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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: Anti-politics  (Read 13166 times)

picaro

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2007, 08:26 AM NHFT »

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
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 08:34 AM NHFT by picaro »
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #46 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.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #47 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 in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate forum where all the political work is taking place.
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #48 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 in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate 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.)
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #49 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 in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate 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.
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dalebert

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #50 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).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 12:14 PM NHFT by dalebert »
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #51 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 in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate 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?
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #52 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 in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate 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...
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dalebert

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #53 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.
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Vitruvian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #54 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).
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #55 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 in New Hampshire. There is one freestater representative in office, and several more reps who are our allies. The NH Liberty Alliance is the primary organizing group for this sort of work, and there’s a separate 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.
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Vitruvian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #56 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.  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."
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #57 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.  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.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #58 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?
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #59 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.
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