New Hampshire Underground

New Hampshire Underground => Voluntaryism/Anarchism => Topic started by: jaqeboy on December 04, 2007, 10:41 PM NHFT

Title: Anti-politics
Post by: jaqeboy on December 04, 2007, 10:41 PM NHFT
Brad Spangler on anti-politics and links to his exposition on the differences between anarcho-capitalism and agorism:

===================

  anti-politics
Posted by: "Brad Spangler" brad_spangler@yahoo.com   brad_spangler (http://profiles.yahoo.com/brad_spangler)
Tue Dec 4, 2007 9:59 am (PST)
I hope to have more in reply to it later, but David Gordon has a new
piece up attacking the anti-political perspective as part of the
Paulian effort to leave no potential voter un-hectored.

"An Open Letter To Libertarians on Ron Paul"
http://www.lewrockwell.com/gordon/gordon31.html

While I was working on a larger piece addressing that and the general
Rockwell et al tendency of late to muddy the waters while attacking
"left libertarians" [said tendency noted here:
http://www.bradspangler.com/blog/archives/866], I stopped and put
together a shorter post that I hope addresses well a certain aspect of
Gordon is saying.

That post:

"Distinguishing between anarcho-capitalism and agorism"
http://www.bradspangler.com/blog/archives/867

Rockwell and company could end up doing us a favor if they keep
lobbing softballs at us, but we have to be able to exploit that by
replying and replying well. Suggest riffing on the themes I touched on
above.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: David on December 04, 2007, 11:31 PM NHFT
Brad Spangler links to Dale's Anarchy in your head.   :)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 05, 2007, 12:37 AM NHFT
Brad Spangler links to Dale's Anarchy in your head.   :)

The URL linked to is "http:///" ...  :-\
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: KBCraig on December 05, 2007, 04:07 AM NHFT
Brad Spangler links to Dale's Anarchy in your head.   :)

The URL linked to is "http:///" ...  :-\


It's Anarchy on His Hard Drive. Easy mistake.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 05, 2007, 07:43 AM NHFT
Someone was wondering if discussions like this were "allowed" .... I was thinking that this is about what I had in mind for our forum. :)
I also said I like all of Jack's posts.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: jaqeboy on December 05, 2007, 09:29 AM NHFT
aw, shucks  :blush:
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Eli on December 05, 2007, 10:01 AM NHFT
A lesson in ecology, when you clear out the competing animals (politics,) different animals have a chance to thrive.

Maybe it's really a lesson in husbandry.  Seems like your a good husband Russell.

Sorry, I can't ever resist a pun.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Kat Kanning on December 05, 2007, 10:53 AM NHFT
Russell's a great husband  :D
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 05, 2007, 11:44 AM NHFT
I just hate puns
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: grasshopper on December 06, 2007, 02:12 PM NHFT
 ::)   Hmmm, Politics and anti-politics.  If they both meet, will they destroy each other? ;D
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Eli on December 07, 2007, 03:05 PM NHFT
Please don't ban puns Russell.  I wouldn't know what to do :)

If politics and antipolitics collide and annihalate that will be fine.  No more elections or demonstrations.  Just freedom.

::Is edited to If::
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: grasshopper on December 07, 2007, 09:41 PM NHFT
Please don't ban puns Russell.  I wouldn't know what to do :)

Is politics and antipolitics collide and annihalate that will be fine.  No more elections or demonstrations.  Just freedom.

   Thanks ;D
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: David on December 08, 2007, 12:39 AM NHFT

Is politics and antipolitics collide and annihalate that will be fine.  No more elections or demonstrations.  Just freedom.
That would not be a bad thing.   :)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: SethCohn on December 08, 2007, 08:36 AM NHFT
Ah, but I'll remain the ghost in the machine....  >:D

Strike me down, and I will rise more powerful than before... Oh wait, that was ObiWan.  Never mind.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Auntie Republicrat on December 08, 2007, 07:43 PM NHFT
Let’s define the term “politics.” It seems it can amount to no more or less than “a competition of ideas about government.” When you boil it down, “politics” amounts to
'Auntie's' ideas about how “the best government” ‘ought to be’/‘operate’ vs. how YOU think ‘it’ should operate vs. how Rush Blowhard thinks it should operate vs. how Dubya Bush,  John Skerry, Osama, etc. 6 billion others think “the best or just or perfect etc. government” ought to be!..It seems it certainly could be an interesting, healthy competition if it were done in a rational, honest way..

But 'politics' today is an obvious stinking fraud..dominated by the cho$en few 'viable Republicrat candidates' whose stinking 'ideas' have been deemed as no threat to the exi$ting, stinking Republicrat order!..  ;)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: TackleTheWorld on December 08, 2007, 09:03 PM NHFT
Welcome Auntie

When you begin by defining your terms we know you are way too honest to be involved politics.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 09, 2007, 01:45 PM NHFT
that is true .... can you imagine guys wanting to define terms and be clear during a debate .... except bush .. he has to explain strategery
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 10, 2007, 11:25 AM NHFT
When you begin by defining your terms we know you are way too honest to be involved politics.

Dunno about that… I wouldn’t consider that politician who tried to define what is means to be particular honest… ;D
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Kat Kanning on December 10, 2007, 11:57 AM NHFT
LOL  :D
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 10, 2007, 12:04 PM NHFT
But 'politics' today is an obvious stinking fraud..dominated by the cho$en few 'viable Republicrat candidates' whose stinking 'ideas' have been deemed as no threat to the exi$ting, stinking Republicrat order!..  ;)

But if we don't support the Republicrats, then the dreaded Demoblicans will take over! :o

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 11, 2007, 11:10 AM NHFT
Stefan is not succinct, but if you can make the time, this is a great video to watch. In it, he suggests the difficult things we really need to do to achieve personal freedom.

[youtube=425,350]0z-fhCFkISM[/youtube]

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0z-fhCFkISM

He's WAY more long-winded than he needs to be but to summarize, he suggests that we must have the courage and conviction to challenge our "friends", those who believe in aggressive government, by tacking on two very crucial words: "against me". The idea is to drive the point home that they are advocating violence for beliefs. An example he gives is you're against the Iraq war while your friend is for it. Tell your friend that you don't think they should be shot for supporting the Iraq war. They should scoff at this as if it were obvious. Then ask your friend if you choose not to personally support the Iraq war by not paying taxes, do they believe you should be shot for it. Do you advocate violence "against me" in response to my beliefs? Do they advocate locking you in a prison of violence and "anal rape" for your beliefs? If they do, then accept the reality that they are not your friend. Apply the principle of social ostracism to violent people right now.

It's a powerful video.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Insurgent on December 11, 2007, 08:08 PM NHFT
Stefan is not succinct, but if you can make the time, this is a great video to watch. In it, he suggests the difficult things we really need to do to achieve personal freedom.

[youtube=425,350]0z-fhCFkISM[/youtube]

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0z-fhCFkISM

He's WAY more long-winded than he needs to be but to summarize, he suggests that we must have the courage and conviction to challenge our "friends", those who believe in aggressive government, by tacking on two very crucial words: "against me". The idea is to drive the point home that they are advocating violence for beliefs. An example he gives is you're against the Iraq war while your friend is for it. Tell your friend that you don't think they should be shot for supporting the Iraq war. They should scoff at this as if it were obvious. Then ask your friend if you choose not to personally support the Iraq war by not paying taxes, do they believe you should be shot for it. Do you advocate violence "against me" in response to my beliefs? Do they advocate locking you in a prison of violence and "anal rape" for your beliefs? If they do, then accept the reality that they are not your friend. Apply the principle of social ostracism to violent people right now.

It's a powerful video.


This is possibly the most liberating way that I have ever heard freedom explained. It really does come down to that simple question. Since I've moved to NH, it's not so much an issue with my friends, but let's see if I have the integrity to ask it of my family...
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Vitruvian on December 11, 2007, 10:25 PM NHFT
Quote from: Insurgent
This is possibly the most liberating way that I have ever heard freedom explained. It really does come down to that simple question. Since I've moved to NH, it's not so much an issue with my friends, but let's see if I have the integrity to ask it of my family...

Same here.  I have only scratched the surface of this question with my parents.  I hope I have the courage to ask the rest of my family.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 11, 2007, 11:44 PM NHFT
I agree in many ways ... you do find out who your friends are when they choose the thugs side against you .... but I don't know if you have to cut them out of your life. You just do realize that they are on the other side.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 12, 2007, 01:42 PM NHFT
It does kind of soften the message though, don't you think? I mean, if someone advocates violence against you for exercising your non-violent beliefs, and you just kind of hang with them... I think the idea is to make sure they know the blood is on THEIR hands. We all love to delegate the violence to someone else, politicians, police, military, but until people take personal responsibility for all the violence out there, the buck will keep getting passed and nothing will change. We'll all feel nice and cozy and moral while others do our dirty work for us.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 12, 2007, 05:39 PM NHFT
It is interesting when you make it concrete and personal.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 13, 2007, 01:13 AM NHFT
I agree in many ways ... you do find out who your friends are when they choose the thugs side against you .... but I don't know if you have to cut them out of your life. You just do realize that they are on the other side.

I feel ya' here, but I think there's something else important in what Stefan has to say in his podcasts and videos. If our minarchist friends won't back down from their positions there are two possibilities. One is that they openly or secretly do want to be able to use force of violence to get what they want out of us and others. If this is the case, they're dangerous, and not worth associating with. Anybody who genuinely wants me imprisoned or shot for what I believe in has no place in my good graces. The other (far more likely) possibility is that they do not want to advocate the use of force, but simply can't see a way around its use for certain things. These people are more interested in non-aggression because of its efficiency and usefulness, while I'd say most of us anarchist types take it to it's logical conclusion as a moral theory. They just need to be helped to the logical conclusions of the theory. Morality isn't a tool to get society to look how you want it to, and I think that's the minarchist's hope. Unfortunately, that's the same methodology every government throughout history has used to confuse and conflate people's rational understanding of morality.

As a side note, Stefan also mentions a number of interesting arguments we can make to minarchists to "bring them over to the light side." This is in his podcast number 256 - Blaming the Citizens for the State. He makes the basic argument that if you think you can take down a powerful, entrenched, self-perpetuating leviathan like the US government from "working inside the system," that maybe you should start a little smaller first. If you can successfully infiltrate the mafia and convince them to stop being so damned violent and manage to take them down from the inside, then maybe you have a shot at the state, which will be about a million times harder than the mafia. Point is, you're never going to even get anywhere with the mafia.

This is what eventually (and very recently) turned me away from support of Ron Paul. I had been cornered into realizing that even if he was elected, that it would just be me imposing Ron Paul on people who may or may not want him. I was satisfied with this possibility, as long as promoting the Ron Paul campaign was also helping promote liberty in general. What I didn't think of until hearing freedomain radio (http://www.freedomainradio.com) podcast number 256 is that since government is like the mafia, the government would deal with Ron Paul like any violent Don would. If elected (or possibly even before elected) they would rub him out. Initially this seemed like a far-fetched idea to me, but there is so much on the line for so many people in government. So much power, so much money, so much to be had that anybody threatening it in any real way would be killed and the machine would just roll on a little faster toward police state so a "hiccup" like that didn't happen again. I came to realize that if that happened my support of Ron Paul for president (through writing, donations, word of mouth, buying shirts for relatives...everything) would implicate me. If he is harmed in any way there is a small portion of responsibility that falls in a direct line on my shoulders for helping thrust him up into the blades that chop him to bits. This possibility has had more of an effect on me than any other reasoning for or against supporting Ron Paul for president. My support of him really can put blood on my hands, even if he won't be the one using aggressive force, because it quite literally could be his blood.

It's scary to think of how easy it can be to commit or participate in violence if you're not EXTREMELY careful. I know for my part that I'll feel just terrible if anything bad happens to Ron because of my part in supporting his campaign.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 13, 2007, 06:58 AM NHFT
I still don't comprehend people as expressing themselves as anarchists, then only seeing voluntary order as the lone possible outcome. Its like suggesting the square root of one is one... but the answer is incomplete.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on December 13, 2007, 07:18 AM NHFT
I agree in many ways ... you do find out who your friends are when they choose the thugs side against you .... but I don't know if you have to cut them out of your life. You just do realize that they are on the other side.

I feel ya' here, but I think there's something else important in what Stefan has to say in his podcasts and videos. If our minarchist friends won't back down from their positions there are two possibilities. One is that they openly or secretly do want to be able to use force of violence to get what they want out of us and others. If this is the case, they're dangerous, and not worth associating with. Anybody who genuinely wants me imprisoned or shot for what I believe in has no place in my good graces. The other (far more likely) possibility is that they do not want to advocate the use of force, but simply can't see a way around its use for certain things. These people are more interested in non-aggression because of its efficiency and usefulness, while I'd say most of us anarchist types take it to it's logical conclusion as a moral theory. They just need to be helped to the logical conclusions of the theory. Morality isn't a tool to get society to look how you want it to, and I think that's the minarchist's hope. Unfortunately, that's the same methodology every government throughout history has used to confuse and conflate people's rational understanding of morality.

As a side note, Stefan also mentions a number of interesting arguments we can make to minarchists to "bring them over to the light side." This is in his podcast number 256 - Blaming the Citizens for the State. He makes the basic argument that if you think you can take down a powerful, entrenched, self-perpetuating leviathan like the US government from "working inside the system," that maybe you should start a little smaller first. If you can successfully infiltrate the mafia and convince them to stop being so damned violent and manage to take them down from the inside, then maybe you have a shot at the state, which will be about a million times harder than the mafia. Point is, you're never going to even get anywhere with the mafia.

This is what eventually (and very recently) turned me away from support of Ron Paul. I had been cornered into realizing that even if he was elected, that it would just be me imposing Ron Paul on people who may or may not want him. I was satisfied with this possibility, as long as promoting the Ron Paul campaign was also helping promote liberty in general. What I didn't think of until hearing freedomain radio (http://www.freedomainradio.com) podcast number 256 is that since government is like the mafia, the government would deal with Ron Paul like any violent Don would. If elected (or possibly even before elected) they would rub him out. Initially this seemed like a far-fetched idea to me, but there is so much on the line for so many people in government. So much power, so much money, so much to be had that anybody threatening it in any real way would be killed and the machine would just roll on a little faster toward police state so a "hiccup" like that didn't happen again. I came to realize that if that happened my support of Ron Paul for president (through writing, donations, word of mouth, buying shirts for relatives...everything) would implicate me. If he is harmed in any way there is a small portion of responsibility that falls in a direct line on my shoulders for helping thrust him up into the blades that chop him to bits. This possibility has had more of an effect on me than any other reasoning for or against supporting Ron Paul for president. My support of him really can put blood on my hands, even if he won't be the one using aggressive force, because it quite literally could be his blood.

It's scary to think of how easy it can be to commit or participate in violence if you're not EXTREMELY careful. I know for my part that I'll feel just terrible if anything bad happens to Ron because of my part in supporting his campaign.

If you're supporting RP aren't you one of the guys in sentence two(and, possibly, sentence three) of your first paragraph?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 13, 2007, 08:35 AM NHFT
If you're supporting RP aren't you one of the guys in sentence two(and, possibly, sentence three) of your first paragraph?

I was to a certain extent, but I'm no longer supporting RP (sentence 1 of paragraph 3 in my post). I had been supporting Ron Paul from a basically exploitative position of "it's good exposure for the liberty movement in general." I was willing to ignore that I'd have to vote a man into power over others, as long as it meant millions of people heard about the philosophy of freedom. That is, I was willing to ignore that until I realized that his campaign is either doomed to fail, or doomed to get him killed.

I still don't comprehend people as expressing themselves as anarchists, then only seeing voluntary order as the lone possible outcome. Its like suggesting the square root of one is one... but the answer is incomplete.


For my part, the reason I think this way is because voluntary interaction is the only moral interaction. Non-initiation of force isn't just another "position" like "drugs 'r' bad" or "social programs are good." It's not positional, but fully rational and can be argued as a system of ethics from first principals. Here's an article on Lew Rockwell explaining how basic libertarian-style ethics are arrived at from first principals and reason alone. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux7.html (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux7.html) It's by Stefan Molyneux...I hate to keep using him as an example, because it doesn't really matter who says it as long as it's verifiable as true, but his examples are just so clear, in my opinion.

You can't force freedom on anybody, otherwise they won't realize it's freedom. They'll just think it's another "position" and might discard it tomorrow just as easily as they discarded their current position as a socialist or neo-con. In addition to that, forcing freedom on other people would be a contradiction, and I consider it damaging to my integrity. This isn't to say that I want to ride off on some moral high horse every time someone disagrees with me, but I'm certainly not going to betray my principals because to do so, I would have to lie to myself, and people lying to themselves is what got us in this whole big mess (f-ed up government, f-ed up families, f-ed up human interactions) in the first place.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 13, 2007, 09:00 AM NHFT
Anarchy as in comparative 'the square root of one'... would need to be both positive and negative. As in voluntary order and voluntary chaos. Even our current system though involuntary carries both the order and chaos versions. The suggestion that a mass murderer, thief, rapist, child molester, etc... would be transformed under anarchy just doesn't seem rational to me.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 13, 2007, 09:02 AM NHFT
I still don't comprehend people as expressing themselves as anarchists, then only seeing voluntary order as the lone possible outcome.
how about the other way around? ... I want to live in a voluntary order .... what would you call that?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 13, 2007, 09:15 AM NHFT
Anarchy as in comparative 'the square root of one'... would need to be both positive and negative. As in voluntary order and voluntary chaos. Even our current system though involuntary carries both the order and chaos versions. The suggestion that a mass murderer, thief, rapist, child molester, etc... would be transformed under anarchy just doesn't seem rational to me.


I'm not sure there is a system that will get rid of all murderers, rapists, etc. But without a government, there wouldn't have been something like 250 million people killed last century. Without government, I'd be able to keep, spend, or save about twice as much money because of their current theft. Without a government, there would be less rape, because the penal system wouldn't include crowding people into prisons. I'm not sure how many people there are out there who are currently not murderers, rapists, etc. for whom the only deterrent to committing these moral crimes is government. I'm currently not a murderer, thief, or rapist, and I'll tell you it's not because it's illegal and I'd possibly get put in jail. I don't do these things because I know they're wrong, and I know the terrible psychological effect it would have on me and on my victim. If government is the only thing standing in the way of a rapist, then I'd say that's a problem for licensed psychologists to work on with that person, but not a problem anarchy creates.

Also, the free market would disincentivize these crimes from happening in the first place, but I'm sure you've heard all about that, so I won't point out examples. I'm feeling a bit like the windbag of this thread, but I'm passionately interested in this stuff!  ;D
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Auntie Republicrat on December 13, 2007, 09:47 AM NHFT
Methinks "an" (without) "archy" (rule) may be contrary to human nature..Methinks absent the village idiot Republicrats coercing us, other entities (maybe the regional chapter of 'The Hell's Angels') will, rather quickly, fill the void..

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- (attributed to Plato)

Methinks maybe the reason so many are disgusted with 'politics'/political competitions is that we understand the fraudulent nature of these 'competitions'..

..For example, in this country we have somewhat elaborate systems in place in order to decide “the championships” of mere sports competitions. (Btw, I like sports but doesn’t it seem a little out of whack when hours upon hours of live tv, radio, media reportage,  etc. are devoted to decide who the ball champions are when the competitions/races for government office to decide who, in effect, has the power of life and death over us etc., are given such short shrift?!?!.

Think about it! It seems to me in honest competitions the participants, players, teams, etc. go at it head-to-head in numerous hard fought contests before a champion is crowned..
  
But in political ‘competitions’ we are all witness to the fraud:…phony, puny debates where the stinking Republicrat participants (My apologies to Ron Paul and maybe Mike Gravel alone and ever amongst these Republicrat stinkers!) are told the softball questions they will be asked beforehand!!

…In FACT, in political competitions it isn’t so much the ACTUAL PARTICIPANTS who go head-to-head in honest debate. It’s the stinking Republicrat surrogates:..the announcers, the “color men”…”the cheerleaders” if you will..(Rush stinking Windbag, Shill O'Rielly, etc. Republican/crat cheerleaders, smear-artists, liars, etc. scum)  

And so it is revealed…the competition of ideas about government aka “politics” is OBVIOUSLY a stinking fraud..my question is why do so many Republicrats and decent people continue to support, in any way, the Republicrat fraud artists who perpetuate this hideous spectacle...  >:(
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 13, 2007, 09:49 AM NHFT
Anarchy will not solve all problems. You've fallen for the notion that government is currently doing a good job of protecting us from those things. Government mostly just tries to "look busy" (note the drug war and all the tickets they give out for victimless crimes) while taxing us for that "service". I've always contended that it's not doing a good job at all but it is giving people an illusion of security. Taking that illusion away would make us safer because then people would start taking more personal responsibility for their own safety which really would make them safer.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 13, 2007, 11:14 AM NHFT
I believe that no system even a totalitarian one has only order... chaos might not be as noticed, but it exists. Sort of a Yin and Yang thing.

I have no illusions on 'government'.

The 'looking busy', I refer to as institutionalization. It occurs when something no longer serves a purpose, so other purposes are discovered for its continued existance.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 14, 2007, 02:32 PM NHFT
The suggestion that a mass murderer, thief, rapist, child molester, etc... would be transformed under anarchy just doesn't seem rational to me.

They're welcome to be transformed into corpses, if they choose.

Without government, I'd be able to keep, spend, or save about twice as much money because of their current theft.

Eight times as much.  At least.

The income tax isn't the only tax or expense of government.  That's just part of it.  There are taxes on most products, taxes on fuel used to deliver the products, taxes on everything.  There are costs associated with complying with regulations.  With keeping records the exact way that the government requires.  With hiring "licensed" professionals.

At least 7/8, and as much as 9/10 (depending on whom you are) of your productive capacity is sapped by the government in one way or another.

Imagine working for 10 hours per week and living twice as well as you currently do.  That's anarchy for you.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 14, 2007, 04:31 PM NHFT
At least 7/8, and as much as 9/10 (depending on whom you are) of your productive capacity is sapped by the government in one way or another.

That's not even taking into account the kinds of technological progress and other innovations we may have made by now without being held back by government. Your estimate is probably still on the conservative side.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 14, 2007, 04:38 PM NHFT
That's not even taking into account the kinds of technological progress and other innovations we may have made by now without being held back by government. Your estimate is probably still on the conservative side.

Indeed.  I like to play it safe in such things.

It's hard to put a monetary value on the "what-ifs," but I think getting a 900% raise (or increase in free time, or some ratio) would be a good incentive, without the need to worry about that...

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Pat K on December 14, 2007, 05:40 PM NHFT
"Methinks "an" (without) "archy" (rule) may be contrary to human nature..Methinks absent the village idiot Republicrats coercing us, other entities (maybe the regional chapter of 'The Hell's Angels') will, rather quickly, fill the void.."
 

How does the Goverment stop, the Hells Angels
or any other criminal from coercing you now?

Answer they don't.
They may take a report and clean up the bodies.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on December 14, 2007, 10:25 PM NHFT
I would rather risk the hit or miss problems that might occur in the absence of government that the 'institutionalized' problems that come with it
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 15, 2007, 01:53 AM NHFT
exactly ... the current police state couldn't be replicated by any smaller band of non-government criminals ... it takes a government to have this much control
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Auntie Republicrat on December 15, 2007, 08:47 AM NHFT
Dalebert wrote: "You've fallen for the notion that government is currently doing a good job of protecting us from those things. Government mostly just tries to "look busy" (note the drug war and all the tickets they give out for victimless crimes) while taxing us for that "service". I've always contended that it's not doing a good job at all but it is giving people an illusion of security."

Methinks many/most of you are guilty of committing "the fallacy of reification" with respect to 'government'..

..i.e. you make claims that 'the government' 'did/does this' or 'did/does that'..when, in reality, "the government" is merely a concept and/or label..and hopefully, all of us can understand that concepts, labels, etc. don't/can't 'do' anything...only real, living people can, for example, 'look busy,' 'tax' us, etc. ad nauseam..'government,' in reality, can't 'look busy' or 'tax' us..

I view 'government' as 'organized force/coercion'..and I think anyone making claims that they can/would 'end government' are seriously mistaken..

..as humans are prone to dispute, coercion, etc. and WILL use 'government,' of some sort, initially and/or in response..

Although I certainly understand the frustration with 'government'..as it seems the most wise, prudent, etc. among us shun the stinking 'government'..leaving 'government' open to the most stoooooopid, easily-duped, loutish Republicrat types among us..

..but it seems there are some rather simple ways to improve the quality of 'government'..rather quickly, dramatically, imo..

('you may say that i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one')  ;)         
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 15, 2007, 12:49 PM NHFT
Auntie, you'll find most of them have little background in basics. MaineShark talks about the taxing of fuel, but doesn't equate it with the cost of maintenance of roads. Does one believe that the system has inefficiencies? Point them out. For it is fact that it has no ROI, which is required of capitalism.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 16, 2007, 06:23 AM NHFT
If he is harmed in any way there is a small portion of responsibility that falls in a direct line on my shoulders for helping thrust him up into the blades that chop him to bits. This possibility has had more of an effect on me than any other reasoning for or against supporting Ron Paul for president. My support of him really can put blood on my hands, even if he won't be the one using aggressive force, because it quite literally could be his blood.

Ultimately, there’s a chance that many of the freedom activists you’re going to be working with in New Hampshire could be killed as a result of their activism—activism in which you would be involved. Will you refuse to attend a protest because of the small possibility that the cops might show up, might try to arrest some people, and ultimately someone might get shot?

It sounds to me like you were just looking for a rationale, and found one.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: picaro on December 16, 2007, 08:26 AM NHFT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTuq7CDTNIM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTuq7CDTNIM)

you'll say yeah to anything
if you believe all this but
don't cry, don't do anything
no lies, back in the government
no tears, party time is here again

president gas is up for president
line up, put your kisses down
say yeah, say yes again
stand up, there's a head count
president gas on everything but roller skates
it's sick sick the price of medicine
stand up, we'll put you on your feet again

open up your eyes
just to check that you're asleep again

president gas is president gas again
he comes in from the left sometimes
he comes in from the right
it's so heavily advertised that he wants you and i
it's a real cowboy set, electric company
every day is happy days
it's hell without the sin, but
don't cry, don't do anything
no lies, back in the government
no tears, party time is here again
president gas is up for president

--Psychedelic Furs
_Forever Now_ "President Gas" (1982)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTuq7CDTNIM
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 16, 2007, 09:42 AM NHFT
If he is harmed in any way there is a small portion of responsibility that falls in a direct line on my shoulders for helping thrust him up into the blades that chop him to bits. This possibility has had more of an effect on me than any other reasoning for or against supporting Ron Paul for president. My support of him really can put blood on my hands, even if he won't be the one using aggressive force, because it quite literally could be his blood.

Ultimately, there’s a chance that many of the freedom activists you’re going to be working with in New Hampshire could be killed as a result of their activism—activism in which you would be involved. Will you refuse to attend a protest because of the small possibility that the cops might show up, might try to arrest some people, and ultimately someone might get shot?

It sounds to me like you were just looking for a rationale, and found one.

Hm, that's a good point. I'm not entirely sure I'd find myself at any protests, but for different reasons from the potential for violence. If I'm really interested in anarchism, then I'm going to want to avoid any situation where I'm shouting at the government, indignant with what they've done. If it's completely clear that they're immoral, the last thing I want to do is publicly wag my finger at them, or beg them to change in any way...I just want nothing to do with them. Just like I wouldn't chide a friend who beat me up every day for a week no matter what I said, and try to convert him to anarcho-capitalism or the non-aggression principal. I would simply stop associating with him altogether.

These are all newer ideas that are rolling around in my head, and they're certainly up for review at this point, but I think it's important to take a moral system like anarchism to its logical conclusions. If the government really is an amazingly powerful, entrenched, wealthy-beyond-reason, and (it makes me sick to my stomach) thought of as moral by many many people...if this organization does exist as such, then there is no point in asking, begging, suggesting, or hoping it changes. An election doesn't change the nature of government. It never has. Never. A democratic vote is a suggestion box for the slaves. Similarly a protest doesn't change the mind of a statist, it just shows him (in his mind) how the statist position is right. It seems to me that the most moral, rational, and effective method of converting people to the ideas of freedom is to live free ourselves. To lead by example, and engage people in any and every way possible on that topic. Casting stones against the side of a mountain will only make us look crazy. Living free in our own lives, showing people what integrity looks like, remaining true to our principals and following them to their logical conclusions, not putting up with unchosen obligations in our own lives...these are the things we can do to affect more of a change than a toddler trying to tie down the giant helium balloon of the state.

Like I said, these are all newer ideas to me, and they're completely up for review in my mind. That said, it seems rational. It seems valid. I don't mean in any way to discount the intentions of anybody who regularly participates in protest, but I'm interested to see what change can come from a protest. Women's rights protests succeeded, but made the state bigger (2x the amount of taxation now that women are in the workforce), civil rights protests succeeded, but made the state bigger (welfare plagues minority communities with helplessness and indifference). It seems to me that the government is fine appeasing a large enough movement of protestors, but it does so by giving them a hand in the tax jar. We don't want a hand in the tax jar. We don't want there to be a tax jar in the first place. The problem of trying to change the government is that it (along with millions of people in this country) has a vested interest in keeping that money around. Changing the government's mind on this one is like trying to change Led Zepplin into 50 Cent. It's just not going to happen.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 16, 2007, 10:17 AM NHFT
These are all newer ideas that are rolling around in my head, and they're certainly up for review at this point, but I think it's important to take a moral system like anarchism to its logical conclusions. If the government really is an amazingly powerful, entrenched, wealthy-beyond-reason, and (it makes me sick to my stomach) thought of as moral by many many people...if this organization does exist as such, then there is no point in asking, begging, suggesting, or hoping it changes. An election doesn't change the nature of government. It never has. Never. A democratic vote is a suggestion box for the slaves.

If you can elect people to office who actually plan to block or repeal the worst laws, you can change the government. Perhaps not it’s fundamental nature, but at least you’re lessening the burden it places on people.

We’re doing this already (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06) in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance (http://www.nhliberty.org/) is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate forum (http://www.nhliberty.org/forum) where all the political work is taking place.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 16, 2007, 10:27 AM NHFT
These are all newer ideas that are rolling around in my head, and they're certainly up for review at this point, but I think it's important to take a moral system like anarchism to its logical conclusions. If the government really is an amazingly powerful, entrenched, wealthy-beyond-reason, and (it makes me sick to my stomach) thought of as moral by many many people...if this organization does exist as such, then there is no point in asking, begging, suggesting, or hoping it changes. An election doesn't change the nature of government. It never has. Never. A democratic vote is a suggestion box for the slaves.

If you can elect people to office who actually plan to block or repeal the worst laws, you can change the government. Perhaps not it’s fundamental nature, but at least you’re lessening the burden it places on people.

We’re doing this already (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06) in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance (http://www.nhliberty.org/) is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate forum (http://www.nhliberty.org/forum) where all the political work is taking place.

I agree that you'll be able to repeal certain laws and lessen the tax burden to a certain (though I think small) extent from within the government. That seems plausible, even likely to happen. What I'm confused about is what a libertarian government would do to eliminate welfare and farm subsidy programs. Things like this affect people directly, and they'll feel like you're stealing from them. They'll lobby for your ouster and vote democrats back in. The government isn't only as big as the number of bureaucrats and representatives, its roots stretch deep into society. Your neighbor whose sister would have to depend on if there wasn't welfare. The 50-year-old plumber who depends on the existence of a licensing racket to keep out the younger competition. The farmer who relies on the government as an insurance policy against a bad crop. That's the trouble I have with it. The idea of getting people into government to change around its insides makes sense until you take a look at what would happen in each specific instance when you tried to shut down a program (welfare, farm subsidy, public education...etc.)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 16, 2007, 11:29 AM NHFT
These are all newer ideas that are rolling around in my head, and they're certainly up for review at this point, but I think it's important to take a moral system like anarchism to its logical conclusions. If the government really is an amazingly powerful, entrenched, wealthy-beyond-reason, and (it makes me sick to my stomach) thought of as moral by many many people...if this organization does exist as such, then there is no point in asking, begging, suggesting, or hoping it changes. An election doesn't change the nature of government. It never has. Never. A democratic vote is a suggestion box for the slaves.

If you can elect people to office who actually plan to block or repeal the worst laws, you can change the government. Perhaps not it’s fundamental nature, but at least you’re lessening the burden it places on people.

We’re doing this already (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06) in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance (http://www.nhliberty.org/) is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate forum (http://www.nhliberty.org/forum) where all the political work is taking place.

I agree that you'll be able to repeal certain laws and lessen the tax burden to a certain (though I think small) extent from within the government. That seems plausible, even likely to happen. What I'm confused about is what a libertarian government would do to eliminate welfare and farm subsidy programs. Things like this affect people directly, and they'll feel like you're stealing from them. They'll lobby for your ouster and vote democrats back in. The government isn't only as big as the number of bureaucrats and representatives, its roots stretch deep into society. Your neighbor whose sister would have to depend on if there wasn't welfare. The 50-year-old plumber who depends on the existence of a licensing racket to keep out the younger competition. The farmer who relies on the government as an insurance policy against a bad crop. That's the trouble I have with it. The idea of getting people into government to change around its insides makes sense until you take a look at what would happen in each specific instance when you tried to shut down a program (welfare, farm subsidy, public education...etc.)

We’d replace government-run programs with private charities first. We already have a very string voluntaryist ethos among most freestaters here. The mainstream likes to paint libertarians as a bunch of selfish, laissez-faire types who want to work on the government-cutting side, but only say “the market will provide” for the rest. But we’re tackling both sides.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 16, 2007, 11:29 AM NHFT
I would hope that the least the Ron Paul antagonists could do is just use your energy on attack the other candidates or the system or going out and doing civil disobedience but to sit there and spend time coming up with ways to hurt the Ron Paul movement is just mind boggling to me.

OK, speaking my mind honestly is not "coming up with ways" which makes it sound contrived. I don't want to hurt the Ron Paul movement. I'm trying to take some of that wasted and quite possibly harmful energy (IMHO) and channel it in a productive direction. I even pointed out that I don't expect to reach many people right now. There is a fervor surrounding this campaign that I liken to religious fanatics. But I am going to speak my mind because my own path to a liberty philosophy included plenty of times when I vehemently disagreed with an idea only to later accept it once I had more information. In fact, you do a little searching and you can find a thread where I argue the other side of this very argument! Actually, I think it was that semblance of religious fanaticism that helped me to step back and take a good hard look at this movement.

This is how most idealistic social/political movements usually end up collapsing: The purists within the group start attacking those that aren’t, wasting everyone’s time. Ultimately, two or more factions emerge, each a fraction of the strength of the previous group.

Using the word "purist" demonstrates a failure to understand where I stand. It's watering down my position- a straw man tactic. Let's be clear on where I stand if you want to debate about where we disagree.

To say that political activity is harmful to the the liberty movement would also be watering down my position. Political activity is the very antithesis of liberty. The notion that it is acceptable for a mob to impose a leader on others IS the problem. If you want to know what my goals are, it is to change actions. It is literally to change the means by which we approach problems. This is what is meant by "The means is the end." Holy fucking shit! What is it going to take to convey this very simple concept? If my goal is to convince people that violence is an unacceptable means to their ends, how does using violence convince anyone? How hypocritical is that? Hell, "hypocrisy" is a watered down term for what I'm trying to express. This is a complete oxymoron, a complete break down in logic, a paradox that cannot exist. I am trying to do my part to affect a culture shift away from using violence to solve problems. This homeopathic solution of installing a softer tyrant is nonsensical and takes us in the opposite direction of the real goal. I realize that you disagree and I expect debate, but do not water down my position so that you can argue against purism instead of my real position.

So in a way, I guess you are right about my feeling that politically active anarchists are "almost there" and therefore worth my attention. I feel my hope is to start brushfires in the minds of a tireless minority so that they can go out and spread the word. I flat out do not believe in minarchy any more than I believe in unicorns. Minarchy is a paradox. You cannot shrink aggression by convincing people it's necessary but just needs to be smaller. Collectivism doesn't work that way. There is a massive culture shift that needs to take place for us to achieve any measure of liberty. To shrink the violence, you first have to convince people that it's evil and wrong in no uncertain terms. It's not a thing that we're fighting and this is crucial to my point. It's an activity. The state is equivalent to a means, an activity, a route of violence and coercion. That's what I'm trying to shrink. When anarchists go out and use political activity, it's as if we had this conversation where we all agree that aggression is bad and we absolutely must convince people to use non-violent means to their ends, and they all went out and just started using violence! It's mind-blowingly nonsensical to me. Sure, I want to convince all those other non-anarchists to reject violence as a means, but I'm swimming upstream against other supposed anarchists who claim to agree with me but are spreading the opposite message! How can I hope to convince pro-violence people that violence is an unacceptable means when I can't convince anti-violence people that violence is an unacceptable means? OMG. My head is going to explode!

The Ron Paul cartoon is not about Ron Paul! It's about the paradox of engaging in the very activity that you're trying to tell everyone is wrong. He's the perfect example because he's such a good guy who's reaching lots of poeple, and yet he is using that energy to send the completely wrong message. The Ron Paul cartoon is showing that even a good guy like him cannot violate the very laws of logic. To say we can convince people to stop being violent with violence is the contradiction that demonstrates why the "ring" (violence) cannot be used for good (non-violence).
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 16, 2007, 11:54 AM NHFT
These are all newer ideas that are rolling around in my head, and they're certainly up for review at this point, but I think it's important to take a moral system like anarchism to its logical conclusions. If the government really is an amazingly powerful, entrenched, wealthy-beyond-reason, and (it makes me sick to my stomach) thought of as moral by many many people...if this organization does exist as such, then there is no point in asking, begging, suggesting, or hoping it changes. An election doesn't change the nature of government. It never has. Never. A democratic vote is a suggestion box for the slaves.

If you can elect people to office who actually plan to block or repeal the worst laws, you can change the government. Perhaps not it’s fundamental nature, but at least you’re lessening the burden it places on people.

We’re doing this already (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06) in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance (http://www.nhliberty.org/) is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate forum (http://www.nhliberty.org/forum) where all the political work is taking place.

I agree that you'll be able to repeal certain laws and lessen the tax burden to a certain (though I think small) extent from within the government. That seems plausible, even likely to happen. What I'm confused about is what a libertarian government would do to eliminate welfare and farm subsidy programs. Things like this affect people directly, and they'll feel like you're stealing from them. They'll lobby for your ouster and vote democrats back in. The government isn't only as big as the number of bureaucrats and representatives, its roots stretch deep into society. Your neighbor whose sister would have to depend on if there wasn't welfare. The 50-year-old plumber who depends on the existence of a licensing racket to keep out the younger competition. The farmer who relies on the government as an insurance policy against a bad crop. That's the trouble I have with it. The idea of getting people into government to change around its insides makes sense until you take a look at what would happen in each specific instance when you tried to shut down a program (welfare, farm subsidy, public education...etc.)

We’d replace government-run programs with private charities first. We already have a very string voluntaryist ethos among most freestaters here. The mainstream likes to paint libertarians as a bunch of selfish, laissez-faire types who want to work on the government-cutting side, but only say “the market will provide” for the rest. But we’re tackling both sides.

Switching to private charities would still not solve the problem of people being invested in the current system. For instance, education. The idea of switching to a marketized eduction system would really cheese off current public school teachers. They're unionized and paid through the force of taxation and have no real competition. Many of them, as a result, are really bad at their jobs compared to what the free market would provide (I know, they taught me as a kid  ;)). Since they'd lose their jobs to the market, you can bet they're going to use every means necessary to stop you from disbanding public education, even if you want to do it bit by bit. They'll go on strike, or refuse education in other ways. As soon as they're on strike, 2-job families would have to figure out a place to stick the kids during the day, let alone get them some manner of education. So then the teachers' union would have parents on its side, and the whole thing just slides back into what we have now (or worse) and now people have in their mind that this free market thing is dangerous, setting the cause back. This is how I see something like that happening. Do you think it would happen differently?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 16, 2007, 01:36 PM NHFT
These are all newer ideas that are rolling around in my head, and they're certainly up for review at this point, but I think it's important to take a moral system like anarchism to its logical conclusions. If the government really is an amazingly powerful, entrenched, wealthy-beyond-reason, and (it makes me sick to my stomach) thought of as moral by many many people...if this organization does exist as such, then there is no point in asking, begging, suggesting, or hoping it changes. An election doesn't change the nature of government. It never has. Never. A democratic vote is a suggestion box for the slaves.

If you can elect people to office who actually plan to block or repeal the worst laws, you can change the government. Perhaps not it’s fundamental nature, but at least you’re lessening the burden it places on people.

We’re doing this already (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06) in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance (http://www.nhliberty.org/) is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate forum (http://www.nhliberty.org/forum) where all the political work is taking place.

I agree that you'll be able to repeal certain laws and lessen the tax burden to a certain (though I think small) extent from within the government. That seems plausible, even likely to happen. What I'm confused about is what a libertarian government would do to eliminate welfare and farm subsidy programs. Things like this affect people directly, and they'll feel like you're stealing from them. They'll lobby for your ouster and vote democrats back in. The government isn't only as big as the number of bureaucrats and representatives, its roots stretch deep into society. Your neighbor whose sister would have to depend on if there wasn't welfare. The 50-year-old plumber who depends on the existence of a licensing racket to keep out the younger competition. The farmer who relies on the government as an insurance policy against a bad crop. That's the trouble I have with it. The idea of getting people into government to change around its insides makes sense until you take a look at what would happen in each specific instance when you tried to shut down a program (welfare, farm subsidy, public education...etc.)

I would say the ideas rolling around are pretty much on the right track...
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 16, 2007, 05:22 PM NHFT
Switching to private charities would still not solve the problem of people being invested in the current system. For instance, education. The idea of switching to a marketized eduction system would really cheese off current public school teachers. They're unionized and paid through the force of taxation and have no real competition. Many of them, as a result, are really bad at their jobs compared to what the free market would provide (I know, they taught me as a kid  ;)). Since they'd lose their jobs to the market, you can bet they're going to use every means necessary to stop you from disbanding public education, even if you want to do it bit by bit. They'll go on strike, or refuse education in other ways. As soon as they're on strike, 2-job families would have to figure out a place to stick the kids during the day, let alone get them some manner of education. So then the teachers' union would have parents on its side, and the whole thing just slides back into what we have now (or worse) and now people have in their mind that this free market thing is dangerous, setting the cause back. This is how I see something like that happening. Do you think it would happen differently?

You actually elaborated on a point I made only in passing about why I think minarchy is not possible due to the nature of collectivism. Good job. This is why I feel that pushing for small government is futile. I think you can have a considerable majority of people believing in smaller government and yet still government will grow.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Vitruvian on December 16, 2007, 08:09 PM NHFT
Quote from: dalebert
What is it going to take to convey this very simple concept?  If my goal is to convince people that violence is an unacceptable means to their ends, how does using violence convince anyone? How hypocritical is that?

Indeed.  Just as it would seem hypocritical of an ethical vegetarian to be seen at a steakhouse, gulping down chunks of beef, it seems hypocritical of an ethical libertarian to be seen at a statehouse (or polling place), taking political office (or voting).
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 16, 2007, 10:34 PM NHFT
These are all newer ideas that are rolling around in my head, and they're certainly up for review at this point, but I think it's important to take a moral system like anarchism to its logical conclusions. If the government really is an amazingly powerful, entrenched, wealthy-beyond-reason, and (it makes me sick to my stomach) thought of as moral by many many people...if this organization does exist as such, then there is no point in asking, begging, suggesting, or hoping it changes. An election doesn't change the nature of government. It never has. Never. A democratic vote is a suggestion box for the slaves.

If you can elect people to office who actually plan to block or repeal the worst laws, you can change the government. Perhaps not it’s fundamental nature, but at least you’re lessening the burden it places on people.

We’re doing this already (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06) in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance (http://www.nhliberty.org/) is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate forum (http://www.nhliberty.org/forum) where all the political work is taking place.

I agree that you'll be able to repeal certain laws and lessen the tax burden to a certain (though I think small) extent from within the government. That seems plausible, even likely to happen. What I'm confused about is what a libertarian government would do to eliminate welfare and farm subsidy programs. Things like this affect people directly, and they'll feel like you're stealing from them. They'll lobby for your ouster and vote democrats back in. The government isn't only as big as the number of bureaucrats and representatives, its roots stretch deep into society. Your neighbor whose sister would have to depend on if there wasn't welfare. The 50-year-old plumber who depends on the existence of a licensing racket to keep out the younger competition. The farmer who relies on the government as an insurance policy against a bad crop. That's the trouble I have with it. The idea of getting people into government to change around its insides makes sense until you take a look at what would happen in each specific instance when you tried to shut down a program (welfare, farm subsidy, public education...etc.)

We’d replace government-run programs with private charities first. We already have a very string voluntaryist ethos among most freestaters here. The mainstream likes to paint libertarians as a bunch of selfish, laissez-faire types who want to work on the government-cutting side, but only say “the market will provide” for the rest. But we’re tackling both sides.

Switching to private charities would still not solve the problem of people being invested in the current system. For instance, education. The idea of switching to a marketized eduction system would really cheese off current public school teachers. They're unionized and paid through the force of taxation and have no real competition. Many of them, as a result, are really bad at their jobs compared to what the free market would provide (I know, they taught me as a kid  ;)). Since they'd lose their jobs to the market, you can bet they're going to use every means necessary to stop you from disbanding public education, even if you want to do it bit by bit. They'll go on strike, or refuse education in other ways. As soon as they're on strike, 2-job families would have to figure out a place to stick the kids during the day, let alone get them some manner of education. So then the teachers' union would have parents on its side, and the whole thing just slides back into what we have now (or worse) and now people have in their mind that this free market thing is dangerous, setting the cause back. This is how I see something like that happening. Do you think it would happen differently?

You’re right about how the bureaucrats would respond, and at current I have no idea how we would go about closing down the public school systems in an orderly manner. Whatever is done, it would have to be done in a slow, incremental manner so as to not provoke a knee-jerk reaction from the people who’s jobs are threatened. Perhaps the creation of private schools, heavily subsidized at first, with a set-in-stone schedule for reducing those subsidies to 0% over a period of n years, and a program to help transition the current schoolteachers either into retirement, or over to the new schools. (Preferably into retirement, because as you say, the public schools are largely jobs projects for the unemployable.) Perhaps the answer would be to just stop hiring new teachers into the public system, and let it close itself down as all the current ones retire.

Although I don’t think the actual creation of private schools by the government is a necessary step: We already have a lot of freestaters into homeschooling, some of whom are talking about working together to create their own private schooling.

Maybe the system will collapse on its own as more and more people pull their children out of the decaying public schools. I’ve read that some people use the existence of private security as a barometer for the health of the state—the more people that are hiring private security, the less they’re relying on the king’s enforcers for their protection, and the closer to collapse you know the state is. Perhaps the same could be said about the public schools.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Vitruvian on December 16, 2007, 11:34 PM NHFT
Quote from: J’raxis 270145
Whatever is done, it would have to be done in a slow, incremental manner...

You should read Wendy McElroy's Contra Gradualism (http://www.zetetics.com/mac/grad.htm).  Not only does the "slow, incremental" scaledown of the State represent a compromise of the very foundation of libertarianism, but also, as William Lloyd Garrison said (quoted too in the McElroy piece), "Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice."
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 17, 2007, 03:04 AM NHFT
Quote from: J’raxis 270145
Whatever is done, it would have to be done in a slow, incremental manner...

You should read Wendy McElroy's Contra Gradualism (http://www.zetetics.com/mac/grad.htm).  Not only does the "slow, incremental" scaledown of the State represent a compromise of the very foundation of libertarianism, but also, as William Lloyd Garrison said (quoted too in the McElroy piece),

It’s ironic that that essay uses slavery as an example, because that’s the same example I was thinking of as I wrote the above comment—except I was thinking of it as a successful example of gradualism.

In the United States, this “all or nothing” approach to abolition was a major contributing factor to the secession of the Southern states, which resulted in a war fought to bring them back under U.S. control, over 600,000 killed, the founding of the KKK by humiliated southern generals due to Union treatment during Reconstruction, and finally enduring racism that’s still alive and well today.

On the other hand, several other countries took a gradualist approach: For example, people born to slaves after a specific date would be free, followed by the gradual liberation of the remaining slaves year-by-year, often done in blocs by age bracket. Most often the government would compensate the owners for their slaves, again, in an effort to prevent a backlash from a politically powerful segment of their society. In none of these countries was there any of the civil strife that the U.S. experienced, nor did there come into existence groups like the Klan.

If you’re seriously going to try and convince me that the U.S. approach to abolition was superior, you’re only proving my point that moral puritanism is dangerous lunacy.

"Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice."

Wrong again. Slavery no longer exists in the countries that took a gradualist approach.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 17, 2007, 08:08 AM NHFT
the abolitionists in every country wanted the same thing .... no slavery

what the governments did is a separate issue


do you really think the civil war is the fault of decent people throughout america who wanted to end slavery?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 08:35 AM NHFT
You’re right about how the bureaucrats would respond, and at current I have no idea how we would go about closing down the public school systems in an orderly manner. Whatever is done, it would have to be done in a slow, incremental manner so as to not provoke a knee-jerk reaction from the people who’s jobs are threatened. Perhaps the creation of private schools, heavily subsidized at first, with a set-in-stone schedule for reducing those subsidies to 0% over a period of n years, and a program to help transition the current schoolteachers either into retirement, or over to the new schools. (Preferably into retirement, because as you say, the public schools are largely jobs projects for the unemployable.) Perhaps the answer would be to just stop hiring new teachers into the public system, and let it close itself down as all the current ones retire.

Although I don’t think the actual creation of private schools by the government is a necessary step: We already have a lot of freestaters into homeschooling, some of whom are talking about working together to create their own private schooling.

Maybe the system will collapse on its own as more and more people pull their children out of the decaying public schools. I’ve read that some people use the existence of private security as a barometer for the health of the state—the more people that are hiring private security, the less they’re relying on the king’s enforcers for their protection, and the closer to collapse you know the state is. Perhaps the same could be said about the public schools.

I completely agree that more a extensive homeschooling community, and fewer kids being entrusted to the state system would lead to either an improvement in the state system (are you kidding? It's the government...) or an eventual collapse of it (ding, dong, the witch is dead!). It's my opinion that this is more likely to occur on its own, with a populace better-educated on freedom, than any government solution. After all, state schools themselves were once a government solution. Of course, that's conjecture and I'd be glad to be proven wrong (though a little confused about my logic) by a government-initiated solution to getting rid of public schools. This is what seems so lovely to me about the FSP these days. I can't think of too many other movements where people working so hard and from so many angles on a common goal of freedom. Frankly, it's inspiring...it inspired me to join. A small part of the reason I joined is because of this very debate we're having here. There aren't too many places I can think of where we could have this debate, and then people could--and would--go out and put their theories to the test. I can't wait to get to New Hampshire and see it all work!

My fears around gradualism is that you'd have to implement a long-term plan, which you'd have to announce as such at the beginning. This seems like it won't necessarily solve the possibility of a teachers' strike. Even if you account for individual pensions for the existing teachers and all that, the union still has an interest in existing for money, and some elements of the government, who love to use "the children" to raise taxes, will be somewhat upset. Another trouble I can think of with a long-term plan is that they're often derailed by future legislators. A plan to increase government often survives this problem, from a taxation standpoint, because the funds can just be diverted, but I get the feeling that decreasing it over a period of n years will be walking a fine line between too fast and too slow to work. I'm not trying to point my finger around the room at everything and say, "That won't work, that won't work, that won't work," at everything I see. These are my genuine concerns about legislative solutions to all government programs where people have an interest, even beyond schools.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 17, 2007, 09:25 AM NHFT
do you really think the civil war is the fault of decent people throughout america who wanted to end slavery?

The Civil War wasn’t about slavery, although the secession of the South was caused in part by their belief that the federal government was soon to outlaw slavery. Other contributing factors were the tariffs the northern industrial states were trying to impose on imports (protectionist scheme for northern industry), and just their all-around disdain for states’ rights and attempts at exalting the federal government above those of the states.

However, Lincoln’s government was able to artfully paint the entire war as a crusade to end slavery, and many abolitionists (not all of them, thankfully (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysander_Spooner)) were only too happy to go along with it. Ultimately, the sudden liberation of the slaves and the humiliation that the former ruling class received as a result of it, was the impetus behind the creation of the Klan.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 17, 2007, 09:36 AM NHFT
My fears around gradualism is that you'd have to implement a long-term plan, which you'd have to announce as such at the beginning.

Just because you have a long-term plan, doesn’t mean you have to announce it. Ever heard of the Fabian Society (http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/9a.htm)? [Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_Society)]
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 17, 2007, 09:39 AM NHFT
I wish I hadn't used the word "violence" once again to describe political action. It's a clear point of contention after that other long thread and also emotionally charged when I was trying to make a tactical point; not a moral one. It distracts from my point.

The point I was trying to make when I talk about a paradox is that politics is the root tool of the state. It's the mind fuck that makes it possible to control people on a massive scale without it looking like coercion. It's how they give it the appearance of legitimacy. They call democracy government "by the people" for that very reason, and we all know that's a load of crap. Democracy is not freedom. That's the mind fuck that I'm fighting to dispel. If you aren't fighting against that, then your message is that it's okay for us to pick leaders by expressed majority preference that will then have power over everyone, including the people who didn't vote for them or who didn't vote at all.

If I go up to a Hillary supporter and say the role of government should only be defense and police so vote for my candidate, then they just express their preference that the role of government should also be welfare and health care. Meanwhile, our real beliefs (anarchists, that is), that imposing your preferences on someone else, are being lied about. We're shouting out the exact opposite of what we really believe to be the problem- installing rulers that have not been explicitly accepted by every individual being ruled. Even more harmful (IMHO) than the silent vote in a private booth is waving signs and raising money to send the message out that we prefer this lesser evil (according to us) to someone else's lesser evil (according to them), and that we hope to over power those who disagree with how the country ought to be run via the political process. Some anarchists say they just want to use the political process to get a government that doesn't impose it's will on individuals, but that's exactly what the political process is.

The civil war wasn't about slavery. It was about federalism. And racism has been perpetuated by the state by segregation and 2nd class citizenship LONG after slavery ended and then by coercive, collectivist programs like welfare and affirmative action that build resentment in people who didn't personally feel any responsibility for the harm done to slaves before they were born. When the civil war started, we had the constitution to protect federalism. Surprise, surprise. Words on a piece of paper written by a bunch of elitists who thought they knew best how to run other people's lives, and who felt justified in doing so, did not radiate magical forces to prevent slavery or protect state's rights and maintain peace. Minarchy failed miserably. Now we have this constitutional preacher evangelizing about how important this magical piece of paper is, while the rational message ought to be that it never did have any magical powers and that it was built on an illogical premise that a homeopathic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWE1tH93G9U) insertion of violence and coercion by the government will somehow prevent large scale violence.

As a political atheist who thinks minarchy is a unicorn, I'm called a purist by other political atheists for being against preaching the gospel of minarchy.  ::) I call myself a realist. I want less government too and would be glad to have it ASAP, but wanting it doesn't make it so. Next let's gather the atheists (the religious kind, not the political kind) to pray to God for less government and if an atheist tells them they're wasting their time, call him a purist.

UPDATE: Two replies were posted while I was writing this.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 17, 2007, 10:50 AM NHFT
The civil war wasn't about slavery. It was about federalism. And racism has been perpetuated by the state by segregation and 2nd class citizenship LONG after slavery ended and then by coercive, collectivist programs like welfare and affirmative action that build resentment in people who didn't personally feel any responsibility for the harm done to slaves before they were born.

The Civil War wasn’t about slavery (I’ve argued this point myself quite a bit) but it did play a part; it was one of the states’ rights issues the south was upset about the federal government meddling with. But, most importantly, the war was portrayed as being about slavery, and eventually accepted as such by many people on both sides. Many abolitionists supported the idea of using a war to end slavery. Many southerners were led to believe the war was about ending slavery. The perception, not the reality, is important here, because that’s what drives people’s behaviors—and after the war, a great deal of racism was a direct result of the perception among the deposed southern ruling classes that the north had come down there to free their slaves and set them up above them.

As a political atheist who thinks minarchy is a unicorn, I'm called a purist by other political atheists for being against preaching the gospel of minarchy.  Roll Eyes I call myself a realist. I want less government too and would be glad to have it ASAP, but wanting it doesn't make it so. Next let's gather the atheists (the religious kind, not the political kind) to pray to God for less government and if an atheist tells them they're wasting their time, call him a purist.

I’ve made the comparison before that the State is God, whereas the government is the clergy. My argument is that infiltrating the government in order to downsize or eliminate it is an acceptable strategy; this doesn’t require belief in the legitimacy or even existence of “the State.” By this line of reasoning, becoming a member of a religious order’s clergy in order to undermine the religion would be the correct parallel to in-the-system activism. And whereas I don’t think such things have ever been done, that to me would be a pretty decent strategy.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 10:50 AM NHFT
If I go up to a Hillary supporter and say the role of government should only be defense and police so vote for my candidate, then they just express their preference that the role of government should also be welfare and health care. Meanwhile, our real beliefs (anarchists, that is), that imposing your preferences on someone else, are being lied about. We're shouting out the exact opposite of what we really believe to be the problem- installing rulers that have not been explicitly accepted by every individual being ruled. Even more harmful (IMHO) than the silent vote in a private booth is waving signs and raising money to send the message out that we prefer this lesser evil (according to us) to someone else's lesser evil (according to them), and that we hope to over power those who disagree with how the country ought to be run via the political process. Some anarchists say they just want to use the political process to get a government that doesn't impose it's will on individuals, but that's exactly what the political process is.

That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime despite the fact that a majority of people prefer government?

Do you think every person in America could be convinced of the virtues of anarchy?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 17, 2007, 11:55 AM NHFT
That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime despite the fact that a majority of people prefer government?

I don't even know if it can be done in my lifetime. How can I know? I've said we have a herculean task before us. I know I can't do it on my own and I don't expect one person to guide it. That's not how anarchy works. Anarchy merely aims to maximize the potential benefits of every individual working uninhibited in their non-violent creativity. I expect it will happen organically by lots of individuals expressing their individuality and by withdrawing their support from the state. Future resistance will refine and improve on previous acts. We might make 3 steps forward and 2 back. I don't have to offer an alternative to point out what's neither rational nor acceptable. It's like we're in a car trip and we get lost and the driver takes us back to a road we're familiar with and there are several other roads to take and he suggests going right back in the direction we came from to our origin. I may not claim to know which road to take, but I can confidently say not to go in the exact opposite direction from our destination.

Quote
Do you think every person in America could be convinced of the virtues of anarchy?

No, and they don't necessarily have to. We may just need enough people to throw wrenches in the system. Government is merely a very well orchestrated criminal organization that operates under a veil of legitimacy. Without that illusion, the criminals lack the ability to be a cohesive orchestrated monopoly on violence and they become much smaller threats. They won't go away. They just go back to being criminals in the free market of crime. :) Overt criminals will be resisted, particularly when it goes along with a gradual culture shift toward more personal responsibility, and crime then becomes much more difficult. Since crime and government are the same to an anarchist, anarchists should see anarchy as the path to minarchy (minimum crime). See J? I'm actually an incrementalist!

Major culture shifts happen when the state is forced to use overt violence to control people rather than this subtle "government by the people" violence where there's a convenient disconnect that prevents anyone from feeling any responsibility for it. It has the appearance of coming from some being of authority that actually has no real physical presence, like a demon that was summoned by reading the magical words of the Constitution. The police are just following orders. Not their fault. Politicians have a mandate from the people. They're just following orders too. (Government by the people, remember?) Voters say they didn't like any of the candidates. They were just voting for the lesser evil. After all, someone was going to be voted in regardless, right? So not a single person actually feels responsible for the violence of the state, this mythical beast. Who can be surprised when it grows? Psychopaths are defined as having no sense of remorse for their actions. That's what collectivism does to us all. I'm not a spiritual person, but its the closest thing I can imagine to real evil. Don't doubt my sincerity when I compare it to Tolkien's ring of power.

Overt violence isn't able to garner broad support like this cryptic political crap. Consider the cultural impact of the footage of police sicking dogs on and aiming fire hoses at peaceful civil rights protesters (2nd class citizens at the time). The tragic flaw that kept that from having the lasting impact it could have had was that people didn't point their finger right at the state itself as the problem and call it out. People misdiagnosed it and tried to use the state to solve the problem of the state and racism merely changed form. The statists themselves will have more difficulty propping up the legitimacy of the system if they're put in the more difficult position of defending against the very clear position that the state is flat out wrong rather than lots of different people agreeing that the state needs to be small and then all fighting to keep their piece of the violence from being the part that's shrunk.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 17, 2007, 12:26 PM NHFT
That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime... ?

I failed to correct one misunderstanding about where I stand. Anarchy is a personal philosophy; not a form of government. It's completely contradictory for me to talk about how to implement anarchy as if it's a form of government which implies that as a society, collectively, we will one day definitively "be there". Anarchy for me is a personal code against aggressive violence in any form. I'm already there, so I guess the answer is "yes". It can and has been brought about in my lifetime.  8) To me, the path to minimum violence is a culture shift away from what I see as a failure of rational thought that we actually need some violence in order to have a peaceful society. It is therefore a very rational and sensible incrementalist approach to minimum violence (minarchy).

My personal motto which you may have read before:

Anarchy isn't a form of government. It's a personal philosophy.

Anarchy isn't the end. It's the beginning.

Does it now make sense why my website is called "Anarchy In Your Head"?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 01:12 PM NHFT
My impression is that you are okay with only having freedom in your head, correct?

In that case what was an advantage of moving to NH?

Most, if not all, of the freedoms that NH has today have been made possible by pro-liberty folks working in the political process to stall or reverse the growth of government.

In my opinion when you make the choice and effort to move to a place with less government you are acknowledging that less government is better and you support that idea (by making the effort to uproot yourself and make the move). Couldn't you have been just as free in your mind where ever you lived before?

I think that some part of you is definitely happy about the physical liberties that NH has to offer such as not requiring you to wear a seat belt, not taxing you on every purchase at the store (that is if you lived in a state with sales tax before), etc.

And if you support the idea of less government, well, how can you not be supportive of folks who are making strides in doing so?

While you are freeing yourself mentally those folks working inside the system are freeing you physically. And no amount of intellectual freedom (unless you can convince a majority to agree with anarchy) will set you free physically. And I think the fact that you moved to NH is proof that you want to be physically free and not just 'in your head'.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 01:19 PM NHFT
Auntie, you'll find most of them have little background in basics. MaineShark talks about the taxing of fuel, but doesn't equate it with the cost of maintenance of roads. Does one believe that the system has inefficiencies? Point them out. For it is fact that it has no ROI, which is required of capitalism.

Roads should be paid for by private owners, who would find ways to fund them: tolls, advertising, etc.  Taxing gasoline makes no sense.

Many modern trucks get better gas mileage than my Corvette.  Do you imagine that the 'Vette is wearing the roads out faster than the trucks?  What about my lawn tractor?  Is that wearing the roads out while I mow my lawn?

do you really think the civil war is the fault of decent people throughout america who wanted to end slavery?

No, it was the government that started it.  But they certainly used abolitionists to further their goals, just as they use those who parrot slogans about voting being immoral.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 17, 2007, 02:11 PM NHFT
My impression is that you are okay with only having freedom in your head, correct?

Absolutely not. I wrote two long posts talking tactics for real liberty, and all you respond to is a side comment I added clarifying that anarchy is the path rather than the goal. I was merely pointing out that the goal as stated was poorly defined. It seems like a purposeful misreading of that one statement so you can argue a straw man again. People hope to use the tactics of our enemies against them, but it's those tactics that define our enemies. Without the hope of overpowering our enemies, we need to affect a culture shift toward voluntaryism. We should be expanding the numbers of people who reject coercion as a means to an end and will then contribute to furthering that cause. I made some suggestions for possible actions in that direction, but I don't have all the answers and don't claim to. I only know it absolutely has to start with reason and rejecting the paradox that we can work against our goal and toward it at the same time.

I have no problem with activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones. That's merely part of the culture shift I speak of. Politicians will respond to those shifts in our culture and that can take us in a direction of more liberty, but in the screwed up collectivist game of imposing rulers on others, you cannot hope to overpower the culture and the attempt to do so affects a culture shift in the opposite direction from our goal.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: David on December 17, 2007, 02:30 PM NHFT
Dalebert Quote<To say that political activity is harmful to the the liberty movement would also be watering down my position. Political activity is the very antithesis of liberty. The notion that it is acceptable for a mob to impose a leader on others IS the problem. If you want to know what my goals are, it is to change actions. It is literally to change the means by which we approach problems. This is what is meant by "The means is the end." Holy fucking shit! What is it going to take to convey this very simple concept? If my goal is to convince people that violence is an unacceptable means to their ends, how does using violence convince anyone? How hypocritical is that? Hell, "hypocrisy" is a watered down term for what I'm trying to express. This is a complete oxymoron, a complete break down in logic, a paradox that cannot exist. I am trying to do my part to affect a culture shift away from using violence to solve problems. This homeopathic solution of installing a softer tyrant is nonsensical and takes us in the opposite direction of the real goal. I realize that you disagree and I expect debate, but do not water down my position so that you can argue against purism instead of my real position.

So in a way, I guess you are right about my feeling that politically active anarchists are "almost there" and therefore worth my
attention. I feel my hope is to start brushfires in the minds of a tireless minority so that they can go out and spread the word. I flat out do not believe in minarchy any more than I believe in unicorns. Minarchy is a paradox. You cannot shrink aggression by convincing people it's necessary but just needs to be smaller. Collectivism doesn't work that way. There is a massive culture shift that needs to take place for us to achieve any measure of liberty. To shrink the violence, you first have to convince people that it's evil and wrong in no uncertain terms. It's not a thing that we're fighting and this is crucial to my point. It's an activity. The state is equivalent to a means, an activity, a route of violence and coercion. That's what I'm trying to shrink. When anarchists go out and use political activity, it's as if we had this conversation where we all agree that aggression is bad and we absolutely must convince people to use non-violent means to their ends, and they all went out and just started using violence! It's mind-blowingly nonsensical to me. Sure, I want to convince all those other non-anarchists to reject violence as a means, but I'm swimming upstream against other supposed anarchists who claim to agree with me but are spreading the opposite message! How can I hope to convince pro-violence people that violence is an unacceptable means when I can't convince anti-violence people that violence is an unacceptable means? OMG. My head is going to explode!>

Agreed, and well stated. 

If I go up to a Hillary supporter and say the role of government should only be defense and police so vote for my candidate, then they just express their preference that the role of government should also be welfare and health care. Meanwhile, our real beliefs (anarchists, that is), that imposing your preferences on someone else, are being lied about. We're shouting out the exact opposite of what we really believe to be the problem- installing rulers that have not been explicitly accepted by every individual being ruled. Even more harmful (IMHO) than the silent vote in a private booth is waving signs and raising money to send the message out that we prefer this lesser evil (according to us) to someone else's lesser evil (according to them), and that we hope to over power those who disagree with how the country ought to be run via the political process. Some anarchists say they just want to use the political process to get a government that doesn't impose it's will on individuals, but that's exactly what the political process is.

That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime despite the fact that a majority of people prefer government?

Do you think every person in America could be convinced of the virtues of anarchy?
No.  A majority of people prefer gov't, that is why anarchy must start somewhere, someplace.  To create a beachhead.  Trying to change peoples mind is a waste of time.  :BangHead: It isn't going to happen.  Statism is a near religious belief.  No matter what 'proofs' we have to show or witty well written essays we have, we will never convince people en mass to join us. 

For the anarchists out there, we will always have to deal with gov't.  It is necessary to learn how to best defend ourselves now, nonviolently, or you will never, never have what you want.  Not even close to what you want.  If you don't believe me, wait ten years, or twenty, or thirty, and see if you can change anyones 'religious' beliefs. 
We have the opportunity now to organize on a small basis, close IMHO, to a gov't bankruptcy, to form a city of anarchists, to resist gov't to the point that they find it easier to leave us alone as they fleece their 'religious' followers.  Bankruptcy is important, it reduces the gov'ts ability to harm us, so long as we maintain the moral high ground, and remain nonviolent. 
Then the bugs, the issues, and the conflicts that are inevitable will be worked out on a continual basis.  We will be in a position to actually offer people something close to theoretical anarchy, rather than promises. 
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 02:39 PM NHFT
I have no problem with activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones. That's merely part of the culture shift I speak of. Politicians will respond to those shifts in our culture and that can take us in a direction of more liberty, but in the screwed up collectivist game of imposing rulers on others, you cannot hope to overpower the culture and the attempt to do so affects a culture shift in the opposite direction from our goal.

What, precisely, is magical about making a mark on a piece of paper with a Sharpie that is different from "activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones"?

The only place "voting" is anything special is in the minds of those who believe in democracy.  To anyone else, it's just an expression of opinion.  I can express the opinion that Ron Paul as President would right a number of wrongs, even if he isn't by any means perfect.

Can I say that to you?  Can I write that opinion down for you?  Should you care which particular piece of paper I write it on?

The fact that the government thinks there is something magical about the pieces of paper that they call "ballots" does not mean that I do (or that any anarchist does).  The supposed magical power of ballots is part of the mystique of government.  How do you claim to be opposing that belief system, while still attaching such a huge degree of importance to ballots?  Sounds like you still believe.  Whether or not you do is between you and yourself, but it certainly sounds like you still believe, and that defeats the purpose of "opposing the system," doesn't it?  I call hypocrisy on anyone who claims to "oppose the State," and yet goes on about how voting has magical powers.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 03:07 PM NHFT
I have no problem with activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones. That's merely part of the culture shift I speak of. Politicians will respond to those shifts in our culture and that can take us in a direction of more liberty, but in the screwed up collectivist game of imposing rulers on others, you cannot hope to overpower the culture and the attempt to do so affects a culture shift in the opposite direction from our goal.

Most Americans are against the war and none of the politicians running for president (other than Ron Paul) are even suggesting a troop pullout. How's that for politicians responding to shifts in the populace?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 17, 2007, 04:00 PM NHFT
Auntie, you'll find most of them have little background in basics. MaineShark talks about the taxing of fuel, but doesn't equate it with the cost of maintenance of roads. Does one believe that the system has inefficiencies? Point them out. For it is fact that it has no ROI, which is required of capitalism.

Roads should be paid for by private owners, who would find ways to fund them: tolls, advertising, etc.  Taxing gasoline makes no sense.

Many modern trucks get better gas mileage than my Corvette.  Do you imagine that the 'Vette is wearing the roads out faster than the trucks?  What about my lawn tractor?  Is that wearing the roads out while I mow my lawn?


The State gas tax goes to pay for State highways... they were the property of the British monarchy during colony. I doubt that a private owner would be willing to take the responsibility without a return on investment.
And your lawn mower falls under unrefunded gas taxes... you can actually fill out a form and get the tax returned to you.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 04:19 PM NHFT
The State gas tax goes to pay for State highways... they were the property of the British monarchy during colony. I doubt that a private owner would be willing to take the responsibility without a return on investment.

Plenty would.  The advertising and toll possibilities would be a major money-maker.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 17, 2007, 04:42 PM NHFT
The only place "voting" is anything special is in the minds of those who believe in democracy.  To anyone else, it's just an expression of opinion.  I can express the opinion that Ron Paul as President would right a number of wrongs, even if he isn't by any means perfect.

Can I say that to you?  Can I write that opinion down for you?  Should you care which particular piece of paper I write it on?

What matters most is whether it's the truth or a lie and whether it enlightens people or feeds into their irrational belief systems. It doesn't take magic to create delusions in people's minds so they'll engage in highly irrational behavior. I see organized religion doing great harm based on irrational belief systems even though I don't believe their gods are anything more than figments in their minds.

You can certainly express your opinion that Ron Paul will right some wrongs. I'd disagree with you for reasons already given. I've expressed why I believe minarchy is a unicorn that presents false hope. I think Ron Paul is going out there and telling people that Santa Claus is going to bring them a bicycle and when they don't have a bicycle under the tree Xmas morning, they're going to resent him for it. And because he's presenting minarchy as freedom when it's not, they're going to resent the message of freedom as well which is a set back. That's my opinion.

As I said, I don't expect to convince people to stop campaigning for Ron Paul or not to vote. I'm sure the excitement will have to die down before anything I'm talking about could sink in. I just hope that if the bicycle isn't sitting under the tree next year, perhaps some people will consider this debate in new light and choose a better message to promote freedom the next time around.

But for the record, as for where you write your opinion down- if a mafia don writes my name down on a hit list and hands it to his minions, I'm going to care. If his minions are known to act on his "opinions" about who should live or die, then I resent him writing my name down on that particular piece of paper. If people know some minions referred to as the electoral collage are going to act on their opinions about who should be president, and if that president impacts my life for the negative, I will be resentful toward all the people who wrote that opinion down knowing full well that people were going take actions based on it. That game, absurd as it is, impacts all our lives.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 04:49 PM NHFT
You can certainly express your opinion that Ron Paul will right some wrongs. I'd disagree with you for reasons already given. I've expressed why I believe minarchy is a unicorn that presents false hope. I think Ron Paul is going out there and telling people that Santa Claus is going to bring them a bicycle and when they don't have a bicycle under the tree Xmas morning, they're going to resent him for it. And because he's presenting minarchy as freedom when it's not, they're going to resent the message of freedom as well which is a set back. That's my opinion.

Your opinions are not cause to call others hypocrites.

But for the record, as for where you write your opinion down- if a mafia don writes my name down on a hit list and hands it to his minions, I'm going to care. If his minions are known to act on his "opinions" about who should live or die, then I resent him writing my name down on that particular piece of paper. If people know some minions referred to as the electoral collage are going to act on their opinions about who should be president, and if that president impacts my life for the negative, I will be resentful toward all the people who wrote that opinion down knowing full well that people were going take actions based on it. That game, absurd as it is, impacts all our lives.

This comparison is what's absurd.  A "mafia don" writing your name on a hit list is creating a situation which did not previously exist.  As with many others, you are implicitly claiming that if no one wrote down anything, the government would just vanish.  That's patently ridiculous.

The government will impact your life.  That's a fact.  Changing who is running the show does you no harm, so long as the level of negative impact does not change (or even gets less).

Try again.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 17, 2007, 06:17 PM NHFT
This comparison is what's absurd.  A "mafia don" writing your name on a hit list is creating a situation which did not previously exist.  As with many others, you are implicitly claiming that if no one wrote down anything, the government would just vanish.  That's patently ridiculous.

I don't think crime will ever be zero and I certainly don't expect a rapid change overnight. I only hope to minimize it. It seems crucial that we don't go out there and perpetuate an irrational belief that crime is necessary and a normal healthy part of our lives.

Quote
The government will impact your life.  That's a fact.  Changing who is running the show does you no harm, so long as the level of negative impact does not change (or even gets less).

There's a difference between just expressing your opinion to persuade people to your point of view and issuing a command that you reasonably expect to be followed. It's your judgment that changing who's running the show to your choice will reduce the negative impact on me but that's your fallible judgment. If people are going to act based on what you write on a particular piece of paper and I don't like the action they're going to take, then yes, I care. I'm only human and I realize my judgment's fallible as well, so I'm not personally comfortable playing that game.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 08:24 PM NHFT
It's strange that the pure anarchists are throwing the political process completely out the window which has actually worked to keep NH more free than other states and then replace it with something that has had absolutely ZERO past success.

In fact, we've had proof on the contrary:

Quote
Legislator to sponsor "Outlaw Manicurist" bill

Over two months after going to jail for performing an unlicensed manicure, Newmarket resident Mike Fisher is still reaping rewards for his sacrifice. This week State Representative Paul Hopfgarten publicly announced he would sponsor legislation easing barriers to entry for aspiring manicurists and other cosmetic startups.

"We'd need to craft it in such a way that it would be palatable to the majority of the House and Senate," writes the Derry Republican, "but YES, I would be willing to sponsor."

On May 9, Fisher appeared outside the the Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics office in Concord and began administering for-profit manicures without a license. Board representatives called police, who then cuffed and jailed him when he refused to stop. Fisher aimed to draw attention to the idea that "in a free country, you do not need permission from the government to start a business." He succeeded in achieving statewide headlines, but now he's achieved something more: the promise of legislative action to ease business regulation.

"I think that would be awesome," says Fisher. "It's a very hopeful development to see that we're getting support from all different types of people."

The exact wording has yet to be determined. But Fisher has said he hopes the bill will significantly reduce the number of hours of training required to attain a license from the Board and limit required training to issues that have to do with customer safety only. Currently the state requires 300 hours and thousands of dollars worth of schooling to buff a nail for profit.

Only a small fraction of bills become state law, but activists say it is a victory just to see Fisher's defiance translated into potential legislation.

Without pro-liberty folks working inside the system the story of the Outlaw Manicurist would have ended at the arrest.

So, unless you can at least explain how your purely outside the system approach would work I would rather go with a tested and working system than some imaginary philosophical approach that nobody can even concretely explain how it would work.

"It will work because I think it will work", isn't a very convincing argument. At a minimum you would have to at least explain your vision of how it would work in practice. Just convincing some people to agree that anarchism is cool won't achieve anything, especially not liberty in our lifetime.

How can you achieve a result without knowing how to achieve it?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 08:40 PM NHFT
Purely anarchist methodology of attaining freedom:

1. Convince people that anarchism is the best philosophy.
2. ???
3. Freedom.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 08:56 PM NHFT
You can certainly express your opinion that Ron Paul will right some wrongs. I'd disagree with you for reasons already given. I've expressed why I believe minarchy is a unicorn that presents false hope. I think Ron Paul is going out there and telling people that Santa Claus is going to bring them a bicycle and when they don't have a bicycle under the tree Xmas morning, they're going to resent him for it. And because he's presenting minarchy as freedom when it's not, they're going to resent the message of freedom as well which is a set back. That's my opinion.

Your opinions are not cause to call others hypocrites.

I think (and Dale can let me know if I'm totally wrong) that the "opinion" part of that statement just covered any future occurrences. As in, "it's my opinion that Ron Paul for president will backfire and people will resent the message of freedom because of it." What's hypocritical is if someone is going to claim any of the following...that:

1) The initiation of the use of force is immoral...
2) Government is an ineffective method of solving problems...
3) Compromising the full, logical extent of your views for a more widespread following is disingenuous...
4) Power corrupts...
5) I'm into voluntary solutions to problems...
6) The free market will fix any problem given to it...
7) The initiation of the use of force is immoral...

...but then use the government anyway. That's just a logical contradiction, no bones about it. There's no personal attack in pointing out logical contradictions. There is, however, an amazing amount of damage that can be done by following through on illogical premises or conclusions. All we're suggesting is that everybody put down the gun and give up on irrational fantasies. If you believe in any of the above initial premises (and I'm sure many more) then you can't logically support the use of government power in any way, for any reason, without being a hypocrite.

Purely anarchist methodology of attaining freedom:

1. Convince people that anarchism is the best philosophy.
2. ???
3. Freedom.

Purely minarchist methodology of attaining freedom:

1. Convince people, through force of government, that the force government uses is immoral.
2. After done using force, just stop somehow, and hope nobody has gotten used to it.
3. Hope nobody sees your methods as legitimizing the use of force, so that no nasty government grows back.
4. Freedom?

Sorry Lex, I couldn't resist  >:D

We currently live where the most successful minarchist revolution in the history of government took place. Why didn't it stay that way? Please don't give me "eternal vigilance." Nobody should have to beg for their freedom at gunpoint. That's not freedom.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 09:18 PM NHFT
I don't think crime will ever be zero and I certainly don't expect a rapid change overnight. I only hope to minimize it. It seems crucial that we don't go out there and perpetuate an irrational belief that crime is necessary and a normal healthy part of our lives.

Which has what to do with what was said, exactly?

No one is saying that engaging in political activism is "a normal healthy part of our lives."  Getting a tumor surgically removed isn't "healthy."  Getting cut is never healthy.  But it is less unhealthy than the alternative.

There's a difference between just expressing your opinion to persuade people to your point of view and issuing a command that you reasonably expect to be followed. It's your judgment that changing who's running the show to your choice will reduce the negative impact on me but that's your fallible judgment. If people are going to act based on what you write on a particular piece of paper and I don't like the action they're going to take, then yes, I care. I'm only human and I realize my judgment's fallible as well, so I'm not personally comfortable playing that game.

Someone's going to play the game.  Ask yourself this: who's opinion would you rather have being weighed?  I expect my judgment is a lot better than the typical voter...

Still, the point remains that the only way a vote has any likelyhood of "causing" a result is within the system called "democracy," which is not a system any anarchist would be accepting.

I think (and Dale can let me know if I'm totally wrong) that the "opinion" part of that statement just covered any future occurrences. As in, "it's my opinion that Ron Paul for president will backfire and people will resent the message of freedom because of it." What's hypocritical is if someone is going to claim any of the following...that:

1) The initiation of the use of force is immoral...
2) Government is an ineffective method of solving problems...
3) Compromising the full, logical extent of your views for a more widespread following is disingenuous...
4) Power corrupts...
5) I'm into voluntary solutions to problems...
6) The free market will fix any problem given to it...
7) The initiation of the use of force is immoral...

...but then use the government anyway. That's just a logical contradiction, no bones about it. There's no personal attack in pointing out logical contradictions. There is, however, an amazing amount of damage that can be done by following through on illogical premises or conclusions. All we're suggesting is that everybody put down the gun and give up on irrational fantasies. If you believe in any of the above initial premises (and I'm sure many more) then you can't logically support the use of government power in any way, for any reason, without being a hypocrite.

I can use the government against itself.  That's called self-defense, and does not constitute an initiation of force.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 09:26 PM NHFT
I think (and Dale can let me know if I'm totally wrong) that the "opinion" part of that statement just covered any future occurrences. As in, "it's my opinion that Ron Paul for president will backfire and people will resent the message of freedom because of it." What's hypocritical is if someone is going to claim any of the following...that:

1) The initiation of the use of force is immoral...
2) Government is an ineffective method of solving problems...
3) Compromising the full, logical extent of your views for a more widespread following is disingenuous...
4) Power corrupts...
5) I'm into voluntary solutions to problems...
6) The free market will fix any problem given to it...
7) The initiation of the use of force is immoral...

...but then use the government anyway. That's just a logical contradiction, no bones about it. There's no personal attack in pointing out logical contradictions. There is, however, an amazing amount of damage that can be done by following through on illogical premises or conclusions. All we're suggesting is that everybody put down the gun and give up on irrational fantasies. If you believe in any of the above initial premises (and I'm sure many more) then you can't logically support the use of government power in any way, for any reason, without being a hypocrite.

Maybe the difference is that you guys trust philosophy more than I do. I think it's a great way to help guide the bigger picture. But I also live a normal life from time to time (below you suggest that we shouldn't be vigilant, right?). And I want freedom now, damn it. The whole premise of the Free State Project is political. There is absolutely no point of getting a bunch of people to move to one political sector (NH) if you are going to disregard its existance and work completely outside the system. If your effectiveness is not measured by how many freedoms we haved gained then what makes NH the ideal state for a philosophical revolution? I have asked a similar question in my previous posts and nobody has even tried to answer it.

1. Convince people, through force of government, that the force government uses is immoral.

How did State Rep. Paul Hopfgarten use government force to convince his colleagues to vote for the Outlaw Manicurist bill? Nothing bad would happen to them if they had voted against the bill.

2. After done using force, just stop somehow, and hope nobody has gotten used to it.

This part isn't as important as in the purely anarchist approach because there has been a positive outcome in less government. So by the time you get to the point where you have to figure out how to close down the last government position you have already achieved a lot of success, possibly to the point where most people will not even notice the government in their daily lives. But on the last day of the government the last employee in the last building will sign the bill of sale selling this last government asset to some private individual with proceeds evenly distributed among some charities (or some such arrangement, in the end the same issue of what do with government assets would come up in a purely anarchist solution as well).

3. Hope nobody sees your methods as legitimizing the use of force, so that no nasty government grows back.

Government will always try to grow back. That is human nature. Some peoplare born to be rulers and some are born to be followers and then the rest of us just want to be left alone. You can convince many of the rulers and followers about the virtues of individualism but you won't convince all of them.

4. Freedom?

More freedom, absolutely.

We currently live where the most successful minarchist revolution in the history of government took place. Why didn't it stay that way? Please don't give me "eternal vigilance." Nobody should have to beg for their freedom at gunpoint. That's not freedom.

Welcome to reality. Any society, whether anarchist or republican requires eternal vigilance. Because if consumers don't look into the products they buy on their own or think for themselves there is aboslutely no reason some group of people won't figure out a way to rule them. It's a given. We all have to be eternally vigilant in either type of government. It's just that in an anarchist type of society vigilance will probably be a bigger part of the culture since people will be inherently skeptical of businesses and organizations in fear of them becoming too powerful and eventually turning into a defacto state.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 09:38 PM NHFT
Question for the supposed "purists": most (all) of you claiming that anarchists using politics are being hypocritical came to your supposedly-anarchic beliefs at some point during your adult life, correct?

Before that, you spent time not believing in the zero-aggression principle, correct?

You aggressed against others, correct?

Have you made restitution for your actions?

The minute you do that, we can talk about "philosophical purity" and whatnot.  If you have not, then you possess no acreage of moral high ground.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 09:39 PM NHFT
No one is saying that engaging in political activism is "a normal healthy part of our lives."  Getting a tumor surgically removed isn't "healthy."  Getting cut is never healthy.  But it is less unhealthy than the alternative.

I think you've nailed it. That's exactly how I feel about this issue. The surgery really sucks, but it's definitely better than the alternative.

Thinking that you don't have cancer is just not going to work. Convincing your doctor that you don't have cancer isn't going to work either.

Your only practical solution is to try and actually do something about it even if there isn't a 100% success rate; it's better than just wishing it to be gone.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 09:53 PM NHFT
I can use the government against itself.  That's called self-defense, and does not constitute an initiation of force.

Joe

If we can successfully use the government against itself to get rid of the government, my face would freeze wide-eyed with surprise. I would apologize profusely, and offer to take you kids to the zoo every weekend for the rest of my life. All moral objections aside, it's a hard concept for me to swallow even from an "effect only" standpoint.

If we're able to turn a morally corrupt institution against its primary purpose (to steal wealth), and convince it to stop using its primary means (threatening to shoot people) by joining its ranks, I'd frankly shit myself with amazement. Sorry for the crudeness, but I would. I'm not trying to belabor the point to bully anyone into agreeing with me, I just find it to be that impossible.

On a small scale, the mafia is an institution that steals wealth by threatening to point guns at people. They're pretty successful at it, but nowhere near as successful as the government (to whom they're constantly and accurately compared in political discussions). If we can turn around morally corrupt institutions from the inside by making fundamental policy changes--policy changes that would turn the institution against its own primary objective, and its primary means--then the mafia should be a cakewalk. We'd just need to get inside, rise though the ranks (while somehow avoiding getting our hands dirty), and once powerful enough, institute the paradigm-shifting policy changes. If you can convince me how to infiltrate the mafia and turn it from a leg-breaking, "protection" money-taking, baseball bat-wielding institution into one that distributes free candy to orphans...then maybe we can talk about how the same methodology can be used to get rid of government power.

The mafia should be a total pushover compared to the government, since people know and recognize their immorality. It'll be so much easier to get people to rally to your cause against the mafia. With the government, lots and lots and lots of people think that welfare is moral, that war is necessary, that taxation is inevitable. That's a harder fight than the mafia. But I can't think of how this would work even on the ultra-tiny small scale of the mob. So how can we even come close to reasonably expecting the same exact methods to work on the government? You can't convince people that government is bad by taking it away from them. People like the government (well, silly people do...but there are lots of silly people mucking about these days). The only way we can convince people that government is bad is by convincing people government is bad. Smokers don't stop smoking when their families hide the cigarettes, they stop when they know in their minds that they've had enough, and it can't go on safely, and it's unhealthy. Nobody can make that decision for them, just like nobody can make the decision of more vs. less vs. no government for people. Whenever you try to make a decision (any decision at all) for another person, you end up with unintended consequences. I think this is something Ayn Rand said well, "No one's happiness but my own is for me to create or to destroy."

Update: LOADS of new posts since I started writing this...dang this thread is hoppin'  ;) I'm just going to post it.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 10:00 PM NHFT
I can use the government against itself.  That's called self-defense, and does not constitute an initiation of force.
If we can successfully use the government against itself to get rid of the government, my face would freeze wide-eyed with surprise. I would apologize profusely, and offer to take you kids to the zoo every weekend for the rest of my life. All moral objections aside, it's a hard concept for me to swallow even from an "effect only" standpoint.

You cannot use the government to eliminate the government.  That's patently absurd.  But you can use the government to hurt the government.  As demonstrated by the successes in NH.

No matter how successful the minarchists are, they will never be able to eliminate the government.

But they can weaken it to the point that it can be eliminated more readily by apolitical means.

To go back to the cancer analogy, sometimes a cancer is too big to remove without doing excessive damage to surrounding tissue, so chemotherapy is used to shrink the tumor to a more manageable size, before surgery is used to excise it completely.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 10:14 PM NHFT
Question for the supposed "purists": most (all) of you claiming that anarchists using politics are being hypocritical came to your supposedly-anarchic beliefs at some point during your adult life, correct?

Before that, you spent time not believing in the zero-aggression principle, correct?

You aggressed against others, correct?

Have you made restitution for your actions?

The minute you do that, we can talk about "philosophical purity" and whatnot.  If you have not, then you possess no acreage of moral high ground.

Joe

I'm not looking for any kind of weird "purity," just logical consistency. It's not the philosophy of ethics if it's not logically consistent, it's just personal preference. I'm not striving for moral high ground, just moral consistency. Inconsistent moral systems have led to all sorts of atrocities in the past. People do the most nasty things using logically invalid moral systems (all the while calling them "moral"), and I just want to make sure my friends and I don't make the same mistake. Communism makes perfect sense if you ignore a few key illogical premises and conclusions. Same deal with the divine right of kings. I honestly believe that as long as government exists, people will be unnecessarily aggressed upon. I honestly believe the only way to eliminate government is through a cultural paradigm shift. I really hope I'm not seen as saying, "I'm better, you're worse," and sticking my nose up in the air and riding off on my high horse. I just want to be logically consistent in following through with my principles. After all, one can never be too morally consistent ;)

You're right, there was a portion of my life where the non-aggression principal was unknown to me. I must have done some damage in that time (though I'm not sure to whom...I'm only old enough to have voted in 3 pres. elections, and none of them won, but there's got to be something...my student loans, perhaps). To the extent that I work to help get people free of the unchosen obligations in their lives, I consider my restitution paid to society. To the extent that I grab the gun of state power and point it around the way I want it pointed around, I consider my further damage to society. We can always recover from the damage evil does to us, but we can never recover once we've done the evil.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 17, 2007, 10:27 PM NHFT
I'm not looking for any kind of weird "purity," just logical consistency. It's not the philosophy of ethics if it's not logically consistent, it's just personal preference. I'm not striving for moral high ground, just moral consistency. Inconsistent moral systems have led to all sorts of atrocities in the past. People do the most nasty things using logically invalid moral systems (all the while calling them "moral"), and I just want to make sure my friends and I don't make the same mistake. Communism makes perfect sense if you ignore a few key illogical premises and conclusions. Same deal with the divine right of kings. I honestly believe that as long as government exists, people will be unnecessarily aggressed upon. I honestly believe the only way to eliminate government is through a cultural paradigm shift. I really hope I'm not seen as saying, "I'm better, you're worse," and sticking my nose up in the air and riding off on my high horse. I just want to be logically consistent in following through with my principles. After all, one can never be too morally consistent ;)

Saying, "the government is wrong and illegitimate" and then saying, "the government claims that marks on these pieces of paper give them magical powers, so it's true" are not logically consistent statements.

You're right, there was a portion of my life where the non-aggression principal was unknown to me. I must have done some damage in that time (though I'm not sure to whom...I'm only old enough to have voted in 3 pres. elections, and none of them won, but there's got to be something...my student loans, perhaps). To the extent that I work to help get people free of the unchosen obligations in their lives, I consider my restitution paid to society. To the extent that I grab the gun of state power and point it around the way I want it pointed around, I consider my further damage to society. We can always recover from the damage evil does to us, but we can never recover once we've done the evil.

You cannot pay restitution to "society."

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 10:39 PM NHFT
I can use the government against itself.  That's called self-defense, and does not constitute an initiation of force.
If we can successfully use the government against itself to get rid of the government, my face would freeze wide-eyed with surprise. I would apologize profusely, and offer to take you kids to the zoo every weekend for the rest of my life. All moral objections aside, it's a hard concept for me to swallow even from an "effect only" standpoint.

You cannot use the government to eliminate the government.  That's patently absurd.  But you can use the government to hurt the government.  As demonstrated by the successes in NH.

No matter how successful the minarchists are, they will never be able to eliminate the government.

But they can weaken it to the point that it can be eliminated more readily by apolitical means.

I sincerely hope it works this simply (and within the next 40 or 50 years).

Maybe the difference is that you guys trust philosophy more than I do. I think it's a great way to help guide the bigger picture. But I also live a normal life from time to time (below you suggest that we shouldn't be vigilant, right?). And I want freedom now, damn it. The whole premise of the Free State Project is political. There is absolutely no point of getting a bunch of people to move to one political sector (NH) if you are going to disregard its existance and work completely outside the system. If your effectiveness is not measured by how many freedoms we haved gained then what makes NH the ideal state for a philosophical revolution? I have asked a similar question in my previous posts and nobody has even tried to answer it.

For me, as someone currently outside NH it's looking more attractive for philosophical revolution simply because there is a nice concentration of FSP anarchists. I honestly signed up because I believe certain public demonstration can influence peoples' opinions, and because I want to live somewhere where the philosophy of liberty can be openly discussed with my friends and improve every day. NH isn't just a political sector, but also a geographical area. The closer I am to a good (read: better than anywhere else) concentration of anarchists, the better. I'm pretty sure my one vote won't make a big difference in state politics. If you think it will, please feel free to recruit one more voter to feel comfortable ;) In fact, I plan on being very vocal within the community, and will likely assist in changing peoples' minds on who they vote for (though I wouldn't explicitly endorse politics, I'd certainly endorse freedom and people can do with that what they want).

I want freedom now too (damn it  :)), but to my mind, that's like wanting a million dollars now...just ain't gonna happen.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 10:42 PM NHFT
I'm still not sure how reducing the size of government is evil.

Ron Paul doesn't keep the paycheck that he gets from congress, so he's not using any tax payer money. He doesn't accept any other government benefits as a regular person.

He consistently votes to reduce the size of government.

Please provide an example of where he is being immoral or inconsistent? Or how his work is going to bring about a worse life for us, because when all is said and done that's what it's all about.

Philosophy is a tool, it isn't the sum of our existance. So when you hold philosophy over your self-interest of being physically free, I think you're only hurting yourself.

If your beliefs cause you harm while seeming to be rational are they really rational in the big scheme of things?

See, the premise of pure anarchism is that it is the epitome of rational thinking. That it's truth, etc. But then it has this huge flaw where you have to give up certain other methods which are PROVEN to work in gaining us more freedom.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think anarchism is a really cool philosophy and it's definitely one I follow (although I guess not as strictly). The exception that I have is that I still hold self-interest at least at the same level as I hold the anarchist philosophy. This way I can relate to working outside the system and also to the political efforts, which I think have to be used together.

I guess another way to look at it is that the anarchist philosophy could be adhered to much more closely AFTER the government is destroyed. But it's just not practical to have given the external constraints. I guess what I'm saying is that a pure philosophy works better when it's in a pure environment so if the environment isn't pure you have to make compromises in your philosophy to match your environment. As we reduce more and more government by working inside the system we can proportionally feel stronger ties to anarchism. In essence the closer we are to anarchism the more strictly you can adhere to those principles.

Just one perspective I guess. But it's important to not hold the philosophy above yourself because at the end of the day we're all here to have fun and if you're sitting in a prison cell while trying to adhere to your philosophy as strictly as possible I'm not sure what you have gained... UNLESS that sort of thing is okay with you and you will still be happy living that kind of life.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 10:48 PM NHFT
I want freedom now too (damn it  :)), but to my mind, that's like wanting a million dollars now...just ain't gonna happen.

But that is what you are arguing for. A purely intellectual revolution without getting your hands dirty. Convincing people that government is bad isn't going to get you anywhere unless you also engage in politic because that is the only place where it's possible to affect change in our life times. Otherwise you're just wishing for good things.

The only way we will succeed is if we have pro-freedom people inside the system who will do the dirty work of making our outside the system efforts recognized and reflected in the legislation.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 10:50 PM NHFT
I'm not looking for any kind of weird "purity," just logical consistency. It's not the philosophy of ethics if it's not logically consistent, it's just personal preference. I'm not striving for moral high ground, just moral consistency. Inconsistent moral systems have led to all sorts of atrocities in the past. People do the most nasty things using logically invalid moral systems (all the while calling them "moral"), and I just want to make sure my friends and I don't make the same mistake. Communism makes perfect sense if you ignore a few key illogical premises and conclusions. Same deal with the divine right of kings. I honestly believe that as long as government exists, people will be unnecessarily aggressed upon. I honestly believe the only way to eliminate government is through a cultural paradigm shift. I really hope I'm not seen as saying, "I'm better, you're worse," and sticking my nose up in the air and riding off on my high horse. I just want to be logically consistent in following through with my principles. After all, one can never be too morally consistent ;)

Saying, "the government is wrong and illegitimate" and then saying, "the government claims that marks on these pieces of paper give them magical powers, so it's true" are not logically consistent statements.

You're right, there was a portion of my life where the non-aggression principal was unknown to me. I must have done some damage in that time (though I'm not sure to whom...I'm only old enough to have voted in 3 pres. elections, and none of them won, but there's got to be something...my student loans, perhaps). To the extent that I work to help get people free of the unchosen obligations in their lives, I consider my restitution paid to society. To the extent that I grab the gun of state power and point it around the way I want it pointed around, I consider my further damage to society. We can always recover from the damage evil does to us, but we can never recover once we've done the evil.

You cannot pay restitution to "society."

Joe

Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency with "society," but I'm sure you'll excuse me for thinking you'd know what I meant. If you say I need to pay restitution for my past aggression against anonymous others (which we haven't necessarily established yet), then claim that it's impossible to pay that restitution to them, I'm not sure how I can comply with what you were originally looking for. I'd gladly work toward real restitution if I can identify to whom and how much. It seems like you have some insight on this. Perhaps you could help explain how I can find the path to restitution, and/or what I might owe restitution for?

Also, I want to be clear that I didn't ever say voting was legitimate because the government says so. I'm not sure who said this. Government power works because they have guns, not because anybody believes in the voting process.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 11:00 PM NHFT
I also take personal happiness as more important than anything else. In my case, the philosophy makes me more happy. I'm not trying to stop anybody from doing what's going to make them happy (as long as it doesn't harm me), I'm just in here to defend/explain why my point of view makes me happy. I agree, Lex...gotta look out for number one!  :icon_pirat:
I want freedom now too (damn it  :)), but to my mind, that's like wanting a million dollars now...just ain't gonna happen.

But that is what you are arguing for. A purely intellectual revolution without getting your hands dirty. Convincing people that government is bad isn't going to get you anywhere unless you also engage in politic because that is the only place where it's possible to affect change in our life times. Otherwise you're just wishing for good things.

The only way we will succeed is if we have pro-freedom people inside the system who will do the dirty work of making our outside the system efforts recognized and reflected in the legislation.

I don't think it's possible to hit "libertopia" in my lifetime. I'm pretty young, but I've basically given up on that as a real possibility. From what I understand as of right now, I just can't see how it will pan out for freedom anytime relatively soon. This way, I won't be devastated if freedom doesn't happen before I die, and I'll be overjoyed if it does. Maximum happiness, again! All this arguing got me grumpy, thanks for reminding me that happy life is what it's all about  ;D
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 17, 2007, 11:14 PM NHFT
I don't think it's possible to hit "libertopia" in my lifetime. I'm pretty young, but I've basically given up on that as a real possibility. From what I understand as of right now, I just can't see how it will pan out for freedom anytime relatively soon. This way, I won't be devastated if freedom doesn't happen before I die, and I'll be overjoyed if it does. Maximum happiness, again! All this arguing got me grumpy, thanks for reminding me that happy life is what it's all about  ;D

Would you agree that things would probably get much worse if Hilary were elected than say Ron Paul?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 17, 2007, 11:29 PM NHFT
I don't think it's possible to hit "libertopia" in my lifetime. I'm pretty young, but I've basically given up on that as a real possibility. From what I understand as of right now, I just can't see how it will pan out for freedom anytime relatively soon. This way, I won't be devastated if freedom doesn't happen before I die, and I'll be overjoyed if it does. Maximum happiness, again! All this arguing got me grumpy, thanks for reminding me that happy life is what it's all about  ;D

Would you agree that things would probably get much worse if Hilary were elected than say Ron Paul?

I honestly think the whole thing is going to collapse in on itself before I'm 45, Ron Paul or no Ron Paul. In fact, Bush being a complete idiot after 9/11 is what awoke "political me" in the first place. I'm sure it did the same for millions of other people. Maybe President Hill will awake millions more. It's pretty clear from RP's success that there's a stronger liberty movement around in the US than there has ever been..that is unless all his supporters are just afeared of Mexicans like many (way too many) of the folks in my local RP meetup. Actually that inconsistency (everybody should be free, 'cept fer them dang immergrents) was a catalyst to drive me toward a more logically consistent position.

p.s. I guess Bush was also a complete idiot before 9/11 too, but you know what I mean...
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 18, 2007, 03:06 AM NHFT
You know this actually started really simply. Lex asked me what seems like a rather silly question. Something to the effect of "Why are you speaking out against the Ron Paul campaign?" Now, my answer was basically that I was speaking my mind truthfully about how I feel about the futility of political activity and the Ron Paul campaign is no exception to me. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that to be taken on face value instead of conjuring up all these farcical notions that I'm trying to undermine the liberty movement or that I'm being a purist and creating schisms and whoozits and jehosifats.

There's also something about my opinions do not mean I can call people hypocrites. Well actually, sure I could, but that wasn't my point. It may seem like a subtle difference but it's a big difference. When I talk about the futility of political activity, I'm not referring to morality or hypocrisy or being a purist. If I think political activity is harmful and my reasoning is that it takes us in the opposite direction of our goal, that's an issue of tactics. If I call it a paradox, that's to demonstrate how it's counter-productive. Maineshark, when you asked me if I care whether you write your opinion on a particular piece of paper, I said that yes I do care, but I'd already answered that. If I'm making my case that political activity is counter productive, how silly a question is it to ask if I care whether you engage in political activity? The whole thread started with me explaining why I think it's harmful.

Calling me a purist implies that I'm asking people to avoid the effective approach because it's immoral, when what I'm arguing, at least at the moment, is that it's not even effective. OBVIOUSLY we disagree. I'm actually content to continue to disagree, particularly once I've repeated the same point a few times. That's why I said WAY back, go ahead and do all your Ron Paul stuff but file these thoughts away and perhaps they will be more meaningful later. Maybe later they will make more sense; maybe not.

Meanwhile, as people continue campaigning for Ron Paul, I'm going to continue campaigning against political activity. I hope you won't hate me for it. I certainly don't hate people for doing political things and working on the Ron Paul campaign. For crimony's sake, I may as well leave NH if I felt that strongly about it. I know you guys are doing what you believe to be good things. However, if you feel I'm not supporting you in your endeavors, guess what? You're right! On the things we agree on, we can work together. On the other things, we can't. When we disagree, we ought to be able to have civil debate about it. Let's just be clear on exactly what it is we're discussing.

And Lex, I'll talk more about what can and IS being done to weaken the state that doesn't require any work within the system. Just not right now. It's freaking late and I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

There we go. Now there's no need for schisms and wedge-driving and all that silliness that people like to get all dramatic about. I really wish people would lighten up. This is all kind of funny to me.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 18, 2007, 08:34 AM NHFT
You cannot use the government to eliminate the government.  That's patently absurd.  But you can use the government to hurt the government.  As demonstrated by the successes in NH.

No matter how successful the minarchists are, they will never be able to eliminate the government.

But they can weaken it to the point that it can be eliminated more readily by apolitical means.
I sincerely hope it works this simply (and within the next 40 or 50 years).

I'm far more worried that it will happen too quickly, than that it will happen too slowly.  Creating a fundamental paradigm shift in thought is not a quick process.  We could have anarchy tomorrow.  Just execute every government official.  We outnumber them, and we could pull it off.  But it would be futile.  Society in general would just establish a new government, just as bad as (or worse than) this one.  That's why you don't hear rational people advocating that sort of activity.  It certainly wouldn't be immoral to kill all the aggressors, but it would most definitely harm us more than it would help us, and harming ourselves would not exactly be a rational behavior.

I know you "want it now," but some of us actually want it to last.  As much as I want anarchy right now that I can enjoy, I'm much more invested in building an anarchic society for my great-grandchildren.  If any of my descendants before that get to enjoy it, wonderful.  If there are a couple more "greats" tacked on there, it won't be the end of the world.

I'm not interested in building a facade that will crumble.  I'm building for the long-term.

Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency with "society," but I'm sure you'll excuse me for thinking you'd know what I meant. If you say I need to pay restitution for my past aggression against anonymous others (which we haven't necessarily established yet), then claim that it's impossible to pay that restitution to them, I'm not sure how I can comply with what you were originally looking for. I'd gladly work toward real restitution if I can identify to whom and how much. It seems like you have some insight on this. Perhaps you could help explain how I can find the path to restitution, and/or what I might owe restitution for?

I don't track your past behavior.  Nor am I responsible for finding your victims for you.  Hire a private investigator, or do it yourself.  It's certainly possible, even if it is difficult.

Also, I want to be clear that I didn't ever say voting was legitimate because the government says so. I'm not sure who said this. Government power works because they have guns, not because anybody believes in the voting process.

So there's nothing immoral about voting, if that's the case, right?

There's also something about my opinions do not mean I can call people hypocrites. Well actually, sure I could, but that wasn't my point. It may seem like a subtle difference but it's a big difference. When I talk about the futility of political activity, I'm not referring to morality or hypocrisy or being a purist. If I think political activity is harmful and my reasoning is that it takes us in the opposite direction of our goal, that's an issue of tactics. If I call it a paradox, that's to demonstrate how it's counter-productive.

Funny, but the rational anarchists - and even the minarchists - all seem to be able to discuss the efficacy of various tactics without resorting to calling others "hypocrites" or "immoral."

Maineshark, when you asked me if I care whether you write your opinion on a particular piece of paper, I said that yes I do care, but I'd already answered that. If I'm making my case that political activity is counter productive, how silly a question is it to ask if I care whether you engage in political activity? The whole thread started with me explaining why I think it's harmful.

I asked it you should care, not if you do.  It was pretty blatantly obvious that you do.

But should you?

John Doe might care that the clerk at a convenience store has facial piercings.  I'm not debating whether he does or doesn't, since he just told me he does.  But should he?  Does he have any reason other than simple prejudice for caring?

I've explained why I think it's vitally important to engage this thing in political and apolitical ways.  Neither approach, alone, will achieve a victory.  I've never seen any refutation of that, so forgive me for not thinking that you opinion that voting won't work is all that well-informed.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 18, 2007, 08:41 AM NHFT
I also take personal happiness as more important than anything else. In my case, the philosophy makes me more happy. I'm not trying to stop anybody from doing what's going to make them happy (as long as it doesn't harm me), I'm just in here to defend/explain why my point of view makes me happy. I agree, Lex...gotta look out for number one!  :icon_pirat:

Then I'm assuming you have burned your SS card, gotten rid of your drivers license and stopped paying any and all taxes?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 18, 2007, 08:45 AM NHFT
Meanwhile, as people continue campaigning for Ron Paul, I'm going to continue campaigning against political activity. I hope you won't hate me for it. I certainly don't hate people for doing political things and working on the Ron Paul campaign. For crimony's sake, I may as well leave NH if I felt that strongly about it. I know you guys are doing what you believe to be good things. However, if you feel I'm not supporting you in your endeavors, guess what? You're right! On the things we agree on, we can work together. On the other things, we can't. When we disagree, we ought to be able to have civil debate about it. Let's just be clear on exactly what it is we're discussing.

There is a rather big difference between not being supportive or ignoring the political efforts and actively attacking those working in the political process.

And Lex, I'll talk more about what can and IS being done to weaken the state that doesn't require any work within the system. Just not right now. It's freaking late and I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

I'm very much looking forward to your list of positive things working completely outside the system has produced.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 18, 2007, 09:19 AM NHFT
I also take personal happiness as more important than anything else. In my case, the philosophy makes me more happy. I'm not trying to stop anybody from doing what's going to make them happy (as long as it doesn't harm me), I'm just in here to defend/explain why my point of view makes me happy. I agree, Lex...gotta look out for number one!  :icon_pirat:

Then I'm assuming you have burned your SS card, gotten rid of your drivers license and stopped paying any and all taxes?

None of that would make me happy. It would get me arrested (with the exception of the SS card). There's nothing I can think of that would make me more unhappy than imprisonment (except many imprisonment with a side of torture). Where they are directly using force on me, I defend myself to the extent that I can, and put up with the rest. The difference with politics is that I would have to personally intervene and do the forcing. Do you see how someone not wanting to vote is different from someone who won't pay a fine? I work on ways to get freedom from unchosen obligations in my life, but I'll have to explain them in another thread and at another time (I need to get my butt to work!)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 18, 2007, 09:35 AM NHFT
None of that would make me happy. It would get me arrested (with the exception of the SS card). There's nothing I can think of that would make me more unhappy than imprisonment (except many imprisonment with a side of torture). Where they are directly using force on me, I defend myself to the extent that I can, and put up with the rest. The difference with politics is that I would have to personally intervene and do the forcing. Do you see how someone not wanting to vote is different from someone who won't pay a fine? I work on ways to get freedom from unchosen obligations in my life, but I'll have to explain them in another thread and at another time (I need to get my butt to work!)

You don't have to explain it, I understand the philosophical reasoning behind this. My problem is that it is absurd when it comes to reality. To say that you would do absolutely nothing in trying to prevent new laws from being created or old laws from being repealed but you will follow them in fear of being imprisoned. You are enslaving yourself.

It is very hypocritical that you will not participate in the state when it comes to reducing the size of government but you will participate when it comes to giving legitimacy to the laws it passes.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 18, 2007, 09:37 AM NHFT
It's freaking late and I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

Will you be using your government issued ID to get on the plane?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Eli on December 18, 2007, 09:50 AM NHFT
Lex: As to a non political reason for non political FSP members to move.  Reaching critical mass for getting a countereconomic system running could be a valid reason.

Dysurian: I want to turn your mafia example back on you for a moment.  You argued that one couldn't really change the mafia by infiltrating it.  That is exactly how police have diassembled most of organized crime.  Further if you are the don you can run a very different mafia, within certain systemic restrictions, than another don.  Your hands wouldn't be clean, certainly, but you could have a system that was different, even better, though not 'good' in the absolutist sense that you seem to demand.  So I can see that there could be marginal improvements or successes through infiltration. 

Now try your method on the same example.  Talk at the mafia.  Tell them they're wrong.  Tell the shopkeepers paying protection that it is wrong.  Ignore the don.  Don't pay your 'rent.'  You won't convince the mafia.  You will get your friends and family who are convinced by your argument shot.  You will get yourself a nice pair of cement shoes.

Dalebert:  Also looking forward to the list.  I appreciate your attitude and your comic.  The ring is evil.  It always ends in evil.  I can accept that the exercise of power is wrong and still prefer to be beaten just once a day instead of being beaten for three quarters of the day.  If given the choice it is perfectly rational to choose a single beating.  If given the choice I'll opt for a single beating and marshal my strength to fight for my freedom.  If given the choice I won't opt for totalitarianism.  I won't sit quietly by while we slide towards deathcamps and a prison planet.  Not when I can take action, any action, to move us off the road to serfdom.  If you stand by and talk while you should be steering then the deadly crash seems like your fault to me.  I won't, as some anarchists seem wont to do, wait for true facism to form ranks here and then grin at the awakened masses who are now outnumbered, and say "See, this is what I've been saying, government is evil.  Now lets shoot the bastards.  Whattaya mean there's no ammo?"
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 18, 2007, 10:17 AM NHFT
I thought this was kindof funny but Stefan Molyneux says it's okay to take out federal school loans:

Quote
Twenty years ago, I considered taking student loans and grants to go to university. The way I framed the problem was thus: if a man steals my bicycle, then leaves it standing somewhere, I am perfectly entitled to “take” it back. If my employer unjustly withholds my salary, I am perfectly entitled to take a quantity of goods from him equivalent to the salary he owes me.

Imagine that a local Mafia Don extorts money from you for years. One day, he falls asleep on a bench, with a large bag of cash by his side. If you happen along and find him in this position, is it theft if you grab “his” money? What if, over the years, you really have no idea exactly how much money has been extorted from you? What if you know that the amount of money in the bag is far less than what has been stolen from you? Certainly you would be perfectly justified in grabbing everything – especially since you know you will be paying extortion money for the rest of your life.

This is analogous to the situation that we find ourselves in with governments. I have paid an extraordinary amount of taxation over the course of my life – particularly since I have been an entrepreneur, and co-founded a company which paid millions of dollars to the state. The amount of money I received for university tuition through government subsidies was equivalent to the amount I later paid in personal taxes over a few months. (Being kept in the mental gulags of state schools for 14 years was an even more egregious form of robbery!)

Knowing in advance that I would be stolen from for the rest of my life, was it wrong of me to take some portion of that money for myself in advance? It hardly seems so. In a statist society, taxed money exists in a state of nature, like fish in the sea. It can never be returned to its rightful owners, since those can never be reasonably determined – and of course the national debt blurs it beyond any capacity for unraveling. Morally, what happens to money after it is stolen is far less important than the fact that it should never be stolen in the first place.
http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/molyneux/molyneux2.html

So, while Stefans peons make personal sacrifices to try and live up to the philosophy of anarchism and liberty, Stefan can use his debating skills to make exceptions to any philosophy he preaches.

You know why? Because deep down inside Stefan also knows that when push comes to shove we're all still people and we can't only live in our minds, we want to be happy externally as well and the only way to do that is to make some philosophical compromises. The impression I get from the story above is that Stefan didn't NEED to take out the loan (it sounded like he was making tons of money) so why fill out government paper work, provide page and pages of personal information to beg the government to give you some money so that you can go to school?

The philosophical compromise above is made in regards to money. I think the same thing can be said about our freedom. The government makes us follow many laws (analogous to Stefan paing taxes) so why not use the same system to reduce that burden as much as possible (analogous to Stefan getting money back for taxes he paid).

I use Stefan in this example because I know many of you have been greatly influenced by him.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 18, 2007, 10:18 AM NHFT
Calling me a purist implies that I'm asking people to avoid the effective approach because it's immoral, when what I'm arguing, at least at the moment, is that it's not even effective. OBVIOUSLY we disagree. I'm actually content to continue to disagree, particularly once I've repeated the same point a few times. That's why I said WAY back, go ahead and do all your Ron Paul stuff but file these thoughts away and perhaps they will be more meaningful later. Maybe later they will make more sense; maybe not.

What isn’t effective?

Political freestaters have already accomplished quite a bit (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06), and the more of our people we get into office, the more effective we’ll be.

As for the Ron Paul politics specifically, even if he doesn’t win, the campaign is serving as a huge educational vehicle for the liberty movement. You’ve seen the “Ron Paul cured my apathy” signs, I take it? Even if he loses, whereas an awful lot of people will probably be discouraged and give up their freedom activism, an awful lot of them won’t. As another concrete, factual example, the people who are visiting New Hampshire as part of Operation Live Free or Die are learning about the Free State Project and some are deciding to move here.

People are disagreeing with non-politicals not only because they believe politics to be an effective strategy, but because there’s ample proof to actually back this up.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 18, 2007, 10:26 AM NHFT
Oh, and those of you that do pay your taxes. I can't see any possible way you can argue against political action since you're funding it. Someone running for office may or may not win, yet paying taxes is guaranteed to fund the political process (your money pays the salaries of politicians and the electrict and heating bills and the ganitor to keep the buildings clean). So, if you're paying for all of that stuff, according to Stefan, you might as well use it to get some of you freedoms back.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 18, 2007, 10:35 AM NHFT
Lex: As to a non political reason for non political FSP members to move.  Reaching critical mass for getting a countereconomic system running could be a valid reason.

Don't get me wrong I have absolutely nothing against the apolitical types. They are necessary for the success of our movement. But I also think the political types are necessary. My only beef is with apoliticals who go out of their way to discredit the folks working within the political system.

My original argument was with dalebert regarding his anti-Ron Paul cartoon. Then it developed into a parallel but slightly different discussion with dysurian.

With dalebert I'm arguing why I think discrediting the Ron Paul revolution doesn't help liberty.

With dysurian I'm arguing about the virtues of needing both the political and the apolitical process working together and that there really isn't anything immoral about voting and working with people who are trying to reduce the size of government on the inside.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Tom Sawyer on December 18, 2007, 02:53 PM NHFT
The shortest route is often not the best.
People that say they can change the world in 5, 10, or 20 years are deluding themselves. It is probably not going to happen in your lifetime. Every 4 years we are sold on the idea that this time our ideas will prevail. The "salesmen" can be persuasive.

Well the LP tried that for 30 years... are we any closer to the goal? Politics follows, it does not lead social change.

I respect the intentions and hard work that sincere folks have expended. I wouldn't even try to disuade anyone from their chosen path to change. It's just after the party is over and the crowds have all gone home with another loss, how do we keep the enthusiasm and resources that often fade from the disappointment.

Twenty years ago I was one of the gullible enthusiastic. Where are the millions of other folks that have been burned out and lost along the way.

Live free, raise your children to be free, build the desire and methods to encourage others on this path. Don't fall for the promise of short cuts, they are chimera that waste valuable resources ie. time, money, and enthusiasm.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 18, 2007, 08:43 PM NHFT
Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency with "society," but I'm sure you'll excuse me for thinking you'd know what I meant. If you say I need to pay restitution for my past aggression against anonymous others (which we haven't necessarily established yet), then claim that it's impossible to pay that restitution to them, I'm not sure how I can comply with what you were originally looking for. I'd gladly work toward real restitution if I can identify to whom and how much. It seems like you have some insight on this. Perhaps you could help explain how I can find the path to restitution, and/or what I might owe restitution for?

I don't track your past behavior.  Nor am I responsible for finding your victims for you.  Hire a private investigator, or do it yourself.  It's certainly possible, even if it is difficult.

My point here is that I'm not sure it's possible to follow through on your example, and even if it was I'm not sure it's morally necesasary. Criteria were not provided to prove or disprove whether I need to reciprocate anyone I might have messed up before knowing about the non-aggression principal. In fact, it hasn't even been established that I hurt anybody. I could play the game and ask how I might have hurt people (I'll have to assume I didn't until I or others can think of what a specific example might be) but I don't see the point. Because this demand has impossible premises to satisfy, I'm skeptical of it, which led me to examine it further. The basic premise of it is that I can't be moral if I've been immoral in the past and not made an attempt to fix it. I'm not sure that works out logically at all. Nobody says, "I may have been a jerk in the past, and I should continue to be a jerk until I can fix all the damage I've done in the past," just like nobody says, "I may have been immoral in the past, and I should continue to be immoral until I can fix all the moral damage I've done." No. You just start being moral, and if there's any terrible trauma you caused (beating on kids, for example) you should recognize that and genuinely try to make good on it.

Also, I want to be clear that I didn't ever say voting was legitimate because the government says so. I'm not sure who said this. Government power works because they have guns, not because anybody believes in the voting process.

So there's nothing immoral about voting, if that's the case, right?

I think I'm going to have to back off on "voting is immoral," for right now. I'm not sure whether it was originally part of my position, or whether I just responded to being accused of saying that without thinking of it first. Either way, I need to think about it more before shooting off my mouth about it. It definitely at least feels different from taxation in the sense that you can vote or not vote without being tossed into jail or shot. I need a way better philosophical argument before I'd feel comfortable saying it's immoral, because that carries a lot of weight.

Oh, and those of you that do pay your taxes. I can't see any possible way you can argue against political action since you're funding it. Someone running for office may or may not win, yet paying taxes is guaranteed to fund the political process (your money pays the salaries of politicians and the electrict and heating bills and the ganitor to keep the buildings clean). So, if you're paying for all of that stuff, according to Stefan, you might as well use it to get some of you freedoms back.

There's nothing immoral about giving an armed robber your wallet. The huge difference between paying taxes and involving oneself in the government is that one is voluntary and one is coerced. This is where my reluctance to participate in government activity comes from in part. In other part, I feel like talking to people is a more effective means for me. I can write, podcast, and chat up folks at bars far better than I can protest, run a campaign, or start a free stater business. In other other part, I feel like government solutions won't work toward the future I hope for and that the talking stuff I mentioned above will. The FSP statement of intent says we'll change society such that the maximum role of government is protection of life, liberty, etc. My focus is to help change society. I believe the most effective way to do that is to take the philosophy directly to as many people as possible, and in as simple and clear a manner as possible. I don't think libertarianism/anarchism/etc. can be implemented into the minds of people through public policy, but that it works the other way around.

I can recognize that libertarian mindsets have made actual governmental changes in NH. I agree that it'll work easily for things like outlaw maincurists (not to discount the hours of work that must have gone into doing just that). There are people who are "harmed" by getting rid of licensing fees--the existing businesses in that field. Those people will oppose changes, but can only cause minimal change, so little ruckus will be raised at that level. My concern is that when you try to phase out entrenched social institutions like public education, farm subsidies, and welfare, that there are way more people who stand to lose something. That's when you'll need a lot more of New Hampshireite opinion behind your ideas. It's free, but from what I hear, not "let's get rid of public education"-free. I think we agree on this point. I'm just not someone folks should count on to campaign, wave signs, or vote, necessarily.

Dysurian: I want to turn your mafia example back on you for a moment.  You argued that one couldn't really change the mafia by infiltrating it.  That is exactly how police have diassembled most of organized crime.  Further if you are the don you can run a very different mafia, within certain systemic restrictions, than another don.  Your hands wouldn't be clean, certainly, but you could have a system that was different, even better, though not 'good' in the absolutist sense that you seem to demand.  So I can see that there could be marginal improvements or successes through infiltration. 

Now try your method on the same example.  Talk at the mafia.  Tell them they're wrong.  Tell the shopkeepers paying protection that it is wrong.  Ignore the don.  Don't pay your 'rent.'  You won't convince the mafia.  You will get your friends and family who are convinced by your argument shot.  You will get yourself a nice pair of cement shoes.

I don't think this gives enough credit to my metaphor. It just proves that you need to be the federal government to effectively infiltrate and disband the mafia. Government has ludicrous amounts of money, weaponry, information, and other resources to take down mafia families. My suggestion was that our peaceful, nonviolent revolutionaries do it. Since they're the same people who would plan to take down the government, they're the people I was suggesting practice on the mafia first. If anybody can manage to become the don in the mafia, they'd have to do some pretty terrible shit before they had enough mob credibility to get there. The mob and government are similar in that to be effective organizations there have to be lots of nasty people in them. Even if the don (Ron Paul, for example) were the nicest dude in the world, the rest of the mob guys would still be nasty.

In your second example you make the point that telling people the mafia is morally wrong wouldn't work. I'd say that this is actually a difference between the mafia and the government. People already know the mafia is morally deplorable and should go away, and don't (generally) think the government is deplorable and should go away. One reason the mob is way smaller than the government is that people know it's immoral. One huge reason the mob exists in the first place is because the government exists to make black markets more appealing. People don't make government go away by ignoring it and not paying taxes and defying its orders. People make government go away by knowing it's immoral and saying so to everyone they can.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 18, 2007, 10:28 PM NHFT
My point here is that I'm not sure it's possible to follow through on your example, and even if it was I'm not sure it's morally necesasary. Criteria were not provided to prove or disprove whether I need to reciprocate anyone I might have messed up before knowing about the non-aggression principal. In fact, it hasn't even been established that I hurt anybody. I could play the game and ask how I might have hurt people (I'll have to assume I didn't until I or others can think of what a specific example might be) but I don't see the point. Because this demand has impossible premises to satisfy, I'm skeptical of it, which led me to examine it further. The basic premise of it is that I can't be moral if I've been immoral in the past and not made an attempt to fix it. I'm not sure that works out logically at all. Nobody says, "I may have been a jerk in the past, and I should continue to be a jerk until I can fix all the damage I've done in the past," just like nobody says, "I may have been immoral in the past, and I should continue to be immoral until I can fix all the moral damage I've done." No. You just start being moral, and if there's any terrible trauma you caused (beating on kids, for example) you should recognize that and genuinely try to make good on it.

My point wasn't that you should act immorally, because you've done so in the past.  My point was that most of those calling others immoral are immoral, themselves, and are not in possession of moral high ground from which they are entitled to cast aspersions.  I believe there was someone who made a comment about "those who are without sin" and the casting of stones...

There's nothing immoral about giving an armed robber your wallet. The huge difference between paying taxes and involving oneself in the government is that one is voluntary and one is coerced. This is where my reluctance to participate in government activity comes from in part.

You aren't coerced to pay taxes.  Just pack up and live like a hermit in the woods, not interacting with modern society or using any manufactured goods.  No taxes.

Clearly, you are "voluntarily" paying taxes by choosing to lead a normal life, eh?

People don't make government go away by ignoring it and not paying taxes and defying its orders. People make government go away by knowing it's immoral and saying so to everyone they can.

Saying "government is immoral" isn't some sort of magic spell that will cause it to evaporate.  When it is small and atrophied enough, it might work, but it won't get to that point except by political activism or mass executions.  Personally, I think we should try the political activism thing, but that's just me...

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 19, 2007, 01:42 AM NHFT
Political freestaters have already accomplished quite a bit (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06), and the more of our people we get into office, the more effective we’ll be.

But none of that was achieved by getting the "right" people into office. That's the one thing I unambiguously have no faith in. Most of the rest is just campaigning against expansions of government. I'm cool with that. I'm a shitty liar so I suck at arguing things I don't really believe, like that so-and-so should be the next mayor/governor/president/whatever, but if I'm speaking sincerely I think I'm a lot more convincing. I can feel good about educating people about how some new expansion of government is a bad idea.

You can probably find plenty of anecdotes where someone's pet issue was addressed in some way by their guy/gal but what new laws did they create or expand in other areas? Who lost in that game? It's massively complex but the one thing that's clear is the trend- growth of government.

I don't feel like I can play that game and win. It's like a casino. You have little wins that encourage you to keep playing, but the longer you play, eventually the house always wins. The house favor is built into the game.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 19, 2007, 02:16 AM NHFT
Oh, and those of you that do pay your taxes. I can't see any possible way you can argue against political action since you're funding it.

This is why I'm frustrated when people call me a purist. I have a driver's license, my car is registered, and I pay taxes because I don't have it in me to go to jail right now. I also don't have it in me to live like a hermit. But I do think that not paying taxes is a great idea if you can manage it. It absolutely is a good thing to support the government as little you can possibly manage. I don't know how big of a bite it will take out of the beast but it certainly doesn't seem completely ass-backwards to me as a tactic. Difficult, yes, but the less support we give the crooks, the better. Speaking out against their games is just the tip of the iceberg, though it is a start.

If you're willing to go to prison for not paying taxes, that's just one tactic and I certainly admire people who do. I'd say if you do, contemplate how you can get the most benefit out of it in terms of media attention and sending the right message. Keeping your money out of the beast takes a bite out, but convincing others to takes a lot of bites out! If you can come up with ways to safely hide your money, displace as much of the coercive economy to an underground economy as you can, that's great too. If you can use the legal loopholes to pay as little taxes as possible, that's another tactic that seems reasonable to me. Making them send you to jail for a while instead of paying a ticket makes you a burden on government when they were hoping to make income off you. That's another tactic. If enough people started doing that, I think it might even affect a significant culture shift. If it stops being an effective looting/enslavement tactic to hand out a lot of tickets, it may reduce that behavior. I don't know, but it seems worth trying. It certainly hasn't been tried as much as politics has. The cops don't even seem to want to hassle with Russell anymore. He and Lauren gum things up so much and create such a media buzz. I can't help but wonder what 10 more of them would do, 100 more... Of course we don't know how much of an impact it would make, if any, but at least it's something that hasn't been tried. I'm writing a sci-fi comic that explores that what-if scenario.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 19, 2007, 06:19 AM NHFT
For me, as someone currently outside NH it's looking more attractive for philosophical revolution simply because there is a nice concentration of FSP anarchists.
This is the main thing that Kat and I are trying to accomplish. :)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 19, 2007, 06:43 AM NHFT
Which is important in many regards for any change to stick. Voting can make changes, but without the philosophical change... they'll change right back.
The problem being one must know the present system and how it came about to make the argument for change successful.

Its like the argument that home schoolers should not pay the school portion of their property tax.
Logical. They're not using the resource, and in essence saving other taxpayers money as the resource cost much more than their portion of school taxes.
But the system design is such that this route is blocked, so I think about coming at it from the opposite direction.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Eli on December 19, 2007, 08:52 AM NHFT
I can't help but wonder what 10 more of them would do, 100 more... Of course we don't know how much of an impact it would make, if any, but at least it's something that hasn't been tried. I'm writing a sci-fi comic that explores that what-if scenario.

Since this thread needs a little derailing.... ooo tell me more!
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 19, 2007, 09:53 AM NHFT
Political freestaters have already accomplished quite a bit (http://freestateblogs.net/victories06), and the more of our people we get into office, the more effective we’ll be.

But none of that was achieved by getting the "right" people into office.

Getting and keeping people like Don Gorman, Joel Winters, Dan Itse, Dick Marple, &c., in office, is pretty important—probably necessary—for some of those victories.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 19, 2007, 10:41 AM NHFT
True somewhat. Victories are largely socially engineered.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 19, 2007, 10:49 AM NHFT
Getting and keeping people like Don Gorman, Joel Winters, Dan Itse, Dick Marple, &c., in office, is pretty important—probably necessary—for some of those victories.

But you're crediting the FSP with those victories, and I'm saying perhaps the FSP persuaded for less government, but are you crediting the FSP with getting the right people in office to make those victories possible? And then even if you say "yes", we're back to this:

You can probably find plenty of anecdotes where someone's pet issue was addressed in some way by their guy/gal but what new laws did they create or expand in other areas? Who lost in that game? It's massively complex but the one thing that's clear is the trend- growth of government.

which I'm sure is the premise behind the libertarian party's pledge for candidates to only ever vote in the direction of more liberty and why many of them who vote will only vote for someone who's taken the pledge.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 19, 2007, 11:08 AM NHFT
I'm writing a sci-fi comic that explores that what-if scenario.

Since this thread needs a little derailing.... ooo tell me more!
[/quote]

I can't talk about it yet. It would be a spoiler for an existing comic book. That one has to get to a certain point in its own storyline before I can go there. :)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 19, 2007, 01:05 PM NHFT
Getting and keeping people like Don Gorman, Joel Winters, Dan Itse, Dick Marple, &c., in office, is pretty important—probably necessary—for some of those victories.

But you're crediting the FSP with those victories, and I'm saying perhaps the FSP persuaded for less government, but are you crediting the FSP with getting the right people in office to make those victories possible?

I’m not sure of the history of how all of them were elected. Joel is explicitly a freestater who was elected to office. Gorman is a Libertarian. I believe Itse and Marple are just independently liberty-minded.

And then even if you say "yes", we're back to this:

You can probably find plenty of anecdotes where someone's pet issue was addressed in some way by their guy/gal but what new laws did they create or expand in other areas? Who lost in that game? It's massively complex but the one thing that's clear is the trend- growth of government.

which I'm sure is the premise behind the libertarian party's pledge for candidates to only ever vote in the direction of more liberty and why many of them who vote will only vote for someone who's taken the pledge.

In the cases of the people I mentioned, it’s not one or two “pet” issues, it’s an overall voting theme. Are there bills some of these reps have voted for that could be considered to be aggression? Probably, but the overarching theme is support of liberty. This is just like Ron Paul: There are one or two examples where he’ll maintain the current aggression, or even expand it, but everything else he stands for is pro-liberty. (This isn’t “lesser evilism” to me—Lesser evilism means supporting a candidate who is only slightly better than another, e.g., supporting Romney over Hillary because there are a couple issues he’s a hair better on. Both candidates are anti-liberty. One just happens to line up with a few libertarian values by chance.)

To only vote for candidates who are 100% pro-liberty, to treat the ones that are 98% there as if they’re 0% there, is yet another example of making the best the enemy of the good.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Auntie Republicrat on December 20, 2007, 09:56 AM NHFT
It would seem 'government' is but a 'tool'..like a hammer, in the hands of Nitwitt Mitt, Hillbilly, etcetercrats galore it can be used poorly..it can injure, destroy, etc.. but in the hands of maybe say, Ron Paul (and other like-minds) it might be used to build a useful, decent, house, etc.

Remember, 'government' is no more or less than the people who make it up..and as all people differ..so, it seems, will all 'governments' differ!.. 
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 20, 2007, 10:13 AM NHFT
It would seem 'government' is but a 'tool'..like a hammer, in the hands of Nitwitt Mitt, Hillbilly, etcetercrats galore it can be used poorly..it can injure, destroy, etc.. but in the hands of maybe say, Ron Paul (and other like-minds) it might be used to build a useful, decent, house, etc.

Remember, 'government' is no more or less than the people who make it up..and as all people differ..so, it seems, will all 'governments' differ!.. 

Right. The government is just the apparatus of the ruling class anyway; it is they, and the abstractions they conjure up to justify their rule (“the State”), that are evil. Take the apparatus out of the hands of those who use it for aggression, and use it to dismantle itself.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 20, 2007, 10:15 AM NHFT
it's a specialized tool ... it can only be used for distruction
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 20, 2007, 12:46 PM NHFT
it's a specialized tool ... it can only be used for distruction

Exactly! Like Tolkien's "One Ring," to describe a similar metaphor used in the Anarchy In Your Head (http://www.anarchyinyourhead.com) comic that tipped off a good portion of this debate on this thread.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 20, 2007, 01:12 PM NHFT
It would seem 'government' is but a 'tool'..like a hammer, in the hands of Nitwitt Mitt, Hillbilly, etcetercrats galore it can be used poorly..it can injure, destroy, etc.. but in the hands of maybe say, Ron Paul (and other like-minds) it might be used to build a useful, decent, house, etc.

Remember, 'government' is no more or less than the people who make it up..and as all people differ..so, it seems, will all 'governments' differ!.. 

Right. The government is just the apparatus of the ruling class anyway; it is they, and the abstractions they conjure up to justify their rule (“the State”), that are evil. Take the apparatus out of the hands of those who use it for aggression, and use it to dismantle itself.

At times it is, and other times not.
It is largely the apparatus of that small portion of citizenry that vote.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 20, 2007, 05:17 PM NHFT
it's a specialized tool ... it can only be used for distruction

So?  Use it against itself...

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 20, 2007, 06:23 PM NHFT
it's a specialized tool ... it can only be used for distruction

So?  Use it against itself...

Joe

Use the government to tear down the government? But I think that's like saying we should use the Chicago Cubs power as a baseball team to make sure the Chicago Cubs are disempowered as a baseball team and lose their division this year (something I know Cubs fans can agree is actually happening ;) )

And that's the whole point I think many of us have been trying to make. You can't use government to dismantle itself any more than you could use the mafia to dismantle itself. The primary driving force behind the existence of any government is morality. Since many many many people think that our government is moral, it's able to exist. Taxation, welfare, wars, inflation, vice "crimes," all these things are effects of the system, not causes. Taxation is not (as has been implied by other posts in this thread) the source of the power of government. The source of the power of government is derived from its moral acceptance by most people. This is why I think that the most effective method to get rid of the government is striking at the root of morality, not tearing off the regenerating leaves and branches of specific policy.

Stopping paying taxes, moving to the woods, and living off the grid is not going to pull down the government. When Bob Woodsman moves out to the boonies and stops paying taxes, they just charge a fraction of a penny more to everyone else. I bring up this example because I think Lex suggested I do this to remain moral, and I haven't properly addressed it yet. Taxation is an effect of the government not its cause. While he's out there Bob Woodsman's spending ENORMOUS amounts of time tending to his garden, his solar pannels, his livestock, and his home in general that he has basically no time whatsoever to talk to other people. But talking to other people is exactly what needs to be done to sweep out the morality from under government in the first place! I know for sure it's what brought me around to this position. In fact, communication (whether it's podcasts, books, articles, the internet, conversation with friends) is the only thing that brought any of us around to these views in the first place (unless you were just born an continued to be a libertarian/anarchist you whole life). That's why I stress the importance of communication of the message above all else. It's how we all got here in the first place.

Moving to the woods and living off the grid can spark some conversations, but there's only so much time to elaborate when you've got so much work to do to keep your household running. Legislating libertarian ideas can spark conversation, but a lot less than sparking the conversation in other ways. How many regular non-political people you know are talking legislation on a daily basis? Morality is discussed constantly, whether implicitly or explicitly, by everyday people. Also, it's confusing for people to have an ethical idea legislated to them, rather than discussed with them. It's not as easy to convince someone that your position is actually a moral one when you need to use the force of legislation to impose that moral position on them. Additionally, it comes across as positional. Instead of just a democrat-republican dynamic, you're adding a third parameter of "libertarian." To most people, libertarian politics will just look like another positional preference. The philosophy behind libertarianism isn't one of preference, though, it's a moral position. It's not "what I want to happen," it's "what I know to be morally right." It confuses people to frame it as another preferential political choice, and I think that could be dangerous to the message as a whole.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Auntie Republicrat on December 20, 2007, 08:16 PM NHFT
...ok, shazaam!, 'anarchism' reigns..and, for example, YOU wake up soon afterwards to find that the garbage dump mafia has decided to use what you understand as part of 'your property' to dump stinking toxic filth..

..don't tell me, I should just move..right, 'anarchists?'

...yes, 'anarchism' may be the highest form in the 'evolution' of human systems..but look around TODAY..look at all the Republicrat monkeys!!  ;)

(maybe 'the anarchists' have been hitting the dvd's a little too hard!)  ;)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 20, 2007, 08:33 PM NHFT
Use the government to tear down the government? But I think that's like saying we should use the Chicago Cubs power as a baseball team to make sure the Chicago Cubs are disempowered as a baseball team and lose their division this year (something I know Cubs fans can agree is actually happening ;) )

And that's the whole point I think many of us have been trying to make. You can't use government to dismantle itself any more than you could use the mafia to dismantle itself. The primary driving force behind the existence of any government is morality. Since many many many people think that our government is moral, it's able to exist. Taxation, welfare, wars, inflation, vice "crimes," all these things are effects of the system, not causes. Taxation is not (as has been implied by other posts in this thread) the source of the power of government. The source of the power of government is derived from its moral acceptance by most people. This is why I think that the most effective method to get rid of the government is striking at the root of morality, not tearing off the regenerating leaves and branches of specific policy.

As I've said before, you can't use the government to eliminate itself.  But you can certainly use it to weaken itself to the point that it can be eliminated by other means.

Let's take your mafia example.  The mob is in your town, and the shopkeepers pay them tribute because they have no real choice.  Some actually think the mob is doing a good thing - this particular mob boss likes children, so he makes sure there is free candy and nice playgrounds and other things for them, and they maintain the roads nicely.  All know that they cannot hope to defeat the mob in armed conflict, because too many of their neighbors would chicken out or turn traitor for the right price.

What are you to do?  How about you get a different "family" to fight the current one?  You don't like either, but the resulting series of "hits" and such weaken them both dramatically.  Now your neighbors constitute a force that can stand up and tell them to get lost.

Stopping paying taxes, moving to the woods, and living off the grid is not going to pull down the government. When Bob Woodsman moves out to the boonies and stops paying taxes, they just charge a fraction of a penny more to everyone else. I bring up this example because I think Lex suggested I do this to remain moral, and I haven't properly addressed it yet. Taxation is an effect of the government not its cause. While he's out there Bob Woodsman's spending ENORMOUS amounts of time tending to his garden, his solar pannels, his livestock, and his home in general that he has basically no time whatsoever to talk to other people. But talking to other people is exactly what needs to be done to sweep out the morality from under government in the first place! I know for sure it's what brought me around to this position. In fact, communication (whether it's podcasts, books, articles, the internet, conversation with friends) is the only thing that brought any of us around to these views in the first place (unless you were just born an continued to be a libertarian/anarchist you whole life). That's why I stress the importance of communication of the message above all else. It's how we all got here in the first place.

But you're supporting the government.  With tax money.  I don't care what talking you do.  Clearly, you want to have the government around, because you are choosing to pay taxes. ::)

Makes about as much sense as saying that involvement in politics for the purpose of damaging the government is "support."  Both are choices we make, because we believe that we can do more to reach our goals in this manner.

You choose to pay taxes because the alternative takes you out of contact with those you hope to talk to and potentially convert.  Others choose to get involved with the political process because the alternative limits their ability to pit the government against itself for the purpose of weakening it.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 20, 2007, 09:21 PM NHFT
Use the government to tear down the government? But I think that's like saying we should use the Chicago Cubs power as a baseball team to make sure the Chicago Cubs are disempowered as a baseball team and lose their division this year (something I know Cubs fans can agree is actually happening ;) )

And that's the whole point I think many of us have been trying to make. You can't use government to dismantle itself any more than you could use the mafia to dismantle itself. The primary driving force behind the existence of any government is morality. Since many many many people think that our government is moral, it's able to exist. Taxation, welfare, wars, inflation, vice "crimes," all these things are effects of the system, not causes. Taxation is not (as has been implied by other posts in this thread) the source of the power of government. The source of the power of government is derived from its moral acceptance by most people. This is why I think that the most effective method to get rid of the government is striking at the root of morality, not tearing off the regenerating leaves and branches of specific policy.

As I've said before, you can't use the government to eliminate itself.  But you can certainly use it to weaken itself to the point that it can be eliminated by other means.

Let's take your mafia example.  The mob is in your town, and the shopkeepers pay them tribute because they have no real choice.  Some actually think the mob is doing a good thing - this particular mob boss likes children, so he makes sure there is free candy and nice playgrounds and other things for them, and they maintain the roads nicely.  All know that they cannot hope to defeat the mob in armed conflict, because too many of their neighbors would chicken out or turn traitor for the right price.

What are you to do?  How about you get a different "family" to fight the current one?  You don't like either, but the resulting series of "hits" and such weaken them both dramatically.  Now your neighbors constitute a force that can stand up and tell them to get lost.


This example shows how other governments take one another over. The new "family" doesn't go away when the old one is defeated, and the new "family" always grows exponentially (take the USA, for example). Your example shows what others have suggested; that one mob group can be beaten down by another mob group. What I'm looking for is there to not be any mob groups around. Nobody is suggesting that people create a separate competing government to take down the NH or Federal government with. They're suggesting getting elected to the current government to effect change. That's why my examples around the mafia always suggest you need to infiltrate an existing group and turn it against its main purposes. That's the parallel we have to work with if this example is to mean anything.

To take another tack, let's go back to my Chicago Cubs example. I said using the government against itself is like using the Cubs to beat the Cubs at baseball. You switched the example to using the Braves to defeat the Cubs at baseball. Do you see the difference?

As I've said a few times. I can absolutely see how certain things can be cut away from the fringes of legislation, and how other things can be stopped by libertarian legislation. I haven't heard an adequate answer to how the big things of school, welfare, farm subsidies, and such (the things that justify government in the minds of most people) will be dealt with politically. If the political solutions are limited to slowing or stopping the growth of government in NH (already the slowest-growing government around), then I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed. If small (albeit neat) victories like no zoning, manicurist licensing, limitations on searches, etc. are possible, I still feel like my efforts are better spent spreading the ideas of freedom as far and as wide and as quickly as possible. If government solutions can take down big, entrenched institutions like welfare, homeland security, and the war on drugs...well then we're talking! I'm interested, but I don't see how it'll work without a fundamental shift in how people think in general. That's why that's what I want to work on.


But you're supporting the government.  With tax money.  I don't care what talking you do.  Clearly, you want to have the government around, because you are choosing to pay taxes. ::)

Makes about as much sense as saying that involvement in politics for the purpose of damaging the government is "support."  Both are choices we make, because we believe that we can do more to reach our goals in this manner.

You choose to pay taxes because the alternative takes you out of contact with those you hope to talk to and potentially convert.  Others choose to get involved with the political process because the alternative limits their ability to pit the government against itself for the purpose of weakening it.

Joe

Saying I want government is around seems to me to be a direct attack. It's pretty clear at this point that I don't, and I feel like your statement was just intended to get my goat and provoke a response. I just wanted to be clear that I noticed it as such. If there's a problem with my logic, I'll be glad to address it. I don't "voluntarily" choose support the government through taxation any more than I "voluntarily" choose support a tapeworm in my intestines. I just want to be clear that the supposed choice to pay taxes is a little different from any other sort of thing we would call a "choice." The choice to go shopping at the mall is a choice in the full sense of the word. I can either go shopping at the mall, or I can go shopping at Wal-Mart, or I can just stay home and not go shopping at all. In the case of taxation, it's a little different, fundamentally, because there's a gun to my head. The supposed choice with taxation is to pay taxes, or to be eligible for imprisonment or, if necessary, murder. There's no choice to not pay taxes and remain free because the government exists to point guns at us. If I hold a gun to your head and tell you "Give me some money or I'll blow your brains out," it would be pretty clear that I'm giving you a couple of possible options, but to call it a free choice would be to pervert the meaning of the word choice.

I realize that you can't eat chocolate cake every day and choose be healthy, but that's because of the laws of human biology. They're pretty much unquestionable. The reason I get shot if I don't pay my taxes is because of an imposed law, arbitrarily made up by some guys and implemented in 1913. The nature of income tax is completely different from that of human biology. One is unavoidable, the other is forcefully imposed at the point of a gun. If I had to make every decision in my life with a gun at my temple, we could scarcely call my decisions choices.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 20, 2007, 10:15 PM NHFT
This example shows how other governments take one another over. The new "family" doesn't go away when the old one is defeated, and the new "family" always grows exponentially (take the USA, for example). Your example shows what others have suggested; that one mob group can be beaten down by another mob group. What I'm looking for is there to not be any mob groups around. Nobody is suggesting that people create a separate competing government to take down the NH or Federal government with. They're suggesting getting elected to the current government to effect change. That's why my examples around the mafia always suggest you need to infiltrate an existing group and turn it against its main purposes. That's the parallel we have to work with if this example is to mean anything.

To take another tack, let's go back to my Chicago Cubs example. I said using the government against itself is like using the Cubs to beat the Cubs at baseball. You switched the example to using the Braves to defeat the Cubs at baseball. Do you see the difference?

"The government" is not a homogeneous entity.  It has many facets and power blocs within it.  That's the trouble of a system based on power-mad nutcases... they all want to be top dog.

As I've said a few times. I can absolutely see how certain things can be cut away from the fringes of legislation, and how other things can be stopped by libertarian legislation. I haven't heard an adequate answer to how the big things of school, welfare, farm subsidies, and such (the things that justify government in the minds of most people) will be dealt with politically. If the political solutions are limited to slowing or stopping the growth of government in NH (already the slowest-growing government around), then I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed. If small (albeit neat) victories like no zoning, manicurist licensing, limitations on searches, etc. are possible, I still feel like my efforts are better spent spreading the ideas of freedom as far and as wide and as quickly as possible. If government solutions can take down big, entrenched institutions like welfare, homeland security, and the war on drugs...well then we're talking! I'm interested, but I don't see how it'll work without a fundamental shift in how people think in general. That's why that's what I want to work on.

Look at the support Ron Paul is getting.  He might not be perfect, but it certainly demonstrates a great deal of dissatisfaction with the status quo among many of the populace.

Saying I want government is around seems to me to be a direct attack. It's pretty clear at this point that I don't, and I feel like your statement was just intended to get my goat and provoke a response. I just wanted to be clear that I noticed it as such. If there's a problem with my logic, I'll be glad to address it.

Someone has a bit of trouble understanding sarcasm... :o  The rolling eyes should have done it, but apparently not...

I don't "voluntarily" choose support the government through taxation any more than I "voluntarily" choose support a tapeworm in my intestines. I just want to be clear that the supposed choice to pay taxes is a little different from any other sort of thing we would call a "choice." The choice to go shopping at the mall is a choice in the full sense of the word. I can either go shopping at the mall, or I can go shopping at Wal-Mart, or I can just stay home and not go shopping at all. In the case of taxation, it's a little different, fundamentally, because there's a gun to my head. The supposed choice with taxation is to pay taxes, or to be eligible for imprisonment or, if necessary, murder. There's no choice to not pay taxes and remain free because the government exists to point guns at us. If I hold a gun to your head and tell you "Give me some money or I'll blow your brains out," it would be pretty clear that I'm giving you a couple of possible options, but to call it a free choice would be to pervert the meaning of the word choice.

I realize that you can't eat chocolate cake every day and choose be healthy, but that's because of the laws of human biology. They're pretty much unquestionable. The reason I get shot if I don't pay my taxes is because of an imposed law, arbitrarily made up by some guys and implemented in 1913. The nature of income tax is completely different from that of human biology. One is unavoidable, the other is forcefully imposed at the point of a gun. If I had to make every decision in my life with a gun at my temple, we could scarcely call my decisions choices.

You can go live in the woods.  No taxation.  Simple, right?

Or you can recognize that the pre-existing condition of duress applies to voting as much as it applies to taxation.  In neither case can you be morally responsible for the acts of the government, because they already have the gun to your head.  How you choose to defend yourself is up to you.

If paying taxes (defending yourself against attack by paying tribute) is valid, then so is defense that involves using the political methods of the system against itself.  You can't have it both ways.  If one is legitimate, so is the other.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 20, 2007, 10:43 PM NHFT

Saying I want government is around seems to me to be a direct attack. It's pretty clear at this point that I don't, and I feel like your statement was just intended to get my goat and provoke a response. I just wanted to be clear that I noticed it as such. If there's a problem with my logic, I'll be glad to address it.

Someone has a bit of trouble understanding sarcasm... :o  The rolling eyes should have done it, but apparently not...

See, I think you've just done it again. By saying things like, "Someone has a bit of trouble understanding sarcasm...the rolling eyes should have done it, but apparently not..." you're basically calling me an idiot. The rolling eyes seemed to me to just add to the antagonism. If you really thought I was an idiot, you'd explain it to me patiently. If you wanted to piss me off, you'd say pretty much what you did. Using sarcasm to discredit my position seemed to me like an emotional attack, not a logical one. I'm being as careful as possible to not let this descend into a round of the sort of emotional attacks message boards are prone to, because I find this topic to be extremely serious and important. That's not to say I don't think there's room for humor (which I've been using a bit of)...but sarcasm isn't just humor, it's humor directed to get an emotional rise out of someone. I only pointed it out because I didn't want you to think you had made any sort of argument against my position by saying that I wanted the government around.

I don't "voluntarily" choose support the government through taxation any more than I "voluntarily" choose support a tapeworm in my intestines. I just want to be clear that the supposed choice to pay taxes is a little different from any other sort of thing we would call a "choice." The choice to go shopping at the mall is a choice in the full sense of the word. I can either go shopping at the mall, or I can go shopping at Wal-Mart, or I can just stay home and not go shopping at all. In the case of taxation, it's a little different, fundamentally, because there's a gun to my head. The supposed choice with taxation is to pay taxes, or to be eligible for imprisonment or, if necessary, murder. There's no choice to not pay taxes and remain free because the government exists to point guns at us. If I hold a gun to your head and tell you "Give me some money or I'll blow your brains out," it would be pretty clear that I'm giving you a couple of possible options, but to call it a free choice would be to pervert the meaning of the word choice.

I realize that you can't eat chocolate cake every day and choose be healthy, but that's because of the laws of human biology. They're pretty much unquestionable. The reason I get shot if I don't pay my taxes is because of an imposed law, arbitrarily made up by some guys and implemented in 1913. The nature of income tax is completely different from that of human biology. One is unavoidable, the other is forcefully imposed at the point of a gun. If I had to make every decision in my life with a gun at my temple, we could scarcely call my decisions choices.

You can go live in the woods.  No taxation.  Simple, right?

Or you can recognize that the pre-existing condition of duress applies to voting as much as it applies to taxation.  In neither case can you be morally responsible for the acts of the government, because they already have the gun to your head.  How you choose to defend yourself is up to you.

If paying taxes (defending yourself against attack by paying tribute) is valid, then so is defense that involves using the political methods of the system against itself.  You can't have it both ways.  If one is legitimate, so is the other.

Joe

There is still a difference between taxation and voting, even if they are both functions of government. One you get shot for, the other you don't. There's a lot more choice involved in voting, because you get to choose to not vote if you don't want to. I agree that how you choose to defend yourself is up to you. I'm not saying that voting is immoral anymore, because I'm not completely sure if it is (though I still think it's less effective to reach my goals than other methods).

I think it's important to also say that I don't feel like government is the final problem in society. I think this might be where our views differ. I believe government is an effect of a sick society, and that's why I'm interested in working with people. I realize "society" is a concept and not an actual thing I can touch, but it's still a word that means something. I've been called out in this thread for using concepts like "society," and I just want to make clear that I don't think there's this actual thing out there called "society," but that it's an effective label to describe an "aggregation of people." Just like "forest" is a helpful description of a "goodly bunch of trees."
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: JJ on December 20, 2007, 10:54 PM NHFT
I respect the idea of Anarchy and those who are active in spreading the corresponding philosohy.  Without a doubt it is the most pro-liberty idea possible. 


The part that is most troubling is those individuals who will not participate in the system but continue to fund it.  As a matter of personal responsibility I believe that if you are paying for something you should express how you wish your funds to be spent.  Clearly I am referring to voting and calling representatives.  You pay taxes, you vote, they ought to go hand.  Even it you write in a vote for abolish government or something to that effect. 

Paying for something you do not acknowledge is a bit backwards.  It is like having a sports competition and not showing up to the game because you don't acknowledge the other team.  Naturally you forfeit and the game and the trophy gets handed to the other team.

For some it is a matter of personally comfort and personal situations which I can understand hence the reason I work within the system. 

In the same token crucifying those individuals that would engage in the system to try to make it pro-liberty is foolish.  Would you exile the mail-room clerk at Enron because of the evils that Enron transgressed?  Or the doorman or the whistle blower that tried but failed to warn those that needed to know?  No, of course not.  The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of those few individuals who made those sinister decisions and robbed so many of so much.

The baseball analogy used prior asks if we should use the Chicago Cubs to weaken the Chicago Cubs.  This is easy enough, hire a manage who wants to fill the roster with non-athletes.  Done.  The lose nearly every game.  After four or eight years, what then?  Hire another manager of similar thinking, rinse, repeat.

In the same respect this is how many see the Ron Paul candidacy.  It is a step in the direction of a weaker government, only a step.  Taking into account reality we cannot expect a switch to be thrown and government to disappear.  Should Dr. Paul be successful, the next step is to continue the trend: dismantling departments, repealing laws, expelling corrupt bureaucrats, returning power to the states, ect.  At the same time individual out-of-system activists will continue to highlight and expose unjust laws and garner media attention thus, hopefully, generating public sympathy.



my $0.02 fiat



Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 20, 2007, 10:57 PM NHFT
See, I think you've just done it again. By saying things like, "Someone has a bit of trouble understanding sarcasm...the rolling eyes should have done it, but apparently not..." you're basically calling me an idiot. The rolling eyes seemed to me to just add to the antagonism. If you really thought I was an idiot, you'd explain it to me patiently. If you wanted to piss me off, you'd say pretty much what you did. Using sarcasm to discredit my position seemed to me like an emotional attack, not a logical one. I'm being as careful as possible to not let this descend into a round of the sort of emotional attacks message boards are prone to, because I find this topic to be extremely serious and important. That's not to say I don't think there's room for humor (which I've been using a bit of)...but sarcasm isn't just humor, it's humor directed to get an emotional rise out of someone. I only pointed it out because I didn't want you to think you had made any sort of argument against my position by saying that I wanted the government around.

This makes about zero sense.  The comment was obviously sarcastic.  If I meant it seriously, it would be in direct contradiction to what I've been saying, so anyone could tell that it was sarcastic.  If it was anything other than purely humorous, it would be self-deprecation, not some sort of imaginary "attack."

There is still a difference between taxation and voting, even if they are both functions of government. One you get shot for, the other you don't. There's a lot more choice involved in voting, because you get to choose to not vote if you don't want to. I agree that how you choose to defend yourself is up to you. I'm not saying that voting is immoral anymore, because I'm not completely sure if it is (though I still think it's less effective to reach my goals than other methods).

You're free to choose not to pay taxes.  Just go live in the woods like a hermit.  No gun will be pointed at your head.  Simple.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 20, 2007, 11:37 PM NHFT
There is still a difference between taxation and voting, even if they are both functions of government. One you get shot for, the other you don't. There's a lot more choice involved in voting, because you get to choose to not vote if you don't want to. I agree that how you choose to defend yourself is up to you. I'm not saying that voting is immoral anymore, because I'm not completely sure if it is (though I still think it's less effective to reach my goals than other methods).

You're free to choose not to pay taxes.  Just go live in the woods like a hermit.  No gun will be pointed at your head.  Simple.

Joe

But there's still a difference between taxation and voting. When you say I'm "free to choose," and then tell me that my options are limited (to moving to the woods, going to prison, living on the lam, etc.) there's a contradiction. Do you see the contradiction? I can do whatever I want when deciding where to shop (or if I want to shop in the first place) and no such options are forced on me. I'm completely free to choose about shopping, because it doesn't present me with a list of my limited options, which are limited at the point of a gun like they are with slavery...er...I mean taxation  ;)


Paying for something you do not acknowledge is a bit backwards.  It is like having a sports competition and not showing up to the game because you don't acknowledge the other team.  Naturally you forfeit and the game and the trophy gets handed to the other team.

For some it is a matter of personally comfort and personal situations which I can understand hence the reason I work within the system. 

In the same token crucifying those individuals that would engage in the system to try to make it pro-liberty is foolish.  Would you exile the mail-room clerk at Enron because of the evils that Enron transgressed?  Or the doorman or the whistle blower that tried but failed to warn those that needed to know?  No, of course not.  The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of those few individuals who made those sinister decisions and robbed so many of so much.

The baseball analogy used prior asks if we should use the Chicago Cubs to weaken the Chicago Cubs.  This is easy enough, hire a manage who wants to fill the roster with non-athletes.  Done.  The lose nearly every game.  After four or eight years, what then?  Hire another manager of similar thinking, rinse, repeat.

Thanks for your input. I think your analogy of a sports competition I pay for but don't show up to isn't quite like paying taxes and not voting. I have initiated the sports competition in your example, but taxation is forced on me. If a thief takes my wallet, I don't find him and suggest ways he should spend my money. The problem isn't how he should spend my money, but that he shouldn't have stolen it in the first place. The money taken from me by the government is absolutely theft. It isn't anything like free choice on my part to say that I should vote to suggest how the government spend the money they steal from me any more than I should do the same thing with the thief. The problem I have with that method of thinking is that it validates the theft. It's basically saying, "OK, you've taken my money. Fine. Now at least let me have a say in how it's spent." If you're calling taxation anything but theft, I think you're giving it too much moral credit.

In the Chicago Cubs example: Just like the government has lots of fans, the Chicago Cubs do too. When you put in that first manager, the fans aren't going to like what's going on. The next time you try to put in a similar manager (or keep the same one) they're not going to stand for it. In this example, the "fans" of government have the power of voters, lobbyists, the mainstream media, a huge and diverse number of corporations, etc. interested in getting a "manager" in power who favors big government success.

I'm absolutely not interested in crucifying anybody here. I'm just explaining and defending my views to a receptive, intelligent audience. If I were crucifying people, I'd take the disagreements public and try to incite people against those who disagree with me. I don't ever intend to do that. It would really get in the way of my message and discredit me hugely. This conversation exists just on this board. If I ever take any crucifixions to the public, please let me know. I intend to be involved in liberty media in NH to a certain extent (I'm not in NH yet, but that hasn't stopped me from working on the beginnings of a podcast series I'd like to put together). I would hate to highlight the differences between members of the FSP (and liberty lovers in general) rather than highlight the important parts we pretty much all agree on, in addition to highlighting my personal views.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 21, 2007, 05:47 AM NHFT
the feds came into the NH woods and dragged off Ed and Elaine ... the evil force is very real

the best thing to destroy government would be to convince the public to stop supporting it .... but not paying taxes and hiding in the woods is something you can actually do ... otherwise you spend time doing what is safe, but doesn't lead anyone on a different path.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 21, 2007, 06:43 AM NHFT
The system isn't some magical evil that one day appeared.
The sixteenth amendment was instituted because it was initially a tax on high incomes (for the most part still is). The less affluent wanted to 'harm' those they felt controlled them and voted it in. The fact that it now affects 60% of individual taxpayers is the outcome of that spite.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 21, 2007, 08:42 AM NHFT
But there's still a difference between taxation and voting. When you say I'm "free to choose," and then tell me that my options are limited (to moving to the woods, going to prison, living on the lam, etc.) there's a contradiction. Do you see the contradiction? I can do whatever I want when deciding where to shop (or if I want to shop in the first place) and no such options are forced on me. I'm completely free to choose about shopping, because it doesn't present me with a list of my limited options, which are limited at the point of a gun like they are with slavery...er...I mean taxation  ;)

I assure you, there are places you cannot shop without the government pulling a gun on you.  Try to go buy some Uranium.

You never have unlimited choices.

The problem I have with that method of thinking is that it validates the theft. It's basically saying, "OK, you've taken my money. Fine. Now at least let me have a say in how it's spent."

If someone is about to be raped, and pulls out a condom to avoid catching a STD, does that "validate the rape"?

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Tom Sawyer on December 21, 2007, 08:46 AM NHFT
I never agreed to any terms established by some of those dead folks.

This system is built on a foundation of sand and the gooberment knows it. Politicians and lawyers can show the twisted path that claims legitimacy. You realize what a crock the whole thing is when you try to explain it to someone.

When you can go to prison for years for buying money orders with legally obtained money. When it is a crime to "hide" your money from big brother. When you can't leave the country without their permission... the list goes on and on. It is called a police state.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 21, 2007, 11:30 AM NHFT
The governance documents are a social contract that at any time can be changed.
The argument, 'I didn't sign the Constitution'... is largely used by people that will then aspouse their rights under it. It can't be both ways...

The problem we have is that a very small amount of the populous has been guiding the ship. Much of what we now have institutionalized is unnecessary and largely worthless... though costly.

I have a Social Security Insurance that is bankrupt, and worthless. I have an Army and Navy doing who knows what in my name. I have umpteen departments covering collective holdings that I don't want. I have a Department of Energy and a Department of Education, that I don't even know what they do. I have a Federal Highway Admin that takes gas taxes and builds railways and bike paths. Etc., Etc., Etc.

And all this before I get a redundancy on the State, and yes, even local level.

But because of the Congressional ability to borrow against the GDP... I can't see a way to stop them.

Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 21, 2007, 11:32 AM NHFT
Yea ... Ed and Elaine .... and their friends rotting in jail reveals the police state.
They got their money from willing customers ... and the government wanted half of it.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Tom Sawyer on December 21, 2007, 12:03 PM NHFT
"social contract" now there is a load of BS.

Just cause somebody comes up with a term and defines it doesn't give it any authority.

History is full of failed systems that had to be thrown off.

The first american revolution was farewell to Kings... this one will be farewell to the State.

People have come to enjoy choices in everything they buy... government is the next obvious opportunity. In many ways we are more prepared to decentralize/privatize than any time in history.

A Farewell to Kings
Rush

When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow?
We turned our gaze
From the castles in the distance
Eyes cast down
On the path of least resistance

Cities full of hatred, fear and lies
Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes
Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise
Beating down the multitude and
Scoffing at the wise

The hypocrites are slandering
The sacred halls of Truth
Ancient nobles showering
Their bitterness on youth
Can't we find the minds that made us strong?
Can't we learn to feel what's right
And what's wrong?
What's wrong?

Cities full of hatred, fear and lies
Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes
Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise
Beating down the multitude and
Scoffing at the wise
Can't we raise our eyes and make a start?
Can't we find the minds to lead us
Closer to the Heart?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 21, 2007, 12:36 PM NHFT
"social contract" now there is a load of BS.

Just cause somebody comes up with a term and defines it doesn't give it any authority.

History is full of failed systems that had to be thrown off.

The first american revolution was farewell to Kings... this one will be farewell to the State.

People have come to enjoy choices in everything they buy... government is the next obvious opportunity. In many ways we are more prepared to decentralize/privatize than any time in history.

A Farewell to Kings
Rush

When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow?
We turned our gaze
From the castles in the distance
Eyes cast down
On the path of least resistance

Cities full of hatred, fear and lies
Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes
Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise
Beating down the multitude and
Scoffing at the wise

The hypocrites are slandering
The sacred halls of Truth
Ancient nobles showering
Their bitterness on youth
Can't we find the minds that made us strong?
Can't we learn to feel what's right
And what's wrong?
What's wrong?

Cities full of hatred, fear and lies
Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes
Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise
Beating down the multitude and
Scoffing at the wise
Can't we raise our eyes and make a start?
Can't we find the minds to lead us
Closer to the Heart?


I was once told by a superior court judge that the authority of the Constitution becomes apparent right around the time I decide that permanent imprisonment without trial is wrong. The reason... the Constitution construes this right... without out it the right does not exist.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Tom Sawyer on December 21, 2007, 01:49 PM NHFT
Rights don't come from the Constitution...

Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Eli on December 21, 2007, 02:14 PM NHFT
Amen.  The Constitution merely recognizes a few of them and explicitly tells the fedgov not to violate them.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Jacobus on December 21, 2007, 02:33 PM NHFT
The argument, 'I didn't sign the Constitution'... is largely used by people that will then aspouse their rights under it. It can't be both ways...

Well, the government claims to act according to the Constitution, so if its threatening you I see nothing wrong with pointing out that it is violating its own alleged charter.  That doesn't mean you are a Constitutionalist; you're just pointing out the hypocrisy of the government.

Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 21, 2007, 03:06 PM NHFT
"social contract" now there is a load of BS.

I'd probably add some other adjectives in there...

A contract exists when folks enter into to a particular agreement among themselves.  It requires a "meeting of the minds" - everyone must know what they are agreeing to (or, at least, have the opportunity - if you don't read the fine print, it's your own damn fault).  And it requires consent - no contract created under duress is valid.  Those are the two factors that define a contract.

I didn't agree to any "social contract" so I cannot possibly be bound by it.

Simply existing does not put me under someone's "jurisdiction."

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 21, 2007, 09:59 PM NHFT
Use the government to tear down the government? But I think that's like saying we should use the Chicago Cubs power as a baseball team to make sure the Chicago Cubs are disempowered as a baseball team and lose their division this year (something I know Cubs fans can agree is actually happening ;) )

That’s a pretty good example of what we’re trying to do, actually—ever heard of someone paying off athletes to throw a game?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 21, 2007, 10:02 PM NHFT
The argument, 'I didn't sign the Constitution'... is largely used by people that will then aspouse their rights under it. It can't be both ways...

Of course you can. The Constitution doesn’t grant rights, it protects them. You have those rights, and can assert them, regardless of the fact that you didn’t sign onto a document that purports to protect them.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dysurian on December 22, 2007, 12:25 AM NHFT
Use the government to tear down the government? But I think that's like saying we should use the Chicago Cubs power as a baseball team to make sure the Chicago Cubs are disempowered as a baseball team and lose their division this year (something I know Cubs fans can agree is actually happening ;) )

That’s a pretty good example of what we’re trying to do, actually—ever heard of someone paying off athletes to throw a game?

Hehehe. I was really hoping when I originally wrote it that nobody would come up with this counterexample.  :P ;D That said, I certainly see that that's exactly what's going on with the political types around these parts. My point is that I think there are a lot more people willing to "pay off" the government to get bigger than those willing to "pay off" the government to get smaller. That's why I see cultural revolution as more important.

I think it was Joe (and possibly others) who said that it's necessary for both heavily involved political and heavily involved social action to see the ultimate (in my opinion) transition away from government altogether. I absolutely and sincerely hope this is what will work best, because that's how it sounds like its going to have to happen. It's pretty clear that I'm not changing my position anytime soon, as it is clear from 10 pages of this thread that political folk aren't changing their minds either. No matter what else, it's heartening to know that people this passionate are after the same goal. Maybe we won't see freedom in our lifetimes, or even make an impact in the long run, but it's pretty clear that we're making one of the best runs at in in a few hundred years.  :icon_pirat:
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 22, 2007, 12:52 AM NHFT
Use the government to tear down the government? But I think that's like saying we should use the Chicago Cubs power as a baseball team to make sure the Chicago Cubs are disempowered as a baseball team and lose their division this year (something I know Cubs fans can agree is actually happening ;) )

That’s a pretty good example of what we’re trying to do, actually—ever heard of someone paying off athletes to throw a game?

Hehehe. I was really hoping when I originally wrote it that nobody would come up with this counterexample.  :P ;D That said, I certainly see that that's exactly what's going on with the political types around these parts. My point is that I think there are a lot more people willing to "pay off" the government to get bigger than those willing to "pay off" the government to get smaller. That's why I see cultural revolution as more important.

For the most part, we’re not really trying to “pay off” currently elected officials (although there has been efforts in Manchester to organize freestaters into a liberty voting bloc, in order to reward or punish candidates who support or oppose our beliefs), but get people into office who will downsize the system from within.

A more accurate comparison would’ve been something like a rival team infiltrating the Cubs with their own players, but I don’t think such things have ever happened, so I used the bribery example of throwing a game.

I think it was Joe (and possibly others) who said that it's necessary for both heavily involved political and heavily involved social action to see the ultimate (in my opinion) transition away from government altogether. I absolutely and sincerely hope this is what will work best, because that's how it sounds like its going to have to happen. It's pretty clear that I'm not changing my position anytime soon, as it is clear from 10 pages of this thread that political folk aren't changing their minds either. No matter what else, it's heartening to know that people this passionate are after the same goal. Maybe we won't see freedom in our lifetimes, or even make an impact in the long run, but it's pretty clear that we're making one of the best runs at in in a few hundred years.  :icon_pirat:

Exactly. The political action that many of are engaging in is complementary to the outside-the-system activism and not its enemy. If someone wants to only engage in one or the other, that’s fine; what’s harmful to our movement is people on one side attacking the other.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Auntie Republicrat on December 22, 2007, 09:03 AM NHFT
Lots of theory...BUT..

..One would bet a bundle of federal reserve tokens ('dollars' to most/all 'anarchists'..p.s. for more on this $ubject see Auntie's thread over in general discussion!) that the staunchest of 'anarchists' here would be, VERY QUICKLY, calling 'the government cops' were they robbed, assaulted, trespassed upon, etc., by their BIG, stinking drunk, ex-con, Republicrat neighbor!..for one of MANY MANY examples..

(I await those 'anarchists' who've maybe been hitting the Clint Eastwood dvd's a little too hard!)  ;)
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 22, 2007, 02:23 PM NHFT
To be fair, the Anarchist understand that the system... regardless of how small will still entail restrictions on some freedom. The problem I see is that Anarchy, when defined as voluntary order, suffers a real world disconnect. History has shown that competition, and the use of force in some format, is a dominant trait.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 22, 2007, 09:00 PM NHFT
If someone wants to only engage in one or the other, that’s fine; what’s harmful to our movement is people on one side attacking the other.

Exactly.

Lots of theory...BUT..

..One would bet a bundle of federal reserve tokens ('dollars' to most/all 'anarchists'..p.s. for more on this $ubject see Auntie's thread over in general discussion!) that the staunchest of 'anarchists' here would be, VERY QUICKLY, calling 'the government cops' were they robbed, assaulted, trespassed upon, etc., by their BIG, stinking drunk, ex-con, Republicrat neighbor!..for one of MANY MANY examples..

(I await those 'anarchists' who've maybe been hitting the Clint Eastwood dvd's a little too hard!)  ;)

A good quote a friend just reminded me of:

When seconds count, just remember, the cops are only minutes away!

Most anarchists tend to be heavily-armed, and perfectly willing to defend themselves.

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Jacobus on December 22, 2007, 11:23 PM NHFT
Lots of theory...BUT..

..One would bet a bundle of federal reserve tokens ('dollars' to most/all 'anarchists'..p.s. for more on this $ubject see Auntie's thread over in general discussion!) that the staunchest of 'anarchists' here would be, VERY QUICKLY, calling 'the government cops' were they robbed, assaulted, trespassed upon, etc., by their BIG, stinking drunk, ex-con, Republicrat neighbor!..for one of MANY MANY examples..

(I await those 'anarchists' who've maybe been hitting the Clint Eastwood dvd's a little too hard!)  ;)

Do you think it's inconsistent to advocate for the government discontinuing its monopoly on a service, and yet use that service in the meantime? 

Do you understand that if the government was not monopolizing a service that people want and value, that individuals in a free market would be providing it instead? 

I suspect there will always be a demand for quick-response security services, and I believe that it could be provided without the government, and in such a scenario it could be provided more efficiently and in such a way so that people are not coerced against their will for funding it.

Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 23, 2007, 06:22 AM NHFT
There is no security monopoly. Many companies, gated communities, and even individuals use private security services.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Tom Sawyer on December 23, 2007, 06:49 AM NHFT
There is no security monopoly. Many companies, gated communities, and even individuals use private security services.


Yeah well just like government education, you are forced to pay for the governments "services" even if you don't use it. So if you choose to have private security, you pay twice.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Jacobus on December 23, 2007, 07:13 AM NHFT
There is no security monopoly. Many companies, gated communities, and even individuals use private security services.


I agree, but "security" is very broad and includes many things.  I'm thinking, as in the example, of a company offering services that are more inline with what we think of from the police.  They'd have a commercial like:

"Tired of the slow response of 911?  Want a professional quick-response security team that protects you from the bad guys but also respects your rights?  Then next time there's an intruder in your house, call 555!  We guarantee we'll be on-scene in under 5 minutes* and assist you in protecting your family and property."

* Certain restrictions do apply.

The government doesn't like competition. 
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 23, 2007, 08:26 AM NHFT
Maybe where your from, but around here it is all about competition. We actually had a Selectman make the suggestion that the local PD was unnecessary. On a recent zoning action, our Town Admin when questioned what the cost would be stated that increased regulation means increased staffing and cost. The zoning action (aquifer protection) is now DOA.

When direct taxing occurs... price and thus competition becomes a priority to the voters.
The problem is our system allows a minority of possible voters (majority present) to control the purse strings.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: MaineShark on December 23, 2007, 08:29 AM NHFT
Maybe where your from, but around here it is all about competition. We actually had a Selectman make the suggestion that the local PD was unnecessary.

Competition with whom?  The Sheriff's office?  That's not exactly free-market competition, now is it?

Joe
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 23, 2007, 10:54 AM NHFT
dysurian, your reason for paying taxes is that you do not want to make your life more difficult and that it is not a free choice on whether to pay taxes. but here is why this doesn't make sense to me:

By not voting against government spending and laws you are increasing your financial burden and personal freedom burden. Within a relatively short period of time (if you convince most of the other voters to do the same) this would result in a prison like lifestyle where all of your money is taken and you can't leave your house.

Taking this reality into consideration you have two choice:

1) Choose to pay your taxes, but not vote, and end up in a prison like environment.

2) Choose not to pay your taxes and end up in prison (where you conveniently can't vote anyways).

In choice one you are empowering the state by working to fund it. In choice two you are not funding it and in fact draining it each day you spend in jail.

It seems me that choosing to pay your taxes because you do not want to be more oppressed is an inconsistent choice with the rest of your philosphy. So, by picking option one you are automatically inconsistent (since you pay taxes) yet you disagree with voting?

On the other hand, I noticed you have stated several times that you aren't sure yet if voting is immoral. Can you elaborate more on this? Maybe we can help you be more sure once you can explain your dillema?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: (V) on December 23, 2007, 12:02 PM NHFT
Why are there only 2 choices.

Here is another choice, not pay taxes and not go to jail. I've not payed as long as Lex has been alive.  :icon_pirat:
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 23, 2007, 12:06 PM NHFT
how old is v anyways?

I do agree with you lex .... if you will always pay taxes to avoid jail .... then you are a slave of sorts.
How high do the taxes have to go before you say .... enough!
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 25, 2007, 02:29 PM NHFT
that the staunchest of 'anarchists' here would be, VERY QUICKLY, calling 'the government cops' were they robbed, assaulted, trespassed upon, etc., by their BIG, stinking drunk, ex-con, Republicrat neighbor!..for one of MANY MANY examples..

Why? So they can write up a report and make a pretense of looking busy? I can't speak for other anarchists, but the only time you'll see me calling the cops is if I'm required to by their laws to keep them from locking me up. For instance, after I've shot someone in self defense, I'm pretty sure I could get in quite a lot of trouble if I don't allow them to come write up a report and send their clean up crews. I would never call them with any sort of delusion that their services are actually to help me in any way.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on December 25, 2007, 02:31 PM NHFT
By not voting against government spending and laws you are increasing your financial burden and personal freedom burden.

Only if you believe voting actually helps in that respect. Many don't.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 25, 2007, 04:42 PM NHFT
Maybe where your from, but around here it is all about competition. We actually had a Selectman make the suggestion that the local PD was unnecessary.

Competition with whom?  The Sheriff's office?  That's not exactly free-market competition, now is it?

Joe

Policing is an unusual function unlike many others. Policing in modern times is generally investigation of a crime after it was committed and not security from such. If your killed... they'll investigate by whom. If your robbed... they'll investigate by whom. Your actually security is yourself and any reimbursement you get from insurance you've purchased.
The Fire Department is the same thing... they won't stop your home from burning down... just put the fire out afterwards.
So the major value of a local PD/FD (other than keeping up with the 'Jones') is any reduction that may be gained in insurance costs.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Lex on December 25, 2007, 10:13 PM NHFT
By not voting against government spending and laws you are increasing your financial burden and personal freedom burden.
Only if you believe voting actually helps in that respect. Many don't.

The bigger issue is funding the system. How can you justify funding the system?
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 26, 2007, 06:38 PM NHFT
that the staunchest of 'anarchists' here would be, VERY QUICKLY, calling 'the government cops' were they robbed, assaulted, trespassed upon, etc., by their BIG, stinking drunk, ex-con, Republicrat neighbor!..for one of MANY MANY examples..

Why? So they can write up a report and make a pretense of looking busy? I can't speak for other anarchists, but the only time you'll see me calling the cops is if I'm required to by their laws to keep them from locking me up. For instance, after I've shot someone in self defense, I'm pretty sure I could get in quite a lot of trouble if I don't allow them to come write up a report and send their clean up crews. I would never call them with any sort of delusion that their services are actually to help me in any way.

You’re probably also required to call the police if you’ve purchased any form of property insurance that covers theft (.e.g., insuring jewelry or somesuch). No police report/affidavit, no payout. Another reason to despise insurance companies…
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Eli on December 27, 2007, 09:51 AM NHFT
As if we needed one more.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on December 27, 2007, 10:40 AM NHFT
Insurance is voluntary. So depising something that you've attained voluntarily is a little odd.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on December 27, 2007, 11:07 AM NHFT
Insurance is voluntary. So depising something that you've attained voluntarily is a little odd.

The insurance industry is one of the biggest rent-seekers (working their way into the government, getting government favors, buying favorable laws, &c., &c.) in existence. Corporatism at its finest.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on December 27, 2007, 11:16 AM NHFT
lots of reasons not to buy insurance nowadays
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Eli on December 27, 2007, 03:29 PM NHFT
Aside from the fact that insurance is a sucker's bet, it's not voluntary anywhere but New Hampshire.  I'm not there yet.  So here it is another expense tacked on by the state, for a service frequently in conflict with its customers.  Insurance as it exists wouldn't exist without the state.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: John Edward Mercier on January 20, 2008, 06:30 PM NHFT
Aside from the fact that insurance is a sucker's bet, it's not voluntary anywhere but New Hampshire.  I'm not there yet.  So here it is another expense tacked on by the state, for a service frequently in conflict with its customers.  Insurance as it exists wouldn't exist without the state.

I think everything that exists to some degree is shaped by its environment. But NH has no required insurance, though contractual obligations might impose some. Most insurance regulations in NH are imposed upon the industry. Such as requirements to cover individuals at a rate that is under market value according to risk assessments.
This of course transfers cost to others, and makes them reassess their risk/reward ratio.

The end result is that those with very low risk, simple don't purchase. While those with very high risk complain about the increasing costs associated with it, and seek legislation to 'force' the market to their will.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: Russell Kanning on February 12, 2008, 07:46 AM NHFT


The bigger issue is funding the system. How can you justify funding the system?


Funding police/justice/criminal-court services is simple.  Make the perps pay.  And don't let anyone plead poverty: Everyone capable of being a perp has SOME viable organs, unless he's badly infected - and even then he is sure to be viable enough to have some value as a sex slave or a lab rat or  something.


Boy ... I guess we totally disagree.
Title: Re: Anti-politics
Post by: dalebert on February 12, 2008, 09:23 AM NHFT
Funding police/justice/criminal-court services is simple.  Make the perps pay.  And don't let anyone plead poverty: Everyone capable of being a perp has SOME viable organs, unless he's badly infected - and even then he is sure to be viable enough to have some value as a sex slave or a lab rat or  something.

One problem is where we disagree with the state on who the "perps" are, which is most of the time.