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New Hampshire Underground => Voluntaryism/Anarchism => Topic started by: Vitruvian on November 12, 2007, 11:15 PM NHFT

Title: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 12, 2007, 11:15 PM NHFT
I have heard it said that political activity (i.e. voting, running for office, involvement in campaigns) is the most effective way to achieve our goal of a free society.  Some go so far as to suggest it is the only way.  I could not disagree more.

I struggle to understand how, in one breath, some libertarians will condemn the State and all its machinations, and in another, will endorse the very mechanism the State uses to perpetuate itself: politics.  The contradiction is plain to see yet rarely remedied. 

So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 12, 2007, 11:21 PM NHFT
For me it’s simple: Someone is going to get elected in the next election, so we ought to try to make sure that person is only a minor threat to freedom and not a major one.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 12, 2007, 11:31 PM NHFT
In case people are wondering why I've been withdrawing from direct political activity lately, face-to-face conversations with Vitruvian had something to do with that. I can't imagine how long a thread will have to get to compare to the amount of time we've spent discussing this issue back and forth in person.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 12, 2007, 11:54 PM NHFT
the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I am most curious as to where you think the path to freedom does lie.

I am of the opinion that the State only exists because most people want it to exist.  If (and this is a big "if") we can persuade enough people, not only that the State is an unnecessary evil, but also that they would be better off without it, we would achieve our goals with no further effort.

Quote
How are they making it more difficult for you?

Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

Quote
For me it’s simple: Someone is going to get elected in the next election, so we ought to try to make sure that person is only a minor threat to freedom and not a major one.

When you play in the mud, all you get is dirty.


Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 12, 2007, 11:58 PM NHFT
Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.
what happens if they don't do what you want? ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 12:03 AM NHFT
Hey guys, we need to get you both over to this side (keene) of the state.  Myself, Ian, the Kannings, Lauren and Jim, all live here and all (except Ian from time to time) are out of the system folks. 
Dalebert, I loved your call on the ftl interview with Lauren.  You prolly didn't make any new friends with the political folks, but I loved it.   ;D 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 12:09 AM NHFT
Quote
what happens if they don't do what you want? Wink

Our greatest weapon is the simple truth of our ideas.  We should not resort to the methods of tyrants even in the face of failure.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 12:12 AM NHFT
the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I am most curious as to where you think the path to freedom does lie.

I am of the opinion that the State only exists because most people want it to exist.  If (and this is a big "if") we can persuade enough people, not only that the State is an unnecessary evil, but also that they would be better off without it, we would achieve our goals with no further effort.

Quote
How are they making it more difficult for you?

Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

A big part of why the State exists is because people continue to confer “legitimacy” on it. Another big part of why they exist is they have a lot more guns than you do, and won’t hesitate to use them if you start trying to act like they don’t exist when they still do. People who are getting involved in politics—either electing more freedom-oriented candidates, or trying to repeal the worst of our laws—are trying to fix that second part for you.

I’d like to know what your solution to all the laws we have. The way I see it, there are three courses of action you can take for any given law that interferes with your freedom:—


The first choice is all well and good when the law in question is a minor violation, something that might result in a ticket, a small fine, or a short stint in jail, but I don’t see it as much of a viable choice if the law in question is a more serious one that involves major fines, a felony conviction, decades in jail, placement upon a public registry, &c.. Thus, we’re left with the second and third choice—which do you think is preferable?

Quote
For me it’s simple: Someone is going to get elected in the next election, so we ought to try to make sure that person is only a minor threat to freedom and not a major one.

When you play in the mud, all you get is dirty.

Hah, that sounds so similar to the metaphor I’ve used to describe involvement in politics, but with opposite meaning: If you want to unclog a toilet, sometimes you have to stick your hands in a bowl full of shit.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 12:17 AM NHFT
Elections are not only about achieving power.  They are a good opportunity to champion ideas (like liberty) before potential allies.   

If you neglect the educational platform, you're missing the point.   

Second, not all libertarians are anarchists -- you start with a faulty premise.

Third, unless you desire prison or death -- voting for the least aggressive thugs with guns produces very real results.  It is the difference between a small fine and years in prison.  It is the difference between New Hampshire and Mass. 

Fourth, who says it ends at the voting booth?  The voting booth may be nothing more than a rear-guard action, while we organize and prepare for the future.

Fifth, how are you personally advancing the cause of liberty?

"Many a movement libertarian's favorite pastime is reading others out of the movement for various perceived ideological crimes.  ...'When two libertarians find themselves agreeing on something, each knows the other has sold out.' 
Libertarians are a contentious lot... resolutely finding the most outrageous and obnoxious position you could take that is theoretically compatible with libertarianism and challenging anyone to disagree.  If they are not of the movement, then you can enjoy having shocked them with your purism and dedication to principle; if they are of the movement, you can gleefully read them out of it.
--Brian Doherty
_Radicals for Capitalism_ (2007)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 12:31 AM NHFT
So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions. 

Does this include attending anti-war protests, demanding 911 investigations, or abetting impeachment processes?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 12:33 AM NHFT
Quote
The first choice is all well and good when the law in question is a minor violation, something that might result in a ticket, a small fine, or a short stint in jail, but I don’t see it as much of a viable choice if the law in question is a more serious one that involves major fines, a felony conviction, decades in jail, placement upon a public registry, &c.. Thus, we’re left with the second and third choice—which do you think is preferable?

In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "the only place for a just man in an unjust society is the prison house."  If we are serious about our ideas, we had better take them seriously.

Quote
Elections are not only about achieving power.  They are a good opportunity to champion ideas (like liberty) before potential allies.   

If you neglect the educational platform, you're missing the point.   

Second, not all libertarians are anarchists -- you start with a faulty premise.

Third, unless you desire prison or death -- voting for the least aggressive thugs with guns produces very real results.  It is the difference between a small fine and years in prison.  It is the difference between New Hampshire and Mass.

Fourth, who says it ends at the voting booth?  The voting booth may be nothing more than a rear-guard action, while we organize and prepare for the future.

Fifth, how are you personally advancing the cause of liberty?

1. You let slip something very important here: elections--all of them--end with someone in possession of power over others.  And if you vote, or otherwise participate, you will have been a party to this evil.

2. Any libertarian worth his or her salt is an anarchist.  There is no way around it.

3. Again, by putting thugs (your word) into power, you share in their misdeeds.

4. See above.

5. I advance the cause of liberty by persuading those near and dear to me: my friends, family, and anyone else within earshot.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 12:34 AM NHFT
“Many a movement libertarian's favorite pastime is reading others out of the movement for various perceived ideological crimes. …”

Indeed. Arguments like this are divisive, nonproductive, and counterproductive.

I have no problem with people working toward liberty through non-political means; I support what people like the Kannings and Lauren Canario are doing, and from what I’ve seen, I think it’s effective in its own way. I think that attacking the system on multiple fronts is the most effective and robust strategy, and I’ve chosen that part of my strategy will be working through the system in order to subvert it.

What I do have a problem with, however, is people acting like their way is the One True Method, and anyone else is either selling out or otherwise hurting the cause.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 12:36 AM NHFT
Quote
So what - if anything - would you do about the people who would view the end of government as license to take whatever they want from, and do whatever they want to, anyone that comes into their field of vision?

That is an entirely different proposition.  I suppose I would cross that bridge when I came upon it.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 12:40 AM NHFT
the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I am most curious as to where you think the path to freedom does lie.

I am of the opinion that the State only exists because most people want it to exist.  If (and this is a big "if") we can persuade enough people, not only that the State is an unnecessary evil, but also that they would be better off without it, we would achieve our goals with no further effort.

Quote
How are they making it more difficult for you?

Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

A big part of why the State exists is because people continue to confer “legitimacy” on it. Another big part of why they exist is they have a lot more guns than you do, and won’t hesitate to use them if you start trying to act like they don’t exist when they still do. People who are getting involved in politics—either electing more freedom-oriented candidates, or trying to repeal the worst of our laws—are trying to fix that second part for you.

I’d like to know what your solution to all the laws we have. The way I see it, there are three courses of action you can take for any given law that interferes with your freedom:—

  • Ignore it, hoping you don’t eventually get caught, until the State finally collapses
  • Follow it, until the State finally collapses
  • Try to repeal it as soon as possible, so you’re a bit more free until the State finally collapses

The first choice is all well and good when the law in question is a minor violation, something that might result in a ticket, a small fine, or a short stint in jail, but I don’t see it as much of a viable choice if the law in question is a more serious one that involves major fines, a felony conviction, decades in jail, placement upon a public registry, &c.. Thus, we’re left with the second and third choice—which do you think is preferable?

Quote
For me it’s simple: Someone is going to get elected in the next election, so we ought to try to make sure that person is only a minor threat to freedom and not a major one.

When you play in the mud, all you get is dirty.

Hah, that sounds so similar to the metaphor I’ve used to describe involvement in politics, but with opposite meaning: If you want to unclog a toilet, sometimes you have to stick your hands in a bowl full of shit.

Jraxis, you're right they have the guns, but that is only one form of power.  Few in politics believe taxation is really stealing.  The difference between taxes and holding up a bank is legitamacy. 
The gov't had guns in the 60's, and did on occasion use them against the civil rights protesters, but they failed to realize the power of legitamacy.  When bull conner turned on the firehoses against children, and video showed the hoses tearing off bark from trees, he, lost any legitamacy he had.  he was a thug to be resisted.  Racism didn't disappear, but the willingness to use violence lessened noticably. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 12:44 AM NHFT
Quote
If you have the goal of removing the government, you have to ponder what comes next.
To set something so profound in motion without even considering its effects is, in my view, quite immoral.

No, I do not have to ponder what comes next.  I may, of course, and often do.  But the idea that I should have some say over what other people do with their own lives is exactly the idea I oppose.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 12:46 AM NHFT
Ever hear the expression 'freedom is not free'?

I am happy to spend my whole life fighting for the freedom for others, even if they are too lazy to do so themselves.

RTKBA and freedom from taxes are my priorities.

 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 12:50 AM NHFT
Quote
Ever hear the expression 'freedom is not free'?

Freedom most definitely is free.  It is my and every person's right.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 12:51 AM NHFT
If you didn't think you have any "say over what other people do with their own lives," then why start this thread?

:clap:

Good one Granite.

Answer: So he can demand you explain why you aren't doing what he says you should be doing. LOL
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 12:52 AM NHFT
In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "the only place for a just man in an unjust society is the prison house."  If we are serious about our ideas, we had better take them seriously.

Agreed.  Why aren't you in prison?

1. You let slip something very important here: elections--all of them--end with someone in possession of power over others.  And if you vote, or otherwise participate, you will have been a party to this evil.

This is no more immoral than switching a oncoming train to kill two people to avoid the deaths of 5 people.

2. Any libertarian worth his or her salt is an anarchist.  There is no way around it.

This is not an argument.

5. I advance the cause of liberty by persuading those near and dear to me: my friends, family, and anyone else within earshot.


Ok, What networks are you building influence with so your opinion is given weight?  Are you creating media? writing articles?  or just bitching here?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 12:53 AM NHFT
Quote
If you didn't think you have any "say over what other people do with their own lives," then why start this thread?

Well, I'm certainly not going to hold a gun to your head and tell you what to think.  The purpose of this thread is to persuade you and others against doing just that.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 12:54 AM NHFT
the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I am most curious as to where you think the path to freedom does lie.

I am of the opinion that the State only exists because most people want it to exist.  If (and this is a big "if") we can persuade enough people, not only that the State is an unnecessary evil, but also that they would be better off without it, we would achieve our goals with no further effort.

Quote
How are they making it more difficult for you?

Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

A big part of why the State exists is because people continue to confer “legitimacy” on it. Another big part of why they exist is they have a lot more guns than you do, and won’t hesitate to use them if you start trying to act like they don’t exist when they still do. People who are getting involved in politics—either electing more freedom-oriented candidates, or trying to repeal the worst of our laws—are trying to fix that second part for you.

I’d like to know what your solution to all the laws we have. The way I see it, there are three courses of action you can take for any given law that interferes with your freedom:—

  • Ignore it, hoping you don’t eventually get caught, until the State finally collapses
  • Follow it, until the State finally collapses
  • Try to repeal it as soon as possible, so you’re a bit more free until the State finally collapses

The first choice is all well and good when the law in question is a minor violation, something that might result in a ticket, a small fine, or a short stint in jail, but I don’t see it as much of a viable choice if the law in question is a more serious one that involves major fines, a felony conviction, decades in jail, placement upon a public registry, &c.. Thus, we’re left with the second and third choice—which do you think is preferable?

Quote
For me it’s simple: Someone is going to get elected in the next election, so we ought to try to make sure that person is only a minor threat to freedom and not a major one.

When you play in the mud, all you get is dirty.

Hah, that sounds so similar to the metaphor I’ve used to describe involvement in politics, but with opposite meaning: If you want to unclog a toilet, sometimes you have to stick your hands in a bowl full of shit.

Jraxis, you're right they have the guns, but that is only one form of power.  Few in politics believe taxation is really stealing.  The difference between taxes and holding up a bank is legitamacy. 
The gov't had guns in the 60's, and did on occasion use them against the civil rights protesters, but they failed to realize the power of legitamacy.  When bull conner turned on the firehoses against children, and video showed the hoses tearing off bark from trees, he, lost any legitamacy he had.  he was a thug to be resisted.  Racism didn't disappear, but the willingness to use violence lessened noticably. 

The civil rights movement is actually a pretty good example of a movement that employed both civil disobedience and political action.

Unfortunately, it’s also a good example of how not to use political action—the end result was more laws in order to prohibit racism, and a vast expansion of government power in order to enforce those laws—which is something I’m quite cognizant of in my political involvement. I only want to see current laws repealed in their entirety, or bills passed that replace current laws with new laws of a smaller scope.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: DC on November 13, 2007, 01:01 AM NHFT

No, I do not have to ponder what comes next.  I may, of course, and often do. 

When I ponder what comes next it's the same as if you keep a dog locked in a fence it's whole life and one day it gets out. It runs out in the road and gets run over by a car. Most people have no idea how to live without a government nanny state because they never have.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 01:08 AM NHFT
The airtight moral justification that I provide to you is that participating in the political process is my right.  I must insist on your exhibiting some moral rectitude and consistency, not to mention constancy.  Please renounce all non-political freedom activities forthwith, as you are making the journey immensely more difficult for those of us who walk the true path of freedom.  Or at least please stop trying to tell people what to think and do.

Amen Granite. And don't feed the trolls.   ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 13, 2007, 01:08 AM NHFT
What will the slaves do once freed?!  Better keep them in chains . . . .
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 01:09 AM NHFT
Quote from: Vitruvian
  I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.

The airtight moral justification that I provide to you is that participating in the political process is my right.

Unfortunately, since he believes that all politics is force, under a libertarian philosophy, you don’t have a right to engage in politics. What we need to convince him is that less force—achieved by getting pro-liberty candidates into office and repealing some if not all laws—is preferable to more force.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 01:12 AM NHFT
Quote
The airtight moral justification that I provide to you is that participating in the political process is my right.  I must insist on your exhibiting some moral rectitude and consistency, not to mention constancy.  Please renounce all non-political freedom activities forthwith, as you are making the journey immensely more difficult for those of us who walk the true path of freedom.  Or at least please stop trying to tell people what to think and do.

Participation in the political process is not a right, no matter how much you wish it to be.  It is a violation of rights: in other words, a wrong.

Quote
Unfortunately, since he believes that all politics is force, under a libertarian philosophy, you don’t have a right to engage in politics. What we need to convince him is that less force—achieved by getting pro-liberty candidates into office and repealing some if not all laws—is preferable to more force.

I agree: less force is preferable to more force.  But I will not be the cause of either one.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 01:16 AM NHFT
quote<Unfortunately, it’s also a good example of how not to use political action—the end result was more laws in order to prohibit racism, and a vast expansion of government power in order to enforce those laws—which is something I’m quite cognizant of in my political involvement. I only want to see current laws repealed in their entirety, or bills passed that replace current laws with new laws of a smaller scope.>

It was the political activists who helped write the new laws.  The marchers in the street were resisting tyranny.  I agree that there was some overlap, but without the civil unrest, the politicians would not have been anymore successful in the 60's and 70's than in the 40's and 50's. 

I am an anarchist.  Anarchy is a lifestyle.  You have to make choices everyday, (it gets easier with practice) to achieve your ends, including safety and security, without the use of violence.  The political system is strategy, planning, marketing, and has historically almost never been a friend to liberty. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 01:18 AM NHFT
Quote
If you have the goal of removing the government, you have to ponder what comes next.
To set something so profound in motion without even considering its effects is, in my view, quite immoral.

No, I do not have to ponder what comes next.  I may, of course, and often do.  But the idea that I should have some say over what other people do with their own lives is exactly the idea I oppose.

You may not have to, but, being someone so concerned about moral purity, you certainly ought to.

Besides working to eliminate the State here, we’re also doing pretty well at setting up voluntary structures that hopefully would be what people would use and rely on after the State is gone—homeschooling, an informal economy based on precious metals and barter, bearing arms for one’s own self-defense, networks of friends supporting and defending one another, and so on. Is this something you’re participating in, or are you only maybe sitting around and pondering this, even?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 01:19 AM NHFT
Quote<I agree: less force is preferable to more force.  But I will not be the cause of either one.>
Choosing the lesser of two evils is still a choice. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 13, 2007, 01:23 AM NHFT
No, I do not have to ponder what comes next.  I may, of course, and often do.  But the idea that I should have some say over what other people do with their own lives is exactly the idea I oppose.

You may not have to, but, being someone so concerned about moral purity, you certainly ought to.

Didn't he say he did?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 01:25 AM NHFT
quote<Unfortunately, it’s also a good example of how not to use political action—the end result was more laws in order to prohibit racism, and a vast expansion of government power in order to enforce those laws—which is something I’m quite cognizant of in my political involvement. I only want to see current laws repealed in their entirety, or bills passed that replace current laws with new laws of a smaller scope.>

It was the political activists who helped write the new laws.  The marchers in the street were resisting tyranny.  I agree that there was some overlap, but without the civil unrest, the politicians would not have been anymore successful in the 60's and 70's than in the 40's and 50's. 

So in other words, one fed into and bolstered the other. If our non-political members keep embarrassing the state with civil disobedience, our political members can help push laws through repealing the stupid laws the civdis crowd was agitating against. We’ve already seen this in action with the freestater protest against manicurist licensing. I hope something similar comes out of Lauren Canario’s efforts.

I am an anarchist.  Anarchy is a lifestyle.  You have to make choices everyday, (it gets easier with practice) to achieve your ends, including safety and security, without the use of violence.  The political system is strategy, planning, marketing, and has historically almost never been a friend to liberty. 

If you’re refuting the utility of politics in the cause of freedom by reminding us it has almost never worked in the past, I think you just refuted the possibility of a viable anarchist society in the future, since there’s almost never been one in the past.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 01:28 AM NHFT
No, I do not have to ponder what comes next.  I may, of course, and often do.  But the idea that I should have some say over what other people do with their own lives is exactly the idea I oppose.

You may not have to, but, being someone so concerned about moral purity, you certainly ought to.

Didn't he say he did?

Have implies some sort of requirement or force.
Ought implies a moral imperative to do something.
May (his word) implies a much more cavalier attitude.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 13, 2007, 01:31 AM NHFT
No, I do not have to ponder what comes next.  I may, of course, and often do.  But the idea that I should have some say over what other people do with their own lives is exactly the idea I oppose.

You may not have to, but, being someone so concerned about moral purity, you certainly ought to.

Didn't he say he did?

Have implies some sort of requirement or force.
Ought implies a moral imperative to do something.
May (his word) implies a much more cavalier attitude.

"I may, of course, and often do"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 01:33 AM NHFT
Quote
Besides working to eliminate the State here, we’re also doing pretty well at setting up voluntary structures that hopefully would be what people would use and rely on after the State is gone—homeschooling, an informal economy based on precious metals and barter, bearing arms for one’s own self-defense, networks of friends supporting and defending one another, and so on. Is this something you’re participating in, or are you only maybe sitting around and pondering this, even?

I support all of these.  I only wanted to point out that what comes after the State crumbles is not, and should not be, up to me or any other.

Quote
So in other words, one fed into and bolstered the other. If our non-political members keep embarrassing the state with civil disobedience, our political members can help push laws through repealing the stupid laws the civdis crowd was agitating against. We’ve already seen this in action with the freestater protest against manicurist licensing. I hope something similar comes out of Lauren Canario’s efforts.

I think you missed David's point.  After the groundwork was laid by the protesters, the political crowd passed new and equally oppressive laws.

Quote
Have implies some sort of requirement or force.
Ought implies a moral imperative to do something.
May (his word) implies a much more cavalier attitude.

I disagree that I am morally obligated to plan for a post-State society.  So I will say again that I may think of such things.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 13, 2007, 01:35 AM NHFT
I mean, not that it matters.  I'm sure no one knew what all them black folks would do once slavery was ended, but I doubt we would accept that as a reason to continue slavery.

And if you're really interested in something like that, J, check out the work of Stefan Molyneux.  His first few articles (at the bottom of this page (http://www.lewrockwell.com/molyneux/molyneux-arch.html)) deal with a few ideas.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: DC on November 13, 2007, 01:36 AM NHFT
What will the slaves do once freed?!  Better keep them in chains . . . .

Good point. I don't see things just jumping into anarchy all at once because few want it or understand it. The next day would be a meeting about how to restore the government
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 01:37 AM NHFT
I agree: less force is preferable to more force.  But I will not be the cause of either one.

Complementary to less force is more liberty. As we work to decrease force from more to less, we’re increasing liberty. Thus, it unfortunately seems you don’t want to be the cause of more liberty, either.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 01:41 AM NHFT
Quote
Complementary to less force is more liberty. As we work to decrease force from more to less, we’re increasing liberty. Thus, it unfortunately seems you don’t want to be the cause of more liberty, either.

There is a difference between advocating "greater liberty" and initiating "less force." The former may be done peacefully while the latter must involve violence.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 01:45 AM NHFT
Vitruvian,

What is your proposed next step to make state-run institutions obsolete?

Forget the moralizing for a minute.  After the speechifying... where is the effective action?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 01:50 AM NHFT
Quote
What is the next step to make state-run institutions obsolete?

Civilization, or society, precedes the State.  State-run institutions, therefore, are already obsolete.  Our job is to remind people of that fact.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 01:51 AM NHFT
I mean, not that it matters.  I'm sure no one knew what all them black folks would do once slavery was ended, but I doubt we would accept that as a reason to continue slavery.

And if you're really interested in something like that, J, check out the work of Stefan Molyneux.  His first few articles (at the bottom of this page (http://www.lewrockwell.com/molyneux/molyneux-arch.html)) deal with a few ideas.


Those who were mistreated left the plantations. Others who were really like part of the family stayed and worked the land given to them. Other had children with or married into the white families. Not all 'slaves' were mistreated. I guess you could call all of us slaves if we work for someone else, don't like the conditions, but have to do it to earn our 'keep'.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 01:52 AM NHFT
Speaking in practical specifics is useful -- if you ever intend to move beyond moral indignation.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 01:54 AM NHFT
Quote
So in other words, one fed into and bolstered the other. If our non-political members keep embarrassing the state with civil disobedience, our political members can help push laws through repealing the stupid laws the civdis crowd was agitating against. We’ve already seen this in action with the freestater protest against manicurist licensing. I hope something similar comes out of Lauren Canario’s efforts.

I think you missed David's point.  After the groundwork was laid by the protesters, the political crowd passed new and equally oppressive laws.

This is only partially true. The politicians who took advantage of the movement to pass expanding government power certainly came after. But the actual activists, Martin Luther King among them, supported political action, too, which came after the civil disobedience. I’m referring to the fact that many of the racist laws of the south were repealed afterward, or forced out of existence by the courts and the federal government.

By your choice of methods, we’d all be sitting around with Jim Crow laws still on the books, until the state as a whole collapses. People would of course be free to opt out and drop out, but every now and then the State would keep coming along and crushing people with these odious laws.

Quote
Have implies some sort of requirement or force.
Ought implies a moral imperative to do something.
May (his word) implies a much more cavalier attitude.

I disagree that I am morally obligated to plan for a post-State society.  So I will say again that I may think of such things.

Hmm, I’ll concede this. Although I think it’s irresponsible to just up and do away with something as big as the State, without a plan on how to handle what comes after, you’re right that you’re not obligated to provide such a solution. I’ve often gotten into arguments with people who demand I have an alternative when I’m trying to suggest something is bad and shouldn’t be done—sometimes the alternative is just “do nothing” or “leave well enough alone”—and what I was expecting of you is very similar to that.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 01:57 AM NHFT
Quote
What is the next step to make state-run institutions obsolete?

Civilization, or society, precedes the State.  State-run institutions, therefore, are already obsolete.  Our job is to remind people of that fact.

Reminding people they’re obsolete is great. How do we get rid of them?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 13, 2007, 02:00 AM NHFT
How about we stick with the morality for a moment . . . there are plenty of threads on this board discussing "oh shit what do we do." 

Morality moves the world.  People don't do what they believe to be evil.  That's not an original insight of mine, but it's one a lot of people forget.  Unfortunately, the people who know that best are our enemies!  The enemies of liberty use morality all the time.  While we're here twiddling our thumbs and selling soap and buying handguns, they're out there throwing all kinds of morality at our kids!  Obey the state, patriotism is moral, obedience is moral, public education is moral.  Emotional, moral arguments are really all our enemies have -- AND THEY KICK OUR ASS!

Moral indignation is the practical specific action!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 02:02 AM NHFT
When you resist something gov't does, you or somebody has to come up with some voluntary alternative.  Some of the services that gov't provides are actually quite popular, and in high demand.  Some less so.  The high demand ones will be met by entrepreneurs, the others by charities or mutual aid.  Both of these require individuals to choose to do them.  If the gov't can be pushed back long enough. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 02:02 AM NHFT

By your choice of methods, we’d all be sitting around with Jim Crow laws still on the books, until the state as a whole collapses. People would of course be free to opt out and drop out, but every now and then the State would keep coming along and crushing people with these odious laws.

People need to suffer to prove their purity.    ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 02:08 AM NHFT
When you resist something gov't does, you or somebody has to come up with some voluntary alternative.  Some of the services that gov't provides are actually quite popular, and in high demand.  Some less so.  The high demand ones will be met by entrepreneurs, the others by charities or mutual aid.  Both of these require individuals to choose to do them.  If the gov't can be pushed back long enough. 

Strategically, this is definitely true. Advocating the repeal of social assistance programs, for example, when there are no private charities in place to take up all the people thrown off of the dole, is incredibly irresponsible and just asking for a huge backlash.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 02:14 AM NHFT
Moral indignation is the practical specific action!

Everyone is full of moral indignation.  It doesn't do you a damned bit of good unless you put your ideas into effect. 


"We must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for
this is the most popular, the most potent, and the most irresistible
form of propaganda.
--Mikhail Bakunin
"Letters to a Frenchman on the Present Crisis" (1870)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 02:19 AM NHFT
How about we stick with the morality for a moment . . . there are plenty of threads on this board discussing "oh shit what do we do." 

Morality moves the world.  People don't do what they believe to be evil.  That's not an original insight of mine, but it's one a lot of people forget.  Unfortunately, the people who know that best are our enemies!  The enemies of liberty use morality all the time.  While we're here twiddling our thumbs and selling soap and buying handguns, they're out there throwing all kinds of morality at our kids!  Obey the state, patriotism is moral, obedience is moral, public education is moral.  Emotional, moral arguments are really all our enemies have -- AND THEY KICK OUR ASS!

Moral indignation is the practical specific action!
You are so right.  It is the reason the intellectual arguments fail almost every time.  But most people haven't' completely lost their moral compass. They know rape is wrong, but sex is not.  They know that force is wrong, and choice is right, at least in regards to themselves.   Every person claims his/her own rights.  Every child knows this.  It doesn't matter how much propaganda they feed people, humans in general are not going to exist for the benefit of others, and an assertion of individual rights eventually emerges.   They are less respectful of others rights.  Yet with some small level of pressure, I believe we can encourage a higher level of respect for others rights than we currently have.  Politics is nothing more than forcing your preferences on others, as such it is detrimental to encouraging a respect for others rights. 
We can thunder as much as possible- 1. Do all that you have agreed to do, and 2 Do not encroach on other persons or their property. I believe it is an issue of getting others to simple assert their own rights louder, and still respect the Reciprocal rights of others.  We can undo a lot of damage by saying what others believe already but are uncomfortable saying it because they have been taught that they are wrong.  Preaching capitalism or economics is a non starter.  No society has ever gained more freedom or prosperity by believing in either.  They were prosperous only by respecting others rights, thus allowing others to be productive. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 02:21 AM NHFT
So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions. 

Does this include attending anti-war protests, demanding 911 investigations, or abetting impeachment processes?


I'm still curious if you think the above counts as 'political activities'.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: KBCraig on November 13, 2007, 02:37 AM NHFT
Wow, to come home and find a brand new, 4-page thread!

Anything I have to say on this subject, I've already said many times in other threads. Anarchy is preferable, but government is inevitable. So to sum up, let me borrow someone else's words, and say:

A big part of why the State exists is because people continue to confer “legitimacy” on it. Another big part of why they exist is they have a lot more guns than you do, and won’t hesitate to use them if you start trying to act like they don’t exist when they still do. People who are getting involved in politics—either electing more freedom-oriented candidates, or trying to repeal the worst of our laws—are trying to fix that second part for you.

I’d like to know what your solution to all the laws we have. The way I see it, there are three courses of action you can take for any given law that interferes with your freedom:—

  • Ignore it, hoping you don’t eventually get caught, until the State finally collapses
  • Follow it, until the State finally collapses
  • Try to repeal it as soon as possible, so you’re a bit more free until the State finally collapses

The first choice is all well and good when the law in question is a minor violation, something that might result in a ticket, a small fine, or a short stint in jail, but I don’t see it as much of a viable choice if the law in question is a more serious one that involves major fines, a felony conviction, decades in jail, placement upon a public registry, &c.. Thus, we’re left with the second and third choice—which do you think is preferable?

Quote
For me it’s simple: Someone is going to get elected in the next election, so we ought to try to make sure that person is only a minor threat to freedom and not a major one.

When you play in the mud, all you get is dirty.

Hah, that sounds so similar to the metaphor I’ve used to describe involvement in politics, but with opposite meaning: If you want to unclog a toilet, sometimes you have to stick your hands in a bowl full of shit.

^ This!

+1, Jeremy.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 02:44 AM NHFT
This has got to be the fastest that 6-7 people have ever posted.   ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 02:46 AM NHFT
This thread grew way too fast. I have seen about half a dozen posts I wanted to respond to and I just feel overwhelmed. I prefer to read an entire thread before responding so I don't just repeat someone. By the time I get around to responding to some of the posts on the first page, I feel like there will be several more pages. Each time I start to post, I get that warning that someone else just posted. ...sigh.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 02:47 AM NHFT
and then there will be 2 elections before you get the next post in ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 02:49 AM NHFT
It’s 02:49 (EST) in the morning and I’m going to sleep. I’m going to wrap up my own involvement in this by just pointing out that:—


They know rape is wrong, but sex is not.

Aagh, let’s not even go there… I’ll just point to the links in my sig (1 (http://cursor.eprci.com/), 2 (http://www.moraloutrage.net/)) rather than go off on a rant about this, seeing as how I already accidentally derailed the thread once arguing semantics of ought

;)



Good night, endless debate thread!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 02:59 AM NHFT
quote<Good night, endless debate thread!>
 this issue will not be solved today, possibly never.  I hope to see some semblence of anarchy im my lifetime.  I am wary of the compromises my political friends may choose to make, but I don't let it interfere in my life as I cannot control it. 
Also, good night friends, political and non.   :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 03:05 AM NHFT
I'll just try to sum up my thoughts since quoting and responding is just going to be too tedious at this point. Libertarianism is best defined by what it opposes; not by what it tolerates because it tolerates so much. You should be able to do whatever you please as long as you don't violate someone's rights.

Governments as we commonly know them are synonymous with crime because they initiate force all the time. I know crime is likely never going to end completely but that doesn't mean I believe some crime needs to exist or that I will ever support it's existence. I will always oppose crime in any form despite the fact that I know it will never go away completely.

Anarchy is not a form of collective government or a state of society. It's an individual philosophy of self-government. It guides how an individual behaves. The name for my website, Anarchy In Your Head, is derived from this notion. The idea is to attempt to rattle deeply held false beliefs about the legitimacy of the state. You need the right frame of mind to start out with before you can effectively challenge the power of the state. If you believe an aggressive state is acceptable, then you're feeding into the illusion. You're feeding the beast.

Anarchy is not the end of the movement. It's the beginning.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rochelle on November 13, 2007, 03:28 AM NHFT
I missed the whole thread, only read part of the first post and parts of various ones continuing, but I'm going to play off of the thread title and just say:

Life is an immoral dead-end.

 8)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 05:28 AM NHFT
I missed the whole thread, only read part of the first post and parts of various ones continuing, but I'm going to play off of the thread title and just say:

Life is an immoral dead-end.

 8)
And I never got my question answered. Because, well....I have my reasons why I think that's true.
And you Rochelle, have much better things to look forward to than to feel guilty about carrying a sign for Dr Paul now and then eh? Geesh.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 13, 2007, 05:44 AM NHFT
All I will say on this subject is that if you have never made an honest effort to just sit down and chat with the more liberty-minded State Reps in New Hampshire, you're quite frankly talking out of your ass about what can and cannot be achieved by political ends.


Love,
an AnCap

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rodinia on November 13, 2007, 06:41 AM NHFT
And who do you suppose will protect that "right" for you when out of the inevitably of human nature, along comes a individual hell bent on being your ruler?


Quote
Ever hear the expression 'freedom is not free'?

Freedom most definitely is free.  It is my and every person's right.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on November 13, 2007, 07:09 AM NHFT




1. You let slip something very important here: elections--all of them--end with someone in possession of power over others.  And if you vote, or otherwise participate, you will have been a party to this evil.

2. Any libertarian worth his or her salt is an anarchist.  There is no way around it.

3. Again, by putting thugs (your word) into power, you share in their misdeeds.

4. See above.

5. I advance the cause of liberty by persuading those near and dear to me: my friends, family, and anyone else within earshot.

! & 3 are Bullshit. 2 is accurate. 35 years of experience has shown me that 5 is a joke and if you persue that route alone you will find yourself at 60 no more free than you are now. If you want to change thing thru non political means, I suggest you stop talking and start protesting and getting arrested.  These methods, particularly, when more people start applying them will have a greater multiplying effect than talking to you friends.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 09:31 AM NHFT
And who do you suppose will protect that "right" for you when out of the inevitably of human nature, along comes a individual hell bent on being your ruler?


Quote
Ever hear the expression 'freedom is not free'?

Freedom most definitely is free.  It is my and every person's right.
You deal with it the same way you deal with any de-legitimized group of violence.  Carefully, decentralized, and with firepower.  There will be no 'brady bill', or gun bans.  Switzerland is not in the middle of a nest of violent nations and still somewhat free because of its mighty national army or because they say 'pretty please with sugar on top of it'.  They have choosen to protect themselves.  They can be attacked, but never occupied.  The Iraqi insurgency seems to be doing a fine job (bloody as it is  :-\ ) of resisting the occupation.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 13, 2007, 09:32 AM NHFT
Quote
What is the next step to make state-run institutions obsolete?

Civilization, or society, precedes the State.  State-run institutions, therefore, are already obsolete.  Our job is to remind people of that fact.

"Politics" also precedes the state. 

Back to work...
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 09:54 AM NHFT
Quote
Does this include attending anti-war protests, demanding 911 investigations, or abetting impeachment processes?

I think I (and David) already introduced a definition of politics: "forcing one's own preferences or beliefs on others."  I'm not quite sure what you mean by "abetting impeachment processes," but the first two are non-violent and thus not immoral.

Quote
! & 3 are Bullshit. 2 is accurate. 35 years of experience has shown me that 5 is a joke and if you persue that route alone you will find yourself at 60 no more free than you are now. If you want to change thing thru non political means, I suggest you stop talking and start protesting and getting arrested.  These methods, particularly, when more people start applying them will have a greater multiplying effect than talking to you friends.

Why are they bullshit?  Do you disagree that, by electing a certain person to a position of power, you share culpability for their actions?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 13, 2007, 10:05 AM NHFT
I think I (and David) already introduced a definition of politics: "forcing one's own preferences or beliefs on others." 

A totally bogus definition that undercuts most of your argument.  (I am very involved in politics, and I am not an agent of force.)

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 10:09 AM NHFT
Quote
A totally bogus definition that undercuts most of your argument.  (I am very involved in politics, and I am not an agent of force.)

Could you be more specific?  This is quite vague.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 13, 2007, 10:17 AM NHFT
Quote
A totally bogus definition that undercuts most of your argument.  (I am very involved in politics, and I am not an agent of force.)

Could you be more specific?  This is quite vague.

Maybe later when I have time... but I only consider this a valid use of my time because I don't want activists and potential activists to be subverted by your arguments against effective political activism.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 10:34 AM NHFT
Quote
Maybe later when I have time... but I only consider this a valid use of my time because I don't want activists and potential activists to be subverted by your arguments against effective political activism.

Bad means cannot and will not yield good ends.  By participating in what you call "effective political activism," even if you succeed in winning some token battles, you preserve and indeed strengthen the veil of legitimacy clothing the State.  I fail to understand why so many "libertarians" are seduced by politics, when we above all others should be immune to its charms.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 11:02 AM NHFT
Good morning, endless-debate thread!

Quote
The phrase create tension between two or more target groups comes from a 1993 book by Paul H. Nitze: Tension Between Opposites: Reflections on the Practices and Theory of Politics. Alleged to be connected with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University is said to be a spy school.

Creating tension between two or more target groups, perhaps originally a technique more commonly employed for political and military purposes, is often employed as a propaganda tactic. Typical forms this tactic takes include:

  • Creating a dummy or shell group that has no purpose except to advocate a view bystanders will see as compatible with that of another target group and which is also opposed to the view of the manipulating group; Then legitimate groups can be drawn into turf wars, be discredited by visible engagement in unappealing confrontations with the new rival, and ultimately discredit their "shared" view - which is of course the opposite of the manipulator's view.

  • Finding legitimate but incompetent or purist advocates of a view roughly compatible with that of another target group, and funding the incompetents or purists or extremists to become the dominant voice on the issue. Not dealing with the issue is thus easy to excuse, as the dominant view is more extreme than the public's own.

  • Dealing directly with moderates and requiring concessions that will be found unacceptable by purists, thus co-opting the middle and alienating purists. If purists can be simultaneously drawn into dummy, shell, incompetent or extreme groups, preferably many of these, then an entire movement can be splintered.
(Source (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Create_tension_between_two_or_more_target_groups))

That this divisive and energy-sapping thread started up immediately after we’ve dealt with a spate of the more common form of agents provocateurs (those who try to incite or promote violence in order to discredit us), followed by a sudden influx of new posters whose sole purpose seemed to be to disrupt, confuse, and anger long-time forum posters, is suspicious to say the least.

I have no idea what you’re really up to. What I do know is that this thread won’t result in any sort of effective activism, only more endless debate and whining (http://newhampshireunderground.com/forum/index.php?board=9.0) that at the end of the day accomplished absolutely nothing. If you’re interested in non-political activism, great. Do it. If you’re interested in political activism, great. Do that instead. The Free State Movement was intentionally designed as a “big tent” movement to encompass both forms of activism and everything in between. If all you’re interested in is arguing with activists who don’t employ the same purist methods as yours, please, take it somewhere else, lest people begin to think you’re wasting our time on purpose.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 11:12 AM NHFT
Aside from the occasion quip and a couple of posts in this thread (since it presented the opportunity) I try not to harp on people too hard about choosing to engage in an activity which I consider to be an aggressive act of force, i.e. politics. Unfortunately, the courtesy hasn't saved me from a fair amount of the reciprocal harping. I've been told that if I don't vote, I don't have a right to complain. I've been accused of choosing not to do anything, which is patently not true. I'm just not doing what THEY want me to do. Keep in mind that this is just in a span or a couple of weeks max when people have been pressuring me to make political phone calls, donate to the Ron Paul campaign, etc.

The reason we're in NH is to attempt some things that have never been done before because previous attempts have been failures. Some of us are just taking that a step further. I believe we're right but I'll try not to be too preachy about it.

BTW, if you want to know what sparked this thread, listen to the last 5 or 10 minutes of last night's (11/12/07) FTL broadcast available for download at http://freetalklive.com. Mark and Ian were talking about the two types of activism and Mark implied that the a-political types should get involved in the Ron Paul campaign just to be supportive of the political types. I called in and was totally caught off guard because I didn't realize the show was about to end and I didn't expect to be on the air IMMEDIATELY. My point was that some of us are morally opposed to that activity and it's wrong to push people into an activity that they're morally opposed to. I think that sort of peer pressure is just as heavy-handed as this thread. Eric (Vitruvian) was sitting right there as I called in and I think he felt frustrated that we didn't get to make our point. That's not Mark and Ian's fault, of course. That was just bad timing, but the frustration was created none the less and Eric had to vent somewhere.

To be clear, I wasn't calling in to say "Mark, you are engaging in evil political activities and you are going to Libertarian Hell!" All I was trying to do was get him to stop pressuring us to engage in an activity that WE believe is immoral. Think of the analogy of passive vs. active rights. I shouldn't have to explain that to anyone here.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Nat F on November 13, 2007, 11:14 AM NHFT
I think I (and David) already introduced a definition of politics: "forcing one's own preferences or beliefs on others."  I'm not quite sure what you mean by "abetting impeachment processes," but the first two are non-violent and thus not immoral.

Have you removed yourself from the power sphere of government yet?  If the government and political process is force and violence directed against you then how have you gone about defending yourself from it?  Do you believe in self defense or are you a pacifist?

I believe in self defense and the use of force continuum as applied to my own self defense.  If you live within a governments sphere of control and believe in self defense you have to defend yourself from it's abusive control.  Your options to do so are to leave the governments area of control (the town, the state, the country, the united nations, whatever) or to defend yourself in place (ala the castle doctrine).  In order to defend yourself in place you need to make use of every tool made available to you that continues to allow you to exist and defend yourself (and your family).  If you escalate the violence then you run the risk of a massively superior government based force squashing you and eliminating your ability to live peacefully and provide for yourself and your family.

That means you need to resist without escalating the violence (in the eyes of the government).  The options available to you are civil disobedience and the political process.  Using one of these tools without using the other is to not effectively defending yourself.  In fact your use of both needs to weighed against the repercussions of using each.  If your act of civil disobedience will cause you to be unable to protect the lives of your family then you need to weigh each action and the likely response.  If voting against the ruling power will cause that power to be used against you to destroy your life then you also need to decide which is better.

In short if the political process is "violence" being used against you then you can defend yourself from that violence in an equal and appropriate manner.  If a pure anarchist state existed and you attempted to initiate the political process to create government then you would be initiating violence, but until the "violence" of the state is gone you are defending yourself by participating, not initiating force.

-Nat
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 11:20 AM NHFT
I have no idea what you’re really up to. What I do know is that this thread won’t result in any sort of effective activism, only more endless debate and whining (http://newhampshireunderground.com/forum/index.php?board=9.0) that at the end of the day accomplished absolutely nothing. If you’re interested in non-political activism, great. Do it. If you’re interested in political activism, great. Do that instead. The Free State Movement was intentionally designed as a “big tent” movement to encompass both forms of activism and everything in between. If all you’re interested in is arguing with activists who don’t employ the same purist methods as yours, please, take it somewhere else, lest people begin to think you’re wasting our time on purpose.

It's funny that this was being posted at the same time as my last post and i got that warning msg again because it seems like I'm responding to this. Just a coincidence. I'm going to have to come to Eric's defense here. He's not a troll. I know him personally. You guys know me personally. I'm telling you he's a good guy. This thread probably does belong in the endless debate section, but Eric is definitely not a "do nothing" kind of guy. He's a very young, very principled, some would say too idealistic (but not me, I'm frequently accused of the same) guy who took a year out of school to check out the Free State Project.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 11:24 AM NHFT
Quote
In short if the political process is "violence" being used against you then you can defend yourself from that violence in an equal and appropriate manner.  If a pure anarchist state existed and you attempted to initiate the political process to create government then you would be initiating violence, but until the "violence" of the state is gone you are defending yourself by participating, not initiating force.

Defending yourself from whom?  Participating in politics does nothing to ameliorate the original crime against you.

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It's funny that this was being posted at the same time as my last post and i got that warning msg again because it seems like I'm responding to this. Just a coincidence. I'm going to have to come to Eric's defense here. He's not a troll. I know him personally. You guys know me personally. I'm telling you he's a good guy. This thread probably does belong in the endless debate section, but Eric is definitely not a "do nothing" kind of guy. He's a very young, very principled, some would say too idealistic (but not me, I'm frequently accused of the same) guy who took a year out of school to check out the Free State Project.

Thank you, Dale.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 13, 2007, 11:27 AM NHFT
I have heard it said that political activity (i.e. voting, running for office, involvement in campaigns) is the most effective way to achieve our goal of a free society.  Some go so far as to suggest it is the only way.  I could not disagree more.

Yay, freedom! You are free to disagree. Go you. woot!

I struggle to understand how, in one breath, some libertarians will condemn the State and all its machinations, and in another, will endorse the very mechanism the State uses to perpetuate itself: politics.  The contradiction is plain to see yet rarely remedied. 

Sounds like a personal problem. We all struggle in our own ways. I'll opine that your definition of how things are, will undoubtedly be challenged and perhaps even modified, changed, and either improved or worsened over time.

So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.

Humble request or insist? You sound confused. Are you sure your path is the absolute best path for everyone? Or is it just your personal view as an individual? Moral rectitude? What is this...church? Preach away brother, preach away *yawn*

Stop labeling people. It belies sound reason.

Here, I'll save you the trouble:
I'm a fundamentalist mormon, anarcho-capitalist bordering on minarchist, with a penchant for polygamy, constitutionalism and leaving people well-enough alone to make their own personal choices.

It's nice to get together and talk about it now and then over good eats and drink.

I have two constant beliefs that drive me and never change:
1. Change is inevitable (except from vending machines)
2. Liberty requires action (freedom with responsibility)

 :soapbox:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 13, 2007, 11:42 AM NHFT
I will be happy to explain my position on all this when I have time, perhaps tonight.  When I do so, I will defend my position quite strenuously -- not out of contempt for the individuals who truly believe some of my actions on behalf of liberty are immoral, but in the hope I will be able to illuminate the flaws and fallacies in Vitruvian's position.

(Hell, Braddogg still likes me, I think.   :D)

Kept on that philosophical level, I think this is an important debate, one which will probably have to happen every so often... or at least, as often as some feel the need to discourage others from doing anything (*GASP*) "political."
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 11:49 AM NHFT
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Humble request or insist? You sound confused. Are you sure your path is the absolute best path for everyone? Or is it just your personal view as an individual? Moral rectitude? What is this...church? Preach away brother, preach away *yawn*

Stop labeling people. It belies sound reason.

If someone were to steal my wallet, I would not hesitate to "label" him or her a thief; any other name would be dishonest.

Once again, I do not claim that my method is the One True Method nor did I start this thread to flatter my own ego.  My aim is to dissuade others from employing immoral and obfuscatory methods.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 13, 2007, 12:08 PM NHFT
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Humble request or insist? You sound confused. Are you sure your path is the absolute best path for everyone? Or is it just your personal view as an individual? Moral rectitude? What is this...church? Preach away brother, preach away *yawn*

Stop labeling people. It belies sound reason.

If someone were to steal my wallet, I would not hesitate to "label" him or her a thief; any other name would be dishonest.

Now suppose that someone was trying to help you get the contents of your wallet back, but could only do so a dollar or two at a time, due to circumstances beyond his control. Would you rebuff his efforts and call him a thief, too? That’s a good analogy for what we’re trying to do with the political system.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 13, 2007, 12:17 PM NHFT
Wow, I don't read the forum for a day and a half, and a very timely six-page thread emerges :o

It is timely, because only through open and honest communication can we hope to understand each others' points of view and have any sense of unity, or at least agree to disagree without hard feelings.  Refusing to communicate, even in a drawn out debate, can only engender feelings of negativity in those who honestly seek a better understanding and/or a mutual resolution of differences.

The way I see it, there are three courses of action you can take for any given law that interferes with your freedom:—

  • Ignore it, hoping you don’t eventually get caught, until the State finally collapses
  • Follow it, until the State finally collapses
  • Try to repeal it as soon as possible, so you’re a bit more free until the State finally collapses

Or, focus on collapsing the State itself, and then all the bad laws will go away.

I agree: less force is preferable to more force.  But I will not be the cause of either one.

Complementary to less force is more liberty. As we work to decrease force from more to less, we’re increasing liberty. Thus, it unfortunately seems you don’t want to be the cause of more liberty, either.

This sounds good on the surface, and seems to be the main reasoning in favor of acting within the power structure of the State.  There may, however, be a fallacy here that has not yet been mentioned in this thread:

An analogy that is often used to describe how the relatively free system instituted by the founding fathers managed to degenerate into the present 1984-style situation, is the boiling frogs analogy...

At least IMO, the reason that we have the present-day freedom movement, is because the powers that be (esp. Bush and co.) have been turning up the heat too fast for comfort.  My hypothesis is that the degree of general desire for freedom is directly proportionate to the degree of acceleration of tyranny... otherwise, the boiling frogs analogy is incorrect.

Based on this hypothesis, there is a very strong argument to be made that the best thing that can happen to the freedom movement is for the State to grow by leaps and bounds until it self-destructs.  The faster the heat gets turned up, the greater the number of frogs that will abandon the kettle altogether.  On the other hand for instance, if Ron Paul gets elected president, just the opposite will likely occur: Those who want freedom but still see their salvation in politics (a large cross-section of the freedom movement!) will go back to sleep, and the wind will leave the sails of the freedom movement.  Government will continue to grow, only now it will be growing at a pace that is comfortable to a greater number of people, and the goal of a Stateless society will be set back by decades.

By your choice of methods, we’d all be sitting around with Jim Crow laws still on the books, until the state as a whole collapses. People would of course be free to opt out and drop out, but every now and then the State would keep coming along and crushing people with these odious laws.

Absolutely... and we would be much closer to the genuine collapse of the State, because all those affected by these laws would see the State for the immoral institution that it really is, instead of worshipping it as they now do.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 12:25 PM NHFT
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Now suppose that someone was trying to help you get the contents of your wallet back, but could only do so a dollar or two at a time, due to circumstances beyond his control. Would you rebuff his efforts and call him a thief, too? That’s a good analogy for what we’re trying to do with the political system.

The problem with this analogy is that "your" dollars, the ones that were stolen from you, are spent, lost, and in any case, gone long before you are given any chance to retrieve them. Any money you are able to recover through the political means has been stolen from others.  It is not your money.

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Based on this hypothesis, there is a very strong argument to be made that the best thing that can happen to the freedom movement is for the State to grow by leaps and bounds until it self-destructs.  The faster the heat gets turned up, the greater the number of frogs that will abandon the kettle altogether.  On the other hand for instance, if Ron Paul gets elected president, just the opposite will likely occur: Those who want freedom but still see their salvation in politics (a large cross-section of the freedom movement!) will go back to sleep, and the wind will leave the sails of the freedom movement.  Government will continue to grow, only now it will be growing at a pace that is comfortable to a greater number of people, and the goal of a Stateless society will be set back by decades.

I am inclined to agree, though I do not particularly want to experience the horrors of totalitarianism.  However, that must be the end result if the State is allowed continued existence: the utter destruction of society.



Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 12:29 PM NHFT
Srgrebel<
Quote from: J’raxis 270145 on Today at 02:09 AM
By your choice of methods, we’d all be sitting around with Jim Crow laws still on the books, until the state as a whole collapses. People would of course be free to opt out and drop out, but every now and then the State would keep coming along and crushing people with these odious laws.

Absolutely... and we would be much closer to the genuine collapse of the State, because all those affected by these laws would see the State for the immoral institution that it really is, instead of worshipping it as they now do.>
The difference between the mafia and the gov't, is the gov't is seen as legitamate.  gov'ts lose their legitamacy slowly all the time, the telling result is peoples willingness to challenge it.  This sometimes manifests itself in war, civil war or just violence due to sudden gov't collapse.  But it occurs nonviolently as well.  People need to see the ugliness inherit with gov't, it is not their friend or ally.  The sooner the better. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 12:49 PM NHFT
My personal view is I cannot in good conscience justify helping to put a person in a position of power over others. No matter how much I like the person, and I like Ron Paul a lot, I still don't think they should have power over other people. It would feel incredibly hypocritical of me (personally) to speak out against such a system and then to participate in it. If Ron Paul ever in any way uses his position of power for anything other than to roll back that power, the proverbial blood would be on my hands too. For instance consider if he ever like, built a fence and put armed people at it to keep people from crossing or something kooky like that or if he supported any form of theft (a.k.a. taxes).  ;) Now that line seems unfuzzy to me and I don't feel comfortable crossing it.

What seems a little more fuzzy is voting on a specific policy that ONLY rolls back power. That gets a little more complicated. I still don't feel comfortable getting directly involved in that while speaking out against the political process. I don't really mind watching from the sidelines. While I don't approve of the actions taken, I can't help but hope that they will result in something good.

Consider this. I consider police officers to be criminals. If a police officer gets killed in a drug raid, I consider that a fortunate event. Heck if some crazy kooks took it upon themselves to take out some police officers, I wouldn't even mourn them ( present company excluded of course ;) ). However, I WILL NOT go out and kill police officers. Don't ask me to.

So basically, while I'm not going to give you political types kudos for going out and proverbially "shooting at the bad stuph", I will admit to a certain guilty pleasure if you somehow manage to accomplish something good. The way I see it, I'm not likely to be able to talk you into stopping what you're doing, so I will be grateful that at least your tactics are less immoral than most and I'll simply defend my decision not to join in the activities when I'm pressured to do so.

I actually hope Ron Paul is our next president because he'll be a lot less evil than most, while at the same time I will not vote for him or donate any money to his campaign. Some little part of me will be rooting for you guys. It's like you have a fire hose that I can't turn off so I just hope you are minimally destructive with it. Does that make sense?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: toowm on November 13, 2007, 12:58 PM NHFT
So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.
I reject homogeneity of thought and homogeneity of methods. Consistency is often not a virtue.

I do not need to provide anyone with a moral justification of my actions. I support every liberty-lover in whatever endeavors they themselves support. Insistence on moral rectitude would quickly divide us.

There are multiple paths to freedom -- just ask any of us about our personal journeys. If they involved political action, even if that is now rejected, are they off the "right" path? If 30 million people hear the freedom message for the first time from Ron Paul, should their experience be expunged?

I'd like to hear how political action makes your personal journey more difficult. I understand that there is competition within the movement for people to have the same beliefs, and it is disheartening to see paths you feel are wrong ascendant. What harm have we caused you?

I love a good philosophical argument, but I find myself with much less time for them now, when action of many forms gets results.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 12:59 PM NHFT
I think I'm sounding preachier than I mean to. My post is too long. What I'm trying to say is go do what you believe to be right and don't pressure me to do it. I just want you to understand my decision and how I came to it when you ask me to donate to Ron Paul or to go vote and I decline. If you hope to persuade me otherwise, you need to understand where I'm at.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 01:00 PM NHFT
I missed the whole thread, only read part of the first post and parts of various ones continuing, but I'm going to play off of the thread title and just say:

Life is an immoral dead-end.
I love life and love traveling the neverending road. :)

Should I put this thread under peppiness? ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Kat Kanning on November 13, 2007, 01:01 PM NHFT
So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.
I reject homogeneity of thought and homogeneity of methods. Consistency is often not a virtue.

I do not need to provide anyone with a moral justification of my actions. I support every liberty-lover in whatever endeavors they themselves support. Insistence on moral rectitude would quickly divide us.

There are multiple paths to freedom -- just ask any of us about our personal journeys. If they involved political action, even if that is now rejected, are they off the "right" path? If 30 million people hear the freedom message for the first time from Ron Paul, should their experience be expunged?

I'd like to hear how political action makes your personal journey more difficult. I understand that there is competition within the movement for people to have the same beliefs, and it is disheartening to see paths you feel are wrong ascendant. What harm have we caused you?

I love a good philosophical argument, but I find myself with much less time for them now, when action of many forms gets results.

Poltical action can make your personal life more difficult when you're surrounded by politicos pressuring you to do things their way.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 01:02 PM NHFT
All I will say on this subject is that if you have never made an honest effort to just sit down and chat with the more liberty-minded State Reps in New Hampshire, you're quite frankly talking out of your ass about what can and cannot be achieved by political ends.
I think you can come to the conclusion that politics is immoral without having to sit down with a politician.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 01:03 PM NHFT
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People need to see the ugliness inherit with gov't, it is not their friend or ally.

Absolutely.  Political action simply glosses over the ugliness, making it appear palatable.

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I actually hope Ron Paul is our next president

Here I am slightly conflicted, for the reasons that srqrebel and David have mentioned.  A Ron Paul presidency, as much as I prefer it over any other outcome, would likely have the effect of lulling many into complacency, convincing them that freedom can result from politics.  And the State would live to kill another day.

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I reject homogeneity of thought and homogeneity of methods. Consistency is often not a virtue.

I've said this twice already: I am not trying to direct everyone toward one and only one form of activism, only to steer some people away from political action, which I see as immoral and counterproductive.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 01:04 PM NHFT
The Iraqi insurgency seems to be doing a fine job (bloody as it is  :-\ ) of resisting the occupation.
Killing US soldiers doesn't seem like a good way to live free. All kinds of evil spring from it. :(
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 01:05 PM NHFT
Aside from the occasion quip and a couple of posts in this thread (since it presented the opportunity) I try not to harp on people too hard about choosing to engage in an activity which I consider to be an aggressive act of force, i.e. politics. ...

The reason we're in NH is to attempt some things that have never been done before because previous attempts have been failures. Some of us are just taking that a step further. I believe we're right but I'll try not to be too preachy about it.
I really like the way you are explaining your position.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 01:09 PM NHFT
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Humble request or insist? You sound confused. Are you sure your path is the absolute best path for everyone?
Once again, I do not claim that my method is the One True Method nor did I start this thread to flatter my own ego.  My aim is to dissuade others from employing immoral and obfuscatory methods.
I agree that politics is not a moral path for me to take. I probably should not force that idea on others, since I may be wrong. I used to vote and hope that the government could be changed by decent people. :(
I have changed my mind. :)
I bet you will convince more people ... especially those that don't know you personally, by living according to your principles and lead the way for others.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: KBCraig on November 13, 2007, 01:22 PM NHFT
I think I'm sounding preachier than I mean to. My post is too long.

I think you said it just fine. You made your point quite eloquently, and kindly.


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What I'm trying to say is go do what you believe to be right and don't pressure me to do it.

I think the responses to Vitruvian are a little harsh, because he sounds like he's trying to do exactly what you don't want done to you: pressure people into adopting a stance they don't necessarily agree with.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 01:23 PM NHFT
It seems like threads like this come about because those that love politics are pressuring others to join them. I guess those of us that hate government and the strange game of politics will have to weather the enthusiasm surrounding each election.
I look back with fondness to living in places where presidential primary candidates didn't visit. ;)
The State likes it when people jump on the  :treadmill:. I enjoy seeing people jump back off of it. I hope to see a few of you again soon, and I hope you don't mind that I stop by every once in a while  :soapbox: and remind you that your steps are leading nowhere. :Bolt:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 01:26 PM NHFT
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I bet you will convince more people ... especially those that don't know you personally, by living according to your principles and lead the way for others.

Of course.  I try to do this always.  But I am getting rather tired of people, especially those involved in politics, excusing their actions.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 01:55 PM NHFT
2. Any libertarian worth his or her salt is an anarchist.  There is no way around it.
If you want to change thing thru non political means, I suggest you stop talking and start protesting and getting arrested.  These methods, particularly, when more people start applying them will have a greater multiplying effect than talking to you friends.

Lloyd, really? So the definition of libertarian is an anarchist?
Also, we are waiting to see when you will be putting your money where your mouth is...and get yourself thrown in jail. It's really easy to do....

 ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 01:58 PM NHFT
Also, we are waiting to see when you will be putting your money where your mouth is...and get yourself thrown in jail. It's really easy to do....

This is true. We were threatened with jail at Lauren's trial for not standing up when the judge entered and left. I was preparing myself for that possibility.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 01:59 PM NHFT
I think I (and David) already introduced a definition of politics: "forcing one's own preferences or beliefs on others." 

A totally bogus definition that undercuts most of your argument.  (I am very involved in politics, and I am not an agent of force.)



He doesn't understand by his very existence he is 'engaging in politics'. It's unavoidable, not to mention the 911 truther, anti-war and impeachment activities. Those are definitely political, just because they are not 'elections'.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 02:00 PM NHFT
you do understand .... that these are not two equal paths

It is much easier to follow the political path in many ways. They will even pay you to play the game often. It is the broad path that leads to destruction.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 02:02 PM NHFT
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I bet you will convince more people ... especially those that don't know you personally, by living according to your principles and lead the way for others.

Of course.  I try to do this always.  But I am getting rather tired of people, especially those involved in politics, excusing their actions.


Well did the thought ever occur to you that some get tired of people's apathy?  Yet they haven't demanded they denounce the fact that they don't vote and explain themselves.    ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Kat Kanning on November 13, 2007, 02:04 PM NHFT
But to be berated daily for what you're calling apathy isn't particularly nice or helpful.  Doing things differently from you isn't equal to apathy.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 02:06 PM NHFT
But to be berated daily for what you're calling apathy isn't particularly nice or helpful.  Doing things differently from you isn't equal to apathy.

No one has been berating anyone for apathy or doing things differently. However, this guy charges in here under a new alias and like a troll starts berating people for their participation in political activity, demanding we explain to him, as if that matters, why we do it and how we justify it.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 02:10 PM NHFT
It seems that your aim is to use your intellect and self-proclaimed high moral position to bully people into adopting your beliefs.  And if they don't, then they're immoral.  Sounds like unwarranted initiation of force to me, and a pretty arrogant one, too. 


What Granite said...  ^^^^^
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 02:15 PM NHFT
Good morning, endless-debate thread!

Quote
The phrase create tension between two or more target groups comes from a 1993 book by Paul H. Nitze: Tension Between Opposites: Reflections on the Practices and Theory of Politics. Alleged to be connected with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University is said to be a spy school.

Creating tension between two or more target groups, perhaps originally a technique more commonly employed for political and military purposes, is often employed as a propaganda tactic. Typical forms this tactic takes include:

  • Creating a dummy or shell group that has no purpose except to advocate a view bystanders will see as compatible with that of another target group and which is also opposed to the view of the manipulating group; Then legitimate groups can be drawn into turf wars, be discredited by visible engagement in unappealing confrontations with the new rival, and ultimately discredit their "shared" view - which is of course the opposite of the manipulator's view.

  • Finding legitimate but incompetent or purist advocates of a view roughly compatible with that of another target group, and funding the incompetents or purists or extremists to become the dominant voice on the issue. Not dealing with the issue is thus easy to excuse, as the dominant view is more extreme than the public's own.

  • Dealing directly with moderates and requiring concessions that will be found unacceptable by purists, thus co-opting the middle and alienating purists. If purists can be simultaneously drawn into dummy, shell, incompetent or extreme groups, preferably many of these, then an entire movement can be splintered.
(Source (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Create_tension_between_two_or_more_target_groups))

That this divisive and energy-sapping thread started up immediately after we’ve dealt with a spate of the more common form of agents provocateurs (those who try to incite or promote violence in order to discredit us), followed by a sudden influx of new posters whose sole purpose seemed to be to disrupt, confuse, and anger long-time forum posters, is suspicious to say the least.

I have no idea what you’re really up to. What I do know is that this thread won’t result in any sort of effective activism, only more endless debate and whining (http://newhampshireunderground.com/forum/index.php?board=9.0) that at the end of the day accomplished absolutely nothing. If you’re interested in non-political activism, great. Do it. If you’re interested in political activism, great. Do that instead. The Free State Movement was intentionally designed as a “big tent” movement to encompass both forms of activism and everything in between. If all you’re interested in is arguing with activists who don’t employ the same purist methods as yours, please, take it somewhere else, lest people begin to think you’re wasting our time on purpose.


Ditto on that one J!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 02:22 PM NHFT
I guess from all the post that cnht doesn't agree with you Eric ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: enloopious on November 13, 2007, 02:29 PM NHFT
Nobody hates the govt more than I do but I have to say that I am running for local office because I know I can do more to subvert the system there than anywhere else. When I get elected I am only going to accept as much as the lowest paid person in my town makes. As a public servant that is the only salary that makes sense. The others make a lot more than that and I can't wait to see the backlash.

This conversation could go on forever. Anarchy is the closest to peace that there can possibly be. It allows people to be themselves. The idea of freedom is just a whisper. It has to be said quietly and not publicly because it contradicts business and corporations and disappears with the amassing of wealth and power. By definition it can not be defined and when the public defines freedom and peace and anarchy it kills the whole idea.

Asking questions like "what do you plan for after you eliminate the government" is a contradiction. It is that exact planning and trying to define freedom that has led us here. All public programs (any program for that matter) should be voluntary. Anything else is slavery.

Finance is a gun, politics is knowing when to pull the trigger. ~The Godfather
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 02:32 PM NHFT
I guess from all the post that cnht doesn't agree with you Eric ;)

It doesn't matter that I don't agree with him, that would never be an issue. But what matters is I find his storming in here and demanding others to justify what THEY do to be quite offensive.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Kat Kanning on November 13, 2007, 02:38 PM NHFT
How do you know whether people are being hassled to take up politics or not Jane?  It's not happening on this forum.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 13, 2007, 02:39 PM NHFT
I think I'm sounding preachier than I mean to. My post is too long. What I'm trying to say is go do what you believe to be right and don't pressure me to do it. I just want you to understand my decision and how I came to it when you ask me to donate to Ron Paul or to go vote and I decline. If you hope to persuade me otherwise, you need to understand where I'm at.

Actually the more you write the more I want you to join us on the west side, (of the state)  :)

But to be berated daily for what you're calling apathy isn't particularly nice or helpful.  Doing things differently from you isn't equal to apathy.

No one has been berating anyone for apathy or doing things differently. However, this guy charges in here under a new alias and like a troll starts berating people for their participation in political activity, demanding we explain to him, as if that matters, why we do it and how we justify it.


What was his previous online name?  I don't think he is a troll just because he started a single controversial thread. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 02:54 PM NHFT
It doesn't matter that I don't agree with him, that would never be an issue. But what matters is I find his storming in here and demanding others to justify what THEY do to be quite offensive.

His approach does tend to be heavy-handed and is therefore probably not very effective at changing attitudes. He's very idealistic and he feels very strongly about these things and his posts could certainly benefit from a little more tact.

Try to cut him some slack and keep in mind that this was inspired by Mark suggesting on FTL last night that the principled anarchist types should consider throwing their principles out the window and vote for Ron Paul to support their friends. (I'm paraphrasing to make a point) A statement like that begs for principled anarchists to speak up and remind people why we are actively and consciously choosing to opt-out of politics. It's not apathy.

It's an interesting impasse. Obviously, the political activists don't believe they're engaged in immoral activities and the anarchists don't believe that they're apathetic. I agree that we should be more tactful in our discussions.

Someone remind me to call into FTL tonight at 7pm since I'll be at TT.  >:D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 13, 2007, 02:54 PM NHFT
Quote
Humble request or insist? You sound confused. Are you sure your path is the absolute best path for everyone? Or is it just your personal view as an individual? Moral rectitude? What is this...church? Preach away brother, preach away *yawn*

Stop labeling people. It belies sound reason.

If someone were to steal my wallet, I would not hesitate to "label" him or her a thief; any other name would be dishonest.


And if he returns the wallet with everything intact? Still a thief? A thief that changed his/her mind but still a thief? No longer a thief? A reformed thief? A person who tried thievery and decided it was wrong and no longer thinks thievery is reasonable? A person? A human being capable of rational thought, choice, and the ability to change? What if he only thought about stealing the wallet? What if we can stop him from stealing the wallet before he ever decides to steal the wallet by studying his habits, labeling them, and documenting them in order to prevent the theft from ever happening in the first place...

I can label inanimate objects. That's easy. Not so easy with people.
Labeling people is one of the tenets of statism. *hands you a gold star*

I still stand by: "Stop labeling people. It belies reason."
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 03:25 PM NHFT
How do you know whether people are being hassled to take up politics or not Jane?  It's not happening on this forum.

I understand. I just wanted to make sure you  knew  I only responded to Vitruvian who was demanding we denounce it.
I'm not sure I've ever asked you to take up politics, once I found out you didn't like it.
It's not necessary to believe the same things to be friends socially.
In fact I'm still quite good friends with people who've been banished from here long ago because some did not like their form of anarchy or who else they were hanging with.

 ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 03:29 PM NHFT
I don't think he is a troll just because he started a single controversial thread. 

I guess 'some' questions are allowed and tolerated, and others are not.

If I recall awhile back, when someone asked what I believe was an honest question about what you thought of a certain issue, you all jumped on him like he was a troll. Yet this guy charges in here, and is 'demanding' people explain and justify themselves for doing things that don't even concern him but they bother him in his mind.  None of his business I'd say. And the qualifications of a troll post..
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 03:49 PM NHFT
Yet this guy charges in here, and is 'demanding' people explain and justify themselves for doing things that don't even concern him but they bother him in his mind.  None of his business I'd say.

Jane, I have to take issue with this statement. This is the very point of contention- that politics is an aggressive act of force- the reason this thread is controversial. I agreed with you about him being rather heavy-handed and not tactful, but politics does affect us. We have every right to contest an action that infringes on our rights. We're all fighting against the things that are infringing on our liberties. To say that it's is in his head is skipping ahead of the debate and presuming that you have conveyed your point of view to him. You haven't. IF in fact, people are infringing on his rights by engaging in politics, then it is his business. That's his point.

OK, I'm just playing arbitrator / moderator. Continue.  :angel4:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 03:52 PM NHFT
A statement like that begs for principled anarchists to speak up and remind people why we are actively and consciously choosing to opt-out of politics. It's not apathy.

He should direct his response to FTL and stop acting like people here owe him a justification for their chosen methods.

What is he doing to advance freedom, beyond participating in an incestuous debate society?    There are principled anarchists here in NH who are doing something.  They have my respect. 

Sitting, talking and thinking are perfectly fine.  However, they aren't location specific activities, they have minimal impact on the outside world, and refining the philosophy of Mises would be a marginal benefit.   

The challenge is not to improve the philosophy, but to assist in its translation.  No matter if you choose to be political or apolitical, being an arrogant ass is at cross-purposes with helping others (especially emotional thinkers) see the value in liberty.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Nat F on November 13, 2007, 04:02 PM NHFT
This is the very point of contention- that politics is an aggressive act of force- the reason this thread is controversial. I agreed with you about him being rather heavy-handed and not tactful, but politics does affect us. We have every right to contest an action that infringes on our rights. We're all fighting against the things that are infringing on our liberties. To say that it's is in his head is skipping ahead of the debate and presuming that you have conveyed your point of view to him. You haven't. IF in fact, people are infringing on his rights by engaging in politics, then it is his business. That's his point.

If politics is an aggressive act of force then an anarchist who believes in self defense has the right and ability to respond with force in kind.  That action can take the form of civil disobedience (ala Lauren's actions) and can also use the very political process initiating force against them to stop that force.  It's up to each individual to decide what methods they wish to use but failing to make use of all tools at hand to reduce and possibly even prevent the aggressive act of force that politics may be is much the same as pissing into the wind.

-Nat
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 04:14 PM NHFT
If politics is an aggressive act of force...

Exactly. I see you caught my careful qualification of it as an "aggressive" act of force. I believe in defensive force but aggressive force is never justified. This is why I said the line seems fuzzier in a case where an aggressive law is being removed or nullified or rolled back in some way and voting for that does not appear to be an act of aggression. Unfortunately it still feeds into the appearance of legitimacy which I'm trying very hard to tear down. Where it is unambiguously aggressive to me is when it comes time to put a person in a position of power over other people. It's that very consolidation of power that I take issue with. I can't simply justify that as a defensive use of force.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 04:24 PM NHFT
He should direct his response to FTL and stop acting like people here owe him a justification for their chosen methods.

What is he doing to advance freedom, beyond participating in an incestuous debate society?    There are principled anarchists here in NH who are doing something.  They have my respect. 

Sitting, talking and thinking are perfectly fine.  However, they aren't location specific activities, they have minimal impact on the outside world, and refining the philosophy of Mises would be a marginal benefit.   

The challenge is not to improve the philosophy, but to assist in its translation.  No matter if you choose to be political or apolitical, being an arrogant ass is at cross-purposes with helping others (especially emotional thinkers) see the value in liberty.

I think the attacks on Eric are becoming repetitive and uncalled for. You're attacking a 19 year-old who's got a whole life ahead of him to learn to debate better and to engage in who knows what kind of activism. I repeat for your edudification:

Eric is definitely not a "do nothing" kind of guy. He's a very young, very principled, some would say too idealistic (but not me, I'm frequently accused of the same) guy who took a year out of school to check out the Free State Project.

It's funny to me that we seem to be in agreement that more tact is called for (yes, Eric too) and now we're back to personal attacks on Eric for supposed apathy. ...sigh.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 04:27 PM NHFT
I think I'd better avoid this thread for a while. I don't mind the debate topic, but Eric is a friend of mine who I admire and I think you've all gotten a misleading first impression of him. It's making me a bit defensive.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: picaro on November 13, 2007, 04:38 PM NHFT
Does Eric have plans to change things beyond just talking to his friends?  (just talking to friends could be effective, if you work  hard to enlarge your sphere of influence / social networks)

Attempting to paint everyone who uses political means with the same straw-man argument is annoying.  I respect people who choose non-political means of resistance.  (e.g. Your cartoon work is already getting recognition outside the movement.) I am just asking what action is he proposing or in the process of accomplishing?

Please, suggestions for effective action are always welcome.   If you want to drop-out and not engage the beast, there are better places than New Hampshire to escape.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 13, 2007, 04:40 PM NHFT
Will anyone be actually offended if I "tag" this masturbatory thread with an explicit, pornographic image of that act?




Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 13, 2007, 04:50 PM NHFT
I'm surprised the smiley is missing...
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 13, 2007, 04:51 PM NHFT
Anyone else gonna be at Murphy's tonight?
I'm dropping by to pick up some Ron Paul signs to attack people with...err deliver to people in the South-Western region of the Shire so they can engage in the immoral act of stabbing the poor defenseless lawns with those stabby wire frames.  :icon_pirat:

Liberty is the goal no matter the method.
Focus on the prize, not the means.
Do what you do and do it well.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 13, 2007, 04:54 PM NHFT
Everybody's going to be at Murphy's tonight, political and apolitical alike. :)

And anybody who brings up this topic at Murphy's tonight will ruin my good time. Just don't do it.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 05:11 PM NHFT
Everybody's going to be at Murphy's tonight, political and apolitical alike. :)

And anybody who brings up this topic at Murphy's tonight will ruin my good time. Just don't do it.

Aw now see, this is why error is among those people I 'like'.  ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 13, 2007, 05:14 PM NHFT
Dale, this part here is what I have trouble with:

"I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us."

I guess someone with his views who is demanding 'moral rectitude' seems to be quite an oxymoron.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 10:12 PM NHFT
Given that I am such an infrequent poster here (though not a troll, and not new [registered in February 2007]), I may have been presumptuous in using such high-toned language to make my point.  However, my esteemed opponents in this debate continue to show their colors:
Quote
Focus on the prize, not the means.

This one statement encompasses the central issue of the current thread.  The political types seem all too willing to don the blinders where means are concerned, preferring instead to focus solely on the ends.  From such an attitude, one can easily derive that old chestnut, "the ends justify the means." 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 10:28 PM NHFT
I agree Eric. The means are what lead to the goal. Some of us might disagree what they are, but I do think every step you take is part of reaching the prize.

I would think reasonable discussion of this topic at a taproom might actually make for better relationships. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 13, 2007, 10:36 PM NHFT
I just got off the phone with the FTL broadcast. I was on the entire last hour of the show discussing this topic. I'll briefly repeat what I said there. The means is what Libertarianism is all about. Do we not argue that entitlement programs are inherently wrong and that no amount of voting changes that?

So anyway, after Mark and I agreed that I wasn't going to change his view of the morality of voting, I pointed out that wasn't the point of my call. My reason for calling is that Mark was pressuring principled anarchists in the FSP to go ahead and vote to support their political friends. So now I'm just trying to convince him to accept that he shouldn't be urging someone to act against his or her own conscience. That seems very disrespectful and an unreasonable expectation.

So we're in this weird place where most of us seem to believe in letting people work for liberty in their own ways and yet Mark insists that principled anarchists should vote, i.e. work toward liberty in HIS way. It's funny how worked up this topic got him. I still like Mark a lot even though we will probably never see eye to eye on this. ;D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 13, 2007, 10:40 PM NHFT
Okay, forgive me if this has already been said, as I didn't read all the pages of this thread...

If you accept that "voting legitimizes the state," then you have already accepted the State.  The notion that voting makes the system legitimate is part of that system, and accepting that means accepting that system.  And, more to the point, given the propensity for voting among the general population, if you accept that notion, then you have actually claimed that the State is legitimate.

An anarchist does not, by definition, accept the State as legitimate.  No amount of voting, by anyone, including himself, will ever legitimize the State.  It is an available tool, and can be used or not used, as he sees fit.

Voting is force, but that only restricts pacifists - not anarchists - from using it.  If it is used for defensive purposes, then it is fully legitimate force, and not a violation of the ZAP.  That is where the "ends" and the "means" come in.  No ends can possibly justify aggression.  However, no moral principle that I've ever heard of can restrict the use of non-aggressive force.  Certain some folks (eg, pacifists) have aesthetic objections to the use of force, but aesthetics are personal and cannot be considered on-par with morality, which must be universal.

To sum up: here is nothing immoral about voting, per se, and no amount of voting can ever justify the existence of an aggressive entity, such as the State... there is no "principle" restricting anarchists from voting in defense of themselves or others against aggression.  Only voting for aggression would be unprincipled.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 10:41 PM NHFT
who knows ... you might be disagreeing with a character mark plays on the show :)

...obviously we need to allow others to "work for liberty" in their own ways .... how can we have freedom if we don't even have them in our friendships?

during every election guys get really worked up about us all helping them .... then they go back to normal afterwards :) This is my first primary season in NH and it is uglier than I imagined. Lucky the trees look nice. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 10:48 PM NHFT
Okay, forgive me if this has already been said, as I didn't read all the pages of this thread...

However, no moral principle that I've ever heard of can restrict the use of non-aggressive force.
We cannot forgive your lack of attention to every page of this thread. Now go copy the entire text of the Ed and Elaine Brown thread on the chalkboard and put out your hands, so I can rap your knuckles. ;)

There are some of us that try to repay evil with good, but that cannot "restrict" anyone that has not chosen to follow in Christ's footsteps. It is just an even better way in my opinion.

I think refraining from voting is just a little bit better way to follow, but slipping is not the end of the world .... just not a giant step forward. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 13, 2007, 10:59 PM NHFT
There are some of us that try to repay evil with good, but that cannot "restrict" anyone that has not chosen to follow in Christ's footsteps. It is just an even better way in my opinion.

I think refraining from voting is just a little bit better way to follow, but slipping is not the end of the world .... just not a giant step forward. :)

Aesthetically, I would class defensive violence as "good," in that it displays love of society by defending it against predation.

Morally, violence, in and of itself (as with any mere action) cannot be good or evil.  An act can only attain moral status when in context.  Aggressive violence is evil.  Non-aggressive violence could be neutral or good, depending on the context.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 11:02 PM NHFT
I agree Joe.

I have also found my decision making process has gotten easier, when I am not even using defensive violence.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 13, 2007, 11:04 PM NHFT
I agree Joe.

I have also found my decision making process has gotten easier, when I am not even using defensive violence.

That's certainly the case.  I just don't like taking the easy way :)

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 11:13 PM NHFT
please do not move this topic to endless debate .... the subject properly warns people what will be contained within .... if you love politics ... then go to the corner of our forum where we put up with such nonsense.

There are not that many places where we can discuss principled noncooperation with the US government political system .... especially with my friends.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 11:15 PM NHFT
That's certainly the case.  I just don't like taking the easy way :)

Joe
I believe it.
Holy schnickees Joe .... look at your karma .... how did you get so much positive and negative? You make me look like an uncontrovesial character. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 13, 2007, 11:16 PM NHFT
please do not move this topic to endless debate .... the subject properly warns people what will be contained within .... if you love politics ... then go to the corner of our forum where we put up with such nonsense.

There are not that many places where we can discuss principled noncooperation with the US government political system .... especially with my friends.
Ok... the reason I moved it was because it started off with that discussion then it seemed to turn to endless bitchin' and whinin'... your forum you can have it you way and I can ignore this thread.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 11:20 PM NHFT
yea ... I sometimes move threads to endless .... mostly because they change topics ... but this one has stayed true to it's purpose .... to cause devision and to make blood boil. ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 11:31 PM NHFT
Quote
Voting is force, but that only restricts pacifists - not anarchists - from using it.  If it is used for defensive purposes, then it is fully legitimate force, and not a violation of the ZAP.

I disagree.  Electoral voting is aggressive force.  While the simple act of pulling a lever or pushing a button in the voting booth does not constitute violence, the result of the act most certainly does.  When a person votes to elect another to a position of power, he or she is accomplice to every crime of the elected other.  For instance, many of the political types intend to vote for Ron Paul in one year's time.  Although Ron Paul will probably commit far fewer crimes than the other contenders, some innocents will assuredly suffer by his hand or those of his administration.  Your vote makes possible the commission of these crimes and ensures they continue in perpetuity.

Carl Watner makes the same argument in this article, titled "Is Voting an Act of Violence?": http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html (http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rosie the Riveter on November 13, 2007, 11:38 PM NHFT
OK, I'm just playing arbitrator / moderator. Continue.  :angel4:

I read the entire thread...good debate..... I'm still going to vote for Ron Paul.

I like Dale and it apprears he is offering to be a moderator  ;D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 13, 2007, 11:52 PM NHFT
Quote
Ah, well.  If he's 19, then there is no point in my watching this thread.  19 year olds tend to be full of passion, but nothing productive comes from engaging them in debate; its all just pizza-and-beer talk.

I doubt that one year would make much difference, but I am actually twenty.  More to the point, please don't categorize me because of my age, you old fart; I don't eat pizza and I don't drink beer. :)

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 13, 2007, 11:54 PM NHFT
Quote
Ah, well.  If he's 19, then there is no point in my watching this thread.  19 year olds tend to be full of passion, but nothing productive comes from engaging them in debate; its all just pizza-and-beer talk.

I doubt that one year would make much difference, but I am actually twenty.  More to the point, please don't categorize me because of my age, you old fart; I don't eat pizza and I don't drink beer. :)



great... haggis and ale then  :icon_pirat:

edit: wait...did I just read this correctly? Don't label you according to age?? o.O *chuckle*
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 13, 2007, 11:59 PM NHFT
that is funny shyfrog .... the more tense the debate ... the funnier it is to us spectators :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 14, 2007, 12:02 AM NHFT
Quote
you old fart

"That's what you call ironic."
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 14, 2007, 12:03 AM NHFT
great... haggis and ale then  :icon_pirat:

edit: wait...did I just read this correctly? Don't label you according to age?? o.O *chuckle*

LOL! He said HAGGIS!    :laughing4:  ( I was married to a Scot)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rosie the Riveter on November 14, 2007, 12:03 AM NHFT
I'm listening to Dale on the FTL podcast. He is presenting a great argument and yes, it is quite an argument...



Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 12:09 AM NHFT
isn't that what they like on ftlive?
I should listen to it sometime.
I think finding out what people are doing once they move to NH is a very helpful.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 14, 2007, 12:11 AM NHFT
that is funny shyfrog .... the more tense the debate ... the funnier it is to us spectators :)

Russell ... I really don't understand the split very much. Never have. I enjoy the ideas on both ends of the spectrum and have never really latched on to either ideal with any amount of zeal other than wanting to be involved and lending what talent I do have to the causes.

There are too many good things happening and events to get involved in. To try and influence the dynamics of such a diverse group and even suggest that everyone move in a particular direction is ... to put it as mild as I can ... ludicrous.

Theorizing can be fun... action is more fun... seeing results of action is a veritable Festivus.

Speaking of Festivus...  :icon_pirat:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rosie the Riveter on November 14, 2007, 12:18 AM NHFT
Yea, Russell, Mark says arguments make for great radio....

I agree it is great to hear about everyone's ideas and actions here in NH. The only direction I would suggest is a peaceful one and hell, I might even suggest -- what ever you do try to enjoy doing it....



Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 12:22 AM NHFT
yea .... following your passions, should be enjoyable

... the fun of posting late ... it is like you get the last word in an argument
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 14, 2007, 12:28 AM NHFT
moo
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 12:37 AM NHFT
Russell ... I really don't understand the split very much. Never have. I enjoy the ideas on both ends of the spectrum and have never really latched on to either ideal with any amount of zeal other than wanting to be involved and lending what talent I do have to the causes.
Somehow I missed this post ... sometimes the forum messes up.
We all see it differently.
I have found many people who still do "politics" like both inside and outside government activism. Whereas us "outsiders" usually have no appreciation for the political rangling.
Us crazy fundies will always be like this. One of my goals in my actions and promotion of similar activities is to attract 20-year-old-radical-purists who want nothing to do with the political treadmill. I think it is working.
... nothing like striking at the root.
But I will always be friends with those that want us all to live with more personal liberty, but are currently caught on the treadmill. :) I can sometimes be bribed to run alongside. It is a wild ride. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 14, 2007, 12:40 AM NHFT

Liberty is the goal no matter the method.
Focus on the prize, not the means.

That is a dangerous philosophy to live by when taken to its logical conclusion.   :-\

I don't get too worked up about the differences between the two positions, even though I agree with Vitruvian.  To be honest though, I do enjoy the debate, it helps to clarify my own positions in my head, clear out the cobwebs so to speak.   :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 14, 2007, 12:53 AM NHFT

Liberty is the goal no matter the method.
Focus on the prize, not the means.

That is a dangerous philosophy to live by when taken to its logical conclusion.   :-\

I don't get too worked up about the differences between the two positions, even though I agree with Vitruvian.  To be honest though, I do enjoy the debate, it helps to clarify my own positions in my head, clear out the cobwebs so to speak.   :)

If that is taken to mean anything other than non-violent means, you're all on serious drugs. This isn't the GOP forum (or the Donkey discussion)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 14, 2007, 12:58 AM NHFT
I assume YOU would not do so violently, (politics aside  :icon_pirat:  ), but that statement has cause a tremendous amount of misery when taken to its conclusion.  Many, many people believe the ends justify the means. 
I would never accuse you of violence, unless I had some proof of it.  No insult intended. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 14, 2007, 03:55 AM NHFT
I still would like to see the jerk smiley here...
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: cathleeninnh on November 14, 2007, 08:29 AM NHFT
Damn, I love New Hampshire!

Cathleen
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 14, 2007, 08:33 AM NHFT
Quote
Voting is force, but that only restricts pacifists - not anarchists - from using it.  If it is used for defensive purposes, then it is fully legitimate force, and not a violation of the ZAP.
I disagree.  Electoral voting is aggressive force.  While the simple act of pulling a lever or pushing a button in the voting booth does not constitute violence, the result of the act most certainly does.  When a person votes to elect another to a position of power, he or she is accomplice to every crime of the elected other.

Again, that's what the system called "democracy" says.  By accepting that, you are implicitly accepting that system.

If some rapist has you tied up and is about to have his way with you, and you tell him to please use the lube that's sitting on the shelf over there, that doesn't make you a willing participant.  You are still a victim.  You have merely acted to mitigate the injury you would suffer.

To look at it from a more technical standpoint, the claim that voting supports the actions of a given candidate is based on the notion that you have contracted with that candidate to do certain things, so you bear responsibility for his actions as a result.  I think that's a good summary...

Well, the system as it exists puts all of us in a state of duress.  They have the power to use violence to obtain compliance with their arbitrary rulings.  Since we are placed under duress by them, we cannot form a legitimate contract with them.  Contract obtained under duress are not valid.  As such, there is no contractural responsibility on the part of the electorate for the actions of the politicians.

For instance, many of the political types intend to vote for Ron Paul in one year's time.  Although Ron Paul will probably commit far fewer crimes than the other contenders, some innocents will assuredly suffer by his hand or those of his administration.  Your vote makes possible the commission of these crimes and ensures they continue in perpetuity.

To look at it another way, I would never vote for Ron Paul, but I would vote against every other candidate in that race.  But, as stated above, responsibility for his actions cannot exist with the electorate, due to the state of duress created by the government.  Contracts are simply not valid if obtained under duress.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 14, 2007, 08:36 AM NHFT
That's certainly the case.  I just don't like taking the easy way :)
I believe it.
Holy schnickees Joe .... look at your karma .... how did you get so much positive and negative? You make me look like an uncontrovesial character. :)

Apparently, there is someone, or some small group of someones, who likes to smite me pretty much every hour, attempting to keep me at -5

And there are folks here who take offense at that and applaud me on a regular basis to bring me back up.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Kat Kanning on November 14, 2007, 08:43 AM NHFT
I finally figured out how to look in the database at who does what with karma.  There isn't much info, but it appears just one persistent person is dinging your karma.  Seems like he'd get a life.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: PattyLee loves dogs on November 14, 2007, 09:28 AM NHFT
Quote
"I just saved a bunch of money by switching to Ron Paul!"

Say, error, that's brilliant. Did you steal that from GEICO or did someone else?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 14, 2007, 09:56 AM NHFT
I think I will start the show tonight by discussing how both Mark and Dale's positions are counterproductive.  Feel free to call and add your thoughts.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: bill rose on November 14, 2007, 10:04 AM NHFT
i am not pointing fingers but i have been beggin for so real civil action on this board
none have stepped up oh well message me if you live in manch
this guy is very good at the long winded do not express you self at all
lay down your arms speech why are you not calling him out on it
dont forget
who "took" ed => his "friends" or supporters
look around
dont point fingers but know ed's "friends" who took him have "friends" here
i like this board but

question911.com

infowars.com

much more info
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 14, 2007, 10:25 AM NHFT
I think I will start the show tonight by discussing how both Mark and Dale's positions are counterproductive.
I will listen only if the liner notes clearly identify this segment as "FTL masturbates with listeners"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 14, 2007, 10:36 AM NHFT
Quote
Voting is force, but that only restricts pacifists - not anarchists - from using it.  If it is used for defensive purposes, then it is fully legitimate force, and not a violation of the ZAP.

I disagree.  Electoral voting is aggressive force.  While the simple act of pulling a lever or pushing a button in the voting booth does not constitute violence, the result of the act most certainly does.  When a person votes to elect another to a position of power, he or she is accomplice to every crime of the elected other.  For instance, many of the political types intend to vote for Ron Paul in one year's time.  Although Ron Paul will probably commit far fewer crimes than the other contenders, some innocents will assuredly suffer by his hand or those of his administration.  Your vote makes possible the commission of these crimes and ensures they continue in perpetuity.

Carl Watner makes the same argument in this article, titled "Is Voting an Act of Violence?": http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html (http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html)

This argument makes sense to me, yet there is another side to it which begs attention (or refutation)... so I am going to play the devil's advocate for a minute.  I am curious what the rest of you anarchists make of this:

Taking the Ron Paul candidacy as an example, it is undeniably obvious that a Ron Paul administration would create far less victims of violence than that of any other presidential candidate in this race.  This can easily be deduced by observing the track records of the candidates in their previous political offices.

If enough people care about that fact to vote for Ron Paul in the elections, a great deal of gov't violence will be prevented -- by the simple non-violent act of each person stating a preference. This is not a vote for the perpetuation of government itself: We can safely assume that option will definitely not be on the ballot.  Government will definitely continue to exist beyond this presidential election, regardless of whether you and I vote in it.

We know that if everyone who loves freedom decided not to vote, Ron Paul will not be our next president, and an opportunity to prevent a large amount of governmental violence will have been missed.  Of course, this is assuming that enough other people vote the same way I do, which is a distinct possibility.  On the other hand, if nobody at all voted, gov't would ostensibly cease to exist -- but that is categorically impossible, because at the very least gov't folks themselves will always vote, as long as ballot boxes exist.

So the question at the center of this issue is, "Am I responsible for allowing something bad to happen to my fellow man through my inaction, when I am aware that I could easily do something to prevent it?"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 14, 2007, 10:41 AM NHFT
Quote
To look at it from a more technical standpoint, the claim that voting supports the actions of a given candidate is based on the notion that you have contracted with that candidate to do certain things, so you bear responsibility for his actions as a result.  I think that's a good summary...

Well, the system as it exists puts all of us in a state of duress.  They have the power to use violence to obtain compliance with their arbitrary rulings.  Since we are placed under duress by them, we cannot form a legitimate contract with them.  Contract obtained under duress are not valid.  As such, there is no contractural responsibility on the part of the electorate for the actions of the politicians.

No one is under any duress to vote.  Voting is a positive action and with it comes partial responsibility for the actions of the person you helped put into power.  Without the voters, the politicians would be able neither to claim legitimacy nor to achieve their criminal ends.

Quote
To look at it another way, I would never vote for Ron Paul, but I would vote against every other candidate in that race.  But, as stated above, responsibility for his actions cannot exist with the electorate, due to the state of duress created by the government.  Contracts are simply not valid if obtained under duress.

If Ron Paul is elected to the presidency, the evil he will inflict will no doubt be lesser than that of the other candidates, but he will still do some evil and you would be responsible for that evil no matter how much you wish to excuse yourself.  Your argument would justify electing some of the most horrendous murderers in history, on the off-chance that their opponents would commit greater evils.  The blood of their victims would stain your hands too.

Quote
I will listen only if the liner notes clearly identify this segment as "FTL masturbates with listeners"

Theory and ideology move mountains while you push at pebbles.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 14, 2007, 10:56 AM NHFT
Quote
To look at it from a more technical standpoint, the claim that voting supports the actions of a given candidate is based on the notion that you have contracted with that candidate to do certain things, so you bear responsibility for his actions as a result.  I think that's a good summary...

Well, the system as it exists puts all of us in a state of duress.  They have the power to use violence to obtain compliance with their arbitrary rulings.  Since we are placed under duress by them, we cannot form a legitimate contract with them.  Contract obtained under duress are not valid.  As such, there is no contractural responsibility on the part of the electorate for the actions of the politicians.

No one is under any duress to vote.  Voting is a positive action and with it comes partial responsibility for the actions of the person you helped put into power.

The contract you are supposing in which voters agree to accept responsibility for the actions of the politicians cannot exist, because the voters are already under duress.  Being under duress, the voters have every right to mitigate the damages they endure by doing what they can to select “less evil” candidates.  That selection cannot be “support” of that candidate, because the state of duress already existed.

If someone kidnaps you, nothing you do while under his control can be considered “support” of his actions against you, because your choices were not freely made.

Without the voters, the politicians would be able neither to claim legitimacy nor to achieve their criminal ends.

Clearly, because no non-elected dictator has ever caused harm...

That’s just an asinine statement.  They will do what they will do, regardless of whether you vote for them, or their opponents, or no one at all.  It has happened, you know... a town election in which no one showed up at the polls.  No one.  So all the incumbents just declared that the townsfolk obviously intended them to keep their positions, and stayed where they were.

The rest of your post is more of the same, so I don’t suppose there’s any particular reason to reply to it.  Basically, you are stuck on the notion that voting legitimizes the State.  By accepting that proposition, you have accepted the State.  As long as you hold onto that, you are a part of the State, and have no moral authority to judge an anarchist.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 14, 2007, 10:58 AM NHFT
Will anyone be actually offended if I "tag" this masturbatory thread with an explicit, pornographic image of that act?

I think I will start the show tonight by discussing how both Mark and Dale's positions are counterproductive.
I will listen only if the liner notes clearly identify this segment as "FTL masturbates with listeners"

 :( Never thought I would smite Denis, but I just did.

Honest, thoughtful debate can be very productive... in fact, that cannot be stressed enough.  When done for the purpose of edification rather than to convince others of one's own superiority, it is a very effective thinking and learning tool.  When done respectfully, it also helps to clear the air and understand other peoples' points of view, which draws us closer together -- while the alternative is to not give a sh-t about folks who appear to espouse erroneous views, resulting in distancing and festering animosity.

If you have a point to make here, please do so.  Characterizing an educational debate as a self-gratifying sex act is both counterproductive and offensive.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 14, 2007, 11:15 AM NHFT
Quote
If you have a point to make here, please do so.  Characterizing an educational debate as a self-gratifying sex act is both counterproductive and offensive.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt insulted.

Quote
Clearly, because no non-elected dictator has ever caused harm...

I was speaking in the context of the present system, the so-called democratic republic.  However, every dictator causes harm with the tacit support of a sizable segment of the population.

Quote
The rest of your post is more of the same, so I don’t suppose there’s any particular reason to reply to it.  Basically, you are stuck on the notion that voting legitimizes the State.  By accepting that proposition, you have accepted the State.  As long as you hold onto that, you are a part of the State, and have no moral authority to judge an anarchist.

I do not think that voting legitimizes the State (I don't recall saying that but perhaps I did), only that it creates the illusion of legitimacy that agents of the State use to justify their actions.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 14, 2007, 11:46 AM NHFT
Quote
Clearly, because no non-elected dictator has ever caused harm...
I was speaking in the context of the present system, the so-called democratic republic.

Yes, you were speaking in that context.  I was speaking as an anarchist.

However, every dictator causes harm with the tacit support of a sizable segment of the population.

That’s an amusing notion.  Of course, since “sizable” is not defined, it’s a semantically-null statement.  In other words, talking for the sake of talking, without saying anything...

I do not think that voting legitimizes the State (I don't recall saying that but perhaps I did), only that it creates the illusion of legitimacy that agents of the State use to justify their actions.

You’ve said repeatedly that voting legitimizes the State.  You’ve tried to couch it in various other terms, but all your claims here boil down to that.  If voting does not legitimize the State, then it cannot be support of the State (by definition), and cannot be wrongful as such.

Your claim, repeatedly, is that voting is wrong because it legitimizes the State’s actions, thereby making the voter a party to those actions, which are (far more often than not) evil.  However, there is no magical reason why voting would legitimize the State.  That is a claim of the State, not something which exists as natural law or somesuch.  If you accept that claim, then you have accepted the system of the State and, since folks do vote, you have actually accepted the State as legitimate.

That position is not compatible with anarchy.  The State is not legitimate, and nothing can ever make it legitimate, including voting.  If voting does not legitimize the State’s actions, then it does not cause the voter to bear responsibility for them.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rodinia on November 14, 2007, 12:02 PM NHFT
It seems like threads like this come about because those that love politics are pressuring others to join them. I guess those of us that hate government and the strange game of politics will have to weather the enthusiasm surrounding each election.
I look back with fondness to living in places where presidential primary candidates didn't visit. ;)
The State likes it when people jump on the  :treadmill:. I enjoy seeing people jump back off of it. I hope to see a few of you again soon, and I hope you don't mind that I stop by every once in a while  :soapbox: and remind you that your steps are leading nowhere. :Bolt:

I've noticed the contrary to be true about liberty minded,(alliteration warning) principled politico's pressuring people to participate in the political system. It seems in my experiences, those who would work outside the system have far greater contempt for those who choose to work within the system.
Personally speaking, I think both angles are necessary. I think many who don't find working inside the system to be immoral or a waste of time can appreciate what those who work outside the system do. I don't see this translate reciprocally all too often. This seem to fly in the face of individualism.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 14, 2007, 12:10 PM NHFT
From my second post in this thread:
Quote
Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.

Quote
Yes, you were speaking in that context.  I was speaking as an anarchist.


You are not the only anarchist posting here: my profile and previous posts say as much.

Quote
That’s an amusing notion.  Of course, since “sizable” is not defined, it’s a semantically-null statement.  In other words, talking for the sake of talking, without saying anything...

You have not defined any words thus far; does that make them "semantically-null," "talking for the sake of talking"?  Find a dictionary if you want a definition.  Are you also suggesting that historical dictators lacked any support among the populations they claimed to rule?  And, if not, what measurable forms could this support possibly take?

Quote
The State is not legitimate, and nothing can ever make it legitimate, including voting.

As you must know, the vast majority of people on this planet view governments as legitimate entities, otherwise States simply could not sustain themselves.  Their legitimacy is an illusion.  But the larger issue remains: I claim that voting is immoral because it enables aggressive violence against innocents not because it perpetuates this illusion.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 14, 2007, 12:25 PM NHFT

If voting does not legitimize the State’s actions, then it does not cause the voter to bear responsibility for them.

Joe

If that is true, then the same could be said for other things, such as paying income tax: If one pays the income tax demanded by the State (regardless of whether or not there is an actual law), does that legitimize the State's actions?  If not, then does it follow that one does not share any responsibility for the acts of war, torture, etc. that the State commits, when one chooses to hand them the funds to do so?

While it does not actually give the State legitimacy, funding it through payment of taxes at least appears to perpetuate its existence.  The same can be said for voting.

When there is an option for abolishing the State -- or even a single elected office -- on the ballot, I will personally feel no ambivalence toward voting.  Voting for "lesser evils" (or against greater evils >:D) is a gray area for me, and one that I am increasingly uncomfortable with.

By the way, thank you Vitruvian for starting a debate on this subject.  It has long been a gray area for me, and one I have unknowingly been avoiding thinking about.  This discussion is helping to bring this subject into sharper perspective for me, by motivating me to think about it, as well as benefitting from other peoples' diverse insights, including yours :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 14, 2007, 12:30 PM NHFT
From my second post in this thread:
Quote
Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.


This is the point that Vitruvian has been making all along, and I have yet to see any attempt at a rebuttal.

If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.

It is worth adding that therein lies the effectiveness of Lauren Canario's brand of activism.  It lends no illusion of credibility to the State.  Instead, it motivates ordinary folks to think about something that they would otherwise never consider: "Is the State itself actually such a "necessary" evil -- or could we do without it?"  It strikes at the very root of the evil of the State.  If she combined that activism with voting and supporting political candidates, it would only preserve the illusion that the State can ultimately save us from tyranny, and ordinary folks would dismiss her message because of the apparent inconsistency.

The trick is to motivate more and more people to think.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 14, 2007, 12:39 PM NHFT
From my second post in this thread:
Quote
Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.


This is the point that Vitruvian has been making all along, and I have yet to see any attempt at a rebuttal.

If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.


So is Vitruvian now the new NH Free Jesus?

 :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 14, 2007, 01:00 PM NHFT
From my second post in this thread:
Quote
Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.


This is the point that Vitruvian has been making all along, and I have yet to see any attempt at a rebuttal.

If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.


So is Vitruvian now the new NH Free Jesus?

 :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:

WTF Jane?  What exactly are you implying?  If you are implying that I am blindly following the ideology of another, you need to go back and read my post more carefully.

What part of "which I personally can think of none" don't you understand?  Just so you know, every belief I hold is filtered through my mind before I accept it as my own.  That in no way precludes me from learning from the insights of others.

If you only hold beliefs that are original to your own mind, then your degree of personal growth must be pitiful indeed.  The same is true if your beliefs remain static rather than evolving.

There is a reason I have you on ignore.  Unfortunately, the "ignore" function does not block your posts from showing up when I am in the middle of posting a reply.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: KBCraig on November 14, 2007, 01:14 PM NHFT
I finally figured out how to look in the database at who does what with karma.  There isn't much info, but it appears just one persistent person is dinging your karma.  Seems like he'd get a life.

The +/- systems seems to have thrown him for a loop. It's been holding at -1391 for a day or more.

Many thanks to those who have joined my effort to boost Joe back up.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 14, 2007, 01:24 PM NHFT
WTF Jane?  What exactly are you implying?  If you are implying that I am blindly following the ideology of another, you need to go back and read my post more carefully.

Does trying to be funny count? I know a lot of people's ideas that I can't necessarily refute, but it doesn't mean I should suddenly say I am inclined to have to adopt them.

There is a reason I have you on ignore.

Let me guess; because you have no sense of humor?

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 14, 2007, 02:27 PM NHFT

Quote
If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.

On my list of things to do for this evening, srqrebel... hope I can put together a good case.   :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 14, 2007, 02:44 PM NHFT
If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.

How's this for a sound rebuttal?

http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=17849.msg330601#msg330601

NOT!

This guy says you're not violating the NAP by taking a hit out on someone!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rosie the Riveter on November 14, 2007, 03:11 PM NHFT

Quote
If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.

On my list of things to do for this evening, srqrebel... hope I can put together a good case.   :)


I'll be looking forward to reading your rebuttal professor.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Kat Kanning on November 14, 2007, 03:16 PM NHFT
i am not pointing fingers but i have been beggin for so real civil action on this board
none have stepped up oh well message me if you live in manch
this guy is very good at the long winded do not express you self at all
lay down your arms speech why are you not calling him out on it
dont forget
who "took" ed => his "friends" or supporters
look around
dont point fingers but know ed's "friends" who took him have "friends" here
i like this board but

I wonder what this said.  ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 03:29 PM NHFT
I think I will start the show tonight by discussing how both Mark and Dale's positions are counterproductive.  Feel free to call and add your thoughts.
When should I call and try to get on? I can throw in my 2 cents. :)
I have not found either of these guys as counterproductive. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 03:38 PM NHFT
I've noticed the contrary to be true about liberty minded,(alliteration warning) principled politico's pressuring people to participate in the political system. It seems in my experiences, those who would work outside the system have far greater contempt for those who choose to work within the system.
Personally speaking, I think both angles are necessary. I think many who don't find working inside the system to be immoral or a waste of time can appreciate what those who work outside the system do. I don't see this translate reciprocally all too often. This seem to fly in the face of individualism.
Actually ... I must have said something wrong, since I agree with you.
Those of us on the outside are usually not impressed with political insider activity, while some of you do appreciate some of what we do.
I also have found that you guys see two angles of attack ... and we see one way ... striking at the root.

But there are some politicos .... that get really worked up around election time ... and they sometimes pressure or even get angry with some of us. I am trying to put some comic relief into the tension. :)

In fact I am attempting to vote sometime soon .... but only because I am being "bought". It gets the politician off my back and lines my pocket. ;) ... not very principled, but it is fun.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 14, 2007, 03:41 PM NHFT
I've noticed the contrary to be true about liberty minded,(alliteration warning) principled politico's pressuring people to participate in the political system. It seems in my experiences, those who would work outside the system have far greater contempt for those who choose to work within the system.
Personally speaking, I think both angles are necessary. I think many who don't find working inside the system to be immoral or a waste of time can appreciate what those who work outside the system do. I don't see this translate reciprocally all too often. This seem to fly in the face of individualism.
Actually ... I must have said something wrong, since I agree with you.
Those of us on the outside are usually not impressed with political insider activity, while some of you do appreciate some of what we do.
I also have found that you guys see two angles of attack ... and we see one way ... striking at the root.

But there are some politicos .... that get really worked up around election time ... and they sometimes pressure or even get angry with some of us. I am trying to put some comic relief into the tension. :)

In fact I am attempting to vote sometime soon .... but only because I am being "bought". It gets the politician off my back and lines my pocket. ;) ... not very principled, but it is fun.

So in light of my satire on Vote Control in Endless Debate and Whining, you've been hired as a hit man. hmmm
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 14, 2007, 03:44 PM NHFT
Although I am at heart an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist, I realize that it's going to take time to get from where we are currently to where I'd like to be.  I have been a non-voter and stayed completely out of politics for the same moral reasons many voluntaryists have.  But I have come to realize that short of a complete crash of society, we'll never get from here to there by sitting on the sidelines.  The system exists whether or not we agree with it, and it will continue to perpetuate itself until we force it back to its roots; and we can only do that by participating in the system.  If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

I for one will continue to fight for a return to Constitutional Republicanism, and will still in my heart and in my actions otherwise support anarcho-capitalism and voluntaryism.  That is the ideal, but we're nowhere close to achieving it in our current reality.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 14, 2007, 03:56 PM NHFT
Although I am at heart an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist, I realize that it's going to take time to get from where we are currently to where I'd like to be.  I have been a non-voter and stayed completely out of politics for the same moral reasons many voluntaryists have.  But I have come to realize that short of a complete crash of society, we'll never get from here to there by sitting on the sidelines.  The system exists whether or not we agree with it, and it will continue to perpetuate itself until we force it back to its roots; and we can only do that by participating in the system.  If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

I for one will continue to fight for a return to Constitutional Republicanism, and will still in my heart and in my actions otherwise support anarcho-capitalism and voluntaryism.  That is the ideal, but we're nowhere close to achieving it in our current reality.

Very good post.  One question -- do you think "a complete crash of society" under our current circumstances would bring about "the anarcho-capitalist ideal (you) so hope for?"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 14, 2007, 04:58 PM NHFT
If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

What happened the last time we had a Constitutional Republic?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 14, 2007, 05:02 PM NHFT
If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

What happened the last time we had a Constitutional Republic?

Another way to put the same question: What happened the last time we had an Age of Enlightenment?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 14, 2007, 05:07 PM NHFT
One question -- do you think "a complete crash of society" under our current circumstances would bring about "the anarcho-capitalist ideal (you) so hope for?"

To have total anarchy would then insure that we would all be required to use force just to survive.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 14, 2007, 05:32 PM NHFT
To have total anarchy would then insure that we would all be required to use force just to survive.

How could it possibly be any different than now? If someone attacks you in our "safe" nanny-state, I suggest you be prepared to defend yourself. Are you going to call the police and ask your attacker to wait for them to arrive? If we had no police, and no accompanying false sense of security, a lot more people would be armed. Being a criminal in such a society is playing Russian roulette. I would anticipate a lot less crime, and that's even if you ignore the vast number of crimes the police and politicians wouldn't be around to commit without consequences as they do now, i.e. the source of most crime today.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rodinia on November 14, 2007, 05:48 PM NHFT
I've noticed the contrary to be true about liberty minded,(alliteration warning) principled politico's pressuring people to participate in the political system. It seems in my experiences, those who would work outside the system have far greater contempt for those who choose to work within the system.
Personally speaking, I think both angles are necessary. I think many who don't find working inside the system to be immoral or a waste of time can appreciate what those who work outside the system do. I don't see this translate reciprocally all too often. This seem to fly in the face of individualism.
Actually ... I must have said something wrong, since I agree with you.
Those of us on the outside are usually not impressed with political insider activity, while some of you do appreciate some of what we do.
I also have found that you guys see two angles of attack ... and we see one way ... striking at the root.

But there are some politicos .... that get really worked up around election time ... and they sometimes pressure or even get angry with some of us. I am trying to put some comic relief into the tension. :)

In fact I am attempting to vote sometime soon .... but only because I am being "bought". It gets the politician off my back and lines my pocket. ;) ... not very principled, but it is fun.

Maybe, what the tree needs is a damned fine pruning. I'm just offering another perspective. Going along with the liberty tree analogy, I don't want to kill it, I want it healthy. I want the tree to thrive.
As a gardner, I know the obvious way to accomplish this is by trimming off the growth that is retarding the plant from springing new, healthy growth. With a little nurturing, we could have fruit.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 14, 2007, 06:14 PM NHFT
Although I am at heart an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist, I realize that it's going to take time to get from where we are currently to where I'd like to be.  I have been a non-voter and stayed completely out of politics for the same moral reasons many voluntaryists have.  But I have come to realize that short of a complete crash of society, we'll never get from here to there by sitting on the sidelines.  The system exists whether or not we agree with it, and it will continue to perpetuate itself until we force it back to its roots; and we can only do that by participating in the system.  If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

I for one will continue to fight for a return to Constitutional Republicanism, and will still in my heart and in my actions otherwise support anarcho-capitalism and voluntaryism.  That is the ideal, but we're nowhere close to achieving it in our current reality.

Very good post.  One question -- do you think "a complete crash of society" under our current circumstances would bring about "the anarcho-capitalist ideal (you) so hope for?"

No, I don't.  I was saying that right now we have a means to get from here to there by participating in the system and helping to restore our Republic.  The only other option is to build it from the ground up after a societal crash, God forbid.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 14, 2007, 06:16 PM NHFT
If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

What happened the last time we had a Constitutional Republic?

The state took over education and people stopped being taught correct principles and about how to keep a Constitutional Republic alive. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 06:24 PM NHFT
Maybe, what the tree needs is a damned fine pruning. I'm just offering another perspective. Going along with the liberty tree analogy, I don't want to kill it, I want it healthy. I want the tree to thrive.
As a gardner, I know the obvious way to accomplish this is by trimming off the growth that is retarding the plant from springing new, healthy growth. With a little nurturing, we could have fruit.
I don't think there is a living liberty tree in the heart of the current system that needs care. We have to grab liberty tree and ram the door down of the governmental institutions enslaving the world. You can't grow trees very well inside. ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 06:26 PM NHFT
The only other option is to build it from the ground up after a societal crash, God forbid.
not after a societal crash ... a governmental crash
our society will be strongest when the thugs are not effecting it :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 14, 2007, 06:38 PM NHFT
From my second post in this thread:
Quote
Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.
I think I have been quite consistent on this point.

Which is not the same as calling voting immoral.

Quote
Yes, you were speaking in that context.  I was speaking as an anarchist.
You are not the only anarchist posting here: my profile and previous posts say as much.

Calling yourself an anarchist does not make you one.  There are plenty of communists that claim to be anarchists, even as they specifically call for the creation and perpetuation of government.

Quote
That’s an amusing notion.  Of course, since “sizable” is not defined, it’s a semantically-null statement.  In other words, talking for the sake of talking, without saying anything...
You have not defined any words thus far; does that make them "semantically-null," "talking for the sake of talking"?  Find a dictionary if you want a definition.  Are you also suggesting that historical dictators lacked any support among the populations they claimed to rule?  And, if not, what measurable forms could this support possibly take?

Sigh... we’re not talking about defining a word.  We’re talking about defining a mathematical quantity.  0.0000001% has a size and, therefore, is a “sizable” quantity.  The same can be said for 99.9999%.  Or anything in-between.  Making claims that support was “sizable” is semantically null, as it merely defines the support as non-zero, which we know to be a fact because the dictator clearly supports himself, even if no one else did.

Quote
The State is not legitimate, and nothing can ever make it legitimate, including voting.
As you must know, the vast majority of people on this planet view governments as legitimate entities, otherwise States simply could not sustain themselves.  Their legitimacy is an illusion.  But the larger issue remains: I claim that voting is immoral because it enables aggressive violence against innocents not because it perpetuates this illusion.

You claim that, but you cannot seem to demonstrate it in any way...

If voting does not legitimize the State’s actions, then it does not cause the voter to bear responsibility for them.
If that is true, then the same could be said for other things, such as paying income tax: If one pays the income tax demanded by the State (regardless of whether or not there is an actual law), does that legitimize the State's actions?  If not, then does it follow that one does not share any responsibility for the acts of war, torture, etc. that the State commits, when one chooses to hand them the funds to do so?

While it does not actually give the State legitimacy, funding it through payment of taxes at least appears to perpetuate its existence.  The same can be said for voting.

The same could be said of many things.  And it boils down to that issue of duress.

Let’s take taxation to its simplest form: some thug jumps out from behind a bush and demands your wallet, while pointing a shotgun at your head.  Let’s say you hand over your wallet, to avoid getting your brains splattered on the shrubbery.  Did you just “legitimize” his mugging of you?  Of course not - you were a victim.  The same goes for taxes.  And that includes all taxes, not just income taxes.  Income taxes are easy to avoid paying (comparatively-speaking), so they are a favorite to jump on.  But the total tax burden is on the order of 90%, once inflation of the money supply, taxes on products, regulatory expenses, etc. are added in.

If voting legitimizes the State, so does paying anything into the State.  That means that anyone believing that sort of claptrap would have to go live in the woods as a hermit, because any use of FRN’s or purchase of any manufactured goods, or purchase of foods, etc. is going to end up delivering some funds to the government.  This notion that duress plays no part in the equation has only that result.  It’s funny, but I don’t see the proponents of that notion actually doing what they claim is right.  If Vitruvian is serious about his claims, he certainly shouldn’t be posting on an Internet forum, because he’s delivered all manner of funds to the government by that act.

This is the point that Vitruvian has been making all along, and I have yet to see any attempt at a rebuttal.

If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.

It’s not a moral argument, merely an aesthetic one.  Arguing that voting makes you feel icky, or you don’t like the image of voting, does not make it wrong.  That particular “point” is like voters arguing if supporting Ron Paul is good because it may stave off civil war, or if supporting Hillary is good because it may hasten civil war.  It’s trying to decide on the lesser of evils.

Does voting do more good by registering discontent and slowing growth (eg, my typical practice of writing in “none of the above” for all applicable places, and voting “no” to all spending), or does it do more harm by “maintaining the illusion of legitimacy”?  That’s a pragmatic debate, not a moral one.  It’s up to you to decide which you feel is the best option, but it is not appropriate to declare others “evil” for taking the other option when the discussion is pragmatic, not moralistic.  Vitruvian can discuss that all he wants, and I will not take issue.  But when he starts declaring others to be evil, he damn well better have the ability to back it up.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 14, 2007, 07:29 PM NHFT
Without the voters, the politicians would be able neither to claim legitimacy nor to achieve their criminal ends.

This is absolutely untrue (http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2007/04/11/not-voting-wont-help-either/). And it's where the entire argument about not participating falls apart. Government bureaucrats don't need an explicit act by the people, or any of them, in order to appear legitimate, and sometimes they don't even care about appearing legitimate, just about their power.

I suggest you study your Lysander Spooner some more. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 14, 2007, 07:44 PM NHFT
It’s up to you to decide which you feel is the best option, but it is not appropriate to declare others “evil” for taking the other option when the discussion is pragmatic, not moralistic.  Vitruvian can discuss that all he wants, and I will not take issue.  But when he starts declaring others to be evil, he damn well better have the ability to back it up.

Joe

This is why I came to the free state. I came from Utah where the practice of declaring people "evil" is alive and well. I jumped right in to this thread because after living in that atmosphere for years, it tends to slap me in the face and say "Hey look! Tyranny (communism) in disguise (anarchy)!"

edit: the Utah version being "Tyranny (religion) in disguise (spirituality)!"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 07:58 PM NHFT
I am listening to ftlive .... boy Mark is really excited. I wonder what brought it on. Kinda interesting
oh no ... they have dada as a wookie
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 14, 2007, 08:04 PM NHFT
I'm on hold at FTL. Ian says there's a call ahead of me. This message is at 8pm so if people tune in quickly maybe you can hear it.

BTW, did Eric actually use the word "evil"? Questioning the morality of a certain action is really not the same as calling someone "evil" is it? Goodness gracious.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 08:08 PM NHFT
I don't know. Maybe you will just have to speak for yourself. :)

the wookie had a good point
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 14, 2007, 08:18 PM NHFT

BTW, did Eric actually use the word "evil"? Questioning the morality of a certain action is really not the same as calling someone "evil" is it? Goodness gracious.


Several times
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 14, 2007, 08:19 PM NHFT
Several times

Oh, my bad then.  :-\
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 08:23 PM NHFT
hey .... we can talk about dale while he is busy on ftl :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 08:26 PM NHFT
alright ... delete all the posts before he gets back
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rosie the Riveter on November 14, 2007, 08:31 PM NHFT
Damn it!! I missed Dale live, just got home from-- yes, a Manchvegas "politico" event....the wookie was on again?!  ;D

I'm really looking forward to the podcast.


Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 14, 2007, 08:32 PM NHFT
I am listening to ftlive .... boy Mark is really excited. I wonder what brought it on. Kinda interesting
oh no ... they have dada as a wookie

Call when you feel motivated...
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 08:37 PM NHFT
gotcha
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 14, 2007, 09:19 PM NHFT
If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

What happened the last time we had a Constitutional Republic?

Another way to put the same question: What happened the last time we had an Age of Enlightenment?

I think it'll take the philosophical equivalent of a new Age of Enlightenment for anarcho-capitalism -- hell, or minarchism, for that matter -- to come to pass.  It was philosophy that got us close before -- but they still grasped to the ideas of minarchism and Deistic state-based religion (like Rousseau's "civil religion" (http://positiveliberty.com/2006/03/americas-public-religion-not-christianity-but-rousseaus-civil-religion.html)).  They came so close.  We need another philosophical Enlightenment to strike down the idea of government's legitimacy.  John Locke came close, but then cried uncle at the very end -- he said that the only rightful government is the one that protects property, but he couldn't bring himself to realize that the only way a government can function as we know it is through taxation, which is the theft of property.  (That's not an original observation of mine; Gardner Goldsmith, among others, have also reached it.)

Not voting will not bring down the state.  The act of voting does not confer legitimacy -- otherwise no one in that city out in Missouri, where no one came out for an election, would believe the government to be legitimate.  No, I think it's got to be a change in mindset, a change in public philosophy, where people realize that government = force, and that government is immoral.  Because people don't do what they believe to be immoral, and it is because people think that government is moral that it has legitimacy.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 14, 2007, 09:41 PM NHFT
BTW, did Eric actually use the word "evil"? Questioning the morality of a certain action is really not the same as calling someone "evil" is it? Goodness gracious.

Actually, yes it is.  "Immoral" and "evil" are identical terms, in this context.  "Evil" just happens to be several letters shorter...  Plus, it's more fun to say... "eeeevilllle"

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 14, 2007, 09:44 PM NHFT
the very fruits of the devveeeel

It was good to call ftlive .... I think it is good to let people out there know that we are getting along even though we disagree on some things.

Maybe if Eric was on the show it would have been more lively. It was good to hear Dale on the show. You are a good spokesman for many of us. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 14, 2007, 10:05 PM NHFT
Without the voters, the politicians would be able neither to claim legitimacy nor to achieve their criminal ends.

This is absolutely untrue (http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2007/04/11/not-voting-wont-help-either/). And it's where the entire argument about not participating falls apart.

Were not these politicians elected at some point in the past?  Is not that fact what allowed them to continue occupying their positions, and claim the ability to do so?

From my second post in this thread:
Quote
Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.
I think I have been quite consistent on this point.

Which is not the same as calling voting immoral.

Agreed.  However, I did make the moral argument in a different post.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 14, 2007, 10:53 PM NHFT
Quote
Quote
That’s an amusing notion.  Of course, since “sizable” is not defined, it’s a semantically-null statement.  In other words, talking for the sake of talking, without saying anything...
You have not defined any words thus far; does that make them "semantically-null," "talking for the sake of talking"?  Find a dictionary if you want a definition.  Are you also suggesting that historical dictators lacked any support among the populations they claimed to rule?  And, if not, what measurable forms could this support possibly take?
Sigh... we’re not talking about defining a word.  We’re talking about defining a mathematical quantity.  0.0000001% has a size and, therefore, is a “sizable” quantity.  The same can be said for 99.9999%.  Or anything in-between.  Making claims that support was “sizable” is semantically null, as it merely defines the support as non-zero, which we know to be a fact because the dictator clearly supports himself, even if no one else did.

Would you prefer considerable, major, large?  I don't want to get sucked into a petty argument over word definitions, but the word sizable, while not precise, is far from vague.  Again, find a dictionary if you want a definition.  My intention was to show that a majority, i.e. more people than not, support the existence of the State.  I dare you to disagree with that.

Quote
Quote
The State is not legitimate, and nothing can ever make it legitimate, including voting.
As you must know, the vast majority of people on this planet view governments as legitimate entities, otherwise States simply could not sustain themselves.  Their legitimacy is an illusion.  But the larger issue remains: I claim that voting is immoral because it enables aggressive violence against innocents not because it perpetuates this illusion.
You claim that, but you cannot seem to demonstrate it in any way...

It would be foolish to say that voting is the only way by which people confer legitimacy to the State.  I never made this claim.  Voting is simply the most visible and measurable way.

Quote
The same could be said of many things.  And it boils down to that issue of duress.

Again, no one is under any duress to vote.  You have not disputed this fact.

Quote
It’s not a moral argument, merely an aesthetic one.  Arguing that voting makes you feel icky, or you don’t like the image of voting, does not make it wrong.  That particular “point” is like voters arguing if supporting Ron Paul is good because it may stave off civil war, or if supporting Hillary is good because it may hasten civil war.  It’s trying to decide on the lesser of evils.

The "voting preserves the illusion of legitimacy" argument is not aesthetic but realistic.  Voting is counterproductive for the reasons I have described in previous posts.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 12:32 AM NHFT
Vitruvian:—

Do you believe that if a person himself engages in no aggression, that he is behaving morally, despite the fact that in doing so he may be allowing more aggression, on the whole, happen?

I think that’s what this entire debate boils down to: People on your side of this debate are most concerned with not engaging in aggression yourself, regardless of what other aggression is happening out there. From this post, and srqrebel’s:—

Here I am slightly conflicted, for the reasons that srqrebel and David have mentioned.  A Ron Paul presidency, as much as I prefer it over any other outcome, would likely have the effect of lulling many into complacency, convincing them that freedom can result from politics.  And the State would live to kill another day.

it actually sounds like you want more aggression to occur (just not aggression that you yourself are committing), in order to hasten a large-scale revolt against the state. As long as you commit no aggression, you’re happy.

And people on the political-action side of the fence are most concerned with lessening the overall amount of aggression happening out there, regardless of whether or not this means we engage in some amount of aggression ourselves. As long as the total amount of aggression out there decreases, we’re happy.

And thus, I must ask you why exactly you’re a member of the Free State Project and the movement we have going here. This movement is about making our society more free—that is, lessening the amount of aggression happening out there. As I stated before, it’s a “big tent” movement, and any tactics, political or not, that actually work to free us and lessen the aggression are valid tactics, so I’m not saying that political action is the only answer. What I’m saying is that if what you’re only interested in is keeping your own conscience clear, even to the point where it’s actually resulting in more harm occurring (per your above quotation) it doesn’t seem to me like being a freestater activist is the right choice for you.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 12:55 AM NHFT
Quote
Do you believe that if a person himself engages in no aggression, that he is behaving morally, despite the fact that in doing so he may be allowing more aggression, on the whole, happen?

Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.

Quote
it actually sounds like you want more aggression to occur (just not aggression that you yourself are committing), in order to hasten a large-scale revolt against the state. As long as you commit no aggression, you’re happy.

What I want is for people to see the State for what it is: an unnecessary and unmitigated evil, the most fearsome instrument of destruction ever created by mankind.  For many, this realization will come at great personal cost.  I refuse to be a part of it.

Quote
And people on the political-action side of the fence are most concerned with lessening the overall amount of aggression happening out there, regardless of whether or not this means we engage in some amount of aggression ourselves. As long as the total amount of aggression out there decreases, we’re happy.

Utilitarianism at its finest--reducing morality to bean-counting.  This is the same type of argument used to rationalize all manner of evils.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 15, 2007, 01:09 AM NHFT
Why do the politicians here assume the out of the system guys are just 'sitting around doing nothing'?  Sometimes out of the system activism results in arrests, and more frequently threats of arrest and property confiscation.  It works, but the cost is high.  You sit around and vote while everytime Russell, or Kat, or Lauren, or Dave Ridley, gets arrested they have the uncertainty of when they will get out. 
Your cavalier attitude is rather irritating.  If you don't like what we do, in our attempts to strike the ROOT of the problem, then don't join in.  But please don't assume that we are doing nothing.  When the cost is high, less people do it.  But that doesn't make it any less important. 
In this area we have, a syndicated radio show, two television shows, a paper, dadas news reports on youtube (when he's not in manchester , a graphic designer, a website that has become a major driver for the freedom movement statewide, and several activists.  Does that sound like we are sitting around on our ass?  Several of the things folks here have done, is a net loss, they don't make money off of it. 
I realize i am not always very supportive of the politicians efforts, but I don't accuse you of sitting on your ass. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 01:18 AM NHFT
Quote
Do you believe that if a person himself engages in no aggression, that he is behaving morally, despite the fact that in doing so he may be allowing more aggression, on the whole, happen?

Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.

Another glib slogan. And I like how you once again danced right around yet another post’s questions.

In this particular case, the change for yourself is making you less effective at changing the world.

Quote
it actually sounds like you want more aggression to occur (just not aggression that you yourself are committing), in order to hasten a large-scale revolt against the state. As long as you commit no aggression, you’re happy.

What I want is for people to see the State for what it is: an unnecessary and unmitigated evil, the most fearsome instrument of destruction ever created by mankind.

Right: and for people to see it as such, you’d prefer it to continue engaging in as much aggression as it possibly can.

For many, this realization will come at great personal cost.

You seem to be quite content with other people paying this cost. It reminds me of the sort of dangerous extremists throughout history who’ve led their society into ruin.

I refuse to be a part of it.

Self-righteousness feels awful good, doesn’t it? Unfortunately that’s really all you get out of it.

Quote
And people on the political-action side of the fence are most concerned with lessening the overall amount of aggression happening out there, regardless of whether or not this means we engage in some amount of aggression ourselves. As long as the total amount of aggression out there decreases, we’re happy.

Utilitarianism at its finest--reducing morality to bean-counting.  This is the same type of argument used to rationalize all manner of evils.

Yep, it is. Except in this case it’s being used to rationalize a methodology for trying to reduce aggression and harm. That it can be used to rationalize other things is completely irrelevant. Unless you’re trying to claim reducing aggression and harm is one manner of evil.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 01:28 AM NHFT
Why do the politicians here assume the out of the system guys are just 'sitting around doing nothing'?  Sometimes out of the system activism results in arrests, and more frequently threats of arrest and property confiscation.  It works, but the cost is high.  You sit around and vote while everytime Russell, or Kat, or Lauren, or Dave Ridley, gets arrested they have the uncertainty of when they will get out. 
Your cavalier attitude is rather irritating.  If you don't like what we do, in our attempts to strike the ROOT of the problem, then don't join in.  But please don't assume that we are doing nothing.  When the cost is high, less people do it.  But that doesn't make it any less important. 
In this area we have, a syndicated radio show, two television shows, a paper, dadas news reports on youtube (when he's not in manchester , a graphic designer, a website that has become a major driver for the freedom movement statewide, and several activists.  Does that sound like we are sitting around on our ass?  Several of the things folks here have done, is a net loss, they don't make money off of it. 
I realize i am not always very supportive of the politicians efforts, but I don't accuse you of sitting on your ass. 

I’ve said several times that I support the out-of-the-system work that people are doing. The key word here is doing.

Vitruvian has repeatedly dodged every attempt by people in this thread to ascertain what he is actually doing. It seems that he is doing nothing other than trying to proselytize other people into doing the same thing he is—that is, get people to do nothing other than proselytizing. And I specifically use the word proselytizing because what Vitruvian’s stance sounds like to me is Anarchism as a puritanical, fundamentalist religion.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 01:38 AM NHFT
Ghandi gets quoted a lot around here, so let me have a shot . . . "BE the change you want to see in the world."  Maybe he was wrong, though; after all, he was a pedophile . . . .

J, do we have an obligation to take positive action to prevent other people from committing aggression?  How much of our lives are we obliged to spend taking that positive action?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 15, 2007, 01:39 AM NHFT
The part about reading somesuch stuff as what was proclaimed by Vitruvian (that we are all evil and need to renounce our behavior) and then after 24 hours concluding you have no 'choice' but to accept this view, is what is creepy and contrary to supposed idea of the pursuit of 'freedom' and being non-judgemental of others.

It's total hypocrisy as Joe said, unjustified. And somehow, an attitude of total absolutism seems to be completely at odds as well.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 01:52 AM NHFT
J, do we have an obligation to take positive action to prevent other people from committing aggression?  How much of our lives are we obliged to spend taking that positive action?

You’re damned right we do—since we’ve all pledged to “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.”
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 02:03 AM NHFT
J, do we have an obligation to take positive action to prevent other people from committing aggression?  How much of our lives are we obliged to spend taking that positive action?

You’re damned right we do—since we’ve all pledged to “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.”

Right.  So it's only an obligation for those of us who signed the non-binding FSP Statement of Intent?  Regular people don't have this obligation?  And this obligation only applies to government aggression, and only as much as each person decides is "practical"?  And, what's more, if someone thinks that fighting the legitimacy of the state by drawing people's attention to the gun in the room, it doesn't count, because it's not "doing" enough?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 02:54 AM NHFT
You’re damned right we do—since we’ve all pledged to “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.”

Right.  So it's only an obligation for those of us who signed the non-binding FSP Statement of Intent?

Anyone claiming to be an activist, really, but since most people here are freestaters, I thought that was the most concrete example of a spelt-out obligation to do something that we have floating around here. I could also say that by being an activist one is pledging to be active.

Regular people don't have this obligation?

Right. I believe that by default, a person is not obligated to commit an act unless they’ve either agreed to do so, or in order to right some wrong for which they were responsible. To claim a person is obligated to commit an act as a result of their mere existence, for example, being born in a certain place or into a certain culture, is to head down the path of the “social contract” that the State is so fond of pointing to when it’s engaging in aggression.

And this obligation only applies to government aggression,

If we’re talking about the FSP SoI, I believe you are correct. However, I personally consider resistance to aggression and power to go beyond opposition to the State, for if a power vacuum were to develop as the result of the collapse of the current State, some extant private entity—a well-armed individual, a rich corporation, what-have-you—would be the first to seize power and become the new State.

To me, anarchism is opposition to aggression and hierarchy, not simply the State engaging in such behavior.

and only as much as each person decides is "practical"?

Yes—but if you’re going to answer this by saying that perhaps sitting in front of his computer and debating is all that’s “practical” for Vitruvian, I’m going to reply right now by saying that’s just silly.

And, what's more, if someone thinks that fighting the legitimacy of the state by drawing people's attention to the gun in the room, it doesn't count, because it's not "doing" enough?

If this is all someone’s going to do, I would lump them in with all the other “masturdebators” and “debatatarians” so many people on this forum are always griping about, and saying we don’t need more of. It’s already been shown to be not very useful at best, and actually counterproductive (diverting people’s attention from other things) at worst.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 03:39 AM NHFT
Okay, so if someone thinks that fighting the moral basis of the state is what is most practical, it doesn't count unless they're doing CivDis?

The history of politics and government has been increased power, increased oppression, increased control.  Almost immediately, the government started using violent force to disrupt tax protests.  Once he came to power, Adams violated his original interpretation of the Constitution by passing the Alien and the Sedition Acts.  Jefferson violated his by buying Louisiana.  Jackson told the Supreme Court, "Go screw, I'm committing this genocide of American Indians with or without your permission."  Lincoln . . . well, I think we all know what Lincoln did.

If I had to choose between two things -- having a government the size it was in 1788 or having everyone realize that the government was immoral violence -- I would choose the latter.  It would last longer and have a more practical effect on society -- especially since we agree that anarchism is about more than ending state control.  So that's what I work towards.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 04:19 AM NHFT
Okay, so if someone thinks that fighting the moral basis of the state is what is most practical, it doesn't count unless they're doing CivDis?

If threads like this are their idea of practical methods, not only doesn’t it count, it makes things worse.

If Vitruvian is planning on becoming a writer, or a columnist, or a radio host like the FTL guys, or a cartoonist like Dale, or somesuch, in order to spread his message, that may actually count—if he’s effective at getting people to pay attention. But all we’ve seen so far is him come crashing in here, after having made very few posts and not having posted in months, behaving like some puffed-up religious zealot, trying to convert political activists with sanctimonious insistence on “moral rectitude” and “airtight moral arguments.”

This is what I and the others here critical of him are going after him for.

If I had to choose between two things -- having a government the size it was in 1788 or having everyone realize that the government was immoral violence -- I would choose the latter.  It would last longer and have a more practical effect on society -- especially since we agree that anarchism is about more than ending state control.  So that's what I work towards.

I feel we’re going in circles, but: Having everyone realize that the government is immoral violence accomplishes nothing if the government is still there. Once everyone’s woken up, what are they going to do to rid themselves of this government?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:19 AM NHFT
Do you believe that if a person himself engages in no aggression, that he is behaving morally, despite the fact that in doing so he may be allowing more aggression, on the whole, happen?

and the movement we have going here.  ...it's a "big tent” movement
Yes
I don't believe so. We are a very small group of people. Our motives and the decency of our actions, will be the determiner of our success ... not how big the group is.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:22 AM NHFT
Do you believe that if a person himself engages in no aggression, that he is behaving morally, despite the fact that in doing so he may be allowing more aggression, on the whole, happen?

and the movement we have going here.  ...it's a "big tent” movement
Yes
I don't believe so. We are a very small group of people. Our motives and the decency of our actions, will be the determiner of our success ... not how big the group is.
Do you think the movement is a big tent ... but it doesn't have room for say .... a pacifist?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:33 AM NHFT
You seem to be quite content with other people paying this cost. It reminds me of the sort of dangerous extremists throughout history who’ve led their society into ruin.
wow .... do you really think that Eric's actions will lead to that?

Quote
And people on the political-action side of the fence are most concerned with lessening the overall amount of aggression happening out there, regardless of whether or not this means we engage in some amount of aggression ourselves. As long as the total amount of aggression out there decreases, we’re happy.
those calculations can be very difficult ... sometimes you hurt people when you use force.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:36 AM NHFT
Once everyone’s woken up, what are they going to do to rid themselves of this government?
not cooperate with it :)
It really is not that complicated. You don't have to make political calculations. You can just take one step at a time ... not hurting anyone ... and not helping the bad guys.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 05:03 AM NHFT
Okay, so if someone thinks that fighting the moral basis of the state is what is most practical, it doesn't count unless they're doing CivDis?

If threads like this are their idea of practical methods, not only doesn’t it count, it makes things worse.

Talking morals is tough, no doubt.  Certainly turned my life upside down once upon a time, I don't blame you for thinking an honest discussion of morals will get in your way.  It probably will.

Quote
If Vitruvian is planning on becoming a writer, or a columnist, or a radio host like the FTL guys, or a cartoonist like Dale, or somesuch, in order to spread his message, that may actually count—if he’s effective at getting people to pay attention.

How much time did people spend helping Phil Greazzo's unsuccessful campaign?  Did their efforts count?  If your efforts (which are . . . what, exactly?  Making a website and attending a few alderman board meetings to support the rights of sex offenders?  And holding a sign or two for politicians?) fail, will your action have "counted"?  If so, then success can't be your criterion for what "counts," which is the criterion you're applying to Vitruvian.

Quote
Having everyone realize that the government is immoral violence accomplishes nothing if the government is still there. Once everyone’s woken up, what are they going to do to rid themselves of this government?

Well, they wouldn't pay their taxes, and no one would make them do so.  Without moral authority, there is no government as a concept.  If anyone tried to enforce the tax laws, for example, people would see it for what it was -- a hold up -- and fight it.  The reason it's suicide to do that now is because the leaders have so many thugs backing them up.  The thugs are only there because they think it's moral to be there.  Take that moral comfort away from then, and the thing falls.  Today, parents discourage their children from going into the army by saying, "But you could be killed!"  When they focus instead on, "But you could KILL," then the state will collapse from its loss of moral authority.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 05:05 AM NHFT
I totally agree with you faber.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 05:06 AM NHFT
and the movement we have going here.  ...it's a "big tent” movement
Do you think the movement is a big tent ... but it doesn't have room for say .... a pacifist?

Sure it does, just not one who makes moral arguments with any kind of certainty without putting in their time on NHFree :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 05:09 AM NHFT
this thread does shed light on how best to persuade people to not use the force of government
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 05:13 AM NHFT
Could you expand on that, Russell?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 05:16 AM NHFT
I was hoping that the thread would speak for itself. :)

It is hard to get people to listen to you, when they don't know you ... have not talked to you ... and have not seen any of your actions.

Lauren has let her actions speak louder than words and I think they have effected many people .... of course some of them threatened her, but .... ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 05:25 AM NHFT
I thought that was what you were getting at, just wanted to make sure 8)

Though I'm not so sure Lauren has convinced any of the politicos here to kick their habit.  So far, at least ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 15, 2007, 08:23 AM NHFT
I am listening to ftlive .... boy Mark is really excited. I wonder what brought it on. Kinda interesting
oh no ... they have dada as a wookie

I remember when you got kinda excited a while back.
dada was facing down a state trooper at the time.
I thought that was kinda interesting as well.
Very interesting the contrast (yes, observation already made and noted) and diversity of ideas, triggers, etc. that bring out passion in individuals.

Passion... hmm
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 08:40 AM NHFT
This is absolutely untrue (http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2007/04/11/not-voting-wont-help-either/). And it's where the entire argument about not participating falls apart.
Were not these politicians elected at some point in the past?  Is not that fact what allowed them to continue occupying their positions, and claim the ability to do so?

Straw man?

Kings were not (and are not) elected.  Doesn’t mean they didn’t attain power.  Kings claimed “divine authority” supported their rule, and held on quite well for millennia without an elections.

Agreed.  However, I did make the moral argument in a different post.

No, you’ve made all manner of aesthetic and pragmatic arguments, but no moral arguments.

Quote
Sigh... we’re not talking about defining a word.  We’re talking about defining a mathematical quantity.  0.0000001% has a size and, therefore, is a “sizable” quantity.  The same can be said for 99.9999%.  Or anything in-between.  Making claims that support was “sizable” is semantically null, as it merely defines the support as non-zero, which we know to be a fact because the dictator clearly supports himself, even if no one else did.
Would you prefer considerable, major, large?  I don't want to get sucked into a petty argument over word definitions, but the word sizable, while not precise, is far from vague.  Again, find a dictionary if you want a definition.  My intention was to show that a majority, i.e. more people than not, support the existence of the State.  I dare you to disagree with that.

Oh, so now it’s a majority?   But now you’re talking about the current State, and not the dictatorships we were discussing.  Interesting change of subject to avoid the issue.  Infantile, but interesting.

Discussing the actual topic of that, the number of people who supported those dictators was extremely small, in most cases.  More just went along for the ride out of apathy or an unwillingness to stand up to authority.  I suggest reading up on Milgram’s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment) experiments with obedience.  Most of the population will obey authority, even when it is in no way “elected” or even governmental.  Sad but true.

Quote
You claim that, but you cannot seem to demonstrate it in any way...
It would be foolish to say that voting is the only way by which people confer legitimacy to the State.  I never made this claim.  Voting is simply the most visible and measurable way.

And here, again, you have said that voting legitimizes the State, which inevitably means that (since folks do vote), you view the State as legitimate.  Even if no one voted, you would still be asserting here that the State can be made legitimate, which is something that no anarchist would ever say.

Quote
The same could be said of many things.  And it boils down to that issue of duress.
Again, no one is under any duress to vote.  You have not disputed this fact.

You aren’t under duress to use computers and electricity and gasoline and manufactured goods, all of which supply the government with funding.

You cannot even abide by your own claimed “morality,” which certainly entails giving up all those things which in any way support the government.

You seem to have a huge problem understanding what duress actually is.  Let’s say that you purchase gasoline.  That is a choice you made, and no one forced you to make it.  A large portion of that purchase price is taxes, costs of dealing with government regulation, costs for taxed fuel to transport the gasoline, etc. etc.  In other words, lots of support for Uncle Sam (and other governments).  So, why is it not evil for you to purchase that gasoline?  Because you don’t have the option of not paying those taxes; they are extracted under duress.

Let’s swing over to voting.  I desire to prevent certain sorts of laws from causing interference in my life.  Voting is a choice I make in order to do that.  I certain have others.  I could “vote from the rooftops,” or execute “public servants” on sight.  Those options, however, are likely counter-productive to our goals (admittedly, an aesthetic/pragmatic concern), and would bring more armed thugs until such time as I was killed.  They have chosen to limit the options in how to prevent certain laws from being enacted, using the threat of initiated force to back up their limitations.  That threat of death is certainly duress.

Quote
It’s not a moral argument, merely an aesthetic one.  Arguing that voting makes you feel icky, or you don’t like the image of voting, does not make it wrong.  That particular “point” is like voters arguing if supporting Ron Paul is good because it may stave off civil war, or if supporting Hillary is good because it may hasten civil war.  It’s trying to decide on the lesser of evils.
The "voting preserves the illusion of legitimacy" argument is not aesthetic but realistic.  Voting is counterproductive for the reasons I have described in previous posts.

No, that’s still aesthetics.  It has nothing to do with morality.  You can argue effectiveness until you’re blue in the face, and it will never be the same as morality.  “Realistic” is not a class of argument.

Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.

Indeed.  I suggest you start by ending this notion you have of repeatedly arguing that the State is legitimate.  Continue by excising the thought that any action, of any sort, can ever make the State legitimate.  As long as you hold onto those things, you are a participant in the State.  Since no one has twisted your arm to say those things, and you’ve gone out of your way to hold onto them despite the best efforts of others, it seems that you are not only a participant, but a willing participant.

Let’s try a very blunt question: do you think that the State can ever, under any circumstances, be legitimate?

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 09:17 AM NHFT
man ... I better brush up on my learnun ... cause they were quoting maineshark on ftl last night .... all I could get was a couple of laughs ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 09:19 AM NHFT
I thought that was what you were getting at, just wanted to make sure 8)

Though I'm not so sure Lauren has convinced any of the politicos here to kick their habit.  So far, at least ;)
obviously not .... but I think her methods are simple and do work
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 09:21 AM NHFT
I remember when you got kinda excited a while back.
dada was facing down a state trooper at the time.
I thought that was kinda interesting as well.
I wasn't complaining .... just letting people know ... in case they wanted to check it out.
I don't get excited with worry about the fsp breaking into 2 pieces .... I hope it will. :)
I get much more excited than Mark about almost everything.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 15, 2007, 09:22 AM NHFT
(http://www.shyfrog.net/images/answerisa.jpg)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 09:26 AM NHFT
man ... I better brush up on my learnun ... cause they were quoting maineshark on ftl last night .... all I could get was a couple of laughs ;)

What time into the show?  I don't typically listen to FTL, and the archived show is pretty long...

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 09:33 AM NHFT
second hour .... near the end I think
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 10:06 AM NHFT
Quote
You seem to have a huge problem understanding what duress actually is.

And you also seem to have a problem grasping the meaning of words.  I have said numerous times that the State is illegitimate to every anarchist, but people give it a veneer of legitimacy for themselves and for other statists through certain activities, such as voting and running for political office.  I have also said numerous times that voting is an ultimate cause of violence, in a way that purchasing gasoline is not.  When you vote, you are committing a violent act not only against me but also against every other person who suffers under the elected person.

Quote
Kings were not (and are not) elected.  Doesn’t mean they didn’t attain power.  Kings claimed “divine authority” supported their rule, and held on quite well for millennia without an elections.
And so they still had the illusion of legitimacy, only from a different source: the Church.  Most people bought that illusion, and only then because they were largely illiterate, and the kings were able to maintain their position of power.  After the Bible was translated into vernacular languages and literacy began to rise, the "divine authority" vanished and the kings could no longer implement that ruse.  So they found a different one and called it voting.

Quote
No, you’ve made all manner of aesthetic and pragmatic arguments, but no moral arguments.

You seem to be reading my posts selectively.  "Voting is a violent act that ought to be avoided" is a moral argument, is it not?

Quote
Quote
Sigh... we’re not talking about defining a word.  We’re talking about defining a mathematical quantity.  0.0000001% has a size and, therefore, is a “sizable” quantity.  The same can be said for 99.9999%.  Or anything in-between.  Making claims that support was “sizable” is semantically null, as it merely defines the support as non-zero, which we know to be a fact because the dictator clearly supports himself, even if no one else did.
Would you prefer considerable, major, large?  I don't want to get sucked into a petty argument over word definitions, but the word sizable, while not precise, is far from vague.  Again, find a dictionary if you want a definition.  My intention was to show that a majority, i.e. more people than not, support the existence of the State.  I dare you to disagree with that.

Oh, so now it’s a majority?   But now you’re talking about the current State, and not the dictatorships we were discussing.  Interesting change of subject to avoid the issue.  Infantile, but interesting.

Discussing the actual topic of that, the number of people who supported those dictators was extremely small, in most cases.  More just went along for the ride out of apathy or an unwillingness to stand up to authority.  I suggest reading up on Milgram’s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment) experiments with obedience.  Most of the population will obey authority, even when it is in no way “elected” or even governmental.  Sad but true.

No, I was suggesting that historical dictatorships enjoyed the tacit support of a majority of the populations they ruled, not just the current regime.  I was not changing the subject: you misunderstood me again.  Hitler bought off the masses with a welfare state and gifts of privilege, as did most other modern tyrants.

In Milgram's experiments, the subjects were much more likely to accept the commands of the "authority" figure when his authority was one they had been conditioned to accept.  When the dummy authority figure was merely an assistant, the subjects were more reluctant to follow his commands.

Quote
I suggest you start by ending this notion you have of repeatedly arguing that the State is legitimate.

I never said that.  Why do you insist on putting words in my mouth? That is an abusive tactic.  I stated, quite simply, that when people vote, they contribute to the ILLUSION of State legitimacy.  I'm sorry I had to resort to all-caps, but maybe that is the only thing that will attract your attention.

Quote
Let’s try a very blunt question: do you think that the State can ever, under any circumstances, be legitimate?

The State, as you and I define it, cannot be legitimate because it is grounded in coercion.  However, it is you, participant in the State-sponsored practice of politics, who should answer this question.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 15, 2007, 10:23 AM NHFT
OK, I'm just playing arbitrator / moderator. Continue.  :angel4:
...I like Dale and it apprears he is offering to be a moderator  ;D

To be fair, I do have a position and am arguing it so I can't rightly claim the title of "moderator", but I'm trying to cool things some in this heated debate.  :angel4:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 10:25 AM NHFT
heat is fine .... as long as the cooking comes out tasty
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 10:56 AM NHFT
second hour .... near the end I think

Cool.

Quote
You seem to have a huge problem understanding what duress actually is.
And you also seem to have a problem grasping the meaning of words.  I have said numerous times that the State is illegitimate to every anarchist, but people give it a veneer of legitimacy for themselves and for other statists through certain activities, such as voting and running for political office.

Sigh... try addressing what’s actually said, instead of attempting to change the subject.  It’s childish.

The State is illegitimate.  Nothing can make it legitimate.  Only by making it legitimate could a voter be responsible for its actions.  Since it is not legitimate, and cannot be made so, the voter cannot be responsible for its actions.  End of story.

I have also said numerous times that voting is an ultimate cause of violence, in a way that purchasing gasoline is not.  When you vote, you are committing a violent act not only against me but also against every other person who suffers under the elected person.

Yes, because clearly the thing that you want to do (purchase gasoline) is mystically different from things that others want to do.  At least when I vote, I’m not handing them money to buy tools of torture.  What about when you buy gasoline?

Quote
Kings were not (and are not) elected.  Doesn’t mean they didn’t attain power.  Kings claimed “divine authority” supported their rule, and held on quite well for millennia without an elections.
And so they still had the illusion of legitimacy, only from a different source: the Church.  Most people bought that illusion, and only then because they were largely illiterate, and the kings were able to maintain their position of power.  After the Bible was translated into vernacular languages and literacy began to rise, the "divine authority" vanished and the kings could no longer implement that ruse.  So they found a different one and called it voting.

Indeed.  They can get the illusion of legitimacy from many sources, as you’ve just acknowledged.  So voting is irrelevant to that subject, as they could find another method if voting ceased.

Quote
No, you’ve made all manner of aesthetic and pragmatic arguments, but no moral arguments.
You seem to be reading my posts selectively.  "Voting is a violent act that ought to be avoided" is a moral argument, is it not?

It’s a unilateral statement, not an argument.  Nor could it be a moral argument, even if you bothered to try and prove it, since “violent” is an act without context, and actions have no moral standing outside of context.

No, I was suggesting that historical dictatorships enjoyed the tacit support of a majority of the populations they ruled, not just the current regime.  I was not changing the subject: you misunderstood me again.  Hitler bought off the masses with a welfare state and gifts of privilege, as did most other modern tyrants.

I didn’t misunderstand you.  You were quite clear.

And quite false.  Look at the Communists in Russia.  They took power from the Tsar, then declared that elections would be held, to let the people choose their leaders.  The people voted the Communists out of power.  So the Communists just ignored the results.

They just obtained their “illusion of legitimacy” by “protecting the people from the threat of capitalism,” instead.

If you convinced every person in America to stay home and not vote, do you imagine the government would just say, “well, we se that we aren’t wanted, so we’ll go away”?  Of course not.  I’ll predict exactly what they would do: announce that people were afraid to go to the polls due to the threat of terrorism, and that they were therefore declaring a national emergency and would stay in power until the “war on terrorism” had been won, so people would feel safe at the polls again.

In Milgram's experiments, the subjects were much more likely to accept the commands of the "authority" figure when his authority was one they had been conditioned to accept.  When the dummy authority figure was merely an assistant, the subjects were more reluctant to follow his commands.

Did they, on average, accept the authority, or not?  Noting, of course, that they are accepting the “authority” of a researcher (or his assistant), not the State which they have been conditioned to accept to a far greater degree.  Even so, they accept that “authority” willingly, in most cases.

Quote
I suggest you start by ending this notion you have of repeatedly arguing that the State is legitimate.
I never said that.  Why do you insist on putting words in my mouth? That is an abusive tactic.  I stated, quite simply, that when people vote, they contribute to the ILLUSION of State legitimacy.  I'm sorry I had to resort to all-caps, but maybe that is the only thing that will attract your attention.

I insist on repeating it, because you keep saying it.  The only way that voting can make the voter responsible for the actions of the State is if the vote confers legitimacy.  Therefore, you keep claiming that the State can be made granted actual - not merely illusory - legitimacy.

Quote
Let’s try a very blunt question: do you think that the State can ever, under any circumstances, be legitimate?
The State, as you and I define it, cannot be legitimate because it is grounded in coercion.  However, it is you, participant in the State-sponsored practice of politics, who should answer this question.

If you claim that the State is not legitimate, then the direct corollary of that is the claim that voting cannot be immoral, as I’ve demonstrated numerous times.  Voting might not be particularly effective, but it cannot be immoral.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 11:13 AM NHFT
Do you think the movement is a big tent ... but it doesn't have room for say .... a pacifist?

Of course. I’m criticizing him for his penchant debate instead of action. A pacifist could go either way, so that wouldn’t even be a determining factor to me.

You seem to be quite content with other people paying this cost. It reminds me of the sort of dangerous extremists throughout history who’ve led their society into ruin.
wow .... do you really think that Eric's actions will lead to that?

He has the right mindset. I don’t think he’d be such a leader, but the followers of such leaders usually share that mindset.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 11:30 AM NHFT
If Vitruvian is planning on becoming a writer, or a columnist, or a radio host like the FTL guys, or a cartoonist like Dale, or somesuch, in order to spread his message, that may actually count—if he’s effective at getting people to pay attention.

How much time did people spend helping Phil Greazzo's unsuccessful campaign?  Did their efforts count?  If your efforts (which are . . . what, exactly?  Making a website and attending a few alderman board meetings to support the rights of sex offenders?  And holding a sign or two for politicians?) fail, will your action have "counted"?  If so, then success can't be your criterion for what "counts," which is the criterion you're applying to Vitruvian.

Phil Greazzo lost but mayor Guinta didn’t, and even without Phil he now has an aldermanic board that is slightly more favorable to his tax cut ideas (the big-spender Democrat alderman in my own ward, Pat Long, was replaced by Peter Sullivan, a much more fiscally conservative Democrat, for one). There’s a lot more work we’ll be doing with the Manchester GOP soon, too.

We’re close to killing the RSO residency-restrictions bill in Manchester. We’ve pushed it out by at least 3–4 months now, so all the people who would be unjustly subjected to it have had 3–4 months more of freedom. Attending the aldermanic committee meetings is also very useful to find other things to attack, and the aldermen themselves are very aware there are now 2–4 people in the room at each meeting, who don’t work for the city, and who are taking notes on their doings. There’s no way to be sure, but this alone has probably introduced some restraint into the system.

I’m also doing some stuff for the NHLA now, and planning to be more active with them in the next legislative session, doing the same stuff I’ve done on the city level but on the state level.

I and several other people are in the process of setting up a libertarian-leaning local Manchester newspaper, which will perhaps even give Vitruvian a place to publish some of his views, provided he doesn’t alienate all his readers with the arrogance displayed in this post.

I’ve also been helping out with some of the canvassing for the Ron Paul campaign, and plan to do more when I have time.

Now that I’ve showed you mine, how about you show me yours? ;)

Having everyone realize that the government is immoral violence accomplishes nothing if the government is still there. Once everyone’s woken up, what are they going to do to rid themselves of this government?

Well, they wouldn't pay their taxes, and no one would make them do so.  Without moral authority, there is no government as a concept.  If anyone tried to enforce the tax laws, for example, people would see it for what it was -- a hold up -- and fight it.  The reason it's suicide to do that now is because the leaders have so many thugs backing them up.  The thugs are only there because they think it's moral to be there.  Take that moral comfort away from then, and the thing falls.  Today, parents discourage their children from going into the army by saying, "But you could be killed!"  When they focus instead on, "But you could KILL," then the state will collapse from its loss of moral authority.

This is true, and a fantasy. The assumption here is that “everyone” is going to wake up all at once, or quickly enough that the State doesn’t have time to respond. People will wake up a bit at a time (as we ourselves are), and as they do the State will have ample people still supporting it in order to react, perhaps successfully. That is what we’re contending with, and what need be planned for, not “everyone” waking up all at once and the State suddenly finding no defenders.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 11:34 AM NHFT
I thought that was what you were getting at, just wanted to make sure 8)

Though I'm not so sure Lauren has convinced any of the politicos here to kick their habit.  So far, at least ;)

What I’m hoping is that some sort of legislative activity comes out of her protest, like it did with the manicurist-licensing protest a while ago. Her actions have got the right-to-travel crowd stirred up again, and that topic is entirely about law: the common law vs. statutes, how each is interpreted and applied, and so on.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 15, 2007, 11:44 AM NHFT
 A Non-Voter’s Thoughts on Ron Paul: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/shaffer-br3.html
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 11:52 AM NHFT
Quote
Of course. I’m criticizing him for his penchant debate instead of action. A pacifist could go either way, so that wouldn’t even be a determining factor to me.

I have said previously that my particular course of action, my method to advance the cause of liberty, is to persuade those close to me (friends, family, etc.)  It is low-cost, non-violent, and has the benefit of providing immediate feedback as to its efficacy.  I don't really care what your opinion of this method is.  I have already had success in convincing my parents and my sister that the State is immoral.  My present goal is to convince as many people as possible that politics does not hold the key to freedom.

Quote
Voting might not be particularly effective, but it cannot be immoral.

I'm curious why you would spend so much time and energy defending a practice you consider ineffective.  But that's a subject for a another thread.

Quote
I insist on repeating it, because you keep saying it.  The only way that voting can make the voter responsible for the actions of the State is if the vote confers legitimacy.  Therefore, you keep claiming that the State can be made granted actual - not merely illusory - legitimacy.

From where do you get this idea?  There is no Rube Goldberg contraption between the act of voting and the election of State officials.  The latter is a direct consequence of the former.  State officials, elected and non-elected alike, routinely commit acts of aggressive violence and they bear responsibility for those acts.  But, just as a getaway driver is accomplice to a bank robbery, the voters are accomplice to the crimes of the State.

From another angle, if voting cannot engender responsibility for its consequences, how could you claim any sort of cause-and-effect relationship between your voting behavior and the real world?  And if this relationship does not exist, why bother voting? You cannot have it both ways.

Quote
Indeed.  They can get the illusion of legitimacy from many sources, as you’ve just acknowledged.  So voting is irrelevant to that subject, as they could find another method if voting ceased.

This fact does not vindicate the practice of voting.  Forcing the State to find another justification would make our job much less difficult.

Quote
They just obtained their “illusion of legitimacy” by “protecting the people from the threat of capitalism,” instead.

How many people still buy this justification?  When the State resorts to overt oppressive violence, as opposed to the secret, cloak-and-dagger violence of a democratic State, people are far less likely to accept their justifications as valid.

Quote
If you convinced every person in America to stay home and not vote, do you imagine the government would just say, “well, we se that we aren’t wanted, so we’ll go away”?

No, I don't think that.  However, a similar reaction to such a mass demonstration would dispel any illusions people had.  After all, the people themselves would know why they stayed away from the polls.


Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 12:00 PM NHFT
Quote
Of course. I’m criticizing him for his penchant debate instead of action. A pacifist could go either way, so that wouldn’t even be a determining factor to me.

I have said previously that my particular course of action, my method to advance the cause of liberty, is to persuade those close to me (friends, family, etc.)  It is low-cost, non-violent, and has the benefit of providing immediate feedback as to its efficacy.  I don't really care what your opinion of this method is.  I have already had success in convincing my parents and my sister that the State is immoral.  My present goal is to convince as many people as possible that politics does not hold the key to freedom.

So you basically came here with the explicit intention of causing a schism in our movement.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 15, 2007, 12:55 PM NHFT



If Vitruvian is planning on becoming a writer, or a columnist, or a radio host like the FTL guys, or a cartoonist like Dale, or somesuch, in order to spread his message, that may actually count—if he’s effective at getting people to pay attention.

 
How much time did people spend helping Phil Greazzo's unsuccessful campaign?  Did their efforts count?  If your efforts (which are . . . what, exactly?  Making a website and attending a few alderman board meetings to support the rights of sex offenders?  And holding a sign or two for politicians?) fail, will your action have "counted"?  If so, then success can't be your criterion for what "counts," which is the criterion you're applying to Vitruvian.

 
Phil Greazzo lost but mayor Guinta didn’t, and even without Phil he now has an aldermanic board that is slightly more favorable to his tax cut ideas (the big-spender Democrat alderman in my own ward, Pat Long, was replaced by Peter Sullivan, a much more fiscally conservative Democrat, for one). There’s a lot more work we’ll be doing with the Manchester GOP soon, too.

 
You dodged the question of "Do the efforts of those supporting Greazzo count, even if they failed?"  That was my main question there.  Not "Will Frank Guinta cut my taxes?"
 
Quote
I and several other people are in the process of setting up a libertarian-leaning local Manchester newspaper, which will perhaps even give Vitruvian a place to publish some of his views, provided he doesn’t alienate all his readers with the arrogance displayed in this post.

 
And mine, too (provided Senor Bradley likes my writing).  I've been hearing about this thing for the past three months, and there was a meeting for those interested a month ago.  I just heard from Braddogg only yesterday about submitting pieces.  Why isn't there a website yet?  He told me in private that it would be done a few weeks ago.
 
Quote
Now that I’ve showed you mine, how about you show me yours? ;)

 
Due to professional restrictions, I can't detail that, it'd make me too identifiable.  The most I can tell you is that I write articles that have been published on various libertarian and anarchist sites.   
 
But I can tell you that I'm a practicing psychotherapist.  I don't talk politics with my patients during their sessions.  But I've found that people who get over their parental issues come about to politics like mine pretty quickly.  They stop trying to protect or reform hegemonic power structures.  They lose the desire to do so, because they see more clearly the totally immoral nature of the system.  They see the parallels that so few see between their parents and their governmental overlords.  Additionally, they are much more empathetic towards victims of those structures, because they've allowed themselves to feel empathy towards themselves when they were the victims of a hegemonic power structure.
 
I guess that goes into your next point about me living in "fantasy."  There was a reason I used the extremes of "Wake up tomorrow with peaceful people vs wake up tomorrow with a limited government."  Neither could possibly come overnight, and I think it's pretty insulting to suggest I thought them to be anything other than extremes.  You asked what would happen once everyone woke up, and I answered that question you asked.  I know it's a tough, hard slog to change morality, because so many people's moralities are just reflections of their family.  There's a reason we had "Fatherland," "Motherland," "Homeland," and "Big Brother."  Even back to Socrates -- in The Apology, Socrates says he has no more right to resist his death sentence than he does to resist his father when he beats him.
 
It's a multi-generational project.  It sucks, but I know I won't have liberty in my lifetime, and if I have kids, neither will they.  But we'll be making progress, so maybe my grandkids or great-grandkids won't ever have to deal with this scourge of government -- and other forms of unhappiness and trauma stemming from childhood physical, emotional, and psychological abuse from teachers, parents, and priests -- ever again.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 01:03 PM NHFT
Quote
Voting might not be particularly effective, but it cannot be immoral.
I'm curious why you would spend so much time and energy defending a practice you consider ineffective.  But that's a subject for a another thread.

I didn’t say it is ineffective.  I said it “might” be - an expression of uncertainty on that point.  Such has not been determined conclusively.

As to why I would defend it, that’s quite simple: because it is the right thing to do.

From where do you get this idea?  There is no Rube Goldberg contraption between the act of voting and the election of State officials.  The latter is a direct consequence of the former.  State officials, elected and non-elected alike, routinely commit acts of aggressive violence and they bear responsibility for those acts.  But, just as a getaway driver is accomplice to a bank robbery, the voters are accomplice to the crimes of the State.

You claim would only hold if not voting would end that aggression.  The government will continue to commit aggression, regardless of whether anyone votes for officials, or they claim divine inspiration, or they use the fear of terrorism, or global warming, or communism, or capitalism, or any other method to hold onto power.

Your argument is not that the getaway driver is an accomplice, but that the bank teller is an accomplice for handing over the money.

From another angle, if voting cannot engender responsibility for its consequences, how could you claim any sort of cause-and-effect relationship between your voting behavior and the real world?  And if this relationship does not exist, why bother voting? You cannot have it both ways.

This is truly getting silly... moral responsibility and ability to exert some level of control are separate.  I can “control” whether a mugger kills me or not (to some extent, anyway) by my “choice” of whether to not I hand over money without a fuss.  That doesn’t mean I am morally responsible for his decision to go around robbing people.

This fact does not vindicate the practice of voting.  Forcing the State to find another justification would make our job much less difficult.

“Making your job less difficult” is a pragmatic (ie, aesthetic) determination, not a moral one.  Arguing pragmatic issues does not over-ride moral ones.  So yes, it does vindicate the practice of voting, regardless of whether your life would be made easier if others did not vote.  I am under no obligation to make your life easy.

How many people still buy this justification?  When the State resorts to overt oppressive violence, as opposed to the secret, cloak-and-dagger violence of a democratic State, people are far less likely to accept their justifications as valid.

I’m sure the tens of millions that the USSR murdered are comforted by the notion that people were “unlikely” to accept their justifications.  Actually, given the propaganda system, most of the population did not question the overt violence, because they either never heard of it, or were given horribly-skewed accounts of it.

No, I don't think that.  However, a similar reaction to such a mass demonstration would remove dispel any illusions people had.  After all, the people themselves would know why they stayed away from the polls.

Is this what is called “ignorance is bliss”?

Any individual might know why they stayed home, or even why a good number of others stayed home, but you can be certain the government would have plenty of propaganda of crying mothers talking about the fear of terror attacks at the polls.  Given that any individual cannot know many others, the story would be plausible enough for the general public to keep their heads in the sand.

And if they didn’t, do you imagine that would stop the State from retaining power?  There are enough folks out there who will support the State, even knowing for a fact that it is utterly and unquestionably evil, just because they derive personal benefit (ie, salaries, power, etc.) by doing so.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 01:10 PM NHFT



If Vitruvian is planning on becoming a writer, or a columnist, or a radio host like the FTL guys, or a cartoonist like Dale, or somesuch, in order to spread his message, that may actually count—if he’s effective at getting people to pay attention.

 
How much time did people spend helping Phil Greazzo's unsuccessful campaign?  Did their efforts count?  If your efforts (which are . . . what, exactly?  Making a website and attending a few alderman board meetings to support the rights of sex offenders?  And holding a sign or two for politicians?) fail, will your action have "counted"?  If so, then success can't be your criterion for what "counts," which is the criterion you're applying to Vitruvian.

 
Phil Greazzo lost but mayor Guinta didn’t, and even without Phil he now has an aldermanic board that is slightly more favorable to his tax cut ideas (the big-spender Democrat alderman in my own ward, Pat Long, was replaced by Peter Sullivan, a much more fiscally conservative Democrat, for one). There’s a lot more work we’ll be doing with the Manchester GOP soon, too.

 
You dodged the question of "Do the efforts of those supporting Greazzo count, even if they failed?"  That was my main question there.  Not "Will Frank Guinta cut my taxes?"

Maybe, maybe not. He didn’t win, but he only lost by 200-odd votes. This indicates support for George Smith is pretty weak and this fact can probably be used to our benefit in 2009. And, since the Guinta and Greazzo campaigns were sort of combined, one effort most likely helped the other, which is why I segued into the mayor’s victory from Greazzo’s mention.

Are you saying that because it failed, we shouldn’t have tried in the first place?

Quote
I and several other people are in the process of setting up a libertarian-leaning local Manchester newspaper, which will perhaps even give Vitruvian a place to publish some of his views, provided he doesn’t alienate all his readers with the arrogance displayed in this post.

And mine, too (provided Senor Bradley likes my writing).  I've been hearing about this thing for the past three months, and there was a meeting for those interested a month ago.  I just heard from Braddogg only yesterday about submitting pieces.  Why isn't there a website yet?  He told me in private that it would be done a few weeks ago.

Everything at this point is entirely a volunteer effort, and some of our volunteers are not finding enough time to work on it.
 
I guess that goes into your next point about me living in "fantasy."  There was a reason I used the extremes of "Wake up tomorrow with peaceful people vs wake up tomorrow with a limited government."  Neither could possibly come overnight, and I think it's pretty insulting to suggest I thought them to be anything other than extremes.  You asked what would happen once everyone woke up, and I answered that question you asked.

This idea of it all happening all at once didn’t come from your post but one of the earlier ones. I wasn’t directing the “fantasy” comment directly to you but upward along the entire chain of argument here. I was asking about what would happen once everyone woke up because this is something Vitruvian was dodging answering earlier.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 15, 2007, 01:26 PM NHFT
Sorry, folks, I couldn't help it. I have to touch my dick again, but only because you all make it look so pleasurable  :D

Do the efforts of those supporting Greazzo count, even if they failed?
Not as much as if he'd won, of course, but it often takes multiple tries. Just getting the candidate's "name out there" and making his position known is part of the effort.

But the real proof is in the pudding. You want to see specific examples where Free-Staters have reduced the use of force by government? Just have a look at the list of legislative victories:
http://www.freestateblogs.net/victories06

There are plenty of nits to pick, but we can point to a fairly specific list of things where those of us fighting "inside" definitively reduced, deflected or de-fanged government.

The relevant doc for 2007 will come out in about a month.


P.S. I have been applauding Joe.  :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 15, 2007, 01:44 PM NHFT
:deadhorse:
I was avoiding replying to this thread for almost an entire day. Let’s see if I can do it again…
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 01:49 PM NHFT
Quote
I was asking about what would happen once everyone woke up because this is something Vitruvian was dodging answering earlier.

I never "dodged" the question.  I said, in so many words, that "planning a stateless society" is, apart from being a contradiction in terms, not a moral obligation.

Quote
So you basically came here with the explicit intention of causing a schism in our movement.

I came "here" with the explicit intention to dissuade others from using violent means to achieve their ends.  If this causes a schism, then so be it.

Quote
“Making your job less difficult” is a pragmatic (ie, aesthetic) determination, not a moral one.  Arguing pragmatic issues does not over-ride moral ones.

Point of order: Before you argue definitions again, I suggest you research the meanings of the words you yourself use.  Aesthetics is concerned with conceptions of beauty as they relate to fine arts.  Pragmatism, a synonym of realism, is defined as "character or conduct that emphasizes practicality;" it is totally unrelated to aesthetics.

Quote
I am under no obligation to make your life easy.

You are, however, under obligation not to aggress against me.  You violate that obligation when you cast your vote to elect someone to a position of power over others (including me).  Your claim that "they would take power regardless of my involvement" does not absolve you of that obligation.

Quote
And if they didn’t, do you imagine that would stop the State from retaining power?  There are enough folks out there who will support the State, even knowing for a fact that it is utterly and unquestionably evil, just because they derive personal benefit (ie, salaries, power, etc.) by doing so.

I have stated repeatedly that non-participation dissipates the fog the State uses to conceal its nature, revealing the ugliness that lies beneath the facade.

Quote
Your argument is not that the getaway driver is an accomplice, but that the bank teller is an accomplice for handing over the money.

The bank teller, to continue the analogy, usually has a gun to his or her head.  For the umpteenth time: You are not forced to vote, not by a man with a gun or by anyone else.

Quote
Sorry, folks, I couldn't help it. I have to touch my dick again, but only because you all make it look so pleasurable

If you cannot resist making snide and insulting comments like this, maybe you should stay away from this thread.



Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 15, 2007, 02:02 PM NHFT
People say if you don't like the system, work through the process to change it, but what if you take issue with the process?

There is this machine that is politics and the Democratic process. The reason I'm an anarchist is not simply because I don't like the direction the machine is going. It's because I believe the machine itself is violent.

So this machine was built by others long before any of us were born (even Lloyd). It's been growing ever since. Given that, it's understandable that most individuals don't feel any personal responsibility for what the machine is doing. That's the nature of the beast. It's that illusion that makes it appear to have a life of it's own, but it doesn't really. It's us. It's 300 million people who kind of just trundle along and go along with it. A single cell in a creature is fulfilling a function without any knowledge of how it's enabling the creature's actions, but it is. It's not just voting. It's standing up when a judge walks into a courtroom or showing respect for a policeman and kissing up to avoid a ticket or honoring veterans for aggressive wars or whatever else it is that we do to support the machine.

I'm not comfortable trying to control the direction of the machine anymore. I've heard a lot of justifying and I've even concocted some elaborate justifications myself that sound very similar. I'm familiar with the notions of dismantling it from within and so forth. If your intentions are good and you trust in your own justifications, then you're acting in accordance with your own conscience, but they don't work for me personally anymore.

Clearly I don't intend to just not vote. I intend to actively oppose the process. I aim to wake people up to the fact that the machine itself is violent- this collectivist, mindless will that has formed and is exerting force against innocent people. That's what it means to be for self government. I don't want to preach endlessly to other FSPers or get personal about it or disrupt their political activities. However, if FSPers keep pressuring me to violate my principles, they put me in a position of having to repeatedly remind them that they're asking me to do something that I personally find increasingly... distasteful (I'm using soft words here for tact). I don't think the machine can ever die or even weaken until the individuals it's composed of feel more accountability for their actions. Those of you who think the Democratic process is wrong but still vote "defensively", then I hope you still use whatever chance you can to speak out against the violence of the process. Personally, I can't help feeling my argument is hypocritical and weak if I'm still actively trying to be a part it. Every moment I'm out doing political things, I feel like a lier. I'm saying "Ron Paul should be our next president" when I don't believe it. I don't believe anyone has a right to be president.

Those of you who don't think the Democratic process is wrong, well that's a whole other thread.  :)

P.S. When I hit "Post" I got a message that 12 posts have been made since I started writing this so keep in mind that I'm not responding to anything recent. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 02:25 PM NHFT
Quote
“Making your job less difficult” is a pragmatic (ie, aesthetic) determination, not a moral one.  Arguing pragmatic issues does not over-ride moral ones.
Point of order: Before you argue definitions again, I suggest you research the meanings of the words you yourself use.  Aesthetics is concerned with conceptions of beauty as they relate to fine arts.  Pragmatism, a synonym of realism, is defined as "character or conduct that emphasizes practicality;" it is totally unrelated to aesthetics.

I’d suggest that you look up definitions, if you are going to make such claims.  Start with Webster’s.

Aesthetics deals with beauty, not just fine art.  Saying, “if find this distasteful, so I won’t do it” is an aesthetic judgment, not a moral one.  To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever derived a universal moral principle other than the ZAP, so morality is only those things related to the ZAP.  Anything else (eg, Ghandi-esque pacifism) is an aesthetic judgment of the individual in question.

A desire to emphasize “practical” solutions as better than others is an aesthetic judgement.

Quote
I am under no obligation to make your life easy.
You are, however, under obligation not to aggress against me.  You violate that obligation when you cast your vote to elect someone to a position of power over others (including me).  Your claim that "they would take power regardless of my involvement" does not absolve you of that obligation.

When have I ever voted to elect anyone, pray tell?  I write in “none of the above,” ans previously-stated.

In any case, you can repeat this assertion of yours until you are blue in the face, but simply stating it over and over again will not make it true.

I have stated repeatedly that non-participation dissipates the fog the State uses to conceal its nature, revealing the ugliness that lies beneath the facade.

And clearly, being seen as ugly will make their guns stop working...

The bank teller, to continue the analogy, usually has a gun to his or her head.  For the umpteenth time: You are not forced to vote, not by a man with a gun or by anyone else

And you certainly have the option to go live in the woods as a hermit.  No one is forcing you to live in modern society, paying taxes and other funds to the State, which they use to oppress me, and billions of others.  Clearly, you have chosen to fund this oppression, and are therefore evil as a result.

There is no magical difference between voluntarily purchasing a taxed product, and voluntarily going into a voting booth and registering an opinion.  Neither one obligates the government to act in some way on your behalf, and neither one confers responsibility onto you.

If you imagine there’s some difference, please demonstrate it for all to see...

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 15, 2007, 02:54 PM NHFT

P.S. I have been applauding Joe.  :)


+1

I am weary of the young preacher and his religion.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 15, 2007, 02:58 PM NHFT
Main Shark's post brings up, to me, a more interesting question, is voting against ZAP?

"A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."
- L. Neil Smith

Does voting constitute the delegation of the initiation of force?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rochelle on November 15, 2007, 03:05 PM NHFT

P.S. I have been applauding Joe.  :)


+1

I am weary of the young preacher and his religion.
Hey, I applauded Joe too!
/attention whore
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 15, 2007, 03:06 PM NHFT
People say if you don't like the system, work through the process to change it, but what if you take issue with the process?

There is this machine that is politics and the Democratic process. The reason I'm an anarchist is not simply because I don't like the direction the machine is going. It's because I believe the machine itself is violent.

So this machine was built by others long before any of us were born (even Lloyd). It's been growing ever since. Given that, it's understandable that most individuals don't feel any personal responsibility for what the machine is doing. That's the nature of the beast. It's that illusion that makes it appear to have a life of it's own, but it doesn't really. It's us. It's 300 million people who kind of just trundle along and go along with it. A single cell in a creature is fulfilling a function without any knowledge of how it's enabling the creature's actions, but it is. It's not just voting. It's standing up when a judge walks into a courtroom or showing respect for a policeman and kissing up to avoid a ticket or honoring veterans for aggressive wars or whatever else it is that we do to support the machine.

I'm not comfortable trying to control the direction of the machine anymore. I've heard a lot of justifying and I've even concocted some elaborate justifications myself that sound very similar. I'm familiar with the notions of dismantling it from within and so forth. If your intentions are good and you trust in your own justifications, then you're acting in accordance with your own conscience, but they don't work for me personally anymore.

Clearly I don't intend to just not vote. I intend to actively oppose the process. I aim to wake people up to the fact that the machine itself is violent- this collectivist, mindless will that has formed and is exerting force against innocent people. That's what it means to be for self government. I don't want to preach endlessly to other FSPers or get personal about it or disrupt their political activities. However, if FSPers keep pressuring me to violate my principles, they put me in a position of having to repeatedly remind them that they're asking me to do something that I personally find increasingly... distasteful (I'm using soft words here for tact). I don't think the machine can ever die or even weaken until the individuals it's composed of feel more accountability for their actions. Those of you who think the Democratic process is wrong but still vote "defensively", then I hope you still use whatever chance you can to speak out against the violence of the process. Personally, I can't help feeling my argument is hypocritical and weak if I'm still actively trying to be a part it. Every moment I'm out doing political things, I feel like a lier. I'm saying "Ron Paul should be our next president" when I don't believe it. I don't believe anyone has a right to be president.

Those of you who don't think the Democratic process is wrong, well that's a whole other thread.  :)

P.S. When I hit "Post" I got a message that 12 posts have been made since I started writing this so keep in mind that I'm not responding to anything recent. :)


You remind me so much of myself over the past 4 years or so.  But I realized that waking people up just isn't enough; I've been doing it for years now as a principled anarcho-capitalist and it looks to me as if I've done nothing to get this world closer to where I'd like it to be.  Sitting on the sidelines just won't do a damn thing to change the situation.  Working from within WILL when we have a candidate to get behind that isn't politics as usual (aka, Ron Paul).  And then there's the added benefit that a Ron Paul candidacy, and eventual Presidency, will wake TONS more people up to the ideas of freedom and liberty than I ever could have done on my own.  Getting back to a Constitutional Republic is light years better than letting the system head towards a total police state, don't you think?

All of this comes from someone who is a committed anarcho-capitalist.  So I do understand 100% where you're coming from.  I too hate the political process and realize that in a perfect world, sealed up in a vacuum, I'd rather have no system at all.  But right now, we are so far from living in that perfect world that I feel I have to do SOMETHING to throw sand in the gears of the police state juggernaut.  And working my butt of to return it to a Constitutional Republic is my chosen form of action.  How can we expect people to understand anarcho-capitalism and sustain such a world if they don't even understand Constitutional Republicanism and how to sustain it?  Baby steps, baby steps.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 15, 2007, 03:07 PM NHFT
My personal opinion is no (re zap/voting).  Somebody show me a causal link between voting for libertarians and the initiation of force.  Further, voting as a tactical matter makes some sense to me. Baby steps are precisely what can improve the real world, as well as being a great educational tool.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 15, 2007, 03:19 PM NHFT
the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I am most curious as to where you think the path to freedom does lie.

Quote
and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.

How are they making it more difficult for you?

Read New Libertarian Manifesto by Konkin and see if you still have the same questions afterwards. PDF file on all-left.org site, 21st item down in the right-hand column, or direct link (http://agorism.info/NewLibertarianManifesto.pdf). Hard copy available from Koman Publishing Company (Vic Koman in L.A.):  http://www.kopubco.com/nlm.html

Then read Building a New Libertarian Movement, by Konkin and Conger. PDF file at all-left.org, 7th down in right-hand column, or direct link (http://www.wconger.blogspot.com/2005/06/building-new-libertarian-movement.html) on Wally Conger's blogspot blog, out of step: http://wconger.blogspot.com/.

Or, read Building first because it's quicker and an easy historical synopsis.

Main Shark's post brings up, to me, a more interesting question, is voting against ZAP?

"A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."
- L. Neil Smith

Does voting constitute the delegation of the initiation of force?

Yep, you got it. ...and according to L.Neil, the libertarians are the ones that think that's a bad thing and act accordingly and etc.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 15, 2007, 03:20 PM NHFT
My personal opinion is no (re zap/voting).  Somebody show me a causal link between voting for libertarians and the initiation of force.  Further, voting as a tactical matter makes some sense to me. Baby steps are precisely what can improve the real world, as well as being a great educational tool.

Ayn Rand's term was: "Sanction of the victim"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 15, 2007, 03:26 PM NHFT
You remind me so much of myself over the past 4 years or so.  But I realized that waking people up just isn't enough;

Wow, four years and we STILL don't have ancap. I give up.  ::) Anarchy isn't a state of society. It's a philosophy of the individual. I'm already there in less than a year. I see violence for what it is. Anarchy isn't the end. It's the beginning.

If we have a Constitutional Republic in four years, I'll concede the efficacy of your actions but you still won't have changed the fact that I cannot personally justify the means, and the means is the reason I gave for my decision to withdraw from politics. We have a Constitutional Republic now (technically) but that hasn't prevented government abuse. You seem to be hoping that the people will finally start holding government accountable to the restrictions of a Constitutional Republic but how will you convince them? How about we convince them that aggression is wrong, even when the government does it? That's why anarchy is the beginning, even if the end is a truly Constitutional Republic.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 03:28 PM NHFT
...My present goal is to convince as many people as possible that politics does not hold the key to freedom.

So you basically came here with the explicit intention of causing a schism in our movement.
... actually some of us are on a collision course to break up "our" movement.
We are trying to strike at the root of this evil government .... sparks will fly ... and people will have to choose sides. Are you going to use social means or political ones?

I want to get along with everyone possible, but I have to not cooperate with wrong institutions, so that will put me at odds with some people every so often. I don't want to fight with people who are not really hurting anyone, but sometimes we will disagree.

I don't think Eric is doing anything wrong by wanting to change people's minds.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 03:30 PM NHFT
:deadhorse:
I was avoiding replying to this thread for almost an entire day. Let’s see if I can do it again…
If we have actual conversations on interesting subjects it is not too bad. It is possible you will not be able to convince Eric, so it might seem like we are beating that poor horse.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 03:36 PM NHFT
Main Shark's post brings up, to me, a more interesting question, is voting against ZAP?

"A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."
- L. Neil Smith

Does voting constitute the delegation of the initiation of force?

As I say, does paying taxes (at gunpoint) constitute the same?  Most taxes are on things you don't "need" to have/do, so you are certainly making a choice, and that choice is funding the government.

The fact of the matter is that voting is no different from any other of those choices.  The notion that voting is somehow "special" and "confers legitimacy on the government," thereby "condoning their actions" and "making the voter morally responsible for the government" is a claim made by the government, not something which stands on its own.  Accepting it is accepting the government.

Freely supporting the government would constitute the initiation of force.  Supporting the government at gunpoint, does not.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 03:41 PM NHFT
I don't think you have to sit on the sidelines, while staying out of politics. My example is Jesus Christ and he turned the world upside down by staying out of court (unless dragged in), making gadfly comments about the power elite in religion/government, encouraging individuals to change their minds and takes steps (such as leaving their government jobs), and clearing the temple. He did not support the system or chase after the powerful to get their ear. They came out to him since he was rousing the rabble and plotted his death. Others have followed in his steps and had similar results. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 15, 2007, 03:44 PM NHFT
I don't think you have to sit on the sidelines, while staying out of politics. My example is Jesus Christ and he turned the world upside down by staying out of court (unless dragged in), making gadfly comments about the power elite in religion/government, encouraging individuals to change their minds and takes steps (such as leaving their government jobs), and clearing the temple. He did not support the system or chase after the powerful to get their ear. They came out to him since he was rousing the rabble and plotted his death. Others have followed in his steps and had similar results. :)

Assuming Jesus actually did these things as reported, what did it accomplish?  Is the state smaller?  Are we living in an anarcho-capitalist world?  Some of Jesus's most ardent followers are also rabid warmongers.  I'm not sure what your point was here.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 03:46 PM NHFT
I came "here" with the explicit intention to dissuade others from using violent means to achieve their ends.  If this causes a schism, then so be it.
Quote
Sorry, folks, I couldn't help it. I have to touch my dick again, but only because you all make it look so pleasurable
If you cannot resist making snide and insulting comments like this, maybe you should stay away from this thread.
amen brother
Eric might be longwinded and willing to debate .... but you can avoid this topic with ease. As long as he is not causing too many problems, he will have room to voice his ideas on this forum.

I think I have been very patient with the endless political threads on this forum and have refrained from joining each discussion to display my displeasure. This thread will not ruin your life or cause you too much discomfort.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 03:50 PM NHFT
People say if you don't like the system, work through the process to change it, but what if you take issue with the process?

There is this machine that is politics and the Democratic process. The reason I'm an anarchist is not simply because I don't like the direction the machine is going. It's because I believe the machine itself is violent.
Thoreau commented that he didn't mind the machinery of government too much if it caused some friction in our society ... but when the whole machine is friction, then he had to throw a wrench into the gears.
The evil government that pervades our society is being fed much too much money and power ... and it causes massive amounts of damage both here and all over the world. It must be stopped. But even as we stop it, we should follow decent methods to not become like our enemy.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 03:52 PM NHFT
I am weary of the young preacher and his religion.
you can avoid him easily .... he is in one thread as far as I know.
preachers and their ideas are welcome to start threads on this forum .... you are also very welcome to avoid them. I don't think he has ruined anyone's life or taken over this forum. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:04 PM NHFT
Assuming Jesus actually did these things as reported, what did it accomplish?  Is the state smaller?  Are we living in an anarcho-capitalist world?  Some of Jesus's most ardent followers are also rabid warmongers.
It comes and goes. The immediate followers of Christ turned the Roman world upside down and were hunted down by the state. Powerful evidence of their effect on the status quo.
If you want to give up and play paddycake with the state because they seem powerful, go ahead. I just cannot join you.
Religions/States have twisted his words and used them as sanction (there is that idea again) for their actions. I have had to knock the american government crude off of Christianity to see more clearly myself. :)
Governments have to convince enough people that they are saving them from criminals or other evil countries to protect their way of life and the homeland. They have to have the consent of the governed.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 15, 2007, 04:08 PM NHFT
Assuming Jesus actually did these things as reported, what did it accomplish?  Is the state smaller?  Are we living in an anarcho-capitalist world?  Some of Jesus's most ardent followers are also rabid warmongers.
It comes and goes. The immediate followers of Christ turned the Roman world upside down and were hunted down by the state. Powerful evidence of their effect on the status quo.

Well, if your goal is to resist the state, get raided, arrested and hung then yeah, Jesus is your model to follow when it comes to political activism.  Just because he supposedly made a lot of noise doesn't mean he actually ACCOMPLISHED anything when it came to bringing down the Roman state.  The state only got bigger, not smaller, during the times of Jesus. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:12 PM NHFT
I guess you are getting the picture now.

You sure are bitter. I stopped being so mad, when I started seeing a path to destroy the feds.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 15, 2007, 04:25 PM NHFT
He did not support the system or chase after the powerful to get their ear.

In at least one case I think he gave them back their ear ;)  Russell your faith based pacifism is admirable, but in the end it got your man hung on a tree and the long term result was a church abusing his teachings and states even uglier and more invasive than the one at the time.  Alright maybe not uglier, but more vast and just as scary.   What is pacifism to a state that doesn't mind killing dissenters?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 15, 2007, 04:32 PM NHFT
I worry for you Russell.  You can't destroy the state if they feed you to the lions.  In the end it was the Rome that changed the church, after all the diehard faithful went for lionchow.  With the good folk gone you end up with a Holy Roman emperor.  You are great as the conscience of a movement, the young preacher has a long way to go before he is as convincing and eloquent as you are, and you have acts to back up deeds.  Eric just seems to be getting peoples hackles up because of his tone and highhandedness.  Something I'm a bit of an expert at.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:35 PM NHFT
Gandhi answered that question during the Second World War. If you really are interested, you can read his book. :)

In Christ's case ... it just jumpstarted the movement when they killed him. oops another government blunder.

I think doing it all over again is the right thing to do. :)

now I have hijacked Eric's thread ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:36 PM NHFT
I worry for you Russell.  You can't destroy the state if they feed you to the lions.
What is your plan? This is what I can do as one imperfect person. I see only one path to destroy the state.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 15, 2007, 04:50 PM NHFT
I read his book once.  A good read.  Advocated guns if you didn't have the courage for nonviolent direct action.  And in the end india was free of england without violent revolution, and the government they were saddled with wasn't much better than the colonial one they got rid of.  I dunno that I have a better path than yours Russell.  Maybe voting and incremental change are the cowards way.  I just value my life too highly, and the lives of those I hold dear too much, to ever accept pacifism as a world view.  I think pacifism may require faith as a component, which cuts me right out. Although nonviolent direct action as a tactic, even a strategy has always appealed to me aesthetically.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 04:54 PM NHFT
something appeals to you ... but the thugs guns turn your gaze ... it is a very normal thing to have happen

Has it ever worked to vote freedom?

It seemed the Indian independence movement got what they wanted ... I think they just had the wrong goal.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 05:42 PM NHFT
Quote
now I have hijacked Eric's thread

"It ain't no thang."  I wanted a healthy discussion and I got it.  The response to this thread surpassed every expectation I had.

Quote
I am weary of the young preacher and his religion.

I do (and did) apologize if my posts come off as preachy or accusatory, but I do not apologize for the substance.  I stand by my words.  Dismissive comments like this are irritating and unnecessary.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 05:51 PM NHFT
this is a touchy subject

didn't you bring it up, because people were wondering why you are not active politically?

then when you say you think it is wrong .... people want to defend themselves
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 06:00 PM NHFT
Quote
didn't you bring it up, because people were wondering why you are not active politically?

Yes.  Moreover, seeing/hearing "libertarians" defending the State political apparatus turns my stomach and sets my blood boiling.

Quote
people want to defend themselves

What's that famous Egyptian river called?

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 06:07 PM NHFT
"libertarians" (who currently like politics) might not be your most fertile fields .... person to person seems to work wonders ... but it sounds like this pressure happens to many in Manchester ... must be the water ... that is why people have to drink things at Murphy's to counteract it. :)

think you can make it until january? ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 06:07 PM NHFT
politics might be a dead end  ... but debating it is never ending
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 15, 2007, 06:11 PM NHFT
politics might be a dead end  ... but debating it is never ending

And THAT is why this should have been in Endless Debate and Whining! :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 06:14 PM NHFT
but we do arbitrary things here underground
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 06:17 PM NHFT
Quote
think you can make it until january?

I think so.  If I can survive for twenty years without participating, I can go for two more months. :)

Quote
person to person seems to work wonders

I have had some hard-won success in persuading my immediate family.  Both parents will now admit taxation is theft and my sister has even described herself as a libertarian.  Hopefully, I can convince them to go whole-hog like me. ;)

Quote
And THAT is why this should have been in Endless Debate and Whining!

Yeah, but nobody goes there, including me.  I had to aim high.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 15, 2007, 06:26 PM NHFT
"libertarians" (who currently like politics) might not be your most fertile fields .... person to person seems to work wonders ... but it sounds like this pressure happens to many in Manchester ... must be the water ... that is why people have to drink things at Murphy's to counteract it. :)

We have a growing number of non-participants here in Manchester, which is good to see. What I don't like to see is people who are trying to reduce the harm the system does to others being labeled "evil" and "immoral."
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 06:40 PM NHFT
Quote
What I don't like to see is people who are trying to reduce the harm the system does to others being labeled "evil" and "immoral."

I was not labeling them or their intentions immoral, only the means they're using to achieve those intentions.  And then there's MaineShark/Joe, who expended all that effort defending his behavior, only to reveal late in the game that he never votes for an actual person.  Now all I've got on him is the "voting is counterproductive" argument.  ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 06:56 PM NHFT
sometimes you don't win debates .... I haven't won any in my life :)

people have to pay me to vote ... I am tired of having the government ignore our votes for less of it
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 07:06 PM NHFT
Quote
What I don't like to see is people who are trying to reduce the harm the system does to others being labeled "evil" and "immoral."
I was not labeling them or their intentions immoral, only the means they're using to achieve those intentions.

The means someone uses are indistinguishable from the person's intentions.  If you label my means immoral, you've labelled me immoral.

And then there's MaineShark/Joe, who expended all that effort defending his behavior, only to reveal late in the game that he never votes for an actual person.

I never stated that.  Do not attempt to put words in my mouth.

I will state now that I never vote for anyone, and that I usually vote “none of the above,” but I do occasionally vote against the most heinous politicians on the ballot.  If you were involved around here, you would know that, as it’s been my stated position for years.

Now all I've got on him is the "voting is counterproductive" argument.  ::)

You don't have anything on me.  You're a statist masquerading as an anarchist because you think it's "hip" to call yourself that.  When pushed to stand by your claims, you defend the government as legitimate, and try to argue that the things you find easy to not do (eg, voting, possibly paying income tax) are immoral, but that the things it would be difficult for you to avoid are perfectly acceptable.  There's no philosophy behind what you say - you simply declare that the things that you find easiest are the "right path," and anything else is wrong.

Of course, every time you are pressed, you change the subject and fall on "just 'cause" nonsense, because you have no actual philosophical basis for your position.  It's simply what you find easiest and most glamorous, and you expect respect for that.

So, again, how do you imagine that voting is any different from any other voluntary activity which in some way transfers "support" to the government, such as purchasing taxed goods?  Can't come up with an answer, can you?  Because simply not voting is easy, whereas not buying taxed goods (or using FRN's, for that matter) would be difficult, so of course there is nothing wrong with it... ::)

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 07:13 PM NHFT
OK.  I've had enough.  Welcome to my ignore list, MaineShark!  I was wondering who would be the first.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Fragilityh14 on November 15, 2007, 07:27 PM NHFT
aren't people in Manch trying hard to take over the city council and both local parties, and if so, why such serious intentions in sabotaging their plans?


Also, I haven't read the majority of this thread (from hell) but want to mention that Rothbard support Paul in '88 (from the Libertarian primaries) and Buchanan in 92/96...but I'm sure all of you market anarchists consider Rothbard an immoral statist for that...
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 15, 2007, 07:30 PM NHFT
aren't people in Manch trying hard to take over the city council and both local parties, and if so, why such serious intentions in sabotaging their plans?
...but I'm sure all of you market anarchists consider Rothbard an immoral statist for that...
which people?
splitter!!!!!! ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 15, 2007, 07:43 PM NHFT
When you resist something gov't does, you or somebody has to come up with some voluntary alternative.  Some of the services that gov't provides are actually quite popular, and in high demand.  Some less so.  The high demand ones will be met by entrepreneurs, the others by charities or mutual aid.  Both of these require individuals to choose to do them.  If the gov't can be pushed back long enough. 

Strategically, this is definitely true. Advocating the repeal of social assistance programs, for example, when there are no private charities in place to take up all the people thrown off of the dole, is incredibly irresponsible and just asking for a huge backlash.

It's also "attacking the poor," as if they were the cause of "the problem" - to do so would make one appear mean-spirited, and it, in fact, would be.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 15, 2007, 08:15 PM NHFT
Quote
Maybe later when I have time... but I only consider this a valid use of my time because I don't want activists and potential activists to be subverted by your arguments against effective political activism.

Bad means cannot and will not yield good ends.  By participating in what you call "effective political activism," even if you succeed in winning some token battles, you preserve and indeed strengthen the veil of legitimacy clothing the State.  I fail to understand why so many "libertarians" are seduced by politics, when we above all others should be immune to its charms.

Carl Watner, of the Voluntaryist (http://www.voluntaryist.com/) fame, has a great article on this - (gotta find) - his byline is:  'If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself.'

Since I can't find that article quickly, but will in the coming days, here's a good one: Without Firing A Single Shot: Voluntaryist Resistance and Societal Defense (http://www.voluntaryist.com/forthcoming/withoutfiringashot.php).
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 15, 2007, 08:20 PM NHFT

The civil rights movement is actually a pretty good example of a movement that employed both civil disobedience and political action.

Unfortunately, it’s also a good example of how not to use political action—...


Don't forget that they shot the leader to stop his approach, eh?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 15, 2007, 09:32 PM NHFT
OK.  I've had enough.  Welcome to my ignore list, MaineShark!  I was wondering who would be the first.

Oh, the horrors. ::)

Ignored by a child who can't answer even simple questions about his justifications for calling others immoral.  Whatever will I do?

Edited to add: I guess Vitruvian deserves some credit for being the only member infantile enough to ignore me.  That has to count for some sort of award, right? ;D

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rochelle on November 15, 2007, 10:10 PM NHFT
If you need to set up a support group, Joe, I think everyone here will understand...
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 15, 2007, 10:10 PM NHFT
Maineshark, your little games of semantics to attempt to make V out to be a statist are pretty transparent. You've repeated it like four or five times now. I don't have you on ignore, but I stopped reading the rest of your posts each time I saw the same tedious mind game starting back up.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 15, 2007, 10:23 PM NHFT
...
Discussing the actual topic of that, the number of people who supported those dictators was extremely small, in most cases.  More just went along for the ride out of apathy or an unwillingness to stand up to authority....

Joe

A little history-challenged, are we?

THE GERMAN NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS MARCH 29th 1936
TOTAL QUALIFIED VOTES    45,453,691    
TOTAL VOTES CAST    45,001,489    99.0%
VOTES 'NO' OR INVALID    540,211    
VOTES FOR HITLER'S NSDAP    44,461,278    98.8%
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 15, 2007, 10:23 PM NHFT
I'm sorry Dale. I really like you and consider you a friend, but V is the transparent one. He's a religious zealot and a statist.
I support most of Joe's views on this one. He's a true anarchist and individual not bent on converting everyone to a collectivist mindset.

I really can't believe that individualists are falling for this tripe. It saddens me.

 :-[

Please ignore me now V. I would really find it appropriate that you would shut out honest dissent.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 15, 2007, 10:35 PM NHFT
He's a religious zealot and a statist.

Yes, and Russell is a violent psychopath who just CLAIMS to be a pacifist. I can tell where "religious zealot" comes from but the statist argument was a ridiculous game of twisting his words around. Clearly V's confrontational style has not exactly won him a lot of friends and 20 pages later, emotions are talking more than reason right now.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 15, 2007, 10:35 PM NHFT
Quote
He's a religious zealot and a statist.

Actually I am an atheist and an anarchist.  You're 0 for 2.

Quote
converting everyone to a collectivist mindset

Who's the collectivist?  You are the one supporting the democratic process, a thoroughly anti-individualist idea.  But seriously, name-calling gets old very quickly.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: David on November 16, 2007, 12:47 AM NHFT
Tension is the motivation for change.  violence can cause tension, and can sometimes lead to change, but also makes gov't grow.  Dr. King intentionally created tension, for the purpose of providing a motivation to change.  Without the tension, there would still be jim crow on the books.  People resist oppression.  Peaceful resistance neuters the violence somewhat, yet still provides an organized outlet for the oppressed, and of course, creates the tension needed to cause change. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 12:53 AM NHFT
Quote
Of course. I’m criticizing him for his penchant debate instead of action. A pacifist could go either way, so that wouldn’t even be a determining factor to me.

I have said previously that my particular course of action, my method to advance the cause of liberty, is to persuade those close to me (friends, family, etc.)  It is low-cost, non-violent, and has the benefit of providing immediate feedback as to its efficacy.  I don't really care what your opinion of this method is.  I have already had success in convincing my parents and my sister that the State is immoral.  My present goal is to convince as many people as possible that politics does not hold the key to freedom.

So you basically came here with the explicit intention of causing a schism in our movement.

Respectfully, J'rax, you're way out of line with that remark. The libertarian movement was hijacked by the parliamentary politicos a few short years after its hopeful and vigorous beginnings and have sucked all the air out of it for a few decades now without measurable result. For example, in 1972, the first election year there was a national LP, the presidential team, John Hospers and Tonie Nathan got 1 electoral vote - there have been none cast for an LP candidate in the ensuing 35 years, despite all the blood, sweat and tears diverted from freedom projects into the parliamentary political action drainhole. An attempt was even made in the early days to "buy" the movement - see the Kochtopus episode footnoted below. This is all chronicled in New Libertarian Manifesto and the subversion of the movement has stuck to a great extent and it has been de-fanged and kept ineffective by this diversion (or schism, if you prefer).

The schism was started by the politicos and it's dragged all who entered there into a pit of first compromise, then defeat. For someone like Vitruvian to come along and clearly state the core libertarian beliefs again is like a beacon of light and hope through the fog of rationalizations. For a pure soul to be attacked rather than be dealt with reasonably should be beneath us all.

footnotes, taken verbatim from Konkin, New Libertarian Manifesto (linked to earlier):
Quote
[12] Charles G. Koch, Wichita oil billionaire, through his relatives, foundations, institutes and centers bought or set up or "bought out" the following from 1976-1979: Murray Rothbard and his Libertarian Forum; Libertarian Review (from Robert Kephart) edited by Roy. A. Childs; Students for a Libertarian Society (SLS) run by Milton Mueller; Center for Libertarian Studies (Rothbard-leaning) and Joe Peden; Inquiry edited by Williamson Evers; Cato Institute; and various Koch Funds, Foundations and Institutes. Named the "Kochtopus" in New Libertarian 1 (February, 1978), it was first attacked in print by Edith Efron in the conservative-libertarian publication Reason, along with allegations of an "anarchist" conspiracy. The Movement of the Libertarian Left cut away from Efron's anti-anarchist ravings and rushed to support her on her key revelation of the growth of monocentrism in the Movement.

In 1979, the Kochtopus took control of the National Libertarian Party at the Los Angeles convention. David Koch, Charles' brother, openly bought the VP nomination for $500,000.

[13] Murray Rothbard broke with the Kochtopus soon after the '79 LP Convention and most of his close allies were purged such as Williamson Evers of Inquiry. CLS was cut off from Koch funding. The Libertarian Forum began attacking Koch. Rothbard and young Justin Raimondo set up a new "radical" caucus of the LP (the first one, 1972-74, was run by progenitors of NLA as a recruiting tactic and to destroy the Party from within).

Hopefully, you can realize that the freedom movement is not monocentrist and move on from attacking an ally in freedom. We all only have 24 hours / day - is it worth spending a few of those hours attacking our own ideals and idealists and taking those hours away from freedom projects?

PS: I know a lot of people who put a lot of time, money and energy into their parliamentary political pursuits and I think they are all pretty much well-meaning people (generally not evil). I do think they are generally mis-guided, though - I only wish I had the energy to convert them all back to libertarianism  ;) . Like someone else posted, though (Russel, the evil one maybe) our best prospects might be outside the circle of those afflicted with the mind virus that "just maybe this time we'll win (at the state's rigged game)!"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 01:38 AM NHFT
... I only wish I had the energy to convert them all back to libertarianism  ;) . Like someone else posted, though (Russel, the evil one maybe) our best prospects might be outside the circle of those afflicted with the mind virus that "just maybe this time we'll win (at the state's rigged game)!"
thanks for your excellent posts .... but do I really have to lose my extra "l" again for the sake of small 'l' liberitarians? ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 16, 2007, 03:53 AM NHFT
Quote
He's a religious zealot and a statist.

Actually I am an atheist and an anarchist.  You're 0 for 2.

Quote
converting everyone to a collectivist mindset

Who's the collectivist?  You are the one supporting the democratic process, a thoroughly anti-individualist idea.  But seriously, name-calling gets old very quickly.

And so does demanding we 'explain' ourselves for being 'immoral' get old very quickly. Since when do 'libertarians' care about morality and being judgmental?

I take serious umbrage at the accusation that my work is 'immoral' since in the course of my work, every single day, 24/7 I literally put my LIFE AND PROPERTY ON THE LINE, as a woman, who works with over 50 groups and has to take the blowback from all their enemies combined. (But it's worth it to get corrupt people fired...and we've had quite a few successes even in other states).

I've been stalked, threatened to have my fingers cut off, my car has been tampered with, and my internet cables cut. I have 22 police reports filed to prove it and it continues.

Yes I really feel sorry for you and how we all tick you off by what we do. Boo hoo.

Please. Go whine about your libertarian purity elsewhere.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Fragilityh14 on November 16, 2007, 03:59 AM NHFT
beyond which, the options which exist for lowering government interference in your life outside of making use of the political process are pretty damn limited...but hey, you could be the next unibomber...he was an effective advocate of freedom.

All you [vitruvian] are doing now is trying to prevent other people [of apparently weak conviction] through faulty logic, to stop fighting for freedom. (That is to say, anyone who has been or would be convinced of anything by this thread)

I would still like to see any intellectual basis for your (vitruvian) beliefs, and name a single champion of liberty you find both "moral" and effective.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 16, 2007, 04:24 AM NHFT
Quote
didn't you bring it up, because people were wondering why you are not active politically?

Yes.  Moreover, seeing/hearing "libertarians" defending the State political apparatus turns my stomach and sets my blood boiling.


I feel for you.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 16, 2007, 08:42 AM NHFT
If you need to set up a support group, Joe, I think everyone here will understand...

Yeah, somehow I think I'll survive...

Maineshark, your little games of semantics to attempt to make V out to be a statist are pretty transparent. You've repeated it like four or five times now. I don't have you on ignore, but I stopped reading the rest of your posts each time I saw the same tedious mind game starting back up.

Vitruvian's inability to address even simple questions regarding his accusations (recall, he started accusing people of immoral actions; no one jumped on him out of the blue), such as his claim that there is some mystical difference between paying taxes on voluntary purchases of products and voting, vindicate what I've been saying.

The only "games" are his, trying to pretend that the ZAP means things it simply does not mean.  Yes, we have to go into semantics to address that, because he is playing semantic games with the words.

And, to repeat, you'll note that he has never addressed the issue of voluntarily paying taxes, has he?  If he had honest philosophy backing him up, he would be able to do that easily, right?  Why hasn't he?

Discussing the actual topic of that, the number of people who supported those dictators was extremely small, in most cases.  More just went along for the ride out of apathy or an unwillingness to stand up to authority....
A little history-challenged, are we?

THE GERMAN NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS MARCH 29th 1936
TOTAL QUALIFIED VOTES    45,453,691    
TOTAL VOTES CAST    45,001,489    99.0%
VOTES 'NO' OR INVALID    540,211    
VOTES FOR HITLER'S NSDAP    44,461,278    98.8%

Uh, no.  I have this amusing trait where I don’t take Adolf Hitler’s word for the outcome of elections.  Silly, I know...

That’s why I used the Communists as an example, because there was actually a relatively-free election before they seized power, which demonstrated a lack of support.  The Nazis already had power at the time of the 1936 elections...

The schism was started by the politicos and it's dragged all who entered there into a pit of first compromise, then defeat. For someone like Vitruvian to come along and clearly state the core libertarian beliefs again is like a beacon of light and hope through the fog of rationalizations. For a pure soul to be attacked rather than be dealt with reasonably should be beneath us all.

For a corrupt child like Viturvian to come here and mis-represent the core libertarian beliefs for purposes of self-aggrandizement is an offense against all who actually care about liberty, regardless of whether they personally choose political means, apolitical means, or some combination of those.  His megalomaniacal insistence that those things which he finds easy must be the "right path" and that those things which it would be difficult for him to avoid doing are somehow "different" (even though no difference can be demonstrated) easily demonstrates his stake in this, which has nothing to do with supporting liberty, and everything to do with his enjoyment of being a "rebel."

He reminds me of a certain Communist that was always posting on the FSP boards (and maybe still is - I don't have time for that forum right now), who was nearly orgasmic at the thought of being arrested.  Not because he hoped to achieve anything by non-compliance or something, but just because he enjoyed feeling "oppressed."

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 16, 2007, 08:57 AM NHFT
For a corrupt child like Viturvian to come here and mis-represent the core libertarian beliefs for purposes of self-aggrandizement is an offense against all who actually care about liberty, regardless of whether they personally choose political means, apolitical means, or some combination of those.  His megalomaniacal insistence that those things which he finds easy must be the "right path" and that those things which it would be difficult for him to avoid doing are somehow "different" (even though no difference can be demonstrated) easily demonstrates his stake in this, which has nothing to do with supporting liberty, and everything to do with his enjoyment of being a "rebel."

He reminds me of a certain Communist that was always posting on the FSP boards (and maybe still is - I don't have time for that forum right now), who was nearly orgasmic at the thought of being arrested.  Not because he hoped to achieve anything by non-compliance or something, but just because he enjoyed feeling "oppressed."

Joe

Ah someone who had to go out of his way to make sure they'd been oppressed so they could justify their actions...

Hey Joe - are you sure you did not live during the late 60s? Because that's what you are describing.  :)

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 09:28 AM NHFT
For a corrupt child like Viturvian to come here and mis-represent the core libertarian beliefs for purposes of self-aggrandizement is an offense against all who actually care about liberty ...  His megalomaniacal insistence that ....
Joe
those sure are strong words ... I don't think any of them fit.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 16, 2007, 11:02 AM NHFT
For a corrupt child like Viturvian to come here and mis-represent the core libertarian beliefs for purposes of self-aggrandizement is an offense against all who actually care about liberty ...  His megalomaniacal insistence that ....
those sure are strong words ... I don't think any of them fit.

Well, I do.  And I think I've pretty well proved that they do, based upon his reactions to simply questions.

He's displayed all the signs I described.  He insists that his way (which just happens to be the easiest and most beneficial course for him) is the "right way" and that anyone who doesn't do things that way is "immoral," and further that things are the way he says, just because he said them.  Sounds like a megalomaniac to me.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 16, 2007, 11:08 AM NHFT
I read his book once.  A good read.  Advocated guns if you didn't have the courage for nonviolent direct action.  And in the end india was free of england without violent revolution, and the government they were saddled with wasn't much better than the colonial one they got rid of.  I dunno that I have a better path than yours Russell.  Maybe voting and incremental change are the cowards way.  I just value my life too highly, and the lives of those I hold dear too much, to ever accept pacifism as a world view.  I think pacifism may require faith as a component, which cuts me right out. Although nonviolent direct action as a tactic, even a strategy has always appealed to me aesthetically.

No, India did not become free "without violent revolution."  In fact, they had a very great deal of violence spread out over many years.  The first wave was only stopped after the incarceration of over 100,000 activists to help bring a temporary peace. 

Gandhi's ideas were eventually attractive to the colonial occupation government only because they stood in contrast to the bloodbaths advocated by every other major political faction.  Ditto ML King.  So long as the Black Panthers et al stood in the background, King seemed like a man worth tolerating.  But pacifistic non-violence as the sole means of social change is - and always has been - a dead end.

Fair point.  I over simplified.  MLK Jr. and his movement also benefitted from being the better option when considered against Malcolm X and other more radical elements.  The Nonviolent movements are complimented by ones willing to utilize force for self defence.  Nonviolent movements depend on the fact that folk can be convinced.  I'm not sure they always can, or that people always merit convincing.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 16, 2007, 11:21 AM NHFT
Fair point.  I over simplified.  MLK Jr. and his movement also benefitted from being the better option when considered against Malcolm X and other more radical elements.  The Nonviolent movements are complimented by ones willing to utilize force for self defence.  Nonviolent movements depend on the fact that folk can be convinced.  I'm not sure they always can, or that people always merit convincing.

Indeed.  To expand a bit (getting into the topic of whether voting/political activism is useful, rather than the pretty well-killed topic of its morality...

I don't think either stands a chance of winning, alone.  The public is conditioned to accept the legitimacy of the State.  In this case, the State claims its legitimacy comes from voting, but the same can be applied, with appropriate modifications, no matter where they claim their legitimacy comes from.

Because of their current conditioning, the public sees the political process as "legitimate," and dismisses (for the most part) apolitical activism.  So let's imagine that we put some "insiders" within the system.  Then when those insiders, being "legitimate" in the eyes of the public, offer up an issue for consideration, that consideration is not going to be ignored.  Of course, when they start talking about the "police state" and such, the public will find its eyes glazing over.

So, then the "insider" points to Russell and Lauren and says, "look, I'm not making this up: these thugs are harassing decent people who are decidedly less violent than even you, the average person - if this can happen to them, imagine what might happen to you!"

Without the "object lesson" offered by the apolitical activists, change isn't going to happen.  And without someone "inside the box" with the public to tell them to look out the window and see what's happening in the world, the apolitical acvitism will never "reach" the general public.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 11:30 AM NHFT
For a corrupt child like Viturvian to come here and mis-represent the core libertarian beliefs for purposes of self-aggrandizement is an offense against all who actually care about liberty ...  His megalomaniacal insistence that ....
those sure are strong words ... I don't think any of them fit.

Well, I do.  And I think I've pretty well proved that they do, based upon his reactions to simply questions.

He's displayed all the signs I described.  He insists that his way (which just happens to be the easiest and most beneficial course for him) is the "right way" and that anyone who doesn't do things that way is "immoral," and further that things are the way he says, just because he said them.  Sounds like a megalomaniac to me.

Joe

[sound] loud obnoxious buzzer [/sound] WRONG!
Quote
megalomania: A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
ref: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/megalomaniac

Intellectual discussions are about ideas - name-calling, however, is more of a power trip. Your choice.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 16, 2007, 11:51 AM NHFT
[sound] loud obnoxious buzzer [/sound] WRONG!
Quote
megalomania: A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
ref: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/megalomaniac

Sigh...

"Megalomania" is the colloquial term for Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

Quote
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
(4) requires excessive admiration
(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Yes, he qualifies, both clinically and under the more lay definitions of megalomania ("a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur" - specifying "wealth, power, or omnipotence" is needlessly restrictive, and does not reflect the actual meaning of the word).  He certainly imagines himself to have some omnipotent power to define morality as suits him, and clearly projects a "savior complex" in which he imagines he will personally change history by convincing others that the State is illegitimate, and because he did that, the State will just disappear.  This is quite blatant in his writings, here.

And, as stated, he clearly qualifies under the diagnostic criteria (you don't even have to go past the required five, counting down the list), if his posting here is in any way representative of his character.

Intellectual discussions are about ideas - name-calling, however, is more of a power trip. Your choice.

I'm not the one who started a thread about how everyone who doesn't agree with my tactics is immoral...

And I was more than fair in politely discussing the issues, was I not?  I'm plenty willing to apply labels when the fit.  If someone came in here and posted about how the government isn't doing enough to repress dissent, would you call it "name-calling" if I labelled him a statist?

"Name-calling" is applying labels for sensationalism, without cause, and to stifle debate.  Viturvian has already demonstrated that he has no interest in debating issues, and I've demonstrated that there is more than enough cause to consider him a megalomaniac.  As for sensationalism, well, I think I could come up with much more colorful descriptors if I were inclined towards sensationalism...

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 11:53 AM NHFT
You are clinically diagnosing one of my friends as a megalomaniac? Do you need a license for that?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 16, 2007, 11:59 AM NHFT
That's the second megalomaniac diagnosed on this site in a month.  Maybe you should start charging $100 an hour! ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 16, 2007, 11:59 AM NHFT
You are clinically diagnosing one of my friends as a megalomaniac? Do you need a license for that?

No, because I'm an anarchist.  I don't "need" a license to do anything.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 12:01 PM NHFT
You are clinically diagnosing one of my friends as a megalomaniac? Do you need a license for that?

Megalomaniacs don't need licenses to call other people megalomaniacs - that's part of their "power."
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 16, 2007, 12:06 PM NHFT
OK.  I've had enough.  Welcome to my ignore list, MaineShark!  I was wondering who would be the first.

Oh, the horrors. ::)

Pwned.

Joe, if you stop by Murphy’s next Tuesday, I owe you a beer.

:occasion14:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 16, 2007, 12:06 PM NHFT
Yes.  Moreover, seeing/hearing "libertarians" defending the State political apparatus turns my stomach and sets my blood boiling.

I’m not defending the system. I’m simply using it.

Quote
He's a religious zealot and a statist.

Actually I am an atheist and an anarchist.  You're 0 for 2.

You’re a religious zealot. Your brand of anarchism is your religion.

(Atheism is not the opposite of religion, it’s the opposite of theism. There are many actual atheist religions, Buddhism probably being the most popular one.)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 16, 2007, 12:06 PM NHFT
I don't want to preach endlessly to other FSPers or get personal about it or disrupt their political activities. However, if FSPers keep pressuring me to violate my principles, they put me in a position of having to repeatedly remind them that they're asking me to do something that I personally find increasingly... distasteful (I'm using soft words here for tact).

This.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 16, 2007, 12:07 PM NHFT
So you basically came here with the explicit intention of causing a schism in our movement.
... actually some of us are on a collision course to break up "our" movement.
We are trying to strike at the root of this evil government .... sparks will fly ... and people will have to choose sides. Are you going to use social means or political ones?

What about using both? Some people seem to be most effective using social means, some political, and some use one to lead into the other (e.g., the manicurist protest I keep bringing up, which was used to push through incremental changes to the law).

I don’t see this as an issue of “sides,” refuse to choose sides in such a debate, and the only people whom I will side against are the ones insisting on binary logic such as this.

I want to get along with everyone possible, but I have to not cooperate with wrong institutions, so that will put me at odds with some people every so often.

People on the political side who mock or denigrate the way you, Lauren, Dale, &c., deal with “wrong institutions” are, to me, behaving no better than Vitruvian deriding people working through the political system. So far, I haven’t had to get into an argument like this thread with them, though. :)

Eric might be longwinded and willing to debate .... but you can avoid this topic with ease. As long as he is not causing too many problems, he will have room to voice his ideas on this forum.

This is why Eric’s sudden interest in dissuading all us political-action types is a problem:—

aren't people in Manch trying hard to take over the city council and both local parties, and if so, why such serious intentions in sabotaging their plans?

It’s also one reason why I accused him of having ulterior motives for suddenly trying to proselytize us into dropping out.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 16, 2007, 12:07 PM NHFT
And so does demanding we 'explain' ourselves for being 'immoral' get old very quickly. Since when do 'libertarians' care about morality and being judgmental?

Not intending to start an argument with someone who’s on the same side of this debate as I am, but I actually do believe that morality is an important part of libertarian philosophy. It’s simply that our morality is extremely simple: The non-aggression principle and/or the golden rule. Beyond that, it’s “too each his own”—and that’s why people often think libertarians are disinterested in morality or otherwise amoral, because we don’t carry around a bookful of values we try to shove down people’s throats.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 16, 2007, 12:07 PM NHFT

Discussing the actual topic of that, the number of people who supported those dictators was extremely small, in most cases.  More just went along for the ride out of apathy or an unwillingness to stand up to authority....

Joe

A little history-challenged, are we?

THE GERMAN NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS MARCH 29th 1936
TOTAL QUALIFIED VOTES    45,453,691    
TOTAL VOTES CAST    45,001,489    99.0%
VOTES 'NO' OR INVALID    540,211    
VOTES FOR HITLER'S NSDAP    44,461,278    98.8%

That one dictator was popularly elected doesn’t say anything about the rest of them. Most dictators throughout history haven’t been particular popular, and had to seize power through force, not electoral politics.

Advocating the repeal of social assistance programs, for example, when there are no private charities in place to take up all the people thrown off of the dole, is incredibly irresponsible and just asking for a huge backlash.

It's also "attacking the poor," as if they were the cause of "the problem" - to do so would make one appear mean-spirited, and it, in fact, would be.

Indeed, and I would say that we actually have a responsibility to do so. If we dismantle social assistance programs, people coming off of them are going to become much poorer in the short run, since those programs were providing food, housing, work, &c., for such people. And, so many of these people are so thoroughly dependent on the government helping them that they probably wouldn’t even be able to cope in a free-market world at first. Therefore, we would be in effect the cause of their (increased) poverty, and we’d therefore have a moral responsibility to help them.

… My present goal is to convince as many people as possible that politics does not hold the key to freedom.

So you basically came here with the explicit intention of causing a schism in our movement.

Respectfully, J'rax, you're way out of line with that remark.

It may have been unnecessarily harsh, but I stand by this: Our current movement encompasses both political and non-political action, and people trying to draw off activists from either camp are being divisive—which is going to cause people in both camps to dig in, and become more stubborn and mistrustful of those on the other side. This could ultimately result in the movement breaking in half.

It’s interesting that you bring up the LP and how they’ve gone nowhere for 35 years, and how you see this as justification for dismissing political activism all together. It’s interesting because the research director of the NHLA—the core of our political activism—has said the exact same thing on multiple occasions. Except he considers it justification for trying new, and more effective political means.

Past schisms caused by the political side aren’t really relevant, except as a cautionary example. What we have now is a huge, new movement of people attacking the system through a variety of means, both political and non-political. Looking at the actual results, I believe both means are effective in their own way. These sides can work together, and complement one another. That’s what I’m trying to make people realize.

Hopefully, you can realize that the freedom movement is not monocentrist …

This has actually been my point all along.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 12:08 PM NHFT
Anyway, Vitruv', you're a breath of fresh air. Welcome aboard. You'll soon find out who on the thread takes on the role of your volunteer personal psychiatrist and learn to take it for what you paid for it  ;D

Let's continue the dialog - only ... I have to get some work done, so maybe later or tomorrow.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 16, 2007, 12:13 PM NHFT
OK.  I've had enough.  Welcome to my ignore list, MaineShark!  I was wondering who would be the first.

Oh, the horrors. ::)

Pwned.

That's a pwning?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 16, 2007, 12:15 PM NHFT
I wish a certain person (cough, cough) would focus on the issues at hand rather than the abusive argumenta ad hominem.

Moving on...

Here is a collection of articles for the enjoyment of all, comprised largely of anti-participation essays: http://www.strike-the-root.com/vote.html (http://www.strike-the-root.com/vote.html)

I used some of the authors' arguments in this thread.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 12:16 PM NHFT
...who on the thread takes on the role of your volunteer personal psychiatrist and learn to take it for what you paid for it  ;D

Oh, right, you already did  ;D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 16, 2007, 12:19 PM NHFT
OK.  I've had enough.  Welcome to my ignore list, MaineShark!  I was wondering who would be the first.

Oh, the horrors. ::)

Pwned.

That's a pwning?

Putting your opponent on ignore in the middle of a debate is the online equivalent of stomping out of the room in a huff. I can’t think of a less gracious way of admitting you lost a debate, honestly… except perhaps resorting to a fistfight…

Pwned.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 16, 2007, 12:20 PM NHFT
Quote
Putting your opponent on ignore in the middle of a debate is the online equivalent of stomping out of the room in a huff.

He effectively ended the debate by resorting to abusive language.  I am not going to take that sitting down.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 12:25 PM NHFT
I wish a certain person (cough, cough) would focus on the issues at hand rather than the abusive argumenta ad hominem.

Moving on...

Here is a collection of articles for the enjoyment of all, comprised largely of anti-participation essays: http://www.strike-the-root.com/vote.html (http://www.strike-the-root.com/vote.html)

I used some of the authors' arguments in this thread.

great link! You already referenced the Voluntaryist, so I assume you're aware of Carl Watner's vast archive.

Someone was referring to voting "None of the Above" at Murphy's the other night, so I mentioned the old "NOTA" movement in California, headed by Sy Leon back in the 60's and 70's. I'm sure there's historical stuff out there for the googling on that. It's interesting how the old ideas come back around.

...and, of course, there's the relatively new "Alliance for the Libertarian Left" at all-left.org. They have a trove of articles linked to from their site, and Kevin Carson's Mutualist.org (I think that's the url) and the blogosphere of the Libertarian Left (all linked to from all-left).

Now, I've got to get to work! Maybe the concentration afforded by the FSP will allow a local revitalizing of the libertarian ideals and activism, after all.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 16, 2007, 12:27 PM NHFT
Haha, so all I have to do to win is to have the last word?  Interesting.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 12:28 PM NHFT
Quote
Putting your opponent on ignore in the middle of a debate is the online equivalent of stomping out of the room in a huff.

He effectively ended the debate by resorting to abusive language.  I am not going to take that sitting down.

Yeah, probably the best thing to do in a case of abuse. Abuse isn't logic, reason, etc. it's a power play to psych you out. It has no place in an intellectual discussion. Good riddance - on with reasonable discussion.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 16, 2007, 12:50 PM NHFT
Agreed. The original post began with abuse and apologies for the abuse, but that it's for our own good. Preach on.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 16, 2007, 12:55 PM NHFT
I don't think saying "What you're doing is immoral, and you should stop doing it," is particularly abusive . . . .  Otherwise, Russell would be one of the most abusive people I know.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 16, 2007, 12:56 PM NHFT
Russell doesn't "insist on moral rectitude"

I like Russell's approach.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 16, 2007, 01:31 PM NHFT
He surely insists upon it from IRS office workers who are violent by proxy.  So I guess as long as he's not demanding it from you, you're fine with it . . . .
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 03:27 PM NHFT
I feel no need to "turn over the tables" at say .... a nhla meeting or something. I can just not participate. The IRS requires more extreme methods. Just not voting seems like a reasonable response against the state. I can't imagine berating someone for voting either ... it just seems like a waste of time.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 03:30 PM NHFT
... our morality is extremely simple: The non-aggression principle and/or the golden rule.
I think Eric was pointing out that he believes politics is not following the golden rule. He might be right.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 16, 2007, 03:30 PM NHFT
I am simply going to paste, since few seem to have acknowledged it, some words on this very topic by Lysander Spooner in his essays, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority (http://www.lysanderspooner.org/notreason.htm).

Quote
In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having ever been asked, a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man attempts to take the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot --- which is a mere substitute for a bullet --- because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency, into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him.

Doubtless the most miserable of men, under the most oppressive government in the world, if allowed the ballot, would use it, if they could see any chance of thereby ameliorating their condition. But it would not therefore be a legitimate inference that the government itself, that crushes them, was one which they had voluntarily set up, or ever consented to.

Therefore a man's voting under the Constitution of the United States, is not to be taken as evidence that he ever freely assented to the Constitution, even for the time being. Consequently we have no proof that any very large portion, even of the actual voters of the United States, ever really and voluntarily consented to the Constitution, even for the time being. Nor can we ever have such proof, until every man is left perfectly free to consent, or not, without thereby subjecting himself or his property to injury or trespass from others.

In case you haven't guessed, I strongly disagree with Vitruvian's assertion that voting, in this specific set of conditions, is immoral. Indeed, I could make a case for exactly the opposite: that dropping out of the system entirely is immoral. Such case would hold up to scrutiny at least as well as Vitruvian's opposite case, I am confident.

But I am not going to do that today. It would be counterproductive, to say the least. Indeed, this whole discussion has been counterproductive.

I believe if we are going to make any progress in defeating "the cult of the omnipotent State," we must attack it on multiple fronts and in a variety of different ways. We need both those in the system, and those outside the system, to challenge the State in their own ways. Neither approach alone is likely to have a significant impact, but  with both approaches (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flanking_maneuver) we can make progress at dismantling the overbearing State much, much faster than with either approach alone.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 03:33 PM NHFT
Quote
Putting your opponent on ignore in the middle of a debate is the online equivalent of stomping out of the room in a huff.
He effectively ended the debate by resorting to abusive language.  I am not going to take that sitting down.
Actually ... I have found that sitting down in a tense situation sometimes works well. :)
A lot of people will attack you in your life if you follow a straight course of nonagression. They will call you names and yell at you. Sometimes it makes sense to close the door, sometimes to sit there and take it. Sometimes to drown them out. I bet there are other responses that will work also. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 03:35 PM NHFT
I don't think saying "What you're doing is immoral, and you should stop doing it," is particularly abusive . . . .  Otherwise, Russell would be one of the most abusive people I know.
I have been accused of being abusive. They might be right.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 16, 2007, 03:46 PM NHFT
I don't think saying "What you're doing is immoral, and you should stop doing it," is particularly abusive . . . .  Otherwise, Russell would be one of the most abusive people I know.
I have been accused of being abusive. They might be right.

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I used to be a Christian; had that verse memorized when I was a wee lad ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 03:55 PM NHFT
I don't think
"to vote or not to vote"
is the main question.

But overall ... are we going to use social or political means?

I don't know if a heated debate is the best method to get people to not use force on each other, though.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 03:57 PM NHFT
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
not coincidentally, I was reading that again yesterday. My main inspiration is Matt 5-7.
He also talks about how if you get along with everyone and seek their acceptance ... you are just like false prophets of history.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 16, 2007, 04:15 PM NHFT
Quote
Agreed. The original post began with abuse and apologies for the abuse, but that it's for our own good.

In my opening post, I was careful to categorize only the political means, not individuals, as immoral: I did not abuse anyone.  MaineShark's replies, on the other hand, were chock-full of condescension (repeatedly referring to me as a child), personal attacks (presuming to diagnose me with a mental illness; see Rothbard's Psychoanalysis as a Weapon: http://www.mises.org/story/2330 (http://www.mises.org/story/2330)), and other frippery.

Also, I agree with Faber and Russell: calling a spade a spade does not equate with abuse.

Quote
He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave.

Preferring not to be a slave does not grant one the right to become a master.  The "voting as self-defense" argument falls flat, as Wendy McElroy points out in Why I Would Not Vote (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php)), because "a ballot attacks innocent third parties who must endure the consequences of the politician [the voter has] assisted into a position of unjust power over their lives."  Therein lies the violence of the vote.

 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 16, 2007, 04:54 PM NHFT
I feel no need to "turn over the tables" at say .... a nhla meeting
That's good to know, especially since the NHLA meetings are all on private property  ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 16, 2007, 04:55 PM NHFT
Preferring not to be a slave does not grant one the right to become a master.  The "voting as self-defense" argument falls flat, as Wendy McElroy points out in Why I Would Not Vote (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php)), because "a ballot attacks innocent third parties who must endure the consequences of the politician [the voter has] assisted into a position of unjust power over their lives."  Therein lies the violence of the vote.


So if a vote reduces the violence of the state by great magnitudes (such as in voting for Ron Paul, if and when he is elected), is it still violence?  If you're voting for a man who would do the exact opposite of what the government has been doing for 100 years, is it still violent?  Or is it non-violent because you're helping to REDUCE the amount of violence perpetrated by the state?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 16, 2007, 05:23 PM NHFT
Quote
So if a vote reduces the violence of the state by great magnitudes (such as in voting for Ron Paul, if and when he is elected), is it still violence?  If you're voting for a man who would do the exact opposite of what the government has been doing for 100 years, is it still violent?  Or is it non-violent because you're helping to REDUCE the amount of violence perpetrated by the state?

Even if Ron Paul were elected and were successful in reducing the power of the State in any meaningful way, as an agent of the State he will no doubt be responsible for some degree of aggressive violence against innocent people.  After all, he will fund the federal government through some form of taxation: the Constitution authorizes it.  Everyone who voted for him, and therefore enabled his rise to power, becomes complicit in those crimes.  Carl Watner, in his essay Is Voting an Act of Violence?, described this act (of voting) as the most violent that most people ever commit.  On this basis alone, ignoring the fact that the practice only further entrenches the false conception of the State's legitimacy, one should abstain from voting.

   
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 16, 2007, 05:33 PM NHFT
The assumption being, of course, that committing acts of violence is never justifiable. Many people will disagree with that.

NOW can someone please move this thread back to Endless Debate and Whining?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 16, 2007, 05:42 PM NHFT
Quote
The assumption being, of course, that committing acts of violence is never justifiable. Many people will disagree with that.

The number of people who agree or disagree on issues of morality is of no consequence whatsoever.  This "assumption" is the heart and soul of the libertarian insight, that aggressive violence is never justifiable.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 16, 2007, 05:42 PM NHFT
A gang of thugs armed with Uzis is running rampant in town.

A group of people is working to replace the Uzis variously with .22 pea-shooters, and, in some cases, a short Swiss army knife. Doing so requires stealth, learning the gang lingo & gestures, a lot of time, and a lot of patience.
Are they guilty of "arming" the gang with .22's and Swiss army knives? Absolutely.
Is that bad? I don't see how.

Another group of people is purposely throwing themselves into the line of fire, in the hopes the gang throws down their weapons in disgust or is overwhelmed in numbers. Doing so requires extreme bravery, and exacts a heavy price on those putting themselves in the line of fire (though the best of them do this with a smile on their lips).
Are they angering some members of the gang into redoubling their violence? Absolutely.
Is that bad? I don't see how.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 16, 2007, 05:43 PM NHFT
Quote
So if a vote reduces the violence of the state by great magnitudes (such as in voting for Ron Paul, if and when he is elected), is it still violence?  If you're voting for a man who would do the exact opposite of what the government has been doing for 100 years, is it still violent?  Or is it non-violent because you're helping to REDUCE the amount of violence perpetrated by the state?

Even if Ron Paul were elected and were successful in reducing the power of the State in any meaningful way, as an agent of the State he will no doubt be responsible for some degree of aggressive violence against innocent people.  After all, he will fund the federal government through some form of taxation: the Constitution authorizes it.  Everyone who voted for him, and therefore enabled his rise to power, becomes complicit in those crimes.  Carl Watner, in his essay Is Voting an Act of Violence?, described this act (of voting) as the most violent that most people ever commit.  On this basis alone, ignoring the fact that the practice only further entrenches the false conception of the State's legitimacy, one should abstain from voting.

I would much rather be complicit in the crimes committed under a Ron Paul presidency than be complicit in what will happen if I do nothing and stand idly by with my airtight moral arguments backing me up.

Again, I have read all all of the arguments you're bringing to the table, I have stood exactly where you stand for many years, and I have come to realize that to participate in the system in a way that brings it back to a Constitutional Republic is infinitely better than standing idly by.  I can work towards an anarcho-capitalist society, educating people and all, while fighting to reduce the size and scope of government from within.  I'm more concerned about being effective than being right.  Those fewer people who are violated when Ron Paul is the president will thank me for that, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 16, 2007, 05:45 PM NHFT
Quote
The assumption being, of course, that committing acts of violence is never justifiable. Many people will disagree with that.

The number of people who agree or disagree on issues of morality is of no consequence whatsoever.  This "assumption" is the heart and soul of the libertarian insight, that aggressive violence is never justifiable.

So it's aggressive violence that's never justifiable, not just any violence.

But what makes voting in self-defense aggressive?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 16, 2007, 05:46 PM NHFT
My vote is with error on this one ...  :icon_pirat:
move to endless debate
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 16, 2007, 05:51 PM NHFT

But what makes voting in self-defense aggressive?

nothing.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 06:08 PM NHFT
The assumption being, of course, that committing acts of violence is never justifiable. Many people will disagree with that.

NOW can someone please move this thread back to Endless Debate and Whining?
I recommend you start your own forum .... oh wait ... that already happened ... so why are you complaining about mine?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 16, 2007, 06:10 PM NHFT
My vote is with error on this one ...  :icon_pirat:
move to endless debate
just stop visiting it ... I know it is possible
I want it here .... is that going to be a problem for some people?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 16, 2007, 06:12 PM NHFT
Quote
But what makes voting in self-defense aggressive?

To answer this question I will quote from a recent post of mine:
Quote
The "voting as self-defense" argument falls flat, as Wendy McElroy points out in Why I Would Not Vote (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php), because "a ballot attacks innocent third parties who must endure the consequences of the politician [the voter has] assisted into a position of unjust power over their lives."  Therein lies the violence of the vote.

The act of voting constitutes aggressive violence because the innocent third parties, mentioned above, are harmed when a person, no matter who that person may be or how much less evil than the opposing candidate, is elected to a position of power over their lives and property.

Quote
A group of people is working to replace the Uzis variously with .22 pea-shooters, and, in some cases, a short Swiss army knife. Doing so requires stealth, learning the gang lingo & gestures, a lot of time, and a lot of patience.
Are they guilty of "arming" the gang with .22's and Swiss army knives? Absolutely.
Is that bad? I don't see how.

Shooting and killing a person with a .22 is no better than shooting and killing a person with an Uzi.  I doubt the victim of your gang would thank you for having provided his murderers with a less powerful weapon: it makes no difference to him, he's dead.

Quote
I want it here .... is that going to be a problem for some people?

No problem here.  :D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 16, 2007, 06:41 PM NHFT
You are clinically diagnosing one of my friends as a megalomaniac? Do you need a license for that?

No, because I'm an anarchist.  I don't "need" a license to do anything.

Joe

:clap:

Hee hee! Good one JOE! Seems to be a lot of narcissists/megalomaniacs around here.
You know the, 'I preach freedom but it's really my way or the highway (or I'll smite you all day and night)' types?

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 06:55 PM NHFT
Agreed. The original post began with abuse and apologies for the abuse, but that it's for our own good. Preach on.

If that's a bug with you shyfrog, you should go re-read that first post. There is no apparent abuse in it. The "preaching" comment, though I guess it's intended to be perjorative, seems out of place as a description of an intellectual discussion.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 07:13 PM NHFT

...I have come to realize that to participate in the system in a way that brings it back to a Constitutional Republic is infinitely better than standing idly by.

I've been meaning to address this fallacious assumption, which has come up repeatedly. Of the universe of things that one can do to advance freedom and civilization, Vitruvian merely addresses 1 one should not do. Now, that leaves the universe -1, which is where this conversation should graduate to, but probably over on the secure forum  ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 16, 2007, 08:15 PM NHFT
The act of voting constitutes aggressive violence because the innocent third parties, mentioned above, are harmed when a person, no matter who that person may be or how much less evil than the opposing candidate, is elected to a position of power over their lives and property.

And many here have already shot this argument completely to hell because if we did nothing, SOMEONE would STILL be elected.
And if it's the difference between having a nazi like Hillary in power or a person who wants to roll back government like Ron Paul, I'm damned right well going to support Ron Paul.

I think what was most offensive about your initial rant was not that you think participating in the political process is 'immoral' for yourself but that you deemed the rest of us immoral in a judgmental way and demanded that we renounce our behavior.

I take great offense, as I said before, that while I put my life on the line 24/7 working with many groups, while risking retaliation from the socialists, and while others do in other ways, (such as getting arrested -- and by not using violence to resist, allowing themselves to be part of the system) while you sit there on your high horse and call us 'immoral'.

And so long as you are not using 'violence', but the state is, you are a participant by default.

People will criticize what others do with regard to how effective they see it, but I don't think they feel it's 'immoral'. And it's just this kind of libertarian 'puritanical' crap that turns so many people off to 'libertarianism' and makes discussions like this a ludicrous waste of time.  ::)

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 16, 2007, 10:19 PM NHFT
Agreed. The original post began with abuse and apologies for the abuse, but that it's for our own good. Preach on.

If that's a bug with you shyfrog, you should go re-read that first post. There is no apparent abuse in it. The "preaching" comment, though I guess it's intended to be perjorative, seems out of place as a description of an intellectual discussion.

Here is one of his quotes:
Quote
And if you vote, or otherwise participate, you will have been a party to this evil.

I have no problem with people working 'out of the system' but... his saying that is just like seth's comment that Russell is ruining it for the rest of us.

Why can't the 'out of system' people do their thing.. and the 'system' people do their thing and sometimes they can't work on things together?
Otherwise it turns into.... more debatarianism.  who is purer etc etc and nothing gets done.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 16, 2007, 10:51 PM NHFT
Why can't the 'out of system' people do there thing.. and the 'system' people do their thing and sometimes they can't work on things together?
Otherwise it turns into.... more debatarianism.  who is purer etc etc and nothing gets done.

Amen to that!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 16, 2007, 11:44 PM NHFT
Agreed. The original post began with abuse and apologies for the abuse, but that it's for our own good. Preach on.

If that's a bug with you shyfrog, you should go re-read that first post. There is no apparent abuse in it. The "preaching" comment, though I guess it's intended to be perjorative, seems out of place as a description of an intellectual discussion.

Here is one of his quotes:
Quote
And if you vote, or otherwise participate, you will have been a party to this evil.

Oh, that's just basic libertarian principles. Pretty much everyone on the thread has agreed with that, but has merely offered practical arguments to justify otherwise. I was addressing shyfrog's specific statement, because it appeared to exaggerate for the purpose of misleading - I just wanted him to stop, breathe and play fair (hoping he will, since, according to Dale, the guy seems okay).

I have no problem with people working 'out of the system' but... his saying that is just like seth's comment that Russell is ruining it for the rest of us.

Why can't the 'out of system' people do their thing.. and the 'system' people do their thing and sometimes they can't work on things together?
Otherwise it turns into.... more debatarianism.  who is purer etc etc and nothing gets done.

I know, and you are great on this, so thanks. It just appeared to me that people who disagreed with the newbie were trying to bash him and drive him away! Is that what you'd want the FSP to be all about? I think we need more attenders at NHLF, etc., not fewer. I just thought Vitruvian's attackers were "ruining it for the rest of us" who care about freedom in New-Hampshire  ;)

I'm doing my best to welcome him with open arms and to try to keep the bashers at bay, so we can keep a few more folks in the movement. And, as Russel reminded us, if someone doesn't like what he has to say, they don't have to click here, eh?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 17, 2007, 02:55 AM NHFT
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Beware, when you exit the system, that you do not then do nothing further to advance the cause of liberty.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 17, 2007, 06:07 AM NHFT
but if I use the system ... I am actually doing evil ... so?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Bill St. Clair on November 17, 2007, 08:55 AM NHFT
Ready. Aim. Vote.

I don't really have a dog in this race, but I couldn't resist sharing my little thought.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 17, 2007, 09:06 AM NHFT
Quote
but if I use the system ... I am actually doing evil.

Russell summarizes nicely.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 17, 2007, 09:43 AM NHFT
maybe you could start a thread and tell people what you think are decent paths to take ... or what you think are the best actions you can take Eric.

It is hard to describe ... just, what not to do :)

I think big goals, and actual small steps to take ... are easier to follow.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 17, 2007, 12:11 PM NHFT
Quote
maybe you could start a thread and tell people what you think are decent paths to take ... or what you think are the best actions you can take

That is a good idea.  I have noticed the debate on this thread has subsided somewhat.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 17, 2007, 01:22 PM NHFT
Quote
Putting your opponent on ignore in the middle of a debate is the online equivalent of stomping out of the room in a huff.
He effectively ended the debate by resorting to abusive language.  I am not going to take that sitting down.

You started the debate with abusive language.

And were treated politely, given dozens of opportunities to address the issues rather than continue with that.

I don't think saying "What you're doing is immoral, and you should stop doing it," is particularly abusive . . . .  Otherwise, Russell would be one of the most abusive people I know.

So an anarchist, someone who actually abides by the ZAP fully, violating it (behaving immorally) voids ones rights.  Accusing an anarchist of aggression is no different from saying, “you have elected to give up your right to be alive, and anyone who gets the urge could kill you with moral impunity.”

For an anarchist, its hard to imagine anything more abusive.  Since he is claiming to be an anarchist, that must be exactly what he intended.  Or he’s just a megalomaniac child who finds it amusing to call himself an anarchist, without understanding anything about what that actually means, philosophically.

Anarchy isn’t a political party; it’s a life-philosophy, and controls every aspect of one’s interactions with the world.

In my opening post, I was careful to categorize only the political means, not individuals, as immoral: I did not abuse anyone.

Actually, you said no such thing:
I have heard it said that political activity (i.e. voting, running for office, involvement in campaigns) is the most effective way to achieve our goal of a free society.  Some go so far as to suggest it is the only way.  I could not disagree more.

I struggle to understand how, in one breath, some libertarians will condemn the State and all its machinations, and in another, will endorse the very mechanism the State uses to perpetuate itself: politics.  The contradiction is plain to see yet rarely remedied. 

So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.

And anyway, as I’ve already stated, and as any anarchist would know, you cannot categorize someone as using immoral means, without categorizing that person as immoral.  There is no way to separate the actions a person takes from himself.

The notion that immoral means can be used without “tainting” oneself is the core of the “ends justify the means” philosophy, which is the antithesis of anarchy.

Thanks for demonstrating my point that you are no anarchist.  An anarchist would not make any such claim.

MaineShark's replies, on the other hand, were chock-full of condescension (repeatedly referring to me as a child), personal attacks (presuming to diagnose me with a mental illness; see Rothbard's Psychoanalysis as a Weapon: http://www.mises.org/story/2330 (http://www.mises.org/story/2330)), and other frippery.

Really?  Why don’t you find the first post in which I did anything you consider a “personal attack” or whatever?  Then read all of the posts prior.  You were treated with far more respect than you deserved.

Quote
But what makes voting in self-defense aggressive?

To answer this question I will quote from a recent post of mine:
Quote
The "voting as self-defense" argument falls flat, as Wendy McElroy points out in Why I Would Not Vote (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php), because "a ballot attacks innocent third parties who must endure the consequences of the politician [the voter has] assisted into a position of unjust power over their lives."  Therein lies the violence of the vote.

The act of voting constitutes aggressive violence because the innocent third parties, mentioned above, are harmed when a person, no matter who that person may be or how much less evil than the opposing candidate, is elected to a position of power over their lives and property.

But paying taxes isn’t, right?  Because not paying taxes is difficult, so clearly it’s okay to pay taxes, but not voting is easy, so clearly that’s the right path...

Here is one of his quotes:
Quote
And if you vote, or otherwise participate, you will have been a party to this evil.
I have no problem with people working 'out of the system' but... his saying that is just like seth's comment that Russell is ruining it for the rest of us.

Of course, since Russell has voted (if I recall correctly, from his description of his past), and has offered to vote in the future (in this very thread), I guess Vitruvian is saying that Russell is a party to the State’s evil.  Sorry, Russell, but we’re going to have to shun you as a Statist, per Vitruvian’s excellent examination of the issues...

Yeah, that will be the day!

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 17, 2007, 01:36 PM NHFT
Of course, since Russell has voted (if I recall correctly, from his description of his past), and has offered to vote in the future (in this very thread), I guess Vitruvian is saying that Russell is a party to the State’s evil.  Sorry, Russell, but we’re going to have to shun you as a Statist, per Vitruvian’s excellent examination of the issues...
you are right
I don't know if that means that Eric has to shun me ..... he might not approve of my actions.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 17, 2007, 01:42 PM NHFT
This will be my new definition of absurdity: any argument that makes Russell out as a supporter of the State pretty much sets the standard for absurdity...

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 17, 2007, 03:49 PM NHFT
I might be the fed though. ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 17, 2007, 04:35 PM NHFT
I'm fairly certain Russell isn't a fed.
The proof speaks for itself:

(http://www.shyfrog.net/images/russell_exfed.jpg)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 17, 2007, 04:42 PM NHFT
Vitruvian, something I've been wanting to comment on, and it becomes more obvious as this thread goes on, is your remark:


Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.


and this by Faber:


Ghandi gets quoted a lot around here, so let me have a shot . . . "BE the change you want to see in the world."


Many have said these kind of things, and heeding them are key to being influential, I think. I remember a couple of decades past how myself and other Randroids would argue with people and berate them, but, of course, that never worked at all, except to alienate people and isolate ourselves from society.

You are to be commended on your gentle manner and clear, well-spoken logic and your patience and calm under withering attack.

One of the things that was an enhancing concept to my understanding is the pop psychology concept of "boundaries (http://wicip.org/dcccrsa/saissues/boundary.html)" that go beyond just the physical realm, ie, respect also for the sexual, emotional and spiritual boundaries of others. I know Pia Mellody (http://www.piamellody.com/) wrote a good bit on this, and I'm sure Faber knows of others.

So, it seems many are stuck in libertarian kindergarten, where they only respect physical boundaries, such as your person or your property lines, but have never considered your emotional or spiritual boundaries to be anything other than open season. It's, of course, abuse to transgress in those ways, as you acknowledged when you finally had to press "ignore" in self-defense. It was appropriate and you were tolerant to a fault to take as long as you did to do that.

Here's to change and improvement to become more respectful, moral and effective!  :occasion14:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 17, 2007, 05:41 PM NHFT
I'm fairly certain Russell isn't a fed.
The proof speaks for itself:

(http://www.shyfrog.net/images/russell_exfed.jpg)
first I thought that was a picture of another guy with a funny hat (maybe TimCondon) ... then when I realized it was me ... I was trying to figure out why I was wearing one of Caleb's shirts ... then I realized .... I had been had by one of the masters of this forum. 8)

I do get cravings for donuts ... and I love the jingle of handcuffs.

I owe a drink to the first person I see at Burning Porcupine with a shirt that says "I'm the Fed" or something like that.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 17, 2007, 05:47 PM NHFT
Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.
Ghandi gets quoted a lot around here, so let me have a shot . . . "BE the change you want to see in the world."
Many have said these kind of things, and heeding them are key to being influential, I think. I remember a couple of decades past how myself and other Randroids would argue with people and berate them, but, of course, that never worked at all, except to alienate people and isolate ourselves from society.
If it didn't work for you ... I am doomed, since I can't communicate as well.

Quote
So, it seems many are stuck in libertarian kindergarten, where they only respect physical boundaries, such as your person or your property lines, but have never considered your emotional or spiritual boundaries to be anything other than open season.
That is a good explanation for why some people back down when I see them in person.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 17, 2007, 05:49 PM NHFT
I know Pia Mellody (http://www.piamellody.com/) wrote a good bit on this, and I'm sure Faber knows of others.
Hey wait a minute! You know Faber?
Faber ... do I know you in the real world? :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 17, 2007, 06:30 PM NHFT
Isn't the idea that voting is violence is just another version of the doctrine of Collective Responsibility.  That through the act of voting I have involved myself in the system and am now responsible for all the evil that is done?  It seems kind of strange that a group of people who would denounce some types of collectivist doctrines would cling to another. 


Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 17, 2007, 06:40 PM NHFT
How does expressing an opinion that this guy would be better than this other guy or that evil bitch make me morally responsible for any of their actions?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Insurgent on November 17, 2007, 07:56 PM NHFT
I just sat down and read this entire thread, from beginning to end. What a read! :o It's amazing that a thread this long has stayed on topic without diverting in to many tangents.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 17, 2007, 08:06 PM NHFT
The biological subfamily Bovinae (or bovines) includes a diverse group of about 24 species of medium-sized to large ungulates, including domestic cattle, Bison, the Water Buffalo, the Yak, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is obscure, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal sub-groups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include a cloven hoof and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having a true horn.

oh...oops
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 17, 2007, 08:10 PM NHFT
I just sat down and read this entire thread, from beginning to end. What a read! :o It's amazing that a thread this long has stayed on topic without diverting in to many tangents.

Is that a good thing? It’s twenty-eight pages long, and no one’s opinion was really changed—Vitruvian still doesn’t consider political action valid, and no political activists have come around to his point of view, either.

:deadhorse:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 17, 2007, 08:29 PM NHFT
I know Pia Mellody (http://www.piamellody.com/) wrote a good bit on this, and I'm sure Faber knows of others.
Hey wait a minute! You know Faber?
Faber ... do I know you in the real world? :)

Naw, I don't know him, but he sounds interesting. He did say he's a psychotherapist, so I figured he'd know the concept and the people that write and lecture on it.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 17, 2007, 08:33 PM NHFT
I just sat down and read this entire thread, from beginning to end. What a read! :o It's amazing that a thread this long has stayed on topic without diverting in to many tangents.

Is that a good thing? It’s twenty-eight pages long, and no one’s opinion was really changed—Vitruvian still doesn’t consider political action valid, and no political activists have come around to his point of view, either.

:deadhorse:

Yeah, which is why there are 29 other threads for them to go to -- hint, hint. We got some work to do over here on our one thread and you're distractin' us.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Insurgent on November 17, 2007, 09:42 PM NHFT
It’s twenty-eight pages long, and no one’s opinion was really changed

Which is why libertarian debates should be seen as what they are: entertainment.

They can be more than just entertainment, although entertaining they can be!  :) A lot depends on how staunch we are in our beliefs or whether we're willing to consider other ways of looking at the world. Speaking from personal experience, I think differently than I did when I was younger, and I continue to learn and adjust my ways of thinking as experience teaches me.

Therefore, it's possible that some people may read this thread, and other threads, and help to clarify what they believe or even change their mind completely.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 17, 2007, 10:08 PM NHFT
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

I agree...


Beware, when you exit the system, that you do not then do nothing further to advance the cause of liberty.

Did you mean, that you do  not then do _anything_ further to advance the cause of liberty? I wasn't clear on the double negative.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 17, 2007, 10:11 PM NHFT


They can be more than just entertainment, although entertaining they can be!  :) A lot depends on how staunch we are in our beliefs or whether we're willing to consider other ways of looking at the world. Speaking from personal experience, I think differently than I did when I was younger, and I continue to learn and adjust my ways of thinking as experience teaches me.

Therefore, it's possible that some people may read this thread, and other threads, and help to clarify what they believe or even change their mind completely.

I 100% think that I have changed much of what I thought since I moved to NH.
When I moved I was probably a 'conservative' with libertarian leanings.  Now I would say  I am a libertarian with some conservative treats and become more of an ANCAP every day.
I am still Green though. :P
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 17, 2007, 10:19 PM NHFT
I just sat down and read this entire thread, from beginning to end. What a read! :o It's amazing that a thread this long has stayed on topic without diverting in to many tangents.

Is that a good thing? It’s twenty-eight pages long, and no one’s opinion was really changed—Vitruvian still doesn’t consider political action valid, and no political activists have come around to his point of view, either.

:deadhorse:

Yeah, which is why there are 29 other threads for them to go to -- hint, hint. We got some work to do over here on our one thread and you're distractin' us.

I think for Vitruvian to accomplish anything, he needs to learn to be a bit more tactful in how he presents his arguments. That’s what got most people’s backs up in this thread, I think; at least I know that’s why I tore into him so quickly. Perhaps if everyone cools off, and this debate is restarted in a few weeks with a less pompous-sounding opening post…

By the way, did you see my reply (http://newhampshireunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=11978.msg205798#msg205798) to your comments? You sound like you’re still under the impression I’m on the “politics only, everything else is useless” side.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 17, 2007, 10:27 PM NHFT
The biological subfamily Bovinae (or bovines) includes a diverse group of about 24 species of medium-sized to large ungulates, including domestic cattle, Bison, the Water Buffalo, the Yak, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is obscure, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal sub-groups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include a cloven hoof and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having a true horn.

oh...oops

Hee hee you are too funy froggy
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 17, 2007, 11:19 PM NHFT

By the way, did you see my reply (http://newhampshireunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=11978.msg205798#msg205798) to your comments? You sound like you’re still under the impression I’m on the “politics only, everything else is useless” side.

Oh, yeah. Please don't think I ignored it, I was just struggling to keep up with the thread and pick what to respond to in limited time. I still have hand-written notes here of what I want to respond further to, but, occasionally I have to do some real life things. How annoying, really.

Actually, I have a nit to pick with Vitruvian, though not a major one. I think it is something that would clarify a few things and answer a couple of dozen posts at once. But that kind of post takes a bit of thought and composition...
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 17, 2007, 11:44 PM NHFT
Quote
Why can't the 'out of system' people do their thing.. and the 'system' people do their thing and sometimes they can't work on things together?

The 'system' people, when they vote or are elected to office, arrogate for themselves what is mine by right.  This makes me angry and perhaps "less tactful" (read: "more honest") than I would be otherwise.  Intentions, even good ones (to reduce State violence, to vote against the greater evil, etc.), count for nothing in reality.  When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.  To put it simply: Ron Paul, if and when he is elected, will still take money from ME with the taxing power granted him by the Constitution.  When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME.  So, know this: When I condemn your actions as immoral, I mean it.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 17, 2007, 11:52 PM NHFT
One of the things that was an enhancing concept to my understanding is the pop psychology concept of "boundaries (http://wicip.org/dcccrsa/saissues/boundary.html)" that go beyond just the physical realm, ie, respect also for the sexual, emotional and spiritual boundaries of others. I know Pia Mellody (http://www.piamellody.com/) wrote a good bit on this, and I'm sure Faber knows of others.

So, it seems many are stuck in libertarian kindergarten, where they only respect physical boundaries, such as your person or your property lines, but have never considered your emotional or spiritual boundaries to be anything other than open season. It's, of course, abuse to transgress in those ways, as you acknowledged when you finally had to press "ignore" in self-defense.

I have to thank you.  While many posts in this thread have caused me to smile in amusement, this is the first one to actually make me laugh out loud.

There is no initiated force against someone's "emotional or spiritual boundaries."  That's just silly.  Another can cause you physical harm.  Only you can cause an emotional response within yourself.  The most basic precept of emotional health is owning your emotions and not blaming them on others.  No one makes you feel anything.

I have a responsibility to avoid doing you unjust harm, not to hold you hand and sing kumbaya.  What is this nonsense?  Positive rights to have pleasant emotions delivered to you on a platter?  Give me a break...

Actually, I have a nit to pick with Vitruvian, though not a major one. I think it is something that would clarify a few things and answer a couple of dozen posts at once. But that kind of post takes a bit of thought and composition...

That should be interesting.  Of course, I can't imagine why it would take "thought and composition" to address any of these issues.  Nothing esoteric has been raised (eg, defining "personhood" for non-human entities, which is an amusing debate and actually provokes thought).  This is all extremely basic stuff - Anarchy 101, if you will - and should not require any particular level of thought.  All my posts in this thread are written "on the fly."  Of course, I guess it takes time to make things up, versus just posting the plain truth...

Still, I'll be amused to see what might appear...

When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME.  So, know this: When I condemn your actions as immoral, I mean it.

When you pay your taxes you give the government actual physical power, which they use to hurt me, and my family, and my friends, and everyone else.  Clearly, you are an immoral agressor (okay, that was redundant, wasn't it?).  I demand reparations. ::)

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 18, 2007, 12:05 AM NHFT
Quote
Why can't the 'out of system' people do their thing.. and the 'system' people do their thing and sometimes they can't work on things together?

The 'system' people, when they vote or are elected to office, arrogate for themselves what is mine by right.  This makes me angry and perhaps "less tactful" (read: "more honest") than I would be otherwise.  Intentions, even good ones (to reduce State violence, to vote against the greater evil, etc.), count for nothing in reality.  When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.  To put it simply: Ron Paul, if and when he is elected, will still take money from ME with the taxing power granted him by the Constitution.  When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME.  So, know this: When I condemn your actions as immoral, I mean it.


  :blahblah: :ignore:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 03:14 AM NHFT
Mark is a slave, chained to prevent escape and whipped daily. Mark convinces his master to only whip him 6 days a week. Does doing this mean that Mark supports being whipped 6 days a week? Does it mean he supports being a slave? Is Mark doing something immoral? Does Mark need some moral justification for his behavior?

Of course not and only a retard would think otherwise!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 03:36 AM NHFT
Ron Paul, if and when he is elected, will still take money from ME with the taxing power granted him by the Constitution. 

True.

Quote
When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME

False.

"In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having even been asked a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practice this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further, that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self- defense, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man takes the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot – which is a mere substitute for a bullet – because, as his only chance of self- preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defense offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him." - Lysander Spooner

If there were an election to make either Ron Paul or Hitler dictator of Earth and somehow you knew that if you didn't vote that Hitler would win and if you voted for Ron Paul that he would win, can you honestly say that you wouldn't vote? Do you really think that anyone would believe that this meant you supported Ron Paul and approved of anything he might ever do? As far as I'm concerned, the only immoral action here would be having the power to stop a Hitler dictatorship and choosing not to do so.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 18, 2007, 08:45 AM NHFT
Vit... do you buy gas?  Why?  that means you pay the gas tax... which is used by the government..NH and Fed... and that is 'immoral'.

Have you eaten in a restaraunt in NH?   You paid a sales tax... which is used by the government ... and that is 'immoral'.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 08:57 AM NHFT
Quote
Mark is a slave, chained to prevent escape and whipped daily. Mark convinces his master to only whip him 6 days a week. Does doing this mean that Mark supports being whipped 6 days a week? Does it mean he supports being a slave? Is Mark doing something immoral? Does Mark need some moral justification for his behavior?

If "Mark" were making such a choice only for himself, I would agree with you.  However, as I said before:
Quote
When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.

If you, Alex, had bothered to read this thread before posting this,
Quote
Of course not and only a retard would think otherwise!
, you might have seen that Lysander Spooner's argument from self-defense has already been introduced and rebutted, its chief flaw being that a vote cannot be aimed at one's oppressors (unlike, for instance, a rifle), and must affect innocent third parties.

Your next argument (
Quote
If there were an election to make either Ron Paul or Hitler dictator of Earth and somehow you knew that if you didn't vote that Hitler would win and if you voted for Ron Paul that he would win, can you honestly say that you wouldn't vote? Do you really think that anyone would believe that this meant you supported Ron Paul and approved of anything he might ever do? As far as I'm concerned, the only immoral action here would be having the power to stop a Hitler dictatorship and choosing not to do so.
), has also been addressed, in Wendy McElroy's essay, Why I Would Not Vote (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php)), which, again, you would have found if you had bothered to read this thread before insulting the intelligence of the people with whom you disagree.

Quote
Vit... do you buy gas?  Why?  that means you pay the gas tax... which is used by the government..NH and Fed... and that is 'immoral'.

Have you eaten in a restaraunt in NH?   You paid a sales tax... which is used by the government ... and that is 'immoral'.

The difference is coercion.  I am forced, as is everyone else, to pay taxes (not the ones you mentioned, however, they are built into prices: the merchant, therefore, is forced to pay them). If I refuse to pay, I risk being imprisoned or killed.  Morality rests on an ability to choose one's actions, and coercion precludes such a choice: when choice is taken away, as in the case of taxation, morality is inapplicable.  As I have said many times in this thread (a fact that no one has disputed), you are not forced to vote, so standard libertarian morality still applies.




Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 18, 2007, 09:01 AM NHFT
The difference is coercion.  I am forced, as is everyone else, to pay taxes (not the ones you mentioned, however, they are built into prices: the merchant, therefore, is forced to pay them). If I refuse to pay, I risk being imprisoned or killed.  Morality rests on an ability to choose one's actions, and coercion precludes such a choice: when choice is taken away, as in the case of taxation, morality is inapplicable.  As I have said many times in this thread (a fact that no one has disputed), you are not forced to vote, so standard libertarian morality still applies.

Yeah, because you are forced to eat in restaurants and buy gas.  Haven't you heard of shoes?  You can walk.  Or buy a horse.  And plant a garden for food.  You don't need to pay those taxes.  You certainly don't "need" to be posting on an Internet forum, using taxed electricity.

And having someone pay on your behalf doesn't count, anymore than hiring a hitman makes one less of a murderer.  The merchant collects sales tax, and hands it over to the government, but the actual payer is the customer.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Rocketman on November 18, 2007, 09:02 AM NHFT
Quote
standard libertarian morality

No such thing.  Morality is morality.   ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 18, 2007, 09:08 AM NHFT
Quote
standard libertarian morality
No such thing.  Morality is morality.   ::)

Indeed.

There is one rule, called the zero-agression principle, and it applies universally.  That's why it's called a "universal moral principle," I suppose.  Maybe someday, another might be derived, but I doubt that, unless some course of evolution fundamentally changes the character of humanity, such that other standards become universal rather than situational.

All else is aesthetics and personal ethics.  And Vitruvian's aesthetic displeasure with voting doesn't magically become "libertarian morality," just because he wants it to.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 09:12 AM NHFT
Quote
No such thing.  Morality is morality.

I agree with you.  Other people may not, though, hence the modifiers.  Every "morality" yet invented, however, including the correct one, also depends on choice.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 09:21 AM NHFT
Yeah, which is why there are 29 other threads for them to go to -- hint, hint. We got some work to do over here on our one thread and you're distractin' us.
Every time I think I don't want to keep up with this thread .... the title drags me in. I agree with the premise of this thread. It brings me pleasure to rail against politics. If you don't like hearing those kinds of words ... you can go to the politics section and say things I won't even see. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on November 18, 2007, 09:21 AM NHFT
Thirty years from now I'll be dead.  You guys will still be slaves still arguing about this crap
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 09:52 AM NHFT
Quote
Thirty years from now I'll be dead.  You guys will still be slaves still arguing about this crap.

The sooner politics is abandoned, the sooner we will truly be free.  Unfortunately, many seem literally to be "political junkies" and to need their fix to feel alive.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on November 18, 2007, 10:03 AM NHFT
Its less about being a political junkie and more about being inclusive.  Politics isn't going to be abandoned any time soon.  When a  candidate like RP comes into the national spotlight and gets the coverage he gets, some general 'small l'  libertarian philosophy squeezes into the national discussion.  This is the hope I, an Anarchist, had about  the LP when I helped start the CT LP in 1972.  Didn't happen.  RP has gleaned more national attention since February than all 35 plus years of the LP. One doesn't have to be a political junkie to see the value of running with RP.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 10:27 AM NHFT

Quote
When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME.


False.

Quote
"In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being...."
 - Lysander Spooner

If there were an election to make either Ron Paul or Hitler dictator of Earth and somehow you knew that if you didn't vote that Hitler would win and if you voted for Ron Paul that he would win, can you honestly say that you wouldn't vote? Do you really think that anyone would believe that this meant you supported Ron Paul and approved of anything he might ever do? As far as I'm concerned, the only immoral action here would be having the power to stop a Hitler dictatorship and choosing not to do so.

Spooner is so wonderful on so many issues, but here he is making the argument for "voting as self-defense", if I may reduce it to one category of the arguments FOR voting. Many have succeeded Spooner and developed libertarian thought further, but many others still cling to this argument, in it's many forms. The Ron Paul v. Hitler election example (now that would be something to watch! Hitler's Brownshirts would probably just club and shoot all the RP supporters up until election day.) is a variant of the self-defense argument. It's an argument in extremis - a temptation to the conscientious non-voter to see if you can tug enough at his emotions (fear, in this case) to see if you can make them override his morals. There are famous cases of how this has worked to get people to compromise their moral beliefs (separate topic, though).

How about Joel Winters or Josef Stalin - who would you vote for?

Let's see, how about Dan Itse versus Mao Tse-Tung - who would you vote for?

All are just in extremis examples for the exercise of "can you be tempted?" ... but don't address the moral question.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 10:31 AM NHFT
Vit... do you buy gas?  Why?  that means you pay the gas tax... which is used by the government..NH and Fed... and that is 'immoral'.

Have you eaten in a restaraunt in NH?   You paid a sales tax... which is used by the government ... and that is 'immoral'.

This is the question of "Do you pay tribute to the occupiers of your land when it is demanded of you (punishment threatened)", not the question of "should I vote for these goons to legitimize their occupation" (They're likely to claim "See, we have a mandate to rule!").

Good question, but separate topic still.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 18, 2007, 10:32 AM NHFT
You know, arguments against voting for moral reasons are pretty hollow when they come from individuals who still pay all sorts of taxes which support the coercive state.  As soon as these individuals stop paying those taxes by not buying electricity, food, gas, clothing, housing, etc. then their supposed "air tight moral arguments" become much more relevant.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 18, 2007, 10:43 AM NHFT
It's an argument in extremis - a temptation to the conscientious non-voter to see if you can tug enough at his emotions (fear, in this case) to see if you can make them override his morals.

Actually, it's reductio ad absurdum.  Demonstration of the absurdity of an argument by taking it to the extreme of its implications, where it is harder for folks to be wishy-washy about it.

This is the question of "Do you pay tribute to the occupiers of your land when it is demanded of you (punishment threatened)", not the question of "should I vote for these goons to legitimize their occupation" (They're likely to claim "See, we have a mandate to rule!").

You can't legitimize government.  Ever.  By any method.  Including voting.  "Voluntarily" voting has no difference at all from "voluntarily" paying taxes.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 18, 2007, 10:50 AM NHFT
Two words keeps popping into my head repeatedly as I read this thread.

China
UN (or does that count as two words alone?)

I think I'll vote RP instead of "flushing" and waiting around to see what the other two might do.

There is no such thing as a state
There is no such thing as a collective
There is only the individual
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 18, 2007, 10:57 AM NHFT
I just sat down and read this entire thread, from beginning to end. What a read! :o It's amazing that a thread this long has stayed on topic without diverting in to many tangents.

Is that a good thing? It’s twenty-eight pages long, and no one’s opinion was really changed—Vitruvian still doesn’t consider political action valid, and no political activists have come around to his point of view, either.

:deadhorse:

Respectfully, Jeremy, I beg to differ: My understanding of this issue has vastly improved from reading the various insights presented here, and as a result, I have changed my own position to gain firmer footing.

Opinions rarely change dramatically overnight by any means -- especially opinions that are long held and/or well grounded.  Debating for the sake of mutual edification, regardless of whose beliefs get challenged, is one of the most efficient ways to improve opinions -- both those of others' and one's own.  If even one small, invalid notion gets debunked, it makes the entire exercise worthwhile.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 11:32 AM NHFT
As soon as these individuals stop paying those taxes by not buying electricity, food, gas, clothing, housing, etc. then their supposed "air tight moral arguments" become much more relevant.
So you can't think politics and voting sucks ... until you give up dealing with anyone who deals with the state?
If you really try to avoid all taxes ... then you will be in jail shortly.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 11:33 AM NHFT
I think I'll vote RP instead of "flushing" and waiting around to see what the other two might do.
Why do some people think that by not voting .... some people are just flushing or sitting on their hands?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 18, 2007, 11:34 AM NHFT
As soon as these individuals stop paying those taxes by not buying electricity, food, gas, clothing, housing, etc. then their supposed "air tight moral arguments" become much more relevant.
So you can't think politics and voting sucks ... until you give up dealing with anyone who deals with the state?
If you really try to avoid all taxes ... then you will be in jail shortly.

No, you can think they suck (as I do), but to argue that you're totally morally airtight because you oppose voting is ridiculous if you still pay all of these taxes.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 18, 2007, 11:36 AM NHFT
Geesh... this is such a fast moving thread, it is difficult to keep up with it!

I see that I was wrong about Vitruvian's main point being a pragmatic one.  It appears the morality of voting is the other big issue here.

Here is my take on the morality of voting, after reading the responses here, and giving it careful consideration (before, I had never given the morality of it any thought at all):

It makes sense to me that voting constitutes delegating the initiation of force, which force is in turn used to violate the rights of others.  If voting only had an impact on oneself, it would clearly be moral.  Since it also affects the lives of others, because political voting always results in imposing the will of the majority on the individual, I do not see how it can be considered morally right.

The argument that one is in fact aiming to lessen the amount of force that gets initiated against others as well, ignores two important facts:
1) There is no way to know for sure that the desired outcome will be the actual outcome.  History is full of examples of people who campaigned under the pretext of smaller gov't/ greater individual liberty, yet ended up increasing the size of gov't once in office -- in fact, the current American president is a brilliant example.
2) This is the most important fact: No one has the authority to decide for others who gets to initiate force against them -- or not iniate force against them.  It is simply not morally justifiable for you to make a decision involving my life or my property without my permission, and vice versa.  The fact that I can vote just the same as you does nothing to change this fact, because if I end up in the minority thanks to your vote, the end result is still that you are deciding things for me that are none of your business to decide.

The argument that voting occurs under duress, the same as paying taxes, is absolutely absurd.  When you face the threat of jail for abstaining from voting, then and only then can I accept that argument.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 18, 2007, 11:41 AM NHFT
I think I'll vote RP instead of "flushing" and waiting around to see what the other two might do.
Why do some people think that by not voting .... some people are just flushing or sitting on their hands?

Because "some" are.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 18, 2007, 11:42 AM NHFT

How about Joel Winters or Josef Stalin - who would you vote for?


Joel Winters the weather guy? 

Why do you all focus on voting?  Of all the ways to participate in the system, that is about the most innocuous.  This is something that occurs once every few years and is likely to not have any impact about what occurs. 

If you don't like other libertarians engaging in politics, then why not provide us with a better solution.  The solution of dropping out and convincing others to drop out is quixotic. 

It is like it is a matter of faith.  If we can get enough converts and are pure and faithful enough we will have a second coming of the anarchist messiah and we will all finally be free. This will happen because our doctrine says it will.  We will then move to the next historical stage and the state will simply wither away. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 18, 2007, 11:46 AM NHFT

If you don't like other libertarians engaging in politics, then why not provide us with a better solution.  The solution of dropping out and convincing others to drop out is quixotic. 

It is like it is a matter of faith.  If we can get enough converts and are pure and faithful enough we will have a second coming of the anarchist messiah and we will all finally be free. This will happen because our doctrine says it will.  We will then move to the next historical stage and the state will simply wither away. 


+1 for hitting it square on the head...twice
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 18, 2007, 11:49 AM NHFT
So you can't think politics and voting sucks ... until you give up dealing with anyone who deals with the state?

Thinking they suck is different from thinking they are immoral.

The argument that voting occurs under duress, the same as paying taxes, is absolutely absurd.  When you face the threat of jail for abstaining from voting, then and only then can I accept that argument.

Really?  They threaten you with jail if you abstain from going to restaurants (meal tax), buying gasoline (gas tax), etc?  You don't need to do any of those things.  You choose to.  So you are "voluntarily" paying taxes, with no threat of jail if you do not, right?

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 18, 2007, 12:02 PM NHFT
The argument that voting occurs under duress, the same as paying taxes, is absolutely absurd.  When you face the threat of jail for abstaining from voting, then and only then can I accept that argument.

Really?  They threaten you with jail if you obstain from going to restaurants (meal tax), buying gasoline (gas tax), etc?  You don't need to do any of those things.  You choose to.  So you are "voluntarily" paying taxes, with no threat of jail if you do not.

Joe

I know of people who live completely free of the non-existent "state".

(http://www.shyfrog.net/images/hobo.jpg)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on November 18, 2007, 12:07 PM NHFT
And, they too are often victims of local jails
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: brandon dean on November 18, 2007, 12:14 PM NHFT

How about Joel Winters or Josef Stalin - who would you vote for?


Joel Winters the weather guy? 

Why do you all focus on voting?  Of all the ways to participate in the system, that is about the most innocuous.  This is something that occurs once every few years and is likely to not have any impact about what occurs. 

If you don't like other libertarians engaging in politics, then why not provide us with a better solution.  The solution of dropping out and convincing others to drop out is quixotic. 

It is like it is a matter of faith.  If we can get enough converts and are pure and faithful enough we will have a second coming of the anarchist messiah and we will all finally be free. This will happen because our doctrine says it will.  We will then move to the next historical stage and the state will simply wither away. 


hahaha damn, nicely said... saying it's immoral for anyone else to do anything is a mistake in my opinion.  morals are decided on an individual basis, even if you choose to define your morals as being influenced by outside religious or legal pressures...
I don't think law has as much to do with morals as it does with interpretation, and politics follows suit.  I'm a person with anarchistic leanings, but not steadfast beliefs, and I believe in common law, in which each criminal case or decision to be made should be made on an individual basis by peers, depending on the circumstances of course.  the more stiff (or less flexible) a "rule" is, the more oppressive it is. 
ron paul is not succeeding because he's a great or smart man so much as he has the correct message.  I actually agree that voting can be a contradiction to freedom, but not that it's morally unjustifiable.
my one problem with anarchism as a whole is that it really offers no solutions beyond everyone magically agreeing at the same time to leave everyone else alone.  so if everyone doesn't agree with anarchy, it will never work.  best you can hope for is to keep getting your word out there so anarchy can influence the debate, so to speak.  or just live an anarchist lifestyle and forget what anyone thinks...  ^-^
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 12:30 PM NHFT
I think I'll vote RP instead of "flushing" and waiting around to see what the other two might do.
Why do some people think that by not voting .... some people are just flushing or sitting on their hands?
Because "some" are.
but would you?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 12:33 PM NHFT
If you don't like other libertarians engaging in politics, then why not provide us with a better solution.  The solution of dropping out and convincing others to drop out is quixotic. 
you say that like it is a bad thing :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 18, 2007, 12:39 PM NHFT
I think I'll vote RP instead of "flushing" and waiting around to see what the other two might do.
Why do some people think that by not voting .... some people are just flushing or sitting on their hands?
Because "some" are.
but would you?

I do what I can...and I vote.
None of my candidates of choice have ever won (including the one time I wrote myself in).
But I've met lots of like-minded people in the process.
And it led me here.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 18, 2007, 12:40 PM NHFT
If you don't like other libertarians engaging in politics, then why not provide us with a better solution.  The solution of dropping out and convincing others to drop out is quixotic. 
you say that like it is a bad thing :)

Not exactly.  I do find a lot of the stuff that you do to be highly entertaining and I think that in the right times and places doing such things can be highly effective.  The situation will dictate which strategy and tactics will be the most effective.  Right now I think that the suggestion that all that needs to be done is convincing everyone to drop out of the system is nothing more than tilting at windmills. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 12:41 PM NHFT
Vitruvian, here's the bone I want to pick with your statement (not your moral argument, which is rock-solid) and it goes back to "define your terms"-land. Your launching post, first para:

I have heard it said that political activity (i.e. voting, running for office, involvement in campaigns) is the most effective way to achieve our goal of a free society.  Some go so far as to suggest it is the only way.  I could not disagree more.
...

Advance apologies for the long post, but here goes:

The term "political activity". Because you advocate against that, many readers of this thread assume you aren't going to do anything and just let the world go to hell in a handbasket. That misunderstanding, in some cases, is just a limitation in their view of the universe of possible actions one can take, but largely it comes from an, I believe, loose usage of the word political.

The clarification I got back in the 70's was simple and very helpful to me: most people (including on this thread) use the term "political" action to mean running candidates, voting, getting elected, then ruling other people, but that is just one area of political action - the one that you oppose as immoral.

Consider even M-w.com's def. of politics (http://m-w.com/dictionary/politics): 5 a: the total complex of relations between people living in society, or

Wikipedia's "politics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics)" first line: "Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions.", or other quote: "Hannah Arendt states that 'political power corresponds to the human ability not just to act but to act in concert.' "

Wikipedia "political philosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_philosophy)": "...the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should take and why, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown—if ever."

So, the simplified version of what I mean by "political action" is doing things to affect the other people (or the people as a whole) to do what I think is right.

What we, as libertarians, oppose is "parliamentary" political action, ie, getting together in bodies, selected various ways to vote on what's right for you and me. Admittedly, various types of government have been tried (or imposed on the people) with varying motives, and, various movements of the people have thrown off unsuitable forms, with Tom Paine and Sam Adams' separation movement being one notable one with a pretty darn consistent libertarian drive. Arguably, the federalist movement to put an end to the independence of the several States was an attempt by others to impose a federal, centralized, more powerful parliamentary model of social organization. At best, we can grant that many of the founding fathers of that movement thought it an accomodation, a necessity, to maintain American ideals.

Libertarians, since they oppose the dominant, statist mentality and political drive of most people are generally an opposition movement and some believe that the best thing to do to roll back the state and see the rights of people respected is to be involved in parliamentary political action, while others choose to influence others by their civil disobedience political actions (there are still many other ways). The CD actions are even, in essence, political, since they hope there are many eyes on them (via the media) and many hearts moved by the injustice of arresting someone for just handing out a flyer or driving down the road, for example.

The mission of a libertarian intelligentsia is to come up with actions that fit our morality and are efficacious in effecting a freer society, and my fear, like yours appears to be, is that those very worthwhile goals will be smothered by the "practical" and compromising actions of those that essentially agree with the basic morality (stated by the non-agression principle), but think they must do something, even if it's something you have identified as basically wrong (morally). So, we've got to develop practical things that realize the moral thing.

Just an example of a non-parliamentary political action (paraphrased):
After years of trying to vote for people who would end the Vietnam war, dedicated opponents, veterans of many political campaigns of many types, marched on Washington and camped out on the Mall, 1 million strong. Lyndon Johnson reportedly said, when viewing the multitudes from outside his window, "I can't do this anymore" (I can't do something where that many people oppose me) and decided to not run for re-election.

I had the opportunity to hear William Pepper speak a couple of weeks ago and he was with Martin Luther King Jr. as an attorney in support of King's movement. He stated that King was planning a march from (Memphis?) through the south to gather up people to go to Washington and form a tent city on the Mall with the plan of badgering Congressmen, the White House, anyone in Washington they could to press for ending the war (King had turned his focus at this point to peace). They killed him because they knew this would be incredibly powerful. The above march followed however and had the intended effect.

This and the soldiers' movement (organizing, newsletters, coffeehouses, refuseniks, desertions) made it impossible to continue the ground war.

All these are examples of "political" actions by people who had given up on parliamentary politics or were disenfranchised from it.

So, as strange as it may seem to you at first, I say:

Up with political action! (just keep away from that parliamentary baloney - it's a rigged system to generate psychological mass consensus)

Cheers  :occasion14:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 12:43 PM NHFT

I do what I can...and I vote.
None of my candidates of choice have ever won (including the one time I wrote myself in).
But I've met lots of like-minded people in the process.
And it led me here.

Thanks for coming, by the way. We DO appreciate it! We'll just keep trying to influence your political philosophy!  ;D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 12:47 PM NHFT
Quote
Why do you all focus on voting?  Of all the ways to participate in the system, that is about the most innocuous.  This is something that occurs once every few years and is likely to not have any impact about what occurs.

Voting is far from innocuous.  I agree with Carl Watner, when he writes that voting is actually the most violent act most "normal" people ever commit (source: http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html (http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html)).  I focus on voting and other forms of political action because it is my opinion that, apart from their being immoral, they are holding us back from achieving the ultimate goal of a free society.

Quote
Not exactly.  I do find a lot of the stuff that you do to be highly entertaining and I think that in the right times and places doing such things can be highly effective.  The situation will dictate which strategy and tactics will be the most effective.  Right now I think that the suggestion that all that needs to be done is convincing everyone to drop out of the system is nothing more than tilting at windmills.

You can think this all day long.  That does not give you a right to make decisions about the lives and property of others.

Quote
Up with political action! (just keep away from that parliamentary baloney - it's a rigged system to generate psychological mass consensus)

Point taken.  Excellent post.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 18, 2007, 12:51 PM NHFT
While I am quite confident in my newfound understanding of the immorality of voting, the long-term practicality of voting is at least as important.  This is especially true considering that many politically inclined freedom lovers are pragmatists who seem to think that the end justifies the means -- moral purity be damned.

Wendy McElroy's essay, Why I Would Not Vote, (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php) is very well articulated, relatively short, and easy to read.  Here is a hard-hitting excerpt from it:

Quote
"Albert Jay Nock wrote of two sorts of power: social and state. By social power, he meant the amount of freedom individuals actually exercise over their lives - that is, the extent to which they can freely make such choices as where and how to live. By state power, he meant the actual amount of control the government exercises over its subjects' lives - that is, the extent to which it determines such choices as where and how people live. There is an inverse and antagonistic relationship between social and state power. One expands only at the expense of the other.

I stress the word "actual" because the power of the state does not rest on its size - the number of laws on the books or the extent of the territory it claims. A state's power rests on social conditions, such as whether people will obey its laws and how many resources it can command to enforce obedience. A key social condition is how legitimate the state is seen to be. For without the veil of legitimate authority, the people will not obey the state, and it will not long command the resources, such as taxes and manpower, that it needs to live.

In other words, freedom does not depend so much on repealing laws as weakening the state's authority. It does not depend - as political strategists expediently claim on persuading enough people to vote "properly" so that libertarians can occupy seats of political power and roll back legislation. Unfortunately, this process strengthens the institutional framework that produced the unjust laws in the first place: it strengthens the structure of state power by accepting its authority as a tool of change. But state authority can never strengthen social power." 

With that in mind, consider what would happen if everyone who is interested in accomplishing true freedom of the individual, which can only exist in the complete absence of State, would withdraw altogether from the illegitimate political system, instead focusing on other forms of activism such as civil disobedience. This would leave only centrist and statist types to participate: Not only would the size of the State grow by leaps and bounds (think boiling frogs), but it would also bring the true essence of the State into sharp focus for the average person, if they can see that all who struggle for freedom operate entirely outside of the political system.  The illusion that the State can be used to advance freedom of the individual would dissolve, and with it the State's veil of legitimacy.  Conceivably the State's very existence would soon follow.  This (I think) is the basis of the lucid observation Vitruvian made in his second post:

Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

This leads me to believe that freedom lovers who participate in the machinery of the State are no doubt the most powerful influence for preserving the very veil of legitimacy that the State derives it's power from, and bear the major responsibility for the continued existence of the State despite all of our best efforts and intentions.  This is a sobering thought indeed, and I am actually beginning to regret ever having participated in the political system in any way.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 01:04 PM NHFT
Quote
This leads me to believe that freedom lovers who participate in the machinery of the State are no doubt the most powerful influence for preserving the very veil of legitimacy that the State derives it's power from, and bear the major responsibility for the continued existence of the State despite all of our best efforts and intentions.

Exactly.  It was this belief that motivated the present thread.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 18, 2007, 01:33 PM NHFT
The argument that voting occurs under duress, the same as paying taxes, is absolutely absurd.  When you face the threat of jail for abstaining from voting, then and only then can I accept that argument.

Really?  They threaten you with jail if you abstain from going to restaurants (meal tax), buying gasoline (gas tax), etc?  You don't need to do any of those things.  You choose to.  So you are "voluntarily" paying taxes, with no threat of jail if you do not, right?

Joe

This certainly is a valid point, but as far as I can tell it is virtually impossible to participate in our current civilization (or anticivilization, as Dr. Frank R. Wallace dubbed the State-based society) and remain 100% morally pure.

That said, the purpose and intent of voting is to wield the immoral collectivist power of the State, no matter how you rationalize it -- while the purpose and intent of purchasing gasoline is to function efficiently in a civilized world, and the resultant support of the State is a mere side effect.  (Perhaps one thing moral purists could do to help undermine the existence of the State, would be to make alternative fuels available through an 'underground' network.)

As far as purchasing meals at restarants, I am beginning to really respect Dave Ridley's tax-based personal avoidance of restaurant purchases.  I have a long history of living on fast food as a matter of expedience -- but the fact that in NH, there is no sales tax on groceries while there is on restaurant meals, leaves little excuse for supporting the State through meal taxes.  (It is still worth mentioning that the purpose and intent of purchasing restaurant meals is to obtain sustenance, not to support the State.)

I hereby officially withdraw from purchasing taxed food as long as I can obtain non-taxed, nutritious food from other sources.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 18, 2007, 01:35 PM NHFT
Voting is far from innocuous.  I agree with Carl Watner, when he writes that voting is actually the most violent act most "normal" people ever commit (source: http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html (http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html)).  I focus on voting and other forms of political action because it is my opinion that, apart from their being immoral, they are holding us back from achieving the ultimate goal of a free society.

The most violent act?  That is simply absurd.  Carl Watner probably said it specifically because it is absurd and did it to get noticed.  Voting is just one act in a long string of events which can lead to violence.  Sanctioning is not the same as participating in violence. 

I also do not like this expanded definition of violence.  Violence is overt use of physical force to hurt someone.  While you might be able to make the case that certain actions like voting might eventually lead to violence, it is not itself a violent act. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 18, 2007, 01:42 PM NHFT
Voting is far from innocuous.  I agree with Carl Watner, when he writes that voting is actually the most violent act most "normal" people ever commit (source: http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html (http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html)).  I focus on voting and other forms of political action because it is my opinion that, apart from their being immoral, they are holding us back from achieving the ultimate goal of a free society.

The most violent act?  That is simply absurd.  Carl Watner probably said it specifically because it is absurd and did it to get noticed.  Voting is just one act in a long string of events which can lead to violence.  Sanctioning is not the same as participating in violence. 

I also do not like this expanded definition of violence.  Violence is overt use of physical force to hurt someone.  While you might be able to make the case that certain actions like voting might eventually lead to violence, it is not itself a violent act. 

Exactly.  Voting is not violent, no matter how far you stretch reality.  Now, what someone does once voted into office can be violent, but that doesn't mean those who voted him in sanctions EVERYTHING this person does. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 01:50 PM NHFT
I use the term "political" in the sense that Nock contrasted it to "social" .... or as in political correctness ... or office politics. It aways has a bad connotation to it for me.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 01:51 PM NHFT
Quote
The most violent act?  That is simply absurd.  Carl Watner probably said it specifically because it is absurd and did it to get noticed.  Voting is just one act in a long string of events which can lead to violence.  Sanctioning is not the same as participating in violence.

I also do not like this expanded definition of violence.  Violence is overt use of physical force to hurt someone.  While you might be able to make the case that certain actions like voting might eventually lead to violence, it is not itself a violent act.

Quote
Exactly.  Voting is not violent, no matter how far you stretch reality.  Now, what someone does once voted into office can be violent, but that doesn't mean those who voted him in sanctions EVERYTHING this person does.

Voting, because it assisted him or her to a position of power, is the ultimate cause of any action a politician takes.  Therefore, you assume responsibility for every action he or she takes once in power.  Since any politician, as an agent of the State, commits, or delegates others to commit, acts of violence, the voter is ultimately responsible for that violence.  Q.E.D.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 18, 2007, 01:56 PM NHFT
Voting, because it assisted him or her to a position of power, is the ultimate cause of any action a politician takes.  Therefore, you assume responsibility for every action he or she takes once in power.  Since any politician, as an agent of the State, commits, or delegates others to commit, acts of violence, the voter is ultimately responsible for that violence.  Q.E.D.

Since most people here are smart enough not to agree with such absurdities that voting is violent, why not just accept that fact and put a sock in it?
Most of us who 'vote' feel that by NOT doing so, it's people like YOU who are contributing to the violence, slavery, increased amount of state, etc. by not at least trying to stop it.

So I guess we're even as to whom we think is acting irresponsibly and immorally..
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 02:06 PM NHFT
Quote
Since most people here are smart enough not to agree with such absurdities that voting is violent, why not just accept that fact and put a sock in it?
Most of us who 'vote' feel that by NOT doing so, it's people like YOU who are contributing to the violence, slavery, increased amount of state, etc. by not at least trying to stop it.
So I guess we're even as to whom we think is acting irresponsibly and immorally..

You neglected to respond to srqrebel's posts, jaqeboy's posts, or my own.  Calling us stupid does not count.  Our arguments stand.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: CNHT on November 18, 2007, 02:26 PM NHFT
Quote
Since most people here are smart enough not to agree with such absurdities that voting is violent, why not just accept that fact and put a sock in it?
Most of us who 'vote' feel that by NOT doing so, it's people like YOU who are contributing to the violence, slavery, increased amount of state, etc. by not at least trying to stop it.
So I guess we're even as to whom we think is acting irresponsibly and immorally..

You neglected to respond to srqrebel's posts, jaqeboy's posts, or my own.  Calling us stupid does not count.  Our arguments stand.

You have not resolved the assertion that you are still recognizing the state by eating in restaurants, buying gas, using electricity, all of which have taxes associated with them. Until you are living in the woods on your own, totally naked like an animal, even devoid of clothing that was manufactured, bought, and taxed, then your arguments hold no water about having completely dropped out of the 'state'.

I don't take utopians like yourselves very seriously because they are no different than the utopians of the 60s  who felt the state should provide everything for them on the backs of the 'rich'.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anarchicluv on November 18, 2007, 02:28 PM NHFT
Quote
The most violent act?  That is simply absurd.  Carl Watner probably said it specifically because it is absurd and did it to get noticed.  Voting is just one act in a long string of events which can lead to violence.  Sanctioning is not the same as participating in violence.

I also do not like this expanded definition of violence.  Violence is overt use of physical force to hurt someone.  While you might be able to make the case that certain actions like voting might eventually lead to violence, it is not itself a violent act.

Quote
Exactly.  Voting is not violent, no matter how far you stretch reality.  Now, what someone does once voted into office can be violent, but that doesn't mean those who voted him in sanctions EVERYTHING this person does.

Voting, because it assisted him or her to a position of power, is the ultimate cause of any action a politician takes.  Therefore, you assume responsibility for every action he or she takes once in power.  Since any politician, as an agent of the State, commits, or delegates others to commit, acts of violence, the voter is ultimately responsible for that violence.  Q.E.D.

I've read all of Watner's works, multiple times.  And I've read plenty of other works about the "violence" of voting.  I still strongly disagree with them all.  My vote for Ron Paul, for instance, is a vote to support him when he says he will pare the government down to its Constitutional responsibilities.  It is not a vote that is saying anything else, or supporting any other action he may choose to take.  A politicians actions are their OWN responsibility, just like any other individual; my vote does not sanction anything he chooses to do.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 18, 2007, 02:36 PM NHFT
Vit.. are you familiar with local NH town policies?

They charge a certain amount of money in taxes.

At the town meetings you vote almost line by line on the town budget.
Would voting no on all the spending be immoral?

In certain towns.. activists have been able to vote DOWN certain budgets thereby saving many people lots of money.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 18, 2007, 04:02 PM NHFT
I have a piece of paper here. I write my opinions down on this piece of paper. Later, someone who thinks of himself as in a position of power reads my opinion and decides to oppress someone, in direct opposition to my expressed views. Yet somehow I am responsible for HIS action, though I not only disagree with it but also expressed my disagreement to him?

That's what this argument is all about, and that is why I cannot possibly agree with Vitruvian on this issue. He is simply mistaken to think that I bear any responsibility for the actions of other people who were influenced by my expressed opinions.

In 2004, I voted. Yet, I didn't vote for George W. Bush! My opinion of him was the same as it is now. Vitruvian would hold, if he were correct, that I therefore still bear responsibility for George W. Bush's actions since then, including his ordering people to die in a pointless foreign war, his stealing billions of dollars from virtually every American, and his many other crimes against humanity, because I expressed an opinion, and other people acted far out of accordance with my opinion.

This is clearly absurd.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 18, 2007, 04:06 PM NHFT
Voting, because it assisted him or her to a position of power, is the ultimate cause of any action a politician takes.  Therefore, you assume responsibility for every action he or she takes once in power.  Since any politician, as an agent of the State, commits, or delegates others to commit, acts of violence, the voter is ultimately responsible for that violence.  Q.E.D.



Voting is the cause of violence?  No.  Violent people cause violence.   

Then why is it that those countries which people do not vote are more violent society? 

Also, why is it that the place where voting occurs the most often is also one of the freest, most peaceful and prosperous societies on Earth? 

This debate has seen just a simplistic argument of voting = sanctioning violence but it ignores that what typically occurs in any society where voting frequently occurs is accompanied by many political institutions while far from ideal have accomplished a significant task in that it has restrained the most savage tendencies of government.   voting is a package deal and it comes with a variety of things such as Due Process of the Law, Freedom of the Press, Transparency, Habeas Corpus etc. etc.

In fact, that is one of the main problems with the current government that we have.  It is not that we are seeing the end result of what happens when we have a system where people can vote for leaders.  What we are seeing is a case of the political elites in our society working to undermine the democratic institutions.  When you have the government shutting down the freedom to be a dissenter.  Shutting down the ability of the people to even know what the government is doing.  That it is the voting and the political institutions which accompany the voting process which the elites fear.   

In fact, not only would I strongly disagree with your assertion that voting is an immoral act but I would suggest that the process of voting is one of the few moral acts in politics because it is one of the few acts which does have a tendency to restrain government. 

You seem to view voting as just a means of delegating authority and that they may act on our behalf.  The political elite does not need a vote to accomplish that.  Look at any dictatorship and they believe that they are the embodiment of the will of the people.  That seems to be one of the common claims of all despots that they and they alone are the true embodiment of the collective will.    While voting does do this to some extent it also serves to remind the politician that he is being watched and that he can be held accountable for his actions.  You frequently have cases where some politician wants to do something but can't because he is afraid of the reaction of his constituents.    That is why such things like Campaign Finance Reform, Free Speech Zones and other things like that is so important.   

Don't make the best the enemy of good.  We have to make use of the tools and methods which are on hand.  Democratic institutions may not be the most ideal system to have but it will simply have to do for now.  but if we abandon the political process all we are doing is abandoning the field to the most vicious and ruthless.     
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: dalebert on November 18, 2007, 05:33 PM NHFT
I quit following this thread about 12 pages ago, but Anthony posted this on FTL and I was just wondering if he posted it here too. It's kind of a funny coincidence. This thread really needs to lighten up.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/americans_announce_theyre_dropping

Americans Announce They're Dropping Out Of Presidential Race

(http://www.theonion.com/content/files/images/Americans-Announce-Jump.jpg)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 18, 2007, 05:48 PM NHFT
(It is still worth mentioning that the purpose and intent of purchasing restaurant meals is to obtain sustenance, not to support the State.)

My purpose and intent in voting is to get pro-liberty candidates into office, repeal laws, downsize the government, &c., not support the State. For some reason, though, you guys keep insisting my purpose and intent is irrelevant; I support the State anyway.

Why is this logic different for taxes?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 05:51 PM NHFT
you will have to make a lighter thread ... I think Eric wants it heavy. :)

I prefer lighter fare.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 05:52 PM NHFT
Quote
Mark is a slave, chained to prevent escape and whipped daily. Mark convinces his master to only whip him 6 days a week. Does doing this mean that Mark supports being whipped 6 days a week? Does it mean he supports being a slave? Is Mark doing something immoral? Does Mark need some moral justification for his behavior?

If "Mark" were making such a choice only for himself, I would agree with you.  However, as I said before:
Quote
When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.

So if instead it was me and you chained and whipped and I convinced our master to only whip us 6 days a week that would mean that I supported you being whipped 6 days a week and supported you being a slave and was doing something immoral and needed some moral justification for my behavior? The situation is not at all different and the answer is still bloody obvious.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 18, 2007, 05:54 PM NHFT
Voting, because it assisted him or her to a position of power, is the ultimate cause of any action a politician takes.  Therefore, you assume responsibility for every action he or she takes once in power.  Since any politician, as an agent of the State, commits, or delegates others to commit, acts of violence, the voter is ultimately responsible for that violence.  Q.E.D.

You can arbitrarily trace back the “ultimate cause” of any action a politican takes as far as you want to. Why not trace it back to the fact that they were born in the first place?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 05:58 PM NHFT
Your next argument (
Quote
If there were an election to make either Ron Paul or Hitler dictator of Earth and somehow you knew that if you didn't vote that Hitler would win and if you voted for Ron Paul that he would win, can you honestly say that you wouldn't vote? Do you really think that anyone would believe that this meant you supported Ron Paul and approved of anything he might ever do? As far as I'm concerned, the only immoral action here would be having the power to stop a Hitler dictatorship and choosing not to do so.
), has also been addressed, in Wendy McElroy's essay, Why I Would Not Vote (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php (http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.php)), which, again, you would have found if you had bothered to read this thread before insulting the intelligence of the people with whom you disagree.

That actually only half addresses my argument and basically can be summed up by the following:

"Voting for or against Hitler would only strengthen the institutional framework that produced him"

And this is completely and totally false. Only supporting the system strengthens it. Voting != support. If every single person opposed the system but voted anyway out of self defense, those votes wouldn't do a damned thing to keep the system in place and their opposition to the system would make it crumble.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 18, 2007, 06:00 PM NHFT
Quote
Mark is a slave, chained to prevent escape and whipped daily. Mark convinces his master to only whip him 6 days a week. Does doing this mean that Mark supports being whipped 6 days a week? Does it mean he supports being a slave? Is Mark doing something immoral? Does Mark need some moral justification for his behavior?

If "Mark" were making such a choice only for himself, I would agree with you.  However, as I said before:
Quote
When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.

So if Mark convinces his master to only whip him six days a week—and convinces his master to also reduce the number of whippings doled out to his fellow slaves to six days a week, too—he’s now illegitimately making choices for others and engaging in aggression against them?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 06:03 PM NHFT
It's an argument in extremis - a temptation to the conscientious non-voter to see if you can tug enough at his emotions (fear, in this case) to see if you can make them override his morals.

More like trying to show the "conscientious non-voter" that his morals have nothing to do with voting and his ideas of what voting represents are nonsense. Voting simply does not have all the extra meaning that such people want to attach to it.


Quote
How about Joel Winters or Josef Stalin - who would you vote for?

Let's see, how about Dan Itse versus Mao Tse-Tung - who would you vote for?

All are just in extremis examples for the exercise of "can you be tempted?" ... but don't address the moral question.

I have no idea who Joel Winters or Dan Itse are.  :P
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 06:04 PM NHFT
Quote
Thirty years from now I'll be dead.  You guys will still be slaves still arguing about this crap.

The sooner politics is abandoned, the sooner we will truly be free. 

Yep, and the best way to accomplish this is through voting.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: enloopious on November 18, 2007, 06:08 PM NHFT
I fully understand what you three are saying and it has merit. I have never voted and I have always felt the way that you do but, that being said, in 36 years nothing has ever come of not voting. I think your argument is much stronger than those who seem to disagree with you but at the same time, we live in the united states and it's supposed to be a republic, which is MUCH different than the democracy we have now.

A republic GUARANTEES the freedom of the individuals while a democracy votes them away. In a real republic you are only 1 step away from anarchy but at the same time you have a government body that can deal with other countries.

Anarchy is NOT a utopia because a utopia can NEVER be reached. My utopia is completely different than anyone elses and so can therefor only exist fictionally or for 1 person at a time. Anarchy allows for everyone to live as freely as possible. It brings authority back to every single person whether they want it or not. For some people this is a nightmare. They need people telling them what to do. For others, it is the ultimate freedom and the ultimate goal.

It is also the first form of government and the most pure, but, I live in the US and they guarantee us a Republic so that is what I am shooting for. If and when I can achieve that it will be the best step towards anarchy there is because I don't see ANY possibility for an anarchist society, just an anarchist lifestyle. A republic is VERY close to anarchy so if people can get to that point, they just might be able to understand anarchy.

Tell me how a proper Republic conflicts with anarchist morals?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 06:10 PM NHFT
If you really try to avoid all taxes ... then you will be in jail shortly.

Possibly, but you can do everything you can. Find some state with no property taxes, buy a piece of land and live off of it. The fact is that anyone with this moral opposition to voting should be doing this kind of this and probably only doesn't because they don't want to give up the comforts associated with living in society. Their comforts > their morals.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 06:11 PM NHFT
I use the term "political" in the sense that Nock contrasted it to "social" .... or as in political correctness ... or office politics. It aways has a bad connotation to it for me.

I know what you mean. I'll have to go re-read Nock's usage.

I think it's important to influence other people and institutions (politics in some definitions) - so much so, that I've spent immeasurable time, a million miles on my cars, hundreds of hours on the phone, all the breath in my body and tens of thousands of dollars doing it. I'm trying to counter the notion that if you oppose parliamentary politics and voting, you're in favor of doing nothing and just lying about watching Oprah and eating Bon-Bons.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 06:13 PM NHFT
Quote
How about Joel Winters or Josef Stalin - who would you vote for?

Let's see, how about Dan Itse versus Mao Tse-Tung - who would you vote for?

All are just in extremis examples for the exercise of "can you be tempted?" ... but don't address the moral question.

I have no idea who Joel Winters or Dan Itse are.  :P

Locals - state reps. Good guys for sure!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 06:15 PM NHFT
Quote
Thirty years from now I'll be dead.  You guys will still be slaves still arguing about this crap.

The sooner politics is abandoned, the sooner we will truly be free.

Yep, and the best way to accomplish this is through voting.

Sorry, but that's a contradiction like fighting for peace or fucking for virginity  ;D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 06:21 PM NHFT

With that in mind, consider what would happen if everyone who is interested in accomplishing true freedom of the individual, which can only exist in the complete absence of State, would withdraw altogether from the illegitimate political system, instead focusing on other forms of activism such as civil disobedience. This would leave only centrist and statist types to participate: Not only would the size of the State grow by leaps and bounds (think boiling frogs), but it would also bring the true essence of the State into sharp focus for the average person, if they can see that all who struggle for freedom operate entirely outside of the political system.  The illusion that the State can be used to advance freedom of the individual would dissolve, and with it the State's veil of legitimacy.  Conceivably the State's very existence would soon follow. 

This has already been tried and the state isn't going anywhere, it's just gonna keep growing and growing until we are all quite literally slaves. The fact is that the average person is a statist and they're not going to see the true essence of the State before it's far too late. They don't see non-voters as having some moral superiority or being disgusted with the system or disenfranchised despite the fact that that's why most people who don't vote don't vote. They think they're all lazy. Simply put, the system isn't going anywhere, but we can at least hope to make it less tyrannical. (not really, but we can at least try!)

Quote
freedom lovers who participate in the machinery of the State are no doubt the most powerful influence for preserving the very veil of legitimacy that the State derives it's power from, and bear the major responsibility for the continued existence of the State

If we stopped we'd just become complete slaves all the faster.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 06:31 PM NHFT
Quote
Thirty years from now I'll be dead.  You guys will still be slaves still arguing about this crap.

The sooner politics is abandoned, the sooner we will truly be free.

Yep, and the best way to accomplish this is through voting.

Sorry, but that's a contradiction like fighting for peace or fucking for virginity  ;D

Not really. The system has given us some power, however tiny, to influence the system, and that power can be used to dismantle it.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 06:51 PM NHFT
I fully understand what you three are saying and it has merit. I have never voted and I have always felt the way that you do but, that being said, in 36 years nothing has ever come of not voting.

Not voting alone is like not purse-snatching. It's not in itself a positive good, just a refusal to do harm.

I think your argument is much stronger than those who seem to disagree with you but at the same time, we live in the united states and it's supposed to be a republic, which is MUCH different than the democracy we have now.

A republic GUARANTEES the freedom of the individuals while a democracy votes them away. In a real republic you are only 1 step away from anarchy but at the same time you have a government body that can deal with other countries.

Just for clarification, because I think many fall on this point, a republic doesn't "guarantee" the freedom of the individual. A republic is just a system that uses representatives, rather than a direct, "everyone votes on laws" system. It's an attempt to moderate the system somewhat by interposing representatives between the people and the lawmaking. Having a constitution attempts to clearly define and delineate the powers of the state. In the case of the Constitution for the united States of America, having the constitution written down all in one place, attempts to make it really clear (as opposed to the English constitution). This constitution was not going to pass, because they didn't delineate some rights of the people (already recognized in the English Common Law), hence the first 10 Amendments (which did not disparage other rights (at common law) reserved to the people). In all, it defined a Constitutional Republic with democratic (in the majoritarian sense) selection of officers by the body politic (which was not democratic enough (in the equality sense) in the beginning to include non-landowners, women or black African slaves.)

The main point being that it was an accommodation, an attempt to create a limited government that was democratic (in the sense that it was fair to all). It was not a perfect design and has obviously suffered manipulation, stretching and tearing.

Anarchy is NOT a utopia because a utopia can NEVER be reached.

Anarchy is just a word for the concept that is the core of the American (well Paine and Jefferson anyway) ideal - that "All men are created equal" (before the law), ie, that no one had an inherent right to be the ruler, ie, the monarch (mon=one, arch=ruler). The word has, of course, suffered much abuse and is not meaningful in the same sense we might use it.to most people.

My utopia is completely different than anyone elses and so can therefor only exist fictionally or for 1 person at a time.

I usually use the word "utopia" to refer to a plan that requires a change in human nature, hence non-workable. Might just be my usage.

Anarchy allows for everyone to live as freely as possible. It brings authority back to every single person whether they want it or not. For some people this is a nightmare. They need people telling them what to do. For others, it is the ultimate freedom and the ultimate goal.


I usually don't use the term "anarchy", but in my understanding of the proper usage, it would be a condition where you really reached the point of functionally having "no ruler."


It is also the first form of government and the most pure, but, I live in the US and they guarantee us a Republic so that is what I am shooting for. If and when I can achieve that it will be the best step towards anarchy there is because I don't see ANY possibility for an anarchist society, just an anarchist lifestyle. A republic is VERY close to anarchy so if people can get to that point, they just might be able to understand anarchy.

Tell me how a proper Republic conflicts with anarchist morals?

A properly constituted and functionally operating republic with a democratic intent (in the sense of everyone being equal before the law) is an attempt to reach that state, but that doesn't mean it works as intended (or in the case of the republic formed here, some framers did not have that intent and, so, to a great extent, it doesn't, in reality, work to protect the peoples' rights, but rather to promote and increase a commercial and banking elite's power.)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 06:57 PM NHFT
I fully understand what you three are saying and it has merit. I have never voted and I have always felt the way that you do but, that being said, in 36 years nothing has ever come of not voting.

Not voting alone is like not purse-snatching. It's not in itself a positive good, just a refusal to do harm.

No, not voting is like standing around and watching a purse-snatching and not doing anything to stop it because you think that if you did try to stop it you would somehow be supporting the purse-snatcher.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 07:10 PM NHFT
Vit.. are you familiar with local NH town policies?

They charge a certain amount of money in taxes.

At the town meetings you vote almost line by line on the town budget.
Would voting no on all the spending be immoral?

In certain towns.. activists have been able to vote DOWN certain budgets thereby saving many people lots of money.

Can I answer? OK, I will anyway.

Towns are municipal corporations, empowered by State statutes. They would exist in some form without State authorization and, of course, some form of social organization has existed (towns, cities, etc.) for a long time. The institution named Town of Hopkinton is not a government, but a corporation (municipal) that has a charter (like other corporations) and decisions are made by the people as a body politic (political body - corporation => corpus => body), ie, the people allowed to vote (qualified) and who do vote (participation) make the decision by majority (or other fraction in some cases, usually as defined in the charter). The Town is not a government and doesn't pass laws (statutes). It, as a body, governs its expenditures and policies, etc.

Now, here's the rub:
1) People don't know that's actually what's going on - ie, you aren't told that by moving there and registering to vote there you are agreeing to abide by the outcome of elections and town meeting votes,
2) The state defines the method of paying for the town (corporation) expenses (taxes calculated by Dept. of Revenue Admin), and
3) Your property is pledged as essentially collateral for the expenses of the town, and
4) The town (corporation) can go in debt (sell bonds) with your property as security and your future earnings pledged to make payments (the taxes).

What's good about it here is that it is more democratic (in the sense that you do have a voice and can practically affect things because of the small scale).

What's not good is that pledging your property is not practically voluntary (though some say there is a way to opt out), and people in towns seem to love to have the quick fix of more stuff, better school buildings, etc. with no concern for the debt load.

I think people in every town should attempt to rein appetites in to the point where they have no debt and save for contingencies.

What you're doing sounds great!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 07:11 PM NHFT
I fully understand what you three are saying and it has merit. I have never voted and I have always felt the way that you do but, that being said, in 36 years nothing has ever come of not voting.

Not voting alone is like not purse-snatching. It's not in itself a positive good, just a refusal to do harm.

No, not voting is like standing around and watching a purse-snatching and not doing anything to stop it because you think that if you did try to stop it you would somehow be supporting the purse-snatcher.

We differ.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 18, 2007, 07:25 PM NHFT
So jageboy you are saying it is ok to vote in local elections.

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 07:43 PM NHFT
So jageboy you are saying it is ok to vote in local elections.


Yeah, with qualifications.

1) I mean, you (as long as you go in eyes open that you are agreeing to abide by the outcomes) are choosing how to spend your own money - it's like a club, except (see below)...

2) another qualification being that you ought to be able to opt out totally or make a line item opt out, which you basically can't.

3) another qualification being that you should not have to have your property pledged (ie, lose it if taxes overdue) - problem with this is that is just a collection of debt, since you agreed to it (paying your share), except that most people don't know that that's what they've agreed to.

4) The other qualification being that you usually aren't voting to give someone power (since it is a corporation, not a law-making government). In the cases where someone you selected through election became corrupted by their illusion of power and grabbed money or privilege, you ought to vigorously go after them and drive them out of office (and other penalties, as available).

Come to think of it, that's a lot of qualifications... hmm... maybe you ought to draft a warrant article to fix the concerns above!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 18, 2007, 07:46 PM NHFT
The problem is you have to pay the property tax no matter what passes... so you might as well try to lower your bill right?


NH is VERY unique in this regard.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 07:57 PM NHFT
It's your money. (It's just a little out of your control when you move there, register and vote, ie, agree to abide by the results)

The other big problem, of course, is there is no practical choice - no square foot anywhere in the state (I don't think) - that operates under any other system, so you have no practical choice, and the designers of the commercial side of the corporate town system have got you by the balls no matter where you move. We ought to be revolutionizing the towns to allow the opting out and forbidding debt - which might pit you against some state laws (that's where the oppressors are).

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 18, 2007, 07:57 PM NHFT
Hafta lower town expenses to lower the bill.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on November 18, 2007, 08:08 PM NHFT
Move to Grafton where there is some shot at pulling this off
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Insurgent on November 18, 2007, 08:14 PM NHFT
Wow, I'm impressed with the informative replies that Jaqeboy AKA "Jaqepedia" and others have been posting! Thanks, Vitruvian for getting this discussion started  :D I love a lively debate!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 08:21 PM NHFT
A republic GUARANTEES the freedom of the individuals while a democracy votes them away.
:laughing1:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 08:23 PM NHFT
Possibly, but you can do everything you can. Find some state with no property taxes....
:toothy12:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 18, 2007, 08:25 PM NHFT
Not really. The system has given us some power, however tiny, to influence the system, and that power can be used to dismantle it.
that is what The Man wants you to think.

conspiracy brother taught me that
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 18, 2007, 08:46 PM NHFT
Neither voting nor paying taxes confers legitimacy to the state. It cannot be legitimate (http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl07.shtml) except by superstitious belief in people's minds, including many of those here who think they are anarchists and have moved beyond that.

You have not.

The issue is not just that the state is illegitimate. The root of the issue is that the state does not exist. It is a shared hallucination, a mental delusion unfortunately suffered by a majority of people which, if it were suffered by a minority, would likely be pronounced a mental illness, or a religion.

It is because the state does not truly exist that voting cannot be a violent act nor immoral. It is merely casting an opinion in the general direction of other people who, for reasons of their own, take actions which are violent and immoral. Someone else's superstitious beliefs, and the actions they take because of their superstitious beliefs, are not my responsibility, even if I choose to humor them for my own reasons. To argue otherwise is to argue that those other people do not bear responsibility for their own violent and immoral acts.

P.S. Vitruvian, you should read this (http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl05b.shtml).
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Tom Sawyer on November 18, 2007, 08:56 PM NHFT
Not really. The system has given us some power, however tiny, to influence the system, and that power can be used to dismantle it.
that is what The Man wants you to think.

conspiracy brother taught me that

This post made me put down the pistol and not blow my brains out  ;D

A pox on both your houses the pure anarchist and the politician... Well that's a bit harsh, but there I said it.  ;D

Cool on the activists that do stuff, rather than argue about it.  8)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 18, 2007, 09:01 PM NHFT
Really?  They threaten you with jail if you abstain from going to restaurants (meal tax), buying gasoline (gas tax), etc?  You don't need to do any of those things.  You choose to.  So you are "voluntarily" paying taxes, with no threat of jail if you do not, right?

This certainly is a valid point, but as far as I can tell it is virtually impossible to participate in our current civilization (or anticivilization, as Dr. Frank R. Wallace dubbed the State-based society) and remain 100% morally pure.

That said, the purpose and intent of voting is to wield the immoral collectivist power of the State, no matter how you rationalize it -- while the purpose and intent of purchasing gasoline is to function efficiently in a civilized world, and the resultant support of the State is a mere side effect.

So, it’s only the direction that matters?  Voting for someone (eg, Ron Paul) with the purpose and intent of shrinking the “immoral collectivist power of the State” would be acceptable, under that doctrine, would it not?

How about when I vote “none of the above”?  Am I wielding immoral collectivist power?

If someone mugs you with the purpose and intent of feeding his starving family, and someone else mugs you with the purpose and intent of feeding his drug habit, are you “less harmed” by one?  No.  The two are identical, in terms of the harm they do you.

As far as purchasing meals at restarants, I am beginning to really respect Dave Ridley's tax-based personal avoidance of restaurant purchases.  I have a long history of living on fast food as a matter of expedience -- but the fact that in NH, there is no sales tax on groceries while there is on restaurant meals, leaves little excuse for supporting the State through meal taxes.  (It is still worth mentioning that the purpose and intent of purchasing restaurant meals is to obtain sustenance, not to support the State.)

I hereby officially withdraw from purchasing taxed food as long as I can obtain non-taxed, nutritious food from other sources.

Not good enough.  Fuel taxes were paid on the delivery of that food to the market.  Vehicle registrations were paid.  Income taxes were extracted at gunpoint from the workers’ salaries.  The Federal Reserve Notes that you used to purchase it are taxed by inflation.

I usually don't use the term "anarchy", but in my understanding of the proper usage, it would be a condition where you really reached the point of functionally having "no ruler."

Ye gods... of course that’s the strict definition of the word.  The technical definition of “anarchy” is a social system in which all interactions are based upon the unanimous consent of those who are party to them.

Neither voting nor paying taxes confers legitimacy to the state. It cannot be legitimate (http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl07.shtml) except by superstitious belief in people's minds, including many of those here who think they are anarchists and have moved beyond that.

You have not.

The issue is not just that the state is illegitimate. The root of the issue is that the state does not exist. It is a shared hallucination, a mental delusion unfortunately suffered by a majority of people which, if it were suffered by a minority, would likely be pronounced a mental illness, or a religion.

It is because the state does not truly exist that voting cannot be a violent act nor immoral. It is merely casting an opinion in the general direction of other people who, for reasons of their own, take actions which are violent and immoral. Someone else's superstitious beliefs, and the actions they take because of their superstitious beliefs, are not my responsibility, even if I choose to humor them for my own reasons. To argue otherwise is to argue that those other people do not bear responsibility for their own violent and immoral acts.

P.S. Vitruvian, you should read this (http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl05b.shtml).

Very excellent post...

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Pat K on November 18, 2007, 09:06 PM NHFT

"This post made me put down the pistol and not blow my brains out  Grin"


Oh please, you are not a good enough shot
to pull that off!
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 18, 2007, 09:26 PM NHFT

I usually don't use the term "anarchy", but in my understanding of the proper usage, it would be a condition where you really reached the point of functionally having "no ruler."

Ye gods... of course that’s the strict definition of the word.  The technical definition of “anarchy” is a social system in which all interactions are based upon the unanimous consent of those who are party to them.

Joe

There is a scarcely used definition in the root archon - "ruler, or to rule" that I have incorporated into my signatures and other such tags.
it is arkhein- "to begin". It is a Greek verb of unknown origin showing archaic Indo-European features.

"Anarchos ad Infinitum" - without beginning and without end

Sorry, just had to throw in the non-sequitur ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2007, 09:49 PM NHFT
Possibly, but you can do everything you can. Find some state with no property taxes....
:toothy12:

Are there none? I thought a few paid for everything by sales/income taxes.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 18, 2007, 10:53 PM NHFT
Quote
You have not resolved the assertion that you are still recognizing the state by eating in restaurants, buying gas, using electricity, all of which have taxes associated with them. Until you are living in the woods on your own, totally naked like an animal, even devoid of clothing that was manufactured, bought, and taxed, then your arguments hold no water about having completely dropped out of the 'state'.
I don't take utopians like yourselves very seriously because they are no different than the utopians of the 60s  who felt the state should provide everything for them on the backs of the 'rich'.

First, I have addressed the argument you have mentioned.  The difference, as I have said multiple times, is coercion.  No one has yet denied my assertion that voting is not compulsory.  Unlike taxes, which are extracted at the point of a gun, your vote is not coerced.  Taxes on gas, meals, electricity, and retail sales are no exception.  The posters who have equated paying these taxes with supporting the State are conflating two separate transactions: one between merchant and customer, the other between merchant and State.  In the case of the aforementioned taxes, it is the merchant who is robbed, not the customer.  Although the merchant charges a higher price to compensate for his loss, the customer does not give any money to the State.  That is a choice left to the merchant.
 Income and property taxes, on the other hand, while still not voluntary because of the State's threats of force, are the only taxes of which I'm aware that I can actually avoid (a loophole I choose to exploit).

Quote
It is not a vote that is saying anything else, or supporting any other action he may choose to take.  A politicians actions are their OWN responsibility, just like any other individual; my vote does not sanction anything he chooses to do.

In voting for (and electing) a politician, you give to him or her the 'scepter' of power over other people's lives and property (another fact none has disputed)--an act to which you have no right--in a state of near-total ignorance regarding the politician's future actions.  Not only is this reckless and arrogant, it is wrong.  Yes, the politician is responsible for his actions, but, thanks to your vote, you are a willing accessory to every crime the politician commits.  Like an arsonist, you may have struck a simple match (your vote), but the all-consuming wildfire that follows is your responsibility as well.

Quote
Vit.. are you familiar with local NH town policies?
They charge a certain amount of money in taxes.
At the town meetings you vote almost line by line on the town budget.
Would voting no on all the spending be immoral?

Voting "no" on these spending items is no different, in moral terms, than voting "yes": you have no right to make either choice.  To vote on one of these items is to say, "I should be able to decide whether and how the plundered wealth of other people is spent."  I do not have that right and neither does any other person.  In this case, I would not cast a ballot, but would instead hold a sign or distribute pamphlets to those in attendance, expressing my discontent with the process and with their decision to vote.

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I have a piece of paper here. I write my opinions down on this piece of paper. Later, someone who thinks of himself as in a position of power reads my opinion and decides to oppress someone, in direct opposition to my expressed views. Yet somehow I am responsible for HIS action, though I not only disagree with it but also expressed my disagreement to him?

A vote is more than an opinion written on a scrap of paper.  If it were such, you could simply write a letter instead of waiting in line at the polls every few years.  A vote is an authorization, a loosely-termed writ of mandamus, granting one individual power over others.  As I wrote above, when you issue such an authorization you become accomplice to the acts of the politician.  For instance, Michael, if you had voted for George W. Bush in 2004, you would be an accessory to every crime Bush has committed since his second term began.

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This debate has seen just a simplistic argument of voting = sanctioning violence but it ignores that what typically occurs in any society where voting frequently occurs is accompanied by many political institutions while far from ideal have accomplished a significant task in that it has restrained the most savage tendencies of government.   voting is a package deal and it comes with a variety of things such as Due Process of the Law, Freedom of the Press, Transparency, Habeas Corpus etc.

State power in the United States (fleetingly restricted by the Constitution), and every other country, remains limited (barely) despite the prevalence of voting, not because of it.  Examples abound of democracies that do not respect those principles.  Egypt, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, et al.

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In fact, not only would I strongly disagree with your assertion that voting is an immoral act but I would suggest that the process of voting is one of the few moral acts in politics because it is one of the few acts which does have a tendency to restrain government.

Voting has a tendency to restrain government?  Where have you been for the past 200 years?  The growth of the State, once formed, is inevitable and largely unstoppable.  It will continue to grow until its host society is extinguished, it is conquered by another State, or it is abolished outright.

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You seem to view voting as just a means of delegating authority and that they may act on our behalf.  The political elite does not need a vote to accomplish that.

Then why give them such a convenient excuse?  Democracy is the most clever and deceptive means yet devised for the exploitation of the productive class by the ruling class.

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Don't make the best the enemy of good.  We have to make use of the tools and methods which are on hand.  Democratic institutions may not be the most ideal system to have but it will simply have to do for now.  but if we abandon the political process all we are doing is abandoning the field to the most vicious and ruthless.

As I have said, and as every historical example demonstrates, the State, once formed, grows inexorably at the expense of social power.  The State is "vicious and ruthless" by nature, a fact that "democratic institutions" conceal with alacrity; I say, let the State exhibit its nature for all to see and revile.  The sooner this happens, the sooner it will crumble.

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If we stopped we'd just become complete slaves all the faster.

And you know this how?

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Not really. The system has given us some power, however tiny, to influence the system, and that power can be used to dismantle it.

"If voting could change anything, it would be illegal."

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Neither voting nor paying taxes confers legitimacy to the state.

Agreed.  We have been over this many times in this thread, but it bears repeating: Voting creates the illusion of legitimacy, in which the State eagerly wraps itself.

Quote
It is because the state does not truly exist that voting cannot be a violent act nor immoral. It is merely casting an opinion in the general direction of other people who, for reasons of their own, take actions which are violent and immoral. Someone else's superstitious beliefs, and the actions they take because of their superstitious beliefs, are not my responsibility, even if I choose to humor them for my own reasons. To argue otherwise is to argue that those other people do not bear responsibility for their own violent and immoral acts.

As I said before, if voting were the mere issuance of an "opinion," why bother?  After all, the State does not exist outside people's heads, and the people in power have no right to occupy their positions.  Why would they care a whit what you think they should do with their power?  The answer must be that a vote consists of more than an opinion.

P.S.  I am aware this post is a little lengthy.  I had to leave for work this afternoon and came back to three whole pages of new posts.  I have tried to respond to as much as I can.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 18, 2007, 11:04 PM NHFT
Unlike taxes, which are extracted at the point of a gun, your vote is not coerced.  Taxes on gas, meals, electricity, and retail sales are no exception.  The posters who have equated paying these taxes with supporting the State are conflating two separate transactions: one between merchant and customer, the other between merchant and State.  In the case of the aforementioned taxes, it is the merchant who is robbed, not the customer.  Although the merchant charges a higher price to compensate for his loss, the customer does not give any money to the State.  That is a choice left to the merchant.
 Income and property taxes, on the other hand, while still not voluntary because of the State's threats of force, are the only taxes of which I'm aware that I can actually avoid (a loophole I choose to exploit).

Clearly, you have no actual understanding if taxes.  The merchant is not taxed on a retail transaction.  The merchant is acting as a tax collector, on behalf of the State.  The purchaser is the taxee.

And let’s not forget the issue of using FRN’s.  Any use of FRN’s supports the government directly.  Or are those magically “different,” like everything else that would make your life difficult?

Are you forced to use and carry FRN’s?

As I said before, if voting were the mere issuance of an "opinion," why bother?  After all, the State does not exist outside people's heads, and the people in power have no right to occupy their positions.  Why would they care a whit what you think they should do with their power?  The answer must be that a vote consists of more than an opinion.

I don’t have to justify to you why I might care to express an opinion.  Neither does error.  Maybe I just enjoy making sure they know I dislike them.  The fact that you see no value in expressing that opinion in that way does not somehow prove that it is anything but an opinion.  The fact that you imagine that those things you find personally worthless are actually worthless to all others just demonstrates the ego-centrism that leads rational people to label you a megalomaniac.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 18, 2007, 11:32 PM NHFT
State power in the United States (fleetingly restricted by the Constitution), and every other country, remains limited (barely) despite the prevalence of voting, not because of it.  Examples abound of democracies that do not respect those principles.  Egypt, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, et al.

and what basis are you making that assertion from?  Egypt or Zimbabwe if they are considered to be democracies would be classed as illiberal democracy.  They lack some of the basic political institutions that are commonly found in many other democracies. 

I am also not saying that it is voting which restrains government but the institutional arrangements which accompany them that restrains the government. 

Voting has a tendency to restrain government?  Where have you been for the past 200 years?  The growth of the State, once formed, is inevitable and largely unstoppable.  It will continue to grow until its host society is extinguished, it is conquered by another State, or it is abolished outright.

Look at the world we live in.  Those countries which are democratic are no where near as vicious as those countries which are not. 

The growth of the state is not inevitable.  There are many examples in our history where the government has shrank.  Governments frequently grow in response to some crisis and frequently the size of the government has shrank when the crisis has passed.  This hasn't been the trend recently because governments have had the tendency to invent one crisis after another to justify itself.   

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Then why give them such a convenient excuse?  Democracy is the most clever and deceptive means yet devised for the exploitation of the productive class by the ruling class.

Is this a quote from Marx or Lenin?   

As I have said, and as every historical example demonstrates, the State, once formed, grows inexorably at the expense of social power.  The State is "vicious and ruthless" by nature, a fact that "democratic institutions" conceal with alacrity; I say, let the State exhibit its nature for all to see and revile.  The sooner this happens, the sooner it will crumble.

So your plan is to sit around and watch the government become an out and out totalitarian police state in the hopes that it will crumble?

Many of the democratic institutions are not designed to hide the nature of government but instead to ensure that that workings of government are open and observable by all.  If you remove democratic institutions, the workings of government move to the basements of government buildings and to secret prisons in remote parts of the country.  Decisions are made by unknown people and trials are held incognito.  Public trials exist in democratic nations.  Secret trials exist in despotic regimes. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 18, 2007, 11:46 PM NHFT
A vote is more than an opinion written on a scrap of paper.  If it were such, you could simply write a letter instead of waiting in line at the polls every few years.  A vote is an authorization, a loosely-termed writ of mandamus, granting one individual power over others.  As I wrote above, when you issue such an authorization you become accomplice to the acts of the politician.  For instance, Michael, if you had voted for George W. Bush in 2004, you would be an accessory to every crime Bush has committed since his second term began.

Your assertion is still absurd. I have no authority whatsoever to grant any individual power over any other. To say that I do is required in order for the vote to mean what you claim it means. If the vote is an authorization, it can only be so in the minds of the deluded people who believe in the state. To say that my vote confers authority to any person over any other ascribes to me something I cannot confer because I never possessed it. It is for this reason that voting cannot in itself be an immoral act of violence.

Quote
It is because the state does not truly exist that voting cannot be a violent act nor immoral. It is merely casting an opinion in the general direction of other people who, for reasons of their own, take actions which are violent and immoral. Someone else's superstitious beliefs, and the actions they take because of their superstitious beliefs, are not my responsibility, even if I choose to humor them for my own reasons. To argue otherwise is to argue that those other people do not bear responsibility for their own violent and immoral acts.

As I said before, if voting were the mere issuance of an "opinion," why bother?  After all, the State does not exist outside people's heads, and the people in power have no right to occupy their positions.  Why would they care a whit what you think they should do with their power?  The answer must be that a vote consists of more than an opinion.

The answer need not be that, and you've said nothing to make your case. The usurpers of power routinely ignore the wishes of even the majority of people who vote. This happened with the federal elections in 2006. Clearly voting is no more than an opinion to them, one which they will accept or ignore at their own whim. These usurpers of power are going to do whatever they want, without regard to the "will of the people." Or have you never read a letter from any of these people's offices? They make it quite clear that while they're "willing to listen" to their "constituents," they are nevertheless going to do whatever the hell they want.

By the way, you still have not shown that voting comprises anything more than sharing an opinion.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 18, 2007, 11:46 PM NHFT
[
Quote
Vit.. are you familiar with local NH town policies?
They charge a certain amount of money in taxes.
At the town meetings you vote almost line by line on the town budget.
Would voting no on all the spending be immoral?

Voting "no" on these spending items is no different, in moral terms, than voting "yes": you have no right to make either choice.  To vote on one of these items is to say, "I should be able to decide whether and how the plundered wealth of other people is spent."  I do not have that right and neither does any other person.  In this case, I would not cast a ballot, but would instead hold a sign or distribute pamphlets to those in attendance, expressing my discontent with the process and with their decision to vote.
so by not voting you would by default possibly be raising your own and your neighbors property taxes. Please don't move to my town.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Bill St. Clair on November 19, 2007, 04:47 AM NHFT
Your assertion is still absurd. I have no authority whatsoever to grant any individual power over any other. To say that I do is required in order for the vote to mean what you claim it means. If the vote is an authorization, it can only be so in the minds of the deluded people who believe in the state. To say that my vote confers authority to any person over any other ascribes to me something I cannot confer because I never possessed it. It is for this reason that voting cannot in itself be an immoral act of violence.

Error, you have truly absorbed the teachings of Lysander Spooner. Congratulations! And thank you.

I have mostly stopped voting, primarily because there is rarely anybody to vote for. I changed my registration from independent to republican in order to vote for Ron Paul. If he isn't selected as the Republican candidate, I probably won't bother to vote for president.

In this month's local election, I voted against a library extension that will raise property taxes (it passed), and for the highway supervisor, who has done a great job of keeping the roads in repair and clear of snow. I realize that he's done that with stolen tax money, and I'd prefer to pay for that road maintenance with tolls, but I'm not given that choice. The guy I voted for doesn't use his elected position as a cushy income. He drives a snow removal truck himself. I didn't bother to vote for any of the other town offices. When the democrat candidates came to visit a community dinner, I told them that I understood what the highway supervisor did, and asked them to tell me what they did. Their answers left me in the dark. Hence, I had no way to tell one candidate from another, so I didn't vote.

About 750 votes were cast in most of those local contests. 550 for the library question. So my vote actually had a chance to influence the outcome, unlike a vote in next year's presidential popularity contest, where I will be totally outnumbered by a bunch of NYC morons voting for the Hillarybeast. Still, I'll vote for Ron Paul if he is on the ballot.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 19, 2007, 05:03 AM NHFT
I think I went a bit beyond Lysander Spooner. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on November 19, 2007, 06:46 AM NHFT
Your assertion is still absurd. I have no authority whatsoever to grant any individual power over any other. To say that I do is required in order for the vote to mean what you claim it means. If the vote is an authorization, it can only be so in the minds of the deluded people who believe in the state. To say that my vote confers authority to any person over any other ascribes to me something I cannot confer because I never possessed it. It is for this reason that voting cannot in itself be an immoral act of violence.

Error, you have truly absorbed the teachings of Lysander Spooner. Congratulations! And thank you.

I have mostly stopped voting, primarily because there is rarely anybody to vote for. I changed my registration from independent to republican in order to vote for Ron Paul. If he isn't selected as the Republican candidate, I probably won't bother to vote for president.

In this month's local election, I voted against a library extension that will raise property taxes (it passed), and for the highway supervisor, who has done a great job of keeping the roads in repair and clear of snow. I realize that he's done that with stolen tax money, and I'd prefer to pay for that road maintenance with tolls, but I'm not given that choice. The guy I voted for doesn't use his elected position as a cushy income. He drives a snow removal truck himself. I didn't bother to vote for any of the other town offices. When the democrat candidates came to visit a community dinner, I told them that I understood what the highway supervisor did, and asked them to tell me what they did. Their answers left me in the dark. Hence, I had no way to tell one candidate from another, so I didn't vote.

About 750 votes were cast in most of those local contests. 550 for the library question. So my vote actually had a chance to influence the outcome, unlike a vote in next year's presidential popularity contest, where I will be totally outnumbered by a bunch of NYC morons voting for the Hillarybeast. Still, I'll vote for Ron Paul if he is on the ballot.
Move to Grafton where votes against spending and for property rights have a chance.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 19, 2007, 09:23 AM NHFT
Quote
I am also not saying that it is voting which restrains government but the institutional arrangements which accompany them that restrains the government.

That is precisely what you did say:
Quote
voting is one of the few moral acts in politics because it is one of the few acts which does have a tendency to restrain government

Quote
Look at the world we live in.  Those countries which are democratic are no where near as vicious as those countries which are not.

The United States, a country I assume you would have classified as a "liberal democracy," has caused more deaths than any other extant "illiberal democracy."  The  differences seen among States should not be attributed to their structures, but rather to the attitudes of their respective populations.

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This hasn't been the trend recently because governments have had the tendency to invent one crisis after another to justify itself.

This is nearly always the mechanism States use for their own aggrandizement.  Robert Higgs has called it the "ratchet": every crisis or contingency, real or contrived, is exploited to the benefit of state power and at the expense of social power.

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Is this a quote from Marx or Lenin?

No.  Are you implying that the quoted statement would be incorrect if Marx or Lenin had written it?

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So your plan is to sit around and watch the government become an out and out totalitarian police state in the hopes that it will crumble?

I really wish that everyone would not equate "not voting" with "not doing anything."  Doing so is rather narrow-minded.

Quote
The answer need not be that, and you've said nothing to make your case. The usurpers of power routinely ignore the wishes of even the majority of people who vote. This happened with the federal elections in 2006. Clearly voting is no more than an opinion to them, one which they will accept or ignore at their own whim. These usurpers of power are going to do whatever they want, without regard to the "will of the people." Or have you never read a letter from any of these people's offices? They make it quite clear that while they're "willing to listen" to their "constituents," they are nevertheless going to do whatever the hell they want.  By the way, you still have not shown that voting comprises anything more than sharing an opinion.

Again, I ask you.  If voting is the mere issuance of an opinion, and the "usurpers of power" treat that opinion with nothing but contempt, then why bother?  More than one person on this thread has conceded that politicians do, in fact, use the vote as an excuse to do whatever they want once in power.  If one's vote is so impotent, and carries so little meaning, then why do it?  Why help them pull the wool further over everyone's eyes?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 19, 2007, 09:43 AM NHFT
This post made me put down the pistol and not blow my brains out  ;D
we could have a thead inside of this thread :)
Solid 8)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 19, 2007, 09:47 AM NHFT
Possibly, but you can do everything you can. Find some state with no property taxes....
:toothy12:
Are there none? I thought a few paid for everything by sales/income taxes.
I don't think there are any states ... in the United States .... that don't think that they own your property and are letting you use it.
In places like CA ... they even tax the stuff in your warehouse and your equipment and your toothpaste and food and....

is that a triple negative above?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 19, 2007, 10:05 AM NHFT
so by not voting you would by default possibly be raising your own and your neighbors property taxes. Please don't move to my town.
Do you really believe that? Do you really mind the people in your town that don't vote?

I think THE MAN has been getting into yo head.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 19, 2007, 10:33 AM NHFT
I usually don't use the term "anarchy", but in my understanding of the proper usage, it would be a condition where you really reached the point of functionally having "no ruler."

Ye gods... of course that’s the strict definition of the word.  The technical definition of “anarchy” is a social system in which all interactions are based upon the unanimous consent of those who are party to them.


I would argue that the more appropriate word for that is "peace"
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 19, 2007, 10:55 AM NHFT
So much to respond to... yet so little time (at least until a little later today)  :(

After catching up on reading this thread since yesterday, there is one post that struck me as so dramatically absurd that I just have to respond now:

The issue is not just that the state is illegitimate. The root of the issue is that the state does not exist. It is a shared hallucination, a mental delusion unfortunately suffered by a majority of people which, if it were suffered by a minority, would likely be pronounced a mental illness, or a religion.

If the State does not actually exist, then what was it that I ran headlong into a couple of months back when I was placed in handcuffs for utilizing the most efficient method of transportation at my disposal without permission?  A lone maniac acting entirely on his own initiative to impose his twisted will on me?

I watched Lauren being kidnapped by several individuals with guns and hauled off to a concrete and steel cage where she was kept against her will for 36 days.  These criminals certainly presented the appearance of acting in concert with each other to achieve the mutual objective of coercing Lauren to suffer for disobeying rules that they themselves did not make, but others did.

If the State is so imaginary, then how can it have such a real effect on my life?  Come to think of it, if the State is not just illegitimate, but does not actually exist, why bother voting in the first place?  Monopoly empires are imaginary, too -- but at least the entertainment is better.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm.  I certainly agree that it is supported by mass mental delusion.  The State itself strictly consists of the laws, buildings, people, and tools that act in concert to form it.  There is no question that all this is very real, and together those things comprise an institution (since they act in concert), and that institution is the State.  It is very real in the same way that the mafia is real.

The only part that is an illusion is the notion that we need the State to function as a society.  This is indeed a false notion, with no basis in reality whatsoever.  But that notion is not the essence of the State -- it is merely the rationalization that supports a very real institution.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 19, 2007, 11:13 AM NHFT
So much to respond to... yet so little time (at least until a little later today)  :(

After catching up on reading this thread since yesterday, there is one post that struck me as so dramatically absurd that I just have to respond now:

The issue is not just that the state is illegitimate. The root of the issue is that the state does not exist. It is a shared hallucination, a mental delusion unfortunately suffered by a majority of people which, if it were suffered by a minority, would likely be pronounced a mental illness, or a religion.

If the State does not actually exist, then what was it that I ran headlong into a couple of months back when I was placed in handcuffs for utilizing the most efficient method of transportation at my disposal without permission?  A lone maniac acting entirely on his own initiative to impose his twisted will on me?

I watched Lauren being kidnapped by several individuals with guns and hauled off to a concrete and steel cage where she was kept against her will for 36 days.  These criminals certainly presented the appearance of acting in concert with each other to achieve the mutual objective of coercing Lauren to suffer for disobeying rules that they themselves did not make, but others did.

If the State is so imaginary, then how can it have such a real effect on my life?  Come to think of it, if the State is not just illegitimate, but does not actually exist, why bother voting in the first place?  Monopoly empires are imaginary, too -- but at least the entertainment is better.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm.  I certainly agree that it is supported by mass mental delusion.  The State itself strictly consists of the laws, buildings, people, and tools that act in concert to form it.  There is no question that all this is very real, and together those things comprise an institution (since they act in concert), and that institution is the State.  It is very real in the same way that the mafia is real.

The only part that is an illusion is the notion that we need the State to function as a society.  This is indeed a false notion, with no basis in reality whatsoever.  But that notion is not the essence of the State -- it is merely the rationalization that supports a very real institution.

I think what he was saying is that the state is just an illusion created to surround and organize those laws, buildings, people, and tools and make them appear larger and more glorious than they really are: a simple collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools to make you do what they want. Human beings seem to like to create imaginary structures to pass off responsibility for their own acts. Gods, demons, corporations, and the State.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 19, 2007, 11:43 AM NHFT
I have no idea who Joel Winters or Dan Itse are.
Freedom-fighters who are full-time volunteers and have been elected into the NH State House.

Joel was one of the co-sponsors of the bill that got NH out of the Federal "Real-ID"
Dan has submitted a bill to opt NH out of the North American Union.
They are both members of the NH Liberty Alliance (http://nhliberty.org).

If you believe, as I do, that there would be real and immediate benefit in forcing the State government back down to Constitutional size, I suggest joining us in the Liberty Alliance:
http://nhliberty.org/join

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 19, 2007, 12:06 PM NHFT
The technical definition of “anarchy” is a social system in which all interactions are based upon the unanimous consent of those who are party to them.
I would argue that the more appropriate word for that is "peace"

Peace is a symptom of anarchy.  “Peace” is not a system.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm.  I certainly agree that it is supported by mass mental delusion.  The State itself strictly consists of the laws, buildings, people, and tools that act in concert to form it.  There is no question that all this is very real, and together those things comprise an institution (since they act in concert), and that institution is the State.  It is very real in the same way that the mafia is real.

No, the State does not actually exist.  Point to “the State.”

Same goes for “the mafia.”  Point to it.

You can point to individuals, and items, but none of those is “the State.”  The State is an image created by fantasy.  How do we know that?  Because the State has properties that no real thing can have (eg, the “right” to initiate force).  Images can certainly do damage.  The pen is mightier than the sword, supposedly.  The image of “the Jewish menace” killed millions, despite the fact that there was no real “Jewish menace.”  Images are very effective, even when they aren’t images of anything real.

The image of “the State” can certainly inspire others to oppress and kill, without ever being something real, itself.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 19, 2007, 01:00 PM NHFT
The technical definition of “anarchy” is a social system in which all interactions are based upon the unanimous consent of those who are party to them.
I would argue that the more appropriate word for that is "peace"

Peace is a symptom of anarchy.  “Peace” is not a system.


Oops, yeah, I read too fast on a break.

Peace would be the description of the condition, not of the system. However, anarchy is not a system either, it's the recognition, by naming, of the state of having no ruler.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 19, 2007, 01:02 PM NHFT
Ok, enough with the sarcasm.  I certainly agree that it is supported by mass mental delusion.  The State itself strictly consists of the laws, buildings, people, and tools that act in concert to form it.  There is no question that all this is very real, and together those things comprise an institution (since they act in concert), and that institution is the State.  It is very real in the same way that the mafia is real.

No, the State does not actually exist.  Point to “the State.”

Same goes for “the mafia.”  Point to it.

You can point to individuals, and items, but none of those is “the State.”  The State is an image created by fantasy.  How do we know that?  Because the State has properties that no real thing can have (eg, the “right” to initiate force).  Images can certainly do damage.  The pen is mightier than the sword, supposedly.  The image of “the Jewish menace” killed millions, despite the fact that there was no real “Jewish menace.”  Images are very effective, even when they aren’t images of anything real.

The image of “the State” can certainly inspire others to oppress and kill, without ever being something real, itself.

Joe

Hmm... interesting take.  In that sense, many other things that we take for granted aren't "real" either -- i.e. consciousness, financial empires, education, ecological systems, ideas, etc. etc.  These are all concepts that really exist only in our minds (oops... more images created by fantasy) :)

It all starts with a faulty premise, held by a large number of individuals -- namely, that a collection of laws and enforcers, along with their tools, are needed to maintain order.  This premise leads to very real laws, tools, buildings, and employees, that can be pointed to -- all of which act in concert with each other.  To efficiently convey this fact, I use the term, or concept of "institution" -- and to distinguish this institution from other institutions, I call it "the State".

Concepts are tools of consciousness used to identify and categorize patterns for the sake of understanding and conveying the realities we experience.  While I see what you're saying, and it is a valid point, it is not the point.  The point is that the institution of "State" is a valid concept, whose constructs are real and can actually be pointed to, but it is founded on a faulty premise.  Does it really make sense to dismiss an institution as "not real" simply because 'institutions' are mere concepts?  To me, it makes a lot more sense to go after the faulty premise that sanctions and facilitates all of these criminals in our midst, not the concept that is used to grasp and convey the big picture.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 19, 2007, 01:05 PM NHFT
Incidentally, the reason I am so tenacious about this relatively insignificant point, is that it is not the first time I have encountered this assertion (that the State is not real), and it never made any sense to me.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 19, 2007, 01:14 PM NHFT
The technical definition of “anarchy” is a social system in which all interactions are based upon the unanimous consent of those who are party to them.
I would argue that the more appropriate word for that is "peace"

Peace is a symptom of anarchy.  “Peace” is not a system.


Oops, yeah, I read too fast on a break.

Peace would be the description of the condition, not of the system. However, anarchy is not a system either, it's the recognition, by naming, of the state of having no ruler.

Btw, in the vein of studying systems, I've been invited to sit in on the work of the regional Rainbow Family group's council. I don't know their entire process, but they do actually have a process, which is apparently described in their mini-manual (Wikipedia article for Rainbow Gathering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Gathering), unofficial webpage (http://www.welcomehome.org/), mini-manual (http://www.perkel.com/rainbow/mini.htm)) which is downloadable (I think) - haven't done the research yet.

In a separate thread, maybe we can "compare and contrast" different "systems" or "processes", that even could possibly be implemented amongst our fellows, to some extent.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 19, 2007, 01:15 PM NHFT
I think what he was saying is that the state is just an illusion created to surround and organize those laws, buildings, people, and tools and make them appear larger and more glorious than they really are: a simple collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools to make you do what they want. Human beings seem to like to create imaginary structures to pass off responsibility for their own acts. Gods, demons, corporations, and the State.

Okay... but what would be the proper term to use when referring to this illegitimate collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools?

Perhaps a more accurate term would be "the criminal empire", but then the average person would not know what we are referring to.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 19, 2007, 01:30 PM NHFT
Peace would be the description of the condition, not of the system. However, anarchy is not a system either, it's the recognition, by naming, of the state of having no ruler.

Exactly, and that is why I tend to refer to myself as a free-marketeer, not a mere anarchist.  I visualize the free market as a system that generates a significantly higher degree of order thanks to the invisible hand, than our current centralized system of rulers.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 19, 2007, 01:57 PM NHFT
Quote
No, the State does not actually exist.  Point to “the State.”

As srqrebel has already proved, the term State is shorthand for "the individuals who comprise a territorial monopoly on ultimate decision making."  The State does exist, but not independently of these individuals.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 19, 2007, 02:07 PM NHFT
I think what he was saying is that the state is just an illusion created to surround and organize those laws, buildings, people, and tools and make them appear larger and more glorious than they really are: a simple collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools to make you do what they want. Human beings seem to like to create imaginary structures to pass off responsibility for their own acts. Gods, demons, corporations, and the State.

Okay... but what would be the proper term to use when referring to this illegitimate collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools?

Perhaps a more accurate term would be "the criminal empire", but then the average person would not know what we are referring to.

Someone on the FSP forum referred to them as the “people dba ‘government.’”
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 19, 2007, 02:18 PM NHFT
Peace would be the description of the condition, not of the system. However, anarchy is not a system either, it's the recognition, by naming, of the state of having no ruler.

No, as I said, while the meaning of the word (ie, its derivation) is “without a ruler,” the actual technical definition does refer to a system in which unanimous consent is used for all decisions.  The only way to be “without a ruler” (and still have multiple individuals present) is a system of unanimous consent.

Concepts are tools of consciousness used to identify and categorize patterns for the sake of understanding and conveying the realities we experience.  While I see what you're saying, and it is a valid point, it is not the point.  The point is that the institution of "State" is a valid concept, whose constructs are real and can actually be pointed to, but it is founded on a faulty premise.  Does it really make sense to dismiss an institution as "not real" simply because 'institutions' are mere concepts?  To me, it makes a lot more sense to go after the faulty premise that sanctions and facilitates all of these criminals in our midst, not the concept that is used to grasp and convey the big picture.

No, a grouping of individuals can certainly exist.  I could get together with some folks and form a roving school that meets at our houses and has no physical “address,” and it would still be real.  What makes the State fantastical is that its described properties are not things which can actually exist.

I think what he was saying is that the state is just an illusion created to surround and organize those laws, buildings, people, and tools and make them appear larger and more glorious than they really are: a simple collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools to make you do what they want. Human beings seem to like to create imaginary structures to pass off responsibility for their own acts. Gods, demons, corporations, and the State.
Okay... but what would be the proper term to use when referring to this illegitimate collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools?

The State.  Non-real things can have names.  The name “dragon” refers to a non-real thing, for example.

Quote
No, the State does not actually exist.  Point to “the State.”
As srqrebel has already proved, the term State is shorthand for "the individuals who comprise a territorial monopoly on ultimate decision making."  The State does exist, but not independently of these individuals.

Expressing an opinion is not proof.  Except in the world of megalomaniacs.  I doubt sqrebel would consider himself to have “proved” the point by merely discussing it.

Nor would demonstrating that you can label something, prove that it exists.  As in the case of dragons and unicorns and other fantastical creations.

Someone on the FSP forum referred to them as the “people dba ‘government.’”

I like that, other than calling them “people.”  I don’t think that they have earned that much respect.  How about “common thugs dba government”?

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 19, 2007, 02:28 PM NHFT
So much to respond to... yet so little time (at least until a little later today)  :(

After catching up on reading this thread since yesterday, there is one post that struck me as so dramatically absurd that I just have to respond now:

The issue is not just that the state is illegitimate. The root of the issue is that the state does not exist. It is a shared hallucination, a mental delusion unfortunately suffered by a majority of people which, if it were suffered by a minority, would likely be pronounced a mental illness, or a religion.

If the State does not actually exist, then what was it that I ran headlong into a couple of months back when I was placed in handcuffs for utilizing the most efficient method of transportation at my disposal without permission?  A lone maniac acting entirely on his own initiative to impose his twisted will on me?

I watched Lauren being kidnapped by several individuals with guns and hauled off to a concrete and steel cage where she was kept against her will for 36 days.  These criminals certainly presented the appearance of acting in concert with each other to achieve the mutual objective of coercing Lauren to suffer for disobeying rules that they themselves did not make, but others did.

If the State is so imaginary, then how can it have such a real effect on my life?  Come to think of it, if the State is not just illegitimate, but does not actually exist, why bother voting in the first place?  Monopoly empires are imaginary, too -- but at least the entertainment is better.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm.  I certainly agree that it is supported by mass mental delusion.  The State itself strictly consists of the laws, buildings, people, and tools that act in concert to form it.  There is no question that all this is very real, and together those things comprise an institution (since they act in concert), and that institution is the State.  It is very real in the same way that the mafia is real.

The only part that is an illusion is the notion that we need the State to function as a society.  This is indeed a false notion, with no basis in reality whatsoever.  But that notion is not the essence of the State -- it is merely the rationalization that supports a very real institution.

I know. I was there, remember?

Anyway, you haven't proven the State exists, only that people believe in it, and that those people commit violent and immoral acts.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 19, 2007, 04:05 PM NHFT
From Rainbow mini-manual:

Quote
There is no authoritarian hierarchy here. It works because each of us takes the responsibility to make it work. Part of that responsibility is a pledge we keep to each other :

    * we pledge to respect and care for each other in all things
    * we pledge to drop all forms of violence in our relations with each other
    * we pledge to deal with each other up front and with open hearts.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 19, 2007, 04:46 PM NHFT
Someone on the FSP forum referred to them as the “people dba ‘government.’”
evil people dba government :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 19, 2007, 04:47 PM NHFT

The 'system' people, when they vote or are elected to office, arrogate for themselves what is mine by right.  This makes me angry and perhaps "less tactful" (read: "more honest") than I would be otherwise.  Intentions, even good ones (to reduce State violence, to vote against the greater evil, etc.), count for nothing in reality.  When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.  To put it simply: Ron Paul, if and when he is elected, will still take money from ME with the taxing power granted him by the Constitution.  When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME.  So, know this: When I condemn your actions as immoral, I mean it.

V.  You assume alot about what I do when I vote for Ron Paul.  I certainly do not concede that he should have power over me or you or anyone when he is elected.  What I have conceded is that our real world situation would be better (i.e. would count for something in reality.)  Better in terms of actual freedoms. Better in terms of financial prosperity.  Better.  I can concede all of that, in a realpolitik sense, would be better and give people like you more scope for action and more freedom.  I can do all that without concedeing that he should or even does have legitimate power over you.  Especially since that power is in no way derived from my vote.  I can do all that and free you up to be a (IMO confused) moral purist.   And still manage to not call you immorral in the process.  Man am I smooth.  Quick someone concoct an ode to my smoothness.  
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 19, 2007, 05:44 PM NHFT
Quick someone concoct an ode to my smoothness. 
Eli Ex-lax
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Pat K on November 19, 2007, 06:53 PM NHFT
Quick someone concoct an ode to my smoothness. 
Eli Ex-lax

Oh that was good!  ;D
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Dreepa on November 19, 2007, 07:19 PM NHFT
so by not voting you would by default possibly be raising your own and your neighbors property taxes. Please don't move to my town.
Do you really believe that? Do you really mind the people in your town that don't vote?

I think THE MAN has been getting into yo head.

The ones who think that there should be no government but won't try and help me reduce it.. sure.  If he wants to make noise about the feds or the State of NH that is one thing.  But in towns in NH... real change can be made by voting.

agian I don't care if he votes or not.. but his belief that by me voting in my town is somehow 'evil' is mistaken.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 19, 2007, 11:32 PM NHFT
Quote
You have not resolved the assertion that you are still recognizing the state by eating in restaurants, buying gas, using electricity, all of which have taxes associated with them. Until you are living in the woods on your own, totally naked like an animal, even devoid of clothing that was manufactured, bought, and taxed, then your arguments hold no water about having completely dropped out of the 'state'.
I don't take utopians like yourselves very seriously because they are no different than the utopians of the 60s  who felt the state should provide everything for them on the backs of the 'rich'.

First, I have addressed the argument you have mentioned.  The difference, as I have said multiple times, is coercion.  No one has yet denied my assertion that voting is not compulsory.  Unlike taxes, which are extracted at the point of a gun, your vote is not coerced.  Taxes on gas, meals, electricity, and retail sales are no exception.  The posters who have equated paying these taxes with supporting the State are conflating two separate transactions: one between merchant and customer, the other between merchant and State.  In the case of the aforementioned taxes, it is the merchant who is robbed, not the customer.  Although the merchant charges a higher price to compensate for his loss, the customer does not give any money to the State.  That is a choice left to the merchant.
 Income and property taxes, on the other hand, while still not voluntary because of the State's threats of force, are the only taxes of which I'm aware that I can actually avoid (a loophole I choose to exploit).


This is pretty "case-closed" on the tax counter to your orignal assertions (back on the first page), or, in other words, a diversion from the point (with my concurrence that the merchant acts as an agent for the state in collection of the sales tax, though not necessarily a willing agent).

The question IS of compulsion. Ie, actions that you have choice over - you are to be judged for the morality of them (since morality refers only to volitional acts), as opposed to actions that you don't have realistic choices over (ie, compulsory taxation). I had to make so many qualifications on that town voting issue that I have to elaborate on that, but later. The issue for freedom/free society is, of course, the compulsion one.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: jaqeboy on November 19, 2007, 11:36 PM NHFT
Peace would be the description of the condition, not of the system. However, anarchy is not a system either, it's the recognition, by naming, of the state of having no ruler.

No, as I said, while the meaning of the word (ie, its derivation) is “without a ruler,” the actual technical definition does refer to a system in which unanimous consent is used for all decisions.  The only way to be “without a ruler” (and still have multiple individuals present) is a system of unanimous consent.


Unanimity is one of the proposed and practiced systems, but there are others that have been proposed and are being used. eg, see the link below for the Rainbow Family.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 20, 2007, 09:01 AM NHFT
No, a grouping of individuals can certainly exist.  I could get together with some folks and form a roving school that meets at our houses and has no physical “address,” and it would still be real.  What makes the State fantastical is that its described properties are not things which can actually exist.

Okay... but what would be the proper term to use when referring to this illegitimate collection of people with buildings, laws, and tools?

The State.  Non-real things can have names.  The name “dragon” refers to a non-real thing, for example.

...you haven't proven the State exists, only that people believe in it, and that those people commit violent and immoral acts.

I keep getting the sense that we don't actually disagree, yet the things you are saying are not quite clicking for me.

In previous posts, I indicated that the State is based on the faulty premise that such an institution is necessary to the orderly functioning of society.  It since occurred to me that it ultimately rests on the illusion of external authority, which is indeed not real.

Having noted that, could you please explain which (if any) described properties of the State cannot actually exist, aside from the single imaginary attribute of "external authority"?

Using the dragon analogy, I would not argue that dragons exist, just as I would not argue that external authority exists.  Yet if there was a group of individuals who believed in dragons, who took predictable actions in concert with each other based on that faulty premise, I might refer to them as the Dragon Society.  In this example, would the Dragon Society not exist, just because they base their mutual identity and actions on an illusion?

That is the sense in which I am speaking, when I say that the State itself is unfortunately all too real, while the justification for its creation and continued existence is an illusion.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 20, 2007, 10:31 AM NHFT
The question IS of compulsion. Ie, actions that you have choice over - you are to be judged for the morality of them (since morality refers only to volitional acts), as opposed to actions that you don't have realistic choices over (ie, compulsory taxation).

You can avoid paying taxes.  You choose, instead, to pay them.  I don’t particularly care that it would be difficult for you to avoid paying taxes.  You have chosen to pay them.  Justify your actions.

No, as I said, while the meaning of the word (ie, its derivation) is “without a ruler,” the actual technical definition does refer to a system in which unanimous consent is used for all decisions.  The only way to be “without a ruler” (and still have multiple individuals present) is a system of unanimous consent.
Unanimity is one of the proposed and practiced systems, but there are others that have been proposed and are being used. eg, see the link below for the Rainbow Family.

So, you are claiming that they do not practice unanimous consent?  If someone doesn’t want to do something, the others force him?

Having noted that, could you please explain which (if any) described properties of the State cannot actually exist, aside from the single imaginary attribute of "external authority"?

The State claims that it has the right to initiate force against others.

Using the dragon analogy, I would not argue that dragons exist, just as I would not argue that external authority exists.  Yet if there was a group of individuals who believed in dragons, who took predictable actions in concert with each other based on that faulty premise, I might refer to them as the Dragon Society.  In this example, would the Dragon Society not exist, just because they base their mutual identity and actions on an illusion?

That is the sense in which I am speaking, when I say that the State itself is unfortunately all too real, while the justification for its creation and continued existence is an illusion.

The “Dragon Society” might exist, but that would not cause dragons to exist.

Of course, the dragon/unicorn analogy is faulty.  A dragon or unicorn could actually exist, although it would take a lot of work to convince me.  An entity with the right to initiate force is a logical impossibility, so it cannot exist.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 20, 2007, 10:35 AM NHFT
Incidentally, there may be some confusion stemming from the fact that I use the term "State" in place of the more common term "government".  Here is my reason for this, as stated in a previous thread (http://newhampshireunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=9713.msg168168#msg168168):

Here is Merriam-Webster's definition of the word 'government':

"Main Entry: gov·ern·ment 
Pronunciation: \?g?-v?r(n)-m?nt, -v?-m?nt; ?g?-b?m-?nt, -v?m-\
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Date: 14th century
1: the act or process of governing; specifically : authoritative direction or control
2: obsolete: moral conduct or behavior : discretion
3: a: the office, authority, or function of governing  b: obsolete: the term during which a governing official holds office"


(Note: These three definitions are followed by four more relating to the better known political application of the word 'government'.)

In other words, "government" is any entity that is legitimately entrusted with the duty of "governing". 

Here is Merriam-Webster's definition of the word 'govern':

"Main Entry: gov·ern  
Pronunciation: \?g?-v?rn\
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French governer, from Latin gubernare to steer, govern, from Greek kybernan
Date: 14th century
transitive verb
1: a: to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; especially: to control and direct the making and administration of policy in  b: to rule without sovereign power and usually without having the authority to determine basic policy
2: a: archaic: manipulate  b: to control the speed of (as a machine) especially by automatic means
3: a: to control, direct, or strongly influence the actions and conduct of  b: to exert a determining or guiding influence in or over <income must govern expenditure>  c: to hold in check: restrain"


In other words, [to govern is] to steer and oversee the smooth operation of affairs.

If one accepts, as I do, that every conscious being is a sovereign individual, then it follows that the only valid authority is within.  There is no such thing as external authority, for each individual is sovereign.  Thus, the only legitimate governments are those entities that are directly authorized by a conscious individual to govern a specific function or functions of that individual's affairs, and are directly accountable to that individual at all times.  Examples would be accountants, secretaries, security agents, etc., basically any entity that is under contract to protect the sovereign individual's life and property, and keep specific areas of his life running smoothly.

By contrast, the political system of so-called "government" is neither legitimate nor very effective.  It is not legitimate, for it usurps bogus "external authority" over the sovereign individual, rather than operating under the valid authority of the individual himself.  It is not very effective, for it is a monopoly, and derives its sustenance by force and/ or threat of force, and as such it is neither subject to the discipline of competition nor the correcting influence of the market.  It has (virtually) no incentive to deliver values to those it claims to "serve".  This system delivers very little in terms of actual governing; instead, it dictates, and is properly referred to as 'State', NOT 'government'.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 20, 2007, 11:20 AM NHFT
Having noted that, could you please explain which (if any) described properties of the State cannot actually exist, aside from the single imaginary attribute of "external authority"?

The State claims that it has the right to initiate force against others.

Which claim, in turn, rests squarely on the imaginary attribute of "external authority".

In the absence of this core illusion, nothing could give rise to such a claim, and the State could not exist.

Using the dragon analogy, I would not argue that dragons exist, just as I would not argue that external authority exists.  Yet if there was a group of individuals who believed in dragons, who took predictable actions in concert with each other based on that faulty premise, I might refer to them as the Dragon Society.  In this example, would the Dragon Society not exist, just because they base their mutual identity and actions on an illusion?

That is the sense in which I am speaking, when I say that the State itself is unfortunately all too real, while the justification for its creation and continued existence is an illusion.

The “Dragon Society” might exist, but that would not cause dragons to exist.

:BangHead: Did you even read my words that you quoted?

Of course that would not cause dragons to exist!  I did not in any way imply that -- in fact, I was saying just the opposite.




Let me try again:

I use the term "State" only as I would use the term "Dragon Society".

In the above analogy, dragons are the illusion at the core of the organization called the "Dragon Society".  The Dragon Society itself is not imaginary -- only the illusion that is used to justify its existence.

Likewise, external authority is the illusion at the core of the institution called "State".  The State itself is not imaginary -- only the illusion that is used to justify its existence.

...but I repeat myself :P
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 20, 2007, 11:41 AM NHFT
Let me try again:

I use the term "State" only as I would use the term "Dragon Society".

In the above analogy, dragons are the illusion at the core of the organization called the "Dragon Society".  The Dragon Society itself is not imaginary -- only the illusion that is used to justify its existence.

Likewise, external authority is the illusion at the core of the institution called "State".  The State itself is not imaginary -- only the illusion that is used to justify its existence.

...but I repeat myself :P

Jackbooted thugs are not an illusion.  Federal agencies are not an illusion.  Et cetera.  These things are the equivalent of your hypothetical "Dragon Society."  The State is an illusion; it is the equivalent of your hypothetical dragon - it is the thing which they worship.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 20, 2007, 12:05 PM NHFT

With that in mind, consider what would happen if everyone who is interested in accomplishing true freedom of the individual, which can only exist in the complete absence of State, would withdraw altogether from the illegitimate political system, instead focusing on other forms of activism such as civil disobedience. This would leave only centrist and statist types to participate: Not only would the size of the State grow by leaps and bounds (think boiling frogs), but it would also bring the true essence of the State into sharp focus for the average person, if they can see that all who struggle for freedom operate entirely outside of the political system.  The illusion that the State can be used to advance freedom of the individual would dissolve, and with it the State's veil of legitimacy.  Conceivably the State's very existence would soon follow. 

This has already been tried and the state isn't going anywhere, it's just gonna keep growing and growing until we are all quite literally slaves. The fact is that the average person is a statist and they're not going to see the true essence of the State before it's far too late. They don't see non-voters as having some moral superiority or being disgusted with the system or disenfranchised despite the fact that that's why most people who don't vote don't vote. They think they're all lazy. Simply put, the system isn't going anywhere, but we can at least hope to make it less tyrannical. (not really, but we can at least try!)

You say this has already been tried?  When in the history of the political system have all (or even the majority) of those who sought true freedom of the individual, done so by withdrawing from politics altogether, and instead focused on other forms of activism such as civil disobedience?

I challenge the claim that "the average person is a statist".  Anyone with experience in administering the World's Smallest Political Quiz can tell you that actual statists are consistently in the minority, with libertarians and centrists comprising the majority.

As far as the claim that the average person is "not going to see the true essence of the State before it's far too late", this is certainly true as long as freedom seekers continue to gratuitously perpetuate the illusion of legitimacy of the very system that stands in the way of freedom, by participating in it.

Yes, it is a common misconception that those who do not participate in the political system are just lazy and apathetic.  This illusion would quickly vanish if those who seek freedom spoke out loud and clear through persistent acts of civil disobedience.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 20, 2007, 12:42 PM NHFT

Jackbooted thugs are not an illusion.  Federal agencies are not an illusion.  Et cetera.  These things are the equivalent of your hypothetical "Dragon Society."  The State is an illusion; it is the equivalent of your hypothetical dragon - it is the thing which they worship.

Joe

Again, the jackbooted thugs, federal agencies, etc. together comprise the institution which I refer to as the State.  Just because people "worship" this institution does not mean it is an illusion.

People worship the institution called State only because they are subject to the illusion of external authority.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 20, 2007, 01:05 PM NHFT
Jackbooted thugs are not an illusion.  Federal agencies are not an illusion.  Et cetera.  These things are the equivalent of your hypothetical "Dragon Society."  The State is an illusion; it is the equivalent of your hypothetical dragon - it is the thing which they worship.
Again, the jackbooted thugs, federal agencies, etc. together comprise the institution which I refer to as the State.  Just because people "worship" this institution does not mean it is an illusion.

People worship the institution called State only because they are subject to the illusion of external authority.

And, again, they are real entities, acting for their own benefit.  "The State" is not a real entity.  It is not an institution which they comprise.  It is an illusion that they have invented to justify their actions, even though it does not and cannot exist.

No entity which has the right to initiate force can exist.  By definition.  No number of other entities worshipping it can bring it into existence.

You are arguing that the State exists, because the thugs say it does.  This is the same argument made by Vitruvian.  And it is still invalid; it requires accepting the premise that those thugs have the right to define other entities and bring them into being (what you call "the illusion of external authority"), and then pointing at the entity they have defined and claiming that it exists.  The argument requires that you accept "external authority" as valid, in order to prove that "external authority" exists.  It's circular.

More to the point, it means that the individual making the argument has accepted, at some level, that those thugs have the ability to create "the State," which means that individual, at some level, refuses to accept the ZAP, since the two are not logically compatible.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 20, 2007, 01:18 PM NHFT
The issue of responsibility is, I think, this thread's most basic point of contention: is the voter responsible, in any fashion, for the actions of the politician he elects?  The moral debate would end with a definitive answer to this question, and we could then focus on the other unfortunate byproduct of voting: the perpetuation of the illusion of State legitimacy.

Responsibility, like debt, is incurred legitimately only through the voluntary, positive actions of an individual.  If the original transaction involves physical coercion or the threat thereof (i.e. the transaction is not voluntary), a debt is considered invalid, and the would-be debtor is relieved of his obligation.  Responsibility is merely one effect of a prior cause.  Furthermore, responsibility persists regardless of future events, known or unknown (excepting, of course, forgiveness).  For instance, a person is still bound to repay a month-old loan if he were to lose his job today, unless the debt is forgiven.  Written contracts exist as an attempt to delineate responsibility and to eliminate the possibility of equivocation should the deal go south.  With all this in mind, perhaps the question of voter responsibility can be answered.

First, because voting is not (yet) compulsory in this country, it must be voluntary.  Not one person is forced to cast his vote.  In any case, no one has so far denied that this is true.
Second, voting is a positive act: one must first register with the State, travel to a polling place, enter an enclosed voting booth, and pull a lever, push a button, etc.; all of these actions are measurable and therefore positive.
Third, in a fair election, each and every vote has an effect, however small, on the election's outcome.  If this were not the case, there would be no rational basis for the act of voting, and the voting apologists have wasted their time and energy, not only in defending their peculiar behavior, but also in the behavior itself.
Fourth, the outcome of any fair election, being the rise to power of a particular person at a particular time, has a measurable cause and numerous effects.  The cause, as demonstrated above, is the sum total of votes counted in favor of the winner (again, if this were not the case, there would be no reason to cast a vote).  The effects can be seen all around us, and they are not pretty.

So we see that all requirements have been met: the price of the vote, as ultimate cause of the outcome of an election, is partial responsibility and culpability for the actions of the elected person.  Moreover, there is the question of knowledge.  As human beings, we cannot reliably know the future course of events.  At best, we can produce an educated guess.  Is there any act more monumentally stupid than to place the brute force of the State in the hands of another, similarly-limited person, when we cannot know what he will do with it?

Quote
No entity which has the right to initiate force can exist.  By definition.  No number of other entities worshipping it can bring it into existence.

We agree that this entity cannot and does not exist.  However, the logical impossibility of an entity which has the right to initiate force does not preclude the existence of an entity that claims that right, which we call the State for short.  No one here is arguing that the State has the right to initiate force.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 20, 2007, 01:34 PM NHFT
First, because posting on forums is not (yet) compulsory in this country, it must be voluntary.  Not one person is forced to cast his vote.  In any case, no one has so far denied that this is true.
Second, posting on forums is a positive act: one must first obtain Internet access, travel to a computer, enter web address, and type, using taxed electricity to do so, etc.; all of these actions are measurable and therefore positive.
Third, in a taxed economy, each and every unit of value has an effect, however small, on the ability of the government to oppress people.
Fourth, the outcome of taxation, being the rise to power of government thugs who hurt people, has a measurable cause and numerous effects.  The cause, as demonstrated above, is the sum total of funds counted in favor of the winner.  The effects can be seen all around us, and they are not pretty.
[modifications in bold]

What’s your point?

Quote
No entity which has the right to initiate force can exist.  By definition.  No number of other entities worshipping it can bring it into existence.
We agree that this entity cannot and does not exist.  However, the logical impossibility of an entity which has the right to initiate force does not preclude the existence of an entity that claims that right, which we call the State for short.  No one here is arguing that the State has the right to initiate force.

You are.  Repeatedly.  You try and hide it, but the derivation has been posted numerous times, including in the post which you extracted that quote from.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: d_goddard on November 20, 2007, 01:34 PM NHFT
Is there any act more monumentally stupid than to place the brute force of the State in the hands of another, similarly-limited person, when we cannot know what he will do with it?

Let us suppose I think you are an OK guy, maybe not someone I'd want to leave alone with my children, but nice enough to talk to when we meet on the street.

Let us then suppose you ask be for five dollars. Figuring you won't do anything terribly wrong with it, and that you might even do some good with it, I fork over the cash.

Of course, I cannot know what you will do with it. What if you buy a knife and murder children? Am I responsible?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on November 20, 2007, 01:36 PM NHFT
Well................now that you have considered it as a possibility..................
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 20, 2007, 02:03 PM NHFT
No entity which has the right to initiate force can exist.  By definition.  No number of other entities worshipping it can bring it into existence.

Indeed.  And no such entity exists.  No such entity is being worshipped, because no such entity exists, nor can ever exist.

It cannot exist, because there is no such thing as external authority.

That in no way cancels out the fact that there exists a very real institution, whose agents claim to have the right to initiate force.  This institution is what I call the State, and people do indeed worship it.

You are arguing that the State exists, because the thugs say it does.

Nowhere did I state or even imply any such thing.  The State is an institution, comprised of laws, tools, and individuals acting in concert.  It currently exists as an actual physical creation, independent of what anyone says.

If you can accept that these things, when taken individually, actually exist, then why is it so hard to comprehend that the whole that they comprise when taken together is likewise real?  It is like saying that there are indeed many trees standing in one spot, and they are real, but the forest is imaginary.

And it is still invalid; it requires accepting the premise that those thugs have the right to define other entities and bring them into being (what you call "the illusion of external authority"), and then pointing at the entity they have defined and claiming that it exists.  The argument requires that you accept "external authority" as valid, in order to prove that "external authority" exists.  It's circular.

More to the point, it means that the individual making the argument has accepted, at some level, that those thugs have the ability to create "the State," which means that individual, at some level, refuses to accept the ZAP, since the two are not logically compatible.

Joe

No.  It only requires accepting the premise that the thugs have the ability, not the right, to create a criminal enterprise that is an actual physical entity, using an illusion to justify doing so.  This argument in no way requires accepting "external authority" as valid -- to the contrary, it requires the recognition that "external authority" is strictly an illusion, therefore invalid.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 20, 2007, 02:24 PM NHFT
No entity which has the right to initiate force can exist.  By definition.  No number of other entities worshipping it can bring it into existence.
Indeed.  And no such entity exists.  No such entity is being worshipped, because no such entity exists, nor can ever exist.

It cannot exist, because there is no such thing as external authority.

That in no way cancels out the fact that there exists a very real institution, whose agents claim to have the right to initiate force.  This institution is what I call the State, and people do indeed worship it.

Just like all those “very real” dragons that exist, just because folks believe in them, right?

You are arguing that the State exists, because the thugs say it does.
Nowhere did I state or even imply any such thing.  The State is an institution, comprised of laws, tools, and individuals acting in concert.  It currently exists as an actual physical creation, independent of what anyone says.

Really?  As I said before, point to “the State.”  Show it to us.

If you can accept that these things, when taken individually, actually exist, then why is it so hard to comprehend that the whole that they comprise when taken together is likewise real?  It is like saying that there are indeed many trees standing in one spot, and they are real, but the forest is imaginary.

No, the forest is real, because its proponents don’t claim that it is more than a collection of trees.

The State is an illusion, because its proponents claim that it has rights in excess of the rights of its members.

That collection of thugs is “the government,” but not “the State.”  One exists.  The other is an illusion.

And it is still invalid; it requires accepting the premise that those thugs have the right to define other entities and bring them into being (what you call "the illusion of external authority"), and then pointing at the entity they have defined and claiming that it exists.  The argument requires that you accept "external authority" as valid, in order to prove that "external authority" exists.  It's circular.

More to the point, it means that the individual making the argument has accepted, at some level, that those thugs have the ability to create "the State," which means that individual, at some level, refuses to accept the ZAP, since the two are not logically compatible.
No.  It only requires accepting the premise that the thugs have the ability, not the right, to create a criminal enterprise that is an actual physical entity, using an illusion to justify doing so.  This argument in no way requires accepting "external authority" as valid -- to the contrary, it requires the recognition that "external authority" is strictly an illusion, therefore invalid.

Sorry, but you need to take Logic 101 or something.  Your claim that the State exists requires that something possessing those attributes exists.  For something possessing those attributes to exist, the attributes would need to be possible within the context of reality.  Hence, arguing that the State exists automatically includes the argument that all of its attributes exist.

You can’t argue that dragons exist, but not fire.  If you accept that there are fire-breathing lizards, you have automatically accepted that there is fire.

You cannot argue that “an entity with the right to initiate force” exists, without arguing that “the right to initiate force” exists.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: error on November 20, 2007, 04:15 PM NHFT
Where is this actual physical entity called the State? Please, point to it, so that I may direct the wrecking ball to tear it down.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 20, 2007, 04:18 PM NHFT
who ever said it was an actual physical entity?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 20, 2007, 04:24 PM NHFT
who ever said it was an actual physical entity?

Point to an entity made of matter or energy or anything else which can be measured.

Entities composed of mystical substances observable only by the one claiming that entity's existence are not acceptable.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 21, 2007, 11:58 AM NHFT
First, let me state for the record that the reason I tackled this somewhat off topic (and relatively insignificant) point of contention, is because I genuinely want to understand the assertion that 'the State does not in fact exist'... and precisely why we disagree.

If I am coming across as a bit exasperated, it is only because it seems like such a simple concept, yet after all of the sparring on both sides, we don't seem much closer to a mutual understanding.  Yet I am convinced that it stems from a simple misunderstanding, (probably two separate definitions in use), so I'll keep going for now :)

Just like all those “very real” dragons that exist, just because folks believe in them, right?

Nope.  This is where the dragon analogy ceases to fit. The forest analogy actually fits my usage better (see below).

Really?  As I said before, point to “the State.”  Show it to us.
Where is this actual physical entity called the State? Please, point to it, so that I may direct the wrecking ball to tear it down.

You have asserted that "the government" exists.  Point to what you call "the government", and I in turn will point to what I call "the State" (for reasons shown below).

No, the forest is real, because its proponents don’t claim that it is more than a collection of trees.

The State is an illusion, because its proponents claim that it has rights in excess of the rights of its members.

That collection of thugs is “the government,” but not “the State.”  One exists.  The other is an illusion.

Ah, perhaps here we finally get to the bottom of this.

You say that the State is an illusion because its proponents claim that it has rights "in excess of the rights of its members" (it has, in fact, no rights at all).  To me, that is exactly like saying the forest is an illusion, because the forest worshippers claim it has mystical powers.

If a group of forest worshippers plant and groom a forest under the misguided notion that their forest has mystical powers, then it is not the forest that is an illusion.  The illusion is strictly limited to the false properties that the forest worshippers ascribe to it, no more and no less.  In the case of the State, the illusion is strictly limited to the false property of external authority, and any extensions thereof.

It appears to me that you are accepting and using the thugs' own definition of the term "State"; I am not.  I apply the term "the State" strictly in place of the term "government", to refer to the criminal enterprise, or instution; just because the thugs themselves claim that their created institution has rights of its own, in no way binds me to accept that claim when I refer to that institution as "the State" instead of "government". 

The reason I prefer to use "the State" in place of "government", is because the word "government" has a built in meaning: that which governs, or keeps affairs running smoothly.  The criminal institution that currently usurps that term does not govern at all -- instead, it dictates.  By contrast, a business-based, genuine free market governs to a fault, thanks to the exquisite regulation of the invisible hand.  Hence, true government is the domain of the free market's invisible hand.

In order to avoid perpetuating the illusion that this criminal enterprise provides the needed service of governing, and to highlight the fact that governing is the exclusive domain of the free market, I use the term "State" when referring to the institution of the thugs.  This should in no way be construed to mean that I accept the illusion of external authority, just because the thugs claim it is real, and presume to include that claim in their usage of the term "State".

There are two additional points worth mentioning here:

1) The only reason I capitalize the word "State", is to distinguish its usage from other definitions, including individual "states" within the "united states".

2) I do not refer to the State in the sense of a single nation-state, with its self-created fictitious boundaries.  I use the term "State" to refer to the illegitimate, individual rights violating, global institution.

If anyone can provide me with another accurate, concise term to use in place of the erroneous and misleading term "government", I will gladly abandon my usage of the term "the State".
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: srqrebel on November 21, 2007, 01:03 PM NHFT
You can’t argue that dragons exist, but not fire.  If you accept that there are fire-breathing lizards, you have automatically accepted that there is fire.

You cannot argue that “an entity with the right to initiate force” exists, without arguing that “the right to initiate force” exists.

Joe

Of course, no one is arguing that dragons (or any other illusions) exist, but I get the analogy. 

Using that analogy, arguing that dragons exist does not automatically constitute acceptance of the notion that fire-breathing exists.  One could very well conceive that dragons are real, while their purported fire-breathing property is mythical.

Example: Witches are traditionally assigned magical properties, such as flying on broomsticks.  When I refer to a female friend of mine, who is an actual witch by religious orientation, does that mean I somehow accept those mythical properties as real?  Of course not.  In the same way, just because I refer to the State as a real institution, does not in any way infer that I accept any of its purported mythical properties.

Only the mythical properties are unreal.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 21, 2007, 01:36 PM NHFT

The question IS of compulsion. Ie, actions that you have choice over - you are to be judged for the morality of them (since morality refers only to volitional acts), as opposed to actions that you don't have realistic choices over (ie, compulsory taxation). I had to make so many qualifications on that town voting issue that I have to elaborate on that, but later. The issue for freedom/free society is, of course, the compulsion one.

I agree it is a question of compulsion.  But what taxes are you compelled to pay?  Can someone actually make you pay taxes?  Or do you choose to pay the taxes rather than counting the cost?   The IRS can threaten you.  They can do you violence.  They can evict you from your home and steal your property, but they can not make you pay.  You and Vitruvian and I all elect to pay taxes because the costs are too high otherwise.

We feel compelled to pay, but we are not in fact compelled to collaborate. Might this collaboration be immoral?  I'll concede that it might be.  But it is not more immoral than voting. 

I vote because I feel compelled to mitigate as much harm as possible to me and mine.  I fail to see, and I think you fail to show, a qualitative and categorical difference between "collaboration through voting" and "collaboration through tax non-avoidance."
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Eli on November 21, 2007, 01:46 PM NHFT
First, let me state for the record that the reason I tackled this somewhat off topic (and relatively insignificant) point of contention, is because I genuinely want to understand the assertion that 'the State does not in fact exist'... and precisely why we disagree.

If I am coming across as a bit exasperated, it is only because it seems like such a simple concept, yet after all of the sparring on both sides, we don't seem much closer to a mutual understanding.  Yet I am convinced that it stems from a simple misunderstanding, (probably two separate definitions in use), so I'll keep going for now :)


I think the important difference is that the State doesn't exist as a moral actor, or any other kind of monopoly.  Just as the Church doesn't exist as an entity outside of people.  The state is an idea which resides in individual moral actors who are solely responsible for their own actions.  Therefore I am not responsible for evil actions that they undertake.  If I am responsible for their evil it must be because I gave them aid and assistance in doing there evil.  The question then becomes tactical rather than necessarily moral.  By voting have I aided those folks doing evil acts while dba government?  But it's more than that... I'm having trouble making it clear...  has my vote been used for the evil act... but there also is an aspect of intent/volition.  Did I intend for my vote to be used for evil or did I give aid to stop evil?  If I give a man a fish and he uses it to poison his dog (goofy example intentional) am I guilty of poisoning the dog?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 21, 2007, 06:26 PM NHFT
Ah, perhaps here we finally get to the bottom of this.

You say that the State is an illusion because its proponents claim that it has rights "in excess of the rights of its members" (it has, in fact, no rights at all).  To me, that is exactly like saying the forest is an illusion, because the forest worshippers claim it has mystical powers.

If a group of forest worshippers plant and groom a forest under the misguided notion that their forest has mystical powers, then it is not the forest that is an illusion.  The illusion is strictly limited to the false properties that the forest worshippers ascribe to it, no more and no less.  In the case of the State, the illusion is strictly limited to the false property of external authority, and any extensions thereof.

The worshippers in your example didn’t plant “a forest.”  They planted “a magical forest.”  The forest itself exists; the magical forest does not.

One is a real thing.  The other is an image; an illusion.

The reason I prefer to use "the State" in place of "government", is because the word "government" has a built in meaning: that which governs, or keeps affairs running smoothly.  The criminal institution that currently usurps that term does not govern at all -- instead, it dictates.  By contrast, a business-based, genuine free market governs to a fault, thanks to the exquisite regulation of the invisible hand.  Hence, true government is the domain of the free market's invisible hand.

“Government” implies control.  Not “smooth control.”

Anarchy is a form of government in which individuals control themselves, which does lead to things running smoothly.

Statism is a form of government in which some group of individuals assert authority over others by the creation of a fictional entity (or entities) which they claim has rights to initiate force against others for purposes of control.

Both are forms of government, just as a square is a form of rectangle.  “Government” and “State” are not interchangeable, and “government” does not imply anything other than control.

You can’t argue that dragons exist, but not fire.  If you accept that there are fire-breathing lizards, you have automatically accepted that there is fire.

You cannot argue that “an entity with the right to initiate force” exists, without arguing that “the right to initiate force” exists.
Of course, no one is arguing that dragons (or any other illusions) exist, but I get the analogy. 

Using that analogy, arguing that dragons exist does not automatically constitute acceptance of the notion that fire-breathing exists.  One could very well conceive that dragons are real, while their purported fire-breathing property is mythical.

No.  Breathing fire is an integral part of “dragonhood.”  Just as a “right to initiate force” is an integral part of “statehood.”  The two are not separable.  If you separate out the “offending” portion, you have changed the definition, and are referring to a different thing.  Eg, a “lizard” rather than a “dragon,” once the fire-breathing is removed.

Example: Witches are traditionally assigned magical properties, such as flying on broomsticks.  When I refer to a female friend of mine, who is an actual witch by religious orientation, does that mean I somehow accept those mythical properties as real?  Of course not.  In the same way, just because I refer to the State as a real institution, does not in any way infer that I accept any of its purported mythical properties.

Different situation.  You are referring to a word with multiple definitions, and merely alternating between the two.  The examples above have specific meanings, which cannot maintain with the critical elements (fire-breathing/initiation of force) removed.

Did I intend for my vote to be used for evil or did I give aid to stop evil?  If I give a man a fish and he uses it to poison his dog (goofy example intentional) am I guilty of poisoning the dog?

Indeed.  If I hire someone to paint my ceiling, and he runs a stop sign and kills a kid in a crosswalk, and I a murderer?  Of course not.  I didn’t hire him to do that.

If I “hire” Ron Paul to reduce the evil perpetrated by the Federal government, that does not mean I “hired” him to do anything else, at all.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 23, 2007, 04:52 PM NHFT
When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.  To put it simply: Ron Paul, if and when he is elected, will still take money from ME with the taxing power granted him by the Constitution.  When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME.  So, know this: When I condemn your actions as immoral, I mean it.

How can an anarchist believe in the "power of the state"?  Where did this power come from?  If this mystical power really exists, how is it exactly that checking little boxes on a piece of paper can transfer it?

Vitruvian, your post is just more evidence that you believe in the state.  Check your assumptions.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 23, 2007, 05:25 PM NHFT
Voting/not voting does not do anything to legitimize/delegitimize the government.

Governments are nothing more than people doing business at the point of a gun.  Occasionally, these gangsters will allow their victims to register opinions on who will be in charge of the gang for the next few years.  Whether you register your opinion or not will not stop the gangsters from continuing to inflict force upon you.  If no one registers their opinion (votes), the gang will not care.  They continue on victimizing regardless of voter turnout.

Most people don't vote.  They are not spurred into noncooperation in any other area by the fact that others also don't vote.  They probably don't even know how many people voted.  That would require them to pay attention.  Even if no one voted, that would not stop the government people from demanding money.  As usual, most people will hand it over.

Also, just because someone throws their hat in as a candidate does not make them culpable for the actions of the men with guns.  If Julia had won the seat on the City Council here in Keene, she would've voted against any increases in government as well as against any proposals to keep government the same size.  Just because she couldn't destroy the government in a 24-hour period doesn't mean that she consents to or in any way supports the violence that they enact on people.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 23, 2007, 05:25 PM NHFT
Here is a real-life story from this year that should be enlightening:

http://www.theheraldbulletin.com/local/local_story_310194303.html
Quote
Because no one chose to run again the current town clerk, judge or any of the town council positions open, Pendleton did not have an election Tuesday. The town clerk will remain Timothy J. Ryan (D); judge, George M. Gasparovic (D); and council members, Andrea B. Canaday (D), Jeanette Isbell (D) and Don Henderson (R) will remain in their seats.

“I was really kind of surprised no one opposed us, but it did save us some money without having an election,” said Isbell, who will begin serving her fourth term on the council in January.

In this situation, people didn't even have the opportunity to vote because no one bothered to run against the existing gangsters.  Do you really think anyone in Pendleton "woke up" to the fact that government is illegitimate?   Nope.  What happened, was that the existing politicians patted themselves on the back, believing that everyone in town must be loving the job they're doing because no one bothered to run against them.  Government will continue taxing and people will continue paying.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 23, 2007, 05:36 PM NHFT
The Pendleton situation could have in fact happened here in Keene, had we done nothing.  Of the five Ward seats up for election, only one was contested.  Because we ran a candidate, we received thousands of dollars in free press coverage.  Many people here in Keene were exposed to the ideas of liberty, possibly for the first time.  No doubt, some of them visited freekeene.com as well as this website.  Without her campaign, none of this would've happened, yet government would still be here.

I would love to hear someone claim how what Julia did was in any way immoral.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 23, 2007, 10:01 PM NHFT
Since Ian saw fit to resurrect this thread, here goes nothing:
When a person, by voting, chooses to place the power of the State into the hands of another, or, by holding office, takes it into his own hands, he purports to make choices for others, whether or not those others have given him their consent.  To put it simply: Ron Paul, if and when he is elected, will still take money from ME with the taxing power granted him by the Constitution.  When you vote for Ron Paul, you concede that he should have this power over ME, that he should be able to steal from ME.  So, know this: When I condemn your actions as immoral, I mean it.
How can an anarchist believe in the "power of the state"?  Where did this power come from?  If this mystical power really exists, how is it exactly that checking little boxes on a piece of paper can transfer it?
Vitruvian, your post is just more evidence that you believe in the state.  Check your assumptions.

I find it interesting that those arguing that politics is morally permissible and strategically viable, accuse me, the person arguing the opposite, of being a crypto-statist.  The State, composed of individual, non-mystical human beings, has power (because some people think they should have it), but has no authority (because power is synonymous with coercion, the one true crime).  As I and others have said many times previously, the State exists, but not independently of the people who comprise it: we would be foolish to pretend it did not.

The State is anti-social: it exists solely at the expense of civilization.  It is a parasite, a vampire, a foul predator.  One may call the State a democracy, a republic, a monarchy, etc., but giving evil another name does not mask its stench: only politics can accomplish that feat.  When people participate in politics, they become a part of the State, emboldening it, strengthening its grip on society, and ensuring its survival.

Ian, I have heard you say, with apparent conviction, on FTL that "democracy is two wolves and one sheep deciding on dinner."  And yet here you are, defending your "right" to vote and your "right" to run for office.  For shame.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 23, 2007, 10:26 PM NHFT
Suppose that I commit an evil act. And suppose that, when caught for having done so, I attempt to blame that act on an “imaginary friend” that I just conjured up out of nothingness. Would you believe this? Would you actually decide to not hold me responsible, and instead hold my “imaginary friend” responsible for the act, despite that fact that you can neither see nor hear this person, nor, in any way, shape, or form, prove that this “imaginary friend” does in fact exist?

Now, how about if instead I decided to gather together a few hundred others, and we were to all simultaneously decide to pin responsibility for any of our actions on this same “imaginary friend”? Would this make a difference to you?

The State does not exist except in the minds of the thugs who use it to justify their evil acts, and in the minds of the people who subscribe to the beliefs put forth by such thugs. If you are one of these people, you are a statist. You may not support the State, or be an apologist for the State, or intend to lend legitimacy to its existence, but you believe that it exists and actually has some sort of substance, just as the thugs who use the state to justify their actions do. Thus, you are a statist.

(I myself believe that the State does not exist per se, that the people doing business as “the State” or “the government” or whatnot are just that: nothing more than a group of people engaging in a series of mostly evil acts, and doing so under a collective name, in order to divert responsibility from their own persons. And getting back on topic, I simply believe that engaging in politics, in the strategic manner in which we freestaters are, is simply a way of using these people’s own little games against them. If they want to give us one tiny, little way in order to affect their system, we might as well try to do so, as effectively as possible.)

An “imaginary friend” does not exist no matter how much a child wants to try and pin blame on him for his own actions.

A “corporation” does not exist no matter how much its members want to try and pin blame on it for their own actions. This is even admitted by our system: It is referred to as a “legal fiction” that exists for matters of entrepreneurial efficiency.

A “god” or “demon” does not exist no matter how much the priest wants to try and pin blame on Him for his own actions.

The “State” does not exist no matter how much the thugs want to try and pin blame on it for their own actions.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 23, 2007, 10:48 PM NHFT
I find it interesting that those arguing that politics is morally permissible and strategically viable, accuse me, the person arguing the opposite, of being a crypto-statist.  The State, composed of individual, non-mystical human beings, has power (because some people think they should have it), but has no authority (because power is synonymous with coercion, the one true crime).  As I and others have said many times previously, the State exists, but not independently of the people who comprise it: we would be foolish to pretend it did not.

The State is anti-social: it exists solely at the expense of civilization.  It is a parasite, a vampire, a foul predator.  One may call the State a democracy, a republic, a monarchy, etc., but giving evil another name does not mask its stench: only politics can accomplish that feat.  When people participate in politics, they become a part of the State, emboldening it, strengthening its grip on society, and ensuring its survival.

Ian, I have heard you say, with apparent conviction, on FTL that "democracy is two wolves and one sheep deciding on dinner."  And yet here you are, defending your "right" to vote and your "right" to run for office.  For shame.

So, let's recap.  You've put words into my mouth and made a bunch of assertions but have not addressed one of my questions, points, or my challenge.   ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 23, 2007, 11:13 PM NHFT
Quote
The State does not exist except in the minds of the thugs who use it to justify their evil acts, and in the minds of the people who subscribe to the beliefs put forth by such thugs. If you are one of these people, you are a statist. You may not support the State, or be an apologist for the State, or intend to lend legitimacy to its existence, but you believe that it exists and actually has some sort of substance, just as the thugs who use the state to justify their actions do. Thus, you are a statist.

Did you not read my last post (and all the posts that came before)?  I wrote, very clearly, that I do not believe the State exists independently of the people who comprise it.  To say "the State exists," for me, is to say "there exist some people who claim to have some measure of moral authority to commit acts of aggressive violence and coercion."  The linguistic gymnastics are unnecessary and irrelevant.

I see statism as a particularly destructive form of religion: it has a theology, a priesthood, large numbers of adherents, and its own peculiar rituals.  As an atheist, I reject faith as a means to knowledge.  I do not worship a god, I do not pray, I do not go to church, I do not celebrate holy days, I do not tithe, I do not wear a WWJD? bracelet.  As an anarchist, I reject power over others as a means to any conceivable end.  I do not vote; I do not seek election to office; I do not salute the flag; I do not respect the politician, the policeman, or the soldier.  Now I ask you, as an anarchist, why do you vote/pray?

Quote
So, let's recap.  You've put words into my mouth and made a bunch of assertions but have not addressed one of my questions, points, or my challenge.

And you have clearly not read most of this thread, where I and others have already covered the issues you have raised.

P.S. I enclosed the word right with quotation marks because no one has a right to vote:
Quote
And yet here you are, defending your "right" to vote and your "right" to run for office.  For shame.
         
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 23, 2007, 11:37 PM NHFT
And you have clearly not read most of this thread, where I and others have already covered the issues you have raised.

I have read most of the thread (I very much enjoyed error and Maineshark's posts.) and I don't think anyone has addressed the origins of the "power" that you again reference here:

The State, composed of individual, non-mystical human beings, has power (because some people think they should have it), but has no authority (because power is synonymous with coercion, the one true crime).

Just because some people calling themselves "government" have decided to use force on others does not mean anything Julia or I have done has in any way endorsed that.  Now, I like to think I'm an open-minded guy.  I'd like to invite you to point out if there is anything unprincipled or state-supporting about Julia's campaign for city council.  I've made this challenge on air and no one has ever responded to it... perhaps you could be the first.   ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 23, 2007, 11:39 PM NHFT
Now I ask you, as an anarchist, why do you vote/pray?

You have clearly not read most of this thread, where I and others have already covered the issues you have raised.   ::)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 10:44 AM NHFT
Quote
Now, I like to think I'm an open-minded guy.  I'd like to invite you to point out if there is anything unprincipled or state-supporting about Julia's campaign for city council.  I've made this challenge on air and no one has ever responded to it... perhaps you could be the first.

I am quite certain that you and Julia are good people, with good intentions.  I do not mean to imply that either of you would intentionally do harm.  The fact remains, however, that Julia, through her campaign, sought to attain a position of power over other people.  Whether she would wield her (admittedly limited) power is not at issue; what is at issue is the power itself.  It must be destroyed.

Reductio ad absurdum: Would you vote in an election for president of Earth?  The galaxy?  The universe?

Why is voting in a city council election less wrong?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 24, 2007, 11:44 AM NHFT
Whether she would wield her (admittedly limited) power is not at issue; what is at issue is the power itself.  It must be destroyed.

That was the purpose of her campaign.  To advocate for the destruction of government force and the transition to a voluntary society.  Because she ran, we received thousands of dollars in free media coverage for those ideas.  Had she not run, those ideas would have not gotten any play whatsoever.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 12:14 PM NHFT
Quote
That was the purpose of her campaign.  To advocate for the destruction of government force and the transition to a voluntary society.  Because she ran, we received thousands of dollars in free media coverage for those ideas.  Had she not run, those ideas would have not gotten any play whatsoever.

Are you proposing that "media coverage" was the sole purpose of her campaign, that she would not have taken office had she been elected?  Isn't the true purpose of any campaign to elevate oneself to a position of power?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 12:30 PM NHFT

Reductio ad absurdum: Would you vote in an election for president of Earth?  The galaxy?  The universe?

Why is voting in a city council election less wrong?

President of the Galaxy

(http://www.filmtotaal.nl/images/various/zaphod.jpg)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 24, 2007, 12:32 PM NHFT
Are you proposing that "media coverage" was the sole purpose of her campaign, that she would not have taken office had she been elected?  Isn't the true purpose of any campaign to elevate oneself to a position of power?

The main purpose was to spread the message of liberty.  To that end, we succeeded.  In fact, I just spent two hours on the air with Keene city councilor Cynthia Georgina on her local radio show, "Talkback".  I will post the archive later today on freekeene.com.  (Wait until to you hear the authoritarians call-in.  They are pissed.)  Cynthia pointed out that the reason she wanted me on was because Julia's campaign got her curious about Free Staters.  I bet she's not the only one.

If Julia had won the election, that would just have been the icing on the cake.

Julia wants nothing to do with power.  Because of her principles, she would not have been able to take the oath of office had she won.  We were thinking that she should write her own oath.  Something about swearing an oath to the non-initiation of force...who knows what we would've put in there.   :icon_pirat:

I'd like to make it clear that I don't care if you don't vote.  You do whatever floats your boat.  Just please don't down what we are doing as immoral or unprincipled, because it is neither.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 12:40 PM NHFT
I think Julia was highly naughty for having run for political office.  I think she should be punished. 

[youtube=425,350]DtcSYPjJbgg[/youtube]
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 24, 2007, 12:42 PM NHFT

moo

sorry, had to stay on topic
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 12:43 PM NHFT
Quote
Reductio ad absurdum: Would you vote in an election for president of Earth?  The galaxy?  The universe?
Why is voting in a city council election less wrong?

I answered your questions.  You should answer mine.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 24, 2007, 01:35 PM NHFT
I answered your questions.  You should answer mine.
oh no ... rules
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 24, 2007, 01:36 PM NHFT
President of the Galaxy
(http://www.filmtotaal.nl/images/various/zaphod.jpg)
just this guy you know
the underground president is just this kid ... ya know
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: KBCraig on November 24, 2007, 01:48 PM NHFT
Quote
Reductio ad absurdum: Would you vote in an election for president of Earth?  The galaxy?  The universe?
Why is voting in a city council election less wrong?

I answered your questions.  You should answer mine.

He did:
I'd like to make it clear that I don't care if you don't vote.  You do whatever floats your boat.  Just please don't down what we are doing as immoral or unprincipled, because it is neither.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 24, 2007, 02:03 PM NHFT
I find it interesting that those arguing that politics is morally permissible and strategically viable, accuse me, the person arguing the opposite, of being a crypto-statist.

Why is that “interesting,” pray tell?  It’s pretty typical for Statists to pass themselves off as “liberty-lovers,” then spout off all manner of nonsense in order to create division and drive off people who are looking to learn about liberty.

As an atheist, I reject faith as a means to knowledge.  I do not worship a god, I do not pray, I do not go to church, I do not celebrate holy days, I do not tithe, I do not wear a WWJD? bracelet.  As an anarchist, I reject power over others as a means to any conceivable end.  I do not vote; I do not seek election to office; I do not salute the flag; I do not respect the politician, the policeman, or the soldier.  Now I ask you, as an anarchist, why do you vote/pray?

Ah, more fun.  You “reject faith” by taking it on faith that there is no god?  You certainly don’t have proof that there is no god, since the existence of that sort of proof would be logically impossible.  Yeah, that seems to fit with your insistence that arguing for the legitimacy of the State is equivalent to opposing it.

An atheist is someone who asserts, ex cathedra, that he knows there is no god.  Atheism is no different from theism, except for the point that the theists might be able to prove their point (eg, if one walks up to me and shows me god), but the atheists can never prove theirs.

Someone who rejects faith is called an “agnostic.”

Reductio ad absurdum: Would you vote in an election for president of Earth?  The galaxy?  The universe?

Ooh, someone learned a new term.  Unfortunately, that is not an example of reductio ad absurdum.  Presenting absurd rhetorical questions is not an argument.  Reductio ad absurdum relies on demonstrating a logical derivation of some claim, which shows the absurdity of that claim by taking it to an extreme where it fails.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 24, 2007, 02:54 PM NHFT
Did you not read my last post (and all the posts that came before)?  I wrote, very clearly, that I do not believe the State exists independently of the people who comprise it.  To say "the State exists," for me, is to say "there exist some people who claim to have some measure of moral authority to commit acts of aggressive violence and coercion."  The linguistic gymnastics are unnecessary and irrelevant.

I see statism as a particularly destructive form of religion: it has a theology, a priesthood, large numbers of adherents, and its own peculiar rituals.  As an atheist, I reject faith as a means to knowledge.  I do not worship a god, I do not pray, I do not go to church, I do not celebrate holy days, I do not tithe, I do not wear a WWJD? bracelet.  As an anarchist, I reject power over others as a means to any conceivable end.  I do not vote; I do not seek election to office; I do not salute the flag; I do not respect the politician, the policeman, or the soldier.

I read your posts. The State does not exist dependent upon the people who comprise it. The State does not exist at all. The State is an illusion—a legal fiction of a sort—created by these people so that they may act collectively and avert personal responsibility for their own actions.

It is exactly like a religion. (And the most statist societies in history, such as the Soviet Union, have been nominally atheist, because the State was the religion. Other religions were seen as competition to Communism.) Gods do not exist at all. They are illusions created by priests so that they may avert personal responsibility for their own actions. Are you going to try to claim that you do in fact believe that gods exist, but only dependent upon the priests that conjure them up?

Quote
Now I ask you, as an anarchist, why do you vote/pray?

Now who’s not reading whose posts? I vote because I see it as a way of pushing the system in a favorable direction.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Faber on November 24, 2007, 03:06 PM NHFT
For someone who thinks this thread is nothing but useless counterproductive masturbation started by a fed troll, you sure have contributed a lot of posts to it, J . . . .
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 24, 2007, 03:10 PM NHFT
For someone who thinks this thread is nothing but useless counterproductive masturbation started by a fed troll, you sure have contributed a lot of posts to it, J . . . .

I keep coming back every day or two to see where it’s going—mostly for entertainment value, and just to pose questions about what appear to be inconsistencies in V’s and others’ posts.

:happy1:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 03:13 PM NHFT
MaineShark,

Lay off the attitude.  Although we were not introduced, we have met face to face.  I was at the Thanksgiving lunch at Karl Bisel's house (coincidentally, I brought a dish your wife could eat safely).  Please stop treating me as if I were an enemy.  Or do you treat every stranger this way?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 24, 2007, 03:21 PM NHFT
Quote
Reductio ad absurdum: Would you vote in an election for president of Earth?  The galaxy?  The universe?
Why is voting in a city council election less wrong?

I answered your questions.  You should answer mine.

You mean this answer?

Quote
And you have clearly not read most of this thread, where I and others have already covered the issues you have raised.

Besides, your question presupposes that I think voting is wrong at all.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 24, 2007, 03:26 PM NHFT
The Julia Miranda campaign continues to be unassailable by those claiming that participation in politics is immoral.  My challenge still stands unanswered.   8)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 03:26 PM NHFT

I read your posts. The State does not exist dependent upon the people who comprise it. The State does not exist at all. The State is an illusion—a legal fiction of a sort—created by these people so that they may act collectively and avert personal responsibility for their own actions.

That is complete nonsense. 

"A state is a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area. It usually includes the set of institutions that claim the authority to make the rules that govern the people of the society in that territory, though its status as a state often depends in part on being recognized by a number of other states as having internal and external sovereignty over it."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State

Do political associations exist?  Do those political associations have effective dominion over geographic areas?   Are there institutions that claim authority to make rules that government people in that territory? 

The only way you can possibly say that the state doesn't exist is by changing the definition of state.  It is also stupid since we see the effects of the state in all our lives.   

It is exactly like a religion. (And the most statist societies in history, such as the Soviet Union, have been nominally atheist, because the State was the religion. Other religions were seen as competition to Communism.) Gods do not exist at all. They are illusions created by priests so that they may avert personal responsibility for their own actions. Are you going to try to claim that you do in fact believe that gods exist, but only dependent upon the priests that conjure them up?

If the state is an illusion, then statist society would be what?  An illusionary society?  Of course a society is just as illusionary as a state, perhaps more so.  So a statist society would be twice as imaginary as a state.  I also guess that all the taxes I pay are illusionary too.  Along with the imaginary government agents who knock on my door asking why I haven't paid any taxes. 

What would be the point of voting even?  Voting to do what?  Voting to influence an imaginary system?  What favorable direction can you possibly move an imaginary thing towards?  Make it even more imaginary?   
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 03:38 PM NHFT
Quote
Besides, your question presupposes that I think voting is wrong at all.

Quote
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on dinner."

This isn't wrong enough for you?  Thousands of people, including myself, have heard you say that phrase on-air, yet you defend the democratic process of electoral politics viz. your girlfriend, Julia.  Do you not see the contradiction?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: buzzard on November 24, 2007, 03:59 PM NHFT
Besides working to eliminate the State here, we’re also doing pretty well at setting up voluntary structures that hopefully would be what people would use and rely on after the State is gone—homeschooling, an informal economy based on precious metals and barter, bearing arms for one’s own self-defense, networks of friends supporting and defending one another, and so on. Is this something you’re participating in, or are you only maybe sitting around and pondering this, even?


:clap:  I'm only on page 3 or 4 but this is what I came here for~!

I'll also add this to the original poster V: while my ideals (and probably many other's here as well ) far exeed what's being offered to us by any candidate for office, Ron Paul, to me, is the only person that stands for something OTHER than the status quo . . . every other out there is part of the same pile. But there has to be a direction to go as long as there still is a peaceful one to choose.

The day will most likey arrive when there will be no choice for anyone but to fend for themselves against those in "power" that will arrive at YOUR door too to litterally either imprison you or kill you.

STAND WITH US or fall on your own is how I see it. I think the 2nd American Revolution is what we are already part of. Whether we are carrying arsenals now or later is irrelevant. We are in THE REVOLUTION now~1

Whatcha gonna DO~?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 24, 2007, 04:01 PM NHFT


The only way you can possibly say that the state doesn't exist is by changing the definition of state.

Exactly right. The common definition of the State was crafted by statists. A theist would most likely present you with a definition of god that presupposes its existence, too.

If the state is an illusion, then statist society would be what?  An illusionary society?  Of course a society is just as illusionary as a state, perhaps more so.  So a statist society would be twice as imaginary as a state.  I also guess that all the taxes I pay are illusionary too.  Along with the imaginary government agents who knock on my door asking why I haven't paid any taxes. 

What would be the point of voting even?  Voting to do what?  Voting to influence an imaginary system?  What favorable direction can you possibly move an imaginary thing towards?  Make it even more imaginary?   

The point I was trying to make is that the State is an illusion—the people arming themselves with the label are certainly not. Those taxes are going to those people. And voting works, to some extent, because those people claim they’ll abide by the wishes of the voters (provided of course the wishes of the voters aren’t too radical, but that’s another story).

In the United States, we tend to conflate things like country, nation, state and government, but these terms all have separate meanings, and in most political systems, and theories thereof, the terms are clearly defined. Most often, the State is the invisible, mystical entity which holds sovereignty over the people, the government is the physical apparatus by which it does so, a country is the physical chunk of land over which the State holds its sovereignty, and a nation is a self-identifying group of people who come together usually through claims of shared language or culture. These are the definitions I tend to use when getting into political-theory discussions.

And my claim is that this invisible, mystical entity known as the State is simply an illusion created by the people who come together in order to conduct their activities. Here (http://www.strike-the-root.com/columns/lopez/lopez4.html) is an interesting article that dismisses the State in a similar manner as I am.

Merely believing in the State lends it legitimacy: You can’t call yourself an atheist while believing that God exists.


I myself am often guilty of conflating government and state in many of the posts I make outside of this thread, since so many other people use the terms interchangeably. I am trying to be highly specific in this thread so as to avoid confusion, including painfully precise use of capitalization, italics, and underscoring.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: buzzard on November 24, 2007, 04:44 PM NHFT
When you resist something gov't does, you or somebody has to come up with some voluntary alternative. 

Why? The alternative is already there. Come on over for dinner.
Got a project you need help with? Whattaya need? I'm pretty handy.

Quote
Some of the services that gov't provides are actually quite popular, and in high demand. 

Why is someone demanding a service? There's obviously something in this statement that denotes a great lack in what government can and will provide. Demanding the government do something is pointing at me to provide you with something through them taxing me. (Taking food off my table). Need something? Look at other avenues. Need a hand with something? My number is in the book.
 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 04:46 PM NHFT
The statists came up with a definition to describe something.  They did so because they are describing something which has an existence. 

That article is little more than nonsense.  Because the author has trouble establishing ownership of a cop car the state somehow doesn't exist?

Where do you get this definition that the state is a invisible mystical entity that claims sovereignty?  If that is the definition you are using, then you are wrong.  I have honestly never heard anyone ever put forth that notion.  I did a quick search and haven't been able to find anyone who even hints that they hold your definition.   

We have a simple definition for State.  All aspects of that definition are true.  We can go out and observe them happening.  We can observe political associations.  We can observe people claiming authority over a territory and we can observe their rules and their rule making.  We can go out and observe their institutions.  You can shake the hands of those invisible and mystical entities who claim sovereignty.       

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 24, 2007, 05:29 PM NHFT
MaineShark,

Lay off the attitude.  Although we were not introduced, we have met face to face.  I was at the Thanksgiving lunch at Karl Bisel's house (coincidentally, I brought a dish your wife could eat safely).  Please stop treating me as if I were an enemy.  Or do you treat every stranger this way?

I treat anyone who behaves the way you do in this way.  I judge others solely based upon their own actions and words.  I treat them no different online than I do in person.  If you had introduced yourself at the party, I would have treated you the same way that I treat you here.

I also note that, yet again, you have changed subjects rather than addressing the points which were raised.

Quote
Besides, your question presupposes that I think voting is wrong at all.
Quote
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on dinner."
This isn't wrong enough for you?  Thousands of people, including myself, have heard you say that phrase on-air, yet you defend the democratic process of electoral politics viz. your girlfriend, Julia.  Do you not see the contradiction?

He was demonstrating using that process against itself.  “Poetic justice” is a powerful thing.  Why grind ourselves to dust against them, when we can make them fight themselves?

The State is a myth.  It does not exist.  You cannot “destroy” it, because it isn’t there to be destroyed.  The groups which claim legitimacy under the pretenses of that myth have their own self-interests, even if they work together to oppress others.  It is certainly possible to pit those groups (real entities) against each other, rather than having to fight them.  It is also possible to cause them to fight themselves, because of the machinations of their own system.  Hitler lost WWII because he killed off his best generals.  He killed off his own generals because they were a threat to his power.  They were a threat to his power because of the system which he created... et cetera

Causing internal squabbles is generally the only way to destroy a more powerful opponent.  That’s how Ghandi drove the British out of India.  He couldn’t face them “head on” on the battlefield, but he could play to the sympathies of the public and cause internal strife against the colonial powers.

The statists came up with a definition to describe something.  They did so because they are describing something which has an existence.

Everything in your post has already been addressed.  Simply stating “you’re wrong” doesn’t make it so.  This particular claim that I quoted (just for one example) was already demonstrated fallacious, with the analogy of dragons, which are a defined entity, which nevertheless does not actually exist in reality.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 05:54 PM NHFT

Everything in your post has already been addressed.  Simply stating “you’re wrong” doesn’t make it so.  This particular claim that I quoted (just for one example) was already demonstrated fallacious, with the analogy of dragons, which are a defined entity, which nevertheless does not actually exist in reality.


Simply stating that you demonstrated an argument to be fallacious based upon an absurd analogy doesn't make it so either. 

How in the hell does your analogy demonstrate anything?  The State does not exist because Wookies don't live on Endor. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on November 24, 2007, 05:57 PM NHFT

Everything in your post has already been addressed.  Simply stating “you’re wrong” doesn’t make it so.  This particular claim that I quoted (just for one example) was already demonstrated fallacious, with the analogy of dragons, which are a defined entity, which nevertheless does not actually exist in reality.


Simply stating that you demonstrated an argument to be fallacious based upon an absurd analogy doesn't make it so either. 

How in the hell does your analogy demonstrate anything?  The State does not exist because Wookies don't live on Endor. 

Your argument was that the State exists because it’s defined as such. He and I showed you examples–dragons and gods—of things that, just because they are defined, does not prove they exist. We didn’t disprove the existence of the state with these arguments, but we countered your attempt at proof. In other words, try harder to prove it exists. ;)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 24, 2007, 06:15 PM NHFT
Simply stating that you demonstrated an argument to be fallacious based upon an absurd analogy doesn't make it so either.

Can you find any fault in that argument?  Calling it absurd is not the same as demonstrating a fault in logic.

How in the hell does your analogy demonstrate anything?

You claimed that the fact that "the State" can be defined is proof that it exists in reality.  I demonstrated an example (one among very many) of an entity which can be defined, but which has no existence in reality.  One counter-example is more than enough to demonstrate that your claim is false.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 06:21 PM NHFT
Quote
I treat anyone who behaves the way you do in this way.  I judge others solely based upon their own actions and words.  I treat them no different online than I do in person.  If you had introduced yourself at the party, I would have treated you the same way that I treat you here.

MaineShark,

The purpose of philosophy, and the discussion thereof, is to discover truth; your demeanor suggests that this not your goal.  If you want to contribute to the conversation, be civil, or you may soon find that no one is willing to talk to you.

Quote
Your argument was that the State exists because it’s defined as such. He and I showed you examples–dragons and gods—of things that, just because they are defined, does not prove they exist. We didn’t disprove the existence of the state with these arguments, but we countered your attempt at proof. In other words, try harder to prove it exists.

I don't see how you could possibly dispute the bare existence of the State, as Anthony (and Wikipedia) has defined it, i.e. "a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area."  This definition does not speak to the legitimacy of the State (a condition that, we have agreed, cannot be fulfilled), only to its de facto dominion.  The definition you have offered, on the other hand, seems to require legitimacy as a prerequisite.  Do you deny that there exists a band of thugs (we can call them a "political association") that exercises "effective dominion" over the "geographic areas" of New Hampshire, the
United States, etc.?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 24, 2007, 06:31 PM NHFT
Quote
I treat anyone who behaves the way you do in this way.  I judge others solely based upon their own actions and words.  I treat them no different online than I do in person.  If you had introduced yourself at the party, I would have treated you the same way that I treat you here.

MaineShark,

The purpose of philosophy, and the discussion thereof, is to discover truth; your demeanor suggests that this not your goal.  If you want to contribute to the conversation, be civil, or you may soon find that no one is willing to talk to you.

Quote
Your argument was that the State exists because it’s defined as such. He and I showed you examples–dragons and gods—of things that, just because they are defined, does not prove they exist. We didn’t disprove the existence of the state with these arguments, but we countered your attempt at proof. In other words, try harder to prove it exists.

I don't see how you could possibly dispute the bare existence of the State, as Anthony (and Wikipedia) has defined it, i.e. "a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area."  This definition does not speak to the legitimacy of the State (a condition that, we have agreed, cannot be fulfilled), only to its de facto dominion.  The definition you have offered, on the other hand, seems to require legitimacy as a prerequisite.  Do you deny that there exists a band of thugs (we can call them a "political association") that exercises "effective dominion" over the "geographic areas" of New Hampshire, the
United States, etc.?


twist...twist...twist
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 24, 2007, 06:32 PM NHFT
Quote
I treat anyone who behaves the way you do in this way.  I judge others solely based upon their own actions and words.  I treat them no different online than I do in person.  If you had introduced yourself at the party, I would have treated you the same way that I treat you here.
MaineShark,

The purpose of philosophy, and the discussion thereof, is to discover truth; your demeanor suggests that this not your goal.  If you want to contribute to the conversation, be civil, or you may soon find that no one is willing to talk to you.

That’s a laughable statement from you.  Many here have been having thoughtful discussion of the subject, while you have been asserting, ex cathedra that we are all evil and that the State is legitimate.  You have refused to answer even basic questions about your supposed “moral” philosophy.  No one "seeking truth" starts out with "you are all evil, and must bow down to me."

And you are the only one claiming to ignore me, even though you don’t actually do it.  Yes, I’m clearly in great danger of finding that “no one is willing to talk to” me.  Even those who make it a point to do so, don’t do it.

I don't see how you could possibly dispute the bare existence of the State, as Anthony (and Wikipedia) has defined it, i.e. "a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area."  This definition does not speak to the legitimacy of the State (a condition that, we have agreed, cannot be fulfilled), only to its de facto dominion.  The definition you have offered, on the other hand, seems to require legitimacy as a prerequisite.  Do you deny that there exists a band of thugs (we can call them a "political association") that exercises "effective dominion" over the "geographic areas" of New Hampshire, the United States, etc.?

In part because that isn’t an accurate definition.  Not even vaguely.  Wikipedia is not exactly a good source for philosophical definitions.

A “political association” could be a band of anarchists who mutually agree to certain rules for themselves.  It is not a “State” until it specifically asserts a “right to initiate force” and exert dominion over others.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Russell Kanning on November 24, 2007, 06:33 PM NHFT
People come up with complicated reasons not to stand up to "the state". It is hard to defy the thugs. Some try to rationalize away their inaction. Arguing with them might not convince them to change their minds or behavior. :)
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 24, 2007, 06:36 PM NHFT
People come up with complicated reasons not to stand up to "the state". It is hard to defy the thugs. Some try to rationalize away their inaction. Arguing with them might not convince them to change their minds or behavior. :)

And some argue that the State should be stood-up-to using a variety of methods, including both political and apolitical means. :)

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 07:19 PM NHFT
In order for such a comparison to be made, there has to be some similarities between the two and there cannot be any differences which would make the comparison invalid.  Is there anything similar between the concept of a dragon and the concept of the state?  Absolutely not.  One is a big lizard and the other is a type of association.  You are attempting to compare apples and oranges. 

To claim that you have found one thing which can be defined yet doesn't exist does not mean that it is so in all cases. 

Furthermore, just look at the definitions of the two.  A dragon is defined as a MYTHICAL monster.  The definition of dragon already establishes that it is imaginary.  The definition of the state does not indicate anything about mythical or imaginary anything. 

I also have never made the claim that something exists simply because it can be defined.  State has a certain meaning, ie. a political association.  Does it exist?  Well is there anything out there that can fit its definition?   Yes, there is something that does fit its definition therefore the state exists. 

Quote
In part because that isn’t an accurate definition.  Not even vaguely.  Wikipedia is not exactly a good source for philosophical definitions.

Who says that?  I used wikipedia to define the term.  If you disagree with the definition provided by wikipedia, then provide another.  Until then, their definition will suffice and will be the one that I continue to refer to.   

Quote
A “political association” could be a band of anarchists who mutually agree to certain rules for themselves.  It is not a “State” until it specifically asserts a “right to initiate force” and exert dominion over others.

So does this mean that you finally concede that the state exists? 

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: buzzard on November 24, 2007, 08:00 PM NHFT
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 24, 2007, 08:45 PM NHFT
In order for such a comparison to be made, there has to be some similarities between the two and there cannot be any differences which would make the comparison invalid.  Is there anything similar between the concept of a dragon and the concept of the state?  Absolutely not.  One is a big lizard and the other is a type of association.  You are attempting to compare apples and oranges.

That makes zero sense.  We aren’t talking about the entities in question.  We are talking about the notion of definitions guaranteeing real referents.

To claim that you have found one thing which can be defined yet doesn't exist does not mean that it is so in all cases.

I never made that claim.  That claim is nonsensical.  Who would claim that all things which are defined, refer to non-real things (which is what you just claimed that I said)?

Furthermore, just look at the definitions of the two.  A dragon is defined as a MYTHICAL monster.  The definition of dragon already establishes that it is imaginary.  The definition of the state does not indicate anything about mythical or imaginary anything.

The definition of “State” includes logically-impossible properties, making it non-real by definition.

I also have never made the claim that something exists simply because it can be defined.  State has a certain meaning, ie. a political association.  Does it exist?  Well is there anything out there that can fit its definition?   Yes, there is something that does fit its definition therefore the state exists.

Yeah, you never said
The statists came up with a definition to describe something.  They did so because they are describing something which has an existence.
at all.

Who says that?  I used wikipedia to define the term.  If you disagree with the definition provided by wikipedia, then provide another.  Until then, their definition will suffice and will be the one that I continue to refer to.

The term has been defined multiple times in this thread.  Including in the post which you just quoted.

 
Quote
A “political association” could be a band of anarchists who mutually agree to certain rules for themselves.  It is not a “State” until it specifically asserts a “right to initiate force” and exert dominion over others.
So does this mean that you finally concede that the state exists?

Does it say that the State exists?  No?  Then I don’t.

Ye gods, this is just silly.  I’m writing in plain English, here, and nothing in that says that the State exists.  Are you having trouble understanding what’s been written, or are you intentionally mis-representing things to try and support your insuperable position?

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 09:27 PM NHFT
Are you playing devils advocate or do you seriously believe this nonsense?  Talk about silly.  Try rereading some of your claims and you will have silly. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 09:29 PM NHFT
Quote
The definition of “State” includes logically-impossible properties, making it non-real by definition.

Which property of the State, as defined by Wikipedia ("a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area"), is logically impossible?  I see none.   
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 24, 2007, 09:44 PM NHFT
Are you playing devils advocate or do you seriously believe this nonsense?  Talk about silly.  Try rereading some of your claims and you will have silly.

I take it this is an admission that you can't actually back up your ridiculous claims?

Quote
The definition of “State” includes logically-impossible properties, making it non-real by definition.
Which property of the State, as defined by Wikipedia ("a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area"), is logically impossible?  I see none.

Given that the Wikipedia definition is grossly inaccurate, as already demonstrated, this is nonsense.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 24, 2007, 09:53 PM NHFT
Quote
Given that the Wikipedia definition is grossly inaccurate, as already demonstrated, this is nonsense.

The definition is accurate because it describes reality: political associations, which exist, do have effective dominion over certain geographic areas (most of the land area of Earth, for instance).

Your quibble with this definition is still unclear to me.  I repeat, which of its elements is logically impossible?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 24, 2007, 11:01 PM NHFT
Are you playing devils advocate or do you seriously believe this nonsense?  Talk about silly.  Try rereading some of your claims and you will have silly.

I take it this is an admission that you can't actually back up your ridiculous claims?

Quote
The definition of “State” includes logically-impossible properties, making it non-real by definition.
Which property of the State, as defined by Wikipedia ("a political association with effective dominion over a geographic area"), is logically impossible?  I see none.

Given that the Wikipedia definition is grossly inaccurate, as already demonstrated, this is nonsense.

Joe



Wikipedia is grossly inaccurate?  Oh I have got to hear your rationale for this claim.  Please enlighten us all.  How is it grossly inaccurate?  Because it disagrees with what you have been saying?  If that is inaccurate, then what should it say?  What should be my source in understanding this thing called the state.  Please tell me, inquiring minds want to know. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 25, 2007, 08:51 AM NHFT
Quote
Given that the Wikipedia definition is grossly inaccurate, as already demonstrated, this is nonsense.
The definition is accurate because it describes reality: political associations, which exist, do have effective dominion over certain geographic areas (most of the land area of Earth, for instance).

Your quibble with this definition is still unclear to me.  I repeat, which of its elements is logically impossible?

Sigh...

As already stated, that definition is overly-broad, and includes even completely-voluntary communities.  According to that definition, an anarchic society, based solely upon unanimous consent, is a "State."  That's just silly.  It's like when the anti-gun advocates include suicides in the "accidental death" category, to try and pad the numbers.  The author of that definition was clearly trying to support the State by including all forms of governance as examples of States.

The State is a particular form of governance which does all those things you just described, but also asserts a "right" to initiate force against those who do not choose to participate.  That's when you get the shift from "government" to "State."

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 25, 2007, 09:11 AM NHFT
Quote
The State is a particular form of governance which does all those things you just described, but also asserts a "right" to initiate force against those who do not choose to participate.  That's when you get the shift from "government" to "State."

The word dominion in the Wikipedia definition implies the use of force.  Dominion is defined as "the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority" (from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dominion (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dominion)).

Any political association with effective dominion over a geographic area is a State.  Therefore, States do exist, Q.E.D.

Now that this side issue is settled, we can return to the original topic, that of participation in a State-sponsored political system.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: shyfrog on November 25, 2007, 09:30 AM NHFT
Quote
The State is a particular form of governance which does all those things you just described, but also asserts a "right" to initiate force against those who do not choose to participate.  That's when you get the shift from "government" to "State."

The word dominion in the Wikipedia definition implies the use of force.  Dominion is defined as "the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority" (from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dominion (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dominion)).

I am an individual. I have the power and right to control what is mine. Sovereign as it were.

Any political association with effective dominion over a geographic area is a State.  Therefore, States do exist, Q.E.D.

I just voted myself ruler over the things I own. I own property. It is a geographic area. Welcome to my State.

Now that this side issue is settled, we can return to the original topic, that of participation in a State-sponsored political system.

Your original statement called the participation in State-sponsored political systems evil. Do you believe that property (land) ownership is inherently evil? Are you also a Georgist?
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 25, 2007, 09:39 AM NHFT
Quote
The State is a particular form of governance which does all those things you just described, but also asserts a "right" to initiate force against those who do not choose to participate.  That's when you get the shift from "government" to "State."

The word dominion in the Wikipedia definition implies the use of force.  Dominion is defined as "the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority" (from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dominion (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dominion)).

Any political association with effective dominion over a geographic area is a State.  Therefore, States do exist, Q.E.D.

Now that this side issue is settled, we can return to the original topic, that of participation in a State-sponsored political system.

This is nonsensical.  A government could obtain "dominion" over an area by the consent of those who live there.  No need to initiate force to do that.

A State is only that form of government which initiates force in order to obtain control.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 25, 2007, 02:15 PM NHFT
Quote
A State is only that form of government which initiates force in order to obtain control.

...in other words, every government on the face of the Earth.  Again, the Wikipedia definition of State says nothing about the legitimacy of the "political association" being requisite for Statehood, only the possession of effective dominion (a word which implies the initiation of force, i.e. domination or control).
From the fact that some people (statists) ascribe illogical qualities to the State (e.g. legitimacy), it does not follow that the State does not exist.  Catholics ascribe the quality of infallibility to the Pope, but that does not mean he does not exist.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 25, 2007, 03:01 PM NHFT
Quote
A State is only that form of government which initiates force in order to obtain control.
...in other words, every government on the face of the Earth.

Currently.  But not every possible form of government.  We all know that you are wedded to the State and cannot actually imagine anarchic societies existing, but a good percentage of the rest of us can...

Again, the Wikipedia definition of State says nothing about the legitimacy of the "political association" being requisite for Statehood, only the possession of effective dominion (a word which implies the initiation of force, i.e. domination or control).

Wikipedia is not an authoritative source.  End of story.  You haven’t found any defect with the definition that those of us who are approaching this from a legitimate, philosophical standpoint are using, excepting that it apparently annoys you to be wrong all the time, and you’d rather try and pretend that others wrong, too, instead of behaving rationally and examining the evidence.

Your definition was proven faulty because it includes anarchic societies as “States.”  I’m sure you love being able to pretend that your beloved State could somehow “become” anarchy without actually going away, but you can’t eat your cake and have it, too.

From the fact that some people (statists) ascribe illogical qualities to the State (e.g. legitimacy), it does not follow that the State does not exist.  Catholics ascribe the quality of infallibility to the Pope, but that does not mean he does not exist.

Infallibility is property which has a non-zero probability of existence.  It is logically possible for a Pope to be infallible.  I think it highly unlikely, but I can’t in any rational manner rule it out.

“Right to initiate force” has no possibility of existence.  The two are not comparable.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 25, 2007, 03:14 PM NHFT

Wikipedia is not an authoritative source.  End of story.  You haven’t found any defect with the definition that those of us who are approaching this from a legitimate, philosophical standpoint are using, excepting that it apparently annoys you to be wrong all the time, and you’d rather try and pretend that others wrong, too, instead of behaving rationally and examining the evidence.

Your definition was proven faulty because it includes anarchic societies as “States.”  I’m sure you love being able to pretend that your beloved State could somehow “become” anarchy without actually going away, but you can’t eat your cake and have it, too.

Then what would be an authoritative source? 

How can you have any rational and logical examination of any subject without defining your terms?  You say that wikipedia is not authoritative or reliable.  Then perhaps you can identify a better source.  Actually, what I would like to see is any source that supports your point of view. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 25, 2007, 04:03 PM NHFT
How can you have any rational and logical examination of any subject without defining your terms?

I did define the term.  Numerous times.

You say that wikipedia is not authoritative or reliable.  Then perhaps you can identify a better source.  Actually, what I would like to see is any source that supports your point of view.

I already gave you a definition.  I'm not claiming that it is right because it comes from some "authority," and that would be the only reason to source it.  I have presented it as independently correct, and no one has demonstrated (or even attempted to demonstrate) any fault in it.

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 25, 2007, 04:58 PM NHFT

I already gave you a definition.  I'm not claiming that it is right because it comes from some "authority," and that would be the only reason to source it.  I have presented it as independently correct, and no one has demonstrated (or even attempted to demonstrate) any fault in it.


Yes, I know you have given a definition.  What I would like to know is why your definition should be accepted over that of the one provided by wikipedia?  What makes your definition more authoritative than theirs?   

No one can demonstrate any fault in your definition?  So posting an alternative definition is not an attempt at demonstrating a fault in your definition?

Here is a definition from Auburn Political Science Department which works pretty well.  It is more specific

"A specialized type of political organization characterized by a full-time, specialized, professional work force of tax-collectors, soldiers, policemen, bureaucrats and the like that exercises supreme political authority over a defined territory with a permanent population, independent from any enduring external political control and possessing a local predominance of coercive power (always supplemented with moral and remunerative incentives as well) great enough to maintain general obedience to its laws or commands within its territorial borders.

http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/state

Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 25, 2007, 06:53 PM NHFT
I already gave you a definition.  I'm not claiming that it is right because it comes from some "authority," and that would be the only reason to source it.  I have presented it as independently correct, and no one has demonstrated (or even attempted to demonstrate) any fault in it.
Yes, I know you have given a definition.  What I would like to know is why your definition should be accepted over that of the one provided by wikipedia?  What makes your definition more authoritative than theirs?

Nothing makes it “more authoritative.”  I have no interest in asserting authority over others.

No one can demonstrate any fault in your definition?  So posting an alternative definition is not an attempt at demonstrating a fault in your definition?

No, it’s not.  It’s whining that you dislike my definition.  Demonstrating fault is something along the lines of: “your definition cannot be accurate, because it includes anarchic societies as ‘States’.”

Here is a definition from Auburn Political Science Department which works pretty well.  It is more specific

"A specialized type of political organization characterized by a full-time, specialized, professional work force of tax-collectors, soldiers, policemen, bureaucrats and the like that exercises supreme political authority over a defined territory with a permanent population, independent from any enduring external political control and possessing a local predominance of coercive power (always supplemented with moral and remunerative incentives as well) great enough to maintain general obedience to its laws or commands within its territorial borders.

http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/state

Uh, that concurs with my definition, and not the Wikipedia definition [emphasis added to demonstrate], although it is excessively specific - an elegant definition should include the minimum necessary to isolate the entity being defined, without extraneous comments (eg, tax-collectors, which might not be necessary).

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 25, 2007, 08:45 PM NHFT
Nothing makes it “more authoritative.”  I have no interest in asserting authority over others.

The dictionary is our friend. 

au·thor·i·ta·tive (?-thôr'?-t?'t?v, ?-th?r'-, ô-thôr'-, ô-th?r'-) pronunciation
adj.

   1. Having or arising from authority; official: an authoritative decree; authoritative sources.
   2. Of acknowledged accuracy or excellence; highly reliable: an authoritative account of the revolution.
   3. Wielding authority; commanding: the captain's authoritative manner.

No, it’s not.  It’s whining that you dislike my definition.  Demonstrating fault is something along the lines of: “your definition cannot be accurate, because it includes anarchic societies as ‘States’.”
I dislike your definition because it is wrong.  Your definition has been demonstrated to be wrong because it is at odds with every definition I have found.

Uh, that concurs with my definition, and not the Wikipedia definition, although it is excessively specific - an elegant definition should include the minimum necessary to isolate the entity being defined, without extraneous comments (eg, tax-collectors, which might not be necessary).

You have been saying all along that the state is mythical.  Now you are pretending that this is what you have been saying all along?  You are just full of bullshit. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 25, 2007, 08:56 PM NHFT
Nothing makes it “more authoritative.”  I have no interest in asserting authority over others.
The dictionary is our friend. 

au·thor·i·ta·tive (?-thôr'?-t?'t?v, ?-th?r'-, ô-thôr'-, ô-th?r'-) pronunciation
adj.

   1. Having or arising from authority; official: an authoritative decree; authoritative sources.
   2. Of acknowledged accuracy or excellence; highly reliable: an authoritative account of the revolution.
   3. Wielding authority; commanding: the captain's authoritative manner.

I’m well aware of the definition of authoritative.  I’m the one who used it, remember?

And this exactly fits my statement.

No, it’s not.  It’s whining that you dislike my definition.  Demonstrating fault is something along the lines of: “your definition cannot be accurate, because it includes anarchic societies as ‘States’.”
I dislike your definition because it is wrong.  Your definition has been demonstrated to be wrong because it is at odds with every definition I have found.

Except for the one you copied from the Auburn Political Science Department, apparently, since that one not only goes along with the definition I gave, but adds further restrictions.

Uh, that concurs with my definition, and not the Wikipedia definition, although it is excessively specific - an elegant definition should include the minimum necessary to isolate the entity being defined, without extraneous comments (eg, tax-collectors, which might not be necessary).
You have been saying all along that the state is mythical.  Now you are pretending that this is what you have been saying all along?  You are just full of bullshit.[/quote]

“Pretending”?  What sense does that make?  This is what I’ve been saying.  I bold-faced the portions of that definition, which lined up pretty well with the definition that I gave.

The State is non-real, because no entity possessing those properties can possible exist in reality.

Or are you going to argue that an entity having the right to initiate force can actually exist?

Joe
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: anthonybpugh on November 25, 2007, 09:16 PM NHFT
You define the state as being mythical.  That is the aspect of your definition I disagree with. 
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: Vitruvian on November 25, 2007, 09:27 PM NHFT
Quote
The State is non-real, because no entity possessing those properties can possible exist in reality.

The only property you have described as impossible is the "right to initiate force," which is a contradiction in terms.  No one on this thread has ever argued that the State can or should have this "right," neither has any definition presented of the word State contained such a "right," no matter what you may think you read.  Hence, both the Wikipedia and AU definitions are valid because they provide an accurate description of a real organization.

You are wasting your "breath" trying to paint me as a statist.  Anyone who knows me would laugh at you for saying it, and anyone who reads this thread will see your transparent attempt to smear your opposition.  The fact that you would resort to these tactics only proves to them and me that your argument is the weaker.
Title: Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
Post by: MaineShark on November 25, 2007, 09:41 PM NHFT
You define the state as being mythical.  That is the aspect of your definition I disagree with.

I never stated that the definition of the State includes it being mythical.  Logic insists that it is mythical, based upon its definition.

Quote
The State is non-real, because no entity possessing those properties can possible exist in reality.
The only property you have described as impossible is the "right to initiate force," which is a contradiction in terms.  No one on this thread has eve