Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Nov 15, 2010.
Frank Chodrov sez:
Thus again, what is taxation?
"...indisputable right to life,...enjoy the product of his labor." Yes, if we assume this premise perhaps the rest of the arguement can be held, but judging by economies and social interactions of man, I would challenge that the premise itself is far from settled. And that is the way it seems to be in the libertarian view of things. Precepts that are attractive are not in large part fact. Lot's of ideals, problematic in implementation.
Seems from your POV we should rethink slavery. "Go pick my cotton BOY!"
Therein lay the problem with your premise is that all kinds of sins against man can be justified and history is loaded with them as well. I think we'll both agree there. At the same time, these sins against man are defended on the ideal that such dehumanizing of man is the cost we pay for the greater good. How far do we devolve to achieve this ultimate goodness? How far into hell itself must we penetrate to arrive at heaven?
Also your premise is also used by heirarchial societies in order to dominate others for their own purposes and in the case of class conflict, an upper heirarchy is able to dominate a lower order of persons. You fear this domination and rightly so and then go about supporting gov't in the belief that this order will protect you yet it works against you at every step. You are in effect the abused, raped spouse who refuses not only to leave but goes right back in everytime for more but yet expecting the abuser to change all on their own. Why should they?
I always found an instructive and thought provoking chapter from the old testament in 1 Samuel Chapter 8 in which the Israelite people were rejecting the localist gov't under the old "judges" system eg tribal society and demanded a King "like the other nations around us!" One can easily equate a very limited if not a totally de-centralized gov't under this older judge system and also it was a bit of a voluntary state although it did ascribe borders in what we see in the modern sense so it's a limited voluntary state if you will. However, the most interesting and instructive part is when Samuel goes to god eg Yahweh, Jehovah with the people's request, god's response as to what will come with it is most interesting, especially in today's Statist context.
As for the so-called "libertarian view of things" this is not a recent POV at all and has longstanding philosophical roots that actually go back to what one would call "left" traditions known of earlier times by the term classical liberal. There are much longer traditions here but the modern context is most effected by the more recent ideals. Even 19th century individualist/socialist like Proudhon and Benjamin Tucker held to the same individualist premise at their heart. In today's political clims. both men would be moreso in the left-libertarian if not libertatian socialist camps (if one is into genres) but understand that left and socialist in their day did not mean a complusary, authoritarian state flavor as these terms today reflect. Any organized structure was established on voluntary as well as mutualist ideals. The terms may be distasteful in today's use but in their day, socialist, mutualist were ideals born of liberty, freedom and free markets not complusary actions of organized states and societies.
Samuel E. Konkin III was a huge advocate of left libertarianism and he took anarcho-capitalism towards the left into market anarchism and what is now known as Agorism. Lysander Spooner, a 19th century anarchist and abolitionist is another 19th century man of the left and yet he advocated a no-state thought. Although a northerner from Boston and abolitionist, he openly defended the right of southern succession in countering the social contract theory as a legal binding contract on future generations beyond the founding generation. His work "Constitution of No Authority" was and still is a landmark work that in the 1980's when I read it pushed me at the time clearly into the Anti-Federalist camp and opened a door for later understanding.
Statists of all stripe do and have ascribed a type of morality and higher calling to the State as they IMO have accepted the Hobbesian view of social order and social contract theory. However, history itself again IMO is completely disproving the morality of the State and in fact the State itself is advocating a brutish morality of it's own and thus the moral question libertarians are raising is in fact the true faultline that is the dividing point from themselves to statists. Even within the so-called libertatian ranks is a divide between minarchism and anarchism or the idea of limited state verses no state. Minarchists want the best of both worlds and yet can't accept this position in time will come at a cost they aren't willing to pay. I understand as I been there, done that!
Regardless of how society decides to order itself beyond this point in time, if libertarians, individualist leftist and anarchist are right and that the State as we know it is immoral at it's core, where does that then leave statists who believe in the moral traditions? How do you proclaim yourself for freedom and liberty (most often on moral grounds) when in fact you support a culture that is rooted in pure force as a means to an end? Would a christian advocate satanism as a means to teach non-believers the truth of Jesus message? How do we justify this force for it's greater good and yet see it clearly for it core conflicts with morality? Would one justify killing another as a means to purify that person for heavenly acceptance or for that matter an earthly ideal? Democracy anyone? How are we then that much different from the radical jihadist at the end of the day who believe Sharia law is a means to an end not only in heaven but here on earth?
The purely political systems at the end of the day are meaningless and one political idealology over another are meaningless as well. All in due course can achieve an ultimate self image of some purity in the eyes of the people but what about the moral road it travels in getting there? Achieving a political and social end may indeed be worthwhile but at a core moral level, what do you become to get there? To put it another way and that might hit home with you, are you not in your own way becoming an image of Moreluck in order to oppose her belief system and it's imposing it's will on you?
BTW: My "cotton" comment was not meant to offend but rather to prove a point by "shock effect" if you will and I apologize if it did offend.
You take my POV wrong. It is that the practice of libertarian principles as public policy seems to me to require a pristine adherence to a set ideals that democracy finds particularly abhorent. Your assertion (that I do not challenge) that this is not a new philosophy intrigues me even further. For all it's attraction, one would think it would easily take off and spread. But it does not. And it does not I believe for two reasons. 1) People's desire for liberty is relative in time to their percieved ease within that concept. That is that if the lower government taxation and involvement is percieved to increase profit and the individual's sense of well being, he will obviously favor such a system. However, if the inverse is true, if for instance one's Social Security or Medicare, or even physical security is percieced to be threatened, one would naturally be adversarial to such suggestions. 2) People are too quick to defend their own liberties and too easily swayed to infringe upon those of others. It seems to me to be rooted in a longing for the Golden Rooted to be manifest in reality. If we could "treat others as we would be treated" things would be grand.
Personally, I subscribe to a philosophy (I do not recall it's origins) that insists that "Whatever is, is right." In every time and place things are as they should be until there is an occurrance which acts to change it. So in all seriousness, slavery and the Civil War and the subsequent Emancipation Proclamation which ended it were equally right for their respective times and situations.
And no, WK. Not insulted in the least with the "cotton comment". Not shocked either.
OK, then taking your point as true as regards to people and search of liberty or lack thereof, why then does the state need guns and force to impose that will in the first place? Would not the people be natural to voluntering and submitting to it's will without any resistance? Why does the state need to grow in furtherance of forcing it's will if people are so clamouring for it in the first place? Why then do people begin to rebel when new information begins to surface as to the length and breath of the State's reach?
Here's a goal for you. Create a state that is moral to itself and it's citizens, is always transparent, willing to celebrate it's successes as openly as it is to admit it's failures and to analyze them in the public commons for all to see the flaws and errors, "no god-kings who rule without error" and then willing to correct those mistakes made with due haste. A state willing to also "make whole those harmed" when mistakes are made and not engage in intrigue and deceit in order to protect it's own culpability in a matter. Make a state that issues decrees and then when found inconvenient and hard, still follows the word of original intent and doesn't twist them to conform to new conditions that would benefit those in gov't to maintain power. Do those thing bssam and for all purposes I got no wind in my sails.
Also be careful in confusing people's natural social nature to one another and the natural way of self organizing among themselves for mutual benefit as some means to justify an organized central state that serves to benefit the needs of a few at the top. Even Marx himself ultimately idolized a stateless society although his methods to get there were flawed but he even understood man at the end of the day seeked his own freedom outside the influence and self-determination of others and yet wanted a mutual, cooperative existence with others with whom he lived around. Communiterianism can be voluntary and yet promote the highest individualist ideals when philosophic, moral principles are taught and understood. Although Marx's offense with so-called capitalism eg british mercantilism were spot on in relation to State privilege, a privilege American capitalists have yet to realize of themselves eg the state socialism they believe they toil against, Marx ideal of taking over state privilege for his own ends was still wrong at the end of the day and in actual practice at the state level, became just as privileged if not worse a system as the mercantists had that he opposed.
As to philosophic, moral first principles, why are these principles so found lacking in the elementary and secondary school levels? That was a very rhetorical question BTW?
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