Why So Negative (Rights)?


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"Wolf," are you capable of exercising enough self-control to have a conversation without reminding everyone of how important and brilliant you think you are? Can you just limit yourself to addressing the idea at hand, and not restoring to pathetically boasting that, unlike anyone in the history of existence, "'Wolf DeVoon' argued for the rule of law!!!"?

J

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Yes, William, I do it too. I do try to avoid dumping something like "depravity" on people. My objection actually trivialized the matter and we can go on. I hate smears on wheels like "sales is a lying profession." These remarks can be quite innocent out of the box. I really don't care if they are or aren't. I don't define or explain myself as a moralizer. That was Ayn Rand's big and unfortunate bag. It was part and parcel of her top-downerism and using morality as a weapon like "Objectivism will destroy . . . ." That was not a warning, BTW, that was put on the goods she was selling.

--Brant

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Call it what it is, the argument is one about sacrifice and self-sacrifice. Which turns on being able to conceptualize what it 'means' in principle and reality, for one to be at someone else's bidding - and conversely - what it 'means' in his premises for a person to righteously claim someone else's service as his due.

We need to be able to conceptually project the principle forwards: The one occasion now and again as it arises, of coming with considerate fellowship - or, professionalism - to some needful individual's assistance with one's skill or money, is one thing - HAVING to repeat it ALL the time for ALL other people, from their presumption on your service, in part from your guilt that you have some skill and money in the first place, and always by way of coercion placed on you by government - is another thing altogether - and is unconscionable.

Not seeing the matter conceptually is just skating on the surface, a frozen abstraction in one time and one scenario. It cuts off deducing the only forseeable future for the individual and a society of individuals, which will be that incrementally but with certainty one becomes a sacrificial animal and the majority becomes his sacrificer. If anyone really 'cares' about the life of humans and a society, consider the increasing psychological damage it does to the mind of an individual, which cannot act independently in freedom and choice, but always with the pressing burden of any and all other people While not forgetting the mind of the one who gives up his self (initiative, pride, etc.) in his dependence on the former's mind. This society can't flourish.

A rationally-principled politician won't be expected to explain all that, he is not a moral teacher, but he can and has to ask people:

At who's cost? By what right do you expect sacrifice? With what long term results?

Those who know what he means will respond and vote for him - some few others will slowly understand (be persuaded) - but he is never going to convince others (today, the majority) who don't want to know.

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"Wolf," are you capable of exercising enough self-control to have a conversation without reminding everyone of how important and brilliant you think you are? Can you just limit yourself to addressing the idea at hand, and not restoring to pathetically boasting that, unlike anyone in the history of existence, "'Wolf DeVoon' argued for the rule of law!!!"?

In the context of anarcho-capitalism, I was the first and only in history, as far as I know. Everyone else argued for competitive PDAs, voluntary arbitration, reputation networks, legislative cantons, or Hanseatic League "law merchant."

Excuse me, please, I'll be back later.

-----

You have to read quite a bit of constitutional law (cases, law journals, history of equity and common law) to appreciate how little was achieved by our forefathers. The sovereignty of kings was displaced by democracy, but the state remained sovereign. Whether you agree with me or not, I am opposed to legal fictions. There is no natural human right to form a government based on a show of hands.

There is a natural right to defend yourself, to care for your children, to advance in life if you can.

Legal rights presuppose the existence of lawyers and a theory of their purpose, which is to counsel and represent others in law courts. If the state creates law courts, everything depends on the will of the state or general consent, rather than an explicit theory of justice in defense of liberty.

Rand Paul's problem is libertarianism, not whether he could have been more eloquent or creative in speaking of it. I'm not particularly eloquent or creative. But a U.S. Senator cannot argue against government without looking like an idiot.

Miss Rand, as always, had the right idea -- "It's earlier than we think."

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"Wolf," are you capable of exercising enough self-control to have a conversation without reminding everyone of how important and brilliant you think you are? Can you just limit yourself to addressing the idea at hand, and not restoring to pathetically boasting that, unlike anyone in the history of existence, "'Wolf DeVoon' argued for the rule of law!!!"?

In the context of anarcho-capitalism, I was the first and only in history, as far as I know. Everyone else argued for competitive PDAs, voluntary arbitration, reputation networks, legislative cantons, or Hanseatic League "law merchant."

Excuse me, please, I'll be back later.

So, then, the answers to my questions are "no" and "no."

J

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"Wolf," are you capable of exercising enough self-control to have a conversation without reminding everyone of how important and brilliant you think you are? Can you just limit yourself to addressing the idea at hand, and not restoring to pathetically boasting that, unlike anyone in the history of existence, "'Wolf DeVoon' argued for the rule of law!!!"?

In the context of anarcho-capitalism, I was the first and only in history, as far as I know. Everyone else argued for competitive PDAs, voluntary arbitration, reputation networks, legislative cantons, or Hanseatic League "law merchant."

Excuse me, please, I'll be back later.

-----

You have to read quite a bit of constitutional law (cases, law journals, history of equity and common law) to appreciate how little was achieved by our forefathers. The sovereignty of kings was displaced by democracy, but the state remained sovereign. Whether you agree with me or not, I am opposed to legal fictions. There is no natural human right to form a government based on a show of hands.

There is a natural right to defend yourself, to care for your children, to advance in life if you can.

Legal rights presuppose the existence of lawyers and a theory of their purpose, which is to counsel and represent others in law courts. If the state creates law courts, everything depends on the will of the state or general consent, rather than an explicit theory of justice in defense of liberty.

Rand Paul's problem is libertarianism, not whether he could have been more eloquent or creative in speaking of it. I'm not particularly eloquent or creative. But a U.S. Senator cannot argue against government without looking like an idiot.

Miss Rand, as always, had the right idea -- "It's earlier than we think."

There is a natural right to try to form a government "based on a show of hands." Note the nuanced difference between what I'm saying and what you said. Your statement implies success is necessary and illegitimate if achieved therefore not a "right." Rights have absolutely nothing to do with achievement except for the attempt and that the attempt not be violating of someone else's rights.

You cannot displace the state with any theory. One is force and the other is words. If "nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come," it only means displacement of one state by another. "Anarcho-capitalism" is an un-come-able idea. A spider web trying to catch an elephant.

Trying to find a perfect system without studying the important current and historical data respecting the creation and evolution of the state is classical top-down utopianism such as communist withering away of the state utopianism, which became moral and practical justification for continuous murderous activity up to and including massive genocides "accelerating history" based on the supposed existence of the moldability of man if you start early enough with the kids (so get rid of the adults [Cambodian and other genocides]).

The state as such is a naturally occurring human artifact starting with the masculine head of the family. It's force--always has been and always will be. The only big bust up of state monopoly of force socially applied was Christianity, which applied human moral equivalence respecting God to everyone. From that we got separation of church and state in this country, but equality under the law was left with the state. The state hasn't gone anywhere, but religion lost a lot of moral force along with loss of political force. ("How many divisions does the Pope have?") Culturally this is a Christian country gone secular. Atheism, being purely a negative concept, cannot displace anything of significance inside the heads of the little thinking, great un-washed. Pantheism will do that. Pantheism to me is reality and God perfect congruence and reality is to be investigated, not worshipped, and so much for Jesus. Then the irrational will have to get rational and self-responsible. Hoi polloi has always had enough brainpower for this. They will have to grow up and use it. This will be the next thousand years of human history.

I can't get the impression from your writings so far that you ever really studied and considered Lockean natural rights theory before you ignited your rockets and blasted off.

--Brant

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Jonathan wrote, “All Objectivist sites other than OL have died.”

Someone said the site Rebirth of Reason had died. I think I looked at it twice. Perhaps it is just having a lull in readership. Has the owner said why it died, if it has? Aren’t there still Binswanger’s site and others still active? I don’t feel like researching them, since I was never welcomed there. Harry would not even email me back, nor would Diana Hsieh.

If a site is no longer moderated or maintained, does that mean they are now in the Dark Web? I am reading a book that states that there is a Dark Web, and a Deep Web. The dark web according to the author contains defunct sites, while the Deep Web may contain still active, illegal activities and if you do not know the exact designation for that site you cannot search for it. Drugs. Organized crime. Guns. Stolen goods. Many immoral things, but the Deep Web also exists for purposes for which a person wishes to remain anonymous, like private detectives. I find it hard to believe the NSA, law enforcement or even a young, genius hacker could not locate those sites, and sell the locations to neophytes.

Thanks for Jonathan for giving my goofy and a few serious, questions a try. Is consciousness an action? Are mental processes physical processes, not of the muscles, but of matter and energy? I think the answer is yes. But consciousness also has the sensation of self-awareness. This feeling may be built of matter and electrons but it is IN EXISTENCE too.

If you put pictures or recordings on your cell phone, does it get heavier? I am talking about electrons and formed patterns, so the phone must get heavier but by a relatively tiny amount.

We will know by Friday if we will be hit by a hurricane but we also be affected by what is called a Northeaster, which is a rain and wind storm. If the two combine it might be like another Sandy.
Peter

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I'd suggest that you try it yourself. You know what you don't like about Rand Paul's arguments, and you're even critical of the simplified example of the Ransberger Pivot which was given in the link that I posted. Rightfully so. But how would you do it? How would you address the tactics of the left, and counter them in a way that would be more likely to educate and convince the people who you think aren't being reached by Paul?

I don't know the answer, but I've done a good amount of theorizing and can make suggestions. The only way to know for sure is to experiment.

I do stand up comedy so this is something I focus on a lot... I want to be able to talk about things that other people can't because they don't know how to avoid offending people.

Offending people is like cutting the wrong wire when diffusing a bomb: you have to cut some wires to do the job, but you have to be very careful. That applies to politics just as much as comedy. Maybe it doesn't always blow up in your face, but it certainly takes a chunk of your momentum away.

I think being able to articulate the desired outcome of your political system in positive terms is probably important. People don't really know what libertarians want, they just know what they don't want. They assume they want kids working in coal mines and people being shot for stepping on someone else's property... Why not make it known that the goals of libertarians are actually a lot more appealing and realistic than socialist alternatives?

Instead of parroting the values of the socialist, why not give them a better option?

Karl Popper's critical rationalism could inspire a persuasion tactic. Perhaps more effectively criticizing bad ideas in a simple and clear way is what is lacking.

A lot of the criticisms of socialism are either too soft or too metaphorical and absurd. Rand's literal criticism in the last video I posted was that people might have legal issues when they're doing landscaping in their backyard... That doesn't hit hard enough at all... Then when he goes for something with more heat it's a wild characterization of his opponents. So he got off a bunt, then a big swing and a miss.

I suppose you can't rely too heavily on criticism, though, as there are enough real examples of relatively successful socialist programs. Of course those programs are either riding the coat-tails of capitalist policies, or they only look good because there is not a capitalist example to compare to, or a bit of both.

And one BIG difference between the capitalist and socialist debaters is the willingness to compromise. The socialist will say, "Well, if that works better maybe we could try that." Where the capitalist won't budge because "principles". The problem with coming off as stubborn is it takes away your credibility as being objective. It makes you seem like you'll follow your principles even if it leads to negative results.

Anyway, there's a few ideas. I'm not saying I am smart enough to figure this out, but I do think it is something that should be explored for not just political reasons, but to promote the spreading of good ideas in general.

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There were a couple of moments where I thought Rand Paul connected well. One was where he stated that of course he would see at the hospital any patient brought to him. This snapped back into his disagreement with Sanders. It illustrated something besides the Hippocratic Oath, and could be perceived by socialist onlookers and hearing participants as an acknowledgement by Paul that access to some level of medical attention, especially in an emergency, was a given, a moral ground floor. Not a right but a natural human ethic needing no legislation or compulsion.

Yes that was good, but also that it doesn't need legislation or compulsion does not mean that legislation or compulsion would necessarily be a bad thing. If it ain't broke don't fix it, but unfortunately most people would probably feel "safer" with the legislation and compulsion.

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Interesting issue of Popper's critical rationalism and Ayn see this:


I think being able to articulate the desired outcome of your political system in positive terms is probably important. People don't really know what libertarians want, they just know what they don't want. They assume they want kids working in coal mines and people being shot for stepping on someone else's property... Why not make it known that the goals of libertarians are actually a lot more appealing and realistic than socialist alternatives?

Instead of parroting the values of the socialist, why not give them a better option?

Karl Popper's critical rationalism could inspire a persuasion tactic. Perhaps more effectively criticizing bad ideas in a simple and clear way is what is lacking.


Here is Nicholas Dykes on Popper's "critical rationalism" and his comparisons to Ayn and Popper that I found clarifying to me:

One famous instance cited by Popper was the discovery of deuterium in water, or ‘heavy' water: "Prior to this discovery, nothing more certain and more settled could be imagined in the field ~f chemistry than our knowledge of water. ... This historical incident is typical ... we cannot foresee which parts of our scientific knowledge may come to grief one day" (OSE2 374-5).

There is much truth in that. But "come to grief' overstates the case. And that is where Popper went wrong: he focused on disconfirmation to the exclusion of everything else. He tried to elevate an important but isolated premise to the status of a philosophical system. Critical Rationalism is not so much a replacement for induction, as an exaggerated focus on the negative element of induction. The Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand

was referred to earlier. Although as unacademic as Popper was academic, Rand did share with him a number of philosophic premises; such as metaphysical realism, an opposition to idealism (including conceptual realism) and rejection of determinism and subjectivism.Indeed Wallace Matson has suggested that Rand and Popper had "much in common."

His view has been partially endorsed by Robert Hollinger, who has written of "parallels" between the two thinkers.45 This paper will therefore conclude by conjecturing that when Popper said "in science there is no 'knowledge'. . . in the sense which implies finality" (OSE2 12) what he may have been after was Rand's insight that concepts are openendedad6

For if Rand had been confronted with Einstein's rewrite of Newton; or a black swan where there had only been white ones; or the discovery of a new kind of water; she would not have said, as Popper did, that our previous knowledge had been what we are talking about."

Nice paper... http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/24/rp_24_1.pdf

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I suppose you can't rely too heavily on criticism, though, as there are enough real examples of relatively successful socialist programs. Of course those programs are either riding the coat-tails of capitalist policies, or they only look good because there is not a capitalist example to compare to, or a bit of both.

And one BIG difference between the capitalist and socialist debaters is the willingness to compromise. The socialist will say, "Well, if that works better maybe we could try that." Where the capitalist won't budge because "principles". The problem with coming off as stubborn is it takes away your credibility as being objective. It makes you seem like you'll follow your principles even if it leads to negative results.

I agree with the "riding the coat-tails" bit. What else though can socialists have, but a "willingness to compromise"? They HAVE to compromise for their system to at all survive. Capitalists have indeed budged, and compromised, and that circles back to the nub of the problem.

A little casual there, Calvin, with "principles". Does one throw away principles when they interfere with one's "credibility" - or are perceived by listeners as stubborn and not being utilitarian enough? That's lack of integrity, which will get one, or a politico, even less credibility, deservedly.

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"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."

-Ayn Rand

Mugger: "Give me your wallet".

Calvin: "No"

Mugger: "Let's compromise, give me your wallet and I'll give you bus fare so you can get home"

Calvin: "Okay! That's fair, we both give something..."

Socialist version of the trader principle. And being "reasonable".

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Sometimes comments stare back at me and I think, drydock, delete or post. This is one that won the coin toss. Too long, too diffuse, too acerbic. I find agreement with Jonathan, Wolf, Brant, Calvin, Tony and Mike. I impersonate Rand Paul and a would-be mugger.

Call it what it is, the argument is one about sacrifice and self-sacrifice. Which turns on being able to conceptualize what it 'means' in principle and reality, for one to be at someone else's bidding - and conversely - what it 'means' in his premises for a person to righteously claim someone else's service as his due.

[...]

Those who know what he means will respond and vote for him - some few others will slowly understand (be persuaded) - but he is never going to convince others (today, the majority) who don't want to know.


I am filling in the blanks here, but may be off in my estimation of your referents, Tony. I think your remarks remain in the frame of Rand Paul's comments at the Congressional hearing. So "the argument" is Paul's and the essence of his argument is that socialized medicine is putting doctors under slave-like conditions -- unable to escape the servitude.

Now, Calvin's observation was that Paul's remarks made a near-zero impression on the room, and thus did not advance Paul's goals. The analogy dropped like a stone and seemed bald and bizarre to the minds of the interlocutors.

It isn't clear to me, Tony, that you accept that there may be a better communicative strategy, a better way forward, a better way to manage the confrontation between principles. One one side is a commonplace adherence to a 'right' that is and should be no such thing. The 'right' to access medical care confronts supervening rights to independence, and of course also confronts the principles of laissez-faire. It seems as if you might double-down on Rand Paul's analogy, instead of entertaining alternative persuasive tactics. The persuasion, as you assert, is already accomplished within Paul's mind. And the persuasion is accomplished within Calvin's mind, and your mind, and Mike's mind and so on.

So, when you end up pointing out that Rand Paul's persuasive abilities will be judged by the voters, it stalls discussion of the points Calvin raises: are there no better ways forward to the goal? Moreover, when you assert that Paul "is never going to convince others (today, the majority) who don't want to know," you have given up the game entirely to Them. Further, to assign to Them a permanent state of willful ignorance, implies a fatalism, a surrender. If the majority is bamboozled into socialized medicine (via Medicare, Medicaid, Massachusetts-style universal coverage mandate, and now the strictures of the Affordable Care Act ...), then it seems you have given up on any type of counter-movement. It is doomed to fail. No 'new' tactics could possibly bear fruit, and Calvin is tilting at windmills.

Is that the impression you meant to leave?

Can you just limit yourself to addressing the idea at hand, and not restoring to pathetically boasting that, unlike anyone in the history of existence, "'Wolf DeVoon' argued for the rule of law!!!"?


Legal rights presuppose the existence of lawyers and a theory of their purpose, which is to counsel and represent others in law courts. If the state creates law courts, everything depends on the will of the state or general consent, rather than an explicit theory of justice in defense of liberty.

Trying to find a perfect system without studying the important current and historical data respecting the creation and evolution of the state is classical top-down utopianism [...]


I am still continuing mental excavations of the Costa Rica scam and the Chile scam. What allowed each scam to go on was an outlaw mentality and a code of omerta. Ordinary checks and balances were not in play. Funds and/or properties were seized, control of funds was obscured. Nobody thought to get a locally-intelligent bilingual lawyer on board at any time. Nobody insisted on oversight or internal regulation.

Because the bias was against any occlusions and fetters of 'State' control, folks let down their usual defenses against theft and fraud. They wished to return to nature, via individualistic ethics and no supervening authority at all. No basic business plan. No 'certified' information on any basics whatsoever. It was a wool farm for the scammers.

I wish upon a star that Wolf would have been a legal eagle with an inquisitive, hungry mind, a lawyer who had read mightily on offshore scamming and scheming, who looked cynically for the 'too good to be true' fine print, who helped unveil the actual real-world human operations.

In a way I think 'governance' gets conflated with 'Government' and the Government is that in 1984. Libertarian Utopia would be offered as a place without Government, but with nothing in place for governance. Self-government comes from each individual soul, I figure, it's in our genes and in our interests to govern ourselves with an iron fist, to administrate our urges to use violence or intimidation, to steal, cheat and lie.

What governs our relationship with possible thieves, cheats and liars? What level of jurisdiction do we agree will be arbiter of contracts -- if someone fails the obligations?

Wolf's case is exquisite. As Jonathan points out with the poise and precision of a jackhammer, there is a gap betwixt lip and cup. There is a Wolf the premier legal mind, a drafter of constitutions. And there is the lack of a legal degree. The greatest legal mind in Libertania was not even aware which money hose was connected to which tank. The legal eagle of Laissez-Faire City met Mr Ponzi and said howdy-do. Mistakes were made. I never noticed. I rode with The King. I wrote a constitution.

I'd suggest that you try it yourself. You know what you don't like about Rand Paul's arguments, and you're even critical of the simplified example of the Ransberger Pivot which was given in the link that I posted. Rightfully so. But how would you do it? How would you address the tactics of the left, and counter them in a way that would be more likely to educate and convince the people who you think aren't being reached by Paul?


A lot of the criticisms of socialism are either too soft or too metaphorical and absurd. Rand's literal criticism in the last video I posted was that people might have legal issues when they're doing landscaping in their backyard... That doesn't hit hard enough at all... Then when he goes for something with more heat it's a wild characterization of his opponents. So he got off a bunt, then a big swing and a miss.

I suppose you can't rely too heavily on criticism, though, as there are enough real examples of relatively successful socialist programs. Of course those programs are either riding the coat-tails of capitalist policies, or they only look good because there is not a capitalist example to compare to, or a bit of both.


Rand Paul said to the socialist doctors, "It means you believe in slavery." If you believe you have a right to someone's services, you have a right to plumbing. You have a right to water. You have a right to food. You're saying you believe in slavery. Taking and extracting from another person. Our founding documents were clear. You have a right to pursue happiness, but there is no guarantee. Implied threat of force. You have a right to beat down my door with the police. You believe in the use of force to conscript someone to do your bidding. Oh, and hello, thanks for coming to the committee meeting, doctors.

Then on the Maher show he is asked about his feelings about the China-US carbon-cap accord and more broadly his feelings about climate change. Maher reminds Paul that he would gain Independent votes if he were more realistic about its effects. Paul tells him he'll give him the straight poop on the issues.

All he asks for is a balanced solution. Account for jobs and jobs lost. He's not against regulation. But he doesn't want to shut down all forms of energy and lose thousands of jobs. As we grow, maybe cleaner energy will supplant less-clean energy, Shutting down one form of energy is not a good idea.

Maher probes again after saying sounds good so far. He says that on the jobs front, Paul may be missing something, that new forms of energy create jobs. The audience applauds Maher. Here comes Paul's big chance to seal the deal.

He gives an example of 'where we can work together on it.' Let's deregulate alternative fuels. He has a bill for the Senate. Get government out of the way of converting vehicles to lower-carbon fuels. Get the government outta there. We can find a middle-ground on this.

But ...

Really, it gets so far out there and it does almost get there with a religiosity that Paul doesn't think we need to have, and if we depict this --

Maher cuts him off. Now you're losing me ...

Paul says yeahbut; I want to be honest with you. When we hear the Statue of Liberty is drowning ...

Maher says yeahbut drowning in the future and look south to Florida. Lots of voters for your presidential run, ya know. Look, they are worried about being under water in the near future and planning for coming effects already. You should think about those voters, dude.

Paul is not yet finished sealing the deal. He says, ya know, there's a lot of middle ground on this. He likes protecting rivers from pollution and Clean Water Act stuff. But there's a but coming up.

But what's happened over the last forty years is they've defined dirt. I'm not kidding you. Clean dirt is now defined as a pollutant and my back yard is now a navigable river. Some of us see that as oppressive and they see this is getting in our back yard and being a bully and putting people in jail for putting clean dirt to raise the elevation of the land, when I want 'em to protect the Everglades but I don't want 'em in my back yard turning the leaves over and turning them over and saying hey there's some black on the bottom of the leaves therefore your back yard is a wetland and we are gonna tell you what you can and can't do.

Maher: All right. I don't think that's the main part of this issue, but I will concede that point, and let's move on to areas where you and I have always been in agreement.

-- and engaged discussants know what followed that. Discussion of wars and the drug wars and lots of applause.

I got the impression that a couple of Kentucky acres came under some environmental edict that prevented some earth-moving. That is probably a real fucking piss-off down there, whether or not it has anything to do with climate change.

Those Kentucky acres deemed rivers or wetlands has really pissed Paul off, so he grabbed an example that had emotional punch for him.

There were a couple of moments where I thought Rand Paul connected well. One was where he stated that of course he would see at the hospital any patient brought to him. This snapped back into his disagreement with Sanders. It illustrated something besides the Hippocratic Oath, and could be perceived by socialist onlookers and hearing participants as an acknowledgement by Paul that access to some level of medical attention, especially in an emergency, was a given, a moral ground floor. Not a right but a natural human ethic needing no legislation or compulsion.


Yes that was good, but also that it doesn't need legislation or compulsion does not mean that legislation or compulsion would necessarily be a bad thing. If it ain't broke don't fix it, but unfortunately most people would probably feel "safer" with the legislation and compulsion.


That makes me think of Workers Compensation. It is in most jurisdictions a compelled institution, but a self-funded operation year to year. Every state and province has a similar if not exact version of the thing, and its tentacles are in almost every employer-employee relationship.

The gun was pulled out so many years ago. In some states and provinces the WC scheme predates every other 'socialized' benefit/adjudication/regulation regime. It is a fixture now, not a subject for revolution. The terrible present, as Tony alludes to, is one where the fixtures overwhelm a minority who prefer no such fixtures at all. I bet Rand Paul felt uncomfortable having to relate his feelings about climate change before the Maher audience. We did not get an answer, in any case. You have to look elsewhere for the straight poop.

I suppose you can't rely too heavily on criticism, though, as there are enough real examples of relatively successful socialist programs. Of course those programs are either riding the coat-tails of capitalist policies, or they only look good because there is not a capitalist example to compare to, or a bit of both.

And one BIG difference between the capitalist and socialist debaters is the willingness to compromise. The socialist will say, "Well, if that works better maybe we could try that." Where the capitalist won't budge because "principles". The problem with coming off as stubborn is it takes away your credibility as being objective. It makes you seem like you'll follow your principles even if it leads to negative results.


I agree with the "riding the coat-tails" bit. What else though can socialists have, but a "willingness to compromise"? They HAVE to compromise for their system to at all survive. Capitalists have indeed budged, and compromised, and that circles back to the nub of the problem.

A little casual there, Calvin, with "principles". Does one throw away principles when they interfere with one's "credibility" - or are perceived by listeners as stubborn and not being utilitarian enough? That's lack of integrity, which will get one, or a politico, even less credibility, deservedly.


In the context of Rand Paul's remarks in the two video excerpts, the argument to hand was botched. The principle was compulsion. How would you like it if you could not choose your own employer, when you in effect must work for only one, the government? What if all medical care in America came under a single payer body -- would you stand for that? Can we afford it? Does it fit with our national principles of freedom? I don't think so, and that is why the voters of Kentucky elected me to the Senate. I am defending a principle that no person be compelled to offer a service to another except through the strictures of a free market and contractual obligations.

Surely you can see the better kind of care that is available under free-enterprise medicine, its inventions, its progress, its cutting edge clinics and laboratories. They did not come from government direction. They came from individuals following their passions and dreams.

I give generously, year after year, to a private hospital for children. It accepts not one red cent of government funding, and it is the finest such hospital on earth. Isn't that what our children deserve, the best?

"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."
-Ayn Rand

Mugger: "Give me your wallet".
Calvin: "No"
Mugger: "Let's compromise, give me your wallet and I'll give you bus fare so you can get home"
Calvin: "Okay! That's fair, we both give something..."

Socialist version of the trader principle. And being "reasonable".


Mugger: "Give me your wallet. I have a gun."
Calvin: "Fuck. I have six toonies. Jeesuz. Are you sure? Let me see the gun first. I need lunch and streetcar money and parking."
Mugger: "Don't make me show you the gun."
Calvin: "Show me the fucking gun. You have already uttered threats and assaulted me. Show me the gun or I'll knock you down and call the cops."
Mugger: "Okay. Forget it."
Calvin: "Fuck you forget it. You fucking jerk. You scared the shit out of me. Don't fucking move."
Passerby: "I already phoned the cops. Do you want me to sit on him for a while?"
Calvin: "That'd be nice. Much appreciated. I gotta take a piss."
Passerby: "Yeah. I'll stay on him, go clean up. I saw everything. He probably has ten fucking wallets in his coat."

...
Calvin: "Where the fuck is my blue wallet? Jeesuz. I bet that helpful bystander lifted it and ran off with the mugger. Oh well, that was my lead coin decoy wallet. I hope they enjoy the nice explosion of blue dye and sparkles. Suckers."

Edited by william.scherk
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It isn't clear to me, Tony, that you accept that there may be a better communicative strategy, a better way forward, a better way to manage the confrontation between principles.

Tony thinks that everyone acts like he does. Nothing gets through to him, so nothing will get through to others. Everyone's minds have been made up for once and for all, so the only thing left to do is to not sanction the enemies.

Can you just limit yourself to addressing the idea at hand, and not restoring to pathetically boasting that, unlike anyone in the history of existence, "'Wolf DeVoon' argued for the rule of law!!!"?

Legal rights presuppose the existence of lawyers and a theory of their purpose, which is to counsel and represent others in law courts. If the state creates law courts, everything depends on the will of the state or general consent, rather than an explicit theory of justice in defense of liberty.

What governs our relationship with possible thieves, cheats and liars? What level of jurisdiction do we agree will be arbiter of contracts -- if someone fails the obligations?

"Wolf's" answer is that "law courts" will decide, and, since thieving, cheating, and lying are considered to be mere trivialities under "Wolf's" "philosophy of law," and victims of such "trivial" violations are presumed not to be innocent and equal before the law, but to be "chumps" and "overfed burghers," I think the idea would be to disincentivize those attempting to seek justice against thieves, cheats and liars -- make it just a tiny bit too expensive for victims to legally pursue getting their due. "Wolf's" "philosophy of law" is only concerned with the big political con men, and not with the "clever" little third-rate con men whom "Wolf" admires.

As Jonathan points out with the poise and precision of a jackhammer...

Heh. I resemble that remark.

Please do let me know, though, if my invective ever reaches the height of Rand's. That's the ceiling that I always aim to fly under.

Mugger: "Give me your wallet. I have a gun."

Calvin: "Fuck. I have six toonies. Jeesuz. Are you sure? Let me see the gun first. I need lunch and streetcar money and parking."

Mugger: "Don't make me show you the gun."

Calvin: "Show me the fucking gun. You have already uttered threats and assaulted me. Show me the gun or I'll knock you down and call the cops."

Mugger: "Okay. Forget it."

Calvin: "Fuck you forget it. You fucking jerk. You scared the shit out of me. Don't fucking move."

Passerby: "I already phoned the cops. Do you want me to sit on him for a while?"

Calvin: "That'd be nice. Much appreciated. I gotta take a piss."

Passerby: "Yeah. I'll stay on him, go clean up. I saw everything. He probably has ten fucking wallets in his coat."

...

Calvin: "Where the fuck is my blue wallet? Jeesuz. I bet that helpful bystander lifted it and ran off with the mugger. Oh well, that was my lead coin decoy wallet. I hope they enjoy the nice explosion of blue dye and sparkles. Suckers."

Hahaha!

J

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William wrote: I am still continuing mental excavations of the Costa Rica scam and the Chile scam. What allowed each scam to go on was an outlaw mentality and a code of omerta. Ordinary checks and balances were not in play. Funds and/or properties were seized, control of funds was obscured. Nobody thought to get a locally-intelligent bilingual lawyer on board at any time. Nobody insisted on oversight or internal regulation.
end quote

Yet Wolf would do it, deja vu, all over again.

Abraham Lincoln wrote: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
end quote

Yet, experiments like Lazy Fair City supposedly empower the individual but strip all cohesive power from their lives because there is no government. So, if no one there had power did their characters improve? Were their lives without strife? Did they live together in peace and harmony? Is there anywhere in the current world that illustrates that people do not band together for self protection? Is there any time in history or anywhere in the current world illustrating that people DO NOT utilize their skills and resources to form privileged elites? Don’t humans always want an edge? Isn’t the ubiquitous lawyer always the first anarchist step towards supremacy? Has any experiment utilizing individualism without government ever succeeded?

Supposedly, without government, these brief experiments like Lazy Fair City will dissolve (or evolve) into “competing sets of rules?” Even in the fictional Galt’s Gulch under the benign rule of Midas Mulligan, the inhabitants could not wait to get back to the *real world.* No where currently, or in history except briefly (less than a decade) has any group of people wanted an AMORAL political program. No unequivocally rational anarchist territory has ever existed.

Historically human social units have evolved from families to clans, and then millions of times into empires, monarchies, or governments. Many times over the millennia these existing governments have dissolved leaving a state of free-range anarchism. However, that state of nature has never turned into Rational Anarchism. To the contrary, naturally occurring anarchism has always evolved from lawlessness into too much law, not to universal *natural rights.*

Philosophically compare two political ideals: Limited, Objectivist Government, and Rational Anarchism’s “lack of government.” Can a quest for both philosophical ideals have intermediate steps leading to the ideal? Could the intermediate steps be the same for both ideals?

Philosophically and historically, The United States Constitution is a first step and a major step on the road to an Objectivist Government. I suggest a new strategy for Rational Anarchism because it does not ever work. Constitutional government is also the intermediate step towards Rational Anarchism, but as Yogi Berra would caution, Rational Anarchism ain’t gunna happen. However, without an intermediate step, the Rational Anarchist’s theoretical premise and promise of universal *natural rights* is but a prayer. If the Philosophical Rational Anarchist cannot articulate one intermediate state, other than from fiction then his promise is shallow. So I suggest Wolf and other advocates of anarchism do the rational thing, and continue to interact peacefully with the Constitutional Government.
Peter

Notes: Doctor Leonard Peikoff writes in, “Objectivism the Philosophy of Ayn Rand”: If words have to stand for objects in reality, then the only referent of “anarchism” – the only possible political system it designates – is some variant of statism. This is why Objectivism dismisses as foolish the notion that republican government is a “middle of the road” between statism and anarchism. Statism is one extreme; individualism is the other. Anarchism is an unusually senseless form of statism; it is not an extreme of “freedom,” but the negation of the concept.
end quote

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Sometimes comments stare back at me and I think, drydock, delete or post. This is one that won the coin toss. Too long, too diffuse, too acerbic. I find agreement with Jonathan, Wolf, Brant, Calvin, Tony and Mike. I impersonate Rand Paul and a would-be mugger.

Call it what it is, the argument is one about sacrifice and self-sacrifice. Which turns on being able to conceptualize what it 'means' in principle and reality, for one to be at someone else's bidding - and conversely - what it 'means' in his premises for a person to righteously claim someone else's service as his due.

[...]

Those who know what he means will respond and vote for him - some few others will slowly understand (be persuaded) - but he is never going to convince others (today, the majority) who don't want to know.

I am filling in the blanks here, but may be off in my estimation of your referents, Tony. I think your remarks remain in the frame of Rand Paul's comments at the Congressional hearing. So "the argument" is Paul's and the essence of his argument is that socialized medicine is putting doctors under slave-like conditions -- unable to escape the servitude.

Now, Calvin's observation was that Paul's remarks made a near-zero impression on the room, and thus did not advance Paul's goals. The analogy dropped like a stone and seemed bald and bizarre to the minds of the interlocutors.

It isn't clear to me, Tony, that you accept that there may be a better communicative strategy, a better way forward, a better way to manage the confrontation between principles. One one side is a commonplace adherence to a 'right' that is and should be no such thing. The 'right' to access medical care confronts supervening rights to independence, and of course also confronts the principles of laissez-faire. It seems as if you might double-down on Rand Paul's analogy, instead of entertaining alternative persuasive tactics. The persuasion, as you assert, is already accomplished within Paul's mind. And the persuasion is accomplished within Calvin's mind, and your mind, and Mike's mind and so on.

So, when you end up pointing out that Rand Paul's persuasive abilities will be judged by the voters, it stalls discussion of the points Calvin raises: are there no better ways forward to the goal? Moreover, when you assert that Paul "is never going to convince others (today, the majority) who don't want to know," you have given up the game entirely to Them. Further, to assign to Them a permanent state of willful ignorance, implies a fatalism, a surrender. If the majority is bamboozled into socialized medicine (via Medicare, Medicaid, Massachusetts-style universal coverage mandate, and now the strictures of the Affordable Care Act ...), then it seems you have given up on any type of counter-movement. It is doomed to fail. No 'new' tactics could possibly bear fruit, and Calvin is tilting at windmills.

Is that the impression you meant to leave?

William, I am way off the chart when it comes to politicians 'persuading' people. I've never been able to look to politics and politicians for moral guidance. While I acknowledge the sometime necessity of great leaders, it all looks cart before the horse.

I think a politician steps forward and is prodded forward by a support base, to whom he owes his allegiance. Then, after he comes to power, he can and wil use his influence to tackle practical issues, still in keeping with his mandate.

There's ultimate causation here which is nearly always overlooked in arguments of Govt.-this, Govt.-that.

As I see it simplistically, the 'first cause' are The People and their morality - the effect, is the politician in office. After which, the 'secondary cause' becomes the politician who then puts things into practice, i.e. secondary effects. What I don't understand is laying blame with Govt., only.

We, the majority, always get the government "we deserve" - for better or worse.

Instead of looking to politicians to persuade us, it's the over-all rationality or irrationality of the electorate, who should be credited, taken to task, or rationally persuaded another way - by the citizens and intellectuals.

For Rand Paul, I think the bulk of his "persuasion" should be persuading people of his staunch integrity. Saying, in effect:: "You already know what I stand for (free enterprise, individual rights) - I promise to honour those principles and your trust in me all the way through my stay in office".

Capitalism has many intellectual champions, and a politician aligned with capitalism need not have all the intellectual arguments at his fingertips. In one way, better he doesn't try, when the attempts could be prejudicial, confusing or compromising.

Of course I realise how much hope is increasingly put into pols to lead many of us out of the messes left behind by previous pols, and there's the vicious cycle . But outside of times of national crises and war, for me politicians are simply civil servants who should have no function to deliver morality to us, only to stick to their job - and to me, not "leaders". What can I say, a little bit of a 'sense of life' anarchist still in me since way back.

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I suppose you can't rely too heavily on criticism, though, as there are enough real examples of relatively successful socialist programs. Of course those programs are either riding the coat-tails of capitalist policies, or they only look good because there is not a capitalist example to compare to, or a bit of both.

And one BIG difference between the capitalist and socialist debaters is the willingness to compromise. The socialist will say, "Well, if that works better maybe we could try that." Where the capitalist won't budge because "principles". The problem with coming off as stubborn is it takes away your credibility as being objective. It makes you seem like you'll follow your principles even if it leads to negative results.

I agree with the "riding the coat-tails" bit. What else though can socialists have, but a "willingness to compromise"? They HAVE to compromise for their system to at all survive. Capitalists have indeed budged, and compromised, and that circles back to the nub of the problem.

A little casual there, Calvin, with "principles". Does one throw away principles when they interfere with one's "credibility" - or are perceived by listeners as stubborn and not being utilitarian enough? That's lack of integrity, which will get one, or a politico, even less credibility, deservedly.

Well, no, they don't have to compromise on policies. But they are all about results, so if one policy does not work, they would be open to new ideas. The capitalist, on the other hand, is apparently unconcerned with results--which is troubling.

Now that I think of it, principles don't really have a place in a debate or argument. If you bring up principles, then you have to be able to explain their purpose, which means their results, which makes the principles redundant.

I'm not talking about whether one lives by his own principles, but whether one relies on principles to get his point across (if he even has a point).

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Instead of looking to politicians to persuade us, it's the over-all rationality or irrationality of the electorate, who should be credited, taken to task, or morally persuaded another way - by citizens and intellectuals.

Nobody is looking to politicians to persuade them. They don't look to politicians for moral guidance either. Most people think morality is fairly simple and obvious--which is why they are so quick to deem capitalists immoral.

What they want from politicians is a plan. Bernie Sanders' goal is to make healthcare more affordable and reliable, especially for the less fortunate. Rand Paul's goal is... Bernie Sanders' plan is to socialize healthcare and get rid of a lot of the inefficiencies by consolidating what are currently separate entities. Rand Paul's plan is...

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Notes: Doctor Leonard Peikoff writes in, “Objectivism the Philosophy of Ayn Rand”: If words have to stand for objects in reality, then the only referent of “anarchism” – the only possible political system it designates – is some variant of statism. This is why Objectivism dismisses as foolish the notion that republican government is a “middle of the road” between statism and anarchism. Statism is one extreme; individualism is the other. Anarchism is an unusually senseless form of statism; it is not an extreme of “freedom,” but the negation of the concept.

This about the slickest form of semantics imaginable. I don't even think Peikoff knew of his own disingenuousness. Anarchism does not designate a "possible political system." Statism always requires a government. If you have a family living isolated and cut off on an island--momma, poppa and several boppers--with Dad kicking ass to make things work, that's not statism. If it is the word has no meaning worth using it for. Anarchism is absence of government. Atheism is the absence of belief in a Supreme Being. Does Peikoff mean if you are an atheist you believe in God?

--Brant

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Instead of looking to politicians to persuade us, it's the over-all rationality or irrationality of the electorate, who should be credited, taken to task, or morally persuaded another way - by citizens and intellectuals.

Nobody is looking to politicians to persuade them. They don't look to politicians for moral guidance either. Most people think morality is fairly simple and obvious--which is why they are so quick to deem capitalists immoral.

Contrarily, the moral guidance many people seek from the priests, tsk- politicians- is to be convinced they are fully justified to feel good and righteous about 'helping the underdog' while rewarding themselves with goodies, too - both, with other people's money:

That they are absolutely right to expect that those rich industrialists, greedy bankers and wealth-inheritors have a moral obligation to spread their ill-earned money amongst the people.

A "simple and obvious" morality, I guess. Do it well, and they'll flock to their moral advisor in droves.

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Looking for a prose writer to flesh out a short story.

Young doctor, full of dedication for the vocation. Begins work at a State clinic. Everything institutionalized and a little worn: building, theatres, wards, docs, sisters, nurses, equipment. Everyone harried, cold and perfunctory. Chaotic emergency room, patients queuing up by the score.

He sees patient after patient, without break. One, very ill, he believes he has a procedure for. Informed by the Medical commissar that the Council will veto the op because of expense. He has to break the news to her. Manages 6 more examinations to fill his quota. That was his first day. He forces himself to come again, the next. (His thoughts and emotions on a sentence to endless drudgery and suffering with few rewards or successes he can call his own. His final resignation to the inevitability of Duty).

(Wolf, PT, Will, MSK, BG?)

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whYNOT wrote: His final resignation to the inevitability of 'duty'
end quote

That is a sad scenario. Interestingly one of my favorite PBS shows, which I have mentioned, is Doc Martin, which takes place in Cornwall, England under socialized medicine. In that show no one ever gives the doctor money for his services. He is given a territory by the government. Yet, socialized medicine is portrayed like that of a small town doctor in America, who might expect eggs or produce as payment. Would I want to live there in Port Wenn, England and endure the waiting lists for procedures that are also mentioned. Hell no. But I live under another type of amalgamation of socialized and free medicine with America’s Medicare.
Peter

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The Death Panel is already there for you Peter. Have your passport ready so you can flee abroad to save your life. (Or at least go see Greg for some of his medical magic.)

--Brant

I'm just having fun Greg--here, let me write your comeback: "No magic, Brant, just application of various simple natural and holocaustic methodogies."

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