Samson Corwell

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Everything posted by Samson Corwell

  1. Rand's thing was "non-initiation of force" and Rothbard's NAP defined "aggression" as initiation of force. If someone puts their money down for a second and I snatch it when they aren't looking, then how do I run afoul of either of those two? Here are other things that don't involve force initiation: Hacking. Trespass. Dumping garbage onto someone else's property. Breach of contract. Murdering someone by dropping poison into their drink when they aren't looking. Not paying for the food you eat at a restaurant. An honest reading of "initiation of force" would permit the things listed above. It could even allow taxation if the tax collectors were surreptitious about it! (They come in the middle of the night and take a few dollars out of your safe.) So why does anyone continue to use that word choice? Other movements don't try to act like all of their positions can be spun from a single sentence. It would be better to accept that trying to do it that way leaves a lot of openings through which undesirable policies can slip through.
  2. Look at what I get when I search for Palestine on Google Maps. And look at the non-historical maps that I get when I perform an image search on Google. No specificity required when I use Palestine to refer to Gaza and the West Bank.
  3. Tony, you're declaring perfectly normal parlance to have a coded meaning. Palestine today is comprised of Gaza and the West Bank. Israeli settlements are occuring in that collection of territory (at least in one of those three regions). That's common meaning, so I can expect to not have to bend to pedantic people about it.
  4. Not to bump, this is just a test. Testing. Testing. Testing. Testing.
  5. I imagine that she was refering to Israel's settlements. It might be appropriate to call that an occupation (which is not to say that Israel should "sit back and take it" when it comes to missile attacks that penetrate into non-settlement portions of Israel and so forth). This shouldn't mean anything. "You don't understand economics" is the biggest gripe that I have with common political discourse. Economics is a science and as such it has nothing to say regarding normative questions. She can be a socialist and believe that the labor theory of value is wrong. Someone could be themselves a libertarian and think that the labor theory of value is correct. Well, she went on to win the Democratic primary and eventually the general election. I've been paying attention to her. She's an interesting person me to follow in national politics. (I feel like I need to clarify—though I wish I didn't feel like I need to—that none of the above is to say what positions of hers that I favor, if any, or which statements of hers I concur with, if any.)
  6. Are we no longer able to create a post using markup directly?
  7. Unaware of what? The "centrist" drones that chant "Both sides are equally bad."? Everyone knows that they exist.
  8. Very strange comment. Economics is supposed to be value-free and laissez-faire constitutes public policy.
  9. You've come the closest. First, why would you say that the farmer has only partial ownership of the crops instead of saying that he has full ownership of the crops whereas he has no ownership of the scraps? When I used the term "scraps" in the post, I did not mean it in the sense of "scraps of food", it's just my term for what the Bible verse was referring to. The passage in question talked about gleanings of the crops. Second, I am of the belief that "positive rights" are not coherent if we are using the term to refer to a vague cosmic command. However, many of things called "positive rights" can be reformulated as "negative rights". Instead of a cosmic duty that is silent on who it is to be enforced against, in the example that I use, the gleanings of the crops—what I called "scraps"—do not belong to the farmer. He has no negative right in/to them. The negative right belongs to the poor person who comes along and collects them. Remember, I'm not trying to endorse the Bible's command, only to make a point about the negative/positive rights dichotomy. I hope I was able to clarify what I meant.
  10. I'm pleasantly surprised, Michael. That definition is many times better than what I've seen up until now. Previous definitions I've encountered were vague, kinda cloudy-feeling stuff about "socialists", "multiculturalism", "Islam", and hodge podge of other things. I saw the title of this thread and was wondering just what I was going to see. Also, no welcome back? Nothing like "Hey, Samson. Haven't seen you around as of late. How have you been?"?
  11. I'd dispute the notion we were freest in the 1800s.
  12. I was just reading an article on the Microsoft anti-trust case written in 2006 by an Objectivist (maybe I'm a masochist) by the name of Edwin A. Locke (I looked him up and he's the O'ist who thinks PETA wants humans to suffer). So, in this article he brought up the oft-repeated libertarian talking point that "true" monopolies can't exist without government intervention. Now, the word monopoly may have originally meant policy that prohibited anyone other than one particular entity from selling an item, but 100+ years ago it took on the meaning it now has today. It's as if some pedantic handy-man went about correcting people who said they were "screwed" that "screwing" is something that is done with a screwdrive to a screw. Or if a prudish farmer went around screaming at people that an "ass" is a donkey and not a person's fanny.
  13. I just revisited this video. It's one of your best {insert word that encompasses debates, essays, lectures, and so on here}. One the comments on it declared that Friedman crushed you. Being too stupid to know how stupid oneself is comes to mind. Jeez, some of the more economistic types are really deluded. I think they are the movement's biggest problem. Keep up the good work, George. You're among the best.
  14. No, I don't see it. Perhaps your mind is simply off in a different reality. Don't worry though. You're not alone. I see the same thing in Marxists who talk about wage slavery and "hegemonic discourse".
  15. I don't find him rational. His remarks about feminism are the usual dumb remarks made by anti-feminist conservatives. As far as "the left" wanting the "state to control as much of American life as possible", I've never seen anything in reality that can be used to reach that conclusion unless "the left" is taken to mean Marxist-Leninists. Where he is correct, he uninteresting.
  16. If you don't think liberalism (e.g., libertarianism, Objectivism, conservatism, social liberalism, etc.) don't impose their ideas on others through force, then I have to wonder how ingrained this view is in the views of Westerners. If libertarians got their way, for instance, the police power of the state (or "private defense agencies") would crush the sorts of sit-ins done by members of the civil rights movement (this is something that, when it comes, makes for some very interesting conversations between the two sides of the debate). There surely is an ideological contest in politics because on one particular issue only one stance may prevail. If, say, some of the Objectivists at ARI or TAC got their way on environmental policy, they would surely have to forcibly exclude environmental values from the public sphere.
  17. Oh, you've stepped in it. Property rights are claims upon other people's freedom, too. Every legal right has a corresponding claim on the actions of others. As far as "entitled" goes, here is the definition of a "right" from Google: "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way".
  18. Contract Theory and the Abandonment of Final Cause In the classical and Christian epochs, few people would have worried about exactly how a government was constructed from parts or what operating procedures those parts followed when it came to deciding whether a particular government was justified. Instead, it was justified because it brought about a good end: generally speaking, because it was the most concrete expression of and ultimate protector of the civic order that underlay its existence. … But with the overthrow of Aristotelian philosophy, the baby was tossed out with the bathwater, and final and formal causes became disreputable. I think it is no coincidence that now, with, for instance, Hobbes and Locke, we begin to see governments justified by the mechanisms of how they came about, and we get social contract theories. A possible efficient cause of government, the consent of the governed, came to replace the idea of a government achieving its proper end as its justification. …
  19. Nothing says "glory of the human mind" like indiscriminate death and destruction.
  20. I meant no condescension. I was being quite sincere. If someone supports welfare and believes it is moral, is it possible for them to not conceive of it as a "right"? Is it impossible for me, in my opposition to using people tools and to utilitarianism, to conceive of my reasons for such in terms of something other than "rights"? Before I got into natural rights, such opposition was never in terms of rights. In fact, conceiving it in terms of "rights" feels much too distant and sterile. A right is a moral entitlement. Pre-Enlightenment Christianity had no such concept. It was all in terms of law and duty.
  21. I don't know to answer that any way other than, yes, I do. But, it doesn't need to be expressed in rights, which are a very specific moral concept. Sacred texts such as the Bible and the Torah never used rights talk, for instance. One of the comments made by the YouTube user SisyphusRedeemed under his take down of Stefan Molyneux's "philosophy" said that he rejected rights (in this case meaning "natural rights") in favor of virtue ethics and made the distinction that ancient civilizations like Rome had property but not property rights? i don't know if you are having trouble understanding that rights are only one type of moral theory. I've met quite a few libertarians who couldn't understand that.
  22. I gave you what the term "subjectivist" has come to mean in practice when used by many Objectivists. Utilitarianism contends that maximizing happiness is OBJECTIVELY moral. It presupposes moral realism. Whatever makes someone happy may be different from person-to-person and from time-to-time, but that there is something that does make them happy is entirely objective. And it is not altruism as altruism may in fact conflict with it. Anyway your reason for dismissing it is also Kant's reason as well as his reason for dismissing egoism.