jtucek

Members
  • Content Count

    30
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About jtucek

  • Rank
    $

Previous Fields

  • Full Name
    Jaroslav Tucek
  • Looking or Not Looking
    not looking
  1. Hello, I would like to thank everyone who commented on the draft of The Libertarian novella in the "Going Galt" thread. I have learnt a lot about opinions which I thought I held and could defend. I didn't and I couldn't. The novella has now been finished - with the main protagonist reworked into an anarcho-capitalist proponent, who should be without contradictory opinions - and is available from Amazon here. This is part one in what I tentatively plan to develop into a five part series following the story of Luca and Elke in an exposition of libertarian ideas. Should anyone want to read the text, I am offering a free copy in exchange for an Amazon review. Send me a private message if you are interested in that.
  2. jtucek

    Going Galt

    Francisco, many thanks again, The Market for Liberty is ingenious. I love how they thought out the private national defense contractors and insurance agencies. In their view, in a free market, it would be chiefly large corporations who'd purchase "national defense insurance" passing the premium costs onto their products, so everyone buying those products would participate, avoiding the free-rider problem.
  3. jtucek

    Going Galt

    Hello Francisco, this is some great material. It is easiest to see how the public firefighting department can be replaced with private contractors, and I can see now also the case for private courts. Thinking about it, they already exist today in the form of various private arbitration agreements. What would you say about national defense, however. Would people "voluntarily" contract with a private national defense provider, knowing that if their neighbours contract, they can easily free-ride instead? And if they wouldn't, do you not accept the necessity of a public service and a forced taxation to pay for it? The only argument I've seen on the topic was made by Harry Brown in How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World, who claimed that national defense is not needed at all and neither is the government. The citizens are safer that way, since who would conquer them and how? If there is no central government, and no bureaucratic machinery to control a country, an invader cannot force the central element to surrender and take over the machinery - he'd have to conquer and police every single one of the hundreds of millions of citizens, keeping a permanent occupational force in the area. That is a semi-passable argument if you're thinking of rational invaders seeking to conquer you. It is very disappointing today though, as we also have to consider invaders trying to just wipe you out and make Lebensraum for their own gang. EDIT: I guess, you can also take the same stand I made about NASA some posts ago. If I care about national defense, and my neighbour doesn't, what right do I have to force him to pay for it through taxation...
  4. jtucek

    Going Galt

    Because you are an American ... great. Let's have a look at an example from your own country. The East Coast mafia since the end of the 19th century until today. Since their extortions are pretty much universal and large-scale, the playing field is even for all businesses and only the whining failures complain about it, right? The competent ones, change THEMSELVES, adjust to the new conditions of doing business and prosper. If you are fine with that, the argument ends, but I will leave it to you to draw its conclusions. If you disagree, them show me one difference between the welfare state and the mafia. One asks me smugly to pay for some great services I didn't ask for, or else. And the other one asks me, not so smugly and with no pretension about what they are doing, to pay for services I didn't ask for, or else.
  5. jtucek

    Going Galt

    Hello Selene, I didn't know about voluntary taxation. However, I find Rand's claim that it is practicable to be pretty bold Looks like I have a lot of reading on the topic to do, before I'll be able to finish the text. Many thanks for the lead.
  6. jtucek

    Going Galt

    I understand where you are coming from now. Unfortunately, it puts the whole discussion on a dangerous slippery slope - who is going to draw the line between the services properly provided by the governenment and those that should be left to the free market? I would have really loved to believe that no government/no taxation society were possible. But I cannot imagine how for example private courts/private armies/private police could ever work. I appreciated the help and I was really trying to save your time as typos-hunting is not something I'd ever want volunteer reviewers to do. A professional proofreader will be paid to do that to a final version of the text.
  7. jtucek

    Going Galt

    Hello Francisco. I originally started with Luca making that claim, too - "all taxation is extortion" but I had to tone that down a bit by now. I am not familiar with Ayn Rand enough, but even in Atlas Shrugged she defends some functions of the government, eg. Ragnar refuses to attack the navy because national defense is a proper function of the government. Clearly, this has to be paid for somehow. So, which forms of taxation would you consider just? Do you object only to income tax as it punishes ability but are fine with say VAT being demanded to cover the government's overhead?
  8. jtucek

    Going Galt

    I can already tell from the recent posts that this is going to be mightly unpopular, but anyway. This question is mainly for Derek, as I agree with his evaluation that the argument against the "we are leeches, too, Luca" statement was really weak. Below is the section reworked. It puts Luca on a much weaker moral ground, though. Any comments you care to give will be welcome. When she spoke at last, it was with a lifeless voice, as if something inside of her that she had trusted had just been crushed---and its dead carcass revealed that it had been a fraud all along. ``Luca, if we do not pay our taxes, that leaves us as leeches too. Every time we use some public service.'' ``No. There is a small number of services properly provided for by the government, the police force is one example, and it is unfortunate that we cannot selectively pay for those. But what we pay in indirect taxes, to the extent that we are consumers in society, far exceeds our part of the payment. As to the rest? Most, I'll never use---why should I foot the bill? ``And even in the rare cases where I do use them ... I didn't ask the government to provide those services. They did anyway, wiping out all private competition, thus forcing me to deal with them. I do not feel obliged to pay for those services any more than I would pay a mobster who's used his goons to shutdown all competitors, leaving his diner the only one in operation. If the government nationalises a railroad, which I had been perfectly happy to use, or provides subsidised train fare, is that really a claim on me to obediently stand and watch while I am being extorted, to the extent that I am a producer in society, to pay for those subsidies? ``I am free never to use the train again in my life, of course, and if I do, you are right to think of me as a leech. I am a leech openly, and will not hide behind a shroud of moral high ground. This is a war. And it was the government who started it. Apparently, they think it is justifiable to deal with other men by means of a force. Very well, I accept that tenet. Their force against mine. Let them catch me and punish me, if they can. Then I will go to jail. But until they do, the leeches will have to taste some of their own medicine---with me as a free-rider on their subsidised trains. ``But this is all rather theoretical, in the vast majority of sectors, in health care for example, private providers still exist. They are a mere shadow of what they would be without the government's interference, but they do exist. The rational and moral thing to do is not to use public services and pay for them in taxes---it is to evade paying taxes and purchase your services on the free market, or on what is left of it nowadays.'' <The discussion then follows unchanged, considering health care expenditures, to the "the wellfare state has destroyed both compassion and decency by administering tax-paid charity" argument>
  9. jtucek

    Going Galt

    I do deny that normative and cognitive can be divorced from each other, you do not have to hold back saying that by any means. It is your judgement on what something ought to be, that allows you to judge whether something you examine matches that vision and so enables you to identify it. I'll be fishing to you again, but I can live with that. Consider the concept of a nail. Your mind tells you that nails ought to be thin, strong and able to be driven into wooden walls, which enables you to judge an object lying in front of you - maybe made from a material you've never seen a nail made of - as fitting that or not, and identify it as a nail or reject it as such. Now are you going to dissect that process into normative and cognitive aspects? That's artificial. They are inseparable in establishing a standard and applying that standard to a particular in question. It is the same with humans as with nails, only more complex.
  10. jtucek

    Going Galt

    4 people did, of whom 3 knew me fairly well. I don't love the typos. I was just answering the attitude, stated clearly before by someone, and perhaps only imagined by me this second time, that it is somehow an affront on my part to post anything less than 100% typo-free here.
  11. jtucek

    Going Galt

    OK, guys, I do not understand why this riles you so much. I say this calmly, if the language insults you, do not read it. It is there offered freely in case you choose to read it anyway. It will be proofread once done. As a curious note, that paragraph has been read by many people, including me several times, and you are the first one to notice the typo. So it is kind of naive to think that just having something proofread is a surefire way to remove all mistakes.
  12. jtucek

    Going Galt

    I will have to see your book, because I do not understand this. It is all about principles, nothing else. The only "practical" aspect to it, is that if you just accept being cheated, because you still have enough, you send somebody a message that he can get away with much more ... and one day you may regret not making that stand when things were not that bad. Just out of interest, even accepting that this is an idealised world, what do you think of the characters joining Galt? Were they misguided to walk away from their passions in order to remove their support and their sanction?
  13. jtucek

    Going Galt

    While what you say has some appeal, you are wrong. We do not judge what we have identified, we judge in order to identify. See for example the concept of a swan. For centuries, people have thought being white is a necessary quality of a swan. Then some curious black birds were discovered in Australia and it took somebody's judgement to say these are indeed swans too. Our concepts were wrong and what we identified as swans had to change. It is the same thing with a totalitarianism. You see someone curbing mobility in a perverse way, and immediately judge that as a totalitarian quality. In this case, you are correct though, that while necessary, it was not sufficient in order to identify the concept in question as a totalitarian state.
  14. jtucek

    Going Galt

    OK, guys, maybe calling your country totalitarian is even offensive to you, when clearly your media are free, guns can be freely owned, etc. - all of them aspects that are unthinkable to the historic examples of totalitarian dictatorships. I take it back. US is generally more free than Europe, but when I see your rules on expat taxation, it just screams 'barbed wire' to me. At the risk of offending you further, maybe the means of control exercised over society have simply gotten more sophisticated in your case.
  15. jtucek

    Going Galt

    Look, I lived in a country that for 40 years had the borders lined with barbed wire. I am not comparing USA to that. But do you really claim that you are fine with your government saying, "leave if you wish, we still own you and you owe us a slice of whatever you earn, wherever you go."? So ... how far do things have to go before you'd personally call them totalitarian?