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"Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes."  --Alexander Haig

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Author Topic: Politics is an immoral dead-end  (Read 63934 times)

Faber

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #225 on: November 15, 2007, 03:39 AM NHFT »

Okay, so if someone thinks that fighting the moral basis of the state is what is most practical, it doesn't count unless they're doing CivDis?

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

If I had to choose between two things -- having a government the size it was in 1788 or having everyone realize that the government was immoral violence -- I would choose the latter.  It would last longer and have a more practical effect on society -- especially since we agree that anarchism is about more than ending state control.  So that's what I work towards.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #226 on: November 15, 2007, 04:19 AM NHFT »

Okay, so if someone thinks that fighting the moral basis of the state is what is most practical, it doesn't count unless they're doing CivDis?

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

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

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

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

I feel we’re going in circles, but: Having everyone realize that the government is immoral violence accomplishes nothing if the government is still there. Once everyone’s woken up, what are they going to do to rid themselves of this government?
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #227 on: November 15, 2007, 04:19 AM NHFT »

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

and the movement we have going here.  ...it's a "big tent” movement
Yes
I don't believe so. We are a very small group of people. Our motives and the decency of our actions, will be the determiner of our success ... not how big the group is.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #228 on: November 15, 2007, 04:22 AM NHFT »

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

and the movement we have going here.  ...it's a "big tent” movement
Yes
I don't believe so. We are a very small group of people. Our motives and the decency of our actions, will be the determiner of our success ... not how big the group is.
Do you think the movement is a big tent ... but it doesn't have room for say .... a pacifist?
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #229 on: November 15, 2007, 04:33 AM NHFT »

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

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And people on the political-action side of the fence are most concerned with lessening the overall amount of aggression happening out there, regardless of whether or not this means we engage in some amount of aggression ourselves. As long as the total amount of aggression out there decreases, we’re happy.
those calculations can be very difficult ... sometimes you hurt people when you use force.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #230 on: November 15, 2007, 04:36 AM NHFT »

Once everyone’s woken up, what are they going to do to rid themselves of this government?
not cooperate with it :)
It really is not that complicated. You don't have to make political calculations. You can just take one step at a time ... not hurting anyone ... and not helping the bad guys.
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Faber

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #231 on: November 15, 2007, 05:03 AM NHFT »

Okay, so if someone thinks that fighting the moral basis of the state is what is most practical, it doesn't count unless they're doing CivDis?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #232 on: November 15, 2007, 05:05 AM NHFT »

I totally agree with you faber.
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Faber

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #233 on: November 15, 2007, 05:06 AM NHFT »

and the movement we have going here.  ...it's a "big tent” movement
Do you think the movement is a big tent ... but it doesn't have room for say .... a pacifist?

Sure it does, just not one who makes moral arguments with any kind of certainty without putting in their time on NHFree :)
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #234 on: November 15, 2007, 05:09 AM NHFT »

this thread does shed light on how best to persuade people to not use the force of government
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Faber

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #235 on: November 15, 2007, 05:13 AM NHFT »

Could you expand on that, Russell?
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #236 on: November 15, 2007, 05:16 AM NHFT »

I was hoping that the thread would speak for itself. :)

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

Lauren has let her actions speak louder than words and I think they have effected many people .... of course some of them threatened her, but .... ;)
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Faber

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #237 on: November 15, 2007, 05:25 AM NHFT »

I thought that was what you were getting at, just wanted to make sure 8)

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

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #238 on: November 15, 2007, 08:23 AM NHFT »

I am listening to ftlive .... boy Mark is really excited. I wonder what brought it on. Kinda interesting
oh no ... they have dada as a wookie

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

Passion... hmm
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MaineShark

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #239 on: November 15, 2007, 08:40 AM NHFT »

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?

Straw man?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

Before we can change the world we must change ourselves.

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

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

Joe
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