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Author Topic: Politics is an immoral dead-end  (Read 63465 times)

Faber

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #210 on: November 14, 2007, 09:19 PM NHFT »

If we could return this country to a Constitutional Republic, it would be a HUUUUUUUGE step towards the anarcho-capitalist ideal I so hope for. 

What happened the last time we had a Constitutional Republic?

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

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

Not voting will not bring down the state.  The act of voting does not confer legitimacy -- otherwise no one in that city out in Missouri, where no one came out for an election, would believe the government to be legitimate.  No, I think it's got to be a change in mindset, a change in public philosophy, where people realize that government = force, and that government is immoral.  Because people don't do what they believe to be immoral, and it is because people think that government is moral that it has legitimacy.
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MaineShark

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #211 on: November 14, 2007, 09:41 PM NHFT »

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

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

Joe
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #212 on: November 14, 2007, 09:44 PM NHFT »

the very fruits of the devveeeel

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

Maybe if Eric was on the show it would have been more lively. It was good to hear Dale on the show. You are a good spokesman for many of us. :)
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #213 on: November 14, 2007, 10:05 PM NHFT »

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

This is absolutely untrue. And it's where the entire argument about not participating falls apart.

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

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

Which is not the same as calling voting immoral.

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

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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #214 on: November 14, 2007, 10:53 PM NHFT »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The "voting preserves the illusion of legitimacy" argument is not aesthetic but realistic.  Voting is counterproductive for the reasons I have described in previous posts.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #215 on: November 15, 2007, 12:32 AM NHFT »

Vitruvian:—

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

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

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

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

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

And thus, I must ask you why exactly you’re a member of the Free State Project and the movement we have going here. This movement is about making our society more free—that is, lessening the amount of aggression happening out there. As I stated before, it’s a “big tent” movement, and any tactics, political or not, that actually work to free us and lessen the aggression are valid tactics, so I’m not saying that political action is the only answer. What I’m saying is that if what you’re only interested in is keeping your own conscience clear, even to the point where it’s actually resulting in more harm occurring (per your above quotation) it doesn’t seem to me like being a freestater activist is the right choice for you.
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #216 on: November 15, 2007, 12:55 AM NHFT »

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

Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #217 on: November 15, 2007, 01:09 AM NHFT »

Why do the politicians here assume the out of the system guys are just 'sitting around doing nothing'?  Sometimes out of the system activism results in arrests, and more frequently threats of arrest and property confiscation.  It works, but the cost is high.  You sit around and vote while everytime Russell, or Kat, or Lauren, or Dave Ridley, gets arrested they have the uncertainty of when they will get out. 
Your cavalier attitude is rather irritating.  If you don't like what we do, in our attempts to strike the ROOT of the problem, then don't join in.  But please don't assume that we are doing nothing.  When the cost is high, less people do it.  But that doesn't make it any less important. 
In this area we have, a syndicated radio show, two television shows, a paper, dadas news reports on youtube (when he's not in manchester , a graphic designer, a website that has become a major driver for the freedom movement statewide, and several activists.  Does that sound like we are sitting around on our ass?  Several of the things folks here have done, is a net loss, they don't make money off of it. 
I realize i am not always very supportive of the politicians efforts, but I don't accuse you of sitting on your ass. 
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #218 on: November 15, 2007, 01:18 AM NHFT »

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

Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I refuse to be a part of it.

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

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

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

Yep, it is. Except in this case it’s being used to rationalize a methodology for trying to reduce aggression and harm. That it can be used to rationalize other things is completely irrelevant. Unless you’re trying to claim reducing aggression and harm is one manner of evil.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #219 on: November 15, 2007, 01:28 AM NHFT »

Why do the politicians here assume the out of the system guys are just 'sitting around doing nothing'?  Sometimes out of the system activism results in arrests, and more frequently threats of arrest and property confiscation.  It works, but the cost is high.  You sit around and vote while everytime Russell, or Kat, or Lauren, or Dave Ridley, gets arrested they have the uncertainty of when they will get out. 
Your cavalier attitude is rather irritating.  If you don't like what we do, in our attempts to strike the ROOT of the problem, then don't join in.  But please don't assume that we are doing nothing.  When the cost is high, less people do it.  But that doesn't make it any less important. 
In this area we have, a syndicated radio show, two television shows, a paper, dadas news reports on youtube (when he's not in manchester , a graphic designer, a website that has become a major driver for the freedom movement statewide, and several activists.  Does that sound like we are sitting around on our ass?  Several of the things folks here have done, is a net loss, they don't make money off of it. 
I realize i am not always very supportive of the politicians efforts, but I don't accuse you of sitting on your ass. 

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

Vitruvian has repeatedly dodged every attempt by people in this thread to ascertain what he is actually doing. It seems that he is doing nothing other than trying to proselytize other people into doing the same thing he is—that is, get people to do nothing other than proselytizing. And I specifically use the word proselytizing because what Vitruvian’s stance sounds like to me is Anarchism as a puritanical, fundamentalist religion.
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Faber

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #220 on: November 15, 2007, 01:38 AM NHFT »

Ghandi gets quoted a lot around here, so let me have a shot . . . "BE the change you want to see in the world."  Maybe he was wrong, though; after all, he was a pedophile . . . .

J, do we have an obligation to take positive action to prevent other people from committing aggression?  How much of our lives are we obliged to spend taking that positive action?
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CNHT

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #221 on: November 15, 2007, 01:39 AM NHFT »

The part about reading somesuch stuff as what was proclaimed by Vitruvian (that we are all evil and need to renounce our behavior) and then after 24 hours concluding you have no 'choice' but to accept this view, is what is creepy and contrary to supposed idea of the pursuit of 'freedom' and being non-judgemental of others.

It's total hypocrisy as Joe said, unjustified. And somehow, an attitude of total absolutism seems to be completely at odds as well.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #222 on: November 15, 2007, 01:52 AM NHFT »

J, do we have an obligation to take positive action to prevent other people from committing aggression?  How much of our lives are we obliged to spend taking that positive action?

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #223 on: November 15, 2007, 02:03 AM NHFT »

J, do we have an obligation to take positive action to prevent other people from committing aggression?  How much of our lives are we obliged to spend taking that positive action?

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

Right.  So it's only an obligation for those of us who signed the non-binding FSP Statement of Intent?  Regular people don't have this obligation?  And this obligation only applies to government aggression, and only as much as each person decides is "practical"?  And, what's more, if someone thinks that fighting the legitimacy of the state by drawing people's attention to the gun in the room, it doesn't count, because it's not "doing" enough?
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #224 on: November 15, 2007, 02:54 AM NHFT »

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

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

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

Regular people don't have this obligation?

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

And this obligation only applies to government aggression,

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

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

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

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

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

If this is all someone’s going to do, I would lump them in with all the other “masturdebators” and “debatatarians” so many people on this forum are always griping about, and saying we don’t need more of. It’s already been shown to be not very useful at best, and actually counterproductive (diverting people’s attention from other things) at worst.
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