anthony

nastiness abounds

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Talk about a concrete-bound concept of "violence." On the contrary, it doesn't count as "less violence" just because the victim stops fighting back.

Shayne,

I think we disagree on a fundamental.

I don't see human beings predominantly in terms of oppressors and victims.

Neither do I. The victims in this case are largely oppressors as well.

Shayne

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Michael, if you go off into the wilderness, build a cabin, grow a farm, etc., and insist on being left alone, you will be shot. Those are the facts.

It's a very much more violent state of affairs than it was even a hundred years ago, we're just far more docile now.

Shayne

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My basic thought was that it doesn't take into account the fact that we are more domesticated than civilized. We don't fight back, we just lay back and let ourselves be raped.

Shayne

"...more domesticated than civilized" is well articulated.

That's what I was searching to say when we debated 'civility' on the forum back then.

Far better and rational for a person and society (or forum) to be honest with respect, than a kind of inhibited and cowed politeness with grudging tolerance.

This hides all forms of nastiness.

You have also made the connect between Statism, and the 'can't do anything about it' helplessness and fear of a populace.

If I read you right.

Now, THAT's what I was suspecting.

Tony

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John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities?--Emma Goldman

You're caged too Michael. You've just learned to like your cage, evidently.

Shayne

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My basic thought was that it doesn't take into account the fact that we are more domesticated than civilized. We don't fight back, we just lay back and let ourselves be raped.

Shayne

"...more domesticated than civilized" is well articulated.

That's what I was searching to say when we debated 'civility' on the forum back then.

Far better and rational for a person and society (or forum) to be honest with respect, than a kind of inhibited and cowed politeness with grudging tolerance.

This hides all forms of nastiness.

You have also made the connect between Statism, and the 'can't do anything about it' helplessness and fear of a populace.

If I read you right.

Now, THAT's what I was suspecting.

Tony

Yes, it's a deeper cause of passive aggressiveness. The human being is caged, deep down he doesn't like it; he knows that being direct is dangerous, so he lashes out furtively and in unexpected ways.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you might like my book: http://www.amazon.com/Individual-Rights-Treatise-Human-Relations/dp/0984587004/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278694389&sr=8-1

Shayne

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Don't take what I'm saying the wrong way -- I generally like civilization. I'm not an anarchist who wants to tear it all down. But we don't improve things by ignoring their basic nature. And the fact is, key to the basic nature of our modern governments is that they are engaged in a system of totalitarianism. The only escape route is for more people to become disabused of their Stockholm Syndrome, and to be reacquainted with reason and with their natural rights.

Shayne

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Some comments in the thread and seeing the Stephen Pinker video, made me realise I hadn't made myself clear.

I think Pinker is very right, and he is worth watching, but I basically 'knew' all that.

My point was definitely not that the world has become more brutally murderous; I took the improvements in general life and civilisation to be self-evident.

I admit to some subjectivity in saying no more than this: that people - in general - have lost a measure of honesty and candidness, reflected in human relations I observe.

I've travelled to Europe, and other parts of Africa, and still observe a commonality, so I don't think this is a locational thing. (I'm also an untypical traveller in that I like to blend in, and get to engage people and learn how they think if I can. I'm far more likely to be in the backstreets than in the tourist spots. I recall Adam saying similar about his travels.)

Tony

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Some comments in the thread and seeing the Stephen Pinker video, made me realise I hadn't made myself clear.

I think Pinker is very right, and he is worth watching, but I basically 'knew' all that.

My point was definitely not that the world has become more brutally murderous; I took the improvements in general life and civilisation to be self-evident.

Yes, the engineers/creators have done a brilliant job improving human life, and we can be grateful for 1st amendment rights, but the fact is that the politicians are also taking advantage of the technological innovations in order the thrust their coercive agendas ever more deeply into society.

Shayne

Don't mind the dead dogs and terrorized children from SWAT raids, violence in society is decreasing!

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Shayne,

I have no doubt I'd like it. The reviews seem to show it to be original in some aspects, and familiar in others. I have plenty to learn in that area, but consensualism I am convinced of.

I have had unspoken agreement with you before, btw, - Patriotism being one that stands out.

Interesting, the "interference" you invoke in your book concerning rights. Just yesterday I deliberated on choosing the word, in another context, in an argument on another forum.

I eventually wrote "authoritarianism interferes with volition and the independent mind".

Serendipitous.

Tony

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You're caged too Michael. You've just learned to like your cage, evidently.

Shayne,

This taunt is a very typical statement of someone who thinks only in class warfare terms (i.e., dividing humanity into oppressors and victims as the fundamental characteristic of human nature). There is another way of thinking that falls totally outside your false dichotomy and I invite you to consider it, but I don't imagine you will. This isn't because of you per se, but because of my other experiences with this kind of thinking (Islamist versus Jew, Rand insider versus libertarian, environmentalist versus anti-global warming folk, and so on).

According to this mindset, there is only one set of rules for all of human nature and "they" (the oppressors) are the ones who are spoiling it all for everyone else. Life would be good if not for "them." If you don't believe this, then you have become part of "them," you are a sell-out and are now part of the problem. But once we get rid of "them," the world will be all right. Milk and honey will flow from the stars.

The fact is, in reality victims and oppressors do exist, but only as part of the story. To class warfare folks, though, their particular dichotomy is the whole story.

I prefer reality.

To address your personal remark, It's inaccurate. From what I have observed, I have done a lot more freedom-wise than most people have--basically I have done what I have wanted (and I am talking about actually living it, not just preaching it)--on all sides of the law. I have rarely asked for permission and I have weighed my options according to risk analysis. Your "oppressors" have delayed me at times, but they have never stopped me.

I have rarely felt caged, and never considered myself as such, although I have been aware when other people have thought differently. A recurring pattern in my life has been that people who thought I was caged and they were the gate-keepers have gotten really pissed when they discovered that their cage didn't hold me--hell, it wasn't even an inconvenience--when it was time for me to move on and do something else I wanted to do.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't need a social revolution to pursue my values. Not in a place like here in the USA. Not in Brazil. Maybe if I were a Jew in Auschwitz during WWII, now, that would be a problem...

I mostly obey the law, but not always. There is one thing I don't do, though. I don't pick macho fights with armed gangs. But that doesn't mean I'm caged by them, or blind to my cage, or a sell-out, or yada yada yada.

Between oppressor and victim, I am neither. If you are totally committed to that dichotomy way of thinking, I am going to say something weird: I exist. My very being doesn't fall within your dichotomy. Maybe you perceive that I do (which is why I'm not sure you will understand me), but existentially, I've lived far too much and done far too much to know better. I just don't buy into that way of thinking, so I don't consider it except for risk analysis when I want something.

I think there are a lot of people like me, too. I see many all around me.

Michael

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You're caged too Michael. You've just learned to like your cage, evidently.

Shayne,

This taunt is a very typical statement of someone who thinks only in class warfare terms

You're always getting it wrong when you guess at my premises. The only sense I think this is true generally is in the sense that a man can be at war with himself due to conflicting premises.

It is a simple fact that in the past ~100 years man has lost the liberty to escape from man into the frontier. We're all caged now, by governments uninformed of natural rights.

Do I think you're suffering from some kind of Stockholm Syndrome that makes you loath to recognize this basic truth? Perhaps. On the other hand, it could simply be that your ambitions are such that you have never run afoul of the oppression, and you are simply insensitive to the fact that others ambitions have. (In this connection, part of the apathy of people in general stems from their general lack of ambition -- they don't want full exercise of their rights, so they don't miss them).

Shayne

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You're caged too Michael. You've just learned to like your cage, evidently.

Shayne,

This taunt is a very typical statement of someone who thinks only in class warfare terms

You're always getting it wrong when you guess at my premises. The only sense I think this is true generally is in the sense that a man can be at war with himself due to conflicting premises.

It is a simple fact that in the past ~100 years man has lost the liberty to escape from man into the frontier. We're all caged now, by governments uninformed of natural rights.

Do I think you're suffering from some kind of Stockholm Syndrome that makes you loath to recognize this basic truth? Perhaps. On the other hand, it could simply be that your ambitions are such that you have never run afoul of the oppression, and you are simply insensitive to the fact that others ambitions have. (In this connection, part of the apathy of people in general stems from their general lack of ambition -- they don't want full exercise of their rights, so they don't miss them).

Shayne

What happens when on encloses himself in a bubble of Indifference and cares not a whit for has neighbor. He may as well be alone in a cave or a forest. When people perish and none lift a hand to help the separateness of alienation is upon the land.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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[What happens when on encloses himself in a bubble of Indifference and cares not a whit for has neighbor. He may as well be alone in a cave or a forest. When people perish and none lift a hand to help the separateness of alienation is upon the land.

Ba'al Chatzaf/quote]

The first thing that happens is that it gets even more difficult to procure good food delivery orders. You screw that up, you're pretty much fucked.

rde

I Don't Wait For The Dominos Guy<tm> Any Mo' No Mo' No Mo' . . .

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What happens when on encloses himself in a bubble of Indifference and cares not a whit for has neighbor. He may as well be alone in a cave or a forest. When people perish and none lift a hand to help the separateness of alienation is upon the land.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Well, this misses the point, which is that one ought to be able to go off by oneself, or with as many other like-minded people as also desire it, just like human beings could do ever since they existed. But just in the past ~100 years, that's illegal, and a very ominous thing for the human race as well.

Shayne

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Well, this misses the point, which is that one ought to be able to go off by oneself, or with as many other like-minded people as also desire it, just like human beings could do ever since they existed. But just in the past ~100 years, that's illegal, and a very ominous thing for the human race as well.

Shayne

No law against indifference. The way to fight against enforced association is detachment and indifference. See nothing, hear nothing. Do nothing. That will bring this stinking system down faster than anything else I can think of.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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... I empathize (where's Xray?)

Right here, Tony. Just mention empathy and Xray will show up like the conditioned Pavlovian dog hearing the bell ring, right? :D ;)

But kidding aside: Have you noticed what Steven Pinker mentions in the video MSK posted in # 43:

He lists the Golden Rule and empathy among the things crucial for the declining of violence.

You and I have had many exchanges on this, e. g. in posts # 31 - # 31 here: http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=10836&st=20&p=138392entry138392

It makes me happy to see confirmed by such a distinguished expert what I have been trying to put into practice in all those years both in private and in my work.

Edited by Xray

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I saw an interesting TED talk by Steven Pinker last night, "Steven Pinker on the myth of violence." It is from 2007, but it is just as valid for today since the historical brush-strokes are very broad.

<link posted in # 43>

This almost seems counter-intuitive in light of the constant fear-mongering we get in the media, but facts are facts.

I was especially impressed by Pinker's observation that human violence has had a steep decline starting with the Enlightenment.

In short, reason rocks. It's gradually making the human race better whether certain individuals want to be or not.

Thanks for linking to this talk, Michael.

Here is a link to the transcript: http://www.kranti.org/component/k2/item/23-steven-pinker-on-the-myth-of-violence.html

The points Pinker raises are of such crucial importance that going through the written text in detail could provide an interesting discussion here.

When you think about the Golden Rule Pinker mentions, it is a very rational rule actually.

Interesting also what Pinker says about zones of anarchy, pointing out that violence tends to abound there.

S.Pinker: "Also supporting it is the fact that we today see eruptions of violence in zones of anarchy: in failed states, collapsed empires, frontier regions, mafias, street gangs and so on."

http://www.kranti.org/component/k2/item/23-steven-pinker-on-the-myth-of-violence.html

Pinker about Thomas Hobbes:

S. Pinker: Well, why has violence declined? No one really knows, but I have read four explanations, all of which, I think, have some grain of plausibility. The first is: maybe Thomas Hobbes got it right. He was the one who said that life in a state of nature was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Not because, he argued, humans have some primordial thirst for blood, or aggressive instinct or territorial imperative, but because of the logic of anarchy. In a state of anarchy there's a constant temptation to invade your neighbors preemptively, before they invade you.

http://www.kranti.org/component/k2/item/23-steven-pinker-on-the-myth-of-violence.html

Edited by Xray

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The problem I have with this video is that encourages the mindset of a society of perpetual slaves,

It encourages nothing of the sort. It is a scientific analysis of a phenomenon.

I guess what really bothers you is this statement by Pinker:

S. Pinker:

"[Eisner] argued that the timing of the decline of homicide in Europe coincided with the rise of centralized states." http://www.kranti.org/component/k2/item/23-steven-pinker-on-the-myth-of-violence.html"

whereas a more healthy mindset would be to observe the hidden gun, try to alert others, and peacefully change society such that there is no more hidden gun and no more rape.

And how precisely do you proceed in 'peacefully changing' society? So you observe the hidden gun, alert others and then do what?

Edited by Xray

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Anarcho-capitalism doesn't eschew governance like classic anarchism. I don't think anarcho-capitalism is really possible, which is another matter.

--Brant

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The problem I have with this video is that encourages the mindset of a society of perpetual slaves,

It encourages nothing of the sort. It is a scientific analysis of a phenomenon.

It's pseudo-scientific, smuggling in unwarranted premises and conclusions. But would expect you to miss that kind of thing.

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

And how precisely do you proceed in 'peacefully changing' society? So you observe the hidden gun, alert others and then do what?

When enough people know what their natural rights are and how they are being violated, they'll figure the rest out.

Shayne

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It's pseudo-scientific, smuggling in unwarranted premises and conclusions. But would expect you to miss that kind of thing.

Sentence 1.: Making a fair enough point.

Sentence 2: Another textbook example of unnecessary snark.

Again, I ask you: Explain the purpose for (in this case, sentence no. 2) that. Get you off?

It's tempting, Shayne, I do know. It is about as tempting as me saying something about how attractive and natural this topic thread could be for someone like, um . . .hmmm. . .

. . .you.

rde

There He Goes, Again.

Edited by Rich Engle

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It's pseudo-scientific, smuggling in unwarranted premises and conclusions. But would expect you to miss that kind of thing.

Well, Pinker IS is a scientist. A very renowned one.

But feel free to point out the alleged "unwarranted premises and conclusions" you think he "smuggled in".

And how precisely do you proceed in 'peacefully changing' society? So you observe the hidden gun, alert others and then do what?

When enough people know what their natural rights are and how they are being violated, they'll figure the rest out.

Question evaded. I expected you would evade.

It is always fascinating to observe how fast certain floating abstractions burst like bubbles when subjected to some little test runs with concrete examples.

Edited by Xray

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Question evaded. I expected you would evade.

It is always fascinating to observe how fast certain floating abstractions burst like bubbles when subjected to some little test runs with concrete examples.

It's not called a "floating abstraction"; it's called "going over your head, yet again."

It's actually a fairly obvious point. People are ignorant about natural rights, and their ignorance causes them both to violate and to put up with violations of their rights. If you want more detail than that, read my book. (But that'll probably go over your head too...).

Shayne

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foods28.gif

Yep, this could be a good un!

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