New Hampshire Underground

New Hampshire Underground => Voluntaryism/Anarchism => Topic started by: sandm000 on March 17, 2009, 04:11 PM NHFT

Title: Lefties coming around?
Post by: sandm000 on March 17, 2009, 04:11 PM NHFT
http://www.motleymoose.com/

I'm not sure about this site.  I took a look at the Same sex marriage and the Ayn Rand article.  They weren't bad, they just weren't from a perspective I was expecting.

I'd appreciate further input, as I'm not sure how to feel about this website.  Current mood: Ambivalent.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: BillKauffman on March 17, 2009, 11:43 PM NHFT
Here is a great quote from the site from Clarence Darrow:

"First and last, it's a question of money," Darrow said. "Those men who own the earth make the laws to protect what they have. They fix up a sort of fence or pen around what they have, and they fix the law so the fellow on the outside cannot get in. The laws are really organized for the protection of the men who rule the world. They were never organized or enforced to do justice. We have no system for doing justice, not the slightest in the world."
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Sam A. Robrin on March 18, 2009, 09:44 AM NHFT
Here is a great quote from the site from Clarence Darrow:

"First and last, it's a question of money," Darrow said. "Those men who own the earth make the laws to protect what they have. They fix up a sort of fence or pen around what they have, and they fix the law so the fellow on the outside cannot get in. The laws are really organized for the protection of the men who rule the world. They were never organized or enforced to do justice. We have no system for doing justice, not the slightest in the world."


Problem with any such analysis that includes the word "money" in the first sentence is, it shifts the blame onto the wealthy, away from its proper place on the government (which most lefties covertly--if not subconsciously--want to be a part of).
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: chrisblask on March 18, 2009, 10:11 AM NHFT
http://www.motleymoose.com/

I'm not sure about this site.  I took a look at the Same sex marriage and the Ayn Rand article.  They weren't bad, they just weren't from a perspective I was expecting.

I'd appreciate further input, as I'm not sure how to feel about this website.  Current mood: Ambivalent.

As one of the folks behind the Moose, I'd have to say that this is the nicest thing anyone could possibly say about it. :~)

The original purpose of the Moose was to have some place that wasn't as echoy as most political blogs.  While it was founded by a group of "Lefties" (and I use that label loosely) the focus is "Progressive" rather than "Liberal".  As the header says, the only thing Mooses really even agree about the meaning of the word "Progressive" is that whatever your position on a point may be, it will only be proven correct if it actually fosters Progress in an empirical manner.  Ideological litmus tests are left at the door.

For my part, I've argued vociferously for (and against) both "sides" in the notionally linear political spectrum and voted on either side of the Party Line.  I don't think any extremist position stands much chance of being true - or moreover, is capable of surviving in the real world - regardless of which "side" it is claiming to support.   A recent diary by Neef (http://www.motleymoose.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1151) makes this point very well, I believe.

You are welcome to join the conversation, alternate viewpoints are always good.  It is important to note, however, that the site is actively moderated and an adult level conversation is enforced (comments/diaries that use the schoolyard-level discourse common on many blogs are deleted).  Some of the regular posters are quite far to the left, but be polite to them and they'll be polite to you.

-best

-chris blask
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: BillKauffman on March 18, 2009, 11:49 AM NHFT
There is an ideological litmus test here...

"All taxes are theft!"
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Vitruvian on March 18, 2009, 11:58 AM NHFT
Quote from: chrisblask
I don't think any extremist position stands much chance of being true

Them's fightin' words in these parts.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: sandm000 on March 18, 2009, 12:03 PM NHFT
http://www.motleymoose.com/

I'm not sure about this site.  I took a look at the Same sex marriage and the Ayn Rand article.  They weren't bad, they just weren't from a perspective I was expecting.

I'd appreciate further input, as I'm not sure how to feel about this website.  Current mood: Ambivalent.

As one of the folks behind the Moose, I'd have to say that this is the nicest thing anyone could possibly say about it. :~)

The original purpose of the Moose was to have some place that wasn't as echoy as most political blogs.  While it was founded by a group of "Lefties" (and I use that label loosely) the focus is "Progressive" rather than "Liberal".  As the header says, the only thing Mooses really even agree about the meaning of the word "Progressive" is that whatever your position on a point may be, it will only be proven correct if it actually fosters Progress in an empirical manner.  Ideological litmus tests are left at the door.

For my part, I've argued vociferously for (and against) both "sides" in the notionally linear political spectrum and voted on either side of the Party Line.  I don't think any extremist position stands much chance of being true - or moreover, is capable of surviving in the real world - regardless of which "side" it is claiming to support.   A recent diary by Neef (http://www.motleymoose.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1151) makes this point very well, I believe.

You are welcome to join the conversation, alternate viewpoints are always good.  It is important to note, however, that the site is actively moderated and an adult level conversation is enforced (comments/diaries that use the schoolyard-level discourse common on many blogs are deleted).  Some of the regular posters are quite far to the left, but be polite to them and they'll be polite to you.

-best

-chris blask

I read the "diary" he suggested, it's about traffic being both conservative and liberal. It's about an individuals goals as they relate to society's goals. It sounds like a centrist plea. And chris is claiming that any change is good change.  I think he might be a centrist reformist. A preserver of the status quo, regardless of how much "Progress" he desires to see, he doesn't want to upset the left or the right, therefor nothing will happen.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: chrisblask on March 18, 2009, 12:07 PM NHFT
Quote from: chrisblask
I don't think any extremist position stands much chance of being true

Them's fightin' words in these parts.

:~)  Certainly not meant to start a fight.  I suppose I could have found this site's basic premise statement before jumping into the middle of the conversation (I'll see if I can find such a thing as soon as I finish putting my other foot in my mouth), but since I'm here let me ask a question or two based on this and the previous comment:

1/  Am I correct in assuming that the user population here promotes a purely non-governmental social structure?

2/  Would the basic premise be that there would be no form of "social assistance" of any definition, or that any such structures simply be voluntarily supported rather than coercively enforced?  Rand's statement in an essay in "The Virtue of Selfishness" comes to mind (I really need to get a new copy and find the exact quote):  <sic>"I'm not saying you should never choose to help anyone, rather that you are best able if no-one is forcing you to."

-thanks

-chris
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: chrisblask on March 18, 2009, 12:17 PM NHFT
I read the "diary" he suggested, it's about traffic being both conservative and liberal. It's about an individuals goals as they relate to society's goals. It sounds like a centrist plea. And chris is claiming that any change is good change.  I think he might be a centrist reformist. A preserver of the status quo, regardless of how much "Progress" he desires to see, he doesn't want to upset the left or the right, therefor nothing will happen.

I won't try to define myself, but if "preserver of the status quo" means that I don't think radical change is typically best for all involved I'd say that much is correct.  IMO it's only worth burning down everything and starting over if there is a net positive result, and given the amount of suffering involved in revolution things have to be pretty consistently awful to make a clear case for that.

"Centrist" is about as true a single-word-descriptive as could be applied to me, but in saying that it is worth noting that I don't think single-word-descriptives are much use in summing up anything as complex as a person or a political view.  I love the Randian view of personal responsibility and the demotivational aspect on society and individuals of overly coercive social structures.  I also embrace an extremely pragmatic view of how fractally complex systems (like societies and information systems) find productive equilibriums.  As an Information Security geek and capitalist (http://linkedin.com/in/chrisblask) with a great deal of success applying theories to large realities I find views like what Neef described in the aforementioned Moose article about traffic to ring true.

Anyway, I'll try to do a little more homework on this community before I stir things up much more.

-chris
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: BillKauffman on March 18, 2009, 12:20 PM NHFT
Quote from: chrisblask
I don't think any extremist position stands much chance of being true

Them's fightin' words in these parts.

:~)  Certainly not meant to start a fight.  I suppose I could have found this site's basic premise statement before jumping into the middle of the conversation (I'll see if I can find such a thing as soon as I finish putting my other foot in my mouth), but since I'm here let me ask a question or two based on this and the previous comment:

1/  Am I correct in assuming that the user population here promotes a purely non-governmental social structure?

2/  Would the basic premise be that there would be no form of "social assistance" of any definition, or that any such structures simply be voluntarily supported rather than coercively enforced?  Rand's statement in an essay in "The Virtue of Selfishness" comes to mind (I really need to get a new copy and find the exact quote):  <sic>"I'm not saying you should never choose to help anyone, rather that you are best able if no-one is forcing you to."

-thanks

-chris

http://www.freestateproject.org/soi (http://www.freestateproject.org/soi)


Statement of Intent

I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the state of New Hampshire. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.

=======

It breaks down this way...

1. Most on the forum are minarchists (night watchmen state) which is the maximal role.
2. Some are anarchists of the individualist flavor (which is no role for the state).
3. A very, very few are left-libertarians who take two similar but different views that:

a. they are against all forms of hierarchy/authority which includes corporations (privileged by the state) and personal relations (men vs. women)
b. they follow a literal view of Locke (proviso Lockeans) that you can't have absolute property rights to what pre-exists human labor (natural commons) AND have have absolute property rights to self.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism)


Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Russell Kanning on March 18, 2009, 01:03 PM NHFT
the truth seems to be found in extreme "positions" to me :)

non-government society ... has  a certain ring to it.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: dalebert on March 18, 2009, 04:29 PM NHFT
If I were alive when 89% of the population supported the ban on inter-racial marriage even as the supreme court decided otherwise, I would have been proud to be an extremist. When slavery was legal and Abraham Lincoln christened his presidency with a speech supporting slavery and white supremacy, I would have been proud to be an abolitionist and extremist. When most of the world has bizarre religious views, I'm proud to defiantly hold my more realist views, extreme as they are. History has taught me that a view can be very broadly held and still be quite wrong. With the word "extremist" being based on believing what you know in your heart to be true and just despite disagreeing with broadly held opinions, then I'm proud to be an extremist.

(http://anarchyinyourhead.com/images/aiyh_items.gif) (http://www.cafepress.com/aiyh/6081362)
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: chrisblask on March 18, 2009, 05:03 PM NHFT
If I were alive when 89% of the population supported the ban on inter-racial marriage even as the supreme court decided otherwise, I would have been proud to be an extremist. When slavery was legal and Abraham Lincoln christened his presidency with a speech supporting slavery and white supremacy, I would have been proud to be an abolitionist and extremist. When most of the world has bizarre religious views, I'm proud to defiantly hold my more realist views, extreme as they are. History has taught me that a view can be very broadly held and still be quite wrong. With the word "extremist" being based on believing what you know in your heart to be true and just despite disagreeing with broadly held opinions, then I'm proud to be an extremist.

You aren't talking about extreme views, you are talking about being in the minority.  Those are very different things.  Belief in slavery - particular based on the binary of skin color - is an extreme view even if everyone subscribed to it.

What I mean, in general, are views that intrinsically include words like "every", "always", "never" and so forth.  Most examples of monotheistic religion are extreme at their core, for example (an individual believer can have their own tolerant version, but as a rule the "religion" itself is all about "all" "every" and "only").  Rand is often (incorrectly, imho) viewed as someone who believed in an ideology where no person would ever help another (which would be a broadly extreme view) when really she was opposed only to compulsion (which is extreme only on a granular point), but I still doubt it's pure implementation would work in the real world (i.e. purely voluntary support for society outside of Self).  The inverse Communist belief in pure compulsion is also something that doesn't work in the real world (and is imo much less desirable, if I had to choose an extreme).   

My view is that there is a balance of "ante-ing up" (iow "paying taxes", or "compulsion" if you like) and controlling your individual destiny and choices that works best in the world the way it is today.  IOW, while I would like to see more individual direction on how each person "antes" into the group fund and where those funds go, I don't think we are anywhere near a place where we could have a viable society where there was no requirement to ante up at all.  It seems that we are in a good position to demonstrably increase the individual control of and visibility into the granular management of the group fund (iow, gov't spending) in this and coming years, and that's a lot of what I will be watching to gauge whether we are in a progression or regression phase by my own metrics.

-best

-chris
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Free libertarian on March 18, 2009, 07:29 PM NHFT
  Chris, I'm not real big on "compulsory" anything.  If "group funds" are held by groups of people that want to do that...cool.  Thats called cooperation by free association in my book. If group funds are involutarily extracted that's called tyranny in my book.  The 2nd biggest harm we do to others is thinking we can run their life for them. The biggest harm is actually supporting the implementation of the 2nd biggest harm at the point of a gun.  Live and live.  Fuck forced group funds.     
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Pat McCotter on March 19, 2009, 05:29 AM NHFT
Sounds more like Pragmatism to me. If it works it must be right.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: BillKauffman on March 19, 2009, 09:16 AM NHFT
Sounds more like Pragmatism to me. If it works it must be right.

There is a whole school of US philosophical thought around "pragmatism" that John Dewey was at the center of...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatism)



Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: dalebert on March 19, 2009, 03:30 PM NHFT
You aren't talking about extreme views, you are talking about being in the minority.

That's typically how it's measured. "Centrist" as you describe, is based on have views central to the broader viewpoints. The terms tend to be defined based on what is broadly held, particularly traditionally broadly held.

From the answers.com definition (http://www.answers.com/extreme):

Holding especially political views that deviate drastically and fundamentally from conventional or traditional beliefs: extremist, fanatic, fanatical, rabid, radical, revolutionary, ultra. Slang far-out. See concern/unconcern, edge/center, politics.

Now, that bit of semantics dealt with, I see what you mean. I tend to talk about principles in absolutes, with an understanding that there are inevitable fuzzy lines in the application to reality. However, I find the belief in authoritarian monopoly government to be an extreme viewpoint from your own meaning for the word. That a single monopoly on violence will resolve any problems strikes me as absolutely absurd notion. Consolidations of power typically result in abuse. I think if we decide that we want a civilized society where we respect each other and want to achieve as much political equality as possible, there is no logic in creating exceptions in what we normally consider to be civilized behavior. We shouldn't make elite classes of people who get a free pass doing things that we would consider transgressions by anyone else. If someone wants to say that one class of people can steal or kidnap, etc. while considering it illegal for everyone else, I want to hear a VERY good explanation for that. I want to hear how that could be pragmatic at all. I have yet to hear such an explanation. Generally I get cop-out answers like "it's always been that way" and "that's the only way we can have a civilized society" but those claims have not been proven to me. I see very violent societies with massive abuse wherever there is an authoritarian monopoly government. I see all the problems going strong that are supposed to be addressed by governments-- crime, poverty, car accidents, wars, terrorism. Applying the same standards of behavior to everyone doesn't seem like an extreme viewpoint at all. It's just drastically different from our violent histories, and we should be looking for something different.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: BillKauffman on March 19, 2009, 04:25 PM NHFT
Quote
I find the belief in authoritarian monopoly government to be an extreme viewpoint from your own meaning for the word. That a single monopoly on violence will resolve any problems strikes me as absolutely absurd notion. Consolidations of power typically result in abuse.

Me thinks you got it wrong.

The best that we can hope for when we give up on "might makes right" which is arbitrary force is not being subject to arbitrary rule.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: djbridgeland on March 19, 2009, 05:01 PM NHFT
Walked around Downtown Manchester today, and saw several protest going on.  A couple of guys where holding antiwar signs, but most likely  coming from a lefist viewpoint.  Then there was one in front a Bank of America.  Someone holding a sign saying "Greed is Bad."  Didn't get a chance to grab their flier.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Caleb on March 19, 2009, 10:05 PM NHFT
You aren't talking about extreme views, you are talking about being in the minority.  Those are very different things.  Belief in slavery - particular based on the binary of skin color - is an extreme view even if everyone subscribed to it.

I agree with you.  But now we've lost any ability to define "extreme" views; it's only what seems extreme to each person.  My views would seem "extreme" to most people. To me, they are normal and society is extreme.

- I think it is extreme to tell people, under pain of being locked in a cage, that they must pay money (taxes) to a group of people so that they may do things that the person finds morally repugnant.

- I think it is extreme to use wealth to create terrifying weapons of mass destruction.

- I think it is extreme to lock people in a cage because they smoked a plant.

- I think it is extreme to set up dictators who rule their people ruthlessly, merely because that particular dictator happens to support "American interests"

- I think it is extreme to offer puppet governments loans at interest, with strings attached demanding that they enslave their population.

- I think it is extreme to pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth.

- I think it is extreme to support a monetary system, the sole purpose of which is the exploitation of the many to preserve the shameful luxury of the few.

- I think it is extreme to take money from the common man and give it as a bailout to a crooked banker.

- I think it is extreme to bomb anyone for any reason.

There's lots more that I think is extreme. The other side of that is this:  My extremely sane views are considered "extreme" by the true extremists. So simply defining yourself as "against extremism" is pretty much meaningless.
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Pat K on March 20, 2009, 01:00 AM NHFT
Hello Caleb  :hello:

You extremist bastard you. ;D
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on March 20, 2009, 07:24 AM NHFT
You aren't talking about extreme views, you are talking about being in the minority.  Those are very different things.  Belief in slavery - particular based on the binary of skin color - is an extreme view even if everyone subscribed to it.

I agree with you.  But now we've lost any ability to define "extreme" views; it's only what seems extreme to each person.  My views would seem "extreme" to most people. To me, they are normal and society is extreme.

- I think it is extreme to tell people, under pain of being locked in a cage, that they must pay money (taxes) to a group of people so that they may do things that the person finds morally repugnant.

- I think it is extreme to use wealth to create terrifying weapons of mass destruction.

- I think it is extreme to lock people in a cage because they smoked a plant.

- I think it is extreme to set up dictators who rule their people ruthlessly, merely because that particular dictator happens to support "American interests"

- I think it is extreme to offer puppet governments loans at interest, with strings attached demanding that they enslave their population.

- I think it is extreme to pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth.

- I think it is extreme to support a monetary system, the sole purpose of which is the exploitation of the many to preserve the shameful luxury of the few.

- I think it is extreme to take money from the common man and give it as a bailout to a crooked banker.

- I think it is extreme to bomb anyone for any reason.

There's lots more that I think is extreme. The other side of that is this:  My extremely sane views are considered "extreme" by the true extremists. So simply defining yourself as "against extremism" is pretty much meaningless.

See!  Ya mention Lefties a coming around and one shows up!
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Sam A. Robrin on March 20, 2009, 09:58 AM NHFT
People who use the word "extremist" are just spouting "extry mist" to obscure their true intentions . . .
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Caleb on March 20, 2009, 09:30 PM NHFT
Hi Pat!  :wave:
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on March 20, 2009, 09:34 PM NHFT
Step Dad!
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: Pat McCotter on March 21, 2009, 01:57 AM NHFT
Hi Caleb!  :wave: ;)
Title: Re: Lefties coming around?
Post by: David on March 27, 2009, 09:32 AM NHFT
Welcome Chris.   :)
I agree with Rand on the one you quoted;  "I'm not saying you should never choose to help anyone, rather that you are best able if no-one is forcing you to."   :)  Forced charity rubs me the wrong way, and exhausts my willingness to help others knowing I am being taxed through the nose to pay for it. 

This is primarily a libertarian activist website.  Started by two freestaters, as an apolitical alternative to the other discussion forums widely populated by libertarian activists.  Almost all here oppose the gov't not for what it says, but what it does.  The gov't is too aggressive and violent, both in the obvious aggression, and more importantly, the hidden aggressions that the gov't is far more likely to get away with. 
I believe the ends will be dictated by the means, and that a great deal of harm has been done under the belief that the end justifies the means.