How to Think Like the Ruling Class

Understanding the origins of state power

In the beginning ruling classes had a problem. It will be familiar to those acquainted with the Austrian critique of central economic planning: Rulers could not know what they needed to know to do the job they wanted to do. Societies, even seemingly primitive ones, are complex networks held together by unarticulated—and largely inarticulable—know-how (mētis). That presents a formidable obstacle to centralized rule, which requires minimum resistance from the ruled if it is to endure.

Rulers, however, were not without recourse. If they couldn’t know the society they aspired to rule, they could (try to) shape it into something they could know. To use the term James C. Scott uses in his book Seeing Like a State, they could strive to make society “legible” in order to make it controllable.

Scott came to understand this point when studying “why the state has always seemed to be the enemy of ‘people who move around.’” He discovered that “[n]omads and pastoralists (such as Berbers and Bedouins), hunter-gatherers, Gypsies, vagrants, homeless people, itinerants, runaway slaves, and serfs have always been a thorn in the side of states. Efforts to permanently settle these mobile peoples (sedentarization) seemed to be a perennial state project—perennial, in part, because it so seldom succeeded.” He adds:

The more I examined these efforts at sedentarization, the more I came to see them as a state’s attempt to make a society legible, to arrange the population in ways that simplified the classic state functions of taxation, conscription, and prevention of rebellion. . . . I began to see legibility as a central problem in statecraft.

Blind Rulers

The problem facing rulers ran deep: “The premodern state was, in many crucial respects, partially blind; it knew precious little about its subjects, their wealth, their landholdings and yields, their location, their very identity. It lacked anything like a detailed ‘map’ of its terrain and its people. It lacked, for the most part, a measure, a metric, that would allow it to ‘translate’ what it knew into a common standard necessary for a synoptic view.”

Apprehending this problem was like shining a light on phenomena hitherto obscured by shadow. “Suddenly, processes as disparate as the creation of permanent last names, the standardization of weights and measures, the establishment of cadastral surveys and population registers, the invention of freehold tenure, the standardization of language and legal discourse, the design of cities, and the organization of transportation seemed comprehensible as attempts at legibility and simplification.”

He compares such these devices aimed at legibility and simplification, which he calls “high modernism,” to scientific forestry, in which resource management is strictly determined by the need for revenue. His list will raise eyebrows among us classical-liberal devotees of spontaneous social processes. Are we to believe that last names, freehold tenure, and standardization of weights, measures, language, and legal discourse were foisted on societies by rulers for their own convenience?

Ruling Contrivances

The story isn’t quite so simple, but it is close. Scott acknowledges that the growth of commerce had a hand in the promotion of some of these devices. But his historical evidence shows that things we have tended to regard as the spontaneous products of liberal progress were in fact contrivances to benefit rulers. This is not to say these institutions are bad in themselves or that none of them would have evolved spontaneously. That seems unlikely. But it is reasonable to think they would have evolved differently in important respects had they not been driven primarily a quest for social control. The contrasting processes—spontaneous order versus what F. A. Hayek called “constructivist rationalism”—would seem to guarantee this. It is unfortunate that those institutions were born in association with tyranny, prompting resistance from average people who felt imposed on by their rulers.

Let’s pause to appreciate the depth of the rulers’ problem. What we learn from Scott is similar to what we learn from Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel laureate who studies the innovative ways that people communally manage common-pool resources without government assistance. Left to their own devices, people jointly find ingenious methods of overcoming obstacles to the efficient management of land and other resources. This category of solutions  demonstrates that simple one-person/one-parcel is not the only private alternative to State ownership of resources. Moreover the number of potential solutions is effectively limitless. Thus how a given community will grapple with a given situation is inherently unpredictable. People really are the creative, entrepreneurial beings acting in an open-ended world that Israel Kirzner , inspired by Mises, describes.

That’s what made the rulers’ job so tough as nation-states were formed, driving them to measures intended to simplify the societies they wished to control and, yes, also to establish national markets. Scott writes:

[L]ocal practices of measurement and landholding were “illegible” to the state in their raw form. They exhibited a diversity and intricacy that reflected a great variety of purely local, not state, interests. That is to say, they could not be assimilated into an administrative grid without being either transformed or reduced to a convenient, if partly fictional, shorthand. . . . Backed by state power through records, courts, and ultimately coercion, these state fictions transformed the reality they presumed to observe, although never so thoroughly as to precisely fit the grid. . . . In place of a welter of incommensurable small communities, familiar to their inhabitants but mystifying to outsiders, there would rise a single national society perfectly legible from the center.

The great classical-liberal Benjamin Constant (1767-1830), whom Scott quotes, understood this well:

The conquerors of our days, peoples or princes, want their empire to possess a unified surface over which the superb eye of power can wander without encountering any inequality which hurts or limits its view. The same code of law, the same measures, the same rules, and if we could gradually get there, the same language; that is what is proclaimed as the perfection of the social organization…. The great slogan of the day is uniformity.

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  • Agriculture creates government||

    Agriculture creates government. ~Richard Manning
    Against the Grain
    page 73

  • ||

    Flowering Begonias are many and varied and identification is often difficult. ~ D. G. Hessayon
    The House Plant Expert
    page 78

  • GOV'T = Capitalist Handmaiden||

    Government is just the handmaiden of capitalism, and the primary capital of agricultural city-statism is Land. It takes government force to protect capitalist "rights."

    "A society crosses the memetic Rubicon when it accepts the abstraction that ownership can extend beyond the exclusive needs of one individual for survival. (Read Jason Godesky on Ownership) Abstract ownership begins when society accepts a claim of symbolic control of something without the requirement of immediate, direct and personal use. Hierarchy, at any level, requires this excess, abstract ownership—it represents the symbolic capital that forms the foundation of all stratification."

    "A Theory of Power" Online
    Chapter 9 - Forward, to Rhizome
    Jeff Vail
    www.jeffvail.net/2005/03/theor.....nline.html

  • the bilover||

    Leave me alone, and don't fuck with my stuff.

    the bilover
    at least once a day
    to some politician

  • ||

    Handmaiden? Sounds kinky.

  • Brian||

    Now, I'm curious:

    So, at the point that you achieve a primitive society (through whatever means), and it occurs to some group of people to engage in agriculture, how do you stop them?

    I assume you can't have unbounded population growth through individual hunter/gathering. How then do you deal with additional people, once you've hit a food/water population limit? If some group of people actually try to keep reproducing and supporting population growth with something approaching modern agriculture, what do you do? Convince them otherwise? Force them to stop? Or just sigh?

  • Brandon||

    Don't bother. Every one of us has tried. It doesn't debate, it doesn't argue in good faith, it doesn't even respond coherently, it just shits on threads and moves on.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "the abstraction that ownership can extend beyond the exclusive needs of one individual for survival. "

    Ha! Ha! Ha!.

    That concept of ownwership isn't one iota less "abstract" than the one you are continually squealing about.

    And you aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

  • ||

    Sheldon Richman sprouts the typical libertarian nonsense. The ruling classes exists because humans have an innate desire to be ruled. They do not want to think for themselves. They want a holy book like the bible or constitution to relieve them of thinking for themselves.

  • Eve||

    I made Adam do it.

  • ||

    Hi Mr. Gingrich!

  • Brandon||

    Then why can't the authoritarians rule those people and leave the rest of us the fuck alone?

  • e Pluribags Uims||

    Agriculture creates government.

    It causes people to eat babies.

    EAT THEM BABIES

  • Suki||

  • AlmightyJB||

    Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here. In other words, don't waste your time with this thread. Come back tomorrow. It's just another Troll/anti-Troll waste of ones and zeros.

  • ||

    thanks threadcop!

    fuck off now.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Actually smart people should probably just start avoiding the weekend threads altogether. They're really jsut a waste of time. Read the articles, skip the comments, and come back Monday when the assholes are done wasting their weekend.

  • ||

    Actually smart people should probably just start avoiding the weekend threads altogether.

    So we can expect you on weekends then.

  • Ryan||

    Good point. Since last night I've planned to ignore the comments section completely, beginning soon. I like to hear from a lot of the commenters, but it's really not worth the time scrolling any longer.

  • ||

    no one cares

  • AblueSilkworm||

    Good lord, it's started already...

  • Repairman Jack||

    I don't think the troll has missed a single Sheldon Richman post since it became active.

  • I am RICHman's Smirking Spleen||

  • What WI posted||

    ...supports, at least somewhat, Sheldon's article.

    White Indian does own a copy of The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale Agrarian Studies Series) by Professor James C. Scott.

    Hardcover even! (I told you I was former libertarian, and I sure as hell ain't poor.)

    Anyway, I applaud Sheldon's effort at studying the state from an empirical data standpoint, rather than market fundamentalist "axioms" preached in libertarian scriptures that prove to be so much bunk.

  • hk||

    Your arguments don't make any sense, Richman already mentioned the state getting in the way of market efficiency.

  • markets are statist||

    The first markets, slave markets, were driven by agricultural city-State rulers.

    Really, fibertard, read something other than your bullshit market fundamentalist scriptures.

    Maybe something like Savages And Civilization: Who Will Survive? by Jack Weatherford.

  • e Pluribags Uims||

    The first markets, slave markets, were driven by agricultural city-State rulers.

    Go back to your cave, dweller.

  • VG Zaystev||

    The first markets, slave markets, were driven by agricultural city-State rulers.

    Wrong.

    There is archaelogical evidence of trading networks more than 50,000 bce. Trading (markets) - is as fundamental an aspect of human nature as is speech.

  • shrike||

    Speech is a tool of the agricultural city-statists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shrike||

    No farms = no christfags!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Monkeys trade sex for food. They do not plant food.

  • Untermensch||

    What amazes me about WI’s posts is that they seem to grasp about half of Scott’s materials and then completely miss his points. I wonder if WI’s copy had every other page ripped out or something, because an understanding of The Art of Not Being Governed pretty thoroughly debunks many of WI’s claims that s/he/it (can that be abbreviated as shit to save time?) repeats ad nauseam.

  • ||

    Maybe the rulers were also driven to develop these standard systems to ensure that the people they ruled considered the rulers to be "fair". That is, that they treated similar situations in similar ways, and did not rule in an arbitrary and capricious way. When the people see that they have no way to predict the outcome of an event or situation, they become less likely to engage in that activity, and they become less supportive of their rulers. Which phenomenon is dominant is not easy to discern.

  • omnibot||

    Adblock is Kittys today!
    YAY!

  • Pretty much||

    Google Maps has a Dragon Quest overlay.

    Everything seems to be coming together nicely.

  • omnibot||

    Try streetview :)

  • Xenocles||

    Trippy.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Off topic, but Richard Branson has announced his latest venture.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Too subtle

  • Subtle Indeed||

    Present-day human carbon emissions could even exceed the CO2 output of several supervolcano eruptions, including the giant eruption that will eventually occur at Yellowstone National Park, Gerlach wrote in the American Geophysical Union's newsweekly Eos.

    Humans Spew More Carbon Dioxide than All of Earth's Volcanoes
    http://www.livescience.com/145.....anoes.html

  • Humans||

    FUCK YEAH!

  • ||

    Horseshit

  • Fatty Bolger||

    CO2 is good. It's got what plants crave.

  • ||

    Electrolytes?

  • ntnu||

    What a shitty book. Typical reductionist drivel.

  • Fucking Coons||

    Did somebody say: FUCKING COONS ?

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's a travesty that they are not allowed to get married in our backward society.

  • Chick fight!||

    Lobster girl vs Raccoon girl. Let the photos appear.

  • Killazontherun||

    Sloppy seconds for me, lil' buddy?

  • Fluffy||

    RXC is correct.

    At least in the states whose history I know the best, standard weights and measures (and heck, even written law) were produced by rulers in response to violent demands made BY the ruled, and not the other way around.

    Looking at the case of (for example) Republican Rome, standard weights and measures were made the responsibility of the aediles as part of the same plebeian revolution that created the office of tribune of the plebs. This revolution was a popular movement launched against the ruling class by people who felt the traditional mode of ruling was unfair. Plebs were tired of getting ripped off by vendors, and created an office and assigned it the task of fixing standard weights and measures.

  • the ruled||

    violent demands made BY the ruled

    WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!?!?!

  • Fluffy||

    Written law was the same way. Roman law had historically been unwritten, and the ruling patricians would take advantage of this by making themselves the institutional guardians of the "memory" of the law. Written law was demanded, literally at spear-point, by the plebs because once law was written down, the rulers couldn't pull laws out of their ass whenever they needed to do so to win a particular case.

    I think standardization and simplification can just as easily be a tool employed by the ruled, to make their rulers accountable, as the other way around.

    Heck, the Constitution is a profound simplification.

  • sarcasmic||

    Even if the rules and laws are written down, that doesn't mean the rulers will follow them.

    Take the Constitution for example...

  • Fluffy||

    Right. That's entirely true.

    But now picture how bad the situation would be if the Constitution wasn't even written down.

    If the 1st or 2nd Amendment was a "custom", how secure a protection would either be?

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    Are you serious? Are you serious?

  • ||

    Even if the rules and laws are written down, that doesn't mean the rulers will follow them.

    Which is why we as a governed populance must also demand that out duly elected governance follow the laws that they enact.

    What I'm not sure about is if at spearpoint is a necessity, even though the governance has figured out how to, through written rules, exempt themselves from the very laws they enact. Or at the very least make it damn near impossible to hold them accountable at the point of infraction.

    Take TEAM RED and (I believe moreso) TEAM BLUE for example...

  • the bilover||

    "Written law was demanded, literally at spear-point, by the plebs..."

    Pictures or it didn't happen.

  • omnibot||

    I'm calling this an April Fools prank
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....oices.html

  • ||

    I feel bad about breaking John's brain, but he assures us that Registration is coming, and that anarchy will be defeated once and for all at Hit & Run.

    I have spoken.

  • Caesar Augustus censusship||

    In those days [KOCH minions] issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire [right-wing] world. And everyone went to their own town to REGISTER.

    ~The Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 1, verses 1 and 3

    The [KOCH] will write in the REGISTER of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.”

    ~ Psalm 87:6

  • Robert Anton Wilson||

    BEAMTENHERRSCHAFT

    This is the age of bureaucracy, and to live at this time is, as Proudhon said, "to have every operation, every transaction, every movement noted, REGISTERED, counted, rated, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, refused, authorized, endorsed, admonished, prevented, reformed, redressed, corrected ... to be laid under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, exhausted, hoaxed, and robbed."

    The governing I Ching hexagram is 47, K'un

  • Robert||

    I knew you'd be back, Bob! We've been keeping the whitefish flying meanwhile.

  • Fluffy||

    That's the thing that Richman does not seem to perceive about "organic local custom" as the basis for property or law.

    Almost always, "organic local custom" means "some bullshit a local powerbroker made up on the spot, and falsely claimed to be ancient tradition, in order to win a dispute or take advantage of somebody else".

    The article makes reference to (for example) medieval France. Well, medieval France was built of the ruins of Roman Gaul. Roman Gaul possessed a unified system of language, weights and measures, law, land tenure, and system of state offices. The variegated medieval system was imposed OVER it, over the course of centuries. And that process just happens to occur at the same time that local elites are gradually grinding the populace down to serfdom not much better than chattel slavery.

  • Fluffy & WI agree! my bruvah!||

    Fluffy|4.1.12 @ 11:13AM|#
    some bullshit a local powerbroker made up on the spot...

    Correct.

    The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this imposter; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.

    ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Discourse on Inequality (1754)

  • Fluffy||

    No, that's not the type of custom I'm talking about.

    I'm talking about the type of land tenure where a local lord would grant a lease to a piece of property in exchange for six weeks' labor a year.

    Since these arrangements were customary and informal, over time the web of duties the tenant owed tended to increase, because the lord would just "remember" new "traditional" duties whenever he needed them.

    And that's the type of non-ownership "ownership" Richman is admiring here.

    One plot / one owner / no obligations to other levels of ownership may be less "organic" and easier to tax, but that's irrelevant compared to the fact that all other types of ownership end in slavery.

  • ownership ends in slavery||

    Good point.

    The Market Fundamentalist "Ownership Society" is all about slavery, owning and controlling the Ultimate Resource.

    Even a so-called libertarian society ends in slavery and whips.

    "He'd like more than anything else to boss me around, and then WHIP me every time I displeased him. He values this opportunity...If voluntary slavery is legal, we can consummate this financial arrangement, to our mutual gain. If not, not, to the great loss of both of us. Slave-master Rafe would never shell out the cold cash if, after he paid, I could haul him into court on assault and battery charges when he WHIPPED me. Then, without this financial arrangement..."

    Voluntary Slave Contracts
    by Walter Block [libertarian, Austrian economist, Mises Inst. fellow]
    [lewrockwell.com/block/block134.html]

  • Fluffy||

    No, ownership that is contingent upon group participation ends in slavery.

    The key is to avoid to whatever extent possible limitations on the use of property and conditions set on the continued enjoyment of a piece of property once possessed.

    The key to preventing slavery is to make the owner of property as unaccountable to his fellows as we can. Precisely the opposite of what YOU would want to do.

  • Make. Owners. Unaccountable.||

    to make the owner of property as unaccountable to his fellows

    That's what you want

    MAKE. OWNERS. UNACCOUNTABLE.

    So Owners can WHIP those that they own and control, the ultimate property, and never be brought to justice.

    "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. ~Matthew 26:64

    You're a sick fuck agricultural-city-Statist slaver, fluffy.

  • e Pluribags Uims||

    So Owners can WHIP EAT THE BABIES OF those that they own and control, the ultimate property, and never be brought to justice.

    FTFY, Primmie douche.

  • Fluffy||

    BTW, Rousseau was a moron and a moral nullity, as even a cursory reading of that last clause would reveal.

  • by the way, Fluffy is a moron||

    ...and a moral nullity, as even a cursory reading of his last post would reveal.

  • Fluffy||

    the fruits of the earth belong to us all

    This is moronic because the fruits of the earth don't just volunteer to be eaten and leap into our mouths.

    Even in a hunting and gathering situation, somebody's got to do the hunting and the gathering.

    If I manage to catch a rabbit while hunting and you stroll up and tell me you're going to eat the rabbit instead of me, the proper response - the moral response - would be for me to kill you. Because Fuck You, that's why.

    Given this incontrovertible moral fact, it's childish nonsense poetry to talk about "the fruits of the earth belonging to us all".

    And if I can mix my labor with a rabbit and make that food mine by right, I can do that with agricultural products too. And any grazers who come by to laugh in my face and try to take the crops I have labored to grow deserve a spearpoint in the fucking taint.

  • Foraging isn't work, it's play||

    The life of an Indian is a continual holiday... ~Thomas Paine

    Gamboling about plain and forest, hunting and living off the land is fun. Farming is not. That's all one needs to know to begin a rethinking of the issue. The fundamental question was properly phrased by Colin Tudge of the London School of Economics: “The real problem, then, is not to explain why some people were slow to adopt agriculture but why anybody took it up at all.” ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p. 24

    Also like the Australians, the time Bushmen do not work in subsistence they pass in leisure or leisurely activity. One detects again that characteristic palaeolithic rhythm of a day or two on, a day or two off- the latter passed desultorily in camp. Marshall Sahlins, The Original Affluent Society

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Gamboling about plain and forest, hunting and living off the land is fun.

    Citation needed. From my experience, hunting and foraging are hard work, especially in winter months and lean times.

    Farming is not

    I don't farm, so that's irrelevant.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hunting blows. I remember my dad dragging me out to the woods. I was there to hold his beer for him while he stalked game. Occasionally, he would let me shoot the gun and I would miss the Jesus fearing woodland critters on purpose.

  • Old Indian||

    I remember one time I was gamboling about the plains, leisurely engaged in my game of gathering roots and berries when a gang of rabid hedgehogs tore half my face off.

    I just leisurely gamboled on over to the group of my fellow tribesmen who were engaged in the sport of massive facial reconstruction and they fixed me right up.

    Good times.

  • ||

    I remember well my tribe was gamboling across the plain during the dry season...many squaw were lost and papooses were empty. Our stomachs were growling and our loins dry.

    We gamboled upon your tribe, Old Indian, rich with food and brimming with squaw. We asked. You objected. We had greater numbers. Now, we have your food, squaw, and more shelter. Our stomachs are full, loins satisfied, and shelter aplenty.

    Soon, we will have occupied papooses and we will celebrate waving your scalps in the wind.

    Good times indeed.

  • Killazontherun||

    Amazing what they can do with organopunk tech these days.

  • ||

    There you go motherfucker. Move to Australia and gambol about with the bushmen.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    One detects again that characteristic palaeolithic rhythm of a day or two on, a day or two off- the latter passed desultorily in camp.

    Or as we call it today, part-time employment.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Bravo, Fluffy! You know that when it repeats itself and fails to respond that it is defeated.

  • Robert||

    Eat the rabbit instead of you, Fluffy? I don't know. How do you taste compared to rabbit?

  • STEVE SMITH||

    FLUFFY TASTE BETTER AFTER TENDERIZING BY RAPE. RABBIT, NOT SO MUCH.

    KNOW HOW TO PUNCTUATE. CAPITALS BECAUSE CAVE WIRED FOR TTY.

  • Teve Torbes||

    If, for whatever reason, you ever feel the need to reply to WI in the future, please just link to Fluffy's comment here and say no more because Fluffy has said all that needs to be said. http://reason.com/archives/201.....nt_2954122

  • Fluffy||

    And the thing is...it's the same process. "Localizing" law and custom is what gave local elites the ability to enslave those around them. They caught them in a web of customary obligation, and made themselves the ones who got to "remember" what those customs were.

  • Realist||

    "How to Think Like the Ruling Class"
    To think like the ruling class, you have to stick your head up your ass as far as you can....something I have never been interested in.

  • ||

    Interesting point about the state's hostility to gypsies and other gambolers. Of course, there's no reason to think pre-agricultural societies were not also hostile to nomads gamboling within their territory.

  • ||

    Even gypsies, hobos and other gambolers still recognize the concept of "mine."

    Try and pilfer a vagrant's shopping cart full of what one may perceive as rubbish, and you will have a one angry hobo. Even free range folk have a sense of ownership of what they deem "their stuff"

    Same with these nomad hunter/gatherer nomad types: they may believe land and earth may be communal, but try and wrest away their spoils. If they are smart nomads, they will be prepared to defend what is theirs.

  • you're full of shit, Groovus||

    The FIBertard penchant to spout agricultural city-STATIST crap is indeed endless. Meanwhile, hard-won science is showing us....

    "While territoriality was part of forager-hunter activity, there is no evidence that it led to war.[35] Domestication erects the rigid boundaries of surplus and private property, with concomitant possessiveness, enmity, and struggle for ownership. Even conscious mechanisms aimed at mitigating the new realities cannot remove their ever-present, dynamic force. In The Gift, Mauss portrayed exchange as peacefully resolved war, and war as the result of unsuccessful transactions; he saw the potlatch as a sort of sublimated warfare.[36] Before domestication, boundaries were fluid."

    ~John Zerzan
    The Origins of War
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/6226.....ohn-Zerzan

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Hey, White Anklegrabber, you love John Zerzan, right? Maybe you should take his advice and only communicate telepathically.

  • ||

    Good point, Groovus. WI would probably argue back by moving the goal post and quoting some bullshit anthropologist on the subject of war and the state, when I, of course, am talking about quote personal-level violence. The kind that wouldn't show in any kind of depiction on a historical artifact and therefore some bullshit anthropologist could claim never, ever happened, nope not even a possibility even though we all know territoriality a basic survival adaptation in the animal kingdom.

  • you're full of shit again Mike||

    Personal-level violence?

    Oh, so you're moving the goal post.

    Fine, I'll meet it, too.

    In the second half of the 20th century, this pessimistic view of human nature began to shift. Based on archaeological evidence, it is now a tenet of mainstream scholarship that pre-civilization humans lived in the absence of violence—more specifically, of organized violence. Eibl-Eibesfeldt referred to the !Ko- Bushmen as not bellicose: "Their cultural ideal is peaceful coexistence, and they achieve this by avoiding conflict, that is by splitting up, and by emphasizing and encouraging the numerous patterns of bonding."

    ~John Zerzan
    The Origins of War

    batter batter batter, swing!
    try again, Mike, with more of your statist bullshit about how Redemptive city-Statism makes men peaceful.

  • White Primitard||

    BUY ME A TICKET TO THE AFRICAN BUSH!!! I NEED OTHER PEOPLE TO GATHER WHILE I SIT ON MY ASS AND DO NOTHING!!!

  • White Male Autistic||

    BUY ME A TICKET TO THE SOMALIA!!! I NEED A REGULATION VACATION CELEBRATION!!!

    "We don't want our government to do anything for us!"

    REGULATION VACATION CELEBRATION!
    465,960 views
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QDv4sYwjO0

  • John Zerzan approves of murder||

    One wouldn't buy in
    by John Zerzan

    I see in the eyes of Ted Kaczynski a sorrow reflecting what we have lost. A profound magnitude of loss, consisting of growing personal desolation, the disappearance of community, destruction of the natural world. It really is this devastating, and getting worse by the day.

    Kaczynski's betrayal (and of course his "guilt" is unproved) at the hands of his own brother reminds us that pacifism, in its smug cowardice, is always, at base, the defender of what is.

    But the Megamachine has not yet eradicated all resistance, all capacity to think against the grain of the techno-nightmare. And at the very least we have seen the courage and honor of one who would not buy into this fraudulent society, who fought the Brave New World with pen and sword.

    And so does White Indian.

  • Fibertards gonna fib, all day.||

    Objection 5. Primitivists are genocidal maniacs whose planned “utopia” requires them to orchestrate the mass murder of 99% of the human population!

    I’ve saved the best for last. This is the single most common, and the single most powerful attack launched against primitivists by the progressivist camp....

    5 Common Objections to Primitivism, and Why They’re Wrong
    by Jason Godesky | 26 October 2005
    http://www.rewild.info/anthrop.....yre-wrong/

  • White Indian Loves Little Boys||

  • you're full of shit, Mike||

    ...there's no reason to think pre-agricultural societies were not also hostile...

    "The emergence of systematic warfare, fortifications,and weapons of destruction," says Hassan, "follows the path of agriculture."

    ~John Zerzan
    The Origins of War
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/6226.....ohn-Zerzan

    Domestication involved the initiation of production, vastly increased divisions of labor, and the completed foundations of social stratification. This amounted to an epochal mutation both in the character of human existence and its development, clouding the latter with ever more violence and work. Contrary to the myth of hunter-gatherers as violent and aggressive, by the way, recent evidence shows...

    ~John Zerzan
    Agriculture: Demon Engine of Civilization
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/l.....index.html

  • John Zerzan approves of murder||

    One wouldn't buy in
    by John Zerzan

    I see in the eyes of Ted Kaczynski a sorrow reflecting what we have lost. A profound magnitude of loss, consisting of growing personal desolation, the disappearance of community, destruction of the natural world. It really is this devastating, and getting worse by the day.

    Kaczynski's betrayal (and of course his "guilt" is unproved) at the hands of his own brother reminds us that pacifism, in its smug cowardice, is always, at base, the defender of what is.

    But the Megamachine has not yet eradicated all resistance, all capacity to think against the grain of the techno-nightmare. And at the very least we have seen the courage and honor of one who would not buy into this fraudulent society, who fought the Brave New World with pen and sword.

    And so does White Indian.

  • Fibertards gonna fib, all day.||

    Objection 5. Primitivists are genocidal maniacs whose planned “utopia” requires them to orchestrate the mass murder of 99% of the human population!

    I’ve saved the best for last. This is the single most common, and the single most powerful attack launched against primitivists by the progressivist camp....

    5 Common Objections to Primitivism, and Why They’re Wrong
    by Jason Godesky | 26 October 2005
    http://www.rewild.info/anthrop.....yre-wrong/

  • White Indian Loves Little Boys||

  • ||

    This flies in the face of traditional Rothbardian and Randian views on property. To Ayn/Murray, property rights did not arise from government NOR did they emerge from a social consensus, instead they were inflexible and concrete privileges residing in nature.

    Indeed, one-parcel/one-owner seems almost axiomatic to Objectivism/Anarchocapitalism.

  • Rand and Rothbard should have||

    ...checked their premises.

    "Agriculture creates government." ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p.73

  • ||

    Both Rand and Rothbard overestimated the brilliance of their own intellects. It seems to be a common failing among those who fancy themselves as philosophers to jump from having a few good insights to constructing some shaky logic system to explain everything.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Perhaps you should explain exactly what your objections to that system are rather than engage in baroque ad hominems.

  • ||

    Sure, let's start with Rothbard and his simplistic formulation of the non-aggression principle:

    "No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor. Here is the fundamental rule from which can be deduced the entire corpus of libertarian theory."

    It says nothing about constraining one's response to aggression to an appropriate, limited level of force.

    It gives no guidance about how to deal with quagmires like the Israel/Palestinian conflict where there is a long history of aggression and it just doesn't matter any more who started it.

  • ||

    (Continued because of 900 word limit...)

    Says nothing about how to deal with problems of parent/child relationships, children or mentally incapacitated people.

    Provides no allowance for a preemptive strike often being the best way to stop a perceived threat. (It perpetuates the TV western view of the world, in which one is only justified in fighting back after one has let the other guy draw first.)

  • ||

    OK, now Ayn Rand. Let's just start with all her assertions about rational aesthetics. That it can be derived from first principles that Cyrano de Bergerac is a better play than Waiting for Godot, etc.

  • Bradley||

    It's only axiomatic if your vision of anarcho-capitalism relies on some kind of rights theory that stipulates one parcel, one owner.

    Weirder ownership arrangements would fit pretty well into an anarco-capitalist society of the David Friedman variety.

  • ||

    Which is why I specified Rothbardian brand anarcho-capitalism.

  • Bradley||

    No

  • ||

    Funny how these state thingies keep arising organically, and that they tend to develop in similar ways.

  • ||

    How to Think Like Mary "Not Crazy" Stack:

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 7:56 PM, Mat Drunksky wrote:
    Hey man, I forwarded all your efforts to out rectal, and the subsequent harassing of Mary Stack that you encouraged after you began to think that she was rectal.

    I sincerely hope you didn't use a school comp, or internet connection, because you're in gross violation of the code of conduct.

    Honestly, how fucking stupid are you that you encourage harassment with your school address?

    Oh, and I'm thinking about emailing it to everyone on the debate team too.

    LOL!!!

  • ||

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:15 PM, You wrote:
    Mary, as amusing as your ramblings are, I feel that I should correct you on a few points:

    1. Even if you sent anything to Brandeis, why would they listen to a psychotic bitch? And why would they care that I outed your ass on the internet?

    2. Just because I'm on their email list doesn't mean I'm on the debate team. You could tell them whatever your little heart desires. They don't know who I am.

    And if you aren't Mary Stack, then why do you care about me "harassing" her so much?

  • ||

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM, Mat Drunksky wrote:
    And really, your excuse making should be saved for when they call you.

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:37 PM, You wrote:
    I'm offended that you think I'm dumb enough to believe such an obvious and nonsensical fake threat.

  • ||

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Mat Drunksky wrote:
    Believe what you like.
    Please stop replying to me, our business is concluded.

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM, You wrote:
    Oh come on Mary, you're not even going to try to explain why a random stranger would be defending Mary Stack?

    Learn the difference between a correction and an excuse you dumb bitch.

  • Mustakrakish||

    ...and nothing else happened.

  • Tim||

    "On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Mat Drunksky wrote:
    Believe what you like.
    Please stop replying to me, our business is concluded.

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM, You wrote:
    Oh come on Mary, you're not even going to try to explain why a random stranger would be defending Mary Stack?"

    So you harassed someone by email after they asked you to stop, heller.

    Why would you openly admit this?

  • ||

    On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Mat Drunksky wrote:"

    Who is Mat Drunksky?

    The name only seems to show up at a poker site. At the risk of deepening the conspiracy theories, dunphy is known to be a poker player...
  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    heller, I wouldn't say that Mat Drunksky's e-mail is "fair play", but if you accidentally posted it here, I don't think I would shed any tears.

  • ||

    won't do you any good, it was a throwaway and it's gone now.

    you keep trying though, one day you'll understand technology enough not to embarrass yourself anymore

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I hope that you're really proud of yourself. No, really, agitating and sowing grief is something to really be fucking proud of.

  • ||

    "agitating and sowing grief is something to really be fucking proud of."

    You would know.

    And I love that you get so pissed because you don't get to "agitate and sow grief" by trolling that email.

    This is the part where you lie and say you're not mad isn't it?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Oh no, I am definitely not upset you won't get your just desserts. I don't mind saying I want vengeance on you - you initiated this particular brand of bullshit. I just want to end it.

  • ||

    "you initiated this particular brand of bullshit. "

    Outing commenters?

    Lie.

    Cry more now.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No, being a griefer. There is nothing immoral about outing anyone. This is the Internet; nothing's private here.

  • ||

    "No, being a griefer."

    You think I'm the first ever griefer at reason?

    Jesus you're stupid.

  • shut up about mary stack||

    heller, you're as fucking crazy as you think she is

  • abuse@brandeis.edu||

    Report antisocial behavior to abuse@brandeis.edu

  • ||

    I don't understand.

    Why are we reporting rather's/White Indian's trolling at Hit & Run to Brandeis?

    Somebody around here's got some social/psychological issues--and it ain't heller.

  • bzzzt||

    "Somebody around here's got some social/psychological issues--and it ain't heller."

    heller spent several hours last might desperately fabricating any lie he could think of, no matter how stupid, to avoid having done to him what was done to Stack.

    It was sad/funny.

  • ||

    heller spent several hours last might desperately fabricating any lie he could think of, no matter how stupid, to avoid having done to him what was done to Stack.

    So, if I understand properly, you're saying that rather is definitely Mary Stack?

  • ||

    "So, if I understand properly"

    You don't, as evidenced by the fact that you said

    "you're saying that rather is definitely Mary Stack?"

    Go back and read until you realize why you're wrong.

  • ||

    I don't understand.

    We know Ken, we know.

  • ||

    Fuck.

    Enough.

  • Tim||

    Agreed, I don't see much difference between one troll smearing shit everywhere and another.

  • e Pluribags Uims||

    Troll trollin tollers troll.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "How the world would have looked in the absence of ruling classes, one can only speculate."

    So-ma-li-a!

  • A Serious Man||

    Icelandic Commonwealth, early colonial Pennsylvania?

  • ||

    Both examples of societies that had governments

  • l0b0t||

    The Paris Commune, the Levellers, the Diggers?

  • ||

    It's hard to argue that Somalia's situation is in any way indicative of what our society would look like in a post-government world.

    American colonists went without government in the past; instead of looking like Somalia, it looked like Pennsylvania.

    I think our government is a function of what's going on in society at large--rather than our problems in society at large being because of a lack of government.

    And if that's the case, you're looking at it all ass backwards. You're projecting a top-down model on a bottom-up world.

  • Joe Stalin||

    I love the smell of a purge in the morning.

  • shrike||

    Bigger cages! Longer chains!

  • Tony||

    I don't see how a libertopia would differ from a feudal society. Is there any instance when a large-scale increase in freedom for individuals in the US didn't come from the federal government? Why is it so difficult for libertarians to see that restricting government (people) power only transfers power, it doesn't eliminate it. Humans live among each other; they assert power over each other unless prevented by strong, enforced, and often complex rules.

    Among you are more than a few constitutionalists... what were the founders if not the original central planners? Libertarianism's total concern with government power betrays a deep ignorance of how power actually works. Drop government authority and somebody else picks it up, someone without check and balance limitations or the legitimacy provided by democratic elections. A modern corporate feudalism.

  • Really?||

    "Is there any instance when a large-scale increase in freedom for individuals in the US didn't come from the federal government?"

    So you're seriously asking a question the which the answer is both very well known and obvious?

    And you want people to give a shit about what you say?

  • Tony||

    So provide an example.

    Are you under the impression I believe in my heart everything I write here?

    I realize getting people whose political beliefs are based entirely on the shallowest of slogans to think about them is a bit of a struggle.

  • Really?||

    "I realize getting people whose political beliefs are based entirely on the shallowest of slogans to think about them is a bit of a struggle."

    Big of you to admit this, admitting one's flaws is difficult especially in public.

    "So provide an example."

    For what purpose? You rarely engage in anything resembling honest debate, so what kind of masochistic idiot would do anything than have fun at your expense/ignore you?

    You're not honest. I'm not one of those people who pretends you are just to engage you in a pointless debate you'll deviate from the first time you get refuted.

  • Tony||

    For the purpose of demonstrating that my claim is wrong, instead of wasting your time writing nothing and implying that I'm right?

  • ||

    "For the purpose of demonstrating that my claim is wrong"

    I don't need to, you're not honest. I'm not one of those people who pretends you are just to engage you in a pointless debate you'll deviate from the first time you get refuted.

  • Tony||

    So instead you engage me in something even more pointless?

  • ||

    I find nothing pointless about reminding everyone that you're dishonest and that debating you is a waste of time.

  • MNG||

    "I find nothing pointless about reminding everyone that you're dishonest and that debating you is a waste of time."

    And you have to love this inflated junior sense of importance: look at me, I'm the neighborhood watch of honesty for the chatboard! Dishonest posters, beware!

    A regular George Zimmerman of H&R I guess...

  • ||

    "And you have to love this inflated junior sense of importance: look at me, I'm the neighborhood watch of honesty for the chatboard! Dishonest posters, beware!

    A regular George Zimmerman of H&R I guess..."

    So does the fact that you're snarking about it make you our Al Sharpton?

    You have to love this inflated junior sense of importance: look at me, I'm the neighborhood watch of importance for the chatboard! All posters, beware!

  • MNG||

    "You're not honest."

    This is probably one of the silliest things we hear around here. "You're not honest" usually means "you don't accept my argument, axioms, etc! They're so beautiful and self-evident only a dishonest person would fail to do so!"

    Tony has come on here for a long time. I don't disagree with everything he says and I realize most here agree with far less. But he's consistent in his views and eloquently states them.

    Most people are not libertarians. They believe in positive rights and don't think coercion is the worst thing in all circumstances. Do you really walk around the world thinking the mass of humanity is dishonest in not thinking the way you do? Jesus, adolscense has to end sometimes.

    Don't waste your time with this fool Tony.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I thought MNG was married, but it turns out he has a boyfriend on the side. Who knew?

    Liberal White Knight to the Rescue!

  • ||

    "Liberal White Knight to the Rescue!"

    In this case, it's exceedingly obvious that MNG was spoofing Tony.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    In this case, it's exceedingly obvious that MNG was spoofing Tony.

    You're right - the styles match.

    MNG = the John Lott of the Left.

  • MNG||

    Yes, I'm Tony and NM and joe and every liberal.

    Whatever dude.

  • MNG||

    I thought Rev. had me incifed? Interesting...

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No, MNG, I just generally ignore you. But now I feel like mocking you.

    You think I have to be consistent to be right, or that somehow you've "won" because I've stopped ignoring you. You're wrong on both counts. You just richly deserve to be mocked. Now, your boyfriend is getting dismantled - are you going to get to punching people in the face or what?

    DISHONEST TROLL IS DISHONEST.

  • MNG||

    My, the all caps. So was my griefer the Rev? He did seem to take what he saw as the racist charge awful hard and butthurt...

  • ||

    Wow, two tl:dr's, MNG is PISSED.

  • ||

    This is probably one of the silliest things we hear around here. "You're not honest" usually means "you don't accept my argument, axioms, etc! ..."

    That's not what people mean by "dishonest." What they mean is, "You understand my argument, but you are pretending my argument is something else." (See my post below at 1:27PM.)

    I mean, you and Tony have been here long enough to understand the basis of libertarian arguments. But I have little doubt that if we got really into the weeds of a debate about, say, the propriety of Social Security, there would come a point when you'd tell me I "don't care" about old people.

  • MNG||

    But he's not being dishonest in that. He might think that at the heart of libertarian philosophy is an insufficient caring about the consequences of inaction.

    Maybe he's wrong on that. But he's not being "dishonest" in thinking it.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    "He", of course, being "your sockpuppet". It only took the "dishonest" label to get you to drop it.

  • MNG||

    Yeah, whatever. This from the guy that posted as TAO for years, had some scruffle with the board, and came back finally under Rev. Blue.

    I'm MNG and I've posted here for years, and I'm not Tony, who has also posted here for years. It's not like there are so many liberals, but in your mind only one person could possibly present a liberal point of view...Jesus, grow up.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No "scruffle". I felt like changing my handle. What are you talking about?

    Go White Knight your Catamite summoar, Little One.

  • MNG||

    Let me get this straight: people gang up on Tony all the time, as he mentioned they spoof him constantly around here and attack him, and in one instance where I think he's arguing with a griefer I defend him, and you get all frothy at the mouth?

    Fuck you. Go back to your CPAC conventions.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Aww, hissums little fweewings got hurt! Sorry Tony won't call you back, even though you do act like his Armor-Suited Guardian.

  • MNG||

    This is rich considering your butthurt behavior when I "called you a racist"

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I just said you weren't worth engaging on intellectually honest topics, because you eventually call all opponents racist.

    That still holds true.

  • WTF||

    I realize getting people whose political beliefs are based entirely on the shallowest of slogans to think about them is a bit of a struggle.

    Don't be so hard on yourself.

  • ||

    "Is there any instance when a large-scale increase in freedom for individuals in the US didn't come from the federal government?"

    MLK didn't work for the government. And if the government did anything to increase the freedom of individuals, the cause wasn't becasue of what the government did; it was becasue of what non-government entities like MLK did.

    Why denigrate the champions of individual freedom? MLK didn't happen because the government gave him his freedom; the government gave us more freedom becasue of people like MLK.

    Also, you got a little circular logic on yourself, there. When it's the government that's oppressing people, of course freedom comes from the government.

    Because libertarians argue against government restrictions on our freedom, that means freedom comes from the government and we need government to secure our freedom?

    Tight circle, there.

  • Tony||

    My point, in the context of this article, is that government power will always be there, so the only option is to check it and direct it to good ends. That it can be abusive of power is a given; we all agree about that. That it necessarily does so is an intriguing case, and perhaps my belief otherwise is naive. But that attitude takes libertarianism off the table immediately, as government, humans asserting power over other humans, is inescapable.

  • HI MNG!||

  • ||

    And this is why people say you are "dishonest" Tony. You know damn good and well that libertarian = / = anarchist but you continue to say things as if it does.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    How cute... Tony thinks the beast can be tamed.

  • Tony||

    No doubt ideas about freedom and movements for freedom don't come from government but from individuals, but government is the means by which those new ideas about freedom are actualized. In this country it's often the federal government. States can do better and go faster, but just as often they are slower and do worse. I'm talking about large scale increases in individual freedom. I can't think of a single instance in this country or any other that didn't require government doing something.

  • ||

    I can't think of a single instance in this country or any other that didn't require government doing something.

    Assuming the conclusion, Tony. Your premise hinges on the notion that because government is there, it must do something for the sake of requirement of whimsy. Therefore, granting government the imprimatur to force policy without limits under the guise that favorable outcomes must guaranteed.

  • ||

    Yeah, all Tony needs to do is explain how we could fight the government restricting our freedom--without somehow involving the government. ...using a logical construction that isn't circular?

    Tell us Tony, how do you get someone to get his boot our of our face without him taking his boot out of our face? Thank God for jackbooted thugs, because without them, there wouldn't be anyone to take their boots out of our faces?

    And when he's done explaining that, maybe he can explain how to go swimming without getting wet or, maybe, how to draw a four sided triangle.

  • MNG||

    I think Tony's argument is likely that the federal government is important in checking the state governments (note he says federal), or that governments can create freedom from things like want, or from economic inequality, etc. I realize libertarians don't recognize the concept of "freedom from want or economic inequality" as coherent.

  • ||

    He's asking for a single example of the government giving us more freedom without the government being involved.

    I'd point to things like the entrepreneurs who invented, financed, and built the internet, but before we talk about anything like that, we need to get the idea straight--that you can't protest government repression without somehow addressing the government.

    Like I said before, according to the way he's casting this, the civil rights struggle wasn't fought by MLK, Rosa Parks, freedom riders, et. al.; the civil rights struggle was fought in the halls of Congress?

    That's ridiculous.

  • MNG||

    "He's asking for a single example of the government giving us more freedom without the government being involved."

    Well, sure that's ridiculous. I took it as hyperbole to be honest.

    I can think of lots of ways we've been made free from non-governmental efforts, and to be honest many less ways the government has made me free-er. I thought this point was that there were some of the latter when some here might deny that.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Tony said:

    "Is there any instance when a large-scale increase in freedom for individuals in the US didn't come from the federal government?"

    he said "any".

    MNG Said:

    Well, sure that's ridiculous. I took it as hyperbole to be honest.

    Of course you did! See, that's the neat part: when someone lies but he's on your side, you just call it "hyperbole"! Why pay attention to the actual words - MNG's got a TEAMMATE and lover to defend!

  • MNG||

    "the civil rights struggle wasn't fought by MLK, Rosa Parks, freedom riders, et. al.; the civil rights struggle was fought in the halls of Congress?"

    Also Ken, I think it could be argued that MLK was doing everything he was doing to get Congress' attention and get them to act...

  • ||

    You're right--in the sequence of events that leads to more freedom, the government is always the last one to the party.

    That's why voting for politicians in the hope of bringing about change is putting the cart before the horse. You address people's hearts and minds, like MLK, Gandhi and Jesus of Nazareth did, and it then it doesn't matter who holds the levers of power, they'll see the light.

    Jesus took over the Roman Empire that way; it wouldn't have mattered who the emperor was--eventually he was gonna have to be a Christian.

    MLK got rid of segregation that way. Gandhi got rid of the British that way. That's how they got rid of Gaddafi, the Egyptians got rid of Mubarak, etc. Anybody that thinks the government acts first--and then freedom comes? Is a propaganda victim.

  • MNG||

    "You're right--in the sequence of events that leads to more freedom, the government is always the last one to the party."

    I see your point, but I think the counterpoint is that the goal was to get the government to step in. MLK backed the Civil Rights Act all the way, in fact he called for them in his speeches. He wanted to change enough minds to get laws passed. He knew that without the feds coming in there was going to be what he saw as oppression even after many, many minds were changed in the fashion you speak of.

  • ||

    I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • ||

    MNG is right in the sense that MLK was a raving statist who not only believed that the government should intervene in every conceivable type of personal transaction to ensure the equitable treatment of blacks, but also that the state should extract reparations from whites, regardless of their ancestral connection to slavery or their personal treatment of blacks. Which brings me to an important point: this entire conversation is disingenuous in that the Civil Rights Act that MLK championed did not expand freedom. In fact, it dramatically limited it in order to achieve a desired social outcome. Your broader point is correct, Ken, but this example is horrible.

  • ||

    You may not appreciate the implementation, but if you don't think black people are freer today because of what MLK did, then you're nuts.

  • Amakudari||

    I can't think of a single instance in this country or any other that didn't require government doing something.

    Fine, look at how gays are treated today versus historically. And we haven't seen jack shit from the federal government on that front.

    By definition, any time the government changes an awful law, it's acting. Sometimes it's against its own historical rules, but it's acting.

    I'd be perfectly happy to actually debate the merits of libertarianism, but these are not the margins on which a debate should occur no matter what your view. You're either asserting something meaningless (feds act even when their hand is forced to remove their own laws) or untrue (the federal government is the font of all protection of rights).

  • Amakudari||

    You're right. I mean, without government how could we ever have gotten rid of the Fugitive Slave Acts? Without Democrat-Republicans how would we have gotten rid of the Alien and Sedition Acts? And I can't wait until the federal government expands our freedom by getting rid of its own laws about marijuana. And Prohibition, thank Government for getting us out of that!

    This isn't even hard. I mean, if you're defining "coming from the federal government" as meaning "the federal government changed something" -- given that we haven't had a successful revolution -- you're saying something true but completely meaningless.

  • Sevo||

    "someone without check and balance limitations or the legitimacy provided by democratic elections"

    Among the dumbest comments shithead has ever made, and that's saying a *lot*.

  • ||

    Why is it so difficult for libertarians to see that restricting government (people) power only transfers power, it doesn't eliminate it. Humans live among each other; they assert power over each other unless prevented ...

    Tony: Why don't you always make this sort of argument? I disagree with it, and I'm sure plenty of people will be happy to rebut it. But at least it's a relevant argument.

    In other words, you seem to understand that your real dispute with libertarianism lies in the fundamental premises. Yet you spend so much time here making arguments a few steps up -- e.g., that we dislike nationalized health care because we don't really care about sick people, or we dislike social programs because "I got mine."

    Here you've demonstrated that you actually grasp where the real difference lies. So why the dishonesty about motivations, everywhere else?

  • Tony||

    You may have been taken by some in the endless supply of spoofers who think I'm making a moral character judgment. FTR I think all people are base and selfish.

    I do make the argument that libertarianism is fundamentally incoherent because the reasons it provides for why it can't accept things like social welfare programs (i.e., it's wrong to transfer wealth) somehow don't apply to other programs that also require transfers of wealth and market distortions (such as property rights enforcement).

    The only point to be made is that you should have to defend your policy positions on their merits, without appealing to the authority of a constitution you imagine in your head, mystical nonsense like natural rights, or other things that amount to "because I say so." I think libertarianism thus breaks down, but I'm interested to see if anyone is up to the challenge.

  • ||

    The only point to be made is that you should have to defend your policy positions on their merits

    Explain what you mean by "merits."

  • Tony||

    Why do they produce better outcomes for human beings than the alternatives?

  • ||

    I just think there's some base-stealing going on with the whole "merits of policy positions" framing. Not-holding-a-policy-position -- the default perspective of libertarians -- is not a "policy position."

    You're the one seeking to apply government force to this, that and the other. Thus the onus is on you to sell that "policy." The onus isn't on us, just because we're quietly sitting back here in the default position of "no government." How is there a burden on us to make an argument? We don't want to do anything; you're the one who has to convince people that society should be whipping out the guns to solve a problem.

  • ||

    And here you fall victim to your criticism. You are a philosophical utilitarian. If we reject your premise that the best policy is the one that creates the best outcomes for the most human beings, your entire logical sequence falls apart in the same way that the libertarian logical sequence falls apart when you reject its fundamental assertions. This is a universal truth that applies to all political philosophies. You just presume, as you accuse your opponents of doing, that your fundamental assertions are self-evidently correct, and take every argument on your own terms instead of its own terms and then declare it defective when it does not conform to your premise.

  • ||

    "FTR I think all people are base and selfish."

    Each of us sees others in terms of ourselves.

  • Tony||

    All people are base and selfish, that's why we need a government comprised of people who are base and selfish Top Men.

  • ||

    It's one thing to take money from everybody to provide for the common defense (ala property and sales taxes to pay for police. Or income taxes to pay for fed courts and the military) and a completely different thing to take money from one group of people to give to another.

    I'm guessing you are looking at property rights enforcement as being lopsided towards rich people. You should have no beef with us about that because we constantly rail against things like the drug war and court decisions like kelo, which disproportionately affect the poor and middle class.

  • MNG||

    "because we constantly rail against things like the drug war and court decisions like kelo, which disproportionately affect the poor and middle class."

    And that is to your credit. And I've actually argued with Tony about his tendency to ignore things like this when conflating you and conservatives.

    But I think his point can be defended a bit more. See, institutions designed to protect property rights do in fact include taking money from X and Y to give to Z to help A. You tax me to pay the cop to protect your house.

    Now you could say "but if you needed your house protected he would do that to." But you could say the same about most liberal programs (if you needed welfare you'd get it too...), couldn't you?

  • Tim||

    freedom for individuals in the US didn't come from the federal government?

    The American Revolution.

    Unless you expand the meaning of "come from" to something encompassing anything involved, you'll have a hard time claiming it "came from" the federal government, specifically because of all the activity that occurred before there was a federal government at all.

  • William Bradford||

    Is there any instance when a large-scale increase in freedom for individuals in the US didn't come from the federal government?

    Sailing on the Mayflower.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I don't see how a libertopia would differ from a feudal society. Is there any instance when a large-scale increase in freedom for individuals in the US didn't come from the federal government? Why is it so difficult for libertarians to see that restricting government (people) power only transfers power, it doesn't eliminate it. Humans live among each other; they assert power over each other unless prevented by strong, enforced, and often complex rules.

    Tony doesn't need to learn what begging the question is. He was born to it, the same way a dog is born to lick its own crotch.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why is your liberal "utopia" better than a theoretical "libertopia"?

    Oh, wait... you can't.

  • ||

    obsessive nonsense

    cacophonous monkey shrieks

    shit flung everywhere

  • ||

    I thought you majored in Int'l Relations or some such, Brooksie.

    When did you take you take up poetry?

  • ||

    I shouted out
    "Who killed this place?"
    When after all, it was you and me.

  • ||

    One of the things I did notice about statist fucks is that Plato,Moore, Bentham etc. all had designed societies that fit their own personal ideas about symmetry, size and organization. In reading those guys it really struck me as weird and obsessive that they wanted to control population size, house design, diet, clothing style, even distances between towns. Richman is correct in that those designs were to make society most legible to the rulers and thus most controllable.

  • ||

    It strikes me as odd that they would want to control city size, location and distance from others, housing design, road routes etc, to fit with their idea of what it should be. In fact, all those things are determined by geography, climate, etc. ( real world conditions dictate them). Ignoring this fact in favor of their illusory ideas about how the world should be (think lysinko) is how statism inevitably leads to disaster.

  • ||

    Reason, I really hate the 900 character limit.

  • ||

    1250 would be okay.

    1500 would be just right.

  • ||

    1500 would be just right.

    Seconded.

  • Or||

    You could learn how to write.

  • MNG||

    When pondering the origin of the state I think it could highlight the split between libertarians and statists. People don't just create states to protect their "negative rights" ("" because enforcement of these negative rights usually means coerced wealth transfers to create institutions to do that just like enforcement of "positive rights"), they also create governments to provide them with things they think would be hard to do without it, to protect them not only from robbers but also from the effects of natural disasters, or economic calamity...

  • ||

    they also create governments to provide them with things they think would be hard to do without it

    In other words, they look around, see there are human beings around, and decide to conscript those human beings to provide them with security.

    Libertarians look around, see there are other human beings around, and say: "I have no claim on their lives. I hope and even trust that if and when shit happens, people will be good to me. But I still don't have a claim on their lives."

  • MNG||

    Here's Andrew Koppelman summing this view up:

    "It’s a tyrannical intrusion on your liberty if government makes you pay for health insurance before you get sick and demand treatment! But if millions of people die from preventable diseases, or are bankrupted by medical expenses, no problemo. Libertarians focus obsessively on threats to liberty from the state, but there are lots of other things that threaten your ability to live as you like. Getting cancer and not being able to afford chemotherapy, for instance."

  • ||

    demand treatment

    Do you have the right to put a gun to my head and make me treat you?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    MNG did say that you have the right to punch a doctor in the face if he won't treat your dying kid, so...MNG would say yes to this too.

  • ||

    He did. I never, never forgot that post.

    He must have watched or re-watched John Q when he posted that.

    I can't find the archive ATM, but the quote that sticks out in my mind is "...if there is a man dying on the street, I will kick your ass until you treat him..."

    It may not be exact, but I will keep searching. IIRC, it was in 2009.

  • MNG||

    Yes, I said that, and I still believe it. It's essentially backed up with what Koppelman says here, and what many, many people believe, simply that: forcing someone to treat someone < than allowing a human being to die.

    What kind of an arrogant sanctomonious asshole* would say someone is "dishonest" to believe that? You might think "wrong", but dishonest?

    *other than the Rev of course.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Shorter MNG: I will actively kill people to implement my morality.

    Flame on, Dishonest Troll!

  • MNG||

    Here is a guy who accuses me of wanting to kill people in the same post in which he accuses me of troll flaming.

    You have to laugh.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    You do want to kill people. If the doctor won't do what you say, you kill him.

    And yet here you are impliedly denying you just said what you said.

    No wonder you get called "dishonest". you lie and then treat us like we're going to instantly forget what you said just a few minutes before.

  • MNG||

    "forget what you said just a few minutes before"

    And where did I say that a few minutes ago?

    You really are the griefer, aren't you? What happened to you, didn't get a job out of law school?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Sorry MNG, you need four sentences. I see no substance. And I know you make more money than I do, but your wife cuckolds you on the regular. FOURTH SENTENCE.

  • MNG||

    See, now it's the Warty angle.

    Gotta try them all when the butt hurts that much.

  • What kind of fucking idiot||

    "So you've seen it, but only five times, not dozens, so...

    Wow, you've fallen into some nutty pedanticism "

    Thinks that when they say dozens, and the actual number is less than half a dozen, that they aren't just lying?

  • ||

    Yes, I said that, and I still believe it.

    I'd really, really would enjoy you attempting to do so, MNG. I would very much relish it. Be warned, I know where to hit, medical training and all.

    And you wonder why I despise Utilitarianism so much. Why don't you go jack off to some Peter Singer pornography a la Rule 34.

    what many, many people believe

    Once again, just because many people believe something, doesn't make it so.

    Fuck you MNG. Go fuck yourself good and hard with a red hot, venom drenched saguaro cactus.

  • MNG||

    "Fuck you MNG. Go fuck yourself good and hard with a red hot, venom drenched saguaro cactus."

    If you are going to walk through life feeling like this everytime you walk into someone who doesn't think minor coercion is the greatest evil in the world and never justified, you're going to have a long, angry, sad life.

    I mean, you know that's going to be a pretty common view, right?

  • ||

    "you're going to have a long, angry, sad life."

    Tell us how you've coped.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Most people, when confronted by that reality, at least try to doubletalk their way out of advocating for the death of the doctor.

    MNG embraces it. He loves it. He loves killing doctors when they don't do as he says.

  • MNG||

    "He loves killing doctors when they don't do as he says."

    This is the man now who says I don't argue honestly.

  • MNG||

    "People who disagree with me love killing people."

    And he calls me the flame troll.

  • Dred Scott||

    And he calls me the flame troll.

    If the nomex fits.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    If the doctor doesn't do as he is told, you punch him. If he doesn't respond still, you punch harder. Then he goes in chains. If he resists, you want him dead.

    You like killing doctors.

  • MNG||

    Now who's being dishonest?

  • MNG||

    In that example here is what I said, and you KNOW it, so you're the one being dishonest:

    I said if punching a man would make him save a person's life on the spot, then hell yeah I'd punch him.

    Of course killing a man to save a man would be totally different in the utilitarian calculus and you know that, so you're being dishonest.

    Horrors, now I should act like you and run around all butthurt, huh?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Unless you're willing to stop at the punch, I am not wrong at all. If the punch is merely pro forma, and then the doctor can go about his business, that isn't going to be a very effective policy, is it?

    "You must treat him, or I will punch you."
    "OK, do it"
    *punches*
    "I still won't treat him"

    Now what?

    You kill him, that's what. That's where it leads. That's always where it leads.

  • MNG||

    "Unless you're willing to stop at the punch, I am not wrong at all."

    The utilitarian has to stop at the punch, so you are fully wrong.

    The only thing that allows the utilitarian to prefer the punching to letting the 2nd person die is the latter, the harm from the punch seems minor next to the benefit from saving the person. If the harm is equal to the benefit it would be wrong.

    Utilitarians think forcing people via punch to do anything is wrong and a cost to be avoided, only if it were to prevent a greater cost and wrong would it be permissible.

    So let me say this, since I've told you this so many times and yet you still formulate my position as "you would kill the doctor and like it", who is it that is being dishonest now?

  • ||

    MNG, I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names you claim to have.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

    "who is it that is being dishonest now?"

    Still you, the liar making excuses.

  • Dred Scott||

    "This is the man now who says I don't argue honestly."

    And this is you once again demonstrating that you think ad homs change the factual validity of his statement.

    You really aren't very bright are you?

  • Dred Scott||

    I mean, you know that's going to be a pretty common view, right?

    So you think we are property, got it.

    As an aside, that's incredibly fucking racist.

  • ||

    minor coercion

    Hijacking my profession, my livelihood, to assuage your over-developed, all-encompassing, guilt-ridden sense of paternalism is the most vulgar of positions, ESPECIALLY FOR POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY, one can take.

    It is not justified in any way. EVER.

    Otherwise, you got a daughter or sister, MNG? Hell, how about a wife? I could use a spouse, regardless of her wishes, for expediency's sake. It's just minor coercion. Right?!

  • MNG||

    So you equate making someone buy insurance with rape of someones wife?

    Looks like Koppelman's assessment of libertarians moral distortions wasn't too far from the truth after all.

  • Dred Scott||

    So you equate making someone buy insurance with rape of someones wife?

    They're both forms of coercion aren;t they?

    Here is where someone informed and intelligent would list the inconsistencies in the comparison.

    You go ad hom.

    Pretty much says it all.

  • MNG||

    I'm not going to feed you dude. Sorry.

  • ||

    At least you admit you can't refute me, that's something for you.

  • ||

    And I'm quite happy to talk about you as much as to you.

    That should be obvious by now.

  • ||

    So you equate making someone buy insurance with rape of someones wife?

    Not the argument asshole. I said "spouse". No where did I imply sex. Nor did you say forcing someone to buy insurance; you said you would force me under the threat of assault to force me to treat someone.

    Holy shit you are one disingenuous piece of filth!

  • MNG (not)||

    "Holy shit you are one disingenuous piece of filth!"

    This is probably one of the silliest things we hear around here. "Holy shit you are one disingenuous piece of filth!" usually means "you don't accept my argument, axioms, etc! They're so beautiful and self-evident only a dishonest person would fail to do so!"

    Or something...

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No, you said "rape", which he did not say at all.

    That's what makes you a liar. You attributed the argument of "rape" to him, when he said nothing of the kind.

    Now instead of apologizing or admitting your error, you double-down on your dishonesty.

    You are so fucking sad.

  • WTF||

    MNG ran.

    He'll come back after he thinks you've left to snark at you and feel proud of himself.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Yeah, it'll be like 10PM and he'll come back after everyone's "gone home" and be like "Ah ha, I win you fuckin' Freepers!"

    He's like the kid who waits for the big boys to leave the court and then pretends he's Michael Jordan all by his lonesome.

  • MNG||

    The only person sad enough to be talking about "winning" and "losing" arguments on a chat board here is you dude.

    See, here is your beef. You think liberals who continue to argue with you are arrogant or dishonest for...not...changing their mind...in the face of your beautiful arguments.

    Wow.

  • ||

    I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • ||

    MNG ran.

    Good.

    I have but one berzerk button and that pile of swill pressed it.

  • MNG||

    Yes, if someone doesn't stay here all day arguing the same point back and forth they "ran." Holy shit.

    "I have but one berzerk button and that pile of swill pressed it."

    Sorry buddy, but when you feel compelled to curse someone you defended just yesterday because that person dared to suggest he morally prefers punching someone to letting someone die, then you do not have "one button" you have a very low threshold for your rage.

  • ||

    I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • ||

    Sorry buddy, but when you feel compelled to curse someone you defended just yesterday because that person dared to suggest he morally prefers punching someone to letting someone die, then you do not have "one button" you have a very low threshold for your rage.

    I get angry when someone thinks it's morally justified to use violence on my person, in this case employing assault and battery to achieve your objective. Without bothering to ask me first being unable to accept the possibility of "no" as an answer.

    My skills are mine, not yours.

  • MNG||

    Here's what you said "I could use a spouse, regardless of her wishes"

    Pardon me if I thought you wanted to "use" my wife in that way, of course I should have known you meant to play yahtzee with her.

    But more to the point, look at this overblown and selective outrage on your part. I say I would rather punch a doctor to make him save a life than not and the Rev. restates my position as "you like killing doctors." No peep from you. But you say "I want to use your wife" and I restate it as rape and you go all "umbrage, umbrage, disingenuous piece of filth!!!"

    It's like some middle school tribalism with a crazed short fuse with you.

  • ||

    I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Every bad response is someone else's fault, not MNG's.

    You really are like the nine-times divorced guy. It can't be your fault, it's all them crazy wimmins!

  • ||

    Here's what you said "I could use a spouse, regardless of her wishes"

    "I could use a spouse doctor, regardless of his or her wishes."

    Where's the rape?

    Pardon me if I thought you wanted to "use" my wife in that way, of course I should have known you meant to play yahtzee with her.

    I prefer Pachisi. And yes, there are plenty of platonic marriages of convenience. I didn't say concubine, courtesan, or slave.

    I say I would rather punch a doctor to make him save a life than not and the Rev. restates my position as "you like killing doctors."

    You never answered my original question, "Would you put a gun to my head to force me to treat someone?"

    WRT Rev.'s argument, it does suffer from the slippery slope, but he's not far off the mark. If you are willing to assault a physician, it's not a stretch to kill him or her willingly.

  • MNG||

    So let me get this straight. The Rev. got all butthurt a few weeks back because he thought I called him a racist, and then he played the griefer saying he incifed me but following me around from post to post telling people "don't talk to MNG, he's dishonest!" (yes, seriously he did that).

    Now he's "back" responding.

    Whatever.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I filter you; I unfilter you. What argument do you think you're "winning" exactly?

  • MNG||

    See, the dude is likely my griefer.

    No one mentioned anything about "winning." You're fevered dude.

    I know OSU lost yesterday, but don't take it so hard.

  • 100-200 Pro PLO player||

    I make WAY more money than you, so explain why I should give a fuck what you think peon?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    The reason that we call you "dishonest" is because arguments like Koppelman's have been logically refuted over and over, and here you are repeating them like it's day one.

    you learn absolutely nothing, and refuse to do so, from any of the billions of discussions and comments thrown at you. That's why I call you a dishonest troll. It's the same bullshit ever since you got here.

  • MNG||

    "The reason that we call you "dishonest" is because arguments like Koppelman's have been logically refuted over and over, and here you are repeating them like it's day one."

    It's like my 2:19 caricature, only for real. Wow.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Do you deny that you post the same arguments you have been posting since Day 1?

    That's troll behavior: never engaging, never learning, never listening. Just need a response. God you're desperate.

  • MNG||

    My lord you are arrogant.

    You realize you "post the same arguments you have been posting since day 1" too, right? Or have you renounced your libertarian principles...which you've been posting...from day 1?

    No, see, you're beef is "I've been pointing out how wrong you are for years and you won't acknowledge it, how dishonest of you!" Jesus, you're like some cult member or something.

  • Asshole, wipe thyself||

    "My lord you are arrogant."

    AHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No, my beliefs have shifted significantly as a result of time spent here. I was once pro-war; now I am fervently anti-war. I was once pro-life, then pro-choice, then I don't know. I was once opposed to gay marriage, then in support thereof, then opposed to all marriage.

    My beliefs have shifted a lot. Yours have changed not one fucking bit. you are still spewing the exact same line of bullshit you have been for years. it's one-note, never-changing horseshit that you will not ever engage honestly about. As soon as you lose, you run away to a different thread on a different day and start all over again.

  • MNG||

    "Yours have changed not one fucking bit"

    That's absurd first of all. In fact, I think it was in dicsussions with you that I developed a view that international climate change efforts were futile.

    But more importantly: lots of people here haven't changed many of their views. They come in with views and don't change them simply from arguing with the likes of you. You just hate to hear a liberal talk. You were calling Tony dishonest upthread, and now you are here. You just don't like liberals, we get it.

    Well, fuck you, we read Reason too and have been commenting here for years.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I'm fine with liberals. Do you know what the predominant political attitude is with lawyers?

    I just don't like you.

  • MNG||

    Feelings mutual captian Butthurt.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    You just don't like liberals, we get it.

    Care to retract this lie?

    Oh, yes, another form of dishonesty. Shocking.

  • MNG||

    Yeah, you just happened to be calling one of the handful of liberals who argues with you here, Tony, dishonest, and then one of the other liberals comes along, me, and you call me...dishonest.

    It's what you do. Liberals that don't agree with you are dishonest. Which of course was my original point: for many here "dishonest" means "why won't you change your mind in the face of my beautiful arguments!!!"

  • Tim||

    Yeah, you just happened to be calling one of the handful of liberals who argues with you here, Tony, dishonest, and then one of the other liberals comes along, me, and you call me...dishonest.

    It's what you do.

    What choice do we have, we're not going to lie about you, so we have to say that.

  • MNG||

    Yeah, we know Tim is the griefer from the other night when me and sloop wouldn't feed you. Keep changing your handles Cap'n Nut, you're not getting fed today.

  • ||

    I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • Dred Scott||

    They come in with views and don't change them simply from arguing with the likes of you.

    This could be the biggest demonstration of a total lack of personal insight that I have ever seen.

  • UvalDuvalCuckoo||

    IMHO, it depends on how you're defining "Liberal". Most here (if you see it otherwise, I'll be glad to be proven wrong) seem pretty liberal on social issues It just seems a little off to say that someone who self-identifies as anti-war, pro-choice and pro gay marriage to the extent they are anti-govt marriage overall can't tolerate hearing a Liberal.

  • MNG||

    Notice what the Rev is saying here, it's quite remarkable. On the one hand, he calls me "dishonest." On the other hand, he says I don't change in the face of argument.

    Above he, out of nowhere, says I talk of "winning" these debates. But here he says "as you lose, you run away."

    It's like one big projection fest with him.

  • ||

    I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • HI MNG!||

    There's something absurd and surreal about being told what one means in the context of a discussion about honesty.

    But it's exactly what I'd expect from MNG/Tony

  • ||

    Koppelman is being disingenuous. He casually mentions 'makes you pay for health insurance' and jumps right into a sensationalist argument about millions dying from preventable diseases. ( read: end justifies the means because it is for the children.)

    What he fails to point out is that 'government makes you pay for health care' involves turning contract law on its head. It would mean that people can be held to the terms of contracts they were coerced into entering.

    It also means that the government can force any parties it wishes into contract with each other. Today it is healthcare, tomorrow purchases for our health ( carrots, gym memberships etc ). Another floodgate yet to be opened would be purchases for the sake of various state subsidized or unionized industries ( chevy volts, sugar, lightbulbs etc.).

    Fuck Andrew Koppelman.

  • MNG||

    I don't think he's getting into any of that. He's just saying that saving people's lives is worth the minor coercion of making people buy insurance. It's a very, very common way to argue with libertarianism. I'm not sure it's correct btw; Hayek from The Road to Serfdom would likely reply "well, maybe that's so, but the precedent starts with using the power to make people buy insurance but then leads to something much worse."

  • 100-200 Pro PLO player||

    I make WAY more money than you, so explain why I should give a fuck what you think peon?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    See, this is what MNG does. He lays out a Tired, Repeated Argument for the millionth time, and then says "Now, I don't necessarily agree, I'm just here to teach y'all dumbfuck Freepers what other people think."

    We know these arguments already. Present something new or go away.

  • MNG||

    Oh, I agree that it's goofy as all hell to think forcing people to buy insurance > than preventing a significant amount of human suffering via making health care more accessible. But I actually believe these precedents should be approached more carefully than Tony and other liberals might.

    But I guess that is just my dishonest, reading Hayek and all. What was I thinking. I should have just listened to you, but for all my dishonesty you would have set me straight.

    Jesus you are arrogant.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    "Oh see, I agree with the libertarian critique, but instead of explicitly advocating for it, I am going to Concern Troll and say we're going about it all wrong!"

    you and Tony get called "dishonest" for a reason, and it isn't because you're liberals, your own Persecution Complex notwithstanding. Here's a free hint: if you get divorced eight times, the problem isn't the other women. If you get called dishonest by multiple people all the time, it might just be true.

  • MNG||

    I could count dozens of posters who have said of me "MNG might be wrong a lot, but he's one of the good liberals on the board."

    But yeah, I do kind of expect that being a liberal on a libertarian board full of right-leaning, CPAC convention regulars such as yourself I'm going to get called all kinds of things. I doubt that says much about me.

  • WTF||

    I could count dozens of posters who have said of me "MNG might be wrong a lot, but he's one of the good liberals on the board."

    Then do so. I expect at least 24 distinct names.

  • WTF||

    With links.

  • MNG||

    Long timers here have seen this, I'm not here to feed your pedanticism dude.

  • WTF||

    Long timers here have seen this

    You said YOU COULD COUNT. YOU.

    It says a lot about MNG that he makes a claim, and when asked to actually follow through, claims someone else's "pedanticism"(sic) as his excuse for failing to do so.

    See, when we say you're dishonest, we mean "you say shit that you cannot possibly support, then claim "pedanticism"(sic) just like you did there.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Go ahead, count them.

  • WTF||

    You have a better chance of getting head from him.

  • ||

    A. It will not prevent any suffering, it will increase suffering. See B.
    B. Health care is presently accessible to everyone, the irony is that obamacare will decrease both accessibility and quality.
    C. It was never designed to increase accessibility, it was designed to increase control and open the door to ultimate control over the population, but sold under the premise of 'decreasing cost'. Again, ironically, it will increase cost.

    Make no mistake about it MNG, obamacare is the ultimate 'FUCK YOU VERY MUCH' to the american people.

  • MNG||

    As an empirical matter you might be correct that Obamacare will help virtually no one and its costs will be greater than what Koppelman describes. But my point was just that what often differentiates liberals from libertarians is that IF liberals were right about the empirical matter and libertarians like yourself were wrong, they would see the benefits they think are
    there as outweighing the costs.
    That's it.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Long timers here have seen this, I'm not here to feed your pedanticism dude.

    I've been here a long time, and have seen it maybe five times. Not "dozens".

  • MNG||

    So you've seen it, but only five times, not dozens, so...

    Wow, you've fallen into some nutty pedanticism in your butthurt dude.

  • What kind of fucking idiot||

    "So you've seen it, but only five times, not dozens, so...

    Wow, you've fallen into some nutty pedanticism "

    Thinks that when they say dozens, and the actual number is less than half a dozen, that they aren't just lying?

  • ||

    MNG, I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names you claim to have.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • ||

    "He's just saying that saving people's lives is worth the minor coercion of making people buy insurance" - Yes, the end justifies the means because it is for the children. And...there is no such thing as a minor coercion.

    "well, maybe that's so, but the precedent starts with using the power to make people buy insurance but then leads to something much worse." - Yes, I said exactly that. It is a trojan horse for implementing ultimate power x10.

    And btw Tony and MNG, you have both been spoofed so many times and so badly that it takes me a post or two to figure out if you are arguing earnestly. I apologize if I have been disrespectful when you were being earnest.

  • MNG||

    We get spoofed a lot. A lot of people here are simply conseratives who, during a Democratic administration, flock to libertarian sites. And they hate to have any liberal heard anywhere. Look at how shrike, me or Tony, hell even NM is dealt with around here. Pip, WTF, the griefer who posts as teh rael MNG or MiNGE or lately just as MNG, these are really deranged conservatives full of impotent lil' hate at all things liberal. The Rev has a dressed up version of this (as long as liberals are polite and accept most of his argument he "allows" them to disagree without being all butthurt and waging a "dishonesty" campaign).

    But fuck them, they don't own libertarianism or this site. I've posted here for years and will be posting tomorrow, as I'm sure Tony, NM and shrie will too.

  • ||

    I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • sarcasmic||

    A lot of people here are simply conseratives who, during a Democratic administration, flock to libertarian sites.

    It's really pathetic that your only argument is to accuse someone of being a conservative.

    Ad hominem is all you've got.

    Pathetic.

    Truly pathetic in every way.

  • MNG||

    I knew it, sarcy is the griefer.

    He's had the mental unhingement thing before (advocating liberals be "euthanized"), and he's been conspicously absent.

    It was you with all the all caps screaming last night, wasn't it?

  • sarcasmic||

    Thank you for confirming my point with another ad hominem argument.

    P
    A
    T
    H
    E
    T
    I
    C

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    That's the ninth time in this thread you've accused someone of being a 'griefer'.

    A lot of different people don't like you, dude, and it's not because you're liberal or "right" or Intellectually Awesome. It's because you're a Troll. A relatively intelligent troll, but one nonetheless.

    And you like to kill doctors.

  • MNG||

    If you were on a liberal site, you don't think people there would call you dishonest and such? I realize I'm on a site rife with very extreme libertarians and conservatives. I expect people who are regular CPAC attendees to not like the liberal on the board, yeah. That proves little to me. Like I said, what actually surprises me is how many people here will say "MNG is pretty good for a liberal."

  • ||

    If you were on a liberal site, you don't think people there would call you dishonest and such?

    Except, you have an outstanding claim that you've yet to even attempt to support, so you actually have been proven dishonest.

    24 names and links.

  • Tim||

    I thought I was the griefer?

    It's starting to look more and more like MNG is genuinely mentally ill.

  • Tim||

    Oh, sorry Rev, I forgot you were the griefer.

    But, does than mean you're sarcasmic?

    And you're both me?

    My head hurts...

  • sarcasmic||

    But, does than mean you're sarcasmic?

    Don't insult Rev like that.

  • shrike||

    MNG, listen, I know it can be hard living when it feels like everyone is out to get you, but you have to realize that your not on a liberal blog any more. You’re not going to win any sympathy by acting like you’re the victim of a vast right wing conspiracy. You have to realize that everyone on this sight has been spoofed at one time or another, but most of us simply shrug our shoulders and move on accepting this as a trade for posting on a site that doesn't use registration. You however seem to be convinced however that because there are conservatives posting on reason and that they disagree with you, they are the infiltrators in to the movement while you represent a native libertarianism that is being overrun by the right.

  • shrike||

    (cont.)

    In reality though you are both foreign ideologues that have equal right to post on this thread and though you may disagree with them I suggest that you show a little more self awareness when you accuse the right of infiltrating reason.

  • sarcasmic||

    You however seem to be convinced however that because there are conservatives posting on reason and that they disagree with you

    MNG has no arguments except to accuse someone of being a conservative.
    The hope is that either they are a conservative (like John) and are put on the defensive, or they are not a conservative and go on the defensive trying to prove it.

    Other than that MNG's got nuthin.

    N
    U
    T
    H
    I
    N
    !

  • juris imprudent||

    Looks like another sewage spill from attention whore. Pity - that she is that desperate for attention.

  • ||

    "Looks like another sewage spill from attention whore"

    lay off MNG man

  • HI MNG!||

    MNG|4.1.12 @ 2:19PM|#|show direct|ignore
    ..."You're not honest" usually means "you don't accept my argument, axioms, etc!

    There's something absurd and surreal about being told what one means in the context of a discussion about honesty.

    But it's exactly what I'd expect from MNG/Tony.

  • shrike||

    Speech is a tool of the agricultural city-statists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shrike||

    Hey I have a question for those of you who believe in positive rights. If you have a right to certain commodities light housing, health care, and education, why don't you have rights to other commodities like a private yacht, a scenic vista, or an army of hot blonds to fellate you every night? Now most of you would probably respond that none of the examples I gave above are necessary to live a happy and fulfilling life, but who are you determine what is happy and fulfilling. If you claim to know what other people need to have and do to live a good life then you are no different than the So Cons you so vehemently claim to hate. You see the essential problem with positive rights is that they have no limiting principle.

  • shrike||

    (cont.)

    This contrasts with negative rights who are really just one right which is probably best stated as: The right to live your life as you please so long as you do not interfere with others right to do the same. However positive rights have no such clause and as such there is no any attempt to determine who is entitled to what is entirely arbitrary and can only be determined by political wrangling rather than being bestowed by a person's inherent humanity.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    We don't merely claim to hate them, shrike... we DO hate them.

    We're just not willing to go your route. We're not willing to buy your bullshit theory of melding more socialism with capitalism - we have had more than enough of the former for decades, and look what good it has done.

  • shrike||

    I'm sorry I think your thinking of I different shrike, there are at least five on this blog.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who can tell?

  • the white RIGHT to TAKE||

    • Is any white person's right an individual or collective right?
    •Is the right to take a negative or positive right?

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent." ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  • MNG||

    You know, I don't think it is a coincidence that WI is here posting while my griefer is. Considering John, heller and sloopy have got the same treatment it's becoming more plausible that what we have is a non-ideological nut responsible for all of this.

    I guess John was right when he called for people to wait until registration...

  • ||

    MNG, I'll care what you think when you produce the 24 links and names you claim to have.

    Until then you're a liar making excuses.

  • Everyone who knows MNG||

    "You know, I don't think"

    you really could have stopped there.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    You have accused sarc, me, and Tim your "griefer" in this thread. You have accused me multiple times.

    People don't like you. Get the hint.

  • MNG||

    "People don't like you"

    Jesus, it's really like you are in middle school.

  • MNG||

    Tim is most certainly my griefer. Ask sloop about our thread with him on high school drop outs.

    It's a thread you should check out. Sloop and I disagreed pretty strongly, but respectfully. I have those discussions with libertarians here all the time.

    There was a griefer there though that just wanted to post, as fluffy described the person yesterday "content-less, combative posts." And he slipped several times between "Tim" and the no handle we see here.

  • Tim||

    Tim is most certainly my griefer

    And you most certainly have 24 names and links.

    And I'm also sarcasmic.

    And Rev.

    And no, it's not that you forgot your meds.

  • MNG||

    Tim|4.1.12 @ 5:16PM|#

    Tim is most certainly my griefer

    And you most certainly have 24 names and links.

    See?

  • Tim||

    Well?

    You said you had them.

  • ||

    Jesus, it's really like you are in middle school.

    Is that why the arguments are over your head?

  • The Derider||

    MNG gets pwned.

  • ||

    So when, the story of this thread is recounted, are we intending to pretend that MNG is Mary Stack/WI?

    Or are we finally going to realize he shits all over the place with the best of them?

  • ||

    Is someone screaming my name?

  • Libertarian2||

    Is this for real!? "Law Enforcement Courtesy Cards."

    http://leoprocards.com/

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Libertarians focus obsessively on threats to liberty from the state"

    with good reason, MNG. Power corrupts. It's proven every day when Team Red or Team Blue step into the various House/Senate rooms and try to find more new and exciting ways to micromanage our way into The Perfect Society, based on the Team's visions thereof.

    Fuck that. We're mostly adults... we don't need to have our lives planned out for us. Save that shit for those who absolutely cannot manage day-to-day living without hints, reminders, and admonitions from self-appointed Experts in DC.

    Or people like Tony.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    ...or people like Rick Santorum.

    Damn premature hitting of "submit" button.

  • ||

    This is like the worst ship ever.

  • Almanian||

    So you haven't tried our Italian cruise. It's much worse.

  • Almanian||

    Two World Superbike races, RV clinches AMA Supercross, Indy cars and a nice ride on the Eddie Lawson Replica ZRX1200R

    cannot exceed the pleasure of seeing both Whyte Injun AND Stupid Mung (as opposed to "Semi-Sane And Tolerable Mung") showing up to ruin another thread.

    Good article, skipped most of the comments. Happy weekend, Reasonoids!

    See you Monday. Fuck California. And Michigan.

  • jinajinfas||

    Lunettes de soleil pas cher la vente en ligne

  • No||

    Holy shit, I cannot believe that these bullshit arguments start near the top of the comments and continue all the way to the bottom.

    Here's my question(s):

    If liberals like Tony are so great, why don't they learn to shut the fuck up and that arguing on the reason forms is not winning a debate on national television?

    AND

    If people truly are rational beings, then why don't they learn to shut the fuck up and that arguing on the reason forms is not winning a debate on national television?

    God damn. This is worse than a philosophy or government class in a community college.

  • ||

    I really liked this article and want to see more along this line. I think it is important to consider that the standardized traditional solutions that libertarians and agorists might attribute to spontaneous order, and which Richman credits to rulers seeking to maximize revenue, might easily have been due to ruling class co-option -- after a little "tweaking" to make the resulting situation "legible," in Richman's sense of the word -- of approaches that had their origins in grass-root entrepreneurship.

    (continued in reply post)

  • ||

    (continued from post above)

    Politicians and other members of the ruling classes have long been characterized as people who typically seek to assume the leadership of parades that are already in progress. To me, it makes sense that rulers, seeking to maximize revenue opportunities and consolidate control over the society, would insert themselves into the picture -- by force, if necessary -- to "standardize" nascent popular solutions to social and economic problems, so as to guarantee they had a way to get a piece of the action.

    (continued in reply post)

  • ||

    (continued from post above)

    Even our own founders understood this concept, in providing for Federalism to allow numerous "laboratories of democracy," whose experience rulers in the various states and DC could study, in order to formulate, in the case of the States, approaches that were better tailored for their own citizens; or in the case of the Federal government, to formulate "uniform regulation" suitable to a national society or market.

    It seems very likely to me that early grass-roots attempts to systematize last names, land title, etc., were seized upon by the rulers of the day, modified slightly to retain the grass-roots flavor, but secure revenue/control opportunities for the rulers, and then stamped with the seal of "legitimacy," after which, time guaranteed that the "official" practices would become traditional.

  • NotSure||

    It is no surprise that so many doctors prefer to change their careers, when clowns like MNG very openly support punching them in the face to force them to work against their will.

  • ||

    All this talk about "rights". You only have a "right" when you have the means to enforce it, either peacefully by the consent of the rest of the society, or by force. The academic discussions and the invention of "natural rights" are just talk.

  • 1mammoth||

    Yeah this article makes sense.

  • mammoth2||

    you really are so enlightened! you comment makes me think!

  • mammoth2||

    agreed

  • John Aronson||

    The statements about land tenure do not ring true. In particular, it does not describe the Anglo-American system of free hold at all. Without putting too fine a point on it, converting feudal tenures to free holds was one of the chief objectives of the Puritan revolutionaries who settled New England and overthrew the Stuart monarchy in 1648. The right to vote, be armed and participate in the militia was limited to free-holders. In by the mid-17th Century in England free holds were being extinguished and the land was falling into the hand of the gentry who tended to hold feudal titles. Recording of deeds was sketchy and challenges to title were common and expensive to defend.

    One of the first things the Puritans who settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony did was establish a system of public recording of deeds and make fee simple, a free hold, the basic form of land conveyance. There was no copy-hold land and no unrecorded feudal tenures. A copy hold was right to possession of land upon terms copied out of the manor records that were not public, not available for inspection and usually not in English. A copy hold was a right to possession upon terms and conditions and was extinguished when the copy holder either died or left. The copy holder had no right to either sell or devise the land and a substantial fee was assessed by the manor when a new copy holder took possession. This was a very common form of tenure in England and was not abolished until 1912.

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