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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 426
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:37 pm 
 

rabid_death wrote:
@Trevor
I'd be surprised if the US government subsidized oil companies. I'm not saying your wrong but I'd be very very surprised. Any proof?

@Noobbot
You're right the government is definitely out to get all your money and you're absolutely dead right in saying that you have absolutely no say in how a government is elected or anything......

Oh wait.

Believe it or not and this might be a shock to you but every country needs a government. The Government is not out to pilfer your money it taxes you to pay for things you need but wouldn't pay for if you weren't taxed (roads anyone?) the problems with a two party democratic system aside why should the government require every citizens explicit permission to exist? There is always going to be some nutter or uneducated idiot out there that does not want a government despite that fact that they and everyone else benefit from having one.

Here's another shocker laws exist for the benefit of everyone. But hey if you think that they shouldn't apply to you just because you think the politicians are after your money then perhaps you need psychological treatment.

Corruption is a problem and shouldn't be ignored but compared to a lot of the nations in the world (Zimbabwe for example) i would say the US is blessed with a relatively corruption free government.

Personally i would chalk your statement up alongside Mors' "the UN is out to steal all my money" and RH's "Omg this is a massive government conspiracy" statements and they are all equally delusional.


Really? You speak as someone essentially raised by the state. They schooled you, they cared for your health, and all the while told you that its existence is necessary. Your teachers told you government is necessary, the healthcare officials told you government is necessary, et cetera. You don't consider that in the slightest biased? No, of course not. You buy into their propaganda.

The fact is: it's not. There haven't always been government, and what was there before government? Wars? Chaos? Genocide? The threat of nuclear holocaust? Police abusing power? Politicians accepting bribes readily and cooperating with the corporations closest to a monopoly (or at least those most willing to shovel out the cash)? Oh, that's right, these all occurred after the coming of government. Not all of the processes of government are even necessary, either. So I'm not an anarcho capitalist - I'm an individualist. I realize that individuals are the broadest true categories for labeling people without using only their commonalities to group them. I reject your blindly nationalistic statism.

As for being "relatively corruption free", no. If that were true, there wouldn't be such inane laws as there are in existence. Drugs would be legal, as would prostitution, euthanasia, and homosexual marriage. You wouldn't need a permit to build a house on your own property, no license to breathe, and so forth. The only bad things? There would be a lack of objective justice, but we still don't even have perfect justice under the state. I doubt it could get much worse. And laws existing for the good of all? Hardly. See the examples previously stated in this paragraph as well as the many examples of government-aided monopolies, or government helping corporations buy land cheap through the use of the Endangered Species Act. Yeah, that helps everyone when Wal-Mart can buy extraordinarily cheap land that was useless in the hands of an individual, set aside a small portion of said land, and then develop the land where the individual couldn't!

"What about monopolies? Corporations and individuals would have almost free reign!" Just to preemptively answer this stupid question that is asked only by the dumbest people, the state is the ultimate monopoly. It says you must pay it money, even though you may never reap any of its services, and if you don't, a bunch of goons armed with submachine guns storm your house and haul you to federal prison. That's justice all right, and that's fairness. I'm born to oppression. I sign no contract. I give no consent. My very act of breathing, to them, is consent to being subject to their rule.

Chaos_Llama wrote:
Those of you blaming the oil companies- did you not know that oil is a commodity traded on the open market? The laws of global supply and demand determine its price, it's not like Exxon sits around and is like "hahaha pay us $120 a barrel or you don't get it any oil". The oil business is extremely risky, and the government didn't help out when the oil companies were doing bad, even taking losses on gasoline sales- the fact that they are doing well is based on the state of the market. In addition to this, the weak dollar also contributes to higher gas prices. I think this has more to do with the changes we've seen recently than anything else.

The government isn't out to get you, they're just often fucking retarded. So while I am definitely in favor of a limited government, it is retarded tbh to assume that a government is not only useful, but necessary. The government should be there to protect us from rights infringements, and to provide us with common good (infrastructure, etc.). The "no government" philosophy is the product of a lack of connection with the real world and is to be honest one of the most intellectually bankrupt out there. There's a reason most don't take it seriously.

In the end, this shit won't pass anyway, so we probably shouldn't really worry about it. Drastic measures rarely get passed, even if they are necessary (which in this case I am skeptical).


Sir, the 'laws of supply and demand' are a loose set of economic guidelines, not concrete rules. Luxury cars are often produced more than [immediate] demand, and yet the prices are still higher than your average car. Diamonds are far more common than claimed by the industry, and yet diamonds are some of the most expensive minerals on the face of the earth. Need I continue?

And anarchism isn't "intellectually bankrupt." You'll have quite a time trying to convince me that many popular anarchists are retards.

Trevor wrote:
rabid_death wrote:
Here's another shocker laws exist for the benefit of everyone.

that's a dumb thing to say. A law isn't good because it's a law. Lots of laws and regulations exist for the benefit of influencial politically connected groups or industries. Unions, ethnic lobbies, the feminist lobby, big corporations, banking cartels, etc.

Leify wrote:
Businesses strive to meet the 'equilibrium price' where demand is equal to supply.

there's no replacement for oil yet so that theory doesn't apply to this particular business. $1.50/li is too high for my taste but I don't have a choice, it's not like I can fill my car tank with water or vodka. Only a few people are going to fill barrels and barrels of oil in their backyward if the price falls down to below $1/L. The demand is stable, the supply is stable, only the price changes. And with the price increase people are going to switch to smaller and more fuel efficient cars instead of driving 6 cyl / 3 L engines but that may only decrease the demand by a few % points. In Europe the gas prices are much higher than in N.A. but that doesn't stop people from driving and buying gas, the only difference is that there's a market for small fuel efficient cars.


Oh no, you're a nutty conspiracy theorist! Better grab your tin foil hat!

Sarcasm aside, I'd like to see some of these retards setting aside their cliché insults and actually finding some intellectually grounded argument.

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rexxz
Retired

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:59 pm 
 

Noobbot, you sound like Mors_Gloria. I don't think I need to show you the history of violence and overall global happiness trends from a time when we had no government to current date. Nor do I think I need to point out to you just how awesome of a place Somalia is.

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:06 pm 
 

Did I seriously just see someone imply that there were no wars or genocide before the arrival of government, or am I imagining things?

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 426
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:14 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Did I seriously just see someone imply that there were no wars or genocide before the arrival of government, or am I imagining things?


By wars I don't mean violence in general, or even inter-tribal/interracial conflicts, I'm speaking of organized warfare. That is war; tribals hurling spears at each other is not warfare. Genocide? I can't recall a single existence from prehistory or before government where there have been proven genocides. Using a most favorite tactic of others, evidence plx.

rexxz wrote:
Noobbot, you sound like Mors_Gloria. I don't think I need to show you the history of violence and overall global happiness trends from a time when we had no government to current date. Nor do I think I need to point out to you just how awesome of a place Somalia is.


That's violence intermingled with chaos, not anarchism. You have hierarchies, you have warlords, and you have governments.

I exaggerated my position on being totally against the existence of a state; however, the only terms I will accept with a statist is a minimal state. I don't care if there is universal healthcare and public education, but if my tax rates exceed between ten and fifteen per cent, I'm beginning to resent government.

And if you think anarchists are necessarily retards, you were skull fucked as a child. The only retarded anarchists I can call to mind are those "punk anarchists" who neither understand anarchism in the slightest, nor provide any solutions.


Last edited by Noobbot on Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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rexxz
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:17 pm 
 

It absolutely is anarchism. It is a fact that anarchism is a flawed ideology, of course. Why anyone would buy into and truly believe it just speaks levels of their ability to reason and analyze truth.

It is a fact that government as it is today has drastically improved global living conditions and violence trends in direct opposition to a state of non-government.

Educate yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ramBFRt1Uzk

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 426
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:21 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
It absolutely is anarchism. It is a fact that anarchism is a flawed ideology, of course. Why anyone would buy into and truly believe it just speaks levels of their ability to reason and analyze truth.


Refer to this:
Quote:
That's violence intermingled with chaos, not anarchism. You have hierarchies, you have warlords, and you have governments.


Once again, it isn't anarchism. If you have those elements, how the fuck can it be anarchism? Anarchism isn't chaos, it's the absence of coercive hierarchies.

rexxz wrote:
It is a fact that government as it is today has drastically improved global living conditions and violence trends in direct opposition to a state of non-government.

Educate yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ramBFRt1Uzk


Steven Pinker is a terrible speaker, and I'd call him a dipshit if he wasn't an atheist. That's the only thing that buys him a single shred of intellectual credibility. He's a collectivist and a statist.

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:22 pm 
 

Ah, moving the goalposts. So tribal warfare is not "true" warfare now. If they use wooden weapons, it's not the same, I mean they're not real groups of people who die in masses, not really. Gotcha.

Quote:
I don't care if there is universal healthcare and public education, but
if my tax rates exceed between ten and fifteen per cent, I'm beginning to resent government.

Interesting that your money is more important to you than living in a country with higher standards of living.

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:27 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
Once again, it isn't anarchism. If you have those elements, how the fuck can it be anarchism? Anarchism isn't chaos, it's the absence of coercive hierarchies.

Interesting. I'm not sure if this falls under the "false dichotomy" fallacy or the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

rexxz wrote:
Steven Pinker is a terrible speaker, and I'd call him a dipshit if he wasn't an atheist. That's the only thing that buys him a single shred of intellectual credibility. He's a collectivist and a statist.

Ah, this one's easy. Ad hominem and poisining the well.

And earlier, there was a shifting of goalposts. You're good at this fallacy thing, aren't you? Better try harder next time.

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Osmium
The Hateful Raven

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 2:18 am
Posts: 2521
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:28 pm 
 

As technology improves, so will the capacity to do war. This is also correlated with an increase in the scope of government. I'm not saying that government is necessarily good or bad, but merely that it is inevitable as society becomes more complex, labor becomes more specialized, and people desire greater regulation.

Steven Pinker is a brilliant scientist and prolific writer. He has great ideas and is generally fairly good at separating empirical from normative beliefs.

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Leify
A Whisper of Death

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:54 am
Posts: 744
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:30 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
I don't care if there is universal healthcare and public education, but
if my tax rates exceed between ten and fifteen per cent, I'm beginning to resent government.

Interesting that your money is more important to you than living in a country with higher standards of living.


Heh, well at least he's not screaming "SOCIALISM!" when people talk about higher taxes to support universal health care.
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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:40 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
Noobbot, you sound like Mors_Gloria. I don't think I need to show you the history of violence and overall global happiness trends from a time when we had no government to current date. Nor do I think I need to point out to you just how awesome of a place Somalia is.

LOL, measuring happiness. Is Somalia really a good example? That seems to be a case in which government collapsed, and tribes are trying to get control to implement the type of government they want (not to mention other places like the US backing Ethopia in order to set up a puppet government). I'm sure whichever government arises though, it will benefit everyone, after all that's what government and bureaucrats are there for. Philosophically I am an anarchist and one of my goals in life is to try to as best I can live without the state (of course, such a thing is utterly impossible unless I go live in the woods or something).


Last edited by EOS on Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rexxz
Retired

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
Posts: 8756
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:42 pm 
 

EOS wrote:
LOL, measuring happiness. Is Somalia really a good example?


Somalia wasn't used as an example for the happiness part, but rather to display the failures of anarchy.

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 426
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:49 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Ah, moving the goalposts. So tribal warfare is not "true" warfare now. If they use wooden weapons, it's not the same, I mean they're not real groups of people who die in masses, not really. Gotcha.


Let's establish a few terms then. You have modern warfare, and general warfare. With modern warfare, there is organization and global strategy with regards to all parties; with general warfare, it is merely engaging in some massed conflict. Considering these definitions, modern warfare is possible only with the existence of states, and the latter, well, football hooligans engaging each other would fit that definition.

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
I don't care if there is universal healthcare and public education, but
if my tax rates exceed between ten and fifteen per cent, I'm beginning to resent government.

Interesting that your money is more important to you than living in a country with higher standards of living.


So higher tax rates objectively correlate with higher standards of living? Now that's a fallacy for ya, congrats.

Morrigan wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
Once again, it isn't anarchism. If you have those elements, how the fuck can it be anarchism? Anarchism isn't chaos, it's the absence of coercive hierarchies.

Interesting. I'm not sure if this falls under the "false dichotomy" fallacy or the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.


I'm not claiming that anarchism isn't without problems and that it would be perfect or idealistic; that there would be no violence or disorder to any extent, but others were considering incorrect definitions of anarchism.

Ironically, your highlighting a strawman serves once again as a fallacy on your behalf.

Morrigan wrote:
rexxz wrote:
Steven Pinker is a terrible speaker, and I'd call him a dipshit if he wasn't an atheist. That's the only thing that buys him a single shred of intellectual credibility. He's a collectivist and a statist.

Ah, this one's easy. Ad hominem and poisining the well.

And earlier, there was a shifting of goalposts. You're good at this fallacy thing, aren't you? Better try harder next time.


You're good at this debating thing, aren't you?

No, you've danced around the argument, instead highlighting fallacies (and often oddly doing so erroneously).

I've seen no evidence that collectivism is somehow globally beneficial while minimalistic in harming individuals in most anyway. In fact, quite the contrary is the reality in all instances I've seen; collectivism harms the majority while benefiting a few - the impoverished and the government/extremely wealthy. I'm not against the impoverished being aided in some way, and I'm not opposing charity, but benefiting a few while hurting a majority is retrograde. And how does it help the government/extremely wealthy? Government expands, and as it does, the wealthy get wealthier, and of course liberties are reduced to ash. If you can provide a solid counter-example, I'll gladly renounce this train of thought, but I cannot summon one myself.

Lastly, well-said, EOS.

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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:49 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
EOS wrote:
LOL, measuring happiness. Is Somalia really a good example?


Somalia wasn't used as an example for the happiness part, but rather to display the failures of anarchy.

Measuring happiness was a point of it's own. I should have separated those two points in different lines.

Somalia is in a transition period. I'm sure some of the people there would like to have anarchy but some don't. For that reason alone, anarchy is not going to work there. I don't believe we will have a working anarchist society in our lifetime. But I believe that as people get smarter and less tribalistic, states will become obsolete. But again, the topic is neither here nor there.

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 426
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:53 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
EOS wrote:
LOL, measuring happiness. Is Somalia really a good example?


Somalia wasn't used as an example for the happiness part, but rather to display the failures of anarchy.


Oh, and happiness is a subjective thing. A completely subjective thing. An entirely subjective thing. (Need it stated more that it emotions are subjective?) An emotion. It, therefore, is quite impossible to objectively measured. And you can't ask a prehistoric man whether he would feel happier with or without government. And even then, polls aren't very solid statistics.

* I placed "memorized" when I meant "measured". I'm tired and am suffering a head ache, excuse me.


Last edited by Noobbot on Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rexxz
Retired

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:54 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
rexxz wrote:
EOS wrote:
LOL, measuring happiness. Is Somalia really a good example?


Somalia wasn't used as an example for the happiness part, but rather to display the failures of anarchy.


Oh, and happiness is a subjective thing. A completely subjective thing. An entirely subjective thing. (Need it stated more that it emotions are subjective?) An emotion. It, therefore, is quite impossible to objectively memorize. And you can't ask a prehistoric man whether he would feel happier with or without government. And even then, polls aren't very solid statistics.


Actually happiness isn't subjective. It's defined by your level of satisfaction which is absolutely objectively measured in the brain. Thanks for playing though.

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:56 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
rexxz wrote:
EOS wrote:
LOL, measuring happiness. Is Somalia really a good example?


Somalia wasn't used as an example for the happiness part, but rather to display the failures of anarchy.


Oh, and happiness is a subjective thing. A completely subjective thing. An entirely subjective thing. (Need it stated more that it emotions are subjective?) An emotion. It, therefore, is quite impossible to objectively memorize. And you can't ask a prehistoric man whether he would feel happier with or without government. And even then, polls aren't very solid statistics.


Actually happiness isn't subjective. It's defined by your level of satisfaction which is absolutely objectively measured in the brain. Thanks for playing though.


You're fucking kidding me, right? Here's the end all, be all of that argument.

Hypothetically, I torture someone. In doing so, I use very gruesome, agonizing, and extended measures of inflicting said torture. While I am delighting over the fact that I am wrapping their intestines around their neck, I don't think they are. They are not happy, but I am. Subjectivity.

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rexxz
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:58 pm 
 

You missed th entire point, congratulations. The feeling of happiness is not subjective, if you need me to clarify that for you. I never said what makes an individual happy isn't.

And for the record, global happiness trends have drastically improved, and that is absolutely due to better living conditions which are brought on by superior and efficient forms of governing.

Don't use a base rate fallacy when trying to argue that, either.

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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:58 pm 
 

Happiness can be objectively measured, but hapiness is still subjective.

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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:04 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
And for the record, global happiness trends have drastically improved, and that is absolutely due to better living conditions which are brought on by superior and efficient forms of governing.

But do people necessarily need a coercive monopoly for governing? Second, I think it's too simplistic to say only better and efficient forms of governing has caused better living standards, which is what you're implying. Obviously our economic systems have too.

These post should probably moved to their own thread...

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:08 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
Let's establish a few terms then. You have modern warfare, and general warfare. With modern warfare, there is organization and global strategy with regards to all parties; with general warfare, it is merely engaging in some massed conflict. Considering these definitions, modern warfare is possible only with the existence of states, and the latter, well, football hooligans engaging each other would fit that definition.

I fail to see your point. You said that there was no war before the arrival of government. Then you said tribal wars somehow "don't count", but why not? People still die and tribal wars are just as horrible than modern wars. The difference is in the size of the population. When the population increase, you inevitably get government, and bigger wars too. Different societies but in the end, humans will kill each others whether there's a government or not. The difference is that civilisations are built around societies with government, and it's those civilisations that created culture, science and technology.

Noobbot wrote:
Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
I don't care if there is universal healthcare and public education, but
if my tax rates exceed between ten and fifteen per cent, I'm beginning to resent government.

Interesting that your money is more important to you than living in a country with higher standards of living.


So higher tax rates objectively correlate with higher standards of living? Now that's a fallacy for ya, congrats.

:lol: The only fallacy here is your obvious strawman. I made no such correlation (though I arguably could but that's another discussion). You said that you didn't care about universal healthcare and public education - which ARE indicators of higher standards of living, and were what I was referring to.
Do you deny that universal healthcare and public education contribute to higher standards of living?

Quote:
You're good at this debating thing, aren't you?

Better than you, yeah, but that's hardly an accomplishment. :p

Quote:
No, you've danced around the argument, instead highlighting fallacies (and often oddly doing so erroneously).

Coming from the person who completely ignored the facts raised in the video posted earlier and who instead attacked the person presenting them, and who is indeed posting one fallacy after the other, you'll pardon me if I join in the laughter at such a preposterous accusation.

Quote:
I've seen no evidence that collectivism is somehow globally beneficial while minimalistic in harming individuals in most anyway. In fact, quite the contrary is the reality in all instances I've seen; collectivism harms the majority while benefiting a few - the impoverished and the government/extremely wealthy. I'm not against the impoverished being aided in some way, and I'm not opposing charity, but benefiting a few while hurting a majority is retrograde. And how does it help the government/extremely wealthy? Government expands, and as it does, the wealthy get wealthier, and of course liberties are reduced to ash. If you can provide a solid counter-example, I'll gladly renounce this train of thought, but I cannot summon one myself.

I'm starting to wonder what the hell you mean by a collectivist society, anyway. Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany - all those nations have high taxes, a lot of government aid programs, universal healthcare and/or strong public education, and enjoy high standards of living. None of them are without their flaws, but I'm dying to see what majority is "harmed" by the government in those countries.

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rabid_death
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:42 am
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Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:14 pm 
 

I'm dying to see him give us a realistic alternative to the current form of government that would make everyone better off since the current one is so badly flawed (apparently).

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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:49 pm 
 

I'm no anarchist, but I agree that the government that our ''diplomacy'' is flawed. We vote for parties but then it's up to them, to do exactly what they want no matter what everyone thinks about it. Irak anyone? There's people for, there's people against but they never asked anyone on such a big thing as that war, the war that's bringing us closer to a recession, to the high prices of oil and all. No government want wars except when it benefits them, they would absolutely not otherwise.

Speaking of oil, don't you think it's a bit strange that our cars still need oil to run? Have you ever heard of cars running with electrecity? That we send a man on the moon in '69, can send probes at the far end of our solar system and send robots on Mars but we still run on oil? The same oil when the first cars were made? Those who have the power won't change if it doesn't give them at least the same ammount of power they have and that's why we're still stuck with oil in our cars and a government that will do as they please. When you taste power or money, you never can get enough. Even if you got billions of billions, you still need to make the most profit possible. And never ask me about the laws of the market...

We can even compare governments to some ''selling-out'' bands. When they proved their worth and got their share of power, they tend to make false promises or make nothing new and doing some questionnable things.

And you don't become a politician by being a real gentleman who will listen to his precious people (maybe if you want to be a mayor), you need to be in the high class of the society in the first place, you're already wealthy and when you talk about taxes, wars and things like that, it's like if you were playing a risk game, it's strategy and tactics, you don't care if you loose some, you only look at what you will get in the end. They do campaings that cost them millions and then ask for taxes for making roads or things like that? Hey has Bush ever fought in a war? I guess not as he certainly knows he doesn't want to and has enough of loyal followers and don't tell me he cares about those who dies. He just has to sit back in his office with his cup of tea and make some decisions.

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:56 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
You missed th entire point, congratulations. The feeling of happiness is not subjective, if you need me to clarify that for you. I never said what makes an individual happy isn't.

And for the record, global happiness trends have drastically improved, and that is absolutely due to better living conditions which are brought on by superior and efficient forms of governing.

Don't use a base rate fallacy when trying to argue that, either.


For those lacking literacy, let's first establish a few things: Happiness constitutes a noun with the following denotations:
1. the quality or state of being happy.
2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Secondly, when it is said that happiness is subjective, it doesn't mean that the neurochemicals that result in happiness are, or that the denotation is, but stimuli that cause happiness, yeah, they're subjective. And I still fail to see how they can accurately and honestly be objectively measured. Polls are problematic for a few reasons: they always target demographics and samples of a population, and never represent the entire population, and the context is easily lost. Simply put, polls are the only method of "objectively measuring happiness", and at that they are very weak.

rabid_death wrote:
I'm dying to see him give us a realistic alternative to the current form of government that would make everyone better off since the current one is so badly flawed (apparently).


It's a thing called liberalism, but it's apparently alien and all liberals should be shot. Minimal government, with only enough to appease those who need government (I surely do not). A police force, fire fighters, small military, public hospitals, maybe universal healthcare and public schooling, and nothing else.

Morrigan wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
Let's establish a few terms then. You have modern warfare, and general warfare. With modern warfare, there is organization and global strategy with regards to all parties; with general warfare, it is merely engaging in some massed conflict. Considering these definitions, modern warfare is possible only with the existence of states, and the latter, well, football hooligans engaging each other would fit that definition.

I fail to see your point. You said that there was no war before the arrival of government. Then you said tribal wars somehow "don't count", but why not? People still die and tribal wars are just as horrible than modern wars. The difference is in the size of the population. When the population increase, you inevitably get government, and bigger wars too. Different societies but in the end, humans will kill each others whether there's a government or not. The difference is that civilisations are built around societies with government, and it's those civilisations that created culture, science and technology.


We're saying the same thing here. Only you claimed that I said that violence would cease with anarchism, when I actually never made such a statement. And I relish technology and science, but almost all science and technology have been created by individuals, universities, and corporations, all entities ideally separate from the state, and all of which cannot be identified as any part of the state. And I'm afraid to say that you're a poor soul if you believe that culture, language, literature, and science would not have developed if not for government. If nothing else, government serves more often to cause atrophy or at least to serve as some barrier for most of those.


Morrigan wrote:
:lol: The only fallacy here is your obvious strawman. I made no such correlation (though I arguably could but that's another discussion). You said that you didn't care about universal healthcare and public education - which ARE indicators of higher standards of living, and were what I was referring to.
Do you deny that universal healthcare and public education contribute to higher standards of living?


Strawman? I think not. It was far more than an insinuation that you made, and you don't deny that you believe that. How, pray tell, is that then a strawman? Where is the ficticious or irrelevant target that I am ravaging, as opposed to your arguments?

And healthcare and education do contribute to higher standards of living, but that can all be achieved just as well if people actually had more money to spend rather than using anywhere from thirty to fourty-five per cent of their income solely on the various forms of taxes (even in the US).

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
You're good at this debating thing, aren't you?

Better than you, yeah, but that's hardly an accomplishment. :p


Your skill at sarcasm is at best dubious, however. :P

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
No, you've danced around the argument, instead highlighting fallacies (and often oddly doing so erroneously).

Coming from the person who completely ignored the facts raised in the video posted earlier and who instead attacked the person presenting them, and who is indeed posting one fallacy after the other, you'll pardon me if I join in the laughter at such a preposterous accusation.


I've watched the video before, and his arguments are that:
1. The state encourages economic development.
- That's odd - the state has direct involvement in the current economic recession in the US. Bullshit claim here.
2. The state discourages violence.
- Because the largest war in recorded history wasn't between states, was it? That one war that resulted in over fifty million deaths? Bullshit. Police are more often bullies than they are good, honest law bringers. Politicians are more likely to abuse the system for their benefit than to use it for the masses' benefit.
3. The state is like a panacea, warding away all disease and filth.
- Yeah, okay.

He made a few other claims, but they were minor in comparison to those. And once again, he's a terrible speaker. It was difficult enough enduring it the first time, so a second time would likely result in what little sanity I have left disintegrated before my eyes.

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
I've seen no evidence that collectivism is somehow globally beneficial while minimalistic in harming individuals in most anyway. In fact, quite the contrary is the reality in all instances I've seen; collectivism harms the majority while benefiting a few - the impoverished and the government/extremely wealthy. I'm not against the impoverished being aided in some way, and I'm not opposing charity, but benefiting a few while hurting a majority is retrograde. And how does it help the government/extremely wealthy? Government expands, and as it does, the wealthy get wealthier, and of course liberties are reduced to ash. If you can provide a solid counter-example, I'll gladly renounce this train of thought, but I cannot summon one myself.

I'm starting to wonder what the hell you mean by a collectivist society, anyway. Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany - all those nations have high taxes, a lot of government aid programs, universal healthcare and/or strong public education, and enjoy high standards of living. None of them are without their flaws, but I'm dying to see what majority is "harmed" by the government in those countries.


Oddly enough, you mentioned many of collectivist societies right there - your general welfare states. Like I said, I'm not entirely opposed to the two constantly mentioned socialist "fruits", but I am opposed to overly large governments. All of the above represent that, and as a result, while they may have the highest per capity GDP, they still manage to live in small hovels with rather few personal possessions. And none of them are known for being great havens of civil liberty.

Evil_Johnny_666 wrote:
I'm no anarchist, but I agree that the government that our ''diplomacy'' is flawed. We vote for parties but then it's up to them, to do exactly what they want no matter what everyone thinks about it. Irak anyone? There's people for, there's people against but they never asked anyone on such a big thing as that war, the war that's bringing us closer to a recession, to the high prices of oil and all. No government want wars except when it benefits them, they would absolutely not otherwise.

Speaking of oil, don't you think it's a bit strange that our cars still need oil to run? Have you ever heard of cars running with electrecity? That we send a man on the moon in '69, can send probes at the far end of our solar system and send robots on Mars but we still run on oil? The same oil when the first cars were made? Those who have the power won't change if it doesn't give them at least the same ammount of power they have and that's why we're still stuck with oil in our cars and a government that will do as they please. When you taste power or money, you never can get enough. Even if you got billions of billions, you still need to make the most profit possible. And never ask me about the laws of the market...

We can even compare governments to some ''selling-out'' bands. When they proved their worth and got their share of power, they tend to make false promises or make nothing new and doing some questionnable things.

And you don't become a politician by being a real gentleman who will listen to his precious people (maybe if you want to be a mayor), you need to be in the high class of the society in the first place, you're already wealthy and when you talk about taxes, wars and things like that, it's like if you were playing a risk game, it's strategy and tactics, you don't care if you loose some, you only look at what you will get in the end. They do campaings that cost them millions and then ask for taxes for making roads or things like that? Hey has Bush ever fought in a war? I guess not as he certainly knows he doesn't want to and has enough of loyal followers and don't tell me he cares about those who dies. He just has to sit back in his office with his cup of tea and make some decisions.


You said it pretty well. And that is another reason I am opposed to government. It is invariably and necessarily aristocratic, and I dare anyone to TRY to raise a counter-example. You can't, you won't, and you will never. Government has never comprised of the working class, but of the so-called "upper-class".

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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:17 pm 
 

I just finished watching the Steven Pinker presentation, and to me it seems pretty clear that the third explanation, a nonzero-sum game, is the best explanation. In fact, the last three explanations all go together, if you ask me. The fact that the Middle Ages were brutal is no surpise; it was a time of heavy statism and feudalism. There is way more economic freedom and prosperity, as well as political freedom.

Therefore, I have to I discount the first explantion, Leviathan. The Soveit Union under Stalin, Socialist China under Mao, Fascist Germany under Hilter etc. and the Middle Ages were horrible and violent.

I believe you can have a welfare state and be pretty happy, but it's much more a cultural thing if you ask me. I'm sure collectivists/statists in those parts of the world where Morrigan listed are happy, but I definitely wouln't be. Government is not the source of wealth or a standard of living when I could just as easily, and perhaps moreso with less government obstruction, get it for myself.


Last edited by EOS on Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Osmium
The Hateful Raven

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 2:18 am
Posts: 2521
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:21 pm 
 

Quote:
Steven Pinker is a terrible speaker, and I'd call him a dipshit if he wasn't an atheist. That's the only thing that buys him a single shred of intellectual credibility. He's a collectivist and a statist.


More on this. You posted this reply to rexxz approximately 3 minutes after his own post appeared. The video is 20 minutes long, so there is no way you could have watched it. I just viewed it and was very impressed: Pinker provides a very compelling argument that life has drastically improved (at least in terms of violence) since hunter-gatherer times. I recommend that you watch it before dismissing it in favor of your own dogma.

According to the data he presents, males had as high as a 60% chance of dying at the hands of another man in hunter-gatherer (stateless) societies whereas even if one includes the horrors of WWI and WWII, the chances are roughly 2% in modern Europe and the US. If the death rate of those two terrible wars was comparable the types of casualties that occurred in pre-civilized times, as many as 2 billion people would have perished.

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rabid_death
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Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:42 am
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Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:42 pm 
 

Pure liberalism is flawed. Free markets don't necessarily produce the efficient outcomes they are suppose to and require government intervention. In order to regulate these flawed markets governments have to get bigger which eventually leads back to a system very similar to the current one.

Its a nice theory but much like communism it can't work in the real world.

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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:49 pm 
 

Osmium wrote:
According to the data he presents, males had as high as a 60% chance of dying at the hands of another man in hunter-gatherer (stateless) societies whereas even if one includes the horrors of WWI and WWII, the chances are roughly 2% in modern Europe and the US. If the death rate of those two terrible wars was comparable the types of casualties that occurred in pre-civilized times, as many as 2 billion people would have perished.

But you're comparing two sets of data when the situations are completely different.

I would like to see what would happen today if a stateless, anarchist society would transpire voluntarily. Not when governments fail and collapse, because of course there is going to be turbulence after such an event. I'm not necessarily against governing as such (well depending on what one means by "govern"), however I am against a coercive monopoly that assumes control over a certain region, especially when it goes too far like the US is currently doing in certain aspects.

I would move to such an anarchist society when I accumulated the funds to do so if it ever existed. Since one does not, I have to choose between only minarchists states like Hong Kong or something.


rabid_death wrote:
Pure liberalism is flawed. Free markets don't necessarily produce the efficient outcomes they are suppose to and require government intervention. In order to regulate these flawed markets governments have to get bigger which eventually leads back to a system very similar to the current one.

Its a nice theory but much like communism it can't work in the real world.

Are you sure? I don't think pure liberalism has ever been tried. Pure liberalism is much more realistic than communism, since it does not require a "new man" (it also doesn't require totalitarian socialism as a transition).

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rabid_death
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:42 am
Posts: 49
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:02 pm 
 

EOS wrote:
rabid_death wrote:
Pure liberalism is flawed. Free markets don't necessarily produce the efficient outcomes they are suppose to and require government intervention. In order to regulate these flawed markets governments have to get bigger which eventually leads back to a system very similar to the current one.

Its a nice theory but much like communism it can't work in the real world.

Are you sure? I don't think pure liberalism has ever been tried. Pure liberalism is much more realistic than communism, since it does not require a "new man" (it also doesn't require totalitarian socialism as a transition).


I don't think it has been actually tried either but that is because as i stated before it is flawed at a theoretical level. Pure liberalism assumes all markets produce socially optimal outcomes (are Pareto efficient) . In the real world not all markets are Pareto efficient and require government intervention to reach the socially optimal outcomes.

Also have you heard of the liberal paradox?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_paradox

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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:08 pm 
 

rabid_death wrote:
EOS wrote:
rabid_death wrote:
Pure liberalism is flawed. Free markets don't necessarily produce the efficient outcomes they are suppose to and require government intervention. In order to regulate these flawed markets governments have to get bigger which eventually leads back to a system very similar to the current one.

Its a nice theory but much like communism it can't work in the real world.

Are you sure? I don't think pure liberalism has ever been tried. Pure liberalism is much more realistic than communism, since it does not require a "new man" (it also doesn't require totalitarian socialism as a transition).


I don't think it has been actually tried either but that is because as i stated before it is flawed at a theoretical level. Pure liberalism assumes all markets produce socially optimal outcomes (are Pareto efficient) . In the real world not all markets are Pareto efficient and require government intervention to reach the socially optimal outcomes.

Also have you heard of the liberal paradox?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_paradox

No. But thanks I'll have to go over it.

But I will say this off the bat. I'm not looking for "social optimality", a totally efficient socio-economic system, or a perfect world of some sort. Just the freedom to say no to coercive states, or be completely absent of them.

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rabid_death
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Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:42 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:14 pm 
 

Lack of social optimality = waste of resources which in turn = an overall lower quality of life for all.

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EOS
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:25 pm
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:18 pm 
 

rabid_death wrote:
Lack of social optimality = waste of resources which in turn = an overall lower quality of life for all.

Ah. Well the solution for that would be a perfect economic system. I don't think one exists but I believe capitalism is the best we know of. Therefore, as I said, I'm not expecting social optimality in pure liberalism or some kind of paradise. In fact, life wouldn't be very different.

Also, I don't believe government can correct that either. It can try, but I'm pretty sure it has faults of its own. In fact, the situation we're in today in America is the manifestation of government trying fix where ever they believe the "free market" has failed. The effects are cumulative, of course.

This reminds of a quote from Mises: "If one rejects laissez faire on account of mans fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action."

Going back a bit, I'd take issue with what you said:

Quote:
Pure liberalism assumes all markets produce socially optimal outcomes

I don't assume such and I don't think most people who are market anarchists assume such either. First, I have to question "socially optimal" by what standard? That statement assumes I believe everyone should have "free education" or "free healthcare" or something. Resources would depend on demand and profitability of those goods/services. Yes, you're always going to get some waste because of products lacking profitability. However, overall the "free maket" system has made us filthy rich and raised our standard of living.

I don't believe in a market anarchist society that everything would be about profitability. I have to correct myself because there would be no problems with setting up non-profit organizations, that help give free healthcare to their community for instance.

There is one thing I will concede, however, and it's that an anarchist society would need smarter and more responsible people to function. That's the thing I believe that is mostly holding us back. For instance of course I don't want to get in into a car crash with drunkards or minors, and that's why we have laws; but, such actions could be prevented with common sense, morals, upbringing or whatever but people aren't that responsible. So, if government had to be required, I wouldn't be totally against it unless it croses the line, so to speak. The only element I see needed in government is writing law. I don't believe they would need to offer any services, not even police or courts (but they would still be under the law.)

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 426
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:56 pm 
 

Osmium wrote:
Quote:
Steven Pinker is a terrible speaker, and I'd call him a dipshit if he wasn't an atheist. That's the only thing that buys him a single shred of intellectual credibility. He's a collectivist and a statist.


More on this. You posted this reply to rexxz approximately 3 minutes after his own post appeared. The video is 20 minutes long, so there is no way you could have watched it. I just viewed it and was very impressed: Pinker provides a very compelling argument that life has drastically improved (at least in terms of violence) since hunter-gatherer times. I recommend that you watch it before dismissing it in favor of your own dogma.


Like I said, I watched it before. It was actually on a site called TED which I discovered somewhere in the interwebz. And I watched a few interesting videos on there (Richard Dawkins's and Will Wright's, to be precise), and I also watched Pinker's which I didn't consider nearly as interesting. I will watch it again and refute his specific claims, although two of his main points (and a third sarcastic one) have already been proven to be bullshit.

And I think the "peace" of modern day has more to do with the social evolution of man than government. Sociology, not politics, is the cause for this.

Osmium wrote:
According to the data he presents, males had as high as a 60% chance of dying at the hands of another man in hunter-gatherer (stateless) societies whereas even if one includes the horrors of WWI and WWII, the chances are roughly 2% in modern Europe and the US. If the death rate of those two terrible wars was comparable the types of casualties that occurred in pre-civilized times, as many as 2 billion people would have perished.


Here's the thing: those rates aren't really applicable. Firstly, the world in those days, at least with regards to societies and humanity, was in a much more micro scale, so to speak, rather than the macro one we are accustomed to. What does this mean? Well, there were less people overall, so killing one person had a much greater effect on the rate than one does now. Secondly, it's not as if they had any global languages. It wasn't until tribes expanded that intertribal relations developed some complexity, as they could then better interpret their adversaries through the use of vocabulary than through gestures. And, of course, you have sensitivity. As violence decreases, that becomes exponential as people become less likely to resort to violence due to sensitivity. And how does the state fit into this as a solution? What if the American Indians had comparable homicide rates to that of Europe during the same era? Thinking about it, it seems actually very likely that that is indeed the case.

And notice how the rates for homicide varied from tribe to tribe. Not all were sixty per cent.

One of the few things I agree with him about is that too much criticism is placed by trendy pseudo-intellectuals on the part of western civilization.

rabid_death wrote:
EOS wrote:
rabid_death wrote:
Pure liberalism is flawed. Free markets don't necessarily produce the efficient outcomes they are suppose to and require government intervention. In order to regulate these flawed markets governments have to get bigger which eventually leads back to a system very similar to the current one.

Its a nice theory but much like communism it can't work in the real world.

Are you sure? I don't think pure liberalism has ever been tried. Pure liberalism is much more realistic than communism, since it does not require a "new man" (it also doesn't require totalitarian socialism as a transition).


I don't think it has been actually tried either but that is because as i stated before it is flawed at a theoretical level. Pure liberalism assumes all markets produce socially optimal outcomes (are Pareto efficient) . In the real world not all markets are Pareto efficient and require government intervention to reach the socially optimal outcomes.

Also have you heard of the liberal paradox?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_paradox


No, liberalism doesn't necessarily rely on everything being optimal to function. And government intervention is unnecessary because it: encourages monopolies, exercises undue force, and naturally restricts the market through unnecessary regulation. And while the state does do some good, most often actions carried out by the state have no real purpose or impact beyond those that the politicians themselves reap, and many others are negative.

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:45 am 
 

Noobbot wrote:
We're saying the same thing here. Only you claimed that I said that violence would cease with anarchism, when I actually never made such a statement.

I made no such claim; rather, I asked for clarification on the "all these things happened AFTER government" statement. You appear confused as to who said what.

Quote:
And I relish technology and science, but almost all science and technology have been created by individuals, universities, and corporations, all entities ideally separate from the state, and all of which cannot be identified as any part of the state. And I'm afraid to say that you're a poor soul if you believe that culture, language, literature, and science would not have developed if not for government. If nothing else, government serves more often to cause atrophy or at least to serve as some barrier for most of those.

Ah yes, because no government ever funded any medical or scientific research. FDA standards for clinical trials? NASA technology? Russian, Chinese and US military technology? State-funded museums and universities? Greek and Roman forums promoting an academic culture in antiquity? Roman architecture (from public baths to aqueducts) directed by Roman emperors? Railroads and various constructions overseen by Russian tsars? Sumptuous Egyptian, Aztec, Inca and Mayan temples and tombs ordered by pharaohs and emperors? The Alexandria library, created by Ptolemy? Michelangelo's artworks which were all commissions from kings and popes?

Yeah, no government was involved in any way in any of those things. We must be imagining things. History is a lie!

(Not to take anything away from some individuals who worked very hard at accomplishing great things... it was Michaelangelo's talent who painted the Sistine Chapel. But they all accomplished those great things thanks to an existing infrastructure involving this evil government. No hunter-gatherer society would have any need for Michaelangelo's talent, Chaucer's writings, or rocket science, after all.)

Quote:
Strawman? I think not. It was far more than an insinuation that you made, and you don't deny that you believe that. How, pray tell, is that then a strawman? Where is the ficticious or irrelevant target that I am ravaging, as opposed to your arguments?

You are confused again. Here's what happened:
- a) You said you didn't care about public healthcare and education. b) You said you were resentful when the government took your money.
- I said I found it interesting that you cared more about your money (b), that you cared about high standards of living (a).
- Then you said I was automatically equating high taxes with high standards of living. This is a strawman, since you criticized something that was not said: what I did was equating universal healthcare and public education (you know, b), those things you "don't care about") with high standards of living.

Hope it's clearer now...

Quote:
And healthcare and education do contribute to higher standards of living, but that can all be achieved just as well if people actually had more money to spend rather than using anywhere from thirty to fourty-five per cent of their income solely on the various forms of taxes (even in the US).

Those taxes, when properly used, are used FOR providing healthcare and education to *everyone*. That's, like, the whole point.

Quote:
Your skill at sarcasm is at best dubious, however. :P

I'm sorry, you're gonna have to forgive me.

Quote:
Oddly enough, you mentioned many of collectivist societies right there - your general welfare states.

Um yeah, that was the point of my question: what is especially wrong with those "collectivist" states such as the ones I named?

Quote:
Like I said, I'm not entirely opposed to the two constantly mentioned socialist "fruits", but I am opposed to overly large governments. All of the above represent that, and as a result, while they may have the highest per capity GDP, they still manage to live in small hovels with rather few personal possessions.

....What? o_O

Quote:
And none of them are known for being great havens of civil liberty.

... Sorry, I have to repeat myself: what? o_O Other than Germany's irrational laws against nazi symbols, what exactly are you talking about? You think the Netherlands or Sweden are havens of oppression and totalitarianism and filled with ghettos and poverty, or something? Seriously, you're gonna have to explain yourself.

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greysnow
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:01 am
Posts: 378
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:59 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
Oddly enough, you mentioned many of collectivist societies right there - your general welfare states. Like I said, I'm not entirely opposed to the two constantly mentioned socialist "fruits", but I am opposed to overly large governments. All of the above represent that, and as a result, while they may have the highest per capity GDP, they still manage to live in small hovels with rather few personal possessions. And none of them are known for being great havens of civil liberty.

What the fuck?? :lol:

Okay. I work 20 hours per week as a typist for an intellectual property law firm. My take-home pay per month is currently €863.41 = US$1,340.77 for this part-time job. It's not much, but enough to get by. That is after 1) all the taxes have been paid (for me, €36.42 a month), because in Germany, as a service, the employer will transfer the taxes to the state and deduct them from your salary, 2) all monthly payments to health insurance, pension fund and unemployment insurance have been paid (also directly by the employer). My actual salary before these deductions is €1.134 = US$1,760.97 a month. Since the contributions to health insurance, unemployment insurance and pension fund are split in half between employer and employee, my employer pays the sums deducted from my salary for that purpose once over again. I receive 13 1/2 salaries per year (an additional full Christmas salary and half a salary in June, called "vacation money"). I have 5 weeks and 3 days of vacation time per year. If I get ill, my employer will pay my full salary for 6 weeks, should I remain ill, health insurance will pay a reduced salary for 1 1/2 years.

I am a proud owner of a 5400 MHz Athlon double-core computer with 4 Gigs of RAM and 1.5 terabytes of harddisk, and of a 24" LCD monitor. I own two mobile phones (older ones, I admit), an old TV, DVD, VCR, several hundred CDs and perhaps a thousand books, some of which have been quite costly because they're specialized grammars of small languages. I take out a 16,000 kbps ADSL flat rate that together with a nationwide telephone flat rate costs me €29.90 per month. I don't have a car, but you don't need one in Berlin. My mother's hovel is a nice 150 sq m stand-alone house, surrounded by 600 sq m of garden, at the edge of a small forest, where she lives alone. She owns a car, an old VW Golf; she could afford something better, but, like me, she's only interested in cars as a means of transportation. She just inherited another house and a substantial amount of cash from her stepfather. We are by no means exceptionally rich people, somewhere in the middle I guess if I worked full-time.

I may not be allowed to wear Nazi symbols in public (nor do I want to), but I have unlimited access to the internet, a free press, about 20 TV stations none of which I watch 'cause they're shit, and several dozen radio stations, big and small. I have the right to demonstrate for whatever I wish (Nazis too can do that, provided they don't show their symbols), there are regular elections, my letters are not opened, I don't go to jail because I say the state is shit, and I personally have the feeling that I can actually trust the police (mostly, anyway).

Where have you been living, under a stone?

Edit: Another thing. When the state collects taxes from you, they don't vanish in President Bush's secret coffers (well, mostly). They are reinvested - used to pay state employees who will buy food and all the things you need to live, thereby channeling the money back into the economy; used to buy paperclips, office carpet, stationery, computers and the odd cruise missile or fighter plane, thereby channeling the money back into the economy; used to pay out welfare, thereby, guess what, returning the money to the economy, at 100% because poor people don't have money left to save some of it. Taxes are redistribution, yes; but none of the country's overall wealth or the GDP gets lost. So I think I share Morrigan's suspicion that you are more concerned about your money than about the general public welfare.

Edit2: Bush, as far as I know, draws a salary of $400,000 per year. I think he is the best-paid government employee? Now what are the personal salaries of some of the heralds of free enterprise in the US? $40 million a year?

Edit3: This caught my eye:

Noobbot wrote:
Here's the thing: those rates aren't really applicable. Firstly, the world in those days, at least with regards to societies and humanity, was in a much more micro scale, so to speak, rather than the macro one we are accustomed to. What does this mean? Well, there were less people overall, so killing one person had a much greater effect on the rate than one does now. Secondly, it's not as if they had any global languages. It wasn't until tribes expanded that intertribal relations developed some complexity, as they could then better interpret their adversaries through the use of vocabulary than through gestures.

The rates that you think are not applicable were a statistical statement about the overall probability to die at the hand of another human. They were not a statement about absolute numbers. True, the casualties of today's wars are much bigger in absolute figures. But people to kill were also a lot harder to reach back then. To wipe out 60% of a tribe would be comparable to wiping out 60% of a country's population today.

And you are probably in error about language use among stone-age peoples. If language use and language knowledge among indigenous peoples today is any indication, ancient hunter-gatherers were probably polyglot to a large degree. It was not unusual, at the time of colonization, for Australian Aborigines to speak two or three neighboring languages. Same goes for New Guinea. In New Guinea, knowledge of foreign languages adds to your prestige; it's part of a bigger exchange-and-profit-from-it ethos, as in "Look! I have gotten something from our adjacent tribe! Valuable knowledge! More than you got, haha!" In small hunter-gatherer societies there is usually a scheme to force (at least some) people to marry outside the local group to prevent inbreeding. But outside partners will bring their own languages. So people probably were able to conduct extended negotiations once language had developed to any meaningful degree, which we now believe was probably at least as early as 100,000 BCE.
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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:16 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
We're saying the same thing here. Only you claimed that I said that violence would cease with anarchism, when I actually never made such a statement.

I made no such claim; rather, I asked for clarification on the "all these things happened AFTER government" statement. You appear confused as to who said what.

Quote:
And I relish technology and science, but almost all science and technology have been created by individuals, universities, and corporations, all entities ideally separate from the state, and all of which cannot be identified as any part of the state. And I'm afraid to say that you're a poor soul if you believe that culture, language, literature, and science would not have developed if not for government. If nothing else, government serves more often to cause atrophy or at least to serve as some barrier for most of those.

Ah yes, because no government ever funded any medical or scientific research. FDA standards for clinical trials? NASA technology? Russian, Chinese and US military technology? State-funded museums and universities? Greek and Roman forums promoting an academic culture in antiquity? Roman architecture (from public baths to aqueducts) directed by Roman emperors? Railroads and various constructions overseen by Russian tsars? Sumptuous Egyptian, Aztec, Inca and Mayan temples and tombs ordered by pharaohs and emperors? The Alexandria library, created by Ptolemy? Michelangelo's artworks which were all commissions from kings and popes?

Yeah, no government was involved in any way in any of those things. We must be imagining things. History is a lie!

(Not to take anything away from some individuals who worked very hard at accomplishing great things... it was Michaelangelo's talent who painted the Sistine Chapel. But they all accomplished those great things thanks to an existing infrastructure involving this evil government. No hunter-gatherer society would have any need for Michaelangelo's talent, Chaucer's writings, or rocket science, after all.)


Understand that the state, in many of these eras, was the only way to secure any real funding. Private investment didn't really exist; as with now, the governments were naturally aristocratic, only the aristocracy was smaller and almost entirely absorbed in government. The wealthiest men were kings as well as the equivalent to today's venture capitalists and investors. Pyramids, the Kremlin, and structures of the like are indeed spectacular, and are indeed tauted as achievements of the state, but had any significant portion of the wealthy not been in government, I would imagine there would be pyramids in the name of rich merchants alongside the pharaohs. I understand and consider your point, but the state was a source of funding, not any creative catalyst.

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
Strawman? I think not. It was far more than an insinuation that you made, and you don't deny that you believe that. How, pray tell, is that then a strawman? Where is the ficticious or irrelevant target that I am ravaging, as opposed to your arguments?

You are confused again. Here's what happened:
- a) You said you didn't care about public healthcare and education. b) You said you were resentful when the government took your money.
- I said I found it interesting that you cared more about your money (b), that you cared about high standards of living (a).
- Then you said I was automatically equating high taxes with high standards of living. This is a strawman, since you criticized something that was not said: what I did was equating universal healthcare and public education (you know, b), those things you "don't care about") with high standards of living.

Hope it's clearer now...


I assumed that you were speaking of tax rates since you specifically targeted my part about excessive tax rates. Once again, more than an insinuation on your part. And I suppose not minding social healthcare and education is a better way of phrasing it.

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
And healthcare and education do contribute to higher standards of living, but that can all be achieved just as well if people actually had more money to spend rather than using anywhere from thirty to fourty-five per cent of their income solely on the various forms of taxes (even in the US).

Those taxes, when properly used, are used FOR providing healthcare and education to *everyone*. That's, like, the whole point.


The money is handled inefficiently. Even rather low income families would be able to afford private schooling for their children, if taxes were minimal/nonexistent. I imagine tuition for most schools wouldn't exceed $7000 dollars per year, less than most families are taxed by almost a third. And those schools' quality would be more or less on par with current public schooling. Once again, I don't mind public schooling, but the government's handling of the money is wildly inefficient. I know because in the school district under which I fall, where quite a number of upper-middle class and lower-high class (speaking obviously of economic status) reside, dated technology and shoddy equipment are used and teachers are underpaid. As a result, there are also poor teachers.

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
Oddly enough, you mentioned many of collectivist societies right there - your general welfare states.

Um yeah, that was the point of my question: what is especially wrong with those "collectivist" states such as the ones I named?


The "Oddly enough..." part was a bit of sarcasm, because I thought it was obvious what a collectivist state is.

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
Like I said, I'm not entirely opposed to the two constantly mentioned socialist "fruits", but I am opposed to overly large governments. All of the above represent that, and as a result, while they may have the highest per capity GDP, they still manage to live in small hovels with rather few personal possessions.

....What? o_O

Quote:
And none of them are known for being great havens of civil liberty.

... Sorry, I have to repeat myself: what? o_O Other than Germany's irrational laws against nazi symbols, what exactly are you talking about? You think the Netherlands or Sweden are havens of oppression and totalitarianism and filled with ghettos and poverty, or something? Seriously, you're gonna have to explain yourself.


I didn't claim they were "havens of oppression" or "filled with ghettos". The point was, someone with an essentially equivalent income in Germany has less money for their own use than I. As for the civil liberty, there is pretty strong censorship in all places. Not as much on the mass media as the US (note that I never claimed the US is great on this part either), but video games and music are pretty heavily censored, protests are highly controlled (as they are here, only to a larger extent), firearms are outlawed, CCTV, suspension of habeas corpus in some circumstances (yes, the US is guilty of this as well), et cetera. By no means do they have modern equivalents to the Gestapo (and none of them do as far I'm aware), but they're not exactly the shining examples of civil liberty.

Don't assume I'm nationalistic, or that I'm holding this nation on a high chair in comparison to the others; it's actually on rather level ground.

Greysnow wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
Here's the thing: those rates aren't really applicable. Firstly, the world in those days, at least with regards to societies and humanity, was in a much more micro scale, so to speak, rather than the macro one we are accustomed to. What does this mean? Well, there were less people overall, so killing one person had a much greater effect on the rate than one does now. Secondly, it's not as if they had any global languages. It wasn't until tribes expanded that intertribal relations developed some complexity, as they could then better interpret their adversaries through the use of vocabulary than through gestures.

The rates that you think are not applicable were a statistical statement about the overall probability to die at the hand of another human. They were not a statement about absolute numbers. True, the casualties of today's wars are much bigger in absolute figures. But people to kill were also a lot harder to reach back then. To wipe out 60% of a tribe would be comparable to wiping out 60% of a country's population today.

And you are probably in error about language use among stone-age peoples. If language use and language knowledge among indigenous peoples today is any indication, ancient hunter-gatherers were probably polyglot to a large degree. It was not unusual, at the time of colonization, for Australian Aborigines to speak two or three neighboring languages. Same goes for New Guinea. In New Guinea, knowledge of foreign languages adds to your prestige; it's part of a bigger exchange-and-profit-from-it ethos, as in "Look! I have gotten something from our adjacent tribe! Valuable knowledge! More than you got, haha!" In small hunter-gatherer societies there is usually a scheme to force (at least some) people to marry outside the local group to prevent inbreeding. But outside partners will bring their own languages. So people probably were able to conduct extended negotiations once language had developed to any meaningful degree, which we now believe was probably at least as early as 100,000 BCE.


I said that communication was difficult before they developed complex linguistics and dispersed this amongst themselves neighboring tribes, not that it was always so.

Wiping out a single tribe was actually a much bigger deal than wiping out a city now - the former had a much larger effect on the global rate, and of course it was much easier to kill a tribe of a few hundred or thousand than even a modern city of hundreds of thousands or millions. Obviously the global population of latter days is exponentially larger than that of the distant past. And besides, basing statistics on a single tribe - much less a single, modern tribe - cannot be accurately projected over all of humanity. And I do acknowledge as well the exponential decrease in homicides, but as I also said, this is due more to sociological evolution than the existence of the state.

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greysnow
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:01 am
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:31 am 
 

Noobbot wrote:
I didn't claim they were "havens of oppression" or "filled with ghettos". The point was, someone with an essentially equivalent income in Germany has less money for their own use than I.

Now, where have the "hovels" and the "few personal possessions" gone to? :p This claim is much milder already. Educate me: is it this what is called "backpedaling"?

The money that I have less through higher taxation and health insurance etc. is not lost to me: I don't have to pay my own medical bills when I get ill; university education is way cheaper here than in the US; if I fall on hard times, I can actually count on the state to keep me alive; etc. The money is not just taken away, it is used to provide services to everyone and to support people who need help. I actually find this to be a morally better system than all the preachings about thrift and providing against every conceivable emergency yourself, which have always struck me as cold and egoistical, not to speak of the fact that not all people have the financial means to do that.

And then, when you do practice thrift and insure yourself against every contingency that I am insured against just by being a citizen of a moderately high-taxation country, are you really sure you are not left with the same or even less money than I am? To provide against times of unemployment on your own, for example, to be on the safe side, you'd have to save far more money than the 3.3% of my income that go into the state's unemployment insurance right now. (If you saved at that rate, you'd need 29 years of continual work to survive one year without.) It goes without saying that if you are employed all your life without any unemployment in between, your money is lost to you. But so is any money that you pay to a fire insurance if your house never burns.

If everyone had to provide against any conceivable contingency themselves, there are two possible results: a) a huge savings rate and resulting deflation, all this while the poorest are not even provided for, or b) people not saving and trusting that nothing will go wrong after all, with even less people being provided for in case of need.

Noobbot wrote:
I said that communication was difficult before they developed complex linguistics and dispersed this amongst themselves neighboring tribes, not that it was always so.

In that case you're talking about a different species, namely homo erectus, and notice that we both don't really have any clues as to their conflict behavior. Pinker was talking about homo sapiens tribes, which are just as capable of language as you and I (in some cases more, or do you speak fluent Spanish, French and Korean in addition to English?). Do you notice how intellectually dishonest you are here? You make a point against Pinker by saying the populations Pinker refers to could not understand each other. When someone points out to you that they most probably could, you grasp at the straws they seem to offer you, take an entirely different population and say that they could not understand each other.

You are a master at the art of retreat, aren't you?

Noobbot wrote:
Wiping out a single tribe was actually a much bigger deal than wiping out a city now - the former had a much larger effect on the global rate, and of course it was much easier to kill a tribe of a few hundred or thousand than even a modern city of hundreds of thousands or millions.

Ever heard of Hiroshima?
And you still haven't got the statistical point, I'm afraid. We are (at least Pinker was) not talking about isolated massacres. We were (He was) talking about overall probability.

Noobbot wrote:
And I do acknowledge as well the exponential decrease in homicides, but as I also said, this is due more to sociological evolution than the existence of the state.

Sociological evolution of course being entirely distinct from the existence of the state. :p You just can't nicely separate the two. As Pinker said, the rise in empathy possibly arose from increased opportunity for different groups meeting each other and doing business (in the broadest sense) with each other, and from literature (and I hesitate to say it, but even religion may have played a small part in transmitting the Golden Rule). I can't envisage these favorable factors having arisen without a wider organizational framework, most often a state. This is not a strong point, of course, but seeing how the discussion went up to this point, probably your refutation of it will provide me with additional arguments. :p
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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:39 am 
 

It's easy to dismiss the states in my examples as "mere source of funding", but it's unfortunately a great display of ignorance. No major country infrastructure was built on mostly private investments. Sure, these things cost money, but governments have built railroads, aqueducts, libraries and hospitals because they benefit the entire society and as such, fit within the role of government. Few private individuals will want to use their wealth for building libraries. And private companies wealthy enough to rival NASA'S resources are few and far-between.

Also, it seems that you forget that this evil aristocratic government IS made up of *people*, too.

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Trevor
Niggers and beaners and kikes, oh my!

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:24 am
Posts: 289
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:33 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
And for the record, global happiness trends have drastically improved, and that is absolutely due to better living conditions which are brought on by superior and efficient forms of governing.


"superior and efficient forms of governing" ? :lol: I thought it had something to do with economic freedom, consumption, technology and all that. Was it governments or private companies or individuals that created and mass produced most of the modern stuff we like, cars, computers, air conditioning, an immense variety of food products, alcool, music, etc.? That's an easy question comrade. The governement may have paved the roads but it wouldn't have been able to run the automobile industry efficiently. The basic stuff it can and should do, the complex it can't and shouldn't. The privately built steamships of the 19th century didn't have to wait for the government to create rivers to sail on.

There are lots of things that don't require government intervention even if we have been conditioned to think of the government first when we have a problem

Morrigan wrote:
Yeah, no government was involved in any way in any of those things. We must be imagining things. History is a lie!

he didn't say architecture he said "technology and science" and he's mostly right. Don't tell me the Olympic Stadium was worth the billions we wasted on it.

And I read that in the days of Augustus roman citizens only had to work a few days a years to pay their share of taxes and enjoy the government's bread and circuses. Today we have to work months to pay our share of taxes and most of our governments are still in debt. And we don't even have gladiators shows.

Morrigan wrote:
Railroads and various constructions overseen by Russian tsars?

lots of railroads in the US were built by private companies who had investors. Yes sometimes among them governments but governments as investors aren't the same as governments as contractors. Those companies did their best to make the railroads profitable, something a government doesn't feel obliged to do which makes it prone to waste a lot of money.

Morrigan wrote:
Those taxes, WHEN PROPERLY USED, are used FOR providing healthcare and education to *everyone*. That's, like, the whole point.

the intention and the result are two things. The education ministry's budget keeps on increasing but I bet there's no link between the proportion of money that goes in and the quality of the education or the students. If there was a link I presume the teachers' union would have their study in hand showing how that works. Same for healthcare. More money in yet less good out. There's a limit to what the government can do (or money for that matter). Imagine if the State nationalized food distribution and took over all the food supermarket stores chain. Or clothing stores. It would be very efficient and everybody would be better off, ...right? You have to be cynical and think outside the box to understand how government works in reality.

Morrigan wrote:
Other than Germany's irrational laws against nazi symbols, what exactly are you talking about? You think the Netherlands or Sweden are havens of oppression and totalitarianism (...)

BTW all the countries you named have 'irrational laws' against all kinds of 'bad speech' to jail people who don't toe the PC line. This country too. Mark Steyn and MacLeans magazine have been dragged before a BC "human rights court" for writing that muzzies are on the rise and they could conquer the West with their religious and demographic fervor. In our "human rights" court the truthfulness of one's statement is no defense; in Canada you can be guilty of telling the truth. That doesn't have anything to do with the topic but if people here thought there was freedom of speech in Canada now you know there isn't
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Last edited by Trevor on Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Trevor
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:39 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
There haven't always been government, and what was there before government?

the garden of eden?

There has always been government and collectivities and policemen of some kind. Before they were simply much smaller in scope and size. The individuals who didn't band together with others for their collective interests must not have survived not only the neolithic but recent history as well. At the end of the day it's force and power that wins.

Noobbot wrote:
So I'm not an anarcho capitalist - I'm an individualist. I realize that individuals are the broadest true categories for labeling people without using only their commonalities to group them. I reject your blindly nationalistic statism.


Individualism is a fallacy no matter how much morality you wrap around it. Your ego may feel as if it is on top of the pyramid but this isn't how things work. Heredity and the cultural environment you were raised in aren't individual choices and your own individual choices have an influence beyond your ego. No man is an island.

A band of individualists who don't cooperate to keep the non-individualists out of their area, who refuse to use force to protect their individualist collectivity from non-individualists invaders will disappear and be replaced by groups of humans who don't give a shit about individualism. To be a true principled individualist is to be a loser in the game of life.

Now I'm not at all a leftist/socialist who likes to be forced to pay 50 % of my income in taxes and ramble on how great <cough, cough> our public health care system is and how terrible it would be to let private health care companies operate freely, while having only one voice out of X million once every four years on how things should be run and that's not what opposition to the fallacy of individualism means for me, it simply means that one needs to realize that there exist things that are above and bigger than individuals and to believe that Individualism with a big I is the natural state of humanity is just stupid. Don't be a libertardian
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