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 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 51
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn RandPage 3 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
dalane75



In a state of anarchy, property does not exist.


This is matter-of-factly not true. A respect for property is natural to the human species and in history's examples of modern peoples living in societies without states, property rights existed in all but name.

We naturally understand property and respect it. We do not need to be told to be careful when opening our car when we're parked close to another car. We do not need to be told not to walk into a stranger's home unannounced. We do not need to be told not to take things on someone else's lawn or told not to walk out of a store without paying for your items.

These beliefs are so fundamental to our subconscious that a repulsion of "theft" is universal among the human species and is an idea that predates even ancient societies.






there is no right to property since there are no rights in nature

Even humans are nature, or they are not.

When some humans "vote" for other humans, it does not make them any more or less natural than they were before.

This is one of the things that statists take for granted. The idea that the state is something other than an organization of human beings. It is a kind of mysticism not unlike the now rejected idea of the divine right of kings. That somehow the king was different.





This is the essentially the cost of living in a society...its right to property and labor...functioning and acting

But the idea of property is naturally respected by humans. Indeed, since states reflect the values of a people, the idea of state-enforcement of property is evidence of this.

Of course property can be transgressed. And of course actions can be taken to discourage such transgressions and to provide restitution when they do occur.

It is the belief of anarcho-capitalists, market anarchists, voluntarists, and other people is that these protections can be provided better by competitive firms relying on the business of customers rather than on a monopoly of violence dependent on the forced extraction of money.


Real word, analysis:

As it stands, vast majority of property crimes in the United States go unsolved. This fact alone strongly questions the idea that the state is needed to protect property.

For example, stolen cars. Most stolen cars are abandoned within 24 hours and recovered shortly thereafter (often by toe parking lots, as was the case with me). In almost every single instance, the state provides no absolutely restitution. The restitution comes not from an agent of the state, but from the private sector. Insurance. Because there is a demand for protection against auto-theft, insurance companies offer theft coverage in their policies. Drivers with even modest auto insurance are given full restitution for damage to their property in case of a theft. In most cases, this insurance covers the costs of the damaged window(s) and (again, as was the case with me) the stolen property inside. When the car is stolen completely, the insurance company provides full book value of the stolen car to the customer.

This has been occurring for decades and without any coercive edit by gun-wielding men.



In a total market, if there is a demand for the protection of a certain kind of property, then profit-motivated entrepreneurs will provide it. They can offer alarms, tracking systems, remote deactivation, fingerprint/voice activation, etc and insurance policies. In fact, they already do.

And without the enormous costs of government -- not merely in direct taxation but also in the lost opportunity and innovation stemming from propped-up oligopoly, restrictive regulation, inflation, discouraged investment, etc -- market participants would have a greater ability to pay for the protection of their property beyond what their homeowners/renters and auto insurance covers.

But more importantly, they wouldn't be taxed and forced to pay for the "protection" of other (often far richer) people's property.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 52
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 7:09:33 AM

As I have told you before, Ayn Rand was a statist and did not support a stateless society. Your belief that my political positioning is a result of her work is indicative of your (literal) ignorance of this topic. That you literally do not know what you're talking about and have never once explored this area of political philosophy seriously or with an open mind. And your continual bigoted attacks are indicative of a mind bent on intellectual dishonesty rather than a natural curiosity for truth.


Well, first of all, you equate rejection with a lack of understanding and the assumption that one hasn't looked into the subject matter. In that, you would be wrong. I have. And from all my research, Rand was anything but statist. For instance:

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men." - The Fountainhead


My position isn't mystical. It is based on reason and evidence. The ideology that those who comprise the state are not violent is what's mystical and lacks basis in reason.


Wrong. It's clearly based on an emotional and almost religious devotion. You view things in overly simplistic terms and then you berate and deride anyone who disagrees with you. I've seen that before with literalist bible creationists.


A stateless society. A society without institutionalized violence.


Just individualized violence. Or do you think that violence is going to magically disappear?


The economy would still exist, as most of it is based on resources and emergent phenomena natural to human psychology, even to the degree it has been manipulated by the state. So you would still get your food, your car, your home. And those services provided by the state that are important enough will be provided by competitive firms vying for your business rather than propped up by a monopoly of violence supported by the forceful extraction of money.


Really!? So in the state, human beings are prone to violence but they're not going to be prone to violence in your model?


You can't expect me to detail exactly what a stateless society would look like. Even the philosophers who denounced the acts of the king as evil could not envision how society would look after the fall of the monarchy. But their inability to see the future did not .


Convenient. Keep it general enough, you're not obligated to answer the major problems with your hypothetical model for and anarchist society. The devil is always in the details.


There are a whole slew of works describing how a stateless society might be organized. It takes an open mind.. and an understanding of human psychology and of economics.. to see which are viable.


Exactly. Understanding human behaviour. A key point, dontcha think?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 53
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 8:08:33 AM

And from all my research, Rand was anything but statist.

Sigh. All you had to do was Google "Ayn Rand Anarchy" and you'd find dozens of quotes. Quotes like:

"Anarchy, as a political concept, is a naive floating abstraction: . . . a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare. "


You are dead. Wrong. Ayn Rand was a statist, and was, in my opinion, bound by the same irrational preconceptions of a stateless society as the general population.


...the ironic thing is you'll probably be tempted to use her critiques of "anarchy" in this conversation, considering that they -- despite everything you've said about her in this thread -- corroborate your position.






Wrong. It's clearly based on an emotional and almost religious devotion.

It's clearly based on historical understanding and knowledge of psychology and economics.

Just because you, emotionally, reject my rational use of the word "violence" and feel anxiety when confronted with the reality that the state you live under literally, by definition, inflicts violence does not make my arguments emotional.






Just individualized violence. Or do you think that violence is going to magically disappear?

Of course not. I'm not a retard. I qualified "institutionalized" for this very reason.

I do believe that state activities such as the Drug War, invasions of foreign territories, and prohibition of prostitution, etc encourage violence and that doing away with the state would dramatically reduce this kind of violence. But of course, violence will be a part of our species until the days of dramatic engineering of the human genome.






Really!? So in the state, human beings are prone to violence but they're not going to be prone to violence in your model?

My "model" cannot exist until the majority of people shed the delusion that it is virtuous to "elect" men with guns to use violence against non-violent individuals.

So, violence will still exist. But without the state, there will be less of it.



And yes, people can be violent to some degree. This is one of the strongest reasons to not support the state, given that all a state is is a group of people who use guns and the threat of guns to impose a political agenda upon a population.

If people are mostly non-violent, we don't need a state to maintain peace. If people are largely violent, then surely the state must be rejected, as giving a group of violent people the moral authority to use violence is not good, to say the least.






Convenient. Keep it general enough, you're not obligated to answer the major problems with your hypothetical model for and anarchist society. The devil is always in the details.

I was going to give you a more specific answer: Read "Practical Anarchy" or listen to the free audiobook version.

It gives an extremely detailed description of what a stateless society would look like, going into enormous depth on how roads, the equivalent of "national defense", currency, etc would be provided in a competitive market. And it does so with an incredible understanding of history and praxeology.

But I figured you wouldn't read/listen to it. That you aren't genuinie enough when you ask, "what will your alternative look like". So I replied with the simplest, most honest answer there is. There's no way to know for sure.

I used to be a libertarian minarchist because I believed roads, dispute resolution, and utilities could not be delivered on a market. This book convinced me otherwise and demonstrated to me just how wrong I was, considering the plethora of real-world examples it cites.

...the author is Canadian too. Just throwing that out there ; )







Exactly. Understanding human behaviour. A key point, dontcha think?

Absolutely. That's why I don't throw rocks at police and try to bring about a sudden collapse of the state.

Without a new enlightenment on the same scale as the original, when the idea of the divine right of kings was tossed away to the intellectual wastebasket of history, my society will never be achieved. The reason is, human behavior is profoundly influenced by ideology. If the ideas of the time are such that non-virgin brides should be stoned, they will be stoned.

Ideology has changed massively over time. As it has, human behavior has changed.

It all starts with the way we define virtue. There is no happiness but in virtue, as Socrates correctly argued, in my opinion. As a society changes the way it defines virtue, the behavior of its members change.

Luckily, history is on my side. Over the millenia, the people have become more and more aware of the violence of their oppressive regimes. Each organization of social order fell once the violent nature of their existence was realized: monarchism, aristocracy, feudalism, fascism, national socialism, etc. As each one fell, violence diminished and freedom expanded.

...we are still on that course. "Democracy" is just another oppressive regime used to justify violence against non-violent individuals by masking such violence as "virtue". The moment this is realized, the modern state will fall. And just like every other time one of history's "isms" has collapsed, violence will be reduced and freedom will expand.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 54
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 9:51:35 AM

Luckily, history is on my side. Over the millenia, the people have become more and more aware of the violence of their oppressive regimes. Each organization of social order fell once the violent nature of their existence was realized: monarchism, aristocracy, feudalism, fascism, national socialism, etc. As each one fell, violence diminished and freedom expanded.

I would think that history is very much against you. We just came out of the most violent century in human existence. Also, I don't think there is really any historical precedent for a successful, lasting stateless society. Even if there were, it is not still popping up today. Anarchy is, at most, a very temporary state in between major changes in statist societies. The social chaos is simply too great and inevitable.

I'm afraid I just don't get the viability of what you're proposing. Even tribal communities exhibit the qualities of statism as you have described it-- central authority, peer pressure, rules, penalties...

Violence? You have an extremely wiiiiide view of what that is. By your definition, getting pushed aside on the street constitutes violence. And I fail to see how getting one's car booted for unpaid parking tickets is part of the state's use of violence.

Do you really think you have it that bad?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 55
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 1:20:45 PM
flyguy51

We just came out of the most violent century in human existence

The vast majority of which was orchestrated, propagated, and funded by whom? Civilians or agents of the state?

Said violence was only made possible by the forced extraction of money from large groups of heavily propagandized, essentially Stockholm-Syndrome-inflicted people in the first place. War itself is the product of taxation. War cannot be paid for without taxes.





Also, I don't think there is really any historical precedent for a successful, lasting stateless society.

That surely depends on your definition of "lasting", but old Ireland and Iceland had been inhabited by thousands of people for hundreds of years without any state. Those were among their most peaceful periods on their history. The American West during and long after the California Gold Rush (the moniker "wild west" is built on myth). There are other examples, but suffice it to say that large scale statelessness is still very far away.





The social chaos is simply too great and inevitable.

Please, all I ask is to do away with the preconception that "no state = chaos". This is simply an incorrect, and literally illogical position to hold.

“Gentlemen, you see that in the anarchy in which we live, society manages much as before. Take care, if our disputes last too long, that the people do not come to think that they can very easily do without us.” -Benjamin Franklin






I'm afraid I just don't get the viability of what you're proposing. Even tribal communities exhibit the qualities of statism as you have described it-- central authority, peer pressure, rules, penalties...

In a total market, absent of a state, there would still be "rules" and there most certainly would be peer pressure.

...the vast majority of your day is organized without any direct involvement from an agent of the state. There is no reason to believe the day-to-day operations of working, running errands, visiting friends, etc would change dramatically without the state.





And I fail to see how getting one's car booted for unpaid parking tickets is part of the state's use of violence.

Parking tickets/towing would almost certainly exist privately. But pointing to individual, seemingly inconsequential aspects of the state fails to address the core violence at the root of the system. Most importantly, taxation and the imprisonment of non-violent criminals.

...imprisonment in steel cages where repeated murder and gang rape are common.





Do you really think you have it that bad?

I would rather be living today than at any point in history. But I mostly have technology and the work of entrepreneurs in a market to thank for that, delivering unprecedented productivity and creature comforts.

I still think there is a long way to go. I do not believe people act with integrity and I do not believe humanity is anywhere close to it's "end game".




Paul

What do you find unsatisfactory with the definition, "the initiation of the use of force"?
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 56
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 1:48:50 PM

The vast majority of which was orchestrated, propagated, and funded by whom? Civilians or agents of the state?

Missing my point re: history being on your side of the argument.

That surely depends on your definition of "lasting", but old Ireland and Iceland had been inhabited by thousands of people for hundreds of years without any state. Those were among their most peaceful periods on their history. The American West during and long after the California Gold Rush (the moniker "wild west" is built on myth).

Lasting? Well, it would be nice to see successful examples in the present day that have been around for a few decades or so. Otherwise, I am left to conclude that statelessness naturally and inevitably gives way to the formation of a governing body.

As for past examples, it is quite a different thing to live like Daniel Boone (remote anarchy) versus living in the Los Angeles basin. In population centers (the pivotal areas requiring governance), there were still peace officers ("the state") carrying firearms ("threat of violence").

Please, all I ask is to do away with the preconception that "no state = chaos". This is simply an incorrect, and literally illogical position to hold.

No can do. Remember what happened as recently as the Iraq invasion? When we removed Iraq's regime, it was, for a while, a stateless society. There were not enough US troops to act as "law enforcement," and they were, in fact, prohibited from doing so.

You know what happened in that interim period (massive looting, destruction of property, power loss, chaos), and the newly created state has been reeling ever since.

Ben Franklin's quote of yours actually goes against your argument, but in a left handed manner.

Most importantly, taxation and the imprisonment of non-violent criminals.

No state violence there.

...imprisonment in steel cages where repeated murder and gang rape are common.

Caused by whom? Civilians or agents of the state?

But I mostly have technology and the work of entrepreneurs in a market to thank for that,

Now, who do you think influences and grows the powers of the state here? See: mercantilism (aka corporatism).
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 57
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 2:09:52 PM

I am left to conclude that statelessness naturally and inevitably gives way to the formation of a governing body.


600 years ago, you could have said the same about the kings. "Every time a kingdom is overthrown it will always be replaced by a new king."

This held true for thousands of years.

However, monarchy as a tool of social control fell and virtually is no more (in the developed world).

It fell not with a physical removal of the king, but with the rejection of the divine right of kings that came with the enlightenment.







No can do. Remember what happened as recently as the Iraq invasion? When we removed Iraq's regime, it was, for a while, a stateless society. There were not enough US troops to act as "law enforcement," and they were, in fact, prohibited from doing so.

I've already given you examples of stateless societies. The California Gold Rush was one of the largest migrations of people in the history of the world. And yes, cities formed, dispute resolution organizations formed, roads were built, and order was maintained without taxation and without institutionalized violence.

...if you are unwilling to throw away preconceptions and allow facts and reason guide your conclusions, then I do not want to continue this conversation with you.





No can do. Remember what happened as recently as the Iraq invasion? When we removed Iraq's regime, it was, for a while, a stateless society. There were not enough US troops to act as "law enforcement," and they were, in fact, prohibited from doing so.

-Highly religious population.
-Overthrow of a violent state by a violent invasion of another state.
-And you're surprised disorder ensues?


The stateless society of which I speak will emerge from within. It literally cannot be imposed. And especially not violently. It will only come when people realize the violence of the state, as abject slavery was rejected as people realized the violence of slavery, when monarchy was rejected when people realized the violence of the king, when corporal punishment in school when people realized the violence of the acts, when communism was rejected as people realized the violence of the party, and so on.

None of these came from anything external being imposed on the people. They stemmed from philosophy. A spread of ideas consistent with the rational self-interest of the people.

I fully acknowledge that if the state were removed today, widespread disorder would result and that a new state would be formed. Without a change in social understanding not unlike that of slavery, monarchy, corporal punishment, etc, then no change will occur.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 58
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History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 2:23:16 PM
...the point is, statism is an ideology. The implementation of any ideology will not cease until that ideology is rejected.


This is why churches were replaced with churches, kings were replaced with kings, dictators were replaced with dictators, noble classes were replaced with noble classes, all until these ideologies fell in the minds of the people.

Once the ideology fell, so did the implementation of the ideology. That is the key to understand.


The fact that peaceful, stateless societies have existed before a widespread acknowledgement that institutionalized violence is not virtue (the open rejection of statism) is testament to the human species ability to naturally and cooperatively organize without coercion or threats of violence.

Therefore, the absence of a state after a new enlightenment where the people acknowledge the violence of statism and thereby reject it (as humans always reject violence they are aware of) is that much more likely to exist with lasting stability.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 59
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 2:39:52 PM
Also, the fact that "police" did not exist at all, essentially, until the 1700s and that "police" as we understand them today in the modern police state did not exist until after WWI is further evidence that people do not need a "thin blue line" to keep themselves cooperating peacefully.

In fact, as modern states expanded after WWI and the police state grew, violent crime increased. This is consistent with my thesis that the violence at the root of statism causes more social problems than it fixes.





...this is the kind of studying and open-minded approach to history I'm talking about. The more you look, the more you see that received preconceptions are irrational and do not have basis in evidence.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 60
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 7:42:02 PM
That's not what I'm saying.

I'm saying people don't naturally need police to cooperate when they organize without coersion.

Obviously our current statist structure has created so many malincentives, inefficiencies, dependencies, etc among people that it requires police to maintain order because it has distorted how people would naturally organize. The war on drugs, broken public housing, zoning law, and failed public "education" are several such examples. But there are many, many more, most of which are much more subtle.


Such is one of the main reasons I reject statism. The expansion of the state creates more problems than it solves and thus requires more and more violence in the form of higher taxes (gov. spending), more debt, stricter laws, more police, etc to maintain itself.


It's unsustainable. Just as other failed social orders that have come and gone.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 61
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/24/2010 10:15:46 PM
Of course. That inevitably happened.

I'm not an idealist. I know that violence exists. I know people can get drunk and do stupid things. I know people can act irrationally. I know murder can and would exist with and without the state.

How can it be contained? Simple. The way it is today. The police do not intervene in most bar fights. In robberies, the police only come after the fact and rarely find the robbers. And when they do, they steal from the victim again by taxing him to pay for the imprisonment of the theif.

There are much better, proven ways to deal with these social problems. The ones that do require force -- such as the removal of a delinquent tenant -- can be provided by competitive security firms.

This could be done without the violence of the state... which promotes so much of the civil violence in the first place.
 dalane75
Joined: 3/20/2009
Msg: 62
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/25/2010 1:48:53 AM
Ubi,



This is matter-of-factly not true. A respect for property is natural to the human species and in history's examples of modern peoples living in societies without states, property rights existed in all but name.

We naturally understand property and respect it. These beliefs are so fundamental to our subconscious that a repulsion of "theft" is universal among the human species and is an idea that predates even ancient societies.


I assume you do not have children and that you most likely do or did not have many siblings. I say this not as an affront to you, but because complexity and meaning of property is not inherent in an individual (as if there is some mystical or biological hardwiring of ownership.) Who has a right to what and how to act within that relationship is a complex phenomena that requires years of training. For instance, teaching a child in a daycare that a toy does not belong to it alone but is something that is used for everyone and owned by the daycare center takes training; not to throw a ball around another individual's car or house; birthday gifts at a party is only for the birthday child; to avoid hitting another car when opening a door, etc. This is generally refered to as teaching the child right and wrong and its differences.

There is also the fact that in every society that is repulsed by theft has the concept of theft. This concept of theft did not simply appear but must be based on actual theft taking place by a thief. So much for universal repulsion.

Your glossing of human societies also neglects those civilized societies who have been plaqued by those 'barbaric' hordes. Ancient societies such as China, Greece, Rome, pre-Persia, Mesopotamia, and even your beloved Celts has had to protect itself and seek solutions to do so from the Germanic, Turkish, Mongolian, Medes and Persians, Anglo-Saxons, and Celtic (its colonization of Europe and modern Turkey) hordes. These tribes were often forced to seek new territory because some other tribe took theirs.

Humans can be violent, lose their temper, become outraged, judgemental, etc and that is because property in some sense is a fluid thing. It is not absolute as you seem to make it out to be. Observe divorce cases or a historical example, the closing of the commons in England. There is also the level of violence against the person itself that causes a questioning to your 'respect' of property and its inherent understanding of right to it. A good article to read is on the subject of violence and murder (the non-recognition of an individual right to life) is

psych.mcmaster.ca/dalywilson/commentary_gebusi.pdf

as it addresses intraviolence of small tribes and bands.


Even humans are nature, or they are not.
When some humans "vote" for other humans, it does not make them any more or less natural than they were before.
This is one of the things that statists take for granted. The idea that the state is something other than an organization of human beings. It is a kind of mysticism not unlike the now rejected idea of the divine right of kings. That somehow the king was different.


Some may make that mistake, however, many do not make the mistake as well. When I say rights do not exist in nature, it is not due to treating government as something not made up of individual human animals, or that humans are not a natural entity evolved from a natural process. It is meant in a way that rights were and continue to be an evolving concept that required a specific set of historical developments to be produced. It required certain ways of speaking, of relating to others, of society to itself. It does not appear in those societies that lack the large complex society found today; it requires writing, reason, debating, and violence to establish rights. To keep and expand those rights calls for acts of judging, political pressure, manipulation, and a continued transformation of what it means to be human, how it is understood.



It is the belief of anarcho-capitalists, market anarchists, voluntarists, and other people is that these protections can be provided better by competitive firms relying on the business of customers rather than on a monopoly of violence dependent on the forced extraction of money...Real word, analysis:
As it stands, vast majority of property crimes in the United States go unsolved. This fact alone strongly questions the idea that the state is needed to protect property.


The last part of the above quote, its common forms, always creates an annoyance. The amount of unsolved thefts in a society is not even remotely similar to the amount of possible thefts that are detered. This aspect of the picture ought to be considered and neglecting to do so rarely benefits what you are attempting to establish.

However, I also find it troublesome that you do not find the idea of private firms and individuals taking charge of security. I believe you are familar with 'vigilante justice' and have to realize that a private firm will only consider the interests of itself and its customers. In such a society as yours, not many would find it problematic in torturing, killing, and maiming pedophiles, rapists, theives, murderers, trespassers, and the like. Look at reactions towards those possible types and what some call 'proper' punishment- 'cruel and unusual punishment.'

I also do not find much difference in which group of individuals is dictating what I can and cannot do; no matter if it is government or some private collection of individuals, or some individual. The effects are the same, only some are better than others. If private firms are more efficient, then they will also be more efficient in dealing out its power over others.

In regards to your below post of the increase of crime and the rise of modern police. I suggest you acknowledge the advantages deviants have in behaving and progressing deviant behavior is the same that allows for greater business, trade, and war; faster communication and transportation, better technology and flow of ideas, and larger networking and efficiency. The government responded with a more complex policing to address a more complex deviancy.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 63
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taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/25/2010 2:50:40 AM
dalane75

Property exists and has existed for thousands of years in every single human civilization -- from Native American to South African. Even in societies such as the former USSR in which the very concept of private property was declared immoral and outlawed, de facto property still existed on an a large scale (because of natural law, not because it was decided-upon) and flourished even more immediately upon the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Property is a feature of natural law to human beings.

Citing children playing with others' toys and sharing is a strawman and does nothing to negate the reality that the concept of property is an emergent feature of the human species that can be traced to even the earliest human civilizations.

Property is not inflicted. It is emergent. This is why all societies express property in one form or another and it is why governments recognize property, for governments are merely a projection of the values of a people.







You claimed that "rights to not exist in nature, therefore we need government"

This is a blatant relativist fallacy and thusly holds no ground. It assumes states are comprised of unnatural beings. That somehow, government is different.

Your defense did nothing to address this.

States are not comprised of individuals who are any more or less natural than the rest of us. What makes an agent of the state "different" is, literally, that he is granted the moral authority to use violence by the majority of the population.

This is true now and always has been for the entire history of statism.

In the past, this moral authority for the use of violence was justified in the people's minds by divine right of a monarch, inflicted by a priestly class.

Later, this moral authority for the use of violence was justified in the people's minds by a concept of "royalty" wherein "royal blood" was believed to grant ineffable morality.

Today, this moral authority for the use of violence is justified in the people's minds if 51% or more of a mob agrees on who will wield and manage armed forces to enforce a political agenda at gunpoint and to extract money to fund said agenda at gunpoint.


There is nothing "different" about this. This is just another justification for the use of violence. We have much to be thankful for that the ethics of the people of the past -- an ethics that defined violence inflicted by a "king" with "divine right" as virtue -- has been rejected by the people.

Today, we have an ethics established on the idea that a mob can "vote" and therefore turn violence into virtue. This idea is absurd for it lacks any basis in first principles and is entirely subjectivist and ad hoc.






I also find it troublesome that you do not find the idea of private firms and individuals taking charge of security.

They already do.





I believe you are familar with 'vigilante justice' and have to realize that a private firm will only consider the interests of itself and its customers.

Politicians are any different? Of course not.

Hence war, genocide, holocaust, invasions of foreign peoples, the imprisonment of over a hundred thousand oriental Americans, etc all made possible by taxation wherein those who make the decisions and wield the moral authority to use violence did not -- and still do not -- have to pay. That the costs acting out their decisions were -- and still are -- violently inflicted across a "citizenry".

You are not applying the same standard of scrutiny to private and public firms. Again, you are acting as if agents of the state are "different".

They're not. Competitive firms do not and never have inflicted wide-spread agony on a scale anywhere approaching what states do. Why? Because competitive firms are not given the moral authority to use violence and thus collapse when they try to use it.

People reject violence if and when they see it.

"Competitive" firms have only been able to violently inflict their agenda to the extent they are able to influence a state -- a body of people with the moral authority to use violence. When they do, corporatism/fascism emerges ... what we suffer from today.






I have studied Political Science and economics to a large degree. I believe it is -- for technical reasons -- impossible for corporatism (the union of private firms and agents possessing the moral authority to use violence) to be voted away by a mob. I believe any democratic model of governance will produce corporatism. And I believe that the agents of the state and the firms who control their electability are the equivalent of the monarchs, nobel classes, aristocracies of the past.

The idea that your vote can overcome natural laws of economics and praxeology is absurd.







Quite frankly, I find it baffling that you justify the state -- who we already know uses torture and brutal violence on large scale -- for the fear of potential torture and violence committed by private firms, who -- as we know from history -- have always fallen when attempting to use violence.

Firms only use violence successfully by corrupting a state.

...a body of people who have the moral authority to use violence.




One of the most prominent anarcho-capitalists' opinion on voting: www.youtube.com/watch?v=igbBItLemsM
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 64
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History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/25/2010 4:49:15 AM
I just want to reiterate the point that I believe states are emergent. They are like an economy: the product of natural beings relating together.

To the extent a people value the use of violence against themselves and their fellow residents, they will value a state. They will consider the state's use of this violence as virtue.

As people come to see violence, they tend to reject it. This is our saving grace. It is, precisely, what led to the downfall of kingdoms and aristocracies. The moment "the people" saw the actions of those who comprised these establishments as evil, not virtue, the establishments fell. And what arose from that collapse was a freer, more productive society.

Freer societies are always more productive than less-free societies. Why? Because coercion is not conducive to productivity.

Production requires human action. Human action is only motivated by incentive. The negative incentives of coercion are weak relative to the positive incentives of voluntary interaction. We know this through countless psychological experiments verifying this fact. Positive reinforcement is superior to negative reinforcement with regards to altering behavior





I am not delusional. I know that the collapse of the state now would not be beneficial.

I do not and never will associate myself with the black bloc or any other such frivolous circus who claims to advocate "anarchy". I know through my understanding of history, that changes in social order only come about though the acceptance of ideas.

Stones do not change society. Only philosophy does.

It is my contention that institutionalized violence (which excludes compulsory violence) will be purged from the human species for reasons pertaining to natural laws of economics and a form of social natural selection imposed thereby.

Violence is coercive and manifests itself in negative reinforcement. Voluntarism is non-coercive and manifests itself in positive reinforcement.




"Production requires human action. Human action is only motivated by incentive. The negative incentives of coercion are weak relative to the positive incentives of voluntary interaction."
...therefore, voluntary systems of social order tend to outperform (and out-survive) violent social orders.

This is why markets outperform all other forms of economic organization. It is precisely why the inernet flourishes and the West developed. Freedom leads to production. What is produced is what is valued. An accumulation of value is wealth. And the presence of wealth is prosperity.

Freedom creates prosperity.





I do not call for an abolishment of the state via means of physical revolution or anything of the sort. I call for a next enlightenment. An uplifting of the individual man. A calling for him to live with integrity. To value his family, his friends, his loved ones above a brutal system of social order that commits violence against non-violent individuals.

If a man believes in the virtuosity of the state, he values the potential use of violence against his loved ones. He will never admit it. He will claim that he loves his wife, his children, his family above all else. But this only proves he values talking about his love for them. Not acting on it.

If a man supports a system that would throw his child into a steel cage full of rapists and murders because his child refuses to fund the activities of agents who commit horrible atrocities such as foreign military invasions of innocent peoples, wide-scale counterfeit of fiat money-printing, the violent enforcement of oligopoly in media, banking, and pharmaceuticals, and the imprisonment of millions of people for carrying the "wrong" kind of vegetation in their pockets, he cannot love his child above the state. And he cannot love himself above the state.

He may claim to love his child above all others. That she is his highest value. But actions are what define values. Not words.

A man cannot pay to have his wife beaten and reasonably claim to love her.



In short. He is a man who lives without integrity. He is a man who holds secrets from his wife and his children. Who witholds feelings and opinions from them.

He is a man who has never once felt genuine connection with another human because he has never once felt valued for who he truly is.





I believe the very family acts without integrity..... because our parents do not treat us with integrity. I believe mothers and fathers do not share their deepest, most personal secrets with their children. I believe parents do not disclose the full gamut of their emotions with their children. I believe parents do not show their greatest shames, fears and resentments with their children. And I believe mothers and fathers take advantage of a biological, irrational adoration young children have for their parents by manipulating them (either violently with spanking or other corporal punishments, or with mental manipulation through the use of fear or guilt) into serving "family" rather than reasoning with them, encouraging them to participate, respecting the child's own values, and treating them as young, less-knowledgeable individuals worthy of the same agency as an adult. And I believe families often do (or don't do) all of this while openly professing to be "close". Where their everyday conversations are purely aesthetic or at the very most seep only into the shallow surface of their emotions.

"I better not say __________ to my child, because I'm afraid of how they might react."

The only reason they would react in such a way is because you, the parent, the one their tiny, vulnerable little mind imprinted itself onto (as a duckling with its mother) has deprived them of that level of sincerity and connection in the most impacting relationship of their life and have thus conditioned them to feel anxiety when confronted with genuine integrity. And in doing so, you have essentially guaranteed that they will never experience that kind of relationship with anyone, thereby banishing them from feeling the utter bliss of the knowledge that someone knows everything about you at the most vulnerable level (including precisely how you feel about them) and still values you.

When families claim to be "close" when they do not act with integrity, we set the bar painfully low for our expectations of future relationships.




The modern family is an institution of manipulation. It is built-upon medieval parenting practices.

The state is inconsequential when compared to the family because the state is a byproduct of the family.


Coming to this thesis was not easy. Studying the history of parenting practices is, quite literally, one of the most difficult things I have ever done. The of the brutal removal of clitorises by mothers, the sodomy of young boys by fathers and uncles, the rape 4-year old girls by their fathers, the whipping and branding of adolescents by their "loved ones"....it was unbearable for me. These and other parenting techniques were all extremely common and almost universally practiced.

What could society possibly look like if filled with people who were brutally abused by their parents and who cruelly attacked their own children? The kind of society that would subjugate itself under a monarchy and believe its monarch's actions to be virtuous.

What could society possibly look like if filled with with people who were never treated with integrity by their parents and who never treat their own children with integrity? The kind of society that would delude itself into thinking "votes" could control a violent that is is so obviously and completely controlled by a score of special interests.



This thesis -- the state is a byproduct of the family -- is supported by the trend of history. Look back and trace the fall of these parenting practices over time and you will see the fall of violence in the state. Over the millenia, as the family became less violent , the state became less violent. Today, corporal punishment in the family is common, but modest. The state's violence is common, but modest (relative to statism's history).


The state follows the family.




If we can convince the family to act with integrity, the virtuosity of violence will fall and will forever be cast to the ethical category of evil.


I invite any of you to join me. Live with integrity. Do not lie. Do not withhold your feelings and your deepest secrets from your spouse and your children. Do not deprive them.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 65
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History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/28/2010 9:35:26 AM
I want to select out what I think is the most important element of this discussion: the various concepts of 'value' that are influencing current public political debate in this country.
Specifically, there are a lot of people, including some here, who appear to have no real idea of how much value the government is delivering to them. The Ayn Rand ideas mentioned in the OP are a case in point. Many people think that they don't use anywhere near as much government as they are paying for. They are WAAAY wrong.
Anyone who buys ANYTHING, depends upon the wide variety of forces the governments (state, local, federal) deploy to make it possible for them to buy those things. Before governments created internationally powerful navies, the idea of buying something from another country involved the individual paying for the full cost of the entire journey to and from that country, including soldiers to guard caravans, marines to guard ships, and so forth. So the next time you go into a store and buy something for a DOLLAR, realize that it is only there for you to buy at that low price, because of the vast government outlays required to get it to you.
Some people argue (including 'UBI') that much government work should be done by private businesses...because people who think (or rather DON'T think) in that fashion, do not understand how basic capitalism works. Historically, the reason government has stepped in to provide ANY sort of service or work has always been the same: private industry was NOT providing it at all, or was charging so much for it that the bulk of society could not afford it, and the nation as a whole was thus suffering in relation to the rest of the world. This is again why governments created police forces, standing armies, navies, and so forth. It is why governments build highways, instead of waiting for an individual private company decides to spend what is required to create roads for their own purposes.
I've heard a number of people in my lifetime proposing to do away with taxes, and replace them with "fees". ALL of the people who have proposed such have assumed that MOST of the existing world they enjoy would exist in the same way WITHOUT the government being there to make it so. A good case in point are those who claim that government regulation of the food industry is unnecessary, because no business would knowingly sell dangerous food, for fear that they'd go out of business. These people know NOTHING of the history of food industry in this country. Before the government stepped in, businesses put short term profits ahead of public safety EVERY DAY.
I submit that almost every person who claims that we could do away with our government, or large portions of it, are looking JUST at the extra money they'd have in their pocket for the first few moments after the taxes went away. They really have no idea whatsoever how much MORE they'd moments later discover that they ad to personally spend to continue their lives as they had before.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 66
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History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/28/2010 4:12:31 PM

Specifically, there are a lot of people, including some here, who appear to have no real idea of how much value the government is delivering to them.

...and there are those who appear to have no idea of how much value the government is taking from them.

The War on Drugs, foreign invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, thousands of military bases all around the world, hundreds of billions of dollars in annual subsidies to well-connected special interests, trillions of dollars printed as counterfeit (effectively stolen wealth from the poor and middle classes) to spend on a Ponzi Schemes affectionately named "Social Security" and "Medicare", trillions more borrowed from the Chinese, the Japanese, the Saudis, and other foreign interests -- debt that will be extracted at gunpoint from future generations despite no participatation in this political system -- that is squandered on the current whims of politicians. The military industrial complex, the horrors of "state education", the enormous increase in prices due to costly, ineffective regulation, etc etc etc.




Before governments created internationally powerful navies, the idea of buying something from another country involved the individual paying for the full cost of the entire journey to and from that country, including soldiers to guard caravans, marines to guard ships, and so forth. So the next time you go into a store and buy something for a DOLLAR, realize that it is only there for you to buy at that low price, because of the vast government outlays required to get it to you.

I didn't realize our navies and our shipping is free. Great point.


Before Government: costly sea protection, costly shipping
After Government: free navy and free shipping






Historically, the reason government has stepped in to provide ANY sort of service or work has always been the same: private industry was NOT providing it at all, or was charging so much for it that the bulk of society could not afford it, and the nation as a whole was thus suffering in relation to the rest of the world.

This kind of naivety and optimism reminds me of childhood.

Government "steps in" when special interests motivate it. Congress is not filled with angels. 35,000 page bills aren't churned out regularly because congressmen work tirelessly for the citizen. These bills are written by and for special interests.


There was no large public outcry calling for the FDA, the USDA, the IRS, the Federal Reserve, and just about every other federal agency/charter. I challenge you to produce evidence that there was a significant public movement calling for these things.





A good case in point are those who claim that government regulation of the food industry is unnecessary, because no business would knowingly sell dangerous food, for fear that they'd go out of business. These people know NOTHING of the history of food industry in this country. Before the government stepped in, businesses put short term profits ahead of public safety EVERY DAY.

There is absolutely no evidence to back this widespread myth that "the industry" wasn't producing adequate food. None. Life expectancy rates climbed faster during the part of part of US history where agriculture and food were almost completely devoid of any direct state involvement.

"The Jungle" was a piece of fiction, written by a self-proclaimed communist (even though the party rejected him), intentionally written for political purposes.

In fact, it wasn't until after state involvement that we see agriculture subsidies that lead to overproduction of corn, thereby forcing "high fructose corn syrup" onto the market in far higher amounts than under natural conditions.






These people know NOTHING of the history of food industry in this country.

Quite the contrary. You think you know the economic history of this nation. But you're wrong.








Before the government stepped in, businesses put short term profits ahead of public safety EVERY DAY.

Yawn.

Cite some examples to back what you say, so we have something to talk about. Data is preferable to some rant from an academic.






In conclusion, you are applying different standards of scrutiny to the state and to private industry. You claim that, despite the evidence of long-term investment, capital accumulation, and savings on the part of private interests, that business is only interestsed in "short term profits" with little to no concern for the public. Even if that were true -- which it isn't, businessmen are greedy, and the best way to act on that greed is to invest for the future -- you act as if politicians are any different. What happened to that Social Security money? How about TARP and the other bailouts? How much concern was there for the long-term interests of the public considered over the short-term gain of special interests?

Moreover, you exhibit the same pattern of behavior I see in most people who have not taken the time to inform themselves on economics and praxeology. You espouse words like "profit" and propagate fear, but make absolutely no reference to anything specific.

Then, you claim that those who disagree with your position don't disagree because of the merit of their own position -- they disagree because they are ignorant.

That kind of mentality is not held by an intellectually honest person interested in pursuing truth by following evidence. It is held by ideologues.



Don't bother responding to me unless you cite data that corroborate the claims you made.

Bottom line is, the data clearly show that average real incomes, savings, life expectancy rates, disease survival rates, literacy rates, all rose faster during the most laissez faire portion of American history. In fact, literacy rates are lower today than they were towards the end of the industrial revolution, when the private sector was dealing with education.

Stop treating government as a different entity. The only thing that makes government officials different from private individuals is that government agents are given the moral authority to use violence. That's it. Outside of that fact, government is comprised of the same people who make up the private sector. Until you acknowledge that and thusly apply the same standard of scrutiny to the state as you do a company, you're living in a naive, intellectual fairy land.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 67
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History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/28/2010 4:35:44 PM
I would love to have a conversation with dalane75 on skype or phone.

He has the kind of inquisitive mind that interests me. I think it could be a productive discussion.

Consider this an invite.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 68
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History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/29/2010 1:18:31 PM
Let's just get rid of taxes altogether and make people pay for everything. You want to drive on the road? You pay for the road every single time. You want to go to the library? Pay for it. You want police protection? Pay for someone to stand guard at your home and be your body guard when you go out. You want assurance that the drugs you are taking are effective and not contaminated? Pay for a lab to do an assessment before you start taking them. You want to know that the plane you are boarding is safe? Pay for an inspection yourself before you take off. You want to make sure the food you are eating is not contaminated? Pay for a lab test before you eat. You want your kids educated? Pay for private schools. You want to make sure your home is safely constructed with materials that are not hazardous? Pay to have all your materials evaluated by a lab before it is built and stand there and watch it while it is being built so you know it is constructed safely. You want to make sure your doctor was properly trained? Learn to be your own doctor.

Etc., etc., etc.

Then you won't have to pay for anything you don't want to. You don't pay for it, you don't get to have it. Nothing. Never.

 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 69
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History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/29/2010 6:58:48 PM
*palm face*

We already are paying for those things.

You think teachers work for free? You think roads don't cost anything to be maintained?

There is no free lunch.

This is one of the reasons statism is so effective. People are so freaking clueless about economics that they actually believe they get free things.

The FDA has been shown, numerous times, by independent authorities to cause more deaths by subjecting life-saving drugs to 7-14 year "tests" than it saves by rejecting dangerous drugs. If a drug/treatment gets approved by the FDA and immediately begins saving 50,000 lives per year, then it literally means that the 7-14 years that drug/technique sat in the FDA approval process was time it wasn't spent saving lives. The data overwhelmingly shows that unnecessary deaths along these lines far outnumber the prevented deaths from not approving dangerous drugs.

There are costs and benefits to every decision along these lines. This is why markets work.

The FDA keeps the big pharmaceutical companies cartelized. How? By violently prohibiting competition. If your child goes to graduate school, works on medical research, and finds a new technique to help deal with high blood pressure, he is not allowed to practice his technique. He must pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to put his technique through the FDA approval process and is not allowed sell it to patients for up to a decade or more. This is extremely costly. What almost always happens in this case is the inventor doesn't have enough money to do this, so he sells the rights to his discovery to one of the big pharmaceutical companies and they reap the reward after paying the FDA fees and waiting the decade or so to use the.



What the hell makes you think these things come free? My parents live 5 minutes away from the new FDA headquarters in Silver Spring Maryland. It was under construction for years. You think that came free?
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 70
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 12:21:18 PM
I believe the very family acts without integrity..... because our parents do not treat us with integrity. I believe mothers and fathers do not share their deepest, most personal secrets with their children. I believe parents do not disclose the full gamut of their emotions with their children. I believe parents do not show their greatest shames, fears and resentments with their children. And I believe mothers and fathers take advantage of a biological, irrational adoration young children have for their parents by manipulating them (either violently with spanking or other corporal punishments, or with mental manipulation through the use of fear or guilt) into serving "family" rather than reasoning with them, encouraging them to participate, respecting the child's own values, and treating them as young, less-knowledgeable individuals worthy of the same agency as an adult. And I believe families often do (or don't do) all of this while openly professing to be "close". Where their everyday conversations are purely aesthetic or at the very most seep only into the shallow surface of their emotions.


Paul pointed this out and I had to go back and have a look.

Wow...just...wow! You clearly do NOT have children. If you did, you would realize that children aren't just mini versions of adults. That's readily dispelled by even the most cursory reading of developmental neurology. Indeed, teenagers are demonstrably less equipped to understand consequences due to the fact that much of their brain activity is still heavily influenced by the amygdala and limbic systems. This is observed and demonstrated science. Not abstract sociological theory.

So now, parenthood is the most pernicious thing possible? And what would you propose? And, just out of curiosity, have you ever tried to "reason" with a recalcitrant 3-year-old? Good luck with that.


The only reason they would react in such a way is because you, the parent, the one their tiny, vulnerable little mind imprinted itself onto (as a duckling with its mother) has deprived them of that level of sincerity and connection in the most impacting relationship of their life and have thus conditioned them to feel anxiety when confronted with genuine integrity. And in doing so, you have essentially guaranteed that they will never experience that kind of relationship with anyone, thereby banishing them from feeling the utter bliss of the knowledge that someone knows everything about you at the most vulnerable level (including precisely how you feel about them) and still values you.


Okay, and how do you propose a child is supposed to handle the level of "sincerity" you recommend? Do you think a child is cognitively able to comprehend the subtleties of adult interaction and issues affecting the family both internally and in its relationship to society in general? That's not to say I don't talk to my children and, as they've got older, I've been able to be more frank about some things, but there is such a thing as "age appropriate information." And the bottom line is, with me, I am still the final decider. That's not wrong. That's called proper parenting.

Clearly you have some unresolved childhood issues. Or you've spent so much time in "thoughtful introspection" about the nature of how things should be, you've lost complete and total connection with common sense.


Further, saying that the "state" is inconsequential when compared to the family is missing a few details. Even though you argue that the state is a byproduct of the family,


Actually, I would argue that the "state" as has been very loosely defined is far more attributable to the evolution of the human species. We are naturally predisposed toward hierarchical structures.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 71
view profile
History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 2:31:34 PM
stargazer


Wow...just...wow! You clearly do NOT have children.

Do you actually believe this is a valid argument? I suppose then you don't want to be treated for cancer by a doctor unless he himself has had cancer?

Thus far, I have seen no ability from you to reason from first principles.

Nonetheless, I know very well what it is like to be a child. And I've not undergone the biological (ahem, irrational) changes that distort my perception.

As an adult reaches child-bearing age, biological changes take place that alter the mental state of the adult. These changes are a result of evolution and are geared towards survival in a brutal environment. They are not geared towards raising confident, aware, rational children.

This is a fact.





you would realize that children aren't just mini versions of adults

Strawman. I never once said they are. I said children are not treated with the same respect as adults. They are routinely not reasoned with. Most parents raise their voice at their children and/or use violent corporal punishment against them. Their most sincere preferences outside the superficial ("what would you like for dinner?") are almost never consulted. Parents do not ask their children how their parenting could be better or if the child disagrees with/hates/resents/dislikes etc anything about the parent or what the parent does. Almost all children are ordered to do chores ("Would you take out the garbage, please?") and are punished if they do not comply rather than reasoned with later on if they do not "Did you resent me when I asked if you could take out the garbage? Do you understand why I asked if you could or did you just kinda do it because I told you to? Do you feel it was unfair for me to ask you to or do you think it was reasonable? Why? Is there any way I could make your experience as my child better?"


In my experience -- from what I've seen -- almost all parents raise their voice at their children, banish them to their bedroom, "ground" them, or violently spank/drag by the arm their children when the child does not comply with the parent's wishes. These, literally, are parenting techniques designed to force compliance by inflicting fear into the child.

They are manipulative tactics in order to force a child to obey the parent's values.

Not only is the evidence 100% to the contrary -- that the evidence clearly shows that spanking and raising your voice at a child is ineffective for determining the actions of a child when compared to parenting techniques that rely on reasoning -- but also that the evidence clearly shows that spanking and raising your voice at a child is detrimental for the long-term emotional and social well-being of the child. That they have long-term negative impacts on a child's self-esteem.

Do you honestly believe routinely inflicting fear is a virtuous parenting technique?

Even if you do not yell/punish your child often, it is extremely likely that your child obeys you when you ask them to do things because they are afraid of the punishment (scolding, a look of disappointment, grounding) and not because they want to contribute to the family.

Of course, if your child is about to run into the middle of a busy intersection, you need to grab their arm and rip them back. But you would do this with anyone. Likely even with a complete stranger. But you wouldn't yell at a stranger if you asked him to give you a hand changing the oil on your car. You wouldn't spank a stranger if he didn't stop talking while you were on the phone.

If you wouldn't to a stranger, why would you to your own child? Ignore all the evidence that spanking/yelling is detrimental for a moment. Just consider the ethics of the thing. Why do parents consider it wrong to use fear in their personal relationships but virtuous to use fear in their relationship with their child?





Indeed, teenagers are demonstrably less equipped to understand consequences due to the fact that much of their brain activity is still heavily influenced by the amygdala and limbic systems.

Again, strawman. I never once said "children = adults".

I said children can be reasoned with. You really think because "children != adults, therefore we must spank/yell/scold/ our children?

The evidence clearly shows these are less effective than techniques that rely on treating the child as an equal and relying on reasoning.

Of course, parents are not equal to their children. Even with parents who rely on reasoning, a natural hierarchal structure will form. The difference is, the hierarchy will not be rooted in violence and manipulation through the direct or indirect use of fear and guilt.





Do you think a child is cognitively able to comprehend the subtleties of adult interaction and issues affecting the family both internally and in its relationship to society in general?


You keep bringing up the same strawman. Just because children are not the same as adults is not an argument that they ought to be manipulated.



Let me give you a clear example I see all the time. Finances.

When shopping, a parent's child picks up an expensive toy and brings it to them. The parent, "Put that back"/"You can't have that" / "We're not buying that" / "I told you no toys."

The child can easily be reasoned with. "Do you want that Andy? Do you see how much it costs? A hundred fifty dollars is very expensive. Do you remember that conversation we had about the family budget? If we get this RC car, the family will have to sacrifice something else. A hundred fifty dollars is about a month's worth of dinners. Which do you think is more fair? For you to have the RC car or for you, your sister, Daddy, and me to have dinner for the next month?

Another example. A child stuffs his face with two cupcakes and grabs a third. Parent: "You've had enough." "Put that down." "No more. "You can have that tomorrow." The child can easily be reasoned with. "Andy, remember when we talked about health? That to be healthy, we have to have keep things in moderation? That even though sometimes something tastes good and we want more, really it is bad for us? That we get big bellys, cavitys, and can even have problems with our heart? And later on... "Do you understand why I didn't want you to eat that third cupcake? Or were you just obeying me because I'm your parent? I understand if you felt angry at the moment, but later on, did you understand what I meant and agree with me?


Of course, this is less convenient than simply telling your child "no" and relying on their habit of obeying your demands. But the evidence clearly shows that engaging in reasoning, from the very beginning of a child's ability to make decisions results in better outcomes. Not only that, but it doesn't take long for the child to think the rational over themselves and not do things like avoid chores, throw tantrums, etc.

Children are far more capable than they are given credit for. Child prodigy -- for example, finishing all high school related material at an age of 12-13 -- does not have to be as uncommon as it is today. Almost all children are capable of it. That in most cases, there is no genetic component to why some young children are able to learn and achieve so much ahead of the curve. It almost all has to do with parenting (which includes schooling).





as they've got older, I've been able to be more frank about some things, but there is such a thing as "age appropriate information."

If there is information that isn't relevant to the child's decisions (like details on what mommy and daddy do in the bedroom) then, of course, there is no reason to rub it in the child's face. But if it is relevant (family is struggling financially, daddy is sad, mommy is sick) then I what is the reason it should be hidden from the child?

To protect her?

You really think integrity is inappropriate for children? Do you really think it is possible for a your child to live with integrity if their parents don't treat them with it? Do you even want your children to live with integrity?

Do you really think it is possible for a child who is treated without integrity by his/her parents to grow up and to naturally seek out integrity in relationships? Do you understand mental imprinting, and how children pick up on even the most subtle aspects of their relationship with their parents? And that children grow up feeling anxiety when any relationship they experience deviates from that? On an extreme scale, so you can visualize, this is why abused sons are far more likely to abuse their wife than non-abused children. It is why an abused daughter is more likely to fall in love with an abusive boyfriend/husband.

It doesn't stop there. If a child doesn't receive constructive criticism often (but rather, has things done for them or is told/punished to get them to change their behavior) that they react negatively to criticism as they grow up. That if your child obeys you not because he wants to contribute to the family and understands his/her role in the workings of the family, but rather because he doesn't want to disappoint you or be punished by you (even if you never do it), then your child will grow up markedly more submissive, less assertive, and more complacent compared to their less-abused peers with respect to their future relationships... and especially with their relationship with authority.






Clearly you have some unresolved childhood issues. Or you've spent so much time in "thoughtful introspection" about the nature of how things should be, you've lost complete and total connection with common sense.

Of course, the reason I hold this positions is because of my relationship with my parents. It has nothing to do with the merit, truth, or validity of what I say.

How brilliant of you.






Actually, I would argue that the "state" as has been very loosely defined is far more attributable to the evolution of the human species. We are naturally predisposed toward hierarchical structures.

I never denied this. In fact, I went as far as to say that states are as emergent.

But that's not the point. The point is, we can do without the violence.

Hierarchy still exists in a market. But markets are not rooted in violence. They are rooted in voluntary exchange. Hence why they are immensely productive and deliver the vast majority of what you use every day.



Slowly, over the millenia, humans have steadily become aware of the violence imposed on them by agents of the state and have thereby rejected it.

Do you understand the overall point I'm making? People a thousand years ago honestly believed that torture was a legitimate and virtuous tactic for the monarch (or church) to use in order to extract confessions. There was no state indoctrination of "public schooling" or large police forces enforcing this belief. It was acheived through ideas. The people truly believed it was virtious for authority to use torture.

I argue these ideas were implanted at childhood. At the time -- and you can verify this yourself -- children were routinely raped, whipped, thrashed, by their parents. Daughters had clitorouses removed and young boys were sodomized by family members. And when these children grew up, if they survived, they did the same to their own children.

In short, society was full of psychopaths. These people were brutally abused and thereby were so psychologically damaged that they believed it to be virtuious for abuse to be used against them by a figure of authority. In short, they believed abject torture was legitimate means to extract compliance.

Today, it is much less harsh. Today, parents do not rape their children. But they do not treat them with integrity. They yell at them, spank them, and enforce decisions without consulting the meaningful preferences of the child (by meaningful, I mean "How do you feel about my parenting", not "What do you want for dinner?"). They are either to lazy to reason with a child, to pursuade them not to eat that last cupcake or why it isn't a good idea to have that toy... or they flat-out assume the child is incapable of that level of reasoning (which is entirely untrue).

I argue that this has filled civilization with people who honestly believe their "vote" can overpower natural laws of economics and praxeology. That even though natural laws tell us that if it is profitable for someone to influence an agency of violence to enforce rules that favor him/her (the special interest, be it political, commercial, or religious), it will happen. The idea that people really think they can curtail the military industrial complex because they're going to vote. People who think the US is going to pull armed forces out of Iraq when we are still in Japan over 60 years later. People who think self-interested politicians -- who spout kindly speeches but rely on the violent extraction of money at gunpoint -- are more interested in your preferences than members of private industry who rely on your voluntary cooperation and routinely offer surveys and consult with consumers so they can adjust their products/services to even further satisfy your desires. A people who are largely unable to reason from first principles and incapable of treating mystical ideas of sky ghosts and spirits and the texts attributed to them as irrational rather than core values in their life.

Your local pizza parlor consults you on how you think they can improve their service. A politician won't. He'll poll what's popular, deal with special interests (this is natural, not something decided upon), and will talk about popular things in front of a camera, and then will

Violence is not virtue.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 72
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 3:01:11 PM
Do you actually believe this is a valid argument?


Yes. Or do you think that, just because you may have ridden in an airplane, you're now qualified to tell the pilot how to do his job?


I suppose then you don't want to be treated for cancer by a doctor unless he himself has had cancer?


No, I'm pretty sure he's got the information he needs from his medical degree and specialization. But, if he has, I'm pretty sure his standard of care is going to include a heavy dose of compassion since he understands what I'd be going through. For him, it's not just an intellectual exercise.

I have experienced the point of view as a child. And I've experienced it much more recently than you have.


I'll forego the obvious and point out that I've had far more experience with actually being a parent. It's a whole different world.


If you wouldn't to a stranger, why would you to your own child? Ignore all the evidence that spanking/yelling is detrimental for a moment. Just consider the ethics of the thing. Why do parents consider it wrong to use fear in their personal relationships but virtuous to use fear in their relationship with their child?


Oy vey! Okay, let's be clear about something. Not every parent does this. Not every parent doesn't do this. Some parents have no problem giving their kid a whack. Some parents are absolutely flabbergasted at the mere thought. There are no hard/fast rules on parenting. I've seen kids that quiver at the mere hint of a raised voice. I've seen kids that, their parents could literally be beating them senseless and they continue to laugh.

But what you seem to be indicating is that parenting is some cookie cutter "thou must do this to be a 'virtuous' parent." Bullshyte! It ain't that simple, sunshine.

In the meantime, what do you think? We just have to "reason" with children and they'll do what we want them to? Please! The most unreasonable person alive is a child. They don't operate by reason. They operate by emotion.


But if it is relevant (family is struggling financially, daddy is sad, mommy is sick) then I what is the reason it should be hidden from the child?

To protect her?

You really think integrity is inappropriate for children? Do you really think it is possible for a your child to live with integrity if their parents don't treat them with it? Do you even want your children to live with integrity?


Who's saying keep this information from the child? Actually, I wonder who has the more skewed view, here. Kids know when there's problems in the household. It's usually right in front of them. ("Mommy, can I have a bike for Christmas?" "Not this year, honey, we don't have the money." "Mommy, why doesn't daddy come out of his room?"; "Daddy, can we visit mommy in the hospital today")

However, remember that children internalize. If there is a problem, it often very quickly becomes something they feel they "did." It's about age-appropriateness of the information they're given.


Do you understand mental imprinting, and how children pick up on even the most subtle aspects of their relationship with their parents? And that children grow up feeling anxiety when any relationship they experience deviates from that? On an extreme scale, so you can visualize, this is why abused sons are far more likely to abuse their wife than non-abused children. It is why an abused daughter is more likely to fall in love with an abusive boyfriend/husband.


Do you understand how condescending a prick you sound with statements like this? Boy-o I've got 20 years on this planet longer than you. You really think this is news to me or something?


Of course, the reason I hold this positions is because of my relationship with my parents. It has nothing to do with the merit, truth, or validity of what I say.

How brilliant of you.


So then you admit your position might be flawed based on personal bias from singular experience and projected onto the greater whole with little or no data to support it? How hopeful for you.



Actually, I would argue that the "state" as has been very loosely defined is far more attributable to the evolution of the human species. We are naturally predisposed toward hierarchical structures.


Yet another strawman. I never denied this.


Never said you did. It was an aside. However, I have yet to see you include evolutionary science in your posts. I think it's relevant to how the structures you so blithely dismiss have evolved.


The point is, we can do without the violence.


We agree: violence is bad.

However, your definition of what constitutes "violence" throughout these posts has been routinely self-serving to the argument you are presumeably trying to make. In short, defining the concept in order to argue against it, rather than addressing those who question the validity of your definition - classic straw man. None of which have done anything to address the counter arguments of those who've had the poor taste to disagree with you.

But trying to define us parents as abusive, controlling, manipulative, unconcerned-about-the-welfare-of-our-children sociopaths? Three words: You can guess what they are.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 73
view profile
History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 3:39:42 PM
1) "So then you admit your position might be flawed based on personal bias from singular experience and projected onto the greater whole with little or no data to support it? How hopeful for you."

It was sarcasm. That that I was abused or had perfect parents has absolutely no bearing on the argument I'm presenting.






2) I never stated all parents practice parenting in the same way. I cited common trends in moden parenting.






3) You say "violence is bad". Alright. What do you find inadequate with the definition, "the initiation of the use of force"?

Do you think if 51% of a mob "votes" then the initiation of the use of force no longer becomes violence.









4) I am very familiar with evolutionary science. Parents evolved to treat their children in the best way suited for survival in a brutal environment. They did not evolve to treat their children in ways that are conducive to raising a confident, aware, rational child.

That is my point.

As human beings reach the age of parenthood, biological changes take place in their brain. These changes, again, are geared towards survival in a harsh enviornment, not on any objective principle of virtue or fairness.




5) "In the meantime, what do you think? We just have to "reason" with children..."
You don't have to do anything. You don't have to reason with your child.

My point is, if you want to have a child who is confident and has a healthy relationship with authority rather than a submissive one, then you do.

The argument, "Children are inherently irrational, therefore we must manipulate them irrationally in order to make them act rationally in the future" is absurd! Children are naturally rational. They are just ignorant to most consequences! If they are made aware of these consequences, through reasoning, they will avoid actions that lead to those consequences. If you train them to obey you out of fear of disobeying you, you are not promoting rational thinking!

You do NOT raise rational children by manipulating them!









6) "...and they'll do what we want them to?"
If you don't you are manipulating them. Getting someone to do what you want them to through the use of fear, guilt, or violence is manipulation.

How can this be more blatant? You have said, outright, "If we don't reason with our children, you expect they'll do what we want them to?" And then you think you don't manipulate your child and that you weren't manipulated by your own parents when you were a child.

Of course there are rare exceptions where force is necessary. Pulling a child off a road if they try to chase a ball kicked into a busy intersection. But that's not what we're addressing. We're addressing the day-to-day interaction between parents and their children.

Parents, by and large, manipulate their children. They do not have to manipulate them. They do not have to raise their voice. They do not have to spank. They do not have to scold their children. But they choose to. They choose not to reason with them.

Children by and large do not use force with one another. Yes, there are bullies in the classroom. But the majority of these are products from even more abusive households. And even then, most children do not befriend bullies. Most children only befriend those they interact with voluntarily. They do not use fear or guilt or other manipulative tactics with their friends when deciding what to do, what toys to play with, where to dig that next hole. They do not spank them. The rely on reasoning and voluntarism.

Parents don't. Parents rely on medieval parenting practices of manipulation through the use of fear, guilt, and often abject violence despite their child's natural ability to reason and the child's natural desire to make their parents happy.









7) "trying to define us parents as abusive, controlling, manipulative, unconcerned-about-the-welfare-of-our-children sociopaths? Three words: You can guess what they are."

You can guess what three words I have to say about someone who defends the manipulation of a child in the most important relationship of their life. This is abuse, by any rational standard of ethics.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 74
view profile
History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 3:57:42 PM
RE Msg: 56 by Ubiquitous.:
You bring up some great points. I think we could have a very fulfilling conversation.

Do you have a microphone on your laptop/desktop? If so, would you be open to a conversation on skype sometime?

Yes, I do have a microphone. The idea is intriguing. But it scared me that you valued my points so strongly, to wish to engage in direct chat, especially when I felt that I was disagreeing with you. I have a huge lack of personal confidence in many areas. So understand that it really is my problem, and although I value your input, and enjoy reading your posts immensely, I'd prefer to keep my comments strictly limited to posts for now.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 75
view profile
History
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 4:10:05 PM
scorpiomover

Understood. Although, I'm a bit perplexed why you're scared that I wanted to converse with you? : /

I know you were disagreeing with me. But that doesn't matter. I have a sense of people who are analytical and reductionists and are honest enough to be willing to subject their deepest, most axiomatic positions to rational thinking in a friendly debate. I value these people. And I think you are one of them.

I think you're the kind of person I could learn from and the kind of person who would consider learning from people like me... without resorting to, essentially, "you aren't a parent, so shut up on the topic" arguments.

Some people take out their abused childhoods on others. You can't blame these individuals for being the way they are any more than you can blame a dog for being a dog.
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