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Consensus Always Rules

FREEDO
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4/6/2011 3:59:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
We can argue over whether it is better for individuals to have authority over themselves, majorities to have authority over minorities, certain individuals to have authority over other individuals, but at the end of the day they all end up having the same exact authority structure when the full-picture is taken into perspective.

No-matter what political system you think is best, every government in the world is the doing of the general consensus of their people. The fact is, rulers can't rule if orders aren't followed. All authority, besides the actual use of violence itself, is imaginary. Unless an individual personally has the ability to kill or otherwise subdue everyone else, their supposed authority only relies on the obedience of others to use their own collective abilities for that individual's will. And the fact does not only apply to government workers; it is the average person. When the public consensus does not accept a law it simply becomes unenforceable. Obedience must go all the way down in-order for the power-structure to be truly effective.

So stop concerning yourself with the intentions of supposed rulers, an insignificant fraction of society, and start being concerned about the intentions of the public at large. All social change comes from the bottom up.
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fnord
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4/6/2011 4:25:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 3:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:
We can argue over whether it is better for individuals to have authority over themselves, majorities to have authority over minorities, certain individuals to have authority over other individuals, but at the end of the day they all end up having the same exact authority structure when the full-picture is taken into perspective.

No-matter what political system you think is best, every government in the world is the doing of the general consensus of their people. The fact is, rulers can't rule if orders aren't followed. All authority, besides the actual use of violence itself, is imaginary. Unless an individual personally has the ability to kill or otherwise subdue everyone else, their supposed authority only relies on the obedience of others to use their own collective abilities for that individual's will. And the fact does not only apply to government workers; it is the average person. When the public consensus does not accept a law it simply becomes unenforceable. Obedience must go all the way down in-order for the power-structure to be truly effective.

So stop concerning yourself with the intentions of supposed rulers, an insignificant fraction of society, and start being concerned about the intentions of the public at large. All social change comes from the bottom up.

I think you over simplify the nature of consensus. It can result in an organized program, or common denominator of: fear, hate, perceived self-interest, apathy, arrogance, ambition, intimidation etc.

Because of the above, there is a tyranny of the majority or minority over the public.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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4/6/2011 7:49:27 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 3:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:
We can argue over whether it is better for individuals to have authority over themselves, majorities to have authority over minorities, certain individuals to have authority over other individuals, but at the end of the day they all end up having the same exact authority structure when the full-picture is taken into perspective.

No-matter what political system you think is best, every government in the world is the doing of the general consensus of their people. The fact is, rulers can't rule if orders aren't followed.

Actually, only a minority of people are ordered around by the government, and they get paid to do it.

All authority, besides the actual use of violence itself, is imaginary. Unless an individual personally has the ability to kill or otherwise subdue everyone else,

This is basically what the government does.

their supposed authority only relies on the obedience of others to use their own collective abilities for that individual's will. And the fact does not only apply to government workers; it is the average person. When the public consensus does not accept a law it simply becomes unenforceable. Obedience must go all the way down in-order for the power-structure to be truly effective.

Blaming the victim much? This one time someone was raped and they didn't fight back because the rapist had a gun. The government has millions of killbots, monopolizes the courts, and puts a collective action problem on its victims. Yeah no one in their right mind would fight back.

So stop concerning yourself with the intentions of supposed rulers, an insignificant fraction of society, and start being concerned about the intentions of the public at large. All social change comes from the bottom up.

Wrong. All the big policies like the New Deal, Vietnam, Bailouts, etc come from the top. Peoples do not have the incentive to try and influence the national agenda. If you saw my vote-thread, the chance that a vote would make a difference in 2008 is something like 10^-21.
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Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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4/6/2011 8:07:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Sieben you actually didn't respond to what FREEDO said at all. You said, "Actually, only a minority of people are ordered around by the government..." but if you agree that the government's authority is imaginary, then you agree people only adhere to it because the consensus is that the government ought to have this authority.

You also said, "The government has millions of killbots, monopolizes the courts, and puts a collective action problem on its victims." So you agree that the consensus is that the government ought to have these killbots and this power. You wrote, "Wrong. All the big policies like the New Deal, Vietnam, Bailouts, etc come from the top." The American Revolution, Suffrage and the Civil Rights movement were the other way around.

Also, listing things that came from the top doesn't disprove FREEDO's point in any way. He's not saying that social change can't or doesn't come from the top, but that the policies would not be enforceable if people (including those in the military) fought back. It's like the argument that Nazi soldiers must be blamed for their crimes. They can't just say "Hitler told me to do it." Even if that's the case, and they feared other soldiers would hurt them if they didn't obey, then that just means Hitler's power came from the consensus of the soldiers enforcing his wishes and FREEDO would still be right.
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Danielle
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4/6/2011 8:14:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
It's true that even the vast majority of citizens couldn't compete with a nuclear bomb, for example, but in most cases the people CAN still be a force to be reckoned with. I forget which thread it was where we talked about what would happen if we ALL (90% or more) stopped paying taxes. In theory the politicians could still punish us, but WOULD that happen? I'm not sure.
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Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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4/6/2011 8:36:58 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 8:07:07 AM, Danielle wrote:
Sieben you actually didn't respond to what FREEDO said at all. You said, "Actually, only a minority of people are ordered around by the government..." but if you agree that the government's authority is imaginary, then you agree people only adhere to it because the consensus is that the government ought to have this authority.

There's a difference between "ordering people around" - which is what the state does to its employees - and bullying/forcing/threatening people, which is what the state does to the general population.

You also said, "The government has millions of killbots, monopolizes the courts, and puts a collective action problem on its victims." So you agree that the consensus is that the government ought to have these killbots and this power. You wrote, "Wrong. All the big policies like the New Deal, Vietnam, Bailouts, etc come from the top." The American Revolution,

The merchant class

Suffrage and the Civil Rights movement were the other way around.

Okay. Suffrage is minor because voting doesn't matter. Civil rights you will argue is the best thing ever, but I would argue pales comparison to all the things I listed.

Also, listing things that came from the top doesn't disprove FREEDO's point in any way. He's not saying that social change can't or doesn't come from the top,

"All social change comes from the bottom up."

Stop fixing people's arguments for them.

but that the policies would not be enforceable if people (including those in the military) fought back. It's like the argument that Nazi soldiers must be blamed for their crimes. They can't just say "Hitler told me to do it." Even if that's the case, and they feared other soldiers would hurt them if they didn't obey, then that just means Hitler's power came from the consensus of the soldiers enforcing his wishes and FREEDO would still be right.

Its not really consent if there's a gun in your face, is it? See what I said about blaming the victim.
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Danielle
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4/6/2011 8:49:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 8:36:58 AM, Sieben wrote:
There's a difference between "ordering people around" - which is what the state does to its employees - and bullying/forcing/threatening people, which is what the state does to the general population.

No, there's really not. Because the people who bully/force/threaten the general population do so at the government's ordering.

The merchant class

Far from "the top"

Okay. Suffrage is minor because voting doesn't matter. Civil rights you will argue is the best thing ever, but I would argue pales comparison to all the things I listed.

Suffrage is an example of political change stemming from a grassroots movement. You don't have to agree with the policy, but to ignore it out of convenience to dodge an analogy is kinda lame. Same with the CRM. Value is also subjective. I'm sure a black person today cares more about the CRM than they do the Vietnam War, however off that might seem to you.

Also, listing things that came from the top doesn't disprove FREEDO's point in any way. He's not saying that social change can't or doesn't come from the top,

"All social change comes from the bottom up."

Stop fixing people's arguments for them.

This is a forum, not a debate. I can add any arguments I want. He probably didn't mean to include the word all, or maybe he means political change comes from the top but social change doesn't. Who knows. Anyway that's my interpretation of what he said; he's free to correct me.

Its not really consent if there's a gun in your face, is it? See what I said about blaming the victim.

If there's a gun in their face (the Nazi soldier), then the one holding the gun clearly agreed with Hitler's policy which was exactly the point. I'm not blaming the soldier for his choice; I'm saying people agreeing to Hitler's authority (the one holding the gun) is what compelled him to make that choice... and if nobody agreed with Hitler, then there wouldn't be people pointing guns and forcing them to do stuff.
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innomen
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4/6/2011 9:09:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 8:14:59 AM, Danielle wrote:
It's true that even the vast majority of citizens couldn't compete with a nuclear bomb, for example, but in most cases the people CAN still be a force to be reckoned with. I forget which thread it was where we talked about what would happen if we ALL (90% or more) stopped paying taxes. In theory the politicians could still punish us, but WOULD that happen? I'm not sure.



The government couldn't cope with a situation like that and there would be mass rebellion. It would also pit those who take from the system against those who force-ably provide to the system (doubt you'd get it to 90%, but less would work). This would be the ultimate non-violent rebellion that the people of this country could actually stage, but the problem would be what is in this thread. The nature of character to make that which is unacceptable acceptable by a gradual and intentional change of the norm. It requires the norm to be more than just unacceptable, but intolerable to the point where an organized effort is mounted against the norm - and that ain't easy.
Sieben
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4/6/2011 9:18:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 8:49:43 AM, Danielle wrote:

No, there's really not. Because the people who bully/force/threaten the general population do so at the government's ordering.

Police get paid. They have a choice whether or not to take orders from the state. The general population however, does not get paid. They do not have a choice about whether to take orders from the state because there's a gun in their face.

Far from "the top"

Far from the bottom.

Suffrage is an example of political change stemming from a grassroots movement. You don't have to agree with the policy, but to ignore it out of convenience to dodge an analogy is kinda lame.
I'm ignoring it because it doesn't matter. Voting doesn't matter.

Same with the CRM. Value is also subjective. I'm sure a black person today cares more about the CRM than they do the Vietnam War, however off that might seem to you.

Its not about "good/bad", its about impact. The impact of WWII was larger than the civil rights movement.

This is a forum, not a debate. I can add any arguments I want. He probably didn't mean to include the word all, or maybe he means political change comes from the top but social change doesn't. Who knows. Anyway that's my interpretation of what he said; he's free to correct me.

You sure can add any arguments you want. But when you say "Freedo meant this", when actually his literal meaning is something different, you are fixing his arguments for him. You are no longer defending him because you iron-man his arguments (opposite of straw man)

Its not really consent if there's a gun in your face, is it? See what I said about blaming the victim.

If there's a gun in their face (the Nazi soldier), then the one holding the gun clearly agreed with Hitler's policy which was exactly the point. I'm not blaming the soldier for his choice; I'm saying people agreeing to Hitler's authority (the one holding the gun) is what compelled him to make that choice... and if nobody agreed with Hitler, then there wouldn't be people pointing guns and forcing them to do stuff.

The criterion is if there's a gun in your face, you're under duress and it cannot be consent. Sure, some people take part in the government of their own free will. But it is possible for NO ONE to agree with the government, but for the government to continue sticking around out of threat of force. There's a collective action problem that makes it very difficult to organize resistance against states.
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Danielle
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4/6/2011 9:53:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 9:18:19 AM, Sieben wrote:
Police get paid. They have a choice whether or not to take orders from the state. The general population however, does not get paid. They do not have a choice about whether to take orders from the state because there's a gun in their face.

So? Now you're just running in circles. The ones holding guns in the people's faces are the police. The police could choose not to do that. The "government" would have no authority then because whomever "the government" refers to is relying on a large police force to implement the laws and carry them out.

Far from the bottom.

Much closer to the bottom than to the top.

I'm ignoring it because it doesn't matter. Voting doesn't matter.

An individual vote doesn't have an impact, but collective votes do. We don't live in an anarchist society. Voting shapes our society whether you agree with the legitimacy of it or not. So yes, giving an entire demographic the opportunity to vote matters.

Its not about "good/bad", its about impact. The impact of WWII was larger than the civil rights movement.

You're literally just making this up. It doesn't have to be about impact. It absolutely can be about good/bad. I wasn't saying that the CRM had anywhere near as big an impact as something like the New Deal. I'm saying grassroots changes are possible. When I provide them, you basically say "Oh that doesn't count." Lol okay. Honestly at this point it's obvious that you're just being contrary and probably feel compelled to argue against anything Freedo says whatever that might be, because his point seems pretty obvious.

You sure can add any arguments you want. But when you say "Freedo meant this", when actually his literal meaning is something different, you are fixing his arguments for him. You are no longer defending him because you iron-man his arguments (opposite of straw man)

As I said, I gave my interpretation and he's free to correct me.

But it is possible for NO ONE to agree with the government, but for the government to continue sticking around out of threat of force.

NO it's not. Who is "the government" referring to? Politicians? First, good luck getting politicians to agree on everything. Second, let's pretend that the president, congress, the senate, mayors, governors and all local government officials agreed on one massive policy. Who the hell would implement it? The military and police? Well at that point you're talking about ORDINARY PEOPLE who can choose to simply not adhere to the policies being passed on from the government. They can turn down the money. They don't have to do anything.

There's a collective action problem that makes it very difficult to organize resistance against states.

Werd :(
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Rob1_Billion
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4/6/2011 12:00:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There was a time when rulers did not yet understand the fact that consensus rules. A certain French revolution where the royalty was all burned alive comes to mind. They have since learned their lesson. Nowadays, rulers are much more crafty than they once were. They don't want to be burned alive anymore. Burning alive is not pleasant, I have heard. They have several tools that ensure they can keep consensus on their side:

1) confusing people with economics. For example, Obamacare. Republicans kept fighting back with numbers, numbers, and more numbers. I remember that one discussion Obama had around the table with the congress members, and they kept throwing numbers everywhere. No one could understand what the hell they were talking about, any more than we could understand some acute specialists throwing around random values about their fields. The problem is that economics is not geophysics, astronomy, or chemistry - it is more like Ptolemy's model of the geocentric universe. Although it is respected as a true social science and uses many legitimate scientific principles, it doesn't matter what scientific and statistical tools they use after they base the entire field on false premises (growth is infinite, externalities are summed up in economic calculations, etc). Most people assume that economics is vastly complex and you need to study for 50 years to understand it, when really it is just made complex intentionally.

2) using media to condition our ideas. I just heard that "I want to be a billionaire, so freakin' bad" song on the radio this morning. I could write seven threads worth of criticism of the ideas in that song but suffice to say people generally don't think it's bad to chase money at any cost and justify just about anything in the interests of gaining wealth. Wealth and power aren't considered bad if everyone's chasing it, after all. Some French peasants who have 0.00000000% chance of every weilding it won't be so easy to convince, but a bunch of morons, bobbing their heads to "Billionaire" while daydreaming about hitting the lottery and showing everyone that ever doubted them that they can do it, are much easier to convince. Every movie, TV show, and pop song (there are exceptions, but not many) conditions us to love money and to discard any inhibitions we have about whether it's really the right thing to do. Even intelligent DDO members will defend the average person's ability to succeed, even knowing that statistically it is quite a long shot for any person to climb up very far (there really isn't room for everyone at the top anyway).

I got an OWI when I was 20 years old and had to attend AODA sessions held by social workers in a govt building downtown as part of my rehabilitation (all my much worse alcoholic and druggy friends simply lied at the assessment and never needed to do this but I needed full intensive "outpatient" treatment because I refused to cover up the fact that I smoke weed). While I was in there, I was exposed to some people who were in particular desperation, for obvious reasons. Every day we'd have some activity to do, and one day they decided to go around the room and ask everyone what their life-goals were (again, for obvious reasons). I was first, and as an ambitious 20 year old I spoke of how I was soon to enter college, hopefully pursue a degree in philosophy (I've switched majors 18 times since), start getting more into my hobbies, you know all that good stuff. I was expecting others in the room to at least lie about pursuing positive things even if they would never really achieve them, but what happened next I will never forget as long as I live. Each of the other 6-7 people in the room, as we went around and heard from them, mentioned winning the lottery as the basic way in which they were going to get out of the hole they were in. I just stared at each one of them like :o and I kept thinking to myself "don't these guys know that they have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the lottery?" I mean, if the chances of winning are hundreds of millions to one, then they are actually just as likely to win the lottery without even buying a ticket than they are wasting their money on it (adding in the probability of finding a random lottery ticket on the ground won't significantly decrease your odds of hitting it given how unlikely it is already).

This is a far cry from a French peasant. Peasants weren't distracted with 'possibilities' of success. They weren't taught to emulate their leaders; only idolize them. So when the capitalists on here try and convince you that everyone has a chance to become rich, they are simply displaying their envy of the elite and their gullible intentions to someday be one of them. Pity these members and don't be too harsh to them because they aren't responsible for being duped by the ruling class.

3) keeping the economy good enough to sustain the status quo, but not good enough to produce hippies. The government made a bad mistake after WWII when it allowed us to prosper unchecked. As people started forgetting about basic problems like war and healthcare, they started waking up and saying "hey that just ain't right." We started caring about the environment, about income disparity... It's basic Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for you. So if the gov't crimps us on a basic level and keeps us off-balance, it can do whatever it wants because we'll be at each other's throats over stupid sh*t like unions or balancing the budget. By keeping us perpetually broke and at war, we never become hippies and people generally believe they are being socially responsible by supporting the cutting of welfare programs and other things that the government does to offset capitalistic externalities that hurt the country. "Fiscal responsibility" is basically the rich being frugile with their money.
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Sieben
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4/6/2011 3:50:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 9:53:03 AM, Danielle wrote:

So? Now you're just running in circles. The ones holding guns in the people's faces are the police. The police could choose not to do that. The "government" would have no authority then because whomever "the government" refers to is relying on a large police force to implement the laws and carry them out.

No. Remember what Freedo wrote: ", every government in the world is the doing of the general consensus of their people. The fact is, rulers can't rule if orders aren't followed."

If we agree that only police resemble consensual agents of the state, everyone else is non consensual. I.e. there is no general consensus of the people.

Much closer to the bottom than to the top.

Dropping this because we don't want a historical nitpicking debate. The case has been made both ways by historians - the revolution as a revolt of the masses or as a revolt of the upper class.

I'm ignoring it because it doesn't matter. Voting doesn't matter.

An individual vote doesn't have an impact, but collective votes do. We don't live in an anarchist society. Voting shapes our society whether you agree with the legitimacy of it or not. So yes, giving an entire demographic the opportunity to vote matters.

Because people make the decision to vote individually, they will not find it worth their while to vote seriously. The outcome might be different - like maybe Oprah is more likely to get elected to office - but from the perspective of "good government" it is almost a worthless gesture.

You're literally just making this up. It doesn't have to be about impact. It absolutely can be about good/bad.

Freedo wrote: "So stop concerning yourself with the intentions of supposed rulers, an insignificant fraction of society, and start being concerned about the intentions of the public at large. All social change comes from the bottom up."

Change is implicitly neutral. So yes it is about impact.

I wasn't saying that the CRM had anywhere near as big an impact as something like the New Deal. I'm saying grassroots changes are possible.

I know they're possible.

When I provide them, you basically say "Oh that doesn't count." Lol okay.

I'm arguing that the vast majority of high impact political events are not grassroots initiatives. The existence of CRM does not outweigh the fact that every war since 1860 has come from elite minorities... similarly with all the major economic events...

Honestly at this point it's obvious that you're just being contrary and probably feel compelled to argue against anything Freedo says whatever that might be, because his point seems pretty obvious.

His point is wrong. My reasons for giving a contrary opinion are my own. What are your reasons for defending him?

As I said, I gave my interpretation and he's free to correct me.

Saying its "Interpretation" is just a way for you to sneak your own analysis in. If Freedo were being vague, you might have a case. However Freedo has said several very specific very wrong things.

NO it's not. Who is "the government" referring to? Politicians? First, good luck getting politicians to agree on everything. Second, let's pretend that the president, congress, the senate, mayors, governors and all local government officials agreed on one massive policy. Who the hell would implement it? The military and police? Well at that point you're talking about ORDINARY PEOPLE who can choose to simply not adhere to the policies being passed on from the government. They can turn down the money. They don't have to do anything.

Well I was talking about ordinary people. Obviously the statists themselves have to support the state.

But it is possible for everyone other than the king to disagree with the king's decisions. His agents - the police etc - might not give their consent but still perform the tasks anyway because they're being paid, or because they're trapped in a collective action problem.
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Grape
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4/6/2011 5:21:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The psychological nature of how authority and consent work are much more complicated than anyone is making it out to be. It is not a simple matter of the government either acting completely with the will of the people or violently holding them hostage. Anarchists in general tend to greatly oversimplify the issue of how the state is integrated with society and why people obey its orders. "Anarchism and Authority" by Paul McLaughlin discusses this issue fairly well from a leftist-anarchist perspective, but I have yet to find a strong analysis. Rest assured, Freedo is quite obviously mistaken: it takes a very strange idea of the word consent to think that slavery is only the result of the slaves' willingness to be enslaved. They could sit down and stop being slaves, but it's quite clearly not a viable option.