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Author Topic: Politics is an immoral dead-end  (Read 55154 times)

Vitruvian

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Politics is an immoral dead-end
« on: November 12, 2007, 11:15 PM NHFT »

I have heard it said that political activity (i.e. voting, running for office, involvement in campaigns) is the most effective way to achieve our goal of a free society.  Some go so far as to suggest it is the only way.  I could not disagree more.

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

So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions.  Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007, 11:21 PM NHFT »

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 11:31 PM NHFT »

In case people are wondering why I've been withdrawing from direct political activity lately, face-to-face conversations with Vitruvian had something to do with that. I can't imagine how long a thread will have to get to compare to the amount of time we've spent discussing this issue back and forth in person.
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2007, 11:54 PM NHFT »

the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

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

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

Quote
How are they making it more difficult for you?

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

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

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


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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 11:58 PM NHFT »

Although I do not intend to be mean-spirited, nor to dampen the enthusiasm of my fellow freedom-lovers, I must insist on consistency and moral rectitude: the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse, and those who seek it in those places only make the journey more difficult for the rest of us.
what happens if they don't do what you want? ;)
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David

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 12:03 AM NHFT »

Hey guys, we need to get you both over to this side (keene) of the state.  Myself, Ian, the Kannings, Lauren and Jim, all live here and all (except Ian from time to time) are out of the system folks. 
Dalebert, I loved your call on the ftl interview with Lauren.  You prolly didn't make any new friends with the political folks, but I loved it.   ;D 
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 12:09 AM NHFT »

Quote
what happens if they don't do what you want? Wink

Our greatest weapon is the simple truth of our ideas.  We should not resort to the methods of tyrants even in the face of failure.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 12:12 AM NHFT »

the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

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

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

Quote
How are they making it more difficult for you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 12:17 AM NHFT »

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Many a movement libertarian's favorite pastime is reading others out of the movement for various perceived ideological crimes.  ...'When two libertarians find themselves agreeing on something, each knows the other has sold out.' 
Libertarians are a contentious lot... resolutely finding the most outrageous and obnoxious position you could take that is theoretically compatible with libertarianism and challenging anyone to disagree.  If they are not of the movement, then you can enjoy having shocked them with your purism and dedication to principle; if they are of the movement, you can gleefully read them out of it.
--Brian Doherty
_Radicals for Capitalism_ (2007)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 12:20 AM NHFT by picaro »
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CNHT

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2007, 12:31 AM NHFT »

So here is my humble request: I ask everyone currently involved in political activities (including the so-called Ron Paul Revolution) either to renounce said activities or to provide an airtight moral justification for their actions. 

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2007, 12:33 AM NHFT »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. See above.

5. I advance the cause of liberty by persuading those near and dear to me: my friends, family, and anyone else within earshot.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2007, 12:34 AM NHFT »

“Many a movement libertarian's favorite pastime is reading others out of the movement for various perceived ideological crimes. …”

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

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

What I do have a problem with, however, is people acting like their way is the One True Method, and anyone else is either selling out or otherwise hurting the cause.
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2007, 12:36 AM NHFT »

Quote
So what - if anything - would you do about the people who would view the end of government as license to take whatever they want from, and do whatever they want to, anyone that comes into their field of vision?

That is an entirely different proposition.  I suppose I would cross that bridge when I came upon it.
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David

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2007, 12:40 AM NHFT »

the path to freedom does not lie inside the voting booth or the statehouse

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

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

Quote
How are they making it more difficult for you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2007, 12:44 AM NHFT »

Quote
If you have the goal of removing the government, you have to ponder what comes next.
To set something so profound in motion without even considering its effects is, in my view, quite immoral.

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