Economics

The Myth of the Greater Good

Politicians must stop acting like the ends justify the means.

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I—and most other people, I assume—grew up being taught that the end doesn't justify the means. Basically, this is an injunction not to rationalize one's behavior while using other people as mere means to one's ends.

Most people apply that principle day to day. If you want at an item on a supermarket shelf and someone is standing in the way, few of us would think it right to shove that person aside. Why not? It won't do to say that the person might fight back. Would things change if an elderly, frail person were there? It also won't do to say that other people might observe your conduct, perhaps leading to a fight, or an arrest, or at least a loss of reputation. Nor will it do to say that in normal circumstances waiting for the person to move would cost little in time and convenience. How much time and inconvenience would be required to make shoving an attractive option? The question answers itself.

A utilitarian (or any other sort of consequentialist) might say that greater good, happiness, or utility would be achieved by waiting than by shoving. That is, the harm to the other person would exceed the benefits to you. But since interpersonal comparisons of subjective utility are impossible—not only is there no unit of measurement, in principle there's nothing to measure—that claim has no content. As J. J. C. Smart, a utilitarian, put it, "[T]he utilitarian is reduced to an intuitive weighing of various consequences with their probabilities. It is impossible to justify such intuitions rationally, and we have here a serious weakness in utilitarianism." A. J. Ayer had a similar insight, "Bentham's process of 'sober calculation' turns out to be a myth." Jeremy Bentham himself was aware of this problem. (The quotes are in Germain Grisez, "Against Consequentialism" [pdf], American Journal of Jurisprudence, 1978. Hat tip: Gary Chartier for bringing this article to my attention.)

The "Greater Good"

If "goods" are incommensurable, then one of them cannot be said to be "greater" than others. Thus acting for the "greater good" is without meaning. "[T]his lack of commensurability eliminates all possibility of reference for the expression 'greater good' as the consequentialist uses this expression," natural-law philosopher Germain Grisez writes.

So why wouldn't we shove the elderly, frail person aside even if we were certain to be unobserved? We abstain from that "efficient" means to an unobjectionable and perhaps worthy end because we have a sense that it would be an injustice and that injustice is to be avoided. We don't calculate that committing the injustice would in this case be contrary to our own self-interest (what would you think of someone who actually did that?), nor do we even determine that shoving the person aside would ill-serve that person's interests. Rather, we know that the act would be wrong because it is wrong to use another person as a mere means to our ends. (In a sense we're all the children of Athens.)

So why is the principle that the end doesn't justify the means absent from most discussion of government policy? Why are political measures routinely defended on the sole basis that they will bring about some good consequence that supposedly outweighs the costs (from the perspective of those who propose them)? This happens all the time. A tariff is justified by the help it is thought to give to a struggling domestic industry. A price control is justified as a way to keep the price of some product affordable. A mandate that employers or insurance companies (nominally) pay for women's contraception is justified in terms of women's health or of reducing the number of abortions. Torture is justified as a source of useful information. Obliteration bombing is justified as a way to shorten a war.

In all these cases and more, those who proffer the government policy seem to think that all they need do is identify a consequence as the "greater good" and the discussion is over. The end justifies the means. That may indicate one of two things. The proponent of the measure may think that the objective of the policy is more important than whatever those who are forced to pay for it must forgo as a result. Or the proponent may be oblivious of the costs entirely, as though there were none.

Costs and Victims

But, first of all, there are always costs to—and therefore victims of—any government action. Government is force, and "[c]oercive intervention . . . signifies per se that the individual or individuals coerced would not have done what they are now doing were it not for the intervention" (Murray Rothbard, Power and Market). A tariff forces consumers to pay more for products, leaving them less money to spend on other people's products. That's two sets of victims. A price control will drive marginal producers out of business, creating shortages. A contraception mandate will cost someone money, no matter how often the products and services are called "free." Etc.

All those who are forced to bear the costs are treated by the government and the special-interest groups it empowers as mere means to other people's ends; that is, they are treated as less than human.

The proponents of such measures never tell us why the benefits they aim for are more important than the benefits other people will have to do without. But of course they couldn't tell us: The benefits are incommensurable.

Lost Freedom

Furthermore, apart from the material loss, the victims' progressive loss of freedom is real both in the immediate instance as well as with respect to the precedent set for future government action (the slippery slope). Intervention begets intervention as policy makers try to clean up the mess their previous actions created.

As natural-law philosopher Grisez puts it,

The economic advantages and disadvantages of a proposed public project can be quantified. But people also want freedom of speech and of religion, equal protection of the laws, privacy, and other goods which block certain choices, yet which cannot be costed out. Cost-benefit analysis can tell one the most effective way of attaining certain objectives, assuming one accepts the objectives and has no concerns about the means and the side effects of the means required to attain them. But such analysis cannot tell one whether the objectives one seeks are objectives one ought to seek, or whether nonquantifiable factors should be ignored. [Emphasis added.]

Means and ends of course are intimately related. The end determines the array of relevant means. But that is not the end of the story. In selecting from that array, considerations apart from the end are highly relevant—such as the injunction never to use another person as a mere means. To ignore those considerations is to mock human dignity and countenance the slave principle.

That's basic to how we ordinarily think about morality. But politicians and those who leech off their power flout this insight as a matter of course.

Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, where this article originally appeared.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

677 responses to “The Myth of the Greater Good

  1. What else would justify means?

    Stated intentions?

    1. No, wait…agricultural city-Statism is for the greater good.

      Libertards told me so.

      1. No wait…sweating to the oldies is just as good as GAMBOLIN!

        Jenny Craig told me!

        1. Eating even one morsel of processed-in-any-way food, negates WI’s entire premise.

          1. Well then….

            Driving even one mile on tax-funded, publicly-built RRROOOAAADDDDZZZZZ negates the Fibertarian’s entire premise.

            See how that works?

            1. Except – no – because I paid for that privilege, idiot.

              See how that works?

              1. thanks, Almanian

                1. I paid for that privilege of Social Security, idiot.

                  1. I paid for that privilege of Medicare, idiot.

                    1. I paid for that privilege of Public Education, idiot.

                    2. …for civilization.

                      And if you’ve paid-in, you’re privileged to defend tax-funded privileges as a Libertarian privilege.

                      Almanian told me so.

                    3. That’s not what I said, continued idiot. But you keep up your strawman nonsense, White Injun. We won’t run out of bytes.

                    4. Yeah it is. I quoted you word-for-word, city-Statist twit.

                      Any time government provides something you don’t use, it’s bad.

                      LOL

                      Any time government provides something you do use, it’s OK, as you say, because I paid for that privilege.”

                  2. No you didn’t. Almanian did.

              2. Casinos For Tribal Chieftans. Everyone else, out.

                1. Non-State societies never had ’em.

                  But keep whining, Fibertards, just because you don’t have a treaty with the city-State.

            2. Fuck off, Godesky.

              1. LULZ!

                1. …injun.

                  LULZ!

                  1. Fuck on.

                    1. Uh, none of those people, except Almanian, actually paid for those benefits promised to them.

                      But you knew that already, White Dipshit.

        2. Obes Res. 1993 May;1(3):206-22 VISCERAL OBESITY: A “CIVILIZATION SYNDROME.” Bj?rntorp P. Department of Heart and Lung Diseases, Sahlgren’s Hospital, University of G?teborg, G?teborg, Sweden. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16350574

          Thesis #21: Civilization makes us sick.
          by Jason Godesky | 2 January 2006
          http://theanarchistlibrary.org…..heses.html

        1. Where did you get your Land enTitlement from? Do you pay property taxes on it to a central government for agricultural city-STATISM‘s central role in conquering and occupying more land?

          “Agriculture creates government.”

          ~Richard Manning
          Against the Grain, p. 73

          Agricultural city-Statism is always a Trail of Tears.

          1. Which means you support STATE surveillance of persons and STATE interference in private interactions.

            Big Fat Secret Agenda Statist.

            1. teh best!

              1. Uncomfortable with the Inconvenient Truth?

              2. you really don’t support those things?

          2. That really freaks out the anti-PRIV crowd, lovers of loot seized by the state.

            1. I thought Fibertards NEED GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT PROPERTY RIGHTS.

              That’s what they tell me.

              1. …small government are the same thing.

                *facepalm*

                You’re a moron.

              2. STATE loots PRIVATE person. Whose side are you on? Yeah, that’s right.

                1. Ask the Indians on the Trail of Tears.

                  1. So the Founders were enamored with Thomas Hobbes? That’s some historical revisionism! But it’s what you have to do to make your religion fit the facts.

                    I pity you.

          3. Homesteading, you stupid fuck.
            You and your primitive plainswalking fap material are too backwards to understand the concept of individual property ownership. Don’t whine merely because you can’t grasp the concept.

          4. So, you have definitive proof that government does not exist without agriculture?

            You’re saying that there was no such thing as leadership or privilege in hunter gather societies?

            You’re argument is stupid and childish and goes counter to fact.

          5. Ownership without sharing in mind is a trail of tears. Deep down we realize we are all of equal value now. Disagreements as to what is fair and right can arise but ownership is based on agreement and agreement also can be found. In the absolute all is equal shared value. In the relative with intelligence and love we are able to share fairly if we have the will. Like setting the rules for baseball. The winner of the game is not ultimately better than the looser. We hopefully naturally strive for greater good. We don’t strive for greater bad unless we strive without sharing in mind. Ultimately it is good to be able to be and to not be at the same time. Freedom beyond the law of noncontradiction. To be able to not be IS AT THE SAME TIME to be able to be. Shared ability. Are you of greater good than your mother if you happen to be smarter than her? Only maybe relatively. In a shared reality we are required to respect the part everything plays in now whether consciously or not. We share the air with the world. We must respect it. We share death. It makes room for others. I’m not sayin’ I know facts. What I say seems so at the moment.

      2. Oh boy! WI stopped frequenting Strike-the-root as his points were being eviscerated on a daily basis.

        I didn’t know he hung out and peddled his somatic hunter-gather garbage around here too!

        Playing word games to try to get rid of ownership or property. While accusing everyone else of being caught in word magic, lol!

        Then of course advancing the idea of the noble savage, which was a white guilt creation of 1800’s academics and has no basis in fact.

        Fun to see him being called out on another site for the empty headed moron he has shown himself to be.

    2. The ends do not justify the means ….. but the results can, sometimes.

      The problem with government means is that when the results are disappointing, they are seldom repealed. The formula is always “We tried this, but didn’t do it enough, so we’re going to do it some more this time.” or “We tried A, and it didn’t work. Now we’re going to try B, while leaving A in place.” never “We tried this. It didn’t work. It cost the flipping Earth. So we’re going to dismantle is, and try something else.

      1. I submit that to assess a government program as a failure is to fail to understand the true purpose of the program.

        1. There is certainly an argument for that position. OTOH, if they are going to define their supposed goals in such a way that they fail to meet them, I think I’m entitled to hold them to that standard and ask “Just why would we give you more money, you abject failure?”

    3. Actually I don’t think most people are taught that the ends never justify the means, but rather that they both can and should justify the means, and take “The ends don’t justify the means” to be a criticism of particular combinations of ends & means. In other words, most people are taught the sort of trade-offs Sheldon is complaining about here.

      1. If I remember my Thomas Aquinas, a good end does not justify an evil means. A good end does justify an indifferent means. There are good, evil and indifferent means, but sooner or later, most ends are good.

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    5. “Do you believe that the end justifies the means?” I was a schoolboy when a professor of philosophy, overhearing this logical barbarism, announced that he would leave the room if ever he heard it again. The proper formulation, he told us, is: “Do you believe that the end justifies any means?” It is just this simple: Ordinarily, you would not push violently an old lady, steal a piece of bread, or fire a gun into the face of a human being….

      1. ….But each of these things you would do if a) the old lady would otherwise be hit by a bus; b) your child would die of hunger; c) the human being would plunge his knife into your heart. What you would not do, if you agree that the end does not justify any means, is fire a gun at the bus driver as the alternative to pushing the old lady out of the way; shoot the baker for putting a price on a loaf of bread; trigger fusillade fire at a row of people knowing that one of the bullets will nail your assailant.

        1. Bah. a) Pushing anyone is wrong, period. The question is whether your saving her from being hit by a bus would make her overlook your assault. b) Stealing is wrong, period. Even if your child will die of hunger. c) If someone threatens to imminently plunge a knife into your heart then their right to life is sacrificed and there’s nothing wrong with shooting them in the face, regardless of the ends.

          1. Fibertard told me it’s ok, chief.

            “[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

            It’s funny when Fibertarians go all aggressive, and then bitch when somebody else wants to defend against Fibertarian aggression.

            Fibertarianism: What we say, in the context we want. Anybody else is an evul-dooooooer.

            1. The egalitarians sworn enemy is the indiVIDual. VIDA is LIFE. Egalitarians must destroy indiVIDuals.

              1. oops

                Fibertard needs to read some evolutionary biology.

                1. …evolve to be hierarchical?

                  Primitard needs to make some logical connections.

                2. And an “original-sin” peddler.

                  1. Hierarchy in the Forest:
                    The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior
                    Christopher Boehm
                    Harvard University Press

                    But then, Fibertard AXIOMS beat EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION everyday in their world. As in the creationist world.

                    1. …to trust everything that comes out of Harvard. Unless it supports WI’s beliefs, of course.

              2. The shift from scavenging and the occasional opportunistic hunt very likely had a good deal to do with another defining characteristic of our species: egalitarianism.

                Egalitarian societies built on sharing and cooperation and guided by consensus were much more adapted to the niche humans exploited than the hierarchical troops of other primates. This egalitarianism even became part of our very bodies ? humans have some of the lowest sexual dimorphism in the entire animal kingdom…

                …If that is true, then the seperation from Australopithecine to Homo was likely driven by a social evolution.

                Jason Godesky
                Thesis #7: Humans are best adapted to band life.
                http://theanarchistlibrary.org…..heses.html

                1. But yet, he cites no examples of any known primitive egalitarian societies, because his speculation is hogwash tied to the noble savage myth.

                  When we dig up bodies over the last 200,000 years, most of them died of murder or disease. Where is the proof of these past utopian egalitarian societies?

                  Difference here is us libtards like to argue proof and logic (even if it is a lot of navel gazing), while you primitive morons like to argue speculative fiction.

          2. Regardless of whether or not it is wrong, almost every individual, group and society prioritizes survival above all else. Most people would steal if that is the only way to feed themselves or their family.

            Take a simple scenario: there’s not enough food for a society. Who decides who gets food? A libertarian society says ‘farmers decide who gets food using the market’. A socialist society says ‘central planning decides who gets food’. There is an incentive to be the person who decides who gets food to ensure that you and your family get food. In the libertarian society, this leads to more farmers and more food production. In the socialist society, this leads to… North Korea.

            1. I should have said, “regardless of whether or not it involves what one sees as immoral actions (such as theft), individuals, groups, and societies prioritize survival above all else.”

            2. where’s that?

              1. It’s a hypothetical question, because any society with a relatively free market economy will see people devote resources to food production well before food shortages become an issue.

                Starvation is generally an issue in authoritarian dictatorships that place social order above individual survival and tribal societies such as Somalia where the food ends up in the hands of the strongest tribe.

    6. What else would justify means?

      Nothing. Means stand as either just nor unjust on their own merits. An unjust act isn’t made any less unjust because the actor meant well or said act had favorable consequences.

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    8. …if he must use and transform material natural objects in order to survive, then he has the right to own [property]… ~Murray Rothbard

      [Property] Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. ~Ayn Rand

      Ok, fine. “Property” is necessary for human survival in an agricultural city-Statist society. Questions to contemplate:

      ? How do the 1% need 40% of the wealth to survive?

      ? How do the 10% need 85% of the wealth to survive?

      1. Egalitarians and Anti-Property Fakes are slavish sponsors of STATE SEIZURE of private wealth for state initiated POLICE violence and WARFARE/WELFARE/CRONYCORPBAILOUTS.

        1. Trail of Tears.

      2. ….THE STATE to seize what you consider “excess” wealth for use to fund the militarized SWAT team that will put a jackboot in your own face.

        Instead of the wealth-holder using the wealth for peaceful transactions.

        1. Gambling casinos for the rich Tribes, none for the newcomers.

          1. such a great example of primitive Non-State society

            LOL

            Fibertarians gonna fib.

            1. are going to continue to peddle your anti_privacy vitriol.

          2. I was gamboling on the field and plain. Until the Lakota seized my body and brain. My friends could not pry me, from the slots behind me. So much for the life of a Dane.

      3. What does government supported and bank supported monopoly wealth have anything to do with libertarian ideas?

        Take your straw-man back down your red-herring path and sit him back with the rest of your invincible ignorance.

    9. Efficacy is a necessary condition for a proper means, but not a sufficient condition. Moral considerations are relevant. See the end of my article.

    10. You know I’ve asked hundreds of people that and never got a clear answer!

  2. Any commentariat live in the Chicago suburbs?

    1. I onced lived in Lombard for 2 weeks.

    2. Don’t live there but will be in Schaumburg Monday.

    1. Ron Paul and Andre Marrou

      1. Ok…

        Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment … unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares?”

        ~Murray Rothbard

        The fuck?

        1. He’s the guy that had a book written about him titled “An Enemy of the State–…”

          Because he was a genuine ANTI-STATIST not a faker that belongs to the:

          SOROS/OBAMA 2012 reelection campaign smear machine. now…..

          1. But your Fibertard conspiracy theories show one thing:

            You’re just a right wing nut who wants to smoke pot.

            1. You’re just a left wing nut who wants to gambol on people’s carpets.

            2. ….refuse to disown $oros the War-Profiteer. (your patron)

              1. But thanks, Libertard, for once again acknowledging that Money = Socio-political Power.

                1. see, you just can’t do it.

            3. Light me up now!

            4. Because if a guy has some good ideas and a guy has som ebad ideas, just because we like to cite some of the ideas we consider good, we have to support the bad?

              Your logic does not hold.

              Just because I think roads are great and the government made roads, does not mean I think that the only way to make roads is via government or that I support bombing the middle east, which is also done by government.

              You are building straw-men as usual.

              Do you have any other argument that isn’t a straw-man, red-herring or invincible ignorance?

    1. Andre Marrou and Nancy Lord

      1. Just not all the way to a NON-STATE Society. Please, please!!!

        Because we NEED the GUMMIT to protect Privation Property.

        Yes, indeed, you need the State, Fibertarians.

        “Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign. They generate their own subsistence with little or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders. Nor are they routinely exploited by outsiders.”

        ~Elman R. Service
        Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. (1975), New York: Norton.
        * NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
        http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

        1. CUT TAXES! oh, no! facultysmukempereduedu etc etc etc hypocrites keep that STATE seized funding coming…..

          1. You drive publicly funded roads, don’t you, city-Statist boy?

            hmmmm

            1. Already paid for those.

              Just because government made some roads, doesn’t mean that only government can make roads.

              Straw-man, invincible ignorance, red-herring.

        2. Because we NEED the GUMMIT to protect Privation Property.

          No we don’t. The state does this as inefficiently as it does everything else.

          In fact there is nothing the government does worse than protecting property.

          The government doesn’t stop property crimes, rarely ever solves them, creates the environment that promotes property crimes, and the majority of what it does itself is in fact property crime.

        3. Not all libertarians are minarchists.

          A person that does not even believe in the philosophy, let alone even understands it, does not get to tell everyone that subscribes to that philosophy what they believe.

          You are a rude and ignorant narcissist, just as bad as any of the hard right and left crazies. You think you are morally superior to everyone, even if you can’t grasp what they are saying. That is a clear symptom of a sociopath and you need help.

    1. Harry Browne and Jo Jorgensen

      1. Isn’t FREE STATISM a bit of a contradiction?

    1. Harry Browne and Art Olivier

      1. …in an Unfree World.

    1. Michael Badnarik and Richard Campagna

      1. What’s the definition of insanity?

        1. Repeatedly posting the same shit for months then replying to it yourself?

          1. LULZ

            1. LULZ

  3. Actually, it’s not
    “end doesn’t justify the means”

    but “DOES the end justify the means?”

    It’s a question.

    Maybe pushing someone out of the way isn’t justified to reach a box of cereal, but what if it’s to reach a person choking?

    People have to judge different outcomes every day and whether an action is worth it. Going 5 MPH over the speed limit is probably ok, going 50 MPH over probably not (then again what if your wife is in labor?)

    Not asking if the ends justifies the means if a bullshit cop out, that doesn’t address the fact that we don’t live in a black and white world.

    Normally, I would never torture, but if I knew that someone had the information about a ticking bomb, you can bet I would be reaching for the electrodes.

    1. It’s wrong to push someone, regardless of whether you’re reaching a choking person. Hopefully the person you pushed will overlook your transgression in light of your goal, but that’s up to them.

      Speeding itself isn’t wrong, even if you’re going 100 mph over the limit to make it to a movie on time. Endangering the lives of others by driving recklessly (whether speeding or not) is wrong though, even if your wife is in labor. Again, the other drivers can choose to overlook your dangerous actions.

      Torture is wrong if the person is innocent. If you *know* someone has information about a ticking bomb, and they’re refusing to give it up then you’re probably on safe moral ground torturing them. But if you’re wrong, then you’ve violated their rights.

      Black and white.

    2. It’s a rhetorical question.

      “Does the end justify the means?” doesn’t mean you should evaluate it on a case by case basis.

      I implies that the basis of morality lies in the means with which you go about accomplishing your goals, not the nature of your goals.

  4. That’s funny. A few years back when I stopped shoving old ladies out of my way for trivial reasons I thought my change of heart had something to do with rule utilitarianism.

    But I guess there is no such thing. My mistake.

    1. I think there’s an old William F Buckley routine about how one guy pushes little old ladies into the path of oncoming traffic, another pushes them out of harm’s way, yet both are painted as pushing little old ladies. It was his way of pointing out the absurdity of drawing moral equivalency between things based on some similarity.

      The question hinges on, what is the end? If it is saving your child’s or spouse’s life, then by any means necessary. If it’s to avoid missing the bus, then not so much.

      1. Meh, that strikes me a bit as confusing consequences and context. It’s a bit dishonest to say that, if you think certain actions that might otherwise be bad might be fine in certain contexts, you have to be okay with consequences justifying an action. Shoving the old lady out of the way of oncoming traffic seems like a good thing to do in and of itself. That’s a long stretch from saying pushing old ladies is fine if it helps other people.

  5. “Politicians must stop acting like the ends justify the means.”
    Really? Whose going to stop them?

    1. END:CIV
      Resist or Die
      http://endciv.com

    2. Certainly not someone saying that the ends don’t justify the means. They really want to say that contraception is bad and manufacturing is good. MANUFACTURING!

  6. From my point of view, the American people, by and large, never ever, for even one full minute, think about the real world consequences of governmental programs. And when the horrible consequences of government programs come to fruition, they have this reflex that there needs to be more government intervention or oversight to correct the failure. I don’t want to beleive that the American people are that easily fooled, but I mean fuck 15 Trillion and most folks don’t realize how monumnetal a fuck up that is that it got that way.

    1. Perhaps the gov’t intentionally makes itself uninteresting to avoid scrutiny.

    2. much easier to get Americans worked up about a price hike by Netflix or a few banks considering $5/mo for debit card usage than to have them consider the ramifications of a higher debt to GDP ratio than Greece. Because we’re Mer-kuhns.

      1. Much easier to get Americans worked up about GDP ratio than to have them consider the ramifications of agricultural city-Statism. Because we’re Fib-uh-tards.

      2. Well, no. It’s because they know they’re the ones getting stuck with the higher Netfix bill or surcharge for their ATM. They’re convinced that someone else can be the one stuck for the additional debt.

  7. Little kids can and do shove people out of the way to get at whatever they want. After they get pounded on a few times by other kids or punished by adults they learn the consequences aren’t worth it.

    As we get older, most of us develop empathy for others and feel bad about behaving dickishly, and so we try to not do too much of that because the internal costs are too high. Not all of us, and some don’t beat themselves up too much about that.

    You have to be pretty high up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs before consistently and invariably not using others as a means — not treating others as your slave, even temporarily — becomes a high enough value that you stop that behavior entirely.

  8. Well we get to the central libertarian problem. Don’t you believe that a little coercion is necessary, that some ends consideration is required for us not to live in anarchy? So it’s not like it’s you vs. utilitarians or liberals, it’s just you claiming a little less central planning is necessary and pronouncing your preference the only moral one. The totalitarian-like strawman you’re attacking is you too.

    So maybe it can never be scientifically established that universal healthcare is a greater good than the money that would otherwise be in taxpayers’ pockets (though it can actually be quantified by comparing average healthcare costs with and without such a system–surely it’s much closer to objectivity to say that costing citizens less is better than costing them more).

    1. So it’s not like it’s you vs. utilitarians or liberals, it’s just you claiming a little less central planning is necessary and pronouncing your preference the only moral one. The totalitarian-like strawman you’re attacking is you too.

      Uh, no. We’re claiming that coercion is inherently immoral, and that a preference for more coercion over less coercion wherever less coercion is possible is ipso facto sociopathic.

      1. How can something inherently immoral be required for a functioning society? If law and order are ubiquitous and considered good (and definitely preferable to the alternative), then doesn’t that necessarily mean it’s not immoral?

        Why do you get to draw the line between an acceptable amount of evil and an unacceptable amount? The libertarian line does not give us any kind of default or deducible form of society. It just gives us one that protects the luxuries of the rich while ignoring the needs of the poor. It’s just plutocracy dressed up as a moral imperative.

        1. I actually agree with you. The difference between a small-gov’t constitutionalist and a full-blown communist is just the areas they’re willing to tolerate gov’t interference in.

          Which is what led me to Lysander Spooner and anarch-capitalism.

          1. Enh. I like Lysander Spooner and I have a great deal of sympathy for an-caps, but I don’t think conceding the existence of a small number of genuine collective-action problems (i.e., problems for which coercion is the only practicable solution) makes one different from a full-blown communist only by degree.

            1. We’ll just have to agree to disagree then. I think the very definition of being seperated only by degree is that you agree that collective action is necessary, you just disagree about when/where/how much.

              I was a minarchist for a long time until some good articles on Mises.org finally made me realize that my position was logically inconsistent, and I slowly changed my worldview.

              1. See, that’s the thing: I don’t accept the definition of a communist as merely someone who thinks that collectivism is sometimes justified.

                But, whatever. I’m perfectly happy to defer the argument over minarchism versus anarcho-capitalism until it’s more relevant.

                1. Oh absolutely; it’s just mental masturbation at this point in history. We’re not in danger of that particular debate having relevance anytime soon : )

                  1. I choked up some beer when Tony made it sound like he only wants “a little” central planning.

                    1. Planning. Where did you get your Land enTitlement from? Do you pay property taxes on it to a central government for it’s central role in conquering and occupying the land?

                      “Agriculture creates government.”

                      ~Richard Manning
                      Against the Grain, p. 73

                    2. I once was a free range gamboler. On the prarie and plain. Along came a tribe, much bigger than mine, and wiped off the planet were we.

                    3. The current literature consistently reports that
                      until the final stages of the Paleolithic Age?until
                      just prior to the present 10,000-year era of
                      domestication?there is no conclusive evidence
                      that any tools or hunting weapons were used
                      against humans at all.

                      ~John Zerzan
                      The Origins of War
                      http://www.scribd.com/doc/20298938/Ze…..ins-of-War

                    4. All war can be blamed on agriculture.

                      Rid yourselves of language, clocks, and surplus. Your salvation will be at hand.

                      `John Zerzan

                    5. Bullhockey.

                      Just because they can’t find the weapons sitting next to the dead body (because pointed sticks deteriorate over time) that doesn’t prove anything.

                      What they have done though is dig up a lot of really old bodies with head wounds. That includes in north America, where the European way of government wasn’t supposed to exist.

                      Invincible ignorance (somehow we are supposed to be able to prove 10,000+ year old bodies were killed with weapons, obvious ignorance of the science).

                      Horrible argument, he says we can’t prove there was weapons us human vs. human past 10k years (in his opinion) so it never happened.

                      He can’t prove it didn’t. His argument is reducto ad absurdum.

        2. If law and order are ubiquitous and considered good (and definitely preferable to the alternative), then doesn’t that necessarily mean it’s not immoral?

          No. Acquaint yourself with the concept of necessary evils.

          Why do you get to draw the line between an acceptable amount of evil and an unacceptable amount?

          The line I’m drawing is between necessary evils and unnecessary ones.

          The libertarian line does not give us any kind of default or deducible form of society.

          Really? Because it deduces pretty easily to most of us here: “Leave other people alone, and keep your hands off their shit.”

          It just gives us one that protects the luxuries of the rich while ignoring the needs of the poor.

          Because “the needs of the poor” can only be effectively met by redistributive government programs, apparently.

          1. “Leave other people alone, and keep your hands off their shit.”

            …except to pay for police, courts, etc. Your line between necessary and unnecessary evils. And it’s apparently necessary to protect the luxuries of the rich, but unnecessary to keep poor people from starving. You have no rational case for where you draw the line without consulting consequences (nobody does).

            Because “the needs of the poor” can only be effectively met by redistributive government programs, apparently.

            Since it’s never happened by any other means, it’s a reasonable assumption. Taking care of the needs of the poor (like taking care of the luxuries of the rich) is something collectives must decide is worth doing, and the way collectives act to achieve these ends is with democratic government.

            Any other scheme you offer will be equally consequentialist.

            1. And it’s apparently necessary to protect the luxuries of the rich

              Because poor people have no need of law enforcement and courts, ever.

              but unnecessary to keep poor people from starving.

              Because poor people cannot possibly avoid starvation except through redistributive government programs.

              Since it’s never happened by any other means

              Citation needed.

              1. Poor people live fucking super well here in North America. Relatively speaking. Our poor have X-Boxes, microwaves and can generally have Maslow’s needs under control thanks to the welfare state along with the parts that cross over into entitlements.

            2. “Leave other people alone, and keep your hands off their shit.”

              …except to pay for police, courts, etc.

              Well, that’s one of the lines one must cross to go from minarchism to an-cap — refusing to coerce anyone into paying for government police or courts, and instead saying, if you want to use the government police or courts, pay the voluntary fee to enroll as a user, or hire private protective services and private arbitration and mediation firms.

              So, yes, minarchists are socialists about a few things, and you are a socialist about a buttload of things.

        3. Except law and order are NOT seen as goods in and of themselves. They are perceived as merely preferable to their absence because their presence entails a net reduction in coercion. And even that’s not an absolute. At some level of statism, the net level of coercion almost certainly does exceed what you’d see absent government.

          1. law and order are NOT seen as goods

            Is not value subjective?

            (ooops)

      2. Unless it’s not.

        “[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

        Questions for Fibertarians:
        (1) Is THE RIGHT TO TAKE a positive or negative right?
        (2) Is any white person‘s right to take a collective or individual right?

        1. Casino for Tribe, no one else.

        2. Questions for White Idiot:…(1) How many times have you cut and pasted this same preposterously worn out shit here? (2) How many times and in how many ways has this tired rant been debunked by people who mistakenly assumed you were posting in good faith? (3) Are you actually only doing this to pay the bills as American “50 center” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50 cent_party or is this something more along the lines of a disgusting compulsion for public masturbation and coprophagia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprophagia in a playground that you think everyone else will naturally enjoy as much as you do?

    2. Don’t you believe that a little coercion is necessary, that some ends consideration is required for us not to live in anarchy?

      I don’t believe that even a little government coercion is necessary. And the ends consideration I look at — a little coercion being used by people like you to justify huge amounts of coercion — leads me to want to avoid that end of massive, horrendous coercion by getting rid of all the coercion.

      That is, if you play fast and loose with the means, you are unlikely to achieve the ends you want.

      1. Coercion.

        Agricultural city-Statism is inherently violent.

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

        1. Richard Manning, GOVT EMPLOYEE, secret GOVT surveillance and invasions of PRIVacy.

          More “anti-state” fakery.

          1. Teh best.

            1. Teh stoopid.

            2. Cmon now faux primitivist, your cover has been pulled and your agenda exposed. Light up now and relax a little. Your state security blanket isn’t going away it’ll be there when you come down.

    3. Don’t you believe that a little coercion is necessary, that some ends consideration is required for us not to live in anarchy?

      No.

    4. Tony said:
      Surely it’s much closer to objectivity to say that costing citizens less is better than costing them more.

      Actually, based on that criteria, the best health care is not providing any at all, since that us usually always cheaper than guaranteeing universal access to health services. What you mean is, _all other things being equal_, costing citizens less is better than costing them more. But, since you can’t even define what _all other things_ are, much less their equality, it’s nonsensical to accept a healthcare policy just because it claims to cost less.

  9. But without the forms of government coercion libertarians are OK with (basic law and order) that money wouldn’t be in their pockets in the first place. We can’t escape collective consequences, and we are more free when we have the ability to act collectively, via democratic means, to do things with that power. That some people will lose out on their preferences is a given–it’s going to happen whenever any number of people accomplish things collectively, even two people. It’s something everyone learns when he stops being a child and starts being a grownup.

    1. Did your mommy tell you that?

    2. Shorter Tony: Anyone who gives an inch must concede a mile, or else they’re a hypocrite.

      1. You don’t have to agree with me on which public policies are good, you just have to stop calling me evil for differing slightly from you on what government guns should be deployed for. You’re the ones who only want the state to do violent things anyway.

        1. We want the state to limit itself to enforcing non-violence between individuals. Not the same thing.

          A rule that says “you can only use force to stop other people from using force” does not imply “Ok, well then I guess force is justified for ANY socially desirable goal, then!”

          1. Maybe not, but you have to explain why not and not just assert it. Which means you have to defend or reject every policy idea on its merits, just like anyone else. Protecting a wealthy person’s car collection is not obviously a correct use of government force, and preventing starvation isn’t obviously an incorrect use.

            1. how do you prevent starvation exactly? Does there ever come a point where the left looks at the down individual as the product of a series of self-selected consequences, deserving of pity and perhaps some assistance, but in no way deserving of permanent support from the rest of us?

              1. Does there ever come a point when you stop applying blunt, harsh judgments to people? You’d have us live by the idea that poverty is caused by bad behavior and wealth by good behavior. When has that ever been always the case?

                I prefer to leave emotions out of it entirely and do what makes the most sense for doing the most good for people. What other motivation could possibly be more moral?

                1. most of poverty IS the result of bad choices, just as wealth usually is the result of good choices and a bit of luck. You don’t want to do the most good for the most people; you want to use govt force to take those from those who make good decisions and give to those making bad ones.

                  Nothing in the liberal approach ever ever ever holds a person accountable for his own actions, except for a Repub politician caught doing something stupid. Everyone else gets a pass. It’s bullshit.

                  1. …of the elite buying the best middle management (government) they can afford. Because it is so damn profitable.

                2. I prefer to leave emotions out of it entirely and do what makes the most sense for doing the most good for people. What other motivation could possibly be more moral?

                  Riiiight. You can unemotionally make accurate, precise judgments about how you and millions of others make the subjective, emotional value judgments that you then total into a good being greater than evil equation. You are that good at getting into other people’s heads, and can do it for every single person among millions, that you can make those subjective value assessments for them and unemotionally feel good about exerting that power.

                  What part of that doesn’t appear chronically un-self-aware to you?

                3. “You’d have us live by the idea that poverty is caused by bad behavior and wealth by good behavior. When has that ever been always the case?”

                  Why does it have to be always?

                  It just has to be the majority of the time to smash your greater good argument.

                  Mass starvation is created by socialist government intervention or by extreme weather changes. Neither of which can be fixed by adding more government.

                  Your argument is as flaccid as your intellect.

              2. Depends what you mean.

                The left will never stop using the starving poor as a rhetorical club with which to attack their political enemies.

                But I have no doubt that every last lefty, down to the hardest of hard-core commies, has a hard limit on what he personally would be willing to sacrifice in order to prevent the poor from starving. In fact, I frequently suspect that they favor redistributive government programs as assistance for the poor by way of salving their guilt over how fucking cheap they are.

                1. Tony is awfully fixated on money, and how much of it people have… I just wonder if it’s an oral fixation, or something else.

                2. You misunderstand. Commies aren’t willing to sacrifice ANYTHING personally, for anything. However, they are willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING, including life itself, from others for the merest, infinitesimal inconvenience for themselves, or any of their goals.

              3. Like being robbed by Economic Hit Men?
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..ic_Hit_Man

                Nice way of blaming victims there, wareaglemonger.

                1. I’m actually quite the pro-STATIST here. I’m against PRIVate property because of the “PRIV” in the word. So I’m also against PRIVacy, PRIVate conversations, PRIVate thoughts. I bash libertarians the most because I pretend like they are pro-STATIST, when in reality they are the closest faction to anti-STATISM that actually has concrete policy goals.

                  I really just love sucking on the STATE’s tit, and shitting on freedom lovers.

            2. If the rule was “protect wealthy people’s car collections” that would be one thing.

              However the rule is actually “Protect people’s personal property” plus “Treat everyone equally”. That requires us to protect the wealthy person’s car collection as much as we protect a poor kid’s lunch money.

              Moreover “prevent starvation” conflcits with the other rules. You can’t protect people’s property AND prevent starvation. And if you start selectively taking property to prevent starvation, you can’t treat everyone equally either. Only people who have property will have it taken away.

              As I’ve argued before, positive rights don’t work because they inherently conflict with negative rights, and each other. (Given limited funds, do you spend it on the right to food or the right to health care?)

        2. Ok, I will concede that you are good for comic relief Tony

        3. tony,
          we tend to call you and yours evil when your desire is for more public policies and more public mandates. Team Red is not much better; it just wants to mandate different things. Most of us would be happy with a fedzilla that followed the Constitution and got out of the way.

          1. All you have are slogans.

            1. and all you have is govt which, I must admit, is more powerful than words. Every country that has tried massive central control has failed. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

              1. This time it will be different!

                1. “Hope and Change”

                  “Pay your fair share”

                  et cetera…

                  1. Our Right to Occupy Land taken by Aggression!

                    et cetera….

              2. Yep, you’re right on that, warmonger.

                Thesis #20: Collapse is an economizing process.
                Thesis #26: Collapse is inevitable.
                Thesis #27: Collapse increases quality of life.
                http://rewild.info/anthropik/thirty/index.html

                1. …too!

                  Thesis #45: Jason Godesky tells the truth.

                  Thesis #68: Jason Godesky doesn’t eat pie.

                2. …using axioms. And I thought White Liar and his ilk only used empirical evidence!

                  LOL!!

                  1. ….except in a fevered Fibertard mind.

                    1. …is pretty much an axiom.

                      Try again, Primitard.

        4. …you just have to stop calling me evil for differing slightly from you on what government guns should be deployed for.

          Except you don’t differ from us slightly. Libertarians, to the extent they justify government at all, do so strictly to the extent that it represents a means of lessening private coercion and minimizing net coercion. You advocate the government initiating coercion as a means to whatever goals you decide.

          1. Any Fibertarian will initiate aggression, and justify it via economic theory.

            That’s the way agricultural city-Statists roll. All of them, liberals, conservatives, and fibertarians.

            Just try rolling out a sleeping bag on the corner of some Fibertarian’s lawn and fall asleep. Next, watch the aggression.

            But the Fibertard will say a sleeping man is initiating violence against them. Funny. Every. Day.

            1. How is that “funny”? Theft is a form of aggression.

              1. But you’re all for it, Bill, because you’re an aggressor. One who steals Land, and then says that anybody who steps foot on it is a thief.

                Funny. Every. Day.

                1. I didn’t steal land from any useless fkn Indian so take your whiny-assed sh1t back to the reservation.

                  1. …with government force.

                    So take your whiny-assed sh1t back to the city-Statist Europe.

                    Or just admit your full of bullshit about the “non-aggression principle.”

                    1. From whom did you steal your stolen land, Godesky?

                    2. I just don’t spout “non-aggression principle” BULLSHIT.

                    3. Then give up your “stolen” land, you medacious fuck.

                    4. medacious is not a word.

                    5. …something, will you concede you’re mentally challenged?

                    6. It’s only a mistake when we misspell.

                      When you do it, it means way more.

                    7. …back your stolen land, Primitard?

                2. Whoops. My bad I thought I might have been dealing with someone with something of any actual significance to say. You may resume your jibber-jabber.

                  1. …for Pale Nuts to give back the land he occupies to the Native Americans.

                    Still wondering why he needs a computer for survival.

                    What. A. Fucking. Hypocrite.

                    1. Still waiting for American Indians to move back to Africa, where their descendents walked her from.

                      America used to belong to mother earth and the cute little animals, now the evil Red Man wants to claim it all for himself!

                      A thin veneer of economic and political philosophies over overt racism is just that, a thin veneer.

                      Take your whiny butt home with that you diaper wearing girly man.

                      You Reds are just trying to become the new poor Blacks, ask for everything, want to contribute nothing, and blame your poor attitude on something else.

                      See how well that attitude has helped bring their race up from slavery to welfare checks. Yeah, that was a successful uprising. At least they don’t have to work for their masters anymore then cashing the checks and casting the votes.

      2. The article is based on precisely the same premise.

    3. But without the forms of government coercion libertarians are OK with (basic law and order)

      Don’t lump an-caps in with minarchists, unless you are deliberately constructing a strawman for an-caps. Libertarians are not all minarchists.

      I am for laws and order, just not the government’s version of those.

      1. I don’t think Tony is trying to construct a strawman. He just ignores the an-caps. And understandably so. It’s much easier to argue with mainstream libertarians because there are holes in their logic (no offense minarchists). If you don’t fully accept property rights and the non-agression principle then Tony’s arguments sometimes make sense.

    4. But without the forms of government coercion libertarians are OK with (basic law and order) that money wouldn’t be in their pockets in the first place

      No.

    5. That some people will lose out on their preferences is a given–it’s going to happen whenever any number of people accomplish things collectively, even two people. It’s something everyone learns when he stops being a child and starts being a grownup.

      Well, not in the way you are implying, but yes.

    6. Tony, the STATE CAN’T COMPUTE let alone force into law anything that attempts to calculate the incalculable actions of human daily activities.

      What’s so god dang hard to grasp?

      There IS NOT SUCH THING AS A LITTLE COERCION. JUST COERCION.

      Now I have that seen on Seinfeld where Elaine and Rava argue over “little” and “big” coincidences.

      Anyway, Tony, you seriously have to remove that load of crap shoved up your butt. I used to think this way, like, in high school. Then I grew up.

      1. ‘scene.’

    7. Who enforces non-coercion seems like a reasonable question to ask. Just because no one calls it “government” doesn’t mean it’s not. If cooperation exists then government exists. If my family unit protects my life and means of production, then coercion will be involved. Even if it’s entirely an internal matter, even if the only consequence to someone not doing their share is expulsion… it’s a government. Call it family, call it clan or tribe, call it having a room-mate.

    8. Unless you believe that people only avoid violating the rights of others because of the threat of government coercion, and thus forced into acting in such a way, there isn’t any such coercion in protecting the individual rights.

      Your assumption is that people can only act collectively if forced to do so, that forced “cooperation” is really freedom.

  10. I’ve noticed that ends-justify-the-means type thinking dominates, or even defines, liberal thinking.

    Questions from others about whether it’s proper or constitutional for the government will nearly always be deflected into discussions of the action/measure’s popularity, effectiveness, righteousness, short term necessity, etc. Rarely can you get them to address in any meaningful way the “Constitution” question.

    As long it’s “the right thing to do”, a lot of people support it, it works, or “just needs to be done”, then it’s OK.

    Conservatives (really, neocons) usually pay lip service to the Constitution and then claim that this particular measure falls into some exception. Eventually the exception dwarfs the rule.

    The end result is the same. But, if I was stuck between the two I’d take my chances with someone who can kinda, sorta be forced into following rules and honoring limits.

    1. It’s worth noting that the conservative solution to several court rulings they don’t like was to amend the constitution to remove the court’s authority or to make the disputed act constitutional. Try telling liberals that while that’s shitty in the freedom sense, it’s infinitely more legitimate than FDR’s various suggestions about simply stacking or reconstituting the court and the various Congressional proposals of that time.

    2. If you’re rejecting basic consequentialism, then what possible relevance is the constitution? It’s not a sacred text. It’s an eminently practical document.

      You must have policy outcomes in mind when you talk about deference to the constitution, because it doesn’t exactly spell out which laws we should have or even what type of economic system we should have. Everyone always thinks about consequences. Some just want to claim theirs are required by god.

      1. If you’re rejecting basic consequentialism, then what possible relevance is the constitution?

        What an absurd question. The very relevance of the Constitution is its process orientation. Properly understood and considered, it defines the process by which laws will be made and the nature of the laws that can be made. That you feel the need to redefine or just ignore the document to achieve your particular consequences is more than telling.

    3. “I’ve noticed that ends-justify-the-means type thinking dominates, or even defines, liberal thinking”

      Consider the label ‘progressive’ that they wear proudly. Getting things done, making progress by their definition of progress is what they are all about. The end justifies the means is the underlying premise for progressives, i.e. modern liberals.

      1. And what motivates you? Preserving the status quo?

        I bet you want to do a whole lot more “social engineering” than I as a liberal do. You’re just gonna claim your way is good and true according to some mystical holy imperative.

        1. QED. Tony immediately assumes that libertarians must have some tangible GOAL which all these individual rights are supposed to lead to.

          It hasn’t occured to him that some of us might actually be curious to find out what wild imaginings may form when individuals are left free to their own devices, with no judgement or preference for which of those many eventualities comes to fruition.

          Some of us don’t think society has, or should have, any sort of goal. We want it’s shape to form spontaneously and are inclined to think that whatever comes of it is bound to be far more interesting that what the liberals have in their five year plan.

          1. But I don’t have a specific goal in mind either, just a very general one, and I doubt you’d disagree about it, something like maximizing liberty and happiness for human beings. Your means are merely different.

            If that were not the case then you’re saying that we must live according to your rules and damn the consequences, which is insane. Maybe you’re right about creative destruction and emergent order, but you still endorse it because you think its consequences are good.

            1. I certainly don’t think that books like The Economics of Slavery in the Antebellum South by John Meyer and Alfred Conrad could justify slavery (and neither do they). Do you think that it’s possible? Would you be willing to change your opinion on the necessity of outlawing homosexual conduct based on a persuasive social science study?

              Sure, no one ignores consequences entirely, that does strike us as insane. But someone who has no fixed moral principals and deals only with consequences also doesn’t exist, and would strike people as insane as well.

                1. Primitard again reveals he’s a socialist.

                  1. Fibertard again reveals he’s a city-Statist.

              1. Obviously you haven’t met my ex-girlfriend.

            2. Plenty of people respond to the trolley problems in ways that they’ll admit lead to worse consequences because they don’t want to commit an immoral act. Do you think that they’re all *insane* Tony?

              If you could murder someone via a secret method that would not be traced back to you and would never been seen as murder, and could otherwise claim that it would have positive consequences, would you do it?

              Perhaps you would, even if you deny it now, because you could take a view that the consequences of admitting that you would could be negative.

            3. since govt is, by definition, force it cannot “maximize liberty and happiness”. Its function is to preserve liberty, yet its actions chip away at it.

              1. Its destiny, along with its gun toting ribbon wearing scum, is the dustbin.

              2. Gotta love the warmonger’s perspective.

                1. Gotta love the liar’s perspective.

                  1. Loves city-Statism. Loves Government for him, but nobody else.

                    1. Loves lying. Loves freedom for him, but nobody else.

            4. I can’t see how the maximum happiness and liberty can be brought about by violations of liberty.

              You neglect the possibility that they are ways to bring about the social outcomes you desire that do not necessarily involve coercion. There have always been organizations that worked to advance various goals outside of the government through persuasion and charity. A large part of the civil rights movement had nothing to do with the civil rights act, but had rather to do with changing the attitudes of whites toward blacks. Only a small part of the civil rights act even involved infringements on individual liberties – most of it was merely a dismantling of forced segregation.

              When it comes to social issues like gay rights and women’s rights, 99% of the agenda of liberals can be accomplished with no intervention by the government at all.

              1. Any collective activity requires some amount of coercion. People are capable of voluntarily submitting to coercion for their own good, which is why almost all people choose to live under governments.

                Since coercion (of the most blunt and brutal kind) is at the heart of civilization, you can hardly escape it altogether. I’m all for nongovernment means to achieve positive social change. I just don’t see any reason to deny people the right to use government as a tool for those ends since all government is is the physical manifestation of collective will and the means by which people mobilize resources to do big things and solve big problems.

                1. So when the collective will is bent to solving the big problem of apostasy, you don’t see any reason to deny people the right to use government as a tool for those ends? What about when the physical manifestation of collective will moves to enforce conformity with sexual norms… you know, for the public good and all?

                  How about let’s try something simple: Don’t violate anyone’s personal liberty unless they violate the rights of others. It is simple, easy to remember and it works perfectly for all of the pet causes of the left and right. Oh, except for the part where they want to use guns to force people to be just like them. That part would have to go. So no bringing low the wealthy. And no forcing the gays into the closet. And no enforcing your religion on other people’s kids, whether that religion be creationism or organic veganism.

                  1. Agricultural city-Statism is always enforced with aggression, or the threat thereof.

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

                  2. Yes so simple it must be true.

                  3. Yes so simple it must be true.

                  4. And here we come to the big catch: What violates the rights of others? Does two men walking down a street holding hands violate the rights of an evangelical?

                    1. Yes, if they’re Moslem.

                    2. Apparently not if one of them are Christian (of sorts).

                      http://www.google.com/imgres?q…..29,r:6,s:8

                2. Any collective activity requires some amount of coercion…. Since coercion (of the most blunt and brutal kind) is at the heart of civilization, you can hardly escape it altogether.

                  Stop right there. First of all, this is bullshit.
                  Second of all, even most liberals idealize small communities where collective voluntary action is the basis of society.

                  Or are you really admitting that the idea of the small commune involves a lot of clubbing and beating up of people who don’t obey the tribal chieftain?

                  In any case, a society free of coercion is both possible and an ideal to be striven for.

              2. You neglect that agricultural city-Statism is inherently violent.

                You speak with forked tongue, Hazel.

                1. You claim it for yourself.

                2. You speak lies. It’s all you do.

                  1. You speak lies. It’s all you do.

                    1. Lyin’ sack of shoe polish.

                3. What someone accuses me of having a “forked toungue” I interpret that to mean “I find your arguments frighting because they are too persuasive for my puny brain to process”.

                  1. Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign. They generate their own subsistence with little or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders. Nor are they routinely exploited by outsiders.

                    ~Elman R. Service
                    Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. (1975). New York: Norton.

                    NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
                    http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

                    1. Yeah, I’m the one arguing that people can get along just fine without coercion here.

                      It’s Tony and his fellow liberals who think civilization can only exist with violence and coercion to make people obey the state and pay taxes for the greater good and shit. You might have noticed that.

                    2. …Primitard is really just a left wing griefer troll.

                    3. …Fibertardism is really just right-wing-authoritarian griefer trollism in american politics.

                    4. Outside sources? No “external political leaders”?

                      No OUTSIDE exploitation?

                      In other (very clear) words… people in non-state societies may have little to no individual autonomy or freedom or choices. They might not even have the choice to leave the situation to which they are born. But the non-state unit itself is relatively autonomous and sovereign, generates it’s own food and support, and ignores outsiders.

                      Sounds like a living in a cult compound.

                    5. …evidence suggests there was war, hierarchy, and famines prior to the advent of agriculture.

                      Primitard just can’t admit it, because it would refute his pinko anthropologists’ “original affluent society” bullshit.

                4. You neglect that hunter-gather bands are extremely violent to other bands.

                  You speak with a stoopid tongue, Primitard.

                5. You neglect to mention that the world is getting more peaceful as civilization grows.

                  You speak with a stoopid tongue, Primitard.

            5. Tony is part of the “Remove all Stop signs and watch society whither” philosophy.

        2. I realized today that progressives will accept any limit to their liberty, if only they can point to sexual freedom… and they’ll embrace every possible anti-science superstition if only they can point to their proper opinion of Evolution… and they will tolerate any “end” at all, if they have proper intentions.

          It’s not ends justifying means… it’s intentions justifying means.

          Prove you care – throw someone else’s money at a problem. And if someone points out that the results are a cultural and social disaster, call them racist or “mean”.

          At least statist conservatives care about the actual “ends”.

          And yes, most libertarians and capitalist sorts do think that their ideas lead to better ends, since freedom leads to better ends, and liberty leads to better ends.

          1. It’s not ends justifying means… it’s intentions justifying means.

            Brilliant observation.

            1. It certainly is.

              I’ve also gotten that sort of thing out of liberal friends.

              When I compare Obama admin policies to Bush admin policies and point out that the exact same policies that were considered unacceptable under Bush don’t merit a mention when Obama embraces and uses them.

              They usually respond with something along the lines of how Obama is a better guy and they trust him to do the right thing and where Bush used and/or would have used those powers to hurt people or enrich corporations or whatever, Obama is a really good guy who wouldn’t do that.

              In the end it comes down to the intentions of the guy wielding the power and not the actual power being wielded.
              When I question why they ever made an issue about the power itself, the constitution, etc. and not the intentions of the person, they get PISSED.

  11. Seems like this ties into the vaccination thread earlier…

    1. Did you see Cyto’s assertion that, prior to the magic measle vaxx, millions of people died every year from the measles.

      Jim, its not just that its morally wrong, they are just so stupid.

    2. Did you see Cyto’s assertion that, prior to the magic measle vaxx, millions of people died every year from the measles.

      Jim, its not just that its morally wrong, they are just so stupid.

  12. I have tried to stop responding to Tony because each time he presents an argument it is so full of fallacy, untruths, fasle premises, and disingenousness etc. that I dont even know where to start.

    If he were coming here to debate and polish his thinking that would be one thing. but, he is not. He is an intractable idiot who has never once admitted being wrong about any single point. He is either one of the regulars using a fake persona to be provocative, or some kind of personality disorder who gets some kind of satisfaction out of being an ass.

    1. Liberty is social engineering by force.

      Not giving is taking.

      Not taking is giving.

      There is no contradiction in the belief that government can both protect the right to private property and protect a claim to the property of others (what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine).

      Tony is nothing but a bunch of false premises.

  13. So why is the principle that the end doesn’t justify the means absent from most discussion of government policy?

    Morality sounds like religion to a lot of people.

    I’ll argue against the efficacy of torture, but that’s always in addition to the observation that it’s immoral regardless of whether it’s effective.

    I understand that, statistically, a high rate of gun ownership doesn’t necessarily translate into more violent crime–but even if it did, I’d support the right of people to own firearms anyway.

    Does the left still talk about things in moral terms despite it sounding like religion? Not really.

    They don’t justify their moral judgements much, anymore. In the debate over what to do about global warming, for instance, whether the standard of living of coal miners is more important than polar bears is never really discussed.

    The left is now a list of moral assumptions.

  14. Both Kennedy and Loder are great additions to Reason, but this new guy, Sheldon Richman is amazing. I see a bright career in libertarian advocacy in his future.

    1. I never push that adjoining comma strike quite hard enough to register.

    2. Sheldon Richman doesn’t work primarily for Reason, if I understand it correctly. He does articles for thefreemanonline.org, and then Reason reprints them, possibly paying him for it.

      1. I’m being facetious. I have been reading Richman for over twenty years.

  15. A:”But since interpersonal comparisons of subjective utility are impossible?not only is there no unit of measurement, in principle there’s nothing to measure?that claim has no content”

    B:”But, first of all, there are always costs to?and therefore victims of?any government action. ”

    Statement A says Statement B is impossible to prove.

    1. Statement A also implies that you can never prove that, say, a nuclear war would reduce utility– which is nonsense.

    2. Statement A is wrong as written. It is sometimes possible to at least roughly measure a person’s subjective utility.

      If I offer you a price to perform a service for you, and you accept that price, then I know that your subjective utility is at least equal to that price.

      If someone has sex with a woman who is screaming at him to stop, and clawing the fuck out of him, and then afterwards, sobbing, calls the police and reports he raped her, unless she is incredibly devious and sociopathic one can assume her subjective valuation of that sexual act was negative.

      1. Even if we know the victim did not want to be raped, Statement A implies we cannot prove that the value of the pleasure experienced by the rapist did not exceed the pain endured by the victim, the fear 3rd parties felt as a result, and the costs of precautions that 3rd parties would take in the future.

        It’s quite an argument.

    3. I think the word “precisely” is missing in statement A. You can probably somewhat reliably determine whether something is good or bad for the typical person, but when two options are sort of close, then it’s much harder to say which a person would like better unless you know them very well. I think, in the shoving scenario, you can say with a high degree of confidence that it is a net negative.

      1. If we can compare utility between people with at least some degree of accuracy, the whole argument presented in the article falls apart.

  16. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  17. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  18. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  19. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  20. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  21. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  22. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  23. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  24. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

    1. I took a shit in Vote Libertarian once.

  25. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  26. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  27. Hey everbody look at me crap all over this comment thread.

  28. Granted there’s a diversity of opinion at Reason, but if we accepted the notion that the ends don’t justify the means and stood against consequentialism and against utilitarianism, then why would one:

    argue against government regulations in terms of the harm they do economic growth and prosperity?

    talk about the death and suffering caused by delays in the development of new drugs by the FDA?

    discuss how the tragedy of the commons in the oceans and atmosphere contributes to environmental problems?

    All of these issues matter from a utilitarian consequentalist standpoint.

    It’s a mistake to make a particular ethical epistemology a criterion for any political position. There needs to be room for utilitarian libertarians, Kantian liberals, Nietzschian conservatives, etc.

    1. Its called the nonagression principle.

      So, no, there is never any room for people who favor coercion, even once.

      1. How do you solve the aforesaid tragedy of the commons in the ocean and atmosphere without coercion? You can’t assign property rights to the air.

        1. Or the land, in the long run… what’s the Libertarian solution to plate tectonics? Does the subducting plate lose its property rights?

          See I as a utilitarian don’t give a shit because it will never actually matter.

          1. When Mr. Tectonic Plate burps, I guess it won’t matter.

            1. I’m not sure you understand plate tectonics but I accept your support regardless.

        2. Fibertarians (propertarians) masturbate to assigning property rights to air. Ever read their trashy syfy?

          That frickin’ socialist didn’t pay for his air. Space the bastard!!!

          1. All human society can be reduced to pure economics.

            (And we’ll do a better job of that than the Marxists.)

            Just give us the power.
            ~The Fibertarian/Propertarian Vanguard

            1. All bad things that happen can be blamed on agriculture.

              Just get rid of language, clocks, and surplus, and your salvation will be at hand.

              `John Zerzan/Primitard Faction

      2. Force ids the only thing the government is good for.

      3. Fibertarians will aggress every day against people, and justify it through tilt-a-whirl bullshit that their lawn = their body.

        Try rolling out a sleeping bag on some grass in any agricultural city-Statist regime, and watch the initiation of aggression.

    2. Nietz was not a good person.

      1. Should he have practiced more, or tried for a different species instead?

    3. I think the thing is that libertarians tend to use utilitarian arguments in an effort to persuade utilitarians, though our personal reasons are deontological.

      Just for example, I happen to feel that any individual ought to be free to earn his living in any manner he sees fit, so long as it involves consenting adults. In fact, I would still favor his economic freedom even if I knew it harmed others (for instance, this may be the case when it comes to immigration policy). However, because such moral arguments often fall on deaf ears I will often find utilitarian ones to persuade those who are more open to them.

      In general, economic freedom DOES benefit the economy, and ultimately benefits others by making goods and services cheaper.

      1. Well, hold on a second.

        You’re saying that deontological libertarians are making arguments based upon real world consequences for human happiness, i.e. utilitarianism simply as a *means* for gaining broader support for limited government.

        So, in other words, you’re advocating justifying deceiving the public as a means to achieving a political end you consider worthwhile.

        Fine, you’re actually for treating people as means. I’m glad we’re in agreement that sometimes at least, the ends *do* justify the means.

        1. It isn’t “deceiving the public” if the utilitarian arguments presented are in fact valid.

          It would only be deceptive if you said, “Now I don’t believe this out of principal, but liberty happens to produce the best outcomes.” Or if you presented utilitarian arguments that are lies (“If you open the border then everyone will begin shitting gold.”)

          One can hold deontological beliefs and make utilitarian arguments for those beliefs in good faith.

          1. If a philosophical and political belief closely conforms to the real world, then it is possible for both moral and utilitarian arguments in favor of it to be valid.

      2. However, because such moral arguments often fall on deaf ears I will often find utilitarian ones to persuade those who are more open to them.

        I agree with that explanation. It isn’t just that their ears are deaf, though. When we’re telling people that there are some things we just won’t do–and they imagine that’s the only thing that’s going to save them from the bogeyman du jour? It’s usually met with outright hostility.

        Bush sold Iraq and the WoT as absolute necessities–as if anyone who opposed him making a suicide pact with the Constitution.

        Both Bush and Obama sold TARP much the same way–as if anyone who opposed them was trying to destroy the economy.

        Trying to counter that in those situations with moral arguments–makes people hostile.

        We can’t save the economy becasue it’s not fair to the little guy?! That’s how people react.

    4. I wish more people were amenable to the argument that one person’s right to follow his own dream and pursue his own happiness cannot be superceded by any social goal.

      Regulations and economic planning aren’t just bad economics, they crush lives and dreams. To me, that is more horrifying than the fact that they lower the GDP slightly. I value the personal fulfillment that one individual gets from starting his own business and seeing it blossom as the result of his own industry more than I value the potential for it to create jobs for other people. But if liberals don’t give a crap about the lives and dreams of solitary individuals, perhaps they’ll give a crap about the tangential effect that entrepreneurs have on the labor market.

      1. one person’s right to follow his own dream and pursue his own happiness cannot be superceded by any social goal.

        I don’t think anybody believes otherwise. But a 5% tax hike or a regulation on something don’t destroy everyone’s ability to pursue dreams and prosper, and can in fact make these things easier for more people. No reasonable tax will make a wealthy person poor, so it will never remove his ability to do anything a wealthy person can do. But the tax money can serve much, much more useful purposes for everyone else than it would in the wealthy person’s mattress. You get hung up on the taking, but that’s a given for any non-anarchic society, so just get over it. Societies redistribute wealth and make rules. They do it because it is useful to do so, and pointless to leave everyone to fend for himself.

        1. That magic five-percent tax hike you want, won’t do Jack OR Shit, Tony.

          You know full damned well, taxes would have to be hiked a *lot* more than a nickel on the dollar… which, as has been explained to your deaf eyes, won’t even begin to fill the debt holes dug between Bush and Obama.

          But, just like the grail of the marriage certificate, you insist on daydreaming that we can tax our way out of misery.

        2. Re: Tiny,

          a 5% tax hike or a regulation on something don’t [sic] destroy everyone’s [sic] ability to pursue dreams and prosper, and can in fact make these things easier for more people.

          Thus spake the intellectual dishonest. Certainly, A regulation or A tax hike is not going to impede EVERYONE, but it will impede SOMEONE. That doesn’t make the imposition or the thievery moral or ethical.

        3. But the tax money can serve much, much more useful purposes for everyone else than it would in the wealthy person’s mattress.

          Thus spake the economics illiterate. The money the wealthy person stores in his mattress must have come from exchange, Tiny. That means others benefited from exchanging their money for that person’s wares, making it IRRELEVANT what other people could find beneficial from that mattress money because the benefit ALREADY HAPPENED.

        4. The regulations are really more of an issue than the tax rate.

          Occupational licensing, for instance. The ADA crushed thousands of small businesses that could not afford to install handicapped accessible bathrooms. Restrictions on food truck vendors prevent many small business from growing to the point they can open an actual restauraunt. The new regulations requiring lead testing threaten to put thousands of craft businesses producing children’s toys and clothing out of business.

          Just imagine for five seconds having a dream about what you want to do with your life and working hard to accomplish that goal, and then finding out that you’re legally forbidden from doing what you want because a change in the way a regulation is interpreted interacts with another set of regulations in a way that effectively makes it illegal for you to work in the industry you want to.

          1. Allow me at this point to insert a loud BOO for Reasons new restrictions on comment length to 900 characheters.

    5. Because a lot of libertarians (even those on Reason) are utilitarians who do believe the ends justify the means. And those of us who don’t believe the ends justify the means sometimes find it more effective to use utilitarian arguments to sway others who won’t fully accept property rights and the non-aggression principle.

      E.g. If someone won’t abolish the FDA on the grounds that its regulations are ultimately enforced by aggression then perhaps they’ll abolish it on the grounds that it deprives people of life-saving drugs.

    6. And room there will be if we’d stop indocrtinating ourselves with nonsensical nonsense. Goal posts are moved waaaayyyy too easily.

  29. It does seem like if we do everying for the greater good of the whole that we are allowed to destroy private individuals in order to achieve that good. The grocery store analogy is perfect because we may feel justified to run over the elderly so that everyone else can get their stuff faster. That served the greater good but it also destroyed the rights the individuals had. The next question is how many individuals should be destroyed in order to achieve the greater good? One or two my sound justifiable but to many and you begin to infringe on the greater good since, at some point, you might destroy the rights of a majority of indivudals. At that point the greater good is not served.

    1. The next question is how many individuals should be destroyed in order to achieve the greater good?

      49.999999%

      Just ask Tony.

  30. The end determines the array of relevant means.

    Nope. “Ends” determine how “means”?which are always and only unacknowledged, denied, or repressed ends?are rationalized.

    Or sold. Or denied. Or repressed.

    People advocate coercion because they want coercion happening. And they want emotionally effective but rationally deniable responsibility for its happening, so they can enjoy it.

    And that’s it. There’s nothing philosophical or philosophizable-about (except maybe by Nietzsche or Sade) involved. Politics is the filthiest, lowest, dumbest, most repugnant, insect-brain shit humanity does. It’s what reason isn’t.

    So, drink.

  31. It’s very simple: government has to tax people in order to pay for things they wouldn’t pay for themselves. It’s hard to get around this, which is why all the reasoning involves some sacrifice or greater good.

    1. Well then split the tax bill evenly among everyone and when the average person gets their $20K bill in the mail we’ll see if there are cuts.

      1. ^THIS^

    2. Are you sure?

      1. I’m AC: I’m definitely not saying this attitude is good. But it is what it is.

  32. THis agin?
    k, bye

  33. Government is looking out for me! That means I know I have at least somebody who cares about what happens to me! Cradle to death, I choose to trust in my government!

    1. Hey, man. I’m gonna assume you’re being like snarky and stuff. Dude, the government is not the answer. Have you eveer read any George Orwell? It will change your whole view man. You need some altitude.

      1. If government looks like Sarah Palin I want to love it all night long.

        1. But government is not Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a mirage in a desert of pain. Do not chase Sarah Palin. She will desiccate you.

          1. Look, man. Try living the life a poor working slob these days. There is no hope of ever climbing out of the hole. If i’m going to be destroyed by the government policies that have eroded wages and hiked costs for the working man, I choose to be destroyed by the beautiful and sensual image of Sarah Palin, mirage or no mirage.

            1. There is nothing wrong with the working poor except that they are lazy and/or stupid.

              1. No argument there.

  34. What the hell is this shit? Philosophy and politics should not be mixed. It’s trashy.

    1. Shut yur cake hole.

    2. Politics and Philosophy go well together. There is a common thread among liars, sexual deviants, megalomaniacs, social pariahs. My “truth” will set you free, Biatch!!!

  35. Top 1% share of pre-tax income in 1976 = 8.9%

    Top 1% of pre-tax income in 2008 = 21%

    1. ? …if he must use and transform material natural objects in order to survive, then he has the right to own [property]… ~Murray Rothbard
      ? [Property] Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. ~Ayn Rand

      Ok, fine. Let’s stipulate that “Property” is necessary for human survival, especially in an agricultural city-Statist society.

      Questions to contemplate:
      ? How do the 1% need 40% of the wealth to survive?
      ? How do the 10% need 85% of the wealth to survive?

      Capitalism is pulling a bait and switch swindle:
      ? BAIT – Humans need property to survive.
      ? SWITCH – All your land/resource base are belong to me, Me, ME! To survive, by golly!

      1. BAIT–PRIVATE is bad.\\

        SWITCH–LET THE POLICE TAKE YOUR PRIVATE AND GIVE IT TO ME.\\

        YOU WILL FIGURE OUT ANOTHER WAY TO SURVIVE. maybe. if the EnviroThugs haven’t shut everything down.

        1. Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign. They generate their own subsistence with little or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders. Nor are they routinely exploited by outsiders.

          ~Elman R. Service
          Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. (1975). New York: Norton.

          NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
          http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

          1. Because PRIVATE productive citizens are always trying to find a way around the Parasitical TRIBAL Toll Exactors.

          2. …for man sinned by creating civilization. Man sinned against Gaia, and all his brother animals.

            Just keep preaching your crazy.

            1. Man was sinful and in a “nasty, brutish, and short” situation, until saved by the glorious agricultural city-State.

              1. …that claim. But you made the one above.

                Sorry, try again.

              2. …from the State.

                And John Galt will rapture us all to the Galtch, where we can watch all the sinners burn in hell, until Earth’s Population reaches its Objectivist Carrying Capacity.

                1. …from civilization.

                  May we reclaim our glorious past.

                  1. And you don’t want to really get away from it. Thanks for being honest, city-Statist.

                    1. And you don’t want to really get away from it. Thanks for being honest, Primitard.

  36. Increase in after-tax income from 1979 to present:
    Bottom 20% of earners = +16%
    Top 1% of earners = +281%

      1. So maybe public policy has favored the wealthy and it wasn’t all legitimately earned in a free market. Why do you guys always assume wealth at the top was earned in a free market when you clearly don’t believe we are in one?

        1. Tony|2.24.12 @ 11:53PM|#
          “So maybe public policy has favored the wealthy and it wasn’t all legitimately earned in a free market.”

          Shithead proposes strawman! Amazing!

          1. ______ proposes strawman is a meta-strawman.

            This post is a meta-meta-strawman.

            1. Feelin’ comfy snuggled up with Tony, Derider?

        2. Pish posh.

          Sure, there are some shitheads who made money. HOWEVER, I don’t think their numbers justify regulations and intervention by other shitheads.

          Sorry. I get off that train.

          In my circle of friends and family, the wealth created WAS HONEST; including my father.

          I’m guessing we’re in the majority. If I’m correct, than you, like all short-sighted statist liberals, advocate intervention against us thanks to a minority of people.

          The laws go as far as they can go. Maybe it can be enhanced a little to protect some but as is the case with anything in life: BUYER BEWARE.

          Pay attention and work hard.

          Trust me. It usually works out.

          1. Arbeit macht frei!

            1. Not getting the reference. I’m slow.

              “No one who speaks German can be bad.” The Simpsons.

              1. …doing his silly dance.

    1. …government that money can buy.

      1. …is a myth. Proven over and over again to anti-free-market types like you.

        1. Proven over and over again.

          It used to be a myth, now we know it’s true.

          1. Proven over and over again.

            We knew all along it’s true.

            1. LOL! Da, Comrade! Funny. Every. Day!!!!

              Stalin didn’t like primitives any better than Capitalist aggressor/occupiers in North America, and slaughtered them to get more land for glorious agricultural city-Statism.

              1. a Stalinist.

                /more WI lies

              2. is in the house

                1. References the Pinko Stanley Diamond, gets pissy when someone else does the same.

                  Axis of stupid: Anarcho-Primitivist alliance

  37. I live a heavy life of women and alcohol and I don’t care about politics and it ain’t hurt me none.

  38. The only thing sillier than this notion of a “great good” is the idea that we’re born with some “right” to not be aggressed against. Metaphysical mumbo jumbo.

      1. So, you’re ok with me aggressing against you both?

    1. If you’re a moral nihilist then that’s fine. But I challenge you to find a logically consistent moral framework that doesn’t involve property (and therefore the right to not be aggressed against).

      1. Since when do dolphins, squirrels, or crows have to claim ownership of vast property, and charge their fellow species rent, to somehow survive?

        Rent-seeking isn’t necessary to human life and liberty. But it is necessary to hierarchy; i.e., the social structure of Lording-it-over others.

        1. You apparently are not aware that all of the animals you have mentioned live within hierarchical structures.

          Territoriality is natural and, as it turns out, necessary for survival in a world of limited resources and unlimited desire. Codifying this principle via social norms or convention is the only means of preventing what you seem to desire, which is the state of perpetual tribalistic range war that existed prior to the (voluntary) growth of (voluntary) settlements.

          1. …trying to convince Pale Idiot. All evidence to the contrary he dismisses.

            1. Especially when empirical data refutes your premises.

              1. …that refute your premises are just axioms?

                LULZ!!!!

                1. Your fibertarian-communist website? LULZ

                  1. …have lots of sources (and studies). Can’t find a copy online to copy/paste.

                    Now quit your fibbing, you miserable wretch.

        2. …have died out over the eons without assistance from humans?

          Why did Native Americans hunt the Woolly Mammoth and the Sabre-Tooth Tiger into extinction? Did agriculture make them do it?

          LULZ

          1. The “overkill” theory is routinely cited by some groups as if it were already a proven fact, and used as evidence that humans are an inherently destructive species. So we needn’t worry ourselves with the environmental destruction we wreak. We can’t help it. It’s our nature.

            The Holocene Extinction
            by Jason Godesky | 13 July 2005
            http://www.rewild.info/anthropik/2005…..yre-wrong/

      2. All moral frameworks are metaphysical mumbo jumbo.

        They’re only useful in that some can be utility-enhancing.

        1. Then you must be a moral nihilist. I respect that.

        2. …what’s useful comes from a moral framework. So this:

          They’re only useful in that some can be utility-enhancing.

          Is just metaphysical mumbo jumbo.

          1. There’s a subtle distinction between morals and ethics. Some moral systems are ethical as well. You can support a utilitarian outlook from a moral or ethical standpoint. I do so from the latter.

            1. There’s a subtle distinction between morals and ethics.

              And what are those?

              According to Merriam-Webster:

              moral (n) 1 a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical

              ethical (adj) 2 : involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval

              It seems both are defined with reference to the other…

              1. They’re practically the same thing. Maybe they ARE the SAME.

                Nice try.

    2. To claim that noone has a moral right not to be agressed against is to claim a moral right to aggress.

      What gives you the right to aggress against others?

      1. Only the government can grant individuals rights.

        Now, we know this logically means the government can also take those rights away. But don’t worry, you can trust us.

        *makes a wide, Mitt-Romneyish grin*

  39. Social sensibilities are the product of individual sensibilities.
    If everyone adopts pushing people around, then I will be pushed around.

    I prefer to live in a society where I don’t get pushed around, so I refrain from pushing people around.

    Being conscious of the creation of social sensibilities as a product of individual sensibilities means that I am aware of my individual responsibility for how I help create social sensibility by my behavior toward other people.

    Treat others the way you want to be treated.

    1. You’re all for the continued occupation that followed the invasion of agricultural city-Statism from Europe.

      “[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

      Questions, Sam:
      ? Is the right to take a positive right?
      ? Is any white person‘s a collective right?

      1. Please explain how you are addressing my comment.

        And what does race have to do with it?

        You seem to BE a forked tongue.

        1. …and you’re an occupier profiting from aggression.

          Trail of Tears. Address it.

          1. …calling for aggressive REDISTRIBUTION.

            You deny PRIVate property, and so must deny PRIVate thoughts, etc.

            You ARE the forked tongue, cracker idiot.

            1. Ask the Indians on the Trail of Tears.

              1. call the thought police, quick!

                1. Weird shit Fibertarians come up with.

                  1. Weird shit Primitards come up with.

                    1. Privation Property defined:

                      So called “property” that is abstractly claimed and needs government aggression to take and occupy. Government is needed to protect such “property” because, otherwise, nobody would honor such an unenforceable claim.

                      Anybody who says “we need government to protect property” is a thief and aggressor.

                      These thieves and aggressors defend their aggression by conflating agricultural city-Statist Privation Property with traditional ownership recognized by human society for tens of thousands of years.

                      Also see:
                      The Right to Property
                      by Jason Godesky
                      18 July 2005
                      http://rewild.info/anthropik/2…..-property/

          2. a little bit of anti-immigrant, huh?

          3. …have to do with what we believe?

            Griefer Troll, thy name is WI.

            1. ….seems to be an unpaid $oros guilt-peddling troll, most likely working for O-Bomb-A 2012.

              1. Funny. Every. Day.

                O’bomber is an agricultural city-Statist, just like you.

                1. ….siding with the Dept of Motherland Security, making conspiracy allegations. George Bush would be proud of you.

          4. Your government at work.

          5. You appear to embody a lot of anger and hostility.

            That will eat at your soul and serve you ill.

  40. Yes, treat others the way you want to be treated… if they’re on our side. Otherwise, they deserve to die in a fire.

    1. All think “others” deserve to die in a fire.

      Which proves that the Mass Society of agricultural city-Statism just doesn’t work.

      And now we know why. Dunbar’s Number.

      Dunbar, R.I.M. (June 1992). “Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates”. Journal of Human Evolution 22 (6): 469?493.

      Here we see the essential problem with any large-scale society: we cannot conceive of so many people. It speaks to the very heart of Stalin’s cold truism: “One death is a tragedy, but a million deaths are a statistic.” Thus, for any society much larger than 150 people, we become neurologically incapable…

      ~Jason Godesky
      Thesis #7: Humans are best adapted to band life.
      http://theanarchistlibrary.org…..heses.html

      1. TRIBE/BAND must shut down VIDA of indiVIDuals and dissenters.

      2. …Matters more than the individual. WHO is the TRIBE?

        1. Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign. They generate their own subsistence with little or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders. Nor are they routinely exploited by outsiders.

          Elman R. Service (1975), Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. New York: Norton.

          NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
          http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

          1. …and sovereign, but individuals within the tribe?

            Yeah. Fucking. Right.

      3. …knows billions must die for his glorious utopia to return.

        He hates HUMAN LIFE.

        1. 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/anthropik/2005…..yre-wrong/

          1. Civilization is precisely the record by which man has used his reason, to discover the natural laws on which his environment rests, and to use these laws to alter his environment so as to suit and advance his needs and desires. Therefore, worship of the primitive is necessarily corollary to, and based upon, an attack on intellect. It is this deep-seated “anti-intellectualism” that leads these people to proclaim that civilization is “opposed to nature” and [that] the primitive tribes are closer to it. . . . And because man is supremely the “rational animal,” as Aristotle put it, this worship of the primitive is a profoundly anti-human doctrine.

            ~Murray N. Rothbard
            Down With Primitivism: A Thorough Critique of Polanyi

  41. Defense of a third party is not a myth.

  42. Excellent article except…. a consequentialist is a type of utilitarian but a utilitarian isn’t necessarily a consequentialist.

  43. “we NEED GUMMIT to protect what we once took by, and now occupy by, aggression!”

    “[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

    Aggression is ok, because them Injuns scalped. Even though they learned it from whites. Ain’t no thing.

  44. …if he must use and transform material natural objects in order to survive, then he has the right to own [property]… ~Murray Rothbard

    [Property] Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. ~Ayn Rand

    Ok, fine. “Property” is necessary for human survival in an agricultural city-Statist society.

    Questions to contemplate:
    ? How do the 1% need 40% of the wealth to survive?
    ? How do the 10% need 85% of the wealth to survive?

    Capitalism is obviously a bait and switch swindle:
    ? BAIT – Humans need property to survive.
    ? SWITCH – All your land/resource base are belong to me, Me, ME to survive.

    1. And we’ll blame capitalism’s middle management (government) for the aggression necessary to maintain our lifestyle.

      It’s really funny that government is just the “Cut-out man” for the capitalist Mob. Fibertards fall for it. Every. Single. Time.

      kthnks,
      War Street

      “The American way of life is not negotiable.” ~George H.W. Bush, Earth Summit in 1992

      1. If you must masturbate, can you do it over the bathroom sink?

        1. Jacob, let somebody else use the bathroom without throwing a Fibertarian fit.

          1. White Imbecile, yelling in a public square the same thing over and over is what you do. Why do you do it? The logical conclusion is you seek to silence others. No one is buying your bullshit.

            My pointing out your antics is not having a fit. Your trying to equivocate our behavior is.

            Grow up.

            1. The logical conclusion is you seek to silence others.

              Psychologically projecting much?

              1. No. Silence is not what I am talking about. If you engaged in honest dialogue you would not be the White Idiot.

                1. You post the same thing 50 times (see above),
                2. you cite the same article ad nauseum, reciting the same argument repeatedly.
                3. one time you spammed the thread with some 30+ comments in some slavic language
                4. you do not directly engage, you just shout.

                Got the bubble now?

                1. Exhibit 1: If you must masturbate, can you do it over the bathroom sink?

                  Exhibit 2: White Imbecile

                  Fibertard gonna be Fibertard.
                  ? Government for me, not for thee.
                  ? Honest dialogue for thee, not for me.

                  LULZ

                  1. …can you just ANSWER THE QUESTION below?

                    Honest dialogue.

                    Just do it.

                    1. …quotes himself as evidence of the PREHISTORY UTOPIA, ignores or uses ad hominem attacks against those who cite ACTUAL evidence to the contrary.

                    2. Hunter Gatherers And The Golden Age Of Man
                      http://www.raw-food-health.net/HunterGatherers.html

                      Sources:
                      1) Turnbull, Colin. “Mbuti Womenhood,” in Women the Gatherer, Francis Dahlberg, Ed.
                      2) Benedict, Ruth. “Patterns of Culture.”
                      3) Zerzan, John. Future Primitive, in “Limited Wants, Unlimited Means”. John M. Gowdy, ed.
                      4) Darwin, Charles. “The Decent of Man.”
                      5) Richards, Cara B. “Matriarchy or mistake: The role of Iroquois women through time.” Pg 36-45
                      6) Leacock, Elanor, and Jacqueline Goodman. “Montagnais marriage and the Jesuits in the 17th century.” Western Canadian Journal of Anthropology.
                      7) Kaberry, Phyllis M. “Aboriginal woman in changing navajo society”, pg. 143. American Anthropologist. 59:101-11

                    3. 8) Weatherford, Jack. “Native Roots: How The Indians Enriched America”. Pg 38-42.
                      9) Beyond “The Original Affluent Society.”
                      10) Endicott, K. “Batek Negrito religion: the world view and rituals of a hunting and gathering peopel of peninsular Malaysia.” pg. 21.
                      11) Sahlins, M. “Notes on the original affluency society,” in Man the Hunter. Edited by R.B. Lee and I. DeVore, pp. 85-89.
                      12) Kaplan, D. “The Darker Side of the Original Affluent Society”, Journal of Anthropological Research 56(3) pp.301-324.
                      13) Marshall, Lorna. “Sharing, Talking, and Giving,” pg 72, in Limited Wants, Unlimited Means. John M. Gowdy, Ed.
                      14) Lee, Richard B. “What Hunters Do For A Livings.” pg 50-51, in Limited Wants, Unlimited Means. John M Gowdy, Ed.
                      15) Marshall, Lorna. “Sharing, Talking and Giving.” Pg 69. In Limited Wants, Unlimited Means. John M. Gowdy, Ed.

                    4. 16) Lee, Richard B. “What Hunters Do For A Living.” Pg 50-51. Limited Wants, Unlimited Means. John M. Gowdy, Ed.
                      17) Post, Laurens van der. “The Lost World of the Kalahari.”
                      18) Ciprini, Lido. The Andaman Islanders.
                      19) DeVries, Arnold. “Primitive Man and his Food.”
                      20) Levi-Strauss, Claude. “Myth and Meaning”
                      21) Boyden, S. V. “The Impact of Civilizationon On The Biology of Man.”
                      22) Johanson, Donald and James Shreeve. “Lucy’s Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor.”
                      23) Binford, Lewis. “Faunal Remains from Klasies River Mouth.”
                      24) Zihlman, Adrienne. “Women as Shapers of the Human Adaptation” in “Women the Gatherer.” F Dahlberg, Ed.
                      25) Binford, Lewis. “Were there elephant hunters at Toorala?”
                      26) Leacock, Elanor and Richard B. Lee. Editors. “Politics and History in Band Societies.”
                      27) Duffy, Kevin. “Children of the Forest: Africa’s Mbuti Pygmies.”

                    5. 28) Radin, Paul.”The World of Primitive Man.”
                      29) Bodley, John. “Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems.”
                      30) Kroeber, Therodora. “Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America.”

                    6. Um…empirical observation is bad.

                      Just like observation is bad for Creationists.

                      AXIOMS! AXIOMS are our PROOF!

                    7. Q.E.D.

                    8. …contain multiple sources (empiricism), too.

                      So fuck off.

                    9. Unless you’re a Fundamentalist.

                    10. …his religion are axioms.

                      You’re the Fundamentalist.

                    11. From your communist website you just referenced? LOL

                      Communists are agricultural city-Statists just like you.

                      Looks like you’ve kissed and made up.

                    12. From your communist website you just referenced? LOL

                      Communists are agricultural city-Statists just like you.

                      Looks like you’ve kissed and made up.

                    13. And Original Sin is it’s leitmotif.

                    14. False Accusations and False Comparisons are it’s methods.

                      Geez, beginning to sound like someone we know……?

                    15. …that contradict your religion, numbnuts.

                      LOL

    2. Let the Obama welfare state care for ME!

  45. Lemme know when rectal’s back on its meds, mmkay?

    1. Can’t handle the heat?

      1. What heat? You a engaged in public defecation. Heat would imply some level of intellectual argument. You have provided NONE. You are still citing the same articles and beating the same drum.

        It is about as interesting as watching grass grow. Actually it is worse. Looking at grass growing in a pasture is peaceful and allows one to think. Watching you go through your antics, every fucking day, is contrary to that.

        You are just a pest.

        1. Fibertards don’t do that, over and over and over and over, again?

          I don’t want to work
          I just want to bang on the drums all day.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZclddLcOYYA

          1. …cites the same old articles from leftwing professors, can’t handle any evidence to the contrary.

            Can’t handle the heat? GTFO.

          2. ….where’s my GOVT check?

            1. A People’s History of Koch Industries: How Stalin Funded the Tea Party Movement
              April 17, 2010
              http://exiledonline.com/a-peop…..-movement/

              Da, Comrade.

                  1. Welcome to our website. Please express yourself freely.

                    We hope you won’t piss in the corner or put your cigarette out on the carpet, but, well, what the hell.

                  2. Geez, you have that $oros War-Profiteer cock in your ear and you don’t hear anything.

                  3. Come back over here, WI. I ain’t finished yet!

  46. Rubicon,
    reasonable is not working, the retarded native american is still crapping all over the screen. I am going to need to go and use some bleach for my eyes.

    1. Of an intellectually bankrupt ideology.

      1. …is Jon Zerzan, Jason Godesky, and Pale Injun.

  47. Great Reason H&R Web God,
    What sacrifice is needed to appease you, so that you will end the plague of the WI? It was bad enough with Toni and Rather, at least the trolling did not fill the screen. MNG-the-ass at least answers an occasional question directly. WI is killing the comments section. He is killing the discussions I am going to find other places.

    1. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, whiner.

    2. I am mildly inconvenienced, so we must regulate this message board immediately!

      1. If restricting the free movement of Non-State people to hunt and gather a free lunch with artificial privation property borders is good, then restricting free speech is even better for “liberty.”

        Liberty for me, but not for thee. It’s the Fibertarian way.

        1. Casinos for Billionaire Tribal Chiefs, nada for newcomers.

      2. I am mildly inconvenienced, so we must regulate this message board immediately!

        More like, “it’s your website, you can do what you like with it — but, might I suggest banning this guy who is crapping all over the threads and not adding anything useful to the conversation, since that will add value to your site?”

        1. Mr. Mowen stared dazedly about him and whispered to Paul Larkin, “Something’s gone screwy here.”

          “Oh, shut up!” snapped Larkin.

          “I am sure, Mr. White Indian,” said the eldest libertarian, “that you do not really believe – nor does the public – that we wish to restrict your freedom to forage and hunt in a Non-State Society lifeway. If anyone has been laboring under such a misapprehension, we are anxious to prove that it is not true.”

          The judges retired to consider their verdict. They did not stay out long. They returned to an ominously silent courtroom – and announced that a fine of $5,000 for trespassing was imposed on White Indian, but that the sentence was suspended. Streaks of jeering laughter ran through the applause that swept the courtroom. The applause was aimed at White Indian, the laughter – at the Statist-enforced privation property judges.

          (continued)

          1. (con’t)

            Indian stood motionless, not turning to the crowd, barely hearing the applause. He stood looking at the judges. There was no triumph in his face, no elation, only the still intensity of contemplating the enormity of the smallness of the enemy who was destroying the world. He felt as if, after a journey of years through a landscape of devastation, past the ruins of great forests, the wrecks of powerful rivers, the dead zones of once-bountiful oceans, the bodies of invincible men, he had come upon the despoiler, expecting to find a giant – and had found a rat eager to scurry for cover at the first sound of a human step.

            ~Adapted from Atlas Shrugged

            WHITE INDIAN = Hank Rearden of GAMBOLING

            1. = THE MANIACAL OF PRIMITIVISM.

            2. THE ARCHPRIEST OF PRIMITIVISM.

              LULZ

            3. Call the EnviroPolice. SMASH the entrerpreneurs.

              1. …to stave off collapse.

                It won’t work, but it’s hilarious watching city-Statists squeal like little piggies when city-Statism’s aggression finally turns on them.

                LULZ

                Civilization originates in aggression abroad and repression at home.

                ~Stanley Diamond
                In search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization
                page 1, first sentence

                1. Stanley Diamond also wrote Toward a Marxist Anthropology: Problems and Perspectives, Mouton, 1979.

                  Plus he founded Dialectical Anthropology in 1976.

                  A good little Marxist…

                  1. Thus the physics of gravity are disproven.

                    Thanks, neoteny, for the lesson in stupidity.

                    1. Also, Gambolers carry the Black Death with them, as “Dr” Borsodi explained oh-so-poignantly.

                    2. “Now the dispersed Jews…” ~Issac Newton

                    3. But Newton insisted that divine intervention would eventually be required to reform the [planetary] system, due to the slow growth of instabilities. For this, Leibniz lampooned him: “God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion.” […] A century later, Pierre-Simon Laplace’s work “Celestial Mechanics” had a natural explanation for why the planet orbits don’t require periodic divine intervention.

                    4. I thought you were discussing wandering joooooozzzzzzz.

                      You mean Newtonian physics are still valid?

                      Fuck! So your bullshit about somebody being wrong on one thing invalidating all their writings isn’t true?

                      Fuck! You’re letting me down, neoteny.

                    5. You mean Newtonian physics are still valid?

                      As long as objects don’t have relativistic speeds… and as long as there’s no need for divine intervention for keeping the planets in orbit.

                      Marxist “social scientists” failed both theory-wise & in practice; quoting single sentences from them as some kind of revelation is prima facie evidence of intellectual bankruptcy.

                    6. Did you learn that from FOX NEWS?

                      LULZ!

                    7. Stanley Diamond was a Marxist “social scientist”…

                    8. …of the Marxist bent, asshole. But you knew that already.

                      Now go back and be a good little puppet for the anti-capitalists.

                    9. …is not a science.

                      Primitard is just so funny!

                    10. Stanley Diamond was a Marxist “social scientist”…

                    11. …unless it supports Fibertarian axioms.

                      That’s axoimatic!

                    12. …is not actually science. But you knew that already.

                    13. …apologist if you don’t support the Primitard’s axioms.

                    14. Civilization = City-Statism

                      It’s not an “axiom.” It’s basic empirical knowledge. You know, look around, observe.

                      The word civilization comes from the Latin civilis, meaning civil, related to the Latin civis, meaning citizen, and civitas, meaning city or city-state.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..#Etymology

                    15. But the quote from Stanley Diamond is an axiomatic statement without further argument.

                    16. But, but, MY axioms are awesome!

                    17. Whoa! Shrike and Godesky are one and the same!

                2. Believes in and supports the implementation of that concept.

                  Pro-Aggressive Interventionism is the forte of the anti-PRIVACY crowd.

  48. ? …if he must use and transform material natural objects in order to survive, then he has the right to own [property]… ~Murray Rothbard
    ? [Property] Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. ~Ayn Rand

    Let’s stipulate that Abstract “Property” is necessary for human survival in an agricultural city-Statist society.

    QUESTION : How do the few need so much (1% got 40%, 10% got 85%) of the wealth to survive?

    1. You are exhibiting an extremely superficial comprehension of economics.

      What proportion of WEALTH is being CONSUMED by the 1% you are referring to.

      Where does the wealth come from?

      1. extremely superficial comprehension of economics

        Because I quoted Rothbard and Rand?

        LULZ

        1. …from Rothbard and Rand equals a comprehensive understanding of economics?

          LULZ

          1. It’s all you need for enlightenment.

            (Even though it’s more than one lesson.)

            LULZ

            1. Is the truest Statist of all. Rudy the red nosed State deer with the militarized ECO-KOP CORPS following right behind. Don’t deny it.

        2. Why do you insist on red herrings?

          LOL

        3. Because of your question.

    2. Why do you think wealth is static?

  49. Privation Property:

    So called “property” that is abstractly claimed and needs government aggression to take and occupy. Government is needed to protect such “property” because, otherwise, nobody would honor such an unenforceable claim.

    Anybody who says “we need government to protect property” is a thief and aggressor.

    These thieves and aggressors defend their aggression by conflating agricultural city-Statist Privation Property with traditional ownership recognized by human society for tens of thousands of years.

    1. So called “property” that is abstractly claimed and needs government aggression to take and occupy.

      I don’t need no government. Try and force yourself into my home, and I’ll let my two friends – Smith, and Wesson – give you an education.

      1. And therefore a human right to life.

        Don’t be so fucking paranoid and trigger-happy, Old Poodle. Nobody’s gonna bother your domesticated bliss.

        1. …coming from a domesticated Pale Injun!

          LULZ

        2. Okay then, how many couch surfers live in your home?

          I’ve lived amoung enough hippies to know that even the hippiest of hippies have limits on how long they let someone freeload off them. And to know that most of them actually learn to respect private property in short order. Or see themselve without a couch to surf.

      2. So if my three friends Rocket, Propelled, and Grenade educate you first, I can just take your house?

        1. You sound like a fan of property seizure by government, Derider.

          Just like White Indian.

          1. Or are you telling another fib, fibertarian?

            1. …with the liberal statists over libertarians.

              Shows what he really is: a mendacious prick who doesn’t believe in PRIVacy.

              1. …both agricultural city-Statists who think city-Statism is progress.

                1. …the point made above.

                  Just keep digging deeper, secret state-lover.

                  1. You’re the city-Statist.

                  2. …is hardly one of solitude and freedom.

                    You pay taxes on Privation Property because you have to pay the piper for taking and occupying it.

                    Try not paying taxes to the agricultural city-State. You’ll find out exactly how much “privacy” you have on your PRIVation Property.

                    1. It’s not so much an issue of the monopolgy on force being a right of the state.

                      It’s that it’s a more fair solution than everyone having their own private armies.

                      It could certainly be DONE with purely private enforcement. It just wouldn’t likely be something where everyone’s property rights are equally enforced.

                      We centralize enforcement of property rights in the state because that is MORE fair to the poor and the weak than allowing the rich to hire better guns.
                      We pay taxes for the priviledge of “Equal justice under law”.

                      Trich will always be able to protect their own property. They will always be able to buy the guns or the influence. The laws protecting private property exist so that those with LESS property will receive the equal protection of the state. Property rights protect small property owners from large ones, not large property owners from those with nothing.

              2. anti-PRIV is at home with the plundering horde of Pro-Aggressive modern liberal statists, so the identification with them is natural for PRIVACY-haters. They believe in PUBLIC/TRIBE/STATE having complete dominion over PRIVATE-LIFE/PRIVACY.

                The professed anti-statism is fraudulent: Private Individuals and Dissenters are to be destroyed.

                1. Fibertard’s professed anti-statism is fraudulent.

                  1. To protect privation stolen (and presently occupied by force) “property.”

                    They need government aggression, because nobody would otherwise recognize their claim of their right to take.

                    “[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

                    P.S. Still unanswered questions:
                    ? Is any white person‘s right a collective right?
                    ? Is THE RIGHT TO TAKE a positive right?

                    1. ….call for the race card.

                      Anti_PRIVACY = Anti_HUMAN.

                    2. When are you going to give back your stolen land, Primitard?

                    3. …what kind of question is that? Sophism, another specialty of the faux naturalist.

                    4. Couldn’t that quote you flay about.

                      1) Even if she said that, does that mean all libertarians believe it?
                      2) When are you going to give back your stolen land?

                  2. Ok PEE WEE!

                  3. Neither wants the Tribal/State War Chieftan’s conscription notice in the mailbox. How ’bout the faux primitivist — eagerly checking the mail each day?

                    1. At a certain point, anarcho-primitivism effectively turns into facism. Maybe somewhere around the point where you decide that people have a “right” to take whatever they want by force, and that there’s something immoral ablout people forming societies that forcibly prevent individuals from taking whatever they want.

      3. I don’t need no government. Try and force yourself into my home, and I’ll let my two friends – Smith, and Wesson – give you an education.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!

  50. f “goods” are incommensurable, then one of them cannot be said to be “greater” than others. Thus acting for the “greater good” is without meaning.

    Of course it is, Sheldon. What authoritarian assholes talk about is THEIR greater good when saying “The greater good.”

    1. Mr. FIFY: Eating even one morsel of processed-in-any-way food, negates WI’s entire premise.

      RETORT: Driving even one mile on tax-funded, publicly-built RRROOOAAADDDDZZZZZ negates the Fibertarian’s entire premise. See how that works?

      ALMANIAN: Except – no – because I paid for that privilege, idiot. See how that works?

      Public works for me, but not for thee.

      Government for me, but not for thee.

      How is this different from teh liburulz invoking privileges of citizenship?

      LOL Fibertarianism at its best.

      1. Why do you people put up with this “White Indian”? Especially the owners of this private website – exercise your rights of ownership, and deny this freak his incoherent ramblings.

        1. While I can understand the reluctance to ban – as you aptly put it – freaks like White Indian… that’s a tough one.

          Though, admittedly, this IS a privately-owned website, and is therefore not subject to First Amendment protections…

          1. He’s got a philosophy about freedom.

            But he can’t defend it in a free discussion.

            LULZ

            1. So… do I have the right to shit in your living room, then?

              1. …then go on ahead, Mt FIFY!

              2. …then go on ahead, Mr FIFY!

                1. You’re the one screaming it’s your “right” to squat wherever you damn well please, Godesky.

                  I ask again… if YOU believe YOU have the right to shit in any random living-room, do I have the same right?

                  1. I’m free to shit wherever I please.

                    Shitting for me, but not for thee.

        2. He’s got a nitwit strength philosophy about liberty.

          But he can’t tolerate anybody pointing-out its shortcomings.

          LULZ Ban, ban, BAN!

          1. …needs some crazy pills.

                1. Soviet Psychiatry is in the Fibertarian HOUSE!

                  Political dissent is always a mental disease, to agricultural city-Statists like Communists and Fibertarians.

                  LULZ

                  1. …makes more sense than your Primitardism.

                    1. Da, comrade.

                  2. yeah, right….strange comment from whose “tribe” fears the indiVIDual and the disSENter.

                    1. Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and SOVEREIGN. They generate their own subsistence with little or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders. Nor are they routinely exploited by outsiders.

                      Elman R. Service (1975), Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. New York: Norton.

                      NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
                      http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

                      Keep swinging, city-Statist Fibertard.

                    2. TRIBE/STATE vs INDIVIDUAL/DISSENTER.

                      Keep up your efforts, Mr Mussolini.

                    3. You view individuals as tribal- or state-owned chattel.

                    4. Swings and belts a long anti-war, anti-corporate-bailout, anti-state-plunder home run. But of course, you’re for that other guy….

          2. No, he doesn’t. Reason is a privately-owned website; therefore, they can make any rule they wish and it won’t run afoul of free-speech rights.

  51. OK, now that the troll feeding is done (sorry, I’ll be good henceforth), what I really came here to ask is…

    You know who else justified his actions with appeal to the greater good….

    1. Don’t piss all over your tail, Almanian.

    2. mine, Mine, MINE! (“…because I paid for that privilege.” ~Almanian)

      Unusually smug for a political philosophy that’s never gotten anyone elected for anything above the local water board…

      Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to “Get Off My Property.” News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.

      I Hate Your Politics
      by John Scalzi | March 22, 2002
      http://whatever.scalzi.com/200…..-politics/

      GOVERNMENT FOR ME,
      BUT NOT FOR THEE.
      SEE, THAT’S FREE!
      HE SAID DUMBLY.

      1. The alternative is “everyone owns everything”, and that is never going to work, even in theory.

        1. Just wait until Godesky insists on his “right” to shit in the middle of your living room – uh, HIS living room.

          1. …and then calls YOU a hypocrite because you refuse to live the shackbrah lifestyle – which he also refuses to live.

            1. …and all while being blithely unconcerned with the differences between forms of government. It’s like a biologist that insists that because tigers are carnivores and tigers are mammals that all mammals must be carnivores.

              I don’t want to get started on his desire to kill ~7 billion people.

              1. 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/

                1. …for WI to have his paradise again.

                  That’s why a primitard will never get elected.

                2. …I object to the bullshit ECO POLICE agenda of some of its so-called proponents.

                3. It’s not an attack if it’s true.

            2. There is the essential problem; if civilization were willing to coexist with us, we would be happy to return the favor. But ultimately, civilization is incapable of letting anything but itself exist. We’re happy to live alongside anyone who’s willing to live alongside us?but civilization is not. “Running off into the woods,” so long as civilization remains, merely ensures our eventual, violent destruction at civilization’s hands.

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

              1. ‘Civilization’ isn’t an entity capable of action. ‘Civilization’ has no volition. People take action. Some people are good, some people are bad. That your primitive society can’t coexist with bad people isn’t my problem. This isn’t fair; so what?

                If land is used for farming it can’t be used for hunting; if land is used for hunting it can’t be used for farming. This isn’t fair. Either the hunter uses the land or the farmer uses the land, one of the two is going to be screwed.

                1. …of any and all human social interaction.

                  There is no marriage.
                  There is no ship’s crew.
                  There is no government.
                  There is no team.
                  There is no family.
                  There is no civilization.
                  There is no band.
                  There is no pod of whales.
                  There is no flock of birds.
                  There is no troop of baboons.

                  Only distinctly individual bodies acting selfishly.

                  Are you that fucking stupid? I mean, really.

                  So let’s make an addition: there is no Fibertarian intelligence, anywhere.

                  1. Humans are, unfortunately, people. People interact socially. People do good things. People do bad things. People oppress other people. You can’t change human nature.

                    Your desire to live a primitive lifestyle (if sincere) is just as valid as my desire to live my civilized lifestyle. The fact that you can’t do so without rolling back 10000 years of history and miraculously not having history turn out in a similar fashion isn’t the fault of anyone here.

                    1. So you like your invasive and occupational city-STATIST lifestyle. What’s new?

                    2. I like city-Statism (civilization) too.

                      I didn’t realize I had so much in common with Libertarians.

                      I think they’re just people who like to belly-ache about everything, including the city-Statism they love.

                    3. These admitted city-Statists bellyache because they are very poor competitors in the marketplace of ideas.

                      I mean, they can barely win a dog-catcher election.

                    4. …WI using all kinds of things he doesn’t need to survive that have been produced by “civilization” (individuals working together, really). Who’s the real belly-aching shit here?

                    5. Cuz teh roadz be publicly funded all evuhl-like.

                      Could it be Satan Socialism?

                    6. Since I have to use roads to get around to survive, I use them. You don’t need a computer to survive.

                      LULZ

                    7. Not brains.

                      Thesis #23: Civilization has no monopoly on knowledge.
                      by Jason Godesky | 9 January 2006
                      http://rewild.info/anthropik/thirty/

                      Keep swinging, Fibertarian city-Statist boy.

                    8. http://www.grocery.com/ + work at home.

                      No more satanically-funded roadz.

                    9. I like my lifestyle. I’m not perfect. Nobody was perfect. Life’s not fair. History wasn’t fair. Bad things happened and will continue to happen. I can only continue to work to give people a chance to have good things like the good things I have, because it makes me happy to do so.

                      The only way for you to live your chosen lifestyle is for 99% of the people of the world to die, and the other 1% to agree to give up everything, and even then it’s only valid until someone invents agriculture again. You offer me nothing.

                      I just happen to enjoy laughing at people who can do nothing except rage that life isn’t fair.

                      One word of advice: bears and deer are both mammals. They have a lot in common. Don’t mistake a deer for a bear when hunting with a sharpened stick.

                    10. I like my lifestyle. I’m not perfect. Nobody was perfect. Life’s not fair. History wasn’t fair. Bad things happened and will continue to happen. I can only continue to work to give people a chance to have good things like the good things I have, because it makes me happy to do so.

                      ^^City-Statist Bullshit^^

                      Nice to see who you’re with, “Civilis.”

                    11. So? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

                      The only way for you to live your chosen lifestyle is for 99% of the people of the world to die, and the other 1% to agree to give up everything, and even then it’s only valid until someone invents agriculture again. You have nothing to offer.

                  2. ALL of those categories are made of individuals, you moron.

                    I know you think an individual mushroom is of the same moral importance as an individual human being, so I know it’s hard to understand from your puny little brainwashed mind.

                    1. Keep up the denialism, Fibertard.

                    2. Keep up your lies, Primitard.

                    3. Keep up the denialism, Fibertard.

                    4. Primitard?

                    5. Fibertard?

                2. Tomorrow you’ll claim only the TRIBE can take action. You are truly confused.

              2. …since you civilization (according to your definition) can’t exist if you’re primitivist way of life is to exist.

                1. …human beings just operate as a hive mind. NO INDIVIDUAL IS SACRED, ONLY THE TRIBE (HIVE MIND) IS SACRED.

                  1. “Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and SOVEREIGN. They generate their own subsistence with little or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders. Nor are they routinely exploited by outsiders.”

                    ~Elman R. Service
                    Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. (1975) New York: Norton.

                    NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
                    http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

                    Take another drunken swing, Fibertard.

                    1. Of course they don’t bow to outside sources. They bow to the strongest tribe member. The alpha wolf. If he says they don’t eat, they don’t eat. If he covets their women, he takes them. That’s the way primitive social groupings work. (And, yes, that includes primitive agricultural societies as well.)

                      Of course, in your tribe, you’ll be the strongest, right?

                    2. Wowing to the strongest wouldn’t be autonomous and sovereign, Fibertard.

                    3. There was no recognition of individual rights, just the tribes. Only the TRIBE (STATE) is autonomous and sovereign, Primitard.

                    4. Fibertards are idiots who conjure bullshit definitions.

                      Tribes are NON-STATE societies.

                      Read.

                      NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
                      http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

                    5. Ha Ha Ha! You are trying to be funny now, aren’t you?

                    6. Rand wasn’t an anthropologist, and was wrong about any subject to which anthropology informs.

                      So quit parroting her bullshit.

                    7. One further question: if the above quote is accurate, why does it matter that we don’t choose to join your primitive society? After all, you should have no problems living it, because people in non-state societies are rarely exploited by outsiders. You’ll be fine.

                    8. 10,000 years of agricultural city-Statist oppression is a short time. But the invasion and occupation of the whole earth’s surface by agricultural city-Statism is nearly complete now.

                    9. Then stop it. Oh, that’s right… you’re whining here because you can’t.

                      Nobody wants to live in your primitive squalor. As soon as mankind found something better, we took it. We’ve been improving it ever since. It’s not perfect, far from it… but it’s getting better, and it’s the best we’ve found so far.

                      All those people you quote, they did nothing. They talked about how great it was, then stayed in their comfy civilized homes. What does that tell you?

                    10. Face the consequences then.

                      Collapse was not always inevitable. It is the consequence of agricultural life….

                      But now, collapse is upon us. It has already begun. The choice is ours, whether we will remain true to that culture that bore us and die with it, or whether we will choose to create a new future?a new culture. With collapse, the long curse visited upon us by our Neolithic ancestors finally ends, and we will become the first generation in ten millennia to truly claim its own destiny. Collapse will be the most horrific crisis any animal has ever faced, but with it also comes a great opportunity to claim our own future.

                      Thesis #30: The future will be what we make of it.
                      by Jason Godesky
                      22 January 2006
                      http://rewild.info/anthropik/thirty/index.html

                      Go ahead, stay with city-STATISM, loser.

                    11. And what would you make of the future? What was made during the 2 million years we spent painfully clawing our way up from being trumped up apes? I know what was made during the 10000 years you’re wishing never happened; marvels of architecture, piles of knowledge, footprints on the moon… who knows what the next 10000 years will bring?

                    12. WI thinks he’ll be ready for the “inevitable collapse” (which is axiomatic on his part).

                      LULZ, what a loser!

                2. Civilization = city-Statism.

                  You hate the city-State.
                  You love the city-State.

                  Yet the city and State are one and indivisible.

                  Unless you can show me a city (population 5000+, standard anthropological definition) without state level politics.

                  How are those any rand blank-outs working for you?

          2. Just wait until Mr. FIFY insists on whipping you, so your child can receive health care.

            Oh wait, that’s pretty much our economy now!

            Here’s the situation. My child is gravely ill….He’d like more than anything else to boss me around, and then WHIP me every time I displeased him… [he] 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, “Austrian Economic Scholar” [LULZ!]
            http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block134.html

            1. …completely out of context is what Primitard does best!

              1. Context!!!!! It’s what Fundamentalist claim about their holy scriptures when they’re embarrassed by them.

                Context!!!!!!
                262,431 views
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK7P7uZFf5o

            2. It should by now be clear that there is a gigantic, stupendous difference between these two types of slavery, voluntary slavery and coercive slavery.Ordinary traditional slavery amounts to kidnapping, theft of labor, unlawful imprisonment, etc. The voluntary variety of slavery involves none of that. I, as a father, walked into this type of slavery with my eyes open; completely open. There was no force or fraud involved in the consummation of this arrangement. This divergence should be apparent to a person of even the meanest of intelligence.

              1. LULZ

                Quote me some more scriptures, Fundie boy.

                1. …what words mean, Primitard priest.

                  1. Fibertarian told me so.

                    1. …stupid to understand. Not my problem.

                    2. Good slavery. Bad slavery.

                      Fibertarian told me so.

                      Now I understand.

                      LULZ

                    3. See, folks, what did I tell ya?

                    4. It looks like Cracker Redskin doesn’t even have “meanest of intelligence.”

                      LULZ.

        2. 2 million years of human history. You should study a little bit of it sometime.

          1. …from the lying Primitard. You should read studies that have come out after the 1970s.

              1. They deny your golden age bullshit.

                  1. They don’t even mention libertarianism.

                    Getting tired, much?

                    1. Forget much?

                    2. Forget much?

                    3. Yours is snark.

                      Mine’s a non-sequitur.

                      Why is it always like that with Fibertards?

                    4. …is good for me.

                    5. MMMM good.
                      Good for you.
                      Good for me.

                    6. …to support his beliefs, I can quote a Pinko to deny his beliefs.

        3. You can’t assign property rights to everything, either. There’s always going to be a compromise.

          1. In Fibertarian syfy novels. Which is as close to reality as Fibertarianism gets.

            1. …say that air belongs to the STATE/TRIBE and they use it exercise life-and-death control over the INDIVIDUAL/DISSENTER.

              SUBMIT OR SUFFOCATE!

              1. …there was never any dissent within the tribe.

                Yeah. Right.

      1. LULZ

        1. LULZ

          1. …just his mere existence is a LULZ.

            1. What shall we do individually? Act collectively?

              LULZ

              1. …just his mere existence brings out the LULZ.

                1. are in the house

  52. ? Is any white person‘s right a collective right?
    ? Is THE RIGHT TO TAKE a 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

    1. ‘Cause I try
      and I try
      and I try
      and I try!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_VbImuG71M

    2. ALERT: HIDDEN ECO-POLICE agenda.

      ALERT: weak argument calling for RACE CARD.

    3. 1) Is what one group member believes indicative of what every other member believes?

      2) When are you going to give back the stolen land you fart on, Primitard?

    4. Are we not allowed to disagree with Ayn Rand on anything?

      1. No individual has different beliefs. Either they agree on everything or nothing.

  53. Such feverish defenses of abstract moral beliefs. Surely there a few moral skeptics in this crowd ?

    1. Q.E.D.

  54. ….er, uh, yur more statist than I. We’ll call the mind police to sort this all out.\

    STOP THE SOROS/BUSH/OBAMA/CLINTON War Machine! Dismantle the DHS/TSA. Defund the Beast!

    1. it’s late, i’m tired and cranky.

  55. It’s not the ends that justify the means… it’s INTENTIONS that justify the means.

    If it were ENDS someone would care about actually reviewing program results and metrics before they patted themselves on the back for what a good person they are.

  56. This comment section is migraine-inducing, holy crap.

    1. Is it? What is your favorite part?

  57. Some thoughts after reading the entire comment section All 648 posts. Yes it is migraine-inducing. 327 of those were from one source. Honest debate and discussion in the marketplace of ideas has a simulating effect on the mind and allows people to weigh and sift a variety of arguments. Several things come to mind; (1)That Walter White Super Meth must be real and this WI obviously has an unlimited supply thus enabling the superhuman orgy of public masturbation and coprophagia to go on well beyond the normal limits. (2)Griefer is either sponsored sockpuppet paying the bills($.50 per post x 327 posts =$163.50) or as seems more likely,a malicious high end computer program so fiendishly sophisticated that it comes very close to passing the Turing Test.

  58. As noted above the programming on this one is very good but you have to admit its responses and grammar do have all the predictable harsh metallic charm of computer translated ancient chinese poetry. In hindsight another dead give away and the one major Voight-Kampff bug the programmers haven’t been able to work out at this point is the complete inability to simulate a genuine personality or formulate and put forth an original argument,hence the default,cut and paste,non-sequitur logic loop. I imagine some of you out there will tell me I have got this all wrong and that there actually is a real person out there behind the White Idiot/Sockpuppet/Avatar. Perhaps this is merely an incredibly stupid,state fellating,useful idiot with no life and an unlimited supply of better drugs than Hunter Thompson could find in a wet dream.

  59. I can concede the logical possibility that we are dealing with a non-android here but feel that it is unlikely and irrelevant for our purposes. The end result is the same in either case,call it the Turing-Heinlein Syllogism. * Any Android technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from a Human;Any Human sufficiently brainwashed is indistinguishable from an Android .*

  60. Where did you get your Land enTitlement from? Do you pay property taxes on it to a central government for agricultural city-STATISM’s central role in conquering and occupying more land?

    1. I’m a conventionalist. I think that land entitlement for European colonists is a net win-win for native people, since, I think we all agree that, living a society that can invent the wheel is better than living in a society that can’t. See how great utilitarianism works?

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