole from you) every year, at the threat of gunpoint, we would effectively be enslaving you. Again, even we wouldn't have the temerity to claim such a defense for ourselves, and if we did, we'd be laughed out of court. Yet, as the numbers go from me and 9 other people to me and 9 million other people, somehow, this magically becomes a legitimate activity.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Well.. (1.85 / 7) (#137)
by Kwil on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:23:00 PM EST

To be a more accurate analogy, I would have to be a willing participant of your society. And it would be even more accurate to admit that guns wouldn't ever be used. Instead, you'd go to my employer and tell him that I owe some amount for being a member of your society, and I have not paid that, so part of my wages should go directly to the group.  Further accuracy would have the employer also being part of your "society" and agreeing with the ways and means used, and thus garnisheeing my wages to go directly to the societal group.

Now that we have a more accurate analogy of what actually happens, the solution becomes obvious if you don't like the situation.

Get the hell out.
Leave it behind.
If you don't like the cost/benefit ratio of being in this particular society you have the amazing good fortune of being allowed to simply walk away.
Buh-bye.
So long.
Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
hahah, sure (2.44 / 9) (#144)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:50:58 PM EST

The idea that we're all "willing participants" of society is bullshit. We are born into a region governed by a particular state, and have no choice in the matter. We may be able to move, but we can only move to another region governed by another state. There is no place on Earth where individuals can go to be free of the influence of government.

The idea that if the victim doesn't like it, he should get the hell out is a bunch of BS. According to that ideology, it is the victim, not the criminal, who should be punished, by being deported. So, if you're living on a plot of land, and me and 9 other thieves move in and decide to tax you, according to your ideology, if you stay there, you're a "voluntary participant of that 'society'"...I call bullshit.

Also, in the case of what you call 'society', the criminals follow us around and continue taxing us, no matter where we go, and have the nerve to say they're enslaving us for our own good, to protect us. Your bullshit about shifting the gun-point from me to my employer doesn't change a thing, for then the gun is at my employer's head and not mine: nothing changes. It's still slavery. Oh, and then of course there's the situations where the gun is directly at my head, as is the case with taxes other than income tax.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

So what you're saying then.. (1.87 / 8) (#158)
by Kwil on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:09:22 PM EST

..is that the cost/benefit ratio of the particular society you're in is better than any of the others you feel are available to you, yes? Otherwise I take it you'd move?

After all, there are plenty of places in South America where government has virtually no influence. There's are also quite a few in the middle east. Hell, even heading into the deep bush country of the United States can get you away from most of the government that you'd ever have to deal with. So to say that there's no place on earth free of the influence of government suggests that you're either ignorant or lying to bolster your point.

Now, while I will concede that you were borne into this society, that'll happen no matter where you're born.. it'll always be into the world, so into some sort of society. You can blame your parents for that one.. at least, until you got old enough to see all these problems that disturbe you so. After that, I think the blame rests with you.

As for the idea that we're deporting the victim, that's completely false. Your so called victim is entirely free to stay, so long as he realizes that doing so entails certain responsibilities in order to enjoy the benefits that comes with being in this society.  We're back to that whole cost/benefit ratio again.

Really, this society is quite libertarian in a meta type of way.. in exchange for certain benefits, such as publically funded infrastructure, education, defense, justice and court system, voting rights, employment stimulus packages, agricultural protections, anti-trust laws, etc, you have to pay a certain percentage of your income in various types of taxes.  You don't like what this society is offering, then by all means find another. It's a very classic libertarian set-up, group A is providing something to individual B for a price. You don't like the price, walk away from the deal.

Heck, you can even negotiate with it, as this New Hampshire group is going to attempt to do, in order to try to change the deal. If that's not free-market, what is?

Yet for some reason you stick it out among all this publically funded stuff and then righteously complain when you don't like your end of the bargain.  Perhaps you're not as fond of free-market libertarianism as you'd like to believe.. at least, not when it might actually mean you have to take less than what's being given to you now.

So you can call bullshit if you want, but the excuse of "I don't like the alternatives" still doesn't mean anybody but you is forcing you to stay.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
more CBA bullshit (1.71 / 7) (#160)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:35:10 PM EST

CBA does not apply. If one makes a judgement that slavery (which is what systematic taxation [theft] is) is wrong, then one cannot possibly support any State, as all State's necessarily rely at least on the enslavement of those who are taxed. As for you're "leave if you don't like it argument", that's childish non-sense that will prevent any and all improvement if people followed that. Sorry, but a bunch of murderers, rapists, slave-lords, and thieves (which is what the State is composed of) do not get the moral high-ground because their victims can "get up and leave [into the clutches of another group of murderers, rapists, slave-lords, and thieves]".

The government does not in any way operate like a classic case of free market exchange. In free market exchange, no-one is forced to accept the good. The supplier does not steal money from you and then "provide a service to compensate". The supplier agrees to supply a service to the customer, for a fee, and the entire arrangement is voluntary; you aren't shot on the spot if you don't accept whatever deal the supplier offers you. That you seem to think the master/slave or thief/victim relationship is the same as the producer/consumer shows a profound confusement on your part. If you think these relationships are the same, then you are gravely mistaken. For, not only is the consumer not forced to buy a car from Ford, but he is not forced to buy a car from *anyone* if he so chooses not to; furthermore, Ford does not take money from him and then give him a car; he and Ford agree upon a price for the car.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

See second paragraph of previous post.. (1.14 / 7) (#212)
by Kwil on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:24:33 AM EST

.. the places without government are out there. They're just not as comfortable as what you have now.  So nobody but you is forcing you to accept anything. Areas without states do exist, I believe Somalia is one that was suggested by the original article.

And I'll agree that the master/slave or thief/victim relationships are very different. The difference is of course that the latter party has no choice. Again though, there do exist areas that have no government influence and you do have the choice to move to them. That you choose not to does not refute that the choice exists.

Of course, your foaming at the mouth about being shot on the spot shows that you're really just being irrational about the whole thing.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
bullshit (1.14 / 7) (#219)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:10:44 PM EST

Simply because you can move to some remote area of the world where there is no government (somolia, the atlantic ocean, the south pole) does not negate the fact that the government is stealing from you and you have no choice. Your argument is like saying that I am not a victim if someone points a gun to my head and says "give me your money" because I could, conceivable, move to some place where there are no people to point guns at my head.

The simple fact is that there is no difference between the State and a slave-master. Simply because the slave-master might not pursue his slaves to the ends of the world should they run doesn't mean that he isn't enslaving them. Your attempt to compare the government to a free market service is bogus. No free market company takes away our money and then gives us a (crappy) product as justification for stealing our money. The State operates as a band of systematic and regular thieves, escalated to the level of enslaving their victims. The person stolen from by the State has no more choice in the matter than does the person stolen from at gunpoint by a gangster.

Please grow up. Saying "if you don't like it move" is childish non-sense. I can move in next to you and start defiling your property. Hey, if you don't like it, move. It's funny how the statists resort to this most pathetic of arguments.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

No difference???!!!! (none / 0) (#327)
by error 404 on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 03:08:29 PM EST

Between a taxing authority and a slave-master?

Well, here's one: a slave-master tells you what to do. Regardless of the level of taxation, no govornment entity tells you how to go about getting that money. In terms of income tax, you even have to option to not not make any money and thus not pay any.

And taxation isn't theft. If you want to use that kind of language, get it right: taxation is robbery.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

that's irrelevant to my point (none / 0) (#330)
by dh003i on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:16:31 AM EST

the fact is that forcing someone to work for a compensation below what they would otherwise work for on the free market, of their own will, is slavery.

I appreciate your nit-pick, though. Taxation is most certainly robbery, as it is done by the user of force and coercion. It is inflation which is theft.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

straw man arguments (1.42 / 7) (#184)
by krkrbt on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 01:25:14 AM EST

... in exchange for certain benefits, such as publically funded infrastructure, education, defense, justice and court system, voting rights, employment stimulus packages, agricultural protections, anti-trust laws, etc, you have to pay a certain percentage of your income in various types of taxes.  You don't like what this society is offering, then by all means find another. It's a very classic libertarian set-up, group A is providing something to individual B for a price. You don't like the price, walk away from the deal.

yeah, and if government didn't fund those things, no one else would either.  uh huh.  incidently, every single one of your 'benefits' has significant side effects.  

"publically funded infrastructure" - mass transit trains ripped out by auto companies, government paves millions of miles of roads for cars.  side effects from an efficiency standpoint.

(state) education - vastly more people were more literate before the advent of state schools than after.  see dumbing us down by John Taylor Gatto.

defense - against whom?  other governments?  see other posters for liberty's answer.

justice and court system - government courts don't care about Justice.  They only care about enforcing their "law".  outcomes are sometimes fair, and sometimes not.

voting rights - see comment below about reason for government's existence.

employment stimulus packages - but what if people were unemployed because of government meddling in the economy?

agricultural protections - wheat surplusses for all, hooray!  sweetened condensed corn syrup is used as the sweetener for Dr. Pepper instead of sugar, due to sugar producer price protections.  Need I say more?

anti-trust laws - these are laws against some trusts, as they are not universally applied.  And the barrons who owned the trusts only allowed the laws to be enacted because it made them even richer.

Governments exist to collect tax.  All 'services' and 'privledges' offered by governments are done solely as a means to justify the collection of tax.  

Yet for some reason you stick it out among all this publically funded stuff and then righteously complain when you don't like your end of the bargain.

bargain, noun: an agreement between parties...

agreement, noun:  a contract duly executed and legally binding

I don't know about you, but I was never offered a formal agreement to look over, and implied contracts aren't legally binding.  But I do think I'm wasting my time trying to impose my reality tunnel over yours (even though mine is so much roomier & comfier, everyone chooses their own) so I think there's nothing more that's worth saying here.

[ Parent ]

Try this one instead (1.14 / 7) (#240)
by pdrap on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 06:35:57 PM EST

If 9 people loaned you the money to buy a bicycle, and you decided that you wouldn't pay them back, that would be theft.

So then why do you think that when 9 million people loan you the money to buy a bicycle, you don't have to pay them back?

--------

You don't exist in an island. Much of what you have and what you are you owe to everyone around you. The structure of our society that makes things such as business even possible has benefitted you. What you are proposing is taking those benefits without paying for them.


[ Parent ]

sigh, more statist mis-representation (1.62 / 8) (#242)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 07:12:27 PM EST

Except your analogy is completely invalid. An appropriate analogy would be 9 people telling me they're going to give me money on loan, and that I'm thus going to have to pay them back. It's like me walking up to you and saying, "here's 20 dollars...I'm loaning it to you at 20%...btw, if you don't like that, I'll blow your fucking brains out". The key difference is that when I accept a service from you in exchange for compensating you, I voluntarily consent to that; in the case of the State, it forces me to accept crappy services I don't want, and then forces me to pay more money for them than they're worth.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

If you invoke "statist" you lose. (none / 4) (#277)
by pdrap on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 02:53:53 PM EST

You've accepted the services by default.

The evidence of that is the post in this forum. If you think about it, you'll realize that there's a lot of support behind the scenes that is not free, but you've got to pay for.

Calling it "statist" is just blowing farts. Some arguments would be welcome.

[ Parent ]

again, invalid analogy (none / 3) (#279)
by dh003i on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 06:20:44 PM EST

You have failed to provide anything of value. Your entire non-sensical argument can be summarized as such: "If you don't like State coercion, move somewhere where there is no State; by staying here, you agree to it". Hogwash. The same argument could be applied to murderers, rapists, and thieves (which, by the way, pretty much summarizes what State officials are): "If you don't like being murdered, raped, or stolen from, move somewhere where there are no murderers, rapists, or thieves." This type of thinking is obviously a bunch of hogwash, as it would force all law-abiding individuals (by law-abiding, I don't mean obey the statist laws of their nation; I mean obey natural law, the non-aggression principle) would be forced to move to the most desolate areas of the world, Antarctica and other deserts; and even in Antarctica, one would not be free of the influence of government, for there are various airports and what-not there.

To be perfectly morally clear, all legally acceptable action is governed by the non-aggression axiom. There are some things which are immoral, but not illegal under the non-aggression axiom; however, everything which is illegal under the non-aggression axiom is also immoral. Examples of this include theft, enslavement, murder, rape, torture, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, and so-on and so-forth. In no case is it justifiable to initiate these actions against others (note, however, that this does not preclude punishment).

Now, the nature of the State is clear: it systematically steals from people, escalating to the level of enslavement. In almost all cases, the State also necessitates murder on a mass scale, due to the centralization of massive amounts of power and violent force. But, let's just deal with the issue of the fact that the government systematically steals from people, thus enslaving them. This activity is systematic theft, no-matter which way you look at it. You cannot justify it or argue that the victims consented to it because they don't move; not anymore than you can argue that someone in the inner city volunteered to be stolen from because he lives in the inner city, or that a woman volunteer to be raped because she walked down a back-alley where rape is common.

The fact that an individual can pick up and move does not justify initiating violence against him, on the rationale that if he doesn't like it, he's always free to leave. People have a natural right to the property they acquire by voluntary transaction or homesteading. Your idea that the law-abiding should move when criminals move in -- is contradictory to that right, and is backwards. It is not the law-abiding individual initiating violence against no-one who should be forced to change his behavior or geographical location; it is the thief, in this case, the State that should have to change, and, indeed, compensate its victims (or rather, the individuals composing the State).

In short, your reasoning is that of a criminal, grasping to find some way to rationalize his own criminal behaviour in his own mind. I'm sure it is useful to criminals (namely, the massive concentration of criminals in the State); however, rationalize the criminal acts as it might, it can in no way justify them.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Did I hear something? (none / 3) (#290)
by pdrap on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:14:11 PM EST

I guess I was mistaken. After all, what would a libertarian do with a computer, produced by a company that exist by government charter?

I think that he would be too busy, sitting on his front porch with a shotgun, keeping squatters away. After all, in his worldview, the government has no right to tax, and there is no central authority to recognize and enforce his claim on property. Like all property, his land is owned because he can supply the necessary force to keep squatters off it. Possession is all of the libertarian law.

With all that to do, I suppose it's impossible that a libertarian could actually be trying to argue with me on the Internet, another government regulated entity. I must be imagining things.


[ Parent ]

if you had said anything relevant (none / 3) (#294)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:07:46 PM EST

I might actually have had to rebuke it. However, all you've done is spin a bunch of fallacies and made irrelevant observations. I suggest you pick up a text-book on logic; they are, I presume, still available in some colleges these days.

For your own benefit, so you don't walk around with these silly childish ideas in your head, I'll make a few points.

(1) Simply because something was produced by the government does not mean that it's rational for a libertarian, or anyone else who thinks theft is wrong, to not use it and destroy it. As Rothbard said, "For even if [p. 213] many of these highways should not have been built, they are there, and it would be folly not to take advantage of them." We can generalized that

(2) Though some gun-enthusiasts may be libertarians, nothing about being a libertarian requires one to be a gun-wielding member of the NRA. Part of the wisdom behind the free market is the realization that various individuals should be allowed choose whichever legal field they please (legal meaning does not violate the non-aggression axiom), according to their talents and preferences, and specialize in it. In a libertarian society, property rights would not be enforced by every property owner zealously guarding over what's his. The free market would create various companies to serve the role of law-enforcement and courts.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Yet another deluded Libertarian (none / 3) (#310)
by pdrap on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 07:57:15 AM EST

Too attached to his "state" to realize that he's free to leave it. Too attached to his whining to realize that he's paying an awful lot of taxes for the privelige.

[ Parent ]
No (1.37 / 8) (#123)
by strlen on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:42:04 PM EST

First off, stop rating all comments you disagree with as "1", please, that's highly immature and annoying.

Second, libertarianism has a very state goal: full afirmation of individual's rights to life, liberty and property. Some are anarcho-capitalists, who view that all human government must be eliminated, others (such as myself) do believe that  human government's needed (to provide protection from force and fraud via judiciary (no need for national police though) and military) -- but must be radically smaller, than what it is now.

And in any cases, all libertarians support the idea of rule of law, and all believe that law and rights exist outside and are separate from the government (anarcho-capitalists, however take this to extreme, arguing using economics that even vital government services can be provided privately.. however, I'm not convinced).

That's not to say that conservatives and liberals "hate our freedom", but they have other goals (in case of conservativism their goal is a society with morality and values, in case of social democrats (a.k.a. "liberals") it's an egalitarian society where no one is unhappy) and view freedom as means. Both of them, however set dystopian goals which ultimately conflict with freedom.
Libertarians view freedom as the ultimate goal, and elimination of as much useless government as possible as the means.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Yes (1.33 / 9) (#153)
by Osama Bin Fabulous on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:30:31 PM EST

First off, stop rating all comments you disagree with as "1", please, that's highly immature and annoying.

Which part is annoying, the part where I disagree with you, or the fact that there's a system in place that allows people to express disagreement without typing up a reply?

Anyway, the post of yours I modded I found to be just another obnoxious "everyone is stupid except for me" post. You do a better job in the above comment of articulating different political philosophies and how they come into conflict.

Libertarians view freedom as the ultimate goal, and elimination of as much useless government as possible as the means.

That's nice. Freedom seems like a pretty lousy ultimate goal to me, and even if it didn't, govt is hardly the biggest ipediment to that goal. But perhaps we can agree to disagree.

[ Parent ]

The part (2.00 / 9) (#154)
by strlen on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 09:12:58 PM EST

Where you don't rate on the basis of agreement or disagreement.. but on the quality of the argument itself. "1" is for trolls/racist crap/mild crapfloods (0 is for spam/crapfloods). If you do happen to rate a post a 1 since it's incredibly falacious or can be proven to be factually untrue, then you  should also post a reply explaining why and how you did that.

But, simply rating a comment 1, just because you disagree, without at the very least stating what's specifically wrong with the comment, is very immature and annoying.

Yes, I can respectfully disagree with an opposing/different view points, but so far, the biggest threats to individual freedom was indeed big government: from Hitler, to Stalin, to Mao, to Pol Pot, to Taliban.. the regimes with the least freedom, had the biggest government intervention in individual's lifes. That's fairly logical as well: the more a government gets involved in individual's life, the less freedom you have.

Now, there's other impediments to freedom, such as dogmatic acceptance of religion (that's not to say all religion is problematic), wage slave/corporate whore mentality, but none of these have the coercive power of government and are mostly choices that an individual makes.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Sir, (1.14 / 7) (#177)
by Danzig on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:38:16 AM EST

view my sig.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
You said it (1.42 / 7) (#200)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 08:08:08 AM EST

Freedom seems like a pretty lousy ultimate goal to me

Has it crossed your mind that maybe you are the kook here? What is your goal, anyway? To each according to his need? We've seen how well that one worked. Freedom is not your goal, I love it.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Morally bankrupt? (1.33 / 6) (#199)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 07:55:28 AM EST

Because we've done so well with political systems that enforce morality, haven't we?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Blah blah blather. (none / 3) (#282)
by brunes69 on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 07:46:58 PM EST

"nice ideas" doesn't mean that the poster agrees with the ideas. It means like "Well communism has some nice ideas, but if those 'nice' ideas ever get implemented then we're all screwed."

Typical right wing nonsense propegated by an everlasting subconscious fear of the "red deveil" that is still forced upon American youth.

The reason Communism doesn't work is IT HAS NEVER BEEN TRIED. China is not a truely communist nation. Neither was Soviet Russia. Namely because they both still had/have leaders in power, and currency, etc.

A true Communist system would have no "power center", no leaders. Goods and services would be exchanged freely. People would work for free because they *enjoyed* the fruits of their labour, not because they had to to survive. Work that no one enjoys doing would either become automated away or placed an a liberal rotation so all members of society perform it at one time or another.

If you honestly don't think you wouldn't "work" without incentive, then you have never been unemployed for extended periods. You get so bored you go out of your mind looking for things to do. If people only work when inclined, they will do so. I can tell you now that I would code weather I got paid for it or not (in fact I do it without getting paid nearly every day, as to millions of others). Coding is no different from any other endevour. For every task, from coding to auto repair to sewing to construction, there are people who *love* doing these jobs, and would do so regardless of if they were forced to to earn their food.

The real reason Communism has never succeeded is twofold. First, as above, it has never really been tried full scale. marx et. al in Russian had originally planned ot "phase in" the more radical stuff, but then later SStalin came in and we know where it went from there. I don't even pretend to understand whats going on in China, its nowhere near communism, the government there is in such right control, and theres so much money and corruption, it's more like a facist version of the US.

The second reason, and the reason Communism won't be around for a LONG time, is it needs to be adopted ona GLOBAL scale to succeed. I am firmly convinced that no nation could become Communist by itself, we're much too inter-dependant.

The only waya successfull communist system will ever arrive on earth is fi there sosme global awakening, or global disaster, that forces us to re-think everything. Think of how Communism arose on Star Trek*, with the meeting of the first extra-terrestrials, and that's the only kind of shock and awe that would bring it about.

*Yes, the political system in Star Trek is Communist. No money, no "need" to work, but people work anyway because they enjoy it. And it's a paradise.

---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]

republicans = small government? (3.15 / 13) (#105)
by krkrbt on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:56:09 PM EST

many Libertarians are attracted to the idea of a smaller government, like Republicans.

Republicans politicians are bait-and-switch artists.  They profess to support small government, then expand government programs beyond anyone's wildest expectations.  Reagan ballooned the federal government, GWB is in the process of doing so...

[ Parent ]

LP.org poll shorter, but better (1.33 / 6) (#133)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:10:23 PM EST

It is better and more clear to phrase things in terms of how much liberty you support, in terms of economics liberty and social liberty.

Absolute libertarians (anarcho-capitalists) support absolute social and economic freedom. The representative of this corner would be Murray Rothbard.

Absolute authoritarians support no social or economic freedom. The closest example to this in reality would be Hitler.

The absolute right supports no social freedom, but absolute economic freedom. For example, Newt Gingerach.

The absolute left supports no economic freedom, but absolute social freedom. For example, syndicate anarchists fall in this corner (for they want to eliminate the state and capitalism, which means they have to eliminate economic freedom). Another name for this is the ideal of communism.

*Note, regarding the absolute left/right: the idea of separating social and economic freedom is absurd. It is impossible to truely separate economic and social freedom.

The LP.org poll's only problem is that it doesn't ask enough questions (5 economics and 5 social Q's isn't enough).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Tendentious (2.55 / 9) (#188)
by Homburg on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 02:44:15 AM EST

That's a staggeringly tendentious version of 'freedom' you're talking about, there. The 'absolute left', as you call it (Marxists and anarchists) is opposed to capitalism precisely because they support freedom. Property rights, by their nature, inhibit freedom of a certain sort (my freedom to take your stuff). You may think that's a good thing, but you're just begging the question against the anti-capitalist if you formulate freedom in such a way that private property somehow don't count as a restriction.

[ Parent ]
"tendentious" version (1.22 / 9) (#226)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:30:41 PM EST

If you want to say partison, say partison. There is no need to use an long uncommon word when a "short" common word exists. Take a look at Orwell's "On the politics of the english language". In regards to your "freedom to take my stuff", I'd classify that more as a power than a freedom; furthermore, it is self-negating, since my freedom to keep my stuff is eliminated. The idea of absolute freedom (to be able to do anything you want) is something that only a god could possibly have. Here on earth, the best that can be done is the freedom to do whatever you will so long as you don't initiate violence against anyone else (if you replace that with the freedom to do whatever you will, you are covering up the fact that no-one then has freedom from violence). And then there's the practical limitations. In a libertarian world, where I can do anything short of initiating violence against anyone else, I still can't levitate, fly, or jump 10 feet in the air from only my own strength.

However, another way to state it would be in terms of "economics rights" and "social rights". Libertarians support absolute economic and social rights (stemming from the non-aggression axiom and homesteading); authoritarians support no economic or social rights; absolute left supports only social rights; absoltue right, only economic rights. Of course, rights are merely a shortened form of "freedom from the violence of others"; e.g., for a slave to be free of his master. Free implies the opposite of imprisoned, thus I don't think it's reasonable to talk of freedom in the sense of person A having the freedom to imprison persoon B.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

you commit violence against me (1.27 / 11) (#228)
by infinitera on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:32:59 PM EST

By restricting access to your water, to your cornfield. I am a property-less man, condemned to die by your "freedoms". FOAD. kthx

[ Parent ]
hahahha, sure (1.25 / 8) (#241)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 06:38:32 PM EST

Violence is usually an initiatory action; you don't commit violence against someone by refusing to do something, in most cases.

Let's say I homestead a small pond which has a 3m diameter and is 1m deep. For simplicity sake, we'll assume it is shaped like a cylinder; thus, it contains about 7.065 cubic meters of water. Homestead does not simply mean, btw, that I put a fence around it and say "mine" or draw a circle around it on a map. It means I mix my labor with it, in some way transform it, maintain it, etc.

Let's say, for example, that I decide to use this pond for three purposes. Firstly, I use it to drink from. Thus, I remove unsanitary things from it, as far as is possible, like the slimes and what-not that may float atop, using a sift. Secondly, I use it as a water-garden, and plant water-lillies and what-not in it. Thirdly, I maintain a school of goldfish in it, which I care for and provide nourishment.

Now, you, as someone who somehow comes accross my pond and is in need of water, else you shall die, have no entitlement to the water I've homsteaded in that pond. You have no right to drink it. Simply because you need something does not give you the right to take it from those who have it ("I need sex, therefore, I'm justified in taking it from any woman I see, whether she likes it or not").

This is where default assumptions come in. You could make the reasonable default-assumption that I would not be harmed, and would not care, if you drank some water from my pond. That would be a reasonable assumption; if I, as the pond's homesteader, knowing that such would be a reasonable default assumption, don't like it, then I should post a sign saying otherwise. However, an unreasonable default assumption would be for you to assume that you could pump out all of the pond's water, or kill the gold-fish I had cultivated. A key for property-rights violations is that demonstrateable harm actually has to be done. You, a single individual, having a few sips of water from my pond, does not arguably do any harm; thus, if I didn't want such, I'd have to specify on the sign.

A case where it may do harm, to me, is if I homestead the pond for another reason. If I homestead the pond to worship the Magnificent Godess of Water, and think that no human being is worthy of drinking from Her Waters, then it could be argued that anyone who drank from it did me harm. Never-the-less, it would still be my obligation to let other's know this. So, if you then came to my pond and found a sign saying, "Temple of the Godess of Water, do not disturb this holy water's tranquility", you would have no such reasonable expectation to drink from it. Now, if you are just about to die, it is difficult for anyone to expect you could spend the time trying to contact me to negotiate, so naturally you would drink from it anyways. The right to private property derives from the right to private property in one's body, thus private property in one's body takes precedence; however, simply because, in grave need, you may violate my property rights, does not mean that you do not have to compensate me after-the-fact (we would either voluntarily agree on compensation, or a private court would decide the matter).

A more interesting case would be if I had found and homesteaded a pond in a drought-plagued area. Now, hundreds of thousands of people would want to be drinking from my pond, which only had 7 cubic meters of water in it (or rather, taking water from it in large quantities). Never-the-less, it is still the pond that I homesteaded, and no-one would have the right to drink from it, unless me and them agreed on a voluntary price for that priviledge. A naive fool would say that I should let everyone drink from it for free. Yet, this would be short-sighted, as there would be no drive for conservation. On the contrary, if I made people pay for it at whatever rate the free-market (the interaction between me and the consumers) provides, then there would be a drive to conserve. Those who don't need water wouldn't use as much of it, leaving more for those who do need it; furthermore, my property would not be clogged with thousands of people waiting in line for water. The pond, furthermore, would not be drained, but rather conserved.

The naturally rational system would be for me to establish bidding for priority in access to the water; he who bidded the highest would drink from it first. I would devise a system to allow people to bid efficiently, and for me to notify people when it was their turn to drink, so they wouldn't have to waste time standing around waiting for their turn. Now, this is a monopoly situation, so wouldn't I be able to do anything I damn well please? In a word, no. I am not an island. If I start mandating a thousand pounds of gold for one ounce of water, I'm going to incur the wrath of other producers, who will band together and refuse to sell me goods that I need for my survival. In every way, I would become a social outcaste, unable to obtain any goods on the market, nor to make any social acquaintences.

Now that we've come to it, a few problems emerge with my system, which I glossed over. It would not be wise for me to start up bidding where the highest bidder gets first access to the water, and that's just that. For, he could take all of the water. Rather, I would likely mandate bids for, say, a gallon of water at a time. Alternatively, I would mandate bids for the highest multiple of the quotient "galons of water / placing in line". In such a way, an individual could choose to ration between getting less water immediately, or more water later, depending on his needs. In short, a rational system for intelligently allocating the resource would spring up because I mandated money for it. On the other hand, if I merely gave it away with no rules, it would quickly become exhausted and would not be efficiently allocated.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

you're still doing it.. (none / 1) (#321)
by infinitera on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 01:40:17 PM EST

You presume libertarianism is true, and then proceed to argue that libertarianism is true. I have no doubt of your ability to write or reason, but they and your philosophy would be better served if you tried to actually convince people through open-minded debate rather than tautology. I don't understand why I have to keep making this point. Private property is not some magical "natural law" consequence, nor are individual rights only derivable from "self-ownership" - there are countless ways to concieve them, many consistent with the non-violence principle.

[ Parent ]
Eeek. (1.33 / 6) (#224)
by fenix down on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:26:05 PM EST

Well, the compas one makes me more libertarian than the LP one. Admittedly, the compass says I'm more leftist and more libertarian than Gahndi and the Dalai Lama put to together, but I had to answer yes to everything in the first section and no to everything in the second on LP's. Not a very fine grain.

[ Parent ]
Because it goes against their world view (2.33 / 12) (#146)
by Brandybuck on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:56:56 PM EST

It's not just libertarianism that gets bashed. Its anything that doesn't diefy government. As with the ancient caesars, it's okay to worship other gods so long as godverment gets top billing.

Are you in favor of school choice, whether it take the form of vouchers, tax credits, or merely the right to homeschool your own kid? You will be bashed, because you are rejecting godvernment control over your children's lives. Are you for lower taxes of any kind? You will be bashed. Want to remove any regulation? You will be bashed.  Don't think that state intervention should be the first response to the spam problem? You will be bashed.

Face it, if you first response to any issue is NOT "there needs to be a law" then you will be bashed. You are heretical to the dominant world view, and will be treated as such.

[ Parent ]

no. (2.11 / 9) (#173)
by rmg on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:18:30 AM EST

guys like dh003i are the reason libertarianism is getting bashed. and if you are sincere in this post, probably guys like you too.

fanatics will always be bashed. that's just how it is.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

Oh, for..... (1.50 / 8) (#191)
by meaningless pseudonym on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 04:22:18 AM EST

I'm anti-libertarian because it just plain doesn't make sense.

Am I in favour of school choice as you describe? NO! It will result in those who are able to (dominant factor likely to be financial) taking their kids out of the state system and putting that little bit extra in to funding their education at somewhere they believe to be superior. Won't take more than a few years for state schools to become a ghetto for those who just can't get out of them, with no resources, bright kids, supportive parents or quantity of competent teachers.

Am I for lower taxes? General principle, make them as low as they can be while still fulfilling the objectives we set for government. We merely differ on where the mark is :-)

Want to remove regulation? Too right I don't - I've lived through a Conservative government trying that several times over here and watching each and every industry rush for the lowest common denominator, the quickest return and the easiest margin. It's the sort of thing that leads to monstrosities like the RIAA, Wal-Mart, Enron and so on.

Let's carry on. Want state subsidised public transport? Too right - only way to make the infrastructure comprehensive as shown many times over, which is what we need to get the lower traffic levels and availability for all that are required to improve all our qualities of lives.

Want state funded universal healthcare? Absolutely. Insurance-based systems have been shown time and again to be extremely inefficient and work against the interests of the users.

And so on. Libertarianism is a nice idea for those who've already made it, don't have much concept of society or any understanding of fundamental human nature or capitalism. However, as an apparently simple idea it's worryingly attractive which is why I want to see it properly knocked ut so that people will just be quiet about it.

[ Parent ]

Logical conclusions (1.00 / 5) (#265)
by Brandybuck on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 01:45:15 AM EST

Frankly, it doesn't much matter to me what your opinions are, as long as you hold them for the right reason. Unfortunately too many people instinctively argue that government should be the first solution to every problem.

Every time I hear the phrase "there ought to be a law" I cringe. It's a dirty phrase because it's a knee jerk unthinking reaction to a problem. It doesn't matter whether they're liberal or conservative, the reaction is the same. "Joe got laid off? That evil corporation. There ought to be a law!" "Sue's stoned again? She can't look after herself. There ought to be a law!"

I believe that passing a new law should be the last resort, not the first. Is that really so radical?

[ Parent ]

Logical conclusions, absolutely (none / 3) (#278)
by meaningless pseudonym on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 05:46:36 PM EST

The problem with many libertarians, though, is that hey seem to be for smaller government _regardless_. I feel strongly that there are many cases where a large-scale, government funded programme is the most effective way to solve the need. Hopefully I've illustrated some cases above where a classical Libertarian answer would be significantly sub-optimal.

Many Conservatives and Libertarians seem to hold to a fundamental doctrine that government does best when government does least. While I have no doibt that there are aeras where government does too much, taken as an overall statement that's patently silly and shows no understanding of economies of scale or network effects, or of the relationship between poverty and crime.

People undoubtedly _should_ take personal responsibility for many things that they dont' at the moment. However, that personal resposibility also extends to our responsibility to society as a whole, and society as a whole, even if it cannot bring itself to recognise a duty to support others (except the elderly or sick children, who seem to be a given for support from all) should at least recognise that they benefit in the long-term from acting as if they have a responsibility to society as a whole and so should exercise it.


[ Parent ]

doesn't make sense? (none / 5) (#305)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:39:32 AM EST

What part of "don't tell me what I can and can't do" doesn't make sense? Your problem is that you think it's all about making a great society. Where-as I think it's all about making things great for the individuals in that society. Let's put it simply: the government steals my money and then uses that money to hire thugs to stop me from doing the things I want to do. No matter how you justify it (making a better society, serving the will of god, representing the opinions of the majority) every law fucks with my freedom. The only way to stop it is to make small governments. Why are they small? Because they can only do the things that every single one of us is willing to pay them to do (not just the majority). All of us want protection from physical harm. All of us want our contracts honoured. That's about it. So what of these things you seem to think governments are for?

State schools. What the hell is wrong with private schooling? If I have money to pay someone to teach my kid everything in the world, what the hell right do you have to tell me I can't hire them? You want state schools? You pay for them. Everyone else who wants state schools can pay for them too. Of course, I object to you getting the government to run them.. why should the government be involved. Just set up a trust to pay for the schools, everyone who's into public schooling can deposit money into the trust. Don't force me to pay for state schools. Shit, as a matter of fact, I'm not having kids, so don't make me pay for anything that is for kids (that includes school teaches, school buses, merry-go-rounds, cartoons, all that shit).

public transport. I use public transport, I think it's a good idea.. I just don't think all the people who have shelled out money for their own transport and the roads they drive on should have to pay for the public train I'm riding on. Again, set up a trust if you want it to be communal, or hell, trust the market and support independant transport services.

universal healthcare. I actually think that health protection is very similar to police protection. None of us want to die, that's why we pay for the police, to protect us from people who would do us harm. Well, doctors protect us from disease that does us harm. Some doctors are going to have skills that they claim we should pay more for. If that's the case then good to em, let them enter into private contracts with people.

Your final statement here about libertarianism being only for the rich betrays your real agenda here. Libertarians don't have any concept of society. They're individuals not ants. All the things you've said above, and other aspects of "socialism" are perfectly ok. They can exist in a libertarian society, because if those who have already "made it" don't support those who havn't "made it" then all those who havn't "made it" will go away and there will be no-one to enter into contracts with. The problems that you think socialism solves (the guys at the top trying to keep the other guys at the bottom) are actually the problems of big government because the guys at the top inevitably end up in control of the government and they use that power to keep themselves in power. In a libertarian state no-one has the power. The guys at the top have to deal with the guys at the bottom and everyone has equal protection of contracts. Why? Because if the government tries to fuck over a little guy, big guys stand up and say "you can't do that" because tommorrow it could be them who is getting fucked over. This is only possible because the actions of the government are so few that each and every one of them can be scrutinized. With big government you don't have that.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

So, your essential position is I'm all right jack? (none / 0) (#323)
by meaningless pseudonym on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 03:26:15 PM EST

How very lovely of you.

Want an army in case a neighbouring country invades? Why should I protect you, there's no such thing as society.

Want good schools for all? Well, clearly you don't. You seem prepared to condemn an awful lot of children to almost no education and being fit for nothing more than basic, menial labour in later life. This is not a good way to grow a modern economy on the scale of the US!

Want a healthy population? Again, you don't from the look of things. A population continually having to stop working because they've got basic, treatable illness or relatives to care for is not economically efficient. And for that matter why should doctors choose to provide measles vaccinations to poor kids which don't pay that much per hour when they could be providing diet advice to the rich and famous, cancer treatments, another diet pill or sex aid and so on? We already have problems that medical research is focussing excessively on the problems of the rich west and ignoring relatively simple problems of poorer areas simply because they don't have as much profit potential - your proposal will accelerate that, and bring back wondrous things like children dying for want of a few dollars worth of vaccination as it's not economic for the doctor to provide it at its current cost.

Want low crime? Well, when there's no concept of societal responsibility and you've taken away everything to stop the gap between rich and poor accelerating rapidly, what makes you think crime won't rise, and quickly? There's plenty of evidence linking crime to both poverty and inequality and you've just escalated both!

You don't want kids. Well, if enough people agree with you how exactly do you plan on surviving at all once you pass an age at which you are both willing and able to perform productive labour? I assume you'd like to but by making children so expensive to the parents you'll inevitably lower the birth rate. At which point you'll have to keep working for longer to ensure the services you want to live on exist and the economy you're dependent on for your survival (seeing as at that point you're basically living off savings and investments) doesn't crash and put you on the streets.

You seem to think the poor will all go away and stop entering into contracts with the rich. How? The rich hold all the short-term power over the poor. As long as a significant minority of the poor are prepared to work on some level (and I'd suggest there are enough who are scared of bankruptcy that that will happen), then the poor can't afford to withdraw their labour or they'll be destitute and quickly - and their very poverty stops them being an especially mobile labour force, so that option's out too. Especially as a number of your other measures would cause economic contraction. You've got a recipe for falling pay, worsening conditions and loss of benefits as long as the businesses are bright enough to only do it roughly in synch. History says they are.

What makes you think that the power is equal? What makes you think that the rich with their teams of lawyers aren't going to be able to defeat the poor defending themselves as public defenders are right out of the window, pretty much every time? Current experience of how the legal system works certainly doesn't support that.

Some aspects of bureaucracy are undoubtedly silly, though I'm not going to pretend I've studied this in enough detail to post a sensible critique of which. But you seem to believe that a group all pulling separately with no concept of a group pulling together is paradise. Well, I'm sorry but I just don't believe that you've properly thought through what this paradise will actually result in.

I'm _not_ a socialist, I'm a social democrat / liberal who's come to the conclusion that we do many things better when we work together based on experience, and that the poor are an underperforming resource who could fuel tremendous growth if they only had a small amount more money coming in and didn't have to deprive themselves of things we take for granted, based on economics. Yes, some of the poor are poor because they make irresponsible decisions and fritter what money they have away, and so cannot be helped by such measures. I'd strongly suggest the majority aren't though.

I don't want the government running most industries because it stifles their responsiveness. I recognise that there should be significant economic rewards for success to encourage people to go the extra mile and promote growth. I want a society who are as free as possible in the big picture - small freedoms can get in the way of the grander overall freedom we can all enjoy. Yes, that has a lot of potential to go wrong and get very Orwellian if misapplied but that's why we have a government with checks and balances. I don't particularly like paying my taxes but I recognise that if I and others didn't, the consequences in the longer term would be worse for me than the simple loss of potential income. Part of me would love to be able to drive as fast as I want to! but the part of me that's driving the other way the next day recognises that will cause acciedents for both parties and isn't too smart. If I was building an extension to my house I'm sure I'd be rather annoyed at planning departments - but I know that if I'm allowed to build whatever I want, so is my neighbour and it may completely shadow my property, produce a lot of noise, smells and pollution and so on. Or that that beautiful area of environmentally sympathetic houses could be spoilt entirely by the whim of any of their owners.

Libertarianism only makes any kind of sense to those who have already reached the top of the pile and who receive precious little apparent support from the state machinery they pay for through their taxes. It completely disregards, however, the consequences of what would happen to their situation in the event that all those beneath them in the economic and societal pyramid had their support removed, though, and as such is a spectacularly short-sighted philosophy. Let the Free State Project have enough people move to New Hampshire to not only get their ideas into serious debates but make them visible to the multitude of tourists New Hampshire undoubtedly attracts, so that better debaters than either of us can drive whole teams of coaches and horses through the gaping holes in the Libertarian philosophy and get it buried once and for all.

[ Parent ]

Reasons To Bash Libertarians (1.33 / 6) (#243)
by cmholm on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:33:09 PM EST

Reasons to bash, good or bad:

IMO, the core of Libertarian ideology is the private contract, freely entered into by consenting adults. Government is only a mechanism to enforce private contracts.

A problem is that Libertarians assume (or pretend to assume) that neither party has coercive power over the other prior to entering into a contract. However, unless all citizens start out with roughly equal access to resources, information, and the contract enforcement (legal) system, this will not be the case.

As with most all ideal political systems, Libertarian ideology doesn't account for fraud and collusion, as when some interest groups manipulate the contract enforcement mechanism for their benefit.

Civil rights legislation is anathema to the hardcore Libertarian. He may claim that such legislation isn't needed anyway because he wouldn't discriminate, but he's arguing over a battle that has already been fought. The real test is when such battles are re-fought, but under Libertarian rules. Without any political outlet to fight getting screwed, someone's gonna end up reaching for a gun.

[ Parent ]

bad choice, imo (1.85 / 14) (#111)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:01:57 PM EST

I'm actually a member of the FSP, but New Hampshire was a crappy choice. Firstly, it's the most liberal state in the nation. Secondly, it's in the middle of the nation. As for NH being "liberty-friendly", that's hogwash. NH is home of more nutcases who want to raise taxes for the "good of the community" than anywhere else, and that's where alot of those ZPG (Zero Population Growth) lunatics are located.

Really, the only viable choice was Alaska, which would permit the possibility of seceding from the US to eliminate all government and work out a truly libertarian (anarcho-capitalist) system, without any government at the local or state level, and without a federal government either.

That said, it's not unworkable. It's just that the ultimate goal is impossible, since it's non-strategically located in the middle of the US. Real liberty can only be achieved by the elimination of the State, and the only place where that is even possibility of occuring is in Alaska.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

oops, my bad (1.57 / 7) (#115)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:09:01 PM EST

was confusing New Hampshire with Massachussets. My nutcase recluse uncle, who's a Zero Population Growth fruitcake, lives in Massachussets.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

You said it (1.14 / 7) (#119)
by OAB on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:21:23 PM EST

I really have to admire a libertarian who calls the zero population growth movement fruitcakes, while getting New Hampshire confused with Massachussets. Hopefully the rest of the FSP will end up in the correct state......

[ Parent ]
to the perfect OAB (1.62 / 8) (#122)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:36:29 PM EST

so, I trust you've never made a mistake, right?

In any case, the rest of my post stands. NH is a strategically poor choice, as it is right in the middle of the US, and thus secession from the union would be impossible, unlike if they had chose Alaska.

btw, perhaps this is too difficult to understand for you, since you've been brainwashed your entire life by The State, but the only rational moral political position is that of libertarianism. It is the only system which would not rely on systematically stealing from people (enslavement), and it would work better than any Statist sytem, even in the areas where eveyone claims a big fat goverment is needed: the courts/police, pollution, and streets/roads.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Wow (1.25 / 8) (#132)
by OAB on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:01:55 PM EST

So, let me see if I have this right. I have been brainwashed by the state, but you, using only pure deductive reasoning, are 100% certain that an untried form of non-state will be perfect.
You also appear to be very good at telling other people what they think, I loved your bit about how the 'real' libertarians are the ones who think just like you.

[ Parent ]
bzzt! wrong (1.42 / 7) (#135)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:15:23 PM EST

this is not an "untried form" of non-state. As I wrote in one of my journal's, ancient Ireland was essentially a pure libertarian society. And I'm not saying it will be perfect. Nothing is perfect.

As for 'real' libertarians, perhaps I should have said 'pure' rather than 'real'. A pure libertarian must necessarily believe in absolue social and economic freedom, which means supporting the non-aggression axiom (no-one shall initiate violence against anyone else) and the homesteading principle. That means supporting the elimination of all States, for States necessarily violate the non-aggression axiom. Those who support a "minimal" state are 'moderate libertarians'.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Are you sure you didn't mean (1.42 / 7) (#142)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:49:08 PM EST

"ancient Iceland"? One's a mudhole full of celts, the other an icebox full of vikings - and it was the vikings who had a near-anarchy.

Dude, you aren't helping here, check your sources, drink more coffee, preview before posting. You're reflecting badly upon FSP and anarchists.

[ Parent ]

no, I did mean Ancient Ireland (3.07 / 14) (#149)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:06:26 PM EST

Though I can't blame you for not knowing this, since this case of libertarianism has been almost completely ignored by historians, and mistakenly called "socialism" by other historians who had a poor understanding of the ancient texts.

A paper has been written on it, titled, Property Rights in Celtic Irish Law. See The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts. Ancient Ireland was a highly advanced society, which, among other things, had more rights for women than any other society at the same time. Quoting from Rothbard:

The most remarkable historical example of a society of libertarian law and courts, however, has been neglected by historians until very recently. And this was also a society where not only the courts and the law were largely libertarian, but where they operated within a purely state-less and libertarian society. This was ancient Ireland--an Ireland which persisted in this libertarian path for roughly a thousand years until its brutal conquest by England in the seventeenth century. And, in contrast to many similarly functioning primitive tribes (such as the Ibos in West Africa, and many European tribes), preconquest Ireland was not in any sense a "primitive" society: it was a highly complex society that was, for centuries, the most advanced, most scholarly, and most civilized in all of Western Europe.

For a thousand years, then, ancient Celtic Ireland had no State or anything like it. As the leading authority on ancient Irish law has writ­ten: "There was no legislature, no bailiffs, no police, no public enforce­ment of justice.... There was no trace of State-administered justice."9

How then was justice secured? The basic political unit of ancient Ireland was the tuath. All "freemen" who owned land, all professionals, and all craftsmen, were entitled to become members of a tuath. Each tuath's members formed an annual assembly which decided all common policies, declared war or peace on other tuatha, and elected or deposed their "kings." An important point is that, in contrast to primitive tribes, no one was stuck or bound to a given tuath, either because of kinship or of geographical location. Individual members were free to, and often did, secede from a tuath and join a competing tuath. Often, two or more tuatha decided to merge into a single, more efficient unit. As Professor Peden states, "the tuath is thus a body of persons voluntarily united for socially beneficial purposes and the sum total of the landed properties of its members constituted its territorial dimension."10 In short, they did not have the modern State with its claim to sovereignty over a given (usually expanding) territorial area, divorced from the landed prop­erty rights of its subjects; on the contrary, tuatha were voluntary associa­tions which only comprised the landed properties of its voluntary mem­bers. Historically, about 80 to 100 tuatha coexisted at any time throughout Ireland.

But what of the elected "king"? Did he constitute a form of State ruler? Chiefly, the king functioned as a religious high priest, presiding over the worship rites of the tuath, which functioned as a voluntary religious, as well as a social and political, organization. As in pagan, pre-Christian, priesthoods, the kingly function was hereditary, this prac­tice carrying over to Christian times. The king was elected by the tuath from within a royal kin-group (the derbfine), which carried the hereditary priestly function. Politically, however, the king had strictly limited functions: he was the military leader of the tuath, and he presided over the tuath assemblies. But he could only conduct war or peace negotiations as agent of the assemblies; and he was in no sense sovereign and had no rights of administering justice over tuath members. He could not legislate, and when he himself was party to a lawsuit, he had to submit his case to an independent judicial arbiter.

Again, how, then, was law developed and justice maintained? In the first place, the law itself was based on a body of ancient and immemorial custom, passed down as oral and then written tradition through a class of professional jurists called the brehons. The brehons were in no sense public, or governmental, officials; they were simply selected by parties to disputes on the basis of their reputations for wisdom, knowledge of the customary law, and the integrity of their decisions. As Professor Peden states:

... the professional jurists were consulted by parties to disputes for advice as to what the law was in particular cases, and these same men often acted as arbitrators between suitors. They remained at all times private persons, not public officials; their functioning depended upon their knowledge of the law and the integrity of their judicial reputations.11

Furthermore, the brehons had no connection whatsoever with the individ­ual tuatha or with their kings. They were completely private, national in scope, and were used by disputants throughout Ireland. Moreover, and this is a vital point, in contrast to the system of private Roman lawyers, the brehon was all there was; there were no other judges, no "public" judges of any kind, in ancient Ireland.

It was the brehons who were schooled in the law, and who added glosses and applications to the law to fit changing conditions. Furthermore, there was no monopoly, in any sense, of the brehon jurists; instead, several competing schools of jurisprudence existed and competed for the custom of the Irish people.

How were the decisions of the brehons enforced? Through an elabo­rate, voluntarily developed system of "insurance," or sureties. Men were linked together by a variety of surety relationships by which they guaran­teed one another for the righting of wrongs, and for the enforcement of justice and the decisions of the brehons. In short, the brehons them­selves were not involved in the enforcement of decisions, which rested again with private individuals linked through sureties. There were vari­ous types of surety. For example, the surety would guarantee with his own property the payment of a debt, and then join the plaintiff in enforcing a debt judgment if the debtor refused to pay. In that case, the debtor would have to pay double damages: one to the original cred­itor, and another as compensation to his surety. And this system applied to all offences, aggressions and assaults as well as commercial contracts; in short, it applied to all cases of what we would call "civil" and "crimi­nal" law. All criminals were considered to be "debtors" who owed restitution and compensation to their victims, who thus became their "creditors." The victim would gather his sureties around him and pro­ceed to apprehend the criminal or to proclaim his suit publicly and demand that the defendant submit to adjudication of their dispute with the brehons. The criminal might then send his own sureties to negotiate a settlement or agree to submit the dispute to the brehons. If he did not do so, he was considered an "outlaw" by the entire community; he could no longer enforce any claim of his own in the courts, and he was treated to the opprobrium of the entire community.12

There were occasional "wars," to be sure, in the thousand years of Celtic Ireland, but they were minor brawls, negligible compared to the devastating wars that racked the rest of Europe. As Professor Peden points out, "without the coercive apparatus of the State which can through taxation and conscription mobilize large amounts of arms and manpower, the Irish were unable to sustain any large scale military force in the field for any length of time. Irish wars... were pitiful brawls and cattle raids by European standards."


Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Hot damn, that is pretty interesting, +5 (n/t) (1.14 / 7) (#150)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:16:38 PM EST



[ Parent ]
also of interest, (1.14 / 7) (#152)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:23:56 PM EST

Also of interest may be The bankruptcy of conservatism - A reply to Frost.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

remind me (1.20 / 5) (#293)
by Battle Troll on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:53:16 PM EST

Wasn't Ireland the poorest country in Western Europe since time immemorial, that being the main reason that the British were able to beat them so effortlessly in the field? (Well, that, and exploiting internal divisions.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
read the references (1.20 / 5) (#298)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:50:39 PM EST

Please do read the references I provied before making ignorant statements about a topic that you obviously know nothing about. Had you read the references I provided, you would know that the libertarian ancient Ireland was the most advanced culture during its time, and that it took the British hundreds of years to conquer them, despite using brutal ruthless force; this was because the libertarian society had no central power-structure through which to enforce centralized rule.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

huh? (1.20 / 5) (#304)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:34:27 AM EST

you would know that the libertarian ancient Ireland was the most advanced culture during its time

Compared to China? The Byzantine Empire? Renaissance Italy?

You're entering Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

let's see (1.20 / 5) (#312)
by dh003i on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 02:18:30 PM EST

Ancient Ireland: no mass-wars, only local skirmishes; no theft from the population; no oppression by a ruling class of parasites; more rights for woman than any other society at that point in time, and for thousands of years afterwards; a more advanced legal system than any other area at the same time. "[P]reconquest Ireland was not in any sense a 'primitive' society: it was a highly complex society that was, for centuries, the most advanced, most scholarly, and most civilized in all of Western Europe.". Contrast this to various empires you mentioned, which engaged in massive wars and oppression of their citizens.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

ah, so what you mean: (none / 3) (#313)
by Battle Troll on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 03:30:12 PM EST

Ancient Ireland was more advanced in the sense that it was more anarchic, rather than in the senses of being prosperous, technologically advanced, supporting a large population, or being capable of projecting the necessary force for the maintenance of its own autonomy.

I will agree with you that ancient Ireland was more anarchic, on the whole, than feudal China or Renaissance Italy. But don't you think it's a tad disingenuous to conflate the lack of a potent state with all other forms of advancement? That takes you close to a private language, as most people would consider 'advanced' to connote superiority in such fields as agriculture, metallurgy, literature, navigation, bureaucratic government, architecture (usually seen in monumental architecture,) mining, and road-building (or other means of transportation.)

If the degree of anarchy within the band hierarchies of a loose association of related ethnic groups is your measure of a society's advancement, then frankly, you're talking about something entirely different than everyone else in using your term. By that standard, the 15th-century Bushmen were more 'advanced' than Renaissance Italy or the Ming Dynasty.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

please read again (none / 1) (#315)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 01:13:01 AM EST

"[P]reconquest Ireland was not in any sense a 'primitive' society: it was a highly complex society that was, for centuries, the most advanced, most scholarly, and most civilized in all of Western Europe."

Ireland was clearly capable of defending itself. It took hundreds of years of brutal tactics to conquer ancient Ireland, precisely because it had no central power-structure through which to exert control. Furthermore, ancient Ireland was not engaged in any large-scale wars. War, which is something common to all the civilizations you so admire, is not in any respect a characteristic of civilized people; it is a characteristic of barbarians, murderers, and rapists (which says a lot about "our superior culture").

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

'the most civilized society in western europe' (none / 1) (#316)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 10:51:39 AM EST

Maybe if you keep saying that, then China, Italy, and medieval Greece will just go away.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
China, Italy, and Medieval Greece (none / 1) (#317)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 02:00:18 PM EST

were all less civilized than ancient Ireland at the same time. All engaged in oppression of their citizens and murder on a mass-scale (war). None of them had the enlightened legal system of the Irish, nor anywhere near as many rights for women. Whatever art and technological advances may have been made are nullified by the fact that the vast majority of individuals were oppressed and that these "civilizations" (or, rather, their rulers) engaged in murder on a mass scale. Advances in art and technology are useless to a society if only enjoyed by an elite few and if many thousands were murdered in war.

War is the ultimate mark of barbaricism. Peace is the ultimate mark of civilization.

PS: Whatever technological advances were made in these areas are largely the fortune of geographical position, being in an area that has large amounts of trade. Ancient Ireland, however, was almost completely isolated, thus did not garnish the benefit of such trade.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Let me butt in here. (none / 0) (#318)
by tkatchev on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 02:19:05 PM EST

"Civil rights" is not the yardstick people usually use to describe being "advanced" or "civilized".

If you use "civil rights" as a way of judging civilization, then niggers on MTV desperately trying to pretend they are chimps and trying to grow back their tail are the pinnacle of human endeavor.

Now, some people might actually actually agree with this grotesque statement, but that is entirely their problem.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

oh boy... (none / 1) (#320)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 08:52:26 PM EST

All engaged in oppression of their citizens and murder on a mass-scale (war).

So all societies that ever engaged in warfare are, for that reason alone, primitive and uncivilized? But wait, even ancient Ireland fought a war! I mean, using your framework, there's no distinction between the Venetian sack of Byzantium, the Venetian defense against the French invasion ca. 1500, the Byzantine defensive war against the Turks ca. 1000, and the Chinese occupation of Viet Nam. Are all wars bad, even defensive wars? What about preëmptive attacks against a probable belligerent?

barbaricism

This word is funny of itself, because it itself is a barbarism. Heh. Anyway.

Whatever technological advances were made in these areas are largely the fortune of geographical position, being in an area that has large amounts of trade.

Is English your second language or something? (If it is, then these mistakes are OK, or at least, not unforgivable.) But damn it, man, I'm at U of R too, and I don't want my school's reputation ruined. Please to shape it up.

Anyhow, this smacks of very, very special pleading. You seem to be arguing that technology advances inevitably in the presence of trade, which is a economic-determinist argument; but you also argue that rights and peace advance as people advance morally (on some kind of a free-will basis, I think.) How do you reconcile these two? Why is one activity economically determined and the other a province of free will?

I'll also point out that technology advanced much more quickly in Renaissance Italy than in the Ottoman Empire, just over the mountains from Albania and a much greater centre of world trade than Italy was; or than in 15th-century Peru or China, at the centres of two enormous empires. So there are some obvious objections to your argument, and I'm not in any way convinced.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Interesting idea, but... (1.14 / 7) (#198)
by shash on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 07:36:37 AM EST

do you realise how much discipline the whole of society must have for this to be effective? I mean, everyone's got to agree to the same laws, and agree to co-operate perfectly. It's just not going to work for anything larger than Ireland - certainly not the whole world.

[ Parent ]
Brings a tear to my eye (1.37 / 8) (#201)
by pmc on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 08:32:50 AM EST

These Brehons - what stars! Imagine these people in today's society. What would we call them?

Liberators? No.

Judges? No.

Wise Men? No.

Priests? Yes.

Brehons were druids. This may not be a bad thing, so lets look at what their laws did. Let see - "The Brehon Code forms a great body of civil, military, and criminal law. It regulates the various ranks of society, from the king down to the slave, and enumerates their several rights and privileges." Whoa! What were those words back there - "slave", "ranks of society". Hmm, looking less rosy - this was a Feudal, Slave-holding society.

Looking at the laws themselves - if you killed somebody you had to pay an "Eric". This seems good but erics varied with caste. A rich man could kill a poor man an be fined less (in absolute terms) that if the poor man killed the rich man.

this case of libertarianism

Living in a feudal monarchal aristrocary, with a well entrenched caste system and a priesthood who acted as judge and jury, is not a "case of libertarianism". Grasping Ancient Irish society as a paragon of Libertarianism, just because they had a system of civil fines, while ignoring the which inequalities and shortcomings of their society is really viewing history through rose-tinted glasses.

The point at the end of the spiel about wars is rather perverse - the reason that they wars the Irish had were "minor brawls" compared with their neighbours is that the Irish were too damn poor to afford a decent war. And they were poor because they were stuck in a feudal society. Nothing magical - just good old grinding poverty holding people back.

[ Parent ]

1 question, 1 comment (1.00 / 5) (#263)
by sal5ero on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 12:05:18 AM EST

For example, the surety would guarantee with his own property the payment of a debt, and then join the plaintiff in enforcing a debt judgment if the debtor refused to pay. In that case, the debtor would have to pay double damages: one to the original cred­itor, and another as compensation to his surety

What happens if the debtor was judged not owing - the surety pays the plaintiff?? Is that what is meant?

...without the coercive apparatus of the State which can through taxation and conscription mobilize large amounts of arms and manpower, the Irish were unable to sustain any large scale military force in the field for any length of time.

This nice feature, of course, would not be carried over into such a society in modern times, with our technology being what it is (think terrorism: chemical, biological, radioactive agents)



[ Parent ]
Ho hum (1.37 / 8) (#143)
by OAB on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:49:59 PM EST

That would be the Celtic culture that invaded Ireland and subdued its inhabitants, not really a good example of the non-aggression axiom.

I really find the idea that somebody who thinks that compromise is short for coward could ever live by the non-aggression axiom.


[ Parent ]

if we go back far enough, we're all standing on (1.14 / 7) (#145)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:53:27 PM EST

stolen land. Obviously, we have to draw the line somewhere.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

The line (1.37 / 8) (#147)
by OAB on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:58:17 PM EST

Handy that you draw it just where it suits your point, isn't it?

Anyway, before this thread gets out of hand, I think I should point out that I actually rather want the FSP to succeed. While I don't think it will work, that's hardly a reason not to try, if nothing else its better than give communism another go.

[ Parent ]

isn't it rather pointless (1.14 / 7) (#151)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:18:44 PM EST

I'm curious as to if you can find one example of a culture anywhere at any point in time past the point where the earth was first being inhabited by humans, which didn't force out the one before violently. Irrelevant of that, whether or not the previous society was forced out by violence is irrelevant to the fact that libertarianism can work. What you're doing is essentially a large-scale version of ad hominem; for example, if I said peaceful protest can work, and then pointed to someone as an example, and then you said that that person used to be a criminal. Perhaps true, but completely irrelevant to the point.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Good point (1.14 / 7) (#179)
by Danzig on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:42:43 AM EST

but you should have made it to begin with.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
what I also should have said (1.14 / 7) (#233)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:42:12 PM EST

Is that a society (being a short-hand for all individuals in it) is not responsible for anything, as it is not one continuous unit, like a person.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

True in my view (1.14 / 7) (#237)
by Danzig on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 01:02:55 PM EST

but non-libertarians are smoking some whack shit, and most seem to think differently.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Geography (1.42 / 7) (#131)
by koreth on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 06:58:44 PM EST

Massachusetts isn't in the middle of the country either. Both it and New Hampshire are on the Atlantic coast.

[ Parent ]
for all practical purposes' (1.50 / 8) (#134)
by dh003i on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:13:17 PM EST

MA is in the middle of the country. It's surrounded by other States, and would be an easy target for invasion. At least Alaska has some level of seclusion, thus protection.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Geography (1.87 / 8) (#157)
by cpt kangarooski on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 09:48:42 PM EST

MA is bordered by New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Atlantic Ocean. It is very nearly in the northeastern corner of the lower 48 states. And if Rhode Island got uppity, Massachusetts could take them, no problem. ;)

New Hampshire is bordered only by Massachusetts, Maine (which I like to think of as being Northern Massachusetts -- dunno why they let it become its own state), Vermont, Canada, and the Atlantic Ocean. It is as northeast as you can get other than Maine. Or the untamed wilds of Canada.

The middle of the US OTOH is probably Kansas or Nebraska.

And at any rate, Alaska is not isolated either in terms of its dependence on food and resources from further south, and the fact that, you know, we can fly making many geographic barriers irrelevant. Plus Canada would probably lend a hand or let us move troops through. The most that secessionist Alaskans could hope for would be to hold out during the winter. But by summertime, they'd be screwed. If the US military didn't get them, the mosquitos would. Still, I guess there's always hope for them. The North shall rise again, and all that. ;)

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]

Doh! (1.33 / 6) (#141)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:45:09 PM EST

Man, would you have looked silly if you had already moved across...

[ Parent ]
So (1.33 / 9) (#196)
by bankind on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 06:19:51 AM EST

dementia and paranoia run in the family...shocking!

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

soooo.... (1.50 / 10) (#117)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 05:18:31 PM EST

how's your "niece" doing? buy her any presents or candy lately?


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
Mod down, poster mistook NH for MA (n/t) (1.44 / 9) (#148)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 08:03:59 PM EST



[ Parent ]
hahahahahahaa!!!! (1.14 / 7) (#161)
by rmg on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:55:22 PM EST

excellent!

NH is in the middle of the country!!

most liberal state in the union!

ALASKA!

point of note, though: i ran something about NH being full of pinko commies last week.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

alaska.. (1.37 / 8) (#223)
by infinitera on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:24:50 PM EST

Home of the guaranteed basic income. Communism, I say! Communism!!! We must alert the National Guard at once to this scourge.

[ Parent ]
I cannot wait to go back to Nashua. (2.73 / 26) (#169)
by rmg on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:47:17 PM EST

I envision the success of this movement, the romance, the majesty... a return to a simpler time.

The streets I'll see on a cold winter's night -- the business men in their black frock coats and top hats walking up and down the streets, the sick and poor huddled in doorways, warming themselves over a bit of burning newspaper. I envision the poor, the sick, the dying -- in short the surplus population -- living their lives between odd jobs, factory jobs, mining and the like. The men working their eighteen hour shifts. The boys working their fifteen. I imagine the women darning socks in the alleyways, the flophouses... Their children huddled about, bodies pressed against each other to maintain their temperature. The vigorous among them might go and play stickball in the street -- these are those chosen few to work the mines and factories as men. And the newborns... well, a newborn in the winter is bad news for the family. It will likely be left to freeze in a garbage can, just as autumn's young, so recently departed. I suspect that these less entrepreneurial ones will be blessed with few children surviving their first winter...

And the negroes? What of the negroes? They are no large piece of the New Hampshire's population -- 12%? Who the hell cares? Without their affirmative action, it will be tough going for them. I suspect they will be going back down south to the People's Republic of Massachusettes.

But the yong men -- the good young men -- the world will be their oyster. Such opportunities will await them! A bustling marketplace, eager for the young, strong man of that certain aristocratic nature to master awaits! Oh yes, those of talent will be well rewarded, to be sure! And those who aren't? They simply weren't of talent to begin with! Oh yes... textiles, coal, quarries, trade with the West Indies -- rum, molasses, and whatever comes their way -- all waiting for the guiding hand of our young men! What a glorious time to be alive it will be! Those intelligent few all over the country -- that is, those who embrace libertarianism, the Free Market, and Austrian Economics -- will flock, positively flock, to take their piece of the abundance! And abundance there will be friends! All the fetters of US government will be cast off! These young entrepreneurs will harvest the blood and sweat of their laborers as no other "government" would allow!

New Hampshire will exceed all other states, all other countries, in it's extravagance. The halls and manors of the businessmen will be lined with the finest ivory and silks from the Orient. The cities will grow tall and large -- they will dwarf New York city. After all, few places are more entrenched with statist, communist garbage than New York city! By that fact alone we shall be sure of our success! Nashua will be so much more than a place that Massachusettes residents visit to avoid sales tax. It will be the cultural capital of the world! It's wealth will be the stuff of legends, it's theatre and arts extraordinary: for truly, has it not always been the rich who have supported the arts? -- ah ha, but i am thinking in the altruistic mode again, my poor mind... so old and so addled by an environment full of socialist nonsense. But to be sure, those entrepreneurial artists will find the audience they need. The Free Market, as always, will prevail!

Yes it will be a good time for us -- the intellectuals, the new intellectuals. We will show our selfishness to be our greatest virtue. Our thrift and shrewdness will bring about a new era of human achievement. And for the lazy, the half-witted, and wicked -- the criminals and layabouts that suckle at the teat of our beloved state -- well, surely there will be prisons and workhouse... and coffins... oh yes, there will be coffins!

Yes, my dear sirs, it will be a great time for us. The Free State will be the beginning of great times for us all.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

pure statist dribbel (1.84 / 13) (#175)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:31:17 AM EST

The simple fact is that statism harms the poor and minorities more than anyone else. In reality, despite liberal propoganda, the overall tax-system is extremely regressive, harming the poor and the disadvantaged the most. And of course, there's minimal wage laws, which outlaw jobs and add to the predicament of those having trouble finding work. Let's not forget how welfare breeds an unhealthy dependance by the poor upon the government, reducing them to a state of permanent parasitism off of working people. Poverty is a state of mind, propogated by government intervention. Of course, raving statists like you ignore the fact that there are private organizations designed to help the poor become self-sufficient (search for Mormon), which do them much more service than government hand-outs.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Ah, well, for the soft hearted lads like yourself (2.20 / 15) (#182)
by rmg on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:51:35 AM EST

There will be a place too. For we must all have our spiritual leaders, those members of the community who will bring a sober reminder of God's Word to us on each Sunday morn. Oh yes, sir, you can be a cleric in the Great Church of New Hampshire! We will have our great cathedrals built in the finest gothic style -- the work of our tithing. And you sir, you will be our Pastor. You will provide the shelter -- the flophouses, as we sinners say -- the orphanages, the workhouses... You and your sisters will care for the poor as you might -- as our delicate tastes prevent us from such duty. The idea of deed without profit is no idea for the entrepreneurial man. But in that Sacred Chapel every Sabbath, your stern words will weaken our resolve, and we will cast to you the coins we refuse the whoresons and invalids we encounter on the streets on business days.

You will be the extractor of our altruism, for truly we have none -- no overflowing chalice are we! But you my son, you will be our compass. You will show us the way to God's Great City when we must leave our own! You will dispel the demons of poverty throughout the week. You will help the poor to realize that they need only think rich thoughts to rise above! And on the seventh day you will speak to us of our ignorance. You will dispel our guilt and whiten our souls.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (2.08 / 12) (#189)
by bankind on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 02:49:51 AM EST

Poverty is a state of mind, propogated [sic] by government intervention.

And to think that all these savages need just will themselves from starvation. That the 80% of the worlds poor that have never used a telephone need just empower their telepathy to resolve their basic services needs.

I always thought the Beijing belly a result of poor food quality, instead it is the government running around inserting bacteria in the food.

But the savior, sweet, sweet Rothbard, how his name drips forth yond mouth like a Chlamydia discharge.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

Had I but known ... (1.40 / 10) (#202)
by GuillaumeLeblanc on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 08:49:01 AM EST

Poverty is a state of mind, propogated by government intervention.

The days I spent in my youth, sleeping in my car, and eating three times a week. Those were just a fig newton of my overactive imagination. I was really in Erewhon, dining on salmon and trout.

What a fool I was.
Codex gratia Codici.
[ Parent ]

Carnegie, Ford, and others (1.36 / 11) (#231)
by dh003i on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:40:18 PM EST

all rose out of absolute poverty. When an adult stays in a state of poverty, it is because of one's mental state. In regards to poor children, they exist because of poor parents who do not act responsibly, and wait until they are able to take care of children to have them (contraceptives and abortificants are available, as are non-procreative forms of intercourse). The state subsidizes and encourages poor people to have children by making the fastest route to getting on welfare being a poor mother with two children. We can have precisely as much welfare as we're willing to pay for.

By the way, since you're posting on this forum, I presume you're not living out of your car, and eating three times a week anymore. Why is that? Unless you won the lottery, the only answer can be that you pulled yourself out of poverty by working and applying a healthy state of mind. Whereas if you'd endulged in a poverty-stricken state of mind, you'd surely still be poor.

Please read the link I referenced to understand what I meant by saying poverty is a state of mind. In summary:

The definitions of "class" in Banfield are not strictly income or status levels, but they tend to overlap strongly with these more common definitions. His defini­tions of class center on the different attitudes toward the present and the future: upper- and middle-class members tend to be future-oriented, purposeful, rational, and self-disciplined. Lower-class people, on the other hand, tend to have a strong present-orientation, are capricious, hedonistic, purposeless, and therefore unwilling to pursue a job or a career with any consistency. People with the former values therefore tend to have higher incomes and better jobs, and lower-class people tend to be poor, jobless, or on welfare. In short, the economic fortunes of people tend over the long run to be their own internal responsibility, rather than to be determined--as liberals always insist--by external factors.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Amusing (1.33 / 9) (#181)
by Julian Morrison on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:45:50 AM EST

applauds Very impressive! Utter bilge of course, but nice readable satire.

[ Parent ]
Indeed! (2.30 / 10) (#183)
by rmg on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 01:12:05 AM EST

Does sir have not the intestinal fortitude for this endeavor? for i tell you -- if this project is to succeed, it will come at considerable cost. It will be only by the hard work of our generation that our children will reap the benefits we so fondly desire. I suppose you believe that there will be no death? no suffering? Sir -- you must understand that our state will not be for the lily-livered nor weak of heart. We will fight, oh yes, and some will fall, though they may not be of our own.

Perhaps you should think better of your convictions: think to their consequences. It is only the truly free spirit that will be able to undertake what lies before us. If it unsettles you to think of the rabble hundled in the alleys, their daughters working their fourth shift on the street corners -- well, I say to you that you do not have the conviction. You must face the realities as I have and you must accept their cost as I have: wholeheartedly. Only then will you be prepared for the grand adventure that will be the Free State.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

Spelin Bichin (1.37 / 8) (#192)
by vyruss on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 04:32:17 AM EST

Guys, guys, guys (and gals)... I am not one of the spelling-bitching-types but PLEASE at least try to check the few words of your intro copy... it honestly looks really bad, even if it's a typo (in this case, "alway").

Peace & Love, vyruss.

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

In the interests of science... (1.87 / 8) (#193)
by Surial on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 05:45:12 AM EST

I'm all for seeing a country (or state) in the socially-somewhat-similar 'west' adopt Libertarian principles.

I don't think it'll work, but I can't prove it. I don't think anyone can. So, in the interests of science, I'm all for seeing it done, so that I can watch the results. Maybe libertarianism DOES easily beat represented democracy as is implemented in most (not all) 'western' countries/states. In that case, I'd sure as hell like to know as fast as possible.

None of the arguments I've read so far sway me from this general principle (You can't prove it will/will not work, so I guess someone has to try it and we'll see what really happends), which is why I'm all for a libertarian state eventhough I guess you could call me an anti-libertarian.

Heck, if it were to be in my backyard (ie: If I lived in New Hampshire) I wouldn't mind; front seats to the experiment, and I'm sure some entity or other (the government of the united states, or the people of NH themselves) will put a stop to it if it bombs, though I wonder what's going to happen to those who currently live in NH and very definitely do not want to live in a state based on libertarian principles.
--
"is a signature" is a signature.

of course (1.25 / 8) (#206)
by speek on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 09:36:27 AM EST

Then, we'd have to say that there should be also a communist state and let that experiment demonstrate the truth or falsity of communist ideas. Till now, the US government has been so sure that communism would handily beat capitalism that they've refused to let anyone in the world try it without interference lest everyone see how much better communism is and then it would spread and threaten the US. Can you imagine what would happen if Cuba wasn't under embargo from the US? They'd dominate us and everyone would want a communist dictator of their own.

Sorry, what were we talking about?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Difference being - (1.16 / 6) (#257)
by Surial on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 09:10:26 PM EST

communism HAS been tried. Not just once, many places. Sure, there was 'interference', but a brilliant system should be capable of shining through regardless. Communism bombed, spectacularly, in all cases, except China, for which the word still isn't out.

That PLUS my reasoning leads me to believe Communism as a system will not work without at least a major overhaul.

This situation does not apply to libertarianism. It has NOT really been tried. Somalia is for some a good example, for some not. Then there's the fact that comparing Somalia to what it was, one might say it's gotten better. In other words - the jury is still out on that.

So, I return to my main point: No one has really tried it yet, and I wouldn't mind seeing what happends. You don't need to cry foul; I'm sure that the FSP will get plenty of interference from the federal laws of the united states - which they cannot overrule IIRC.

--
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]

You're both missing the point (none / 3) (#303)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:12:07 AM EST

Humans don't appear to be interested in finding a good social system. We don't try our ideas. When we talk about "social experiments" they're always so poorly studied that we can't draw any conclusions at all. We can't really even figure out what goals we have for a social system. There's no science.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Is it just me? (2.53 / 15) (#194)
by bob6 on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 05:57:51 AM EST

This sentence is just hilarious:
Libertarians won't sign up to move to, say, Somalia, merely because it lacks a government.
That's a pity because they would have had the chance to show how good libertarianism is good at providing food, health care, education, energy, transport and communication.

Cheers.
Not really (1.62 / 8) (#221)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:17:28 PM EST

Libertarianism depends on personal responsibility and non-aggression, two things that seem to be severely lacking in Somalia.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Soooo (dismissing the question) (1.14 / 7) (#247)
by bob6 on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 03:48:18 AM EST

How libertarianism get people to be more responsible, sensible and less aggressive?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
It doesn't (1.57 / 7) (#252)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 05:57:50 PM EST

We're against coercion, which includes forcing someone to believe the same thing as you. And no, moving to NH and voting doesn't count as coercion.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Please (1.14 / 7) (#260)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 09:48:20 PM EST

Don't link to e2. I'm not responding to someone who thinks that pompous garbage site is an authority on anything.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
I wasn't implying coercion (1.37 / 8) (#269)
by bob6 on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 04:58:22 AM EST

I was rather thinking about education. I believe we are taught since the first moments of childhood responsibility toward third parties as well as sensivity and rationality. In developped countries/nations/states, this is ensured by allocating ressources to schools and by enforcing family related laws. What is the libertarian stance on education and the transmission of the value of responsibility?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Teaching responsibility (1.33 / 6) (#271)
by Julian Morrison on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 05:54:44 AM EST

What is the libertarian stance on education and the transmission of the value of responsibility?
Legal stance: that such things should be the business of the parent and the community and not the law.

Philosophical stance: that such things are best fostered by a culture that itself emphasises self-reliance and rugged individualism. Any tax funded freebies run counter to this. That which is not earned, is not esteemed.

Naturally, that which is forced is esteemed even less - forced schooling is not merely unethical, it's also hugely counterproductive to its own philanthropic aims.

[ Parent ]
That's too generic and abstract for me (1.37 / 8) (#273)
by bob6 on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 08:15:54 AM EST

How do you foresee the historical development from a state nation to a libertarian community? In other words, what's the plan for NH? And why this plan couldn't have worked elsewhere else like, say, Somalia? You see, an aggressive interpretation of this thread would be: «You'd be able to live free and well but you're just a bunch of irresponsible niggers. So we'll rather take our chances in NH where the state has already done the heavy work of educating and spreading responsibility as a moral value.».

As for the philosophical stance, what about those who simply disagree? Shall they build states by virtue of the freedom to do whatever they want?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Sort of (1.20 / 5) (#281)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 06:44:39 PM EST

Libertarianism depends on a certain preexisting level of responsibility. It's immature of you to bring racism into this, though. People in Somalia are in bad shape. This has nothing to do with their race, and only a few of them, the militant thugs, can be blamed for the situation there. But it's a bad place to start a 'free state project.'

The way NH should go is, people move there and get into state government. Cut taxes, welfare, and take a ton of laws off the books. Freeloaders will move to Massachusetts or Vermont - fine. This is as far as they'll get in my opinion. At this point there's not much more you can do without seceding. I would want to reject federal funding for education and other state programs in return for cuts to the federal income tax that NH residents have to pay. That will never happen, so I think it ends here. As long as the feds force you to pay taxes they can dictate how your state deals with education. I would be fine with paying federal tax for nothing but national defense (minus nation building) and infrastructure. Of course there's no line item taxpayer veto.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Somalia is a horrible example (1.20 / 5) (#284)
by strlen on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 10:26:20 PM EST

The current situation is there from an overload of statism: the dictator of the 80's, who was at first supported by Soviet Union (enourmous BIG-government support) and later by the Americans. So then there's a civil war, failed UN intervention (woo hoo, international statism!).. so while there isn't a federal government, there instead is a whole bunch of various parties exerting tyrrany on others.

So in essence, there's no government that will support individual rights.. but there are other parties exerting coercive force, to prevent an anarcho-capitalist society (if it's a possibility.. and I don't honestly believe it is) from forming.

There is a part of Somalia, called Somaliland though, which has separated itself from Somalian warlords, and maintains some self-rule and is fairly close to the libertarian ideas and democracy.. and is currently prospering, despite attacks by Somali warlords and lack of international recognition. A libertarian site had a great article on it. I'll find it some day.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

That's why I called "half-baked" (none / 4) (#287)
by bob6 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:35:59 AM EST

Libertarianism depends on a certain preexisting level of responsibility. [...] But it's a bad place to start a 'free state project.'
Thanks. Very few libertarian advocates will admit this so openly. You see, I have this opinion that only a long term state sponsored educational project can bring a country from [civil] war to a minimum level of responsibility. Is there a libertarian objection to this approach?
The way NH should go is, people move there and get into state government. Cut taxes, welfare, and take a ton of laws off the books. Freeloaders will move to Massachusetts or Vermont - fine.
What if they don't? They probably won't. There are a lot of interests tied to government intervention, and, on the contrary to common belief, politicians are not the main obstacle. Many humble people have built their entire lives and wealth on the existence of such a state.
As long as the feds force you to pay taxes they can dictate how your state deals with education. I would be fine with paying federal tax for nothing but national defense (minus nation building) and infrastructure.
Precisely. Imho, there is no clear line drawn between what's an infrastructure and what's not. Education and healthcare can be considered as infractuctures at the same level as roads and power lines.
IanaAmerican, so the typical relationship between the citizen and the state may be a bit different. Where I am from, the state is not considered as a coercive entity but as a mediation tool in the case of disagreement or conflict of interest. Even if we hate it, we pay taxes for the same reason we don't kill: because we're paid back for it, not because it's mandatory (or forbidden).
It's immature of you to bring racism into this, though. People in Somalia are in bad shape. This has nothing to do with their race, and only a few of them, the militant thugs, can be blamed for the situation there.
Sorry for that. But I just wanted to show how blunt objections can be, precisely when you throw a they're-not-ready-for-that answer. A plan to improve quality of life (including more freedom) of some east-coasters is just cool. But a plan to improve the quality of life (including more freedom) of some, say, Somalians would have been quite an achievment.
[OT] I think it has something to do with race, in the sense it is racism that led the USSR, the USA and the Europeans empires to destructive policies toward African countries (eg Somalia).

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Voting = force initiation by delegated proxy (1.16 / 6) (#270)
by Julian Morrison on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 05:31:39 AM EST

A law is a threat to initiate force against the disobedient.

A lawmaker is one who issues threats.

A voter is one who delegates lawmakers.

I am not a voter.

[ Parent ]

I'm not as radical as you apparently (1.20 / 5) (#280)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 06:30:19 PM EST

I believe we do need laws to protect people's rights from being violated. Although anarchy may be a solution sometime in the distant future, there is nothing in place right now that would prevent people from being victimized while living under anarchy.

Do you think it's a bad thing to threaten to initiate force against a murderer? Or am I misunderstanding you?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Law in anarchy (1.20 / 5) (#285)
by Julian Morrison on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 10:58:41 PM EST

I believe we do need laws to protect people's rights from being violated.
Or at least law-like customs. But you mistakenly assume that law must be legislated. Not so. Many cultures have had legal traditions completely unrelated to government. Basically, these are derived from the attitude that law is not something one creates, it's something one discovers.
Although anarchy may be a solution sometime in the distant future, there is nothing in place right now that would prevent people from being victimized while living under anarchy.
Agreed. Anarchy pushes the burden of social stability from law onto culture - therefore first, before creating anarchy, the culture must be built. FSP is a step in this direction. Living in a libertarian setting is good training for living in an anarchy.
Do you think it's a bad thing to threaten to initiate force against a murderer? Or am I misunderstanding you?
The key is the word "initiate". An attacker has already initiated the force. They then lose their protection against the victim (or the victim's heirs), should they choose to return fire.

Strictly speaking, third parties don't get an automatic right to interfere and help defend (or help avenge). But my analysis is that this would be an "implicit permission" - normally it's assumed that if someone's in trouble, they would retroactively welcome your help.

Heh, ask a technical question, get a technical answer.

[ Parent ]
slight correction (1.20 / 5) (#289)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:06:04 AM EST

Strictly speaking, third parties don't get an automatic right to interfere and help defend (or help avenge). But my analysis is that this would be an "implicit permission" - normally it's assumed that if someone's in trouble, they would retroactively welcome your help.

Actually, once C knows that A has initiated violence against B or is clearly just about to, C can intervene to stop such.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Technical disagreement (1.20 / 5) (#301)
by Julian Morrison on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:45:39 AM EST

Actually, once C knows that A has initiated violence against B or is clearly just about to, C can intervene to stop such.
No, disagreed. You're thinking in terms of the ZAP, but that's a generalized guideline, an epiphenomenon of property. Sometimes it can be misleading, and you have to look at the raw property-calculus for precise answers.

Your right to keep property implies a right to defend it. But, you don't have any automatic rights with regard to other people's property, not to use, and not to defend. This is because what is a "legitimate use" is subjective to the preferencs of the owner.

You can see how a third-party-defense right would create a contradiction if you consider a scenario where the person being "attacked" is actually into roleplay S&M. The person with the whip is not an assailant, the person cowering is not a victim, and if you stepped in and shot the whip-wielder, you would be committing murder.

[ Parent ]
well (1.20 / 5) (#308)
by dh003i on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:44:40 AM EST

intervene doesn't necessarily mean murder. It could simply mean push, pull someone away, etc. As for your example of S&M, that's usually pretty obvious...besides, normally people find someplace to do that where they won't be disturbed. In the vast majority of cases of rape, it's pretty obvious...the woman is screaming "NO" and "don't" and the guy has a knife to her throat. Anyways, it's not really a contradiction that a person could be intervening to stop a rape and find out he stopped roleplay. That's just the risk you take.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Rape (none / 0) (#325)
by silk on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 07:34:05 PM EST

Actually, in most cases of rape the perpetrator is someone well-known to the victim, and the victim is often quiet from feelings of shame or fear.
Sorry to nitpick.

[ Parent ]
np (none / 1) (#326)
by dh003i on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 08:59:56 PM EST

nitpick correct. However, it's still pretty clear in most cases, and nothing about intervening requires you to kill the person; if you do, that's the risk you take.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Agreed. [n/t] (none / 0) (#332)
by silk on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:10:40 PM EST



[ Parent ]
a "anarcho-capitalist" law-maker (1.20 / 5) (#307)
by dh003i on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:41:52 AM EST

It's possible for a libertarian to be ethically consistent and a public official. He would have to dismantle laws in-so-far as was possible (focusing first on eliminating the government's power to print fiat money), and would have to accept no salary (for any salary of a public official comes from theft).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

On the communication front (1.57 / 7) (#225)
by 5pectre on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:26:18 PM EST

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1615258.stm

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

[ Parent ]
That's great (1.37 / 8) (#246)
by bob6 on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 03:44:35 AM EST

Partly being from a developing country, I realize how great news it is for Somalians. Unfortunately libertarians missed the chance to show they could have done better.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Condorcet doesn't eliminate strategic voting (1.90 / 10) (#195)
by dash2 on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 06:08:10 AM EST

IIRC, the _only_ method that is strategy-proof is simple majority vote between two alternatives. Here is a page explaining how Condorcet is vulnerable to strategic voting. Of course, Condorcet partisans might say that their method makes it less likely.
------------------------
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
so? (1.62 / 8) (#204)
by speek on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 09:14:04 AM EST

the _only_ method that is strategy-proof is simple majority vote between two alternatives

And, if you don't happen to be in that situation? Oh, right, Condorcet then. Thanks.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Btw (1.50 / 8) (#207)
by bob6 on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 10:00:56 AM EST

Someone explain what's so evil about strategic voting. I feel there is actually no system that can avoid the situation, so why not keep it simple and straightforward?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
The effect can be minimized (1.57 / 7) (#232)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:40:33 PM EST

Condorcet or approval voting both would have prevented what happened in the 2000 election with Nader 'stealing' Gore's probable winning votes. It's true that no system can avoid strategic voting but our current system doesn't even have to be manipulated by voters - it's broken by design when there are more than two choices.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Not a fan of Bush myself but... (1.25 / 8) (#249)
by bob6 on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 04:02:19 AM EST

But why Nader votes are to be considered strategic? And why is it bad?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
The reason it'll never work (1.20 / 10) (#244)
by Quila on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 02:33:21 AM EST

Let's say it does in actuality: they move in and start trimming the tremendous fat that the government has grown over the last 65 years. All but the voluntary freeloaders are probably happy with a better economy, lower taxes and more personal freedom with less government intrusion into their lives.

But then some of the freeloaders who should now either move to another state or decide to finally work for a living will sue.

Of course they'll eventually venue shop to a sympathetic judge who hasn't read the Constitution since law school, and he will tell the government that it must put all that fat back on under "equal protection."

What I don't understand (2.23 / 13) (#251)
by Wildgoose on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 04:35:07 AM EST

...is why Libertarians are attacked so much.

It's not as if it's a political creed demanding that others are forced to work on its behalf.

Just the opposite.

Libertarians are only asking to be left alone in order to live their lives as they see fit, without doing any deliberate harm to anybody else in the process.

Now, what exactly is so offensive about that?

Haven't you heard? (none / 0) (#333)
by KilljoyAZ on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 06:30:43 PM EST

Things like cradle to grave health care, perpetual unemployment benefits and life without being offended by anyone have recently become fundamental rights. To ensure these rights are protected, you must be taxed and regulated to death.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
The 19th century (1.28 / 7) (#258)
by Julian Morrison on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 09:23:36 PM EST

The industrial 19th century is the socialists' idea of capitalism, perhaps because that was when Marx was writing. But it's IMO a very distorted view.

The civilized world during and just after the industrial revolution was not a stable-state society. It was a turbulent contradictory mess, churned up by sudden techno-social changes. Most of it had been monarchical, hierarchical, and agrarian - and was fast becoming democratic, egalitarian, and urban.

The three-tier "class" system was a remnant of the old hierarchy. The poor were treated like dirt, not because that's what capitalism does, but because that's what hierarchy does. Even the philanthropy of that time was often degrading to the poor. The attitude was a mix of old hierarchy ("they're inferior...") and nascent egalitarianism ("...but they can be improved").

In the cities, the slum conditions were terrible. Just as they are in the industrializing third world today. Slums are a symptom of explosively rapid city growth, not a permanent feature. People work themselves up out of poverty, given the opportunity and social mobility.

Lack of wealth trapped the poor in "satanic mills" and sweatshops, doing poorly paid, dangerous work for hierarchically-minded bosses. But because wealth is not a zero-sum game of resource redistribution, but rather a standing-wave in a flow of creation and consumption, it would be more useful to say: lack of productivity trapped the poor. As it does the poor in sweatshops in the third world today. Workers had to be aggregated in huge numbers, because their individual productivity was low. Low by contrast to today that is - compared to an agrarian society, it was much greater. This extra wealth industrialization generated fed back into the system as investment in technology, technique, and infrastructure. The result of this ongoing feedback was the growth of the middle class.

The essence of midle-class-ness is the investor. Having sufficient wealth that your wealth can earn wealth, is what distinguishes a dependent from someone who is in business for himself. Being independent, this middle class person also need not fear to be egalitarian. Thus it is capitalism, not socialism, that has led to the social improvements of the 20th century (and made others so inevitable that they would have happened even if the law hadn't intervened - such as racial and female emancipation).

You may call libertarians historically blind, but I say that socialists are historically blinded, mistakenly and ironically seeing a once-off correlation (capitalism, suffering) as though it were a cause, when the truth would be the exact opposite.

bad choice (1.14 / 7) (#259)
by Luke Francl on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 09:24:38 PM EST

Honestly, I think this is probably the worst choice they could've made. New Hampshire is one of the most politically active states in the nation. More than changing state policy, at most, they'll have an impact on the presidential primary process. Alaska probably would've been a better choice. It's fairly warm by the ocean and you get paid to live there!

Duh (1.42 / 7) (#272)
by whazat on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 07:51:57 AM EST

Where does the paying to live in Alaska come from? Big government. What don't libertarians like, again?

[ Parent ]
missed the point (1.12 / 8) (#262)
by sal5ero on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 11:27:37 PM EST

Oh no heaven forbid it was gasp collectivist! I know more than most people that there have been various evils in the name of socialist principles as practiced by various movements throughout the middle ages through to today, but that dosn't mean that assisting your fellow man in his path to success is a bad thing.

No it's not a bad thing... but collectivism is not very libertarian, is it?



Good (1.05 / 18) (#266)
by saltmine on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 04:12:21 AM EST

Now we have just one large target to make the mass murder of every Libertarian much easier.

I tried to explain what a libertarian is recently. (1.50 / 12) (#276)
by waxmop on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 01:42:37 PM EST

The conversation didn't go well. Unless you think about more than what the government can do for you, libertarianism just doesn't make any sense, especially not in today's celebrity-driven political arena.

Once these libertarians all relocate to New Hampshire, they only have to explain to the locals how if they get rid of public education and zoning laws, legalize prostitution, stop using US currency and instead barter with gold bricks, allow anyone to practice medicine with or without any state licensing (because there won't be any), then New Hampshire will transform into a beautiful happy utopia where all the chicks are as hot as Dagney Taggart.

Then, in a few years, when beautiful towns like Portsmouth look more like the shitty side of Atlantic City, the locals will have a good old-fashioned witch burning to get rid of the outsiders.
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar

christ you're an idiot (1.00 / 14) (#302)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 07:58:37 AM EST

It's a shame you can't be arrested for posting shit like this.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Shooting down the straw man... (1.20 / 5) (#295)
by skyknight on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:12:35 PM EST

Do you know what that expression means? It means to create a ludicrous stereotype, and then shoot it down, in lieu of a rational and logical debate. You have engaged in precisely such an immature and unsophisticated form of argumentation.

I am a libertarian. You would not know it from the way that I dress. The extent of my drug usage is caffeine, Advil, alcohol, and the occasional penicillin.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
thank you (1.12 / 8) (#296)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:36:37 PM EST

at least there are a few people here who still understand how to debate in an intelligent, logical, adult manner. It eliminates my obligation to have to respond to every idiotic post, like that of the parent poster who skyknight responded to.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

We'll take turns... (1.28 / 7) (#297)
by skyknight on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:49:21 PM EST

You get to slap down the next moron. This way we'll save each other from carpal tunnel syndrome.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
rotflol (nt) (1.28 / 7) (#299)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:07:30 PM EST


Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

What if I just want to get on with my life? (none / 0) (#328)
by error 404 on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 06:45:19 PM EST

That, pretty much, is what liberty is about for me.

So, you guys are going to to where your organization says and then negotiate with the govornment to get permission. Uproot your life and then spend your time playing the govornment's game.

Me, I'm staying where I am, I like it here, and doing what I want without asking permission, and if the govornment doesn't like it they can come argue with me some more.

Are you guys statists, or just pansies?


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

Nah, the government bit is secondary (none / 0) (#329)
by Julian Morrison on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:02:54 PM EST

Some folks want to negotiate with the government. But FSP is more about the idea that when you get enough libertarians together in one place, the culture can be changed. Then people won't so much negotiate with government, as tell it to butt out.

[ Parent ]
Tell it to butt out (none / 0) (#334)
by error 404 on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 09:51:11 AM EST

But you are doing that by the govornment's process. Playing their game, on their field. In the quest to be left alone, you've already surrendered.

I'm not sure you've thought out the cultural aspects completely - New Hampshire is an old state, and the current residents are unlikely to appreciate 20,000 outsiders moving in with the explicit goal of changing their state as an experiment in social engineering. That whole self-determination thing. People in general get a bit cranky when you mess with it, New Englanders more than most.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Not surrender, warm welcome (none / 0) (#335)
by Julian Morrison on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 05:43:05 PM EST

Staying put and voting for the "official Libertarian party" is playing by the state's rules. Armed revolution would be playing by rules they've been playing and winning since the dawn of civilization. Dropping out and living outside the system just moves you into a different category in their system. It helps you, but it doesn't attack the problem and it limits your options severely

Changing the culture is not playing by their rules. Politics reflects what culture allows. Collapsing cultural support for statism will strangle politicians' options and shrink the state whether it wants or no.

I suspect the friendliness of the welcome was a major reason why NH got chosen. The locals think far more libertarian-ish than most places. The local press has been largely positive. Even the governor was welcoming, which he politically could not have been absent cultural support (any more than Clinton could say "we did, we liked it, now get the hell out of my bedroom").

[ Parent ]
I always thought... (none / 0) (#336)
by Rot 26 on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 12:53:32 AM EST

I always thought the Free State Project's slogan should be "Free State Project: Just Crazy Enough to Work!".

I don't fully agree with the libertarian party, but I have to admire them for their guts and resolve.
1: OPERATION: HAMMERTIME!
2: A website affiliate program that doesn't suck!
Oversimplification and lack of education (none / 0) (#337)
by tdamon on Wed Nov 12, 2003 at 07:18:13 AM EST

seem to inspire most of the comments I see here. If you think NH is going to go down the toilet as soon as libertarians move in, well, then you're just a moron. If this project has any effect, you won't see it for at least 5-10 years. First, libertarian candidates have to be elected. Then they have to either repeal existing legislation or create new legislation to limit government authority. Every thing they do will likely be fought tooth and nail by political opponents. The only substantial effect will likely be the expansion of debate. Letters to the editor in local newspaper, more libertarian candidates with decent backing to bring up a wider range of issues in campaigns, and other public discussion will be their biggest influence.

I won't get into trying to educate detractors here about libertarian principles, since they seem so set in their negative views. If anyone does care to have a better understanding, they can go to the libertarian party website and read up.


I got a sweater for Christmas. I really wanted a moaner or a screamer.
The Free State Project has chosen New Hampshire | 333 comments (292 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
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