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The Religion of Government

Wallstreetatheist
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9/24/2013 3:54:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Read the entire thing or gtfo. Charleslbinitis time.

"Government" is neither a scientific concept nor a rational sociological construct; nor is it a logical, practical method of human organization and cooperation. The belief in "government" is not based on reason; it is based on faith, In truth, the belief in "government" is a religion, made up of a set of dogmatic teachings, irrational doctrines which fly in the face of both evidence and logic, and which are methodically memorized and repeated by the faithful. Like other religions, the gospel of "government" describes a superhuman, supernatural entity, above mere mortals, which issues commandments to the peasantry, for whom unquestioning obedience is a moral imperative, Disobeying to the commandments ("breaking the law") is viewed as a sin, and the faithful delight in the punishment of the infidels and sinners ("criminals"), while at the same time taking great pride in their own loyalty and humble subservience to their god (as "law-abiding taxpayers"). And while the mortals may humbly beg their lord for favors, and for permission to do certain things, it is considered blasphemous and outrageous for one of the lowly peasants to imagine himself to be fit to decide which of the "government" god's "laws" he should follow and which it is okay for him to ignore. Their mantra is, "You can work to try to change the law, but as long as it's the law, we all have to follow it!"

The religious nature of the belief in "authority" is put on display for all to see whenever people solemnly stand, with their hands upon their hearts, and religiously proclaim their undying faith in, and loyalty to, a flag and a "government" (the "republic"). It rarely occurs to those who recite the Pledge of Allegiance, while feeling deep pride, that what they are actually doing is swearing allegiance to a system of subjugation and authoritarian control. In short, they are promising to do as they are told, and behave as loyal subjects to their masters. Aside from the patently inaccurate phrase at the end about "liberty and justice for all," the entire Pledge is about subservience to the "government" which claims to represent the collective, as if that in itself is some great and noble goal, The Pledge, and the mentality and emotions it is intended to stir up, would apply equally well to any tyrannical regime in history. It is a promise to be obedient and easily controlled, to subordinate oneself to "the republic," rather than a promise to do the right thing, Many other patriotic rituals and songs, as well as the overtly religious reverence given to two pieces of parchment--the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution--also demonstrate that people do not merely view "government" as a practical necessity: they view it as a god, to be praised and worshiped, honored and obeyed.

The main factor distinguishing the belief in "government" from other religions today is that people actually believe in the god called "government," The other gods people claim to believe in, and the churches they attend, are now, by comparison, little more than empty rituals and half-heartedly parroted superstitions. When it comes to their everyday lives, the god that people actually pray to, to save them from misfortune, to smite their enemies, and to shower them with blessings, is "government." It is "government" whose commandments the people most often respect and obey, Whenever a conflict arises between "government" and the teachings of the lesser gods " such as "pay your fair share" (taxation) versus "Thou shalt not steal," or "duty to country" (military service) versus "Thou shalt not murder"" the commands of "government" supersede all the teachings of the other religions. Politicians, the high priests of the church of "government"" the mouthpieces and representatives of "government," who deliver the sacred "law" from on high " even openly declare that it is permissible for the people to practice whatever religion they wish, as long as they do not run afoul of the supreme religion by disobeying "the law"" meaning the dictates of the god called "government."

Perhaps most telling is that if you suggest to the average person that maybe God does not exist, he will likely respond with less emotion and hostility than if you bring up the idea of life without "government." This indicates which religion people are more deeply emotionally attached to, and which religion they actually believe in more firmly. In fact, they believe so deeply in "government" that they do not even recognize it as being a belief at all. The reason so many people respond to the idea of a stateless society ("anarchy") with insults, apocalyptic predictions and emotional tantrums, rather than with calm reasoning, is because their belief in "government" is not the result of careful, rational consideration of evidence and logic. It is, in every way, a religious faith, believed only because of prolonged indoctrination. And there is almost nothing which state-worshipers find more existentially terrifying than contemplating the possibility that "government"--their savior and protector, teacher and master--does not actually exist, and never did.

Many political rituals have overtly religious overtones to them. The grandiose, cathedral-like buildings, the pomp and circumstance at inaugurations and other "government" ceremonies, the traditional costumes and age-old rituals, the way the members of the ruling class are treated and described (e.g., "honorable") , all give such proceedings an air of holiness and reverence, far more indicative of religious rites than of a practical means of collective organization.

It might be nice to have some morally superior, all-powerful deity to protect the innocent and to prevent injustice. And that is what statists hope "government" will be: a wise, unbiased, all-knowing and all-powerful "final decider" that will override and supersede the flawed, shortsighted and selfish whims of man, unerringly dispensing justice and fairness. However, there is no such thing, and can be no such thing, and there are many reasons why it is utterly foolish to look to "government" as the solution to human imperfection. For example, what almost every statist wants is for "government" to enforce objective rules of civilized behavior, More specifically each individual wants his own perception of justice and morality to be enforced by "authority," while failing to realize that the moment there is an "authority," it is no longer up to that individual to decide what counts as moral or just " the "authority" will claim the right to do that for him. And so, over and over again, believers in "authority" have tried to create an all-powerful force for good by anointing some people as rulers, only to quickly learn that once the master is on the throne, he does not care what his slaves were hoping he would do with the power they gave him.

And this has happened to all kinds of statists, with very different beliefs and agendas. Socialists assert that "government" is needed to "fairly" redistribute wealth; Objectivists assert that "government" is needed to protect individual rights; Constitutionalists assert that a "government" is needed to carry out only those tasks listed in the Constitution; believers in democracy assert that "government" is needed to carry out the will of the majority; many Christians assert that "government" is needed to enforce God's laws; and so on. And in every case the people end up disappointed, because the "authority" always changes the plan in order to serve the interests of the people in power. Once a set of rulers are "in charge," what the masses had intended for them to do with their power does not matter. This fact has been demonstrated by every "government" in history, Once the people create a master, tie people, by definition, are no longer in charge.
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Wallstreetatheist
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9/24/2013 3:57:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
To expect otherwise, even without all of the historical examples, is absurd. To expert the master to serve the slave--to expect power to be used solely for the benefit of the one being controlled, not the one in control--is ridiculous. What makes it even more insane is that statists claim that appointing rulers is the only way to overcome the imperfections and untrustworthiness of man. Statists look out at a world full of strangers who have questionable motives and dubious morality, and they are afraid of what some of those people might do. That, in and of itself, is a perfectly reasonable concern. But then, as protection against what some of those people might do, the statists advocate giving some of those same people of questionable virtue a huge amount of power, and societal permission to rule over everyone else, in the vain hope that, by some miracle, those people will happen to decide to use their newfound power only for good. In other words, the statist looks at his fellow man and thinks, "I do not trust you to be my neighbor, but I do trust you to be my master."

Bizarrely, almost every statist admits that politicians are more dishonest, corrupt, conniving and selfish than most people, but still insists that civilization can exist only if those particularly untrustworthy people are given both the power and the right to forcibly control everyone else. Believers in "government" truly believe that the only thing that can keep them safe from the flaws of human nature is taking some of those flawed humans--some of the most flawed, in fact--and appointing them as gods, with the right to dominate all of mankind, in the absurd hope that, if given such tremendous power, such people will use it only for good, And the fact that that has never happened in the history of the world does not stop statists from insisting that it "needs" to happen to ensure peaceful civilization.

(Author's personal note; I say all of this as a former devout statist, who for most of my life not only accepted the self-contradictions and delusional rationalizations underlying the myth of "government," but vehemently spread the mythology myself. I did not escape my own authoritarian indoctrination quickly or comfortably, but let go of the superstition slowly and reluctantly, with much intellectual "kicking and screaming" along the way. I mention this only so that it may be understood that when I refer to the belief in "authority" as utterly irrational and insane, I am attacking my own prior beliefs as much as anyone else's.)

Another way to look at it is that statists worry that different people have different beliefs, different viewpoints, different standards of morality. They express concerns such as "What if there is no government and someone thinks it's okay to kill me and steal my stuff?" Yes, if there are conflicting views--as there always have been and always will be--they can lead to conflict, The authoritarian "solution" is that, instead of everyone deciding for himself what is right and what he should do, there should be a central "authority" that will make one set of rules that will be enforced on everyone. Statists obviously hope that the "authority" will issue and enforce the right rules, but they never explain how or why this would happen. Since the edicts of "government" are written by mere human beings--usually exceptionally power-hungry, corrupt human beings--why should anyone expect their "rules" to be better than the "rules" each individual would choose for himself?

The belief in "government" does not make everyone agree; it only creates an opportunity to drastically escalate personal disagreements into large-scale wars and mass oppression. Nor does having an "authority" settling a dispute do anything to guarantee that the "right" side wins. Yet statists talk as if "government" will be fair, reasonable, and rational in situations where individuals would not be. Again, this demonstrates that believers in "government" imagine "authority" to have superhuman virtues that should be trusted above the virtues of mere mortals. History shows otherwise, A twisted sense of morality in one person, or a few, can result in the murder of one person, or even dozens, but that same twisted sense of morality in just a few people, when they get hold of the machine called "government," can result in the murder of millions. The statist wants his idea of the "good rules" forced on everyone by a central "authority," but has no way to make that happen and no reason to expect that it will happen. In their search for an all-powerful "good guy" to save the day, statists always end up creating all-powerful bad guys. Over and over again, they build giant, unstoppable "government" monsters in the hope that they will defend the innocent, only to find that the monsters become a far greater threat to the innocent than the threats they were created to protect against.

Ironically, what statists actually advocate in their attempts to guarantee justice for all is the legitimization of evil. The truth is that all the belief in "authority" ever does, and all it ever can do, is to introduce more immoral violence into society. This is not an unfortunate coincidence, or the side effect of a basically good idea. It is a truism based upon the nature of the belief in "authority," and this is easy to logically prove.

Source: The Most Dangerous Superstition [http://tinyurl.com...]
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000ike
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9/24/2013 5:47:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
When you said "read the entire thing of gtfo," I thought this would be good...

From a rhetorician's standpoint, the author's opening paragraphs come across as impetuous complaining, he repeats the same thought across several paragraphs, except permuted with different wording, and his hyperbolic language as well as his overbearing tone make this text quite tiresome to read. It should not take 8,000+ characters to analogize religion and the state. I kept waiting for some sort of enlightening critique of government or at least the relative outline of an alternative, but no such thing appeared. The author has written for his own sake out of his own frustration, and has communicated nothing to the reader.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Wallstreetatheist
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9/24/2013 6:41:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 5:47:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
When you said "read the entire thing of gtfo," I thought this would be good...

From a rhetorician's standpoint, the author's opening paragraphs come across as impetuous complaining, he repeats the same thought across several paragraphs, except permuted with different wording, and his hyperbolic language as well as his overbearing tone make this text quite tiresome to read. It should not take 8,000+ characters to analogize religion and the state. I kept waiting for some sort of enlightening critique of government or at least the relative outline of an alternative, but no such thing appeared. The author has written for his own sake out of his own frustration, and has communicated nothing to the reader.

Every logical book will come across the same way to you then. Try reading more passages of this book for enlightenment, the passage I posted was for the comparison only. PDF: http://www.freeyourmindaz.com...
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imabench
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9/24/2013 6:49:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 6:45:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
Nothing brings the boys to the yard quite like starting with "read all or GTFO."

waving around your milkshakes does the trick pretty well
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Contra
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9/24/2013 7:52:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
That was a very insightful post WSA.

However, there are several practical considerations that I have which prevents me from becoming an anarchist:

1. National Defense
2. Worker's Safety
3. Protection of basic rights (I see how they can become abused though through a gov't)
4. How would private money work
5. Protection of copyrights

And I'm unsure about patents, but I'm becoming more against them as time goes by.
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"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
bossyburrito
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9/24/2013 8:19:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Do you consider me to be an anarchist?
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

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Polaris
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9/24/2013 10:47:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 5:47:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
When you said "read the entire thing of gtfo," I thought this would be good...

From a rhetorician's standpoint, the author's opening paragraphs come across as impetuous complaining, he repeats the same thought across several paragraphs, except permuted with different wording, and his hyperbolic language as well as his overbearing tone make this text quite tiresome to read. It should not take 8,000+ characters to analogize religion and the state. I kept waiting for some sort of enlightening critique of government or at least the relative outline of an alternative, but no such thing appeared. The author has written for his own sake out of his own frustration, and has communicated nothing to the reader.

I'd say this is an accurate summary.
Polaris
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9/24/2013 11:23:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 3:54:28 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Read the entire thing or gtfo. Charleslbinitis time.

"Government" is neither a scientific concept nor a rational sociological construct; nor is it a logical, practical method of human organization and cooperation. The belief in "government" is not based on reason; it is based on faith, In truth, the belief in "government" is a religion, made up of a set of dogmatic teachings, irrational doctrines which fly in the face of both evidence and logic, and which are methodically memorized and repeated by the faithful. Like other religions, the gospel of "government" describes a superhuman, supernatural entity, above mere mortals, which issues commandments to the peasantry, for whom unquestioning obedience is a moral imperative, Disobeying to the commandments ("breaking the law") is viewed as a sin, and the faithful delight in the punishment of the infidels and sinners ("criminals"), while at the same time taking great pride in their own loyalty and humble subservience to their god (as "law-abiding taxpayers"). And while the mortals may humbly beg their lord for favors, and for permission to do certain things, it is considered blasphemous and outrageous for one of the lowly peasants to imagine himself to be fit to decide which of the "government" god's "laws" he should follow and which it is okay for him to ignore. Their mantra is, "You can work to try to change the law, but as long as it's the law, we all have to follow it!"

The religious nature of the belief in "authority" is put on display for all to see whenever people solemnly stand, with their hands upon their hearts, and religiously proclaim their undying faith in, and loyalty to, a flag and a "government" (the "republic"). It rarely occurs to those who recite the Pledge of Allegiance, while feeling deep pride, that what they are actually doing is swearing allegiance to a system of subjugation and authoritarian control. In short, they are promising to do as they are told, and behave as loyal subjects to their masters. Aside from the patently inaccurate phrase at the end about "liberty and justice for all," the entire Pledge is about subservience to the "government" which claims to represent the collective, as if that in itself is some great and noble goal, The Pledge, and the mentality and emotions it is intended to stir up, would apply equally well to any tyrannical regime in history. It is a promise to be obedient and easily controlled, to subordinate oneself to "the republic," rather than a promise to do the right thing, Many other patriotic rituals and songs, as well as the overtly religious reverence given to two pieces of parchment--the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution--also demonstrate that people do not merely view "government" as a practical necessity: they view it as a god, to be praised and worshiped, honored and obeyed.

The main factor distinguishing the belief in "government" from other religions today is that people actually believe in the god called "government," The other gods people claim to believe in, and the churches they attend, are now, by comparison, little more than empty rituals and half-heartedly parroted superstitions. When it comes to their everyday lives, the god that people actually pray to, to save them from misfortune, to smite their enemies, and to shower them with blessings, is "government." It is "government" whose commandments the people most often respect and obey, Whenever a conflict arises between "government" and the teachings of the lesser gods " such as "pay your fair share" (taxation) versus "Thou shalt not steal," or "duty to country" (military service) versus "Thou shalt not murder"" the commands of "government" supersede all the teachings of the other religions. Politicians, the high priests of the church of "government"" the mouthpieces and representatives of "government," who deliver the sacred "law" from on high " even openly declare that it is permissible for the people to practice whatever religion they wish, as long as they do not run afoul of the supreme religion by disobeying "the law"" meaning the dictates of the god called "government."

Perhaps most telling is that if you suggest to the average person that maybe God does not exist, he will likely respond with less emotion and hostility than if you bring up the idea of life without "government." This indicates which religion people are more deeply emotionally attached to, and which religion they actually believe in more firmly. In fact, they believe so deeply in "government" that they do not even recognize it as being a belief at all. The reason so many people respond to the idea of a stateless society ("anarchy") with insults, apocalyptic predictions and emotional tantrums, rather than with calm reasoning, is because their belief in "government" is not the result of careful, rational consideration of evidence and logic. It is, in every way, a religious faith, believed only because of prolonged indoctrination. And there is almost nothing which state-worshipers find more existentially terrifying than contemplating the possibility that "government"--their savior and protector, teacher and master--does not actually exist, and never did.

Many political rituals have overtly religious overtones to them. The grandiose, cathedral-like buildings, the pomp and circumstance at inaugurations and other "government" ceremonies, the traditional costumes and age-old rituals, the way the members of the ruling class are treated and described (e.g., "honorable") , all give such proceedings an air of holiness and reverence, far more indicative of religious rites than of a practical means of collective organization.

It might be nice to have some morally superior, all-powerful deity to protect the innocent and to prevent injustice. And that is what statists hope "government" will be: a wise, unbiased, all-knowing and all-powerful "final decider" that will override and supersede the flawed, shortsighted and selfish whims of man, unerringly dispensing justice and fairness. However, there is no such thing, and can be no such thing, and there are many reasons why it is utterly foolish to look to "government" as the solution to human imperfection. For example, what almost every statist wants is for "government" to enforce objective rules of civilized behavior, More specifically each individual wants his own perception of justice and morality to be enforced by "authority," while failing to realize that the moment there is an "authority," it is no longer up to that individual to decide what counts as moral or just " the "authority" will claim the right to do that for him. And so, over and over again, believers in "authority" have tried to create an all-powerful force for good by anointing some people as rulers, only to quickly learn that once the master is on the throne, he does not care what his slaves were hoping he would do with the power they gave him.

The overuse (and misuse) of sneer quotes in this essay is really quite jarring.
Wallstreetatheist
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9/24/2013 11:36:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 8:19:40 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Do you consider me to be an anarchist?

Do you believe human beings in a particular geographical area would be better off without a monopoly on the initiation of violence?
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bossyburrito
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9/25/2013 12:45:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 11:36:28 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 9/24/2013 8:19:40 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Do you consider me to be an anarchist?

Do you believe human beings in a particular geographical area would be better off without a monopoly on the initiation of violence?

Define "monopoly".
#UnbanTheMadman

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Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
dylancatlow
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9/25/2013 9:35:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
This guy isn't positing anything new. His naive and ridiculous arguments will convince only those who already endorse its conclusion. If physical compulsion is evil when initiated by the government, so too is it when initiated by an individual. A proper government is a system devises to retaliate with physical force against those who initiate its use, or prevent those who would otherwise, and to establish with objective laws what 'physical force' entails. Those who reject this sort of government on the basis that it has no right to operate in the first place condone a criminal's 'right' to murder and his victim's 'right' to be killed. Anarchism is a contradictory floating abstraction that rejects the system best suited to achieve what it holds as the ideal.
sdavio
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9/25/2013 10:27:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2013 9:35:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
This guy isn't positing anything new. His naive and ridiculous arguments will convince only those who already endorse its conclusion. If physical compulsion is evil when initiated by the government, so too is it when initiated by an individual. A proper government is a system devises to retaliate with physical force against those who initiate its use, or prevent those who would otherwise, and to establish with objective laws what 'physical force' entails. Those who reject this sort of government on the basis that it has no right to operate in the first place condone a criminal's 'right' to murder and his victim's 'right' to be killed. Anarchism is a contradictory floating abstraction that rejects the system best suited to achieve what it holds as the ideal.

Isn't a society where government is reduced to those roles anarcho-capitalist?
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Wallstreetatheist
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9/25/2013 2:50:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2013 12:45:48 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 9/24/2013 11:36:28 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 9/24/2013 8:19:40 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Do you consider me to be an anarchist?

Do you believe human beings in a particular geographical area would be better off without a monopoly on the initiation of violence?

Define "monopoly".

Monopoly: n. a board game in which players engage in simulated property and financial dealings using imitation money. It was invented in the US and the name was coined by Charles Darrow c. 1935.
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Wallstreetatheist
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9/25/2013 3:29:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 7:52:30 PM, Contra wrote:
That was a very insightful post WSA.

However, there are several practical considerations that I have which prevents me from becoming an anarchist:

1. National Defense
2. Worker's Safety
3. Protection of basic rights (I see how they can become abused though through a gov't)
4. How would private money work
5. Protection of copyrights

And I'm unsure about patents, but I'm becoming more against them as time goes by.

The important thing to remember, regardless of how well voluntarists can sketch their best guess as to how this or that would function in a stateless society, is that there is no social problem that can be solved by granting a single entity a monopoly right to initiate violence. Like some of the smartest people on DDO have alluded to, there are some great theories out there about how this or that COULD work, but if we claimed to have the objectively-best way to do X Y and Z, that wouldn't be an argument for anarchism at all...it'd be an argument for central planning / statism, with us as the dictators. But "central planning doesn't work" is one of the primary arguments against the State.

How will all this stuff work in a stateless society is an interesting question, but it's very much secondary to the primary thrust of voluntarism - the notion that initiating violence is immoral, and that you can't solve social problems by initiating violence.
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bossyburrito
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9/25/2013 5:37:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2013 3:29:37 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 9/24/2013 7:52:30 PM, Contra wrote:
That was a very insightful post WSA.

However, there are several practical considerations that I have which prevents me from becoming an anarchist:

1. National Defense
2. Worker's Safety
3. Protection of basic rights (I see how they can become abused though through a gov't)
4. How would private money work
5. Protection of copyrights

And I'm unsure about patents, but I'm becoming more against them as time goes by.

The important thing to remember, regardless of how well voluntarists can sketch their best guess as to how this or that would function in a stateless society, is that there is no social problem that can be solved by granting a single entity a monopoly right to initiate violence. Like some of the smartest people on DDO have alluded to, there are some great theories out there about how this or that COULD work, but if we claimed to have the objectively-best way to do X Y and Z, that wouldn't be an argument for anarchism at all...it'd be an argument for central planning / statism, with us as the dictators. But "central planning doesn't work" is one of the primary arguments against the State.

How will all this stuff work in a stateless society is an interesting question, but it's very much secondary to the primary thrust of voluntarism - the notion that initiating violence is immoral, and that you can't solve social problems by initiating violence.

You hate quoting sources, don't you.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
bossyburrito
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9/25/2013 5:43:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2013 9:35:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
This guy isn't positing anything new. His naive and ridiculous arguments will convince only those who already endorse its conclusion. If physical compulsion is evil when initiated by the government, so too is it when initiated by an individual. A proper government is a system devises to retaliate with physical force against those who initiate its use, or prevent those who would otherwise, and to establish with objective laws what 'physical force' entails. Those who reject this sort of government on the basis that it has no right to operate in the first place condone a criminal's 'right' to murder and his victim's 'right' to be killed. Anarchism is a contradictory floating abstraction that rejects the system best suited to achieve what it holds as the ideal.

Yes, but if a government is voluntarily funded, how do you distinguish it from any other possible private defense group?
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Wallstreetatheist
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9/25/2013 6:43:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2013 5:37:35 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
You hate quoting sources, don't you.

If you look at all of my posts for the past few months, I quote sources. I quote the source for this OP in post #2. My most recent OP is here: http://www.debate.org.... I quoted the source as well. In this OP, the link is the point of the thread: http://www.debate.org....
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Cody_Franklin
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9/26/2013 1:48:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think you're pointing to a phenomenon entangled somewhat with theology--indeed, that line of thought called Political Theology (after which there is even a journal so-named) dedicates itself to the investigation of the interaction of political and theological concepts--one could consider, for example, the difference between sovereignty and government, which may be likened to the historical division between, on the one hand, the existence and reign of God, and, on the other, the economic, governmental structure of the church (which term, economy, stems from an older Greek word, oikonomia, referring to the administration and organization both of persons and material things--this can be traced further to the terms oikos, which designates the household, and nomos, meaning "law").

What I think is problematic, however, is that you see similar phenomena and, as a consequence, move too quickly to draw an identity. Religious praise may, indeed, be of the same species as worship of government, but this does not rule out the possibility of a third, external thing in which both phenomena find their origin. Consider, for example, the concept of liturgy--contemporarily, we think of liturgy merely as a kind of ritual formalism, when, in fact, its etymological history offers something which, though similar, is more complicated respective of the distinction between politics and religion. As with economy, liturgy, too, derives from the Greek, leitourgia, and refers to a public service or tribute. Though, again, this is often associated with the services and sacraments of the Church, liturgy actually finds its roots in public services performed for the polis, the representative case of which is the relation between Athens and its citizens (particularly those who were wealthy, given the opulent displays, e,g., staging choruses, of which forms these services often assumed). Aristotle, in 1309b of the Politics, references, with some indignation, precisely these displays:

"In democracies, the rich should be spared and not have their property or their incomes redivided [for distribution to the poor]. They should also be prohibited from spending money on expensive but useless sponsorships of public occasions (liturgies) such as leading choral groups for musical and dramatic festivals or officiating at torch races, even if they want to pay for such sponsorships." [http://www.stoa.org...]

One might even say, in the context of your claim about the religiosity of appreciation for the state, that it is not politics which are religious, but religion which finds many of its conceptual tools in classical political practice, or, more accurately, that the liturgical sacralization of each is indicative of some earlier, fundamental indistinction between the two which later gave birth to religious and secular children. Indeed, even the liturgical vestments worn by the clergy were not adopted until quite some time after the adoption by the earliest monastic orders (dating to the days of Pachomius and Basil)--indeed, not until some four or five hundred years later, pending the arrival of noted liturgists like Amalarius. One might rightly point to that most primordial liturgical practice, the public reading of excerpts of Scripture, but even this finds its counterpart in the liturgical practice of law, according to which, in both cases, the liturgy finds its efficacy not only in its continued reading and internal articulation, but in its operation as such, in which, as in the clergy's performance of sacraments, the efficacy of the act is bound inextricably with its execution. Such is why Magister Vacarius--the first clerical teacher to propagate the Codex Justinianus,--can refer to the priesthood as merely a matter of law.

Moreover, in contemporary democratic societies, I think what is closer to the case is precisely the inverse: in much the same way there is a division between God's reign as sovereign and his government of the world through the Church and the Economy of Salvation, there is also a difference for ordinary power, particularly salient in the democracies, between the sovereignty of an abstracted body politic and the governmental structure which administrates in its stead (respecting this, Rousseau's commentary on the impossibility of a perpetual, united public assembly is instructive). We, on this view, are not the peasants, but think ourselves each a part of God. It is only in this context that we can make sense of the incessant, conflicting demands made of government. These are neither pleas nor prayers, but, in a sense, divided commandments executed by an imperfect ministry. That we are placed at the same time in the position of performing various political liturgies and made subjects just as much as sovereigns is, of course, among the stranger paradoxes of representative democracy. We are, in many ways, like a muted God, our collective will interpreted by ministers who, confused by the cacophony of divine voices, shut out God so they might do our will, A God incarnated mortally with needs whose object becomes the scientific focus of temporal power.

I say all this to indicate, however, that I think this original human experience, which gives birth to the experiences both of religion and of law, and which manifests in liturgies of different kinds (in particular, in those liturgical practices characterized by their performative efficacy), is an experience of the complete non-correspondence of words and states of affairs, or, more appropriately, an experience of the futility of human language. It is from this experience that there can result institutions like the oath and the vow, which, respectively, attempt to tie words to truth and to the objects of promises, or, later, religion and law, in which elaborate liturgies prescribe precise readings, formulas, practices, and, above all, their respective norms, permitting as a consequence, with particular significance in politics, the governance of sets of empty words (their only contribution and substance their own operational efficacy, like the brute operation of law) over life.
Wallstreetatheist
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9/26/2013 2:45:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 7:52:30 PM, Contra wrote:
That was a very insightful post WSA.

However, there are several practical considerations that I have which prevents me from becoming an anarchist:

1. National Defense

What would be the benefit of invading a region populated by well-armed people with skilled private defense organizations who won't submit to your rule?

2. Worker's Safety

Worker safety trends were not affected in any way by OSHA or other legislation. Check the history: Trends were in place, laws were passed, and the continued trend was attributed to the laws. That is a best-case scenario for government intervention. Usually the positive trends stagnate or reverse post-legislation.

3. Protection of basic rights (I see how they can become abused though through a gov't)

Government exists only through violation of rights, and cannot protect that which it violates. Decentralized options where people can choose through the market will allow innovation and progress beyond anything I could possibly suggest, because all of us are smarter than any one of us.

4. How would private money work

Just like government money, only you can choose whether you are willing to accept it, and you aren't required to use inflationary monopolist money.

5. Protection of copyrights

Intellectual Property (IP) isn't property, and no one has any right to claim copyright protections. IP laws are not protections, they are aggression against the real property rights of other people in threatening harm if they use their own property in a non-aggressive way you find objectionable. Non-disclosure agreements and private contracts with specific enforcement clauses may be used by some people, but consider this example: Right now, Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, etc. are spending vast sums of money on IP lawyers and wasting resources fighting over who "owns" ideas. If they would instead agree to drop these lawsuits, each company would benefit from access to each other company's inventions, costs would drop, first-to-market would offer massive rewards for continued innovation, and we would see an explosion in technological progress.

I decided to respond to each.
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Sidewalker
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9/26/2013 4:37:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
When they make the movie it should be called "The Bloviator".
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
dylancatlow
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9/26/2013 8:27:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2013 5:43:54 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 9/25/2013 9:35:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
This guy isn't positing anything new. His naive and ridiculous arguments will convince only those who already endorse its conclusion. If physical compulsion is evil when initiated by the government, so too is it when initiated by an individual. A proper government is a system devises to retaliate with physical force against those who initiate its use, or prevent those who would otherwise, and to establish with objective laws what 'physical force' entails. Those who reject this sort of government on the basis that it has no right to operate in the first place condone a criminal's 'right' to murder and his victim's 'right' to be killed. Anarchism is a contradictory floating abstraction that rejects the system best suited to achieve what it holds as the ideal.

Yes, but if a government is voluntarily funded, how do you distinguish it from any other possible private defense group?

The same way countries do.
dylancatlow
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9/26/2013 8:35:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/25/2013 10:27:11 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 9/25/2013 9:35:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
This guy isn't positing anything new. His naive and ridiculous arguments will convince only those who already endorse its conclusion. If physical compulsion is evil when initiated by the government, so too is it when initiated by an individual. A proper government is a system devises to retaliate with physical force against those who initiate its use, or prevent those who would otherwise, and to establish with objective laws what 'physical force' entails. Those who reject this sort of government on the basis that it has no right to operate in the first place condone a criminal's 'right' to murder and his victim's 'right' to be killed. Anarchism is a contradictory floating abstraction that rejects the system best suited to achieve what it holds as the ideal.

Isn't a society where government is reduced to those roles anarcho-capitalist?

I don't support the absurd notion of 'competing governments.'
Stephen_Hawkins
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9/26/2013 8:47:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/24/2013 5:47:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
When you said "read the entire thing of gtfo," I thought this would be good...

From a rhetorician's standpoint, the author's opening paragraphs come across as impetuous complaining, he repeats the same thought across several paragraphs, except permuted with different wording, and his hyperbolic language as well as his overbearing tone make this text quite tiresome to read. It should not take 8,000+ characters to analogize religion and the state. I kept waiting for some sort of enlightening critique of government or at least the relative outline of an alternative, but no such thing appeared. The author has written for his own sake out of his own frustration, and has communicated nothing to the reader.

This, and a lot of what Cody said, and religion gets many of its ideas from politics (and not the other way around). Frankly, what Cody posts ought to be automatically uploaded to a blog to document what he says as it is always thought through and with much time and energy spent giving a very insightful piece.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
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9/26/2013 9:01:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/26/2013 2:45:04 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 9/24/2013 7:52:30 PM, Contra wrote:
That was a very insightful post WSA.

However, there are several practical considerations that I have which prevents me from becoming an anarchist:

1. National Defense

What would be the benefit of invading a region populated by well-armed people with skilled private defense organizations who won't submit to your rule?

Conquest, looting, slaves, glory of the victory in war, protection of economic interests... the list goes on. Many anarchist countries failed for this precise reason: other groups (which were coincidentally governments, though even in an anarchist world collectives would still exist able to wage a synonym of war) invaded, stole wealth, and either occupied until submission or left.

Moreover, to claim people will never submit is not just empirically false but rationally utopian. To say that you cannot imagine a situation where you'd do what someone else says under threat of violence surely cannot be what you meant, yet this is of course a situation where someone would submit to being ruled.

2. Worker's Safety

Worker safety trends were not affected in any way by OSHA or other legislation. Check the history: Trends were in place, laws were passed, and the continued trend was attributed to the laws. That is a best-case scenario for government intervention. Usually the positive trends stagnate or reverse post-legislation.

I assume you have evidence for this, but here's a few collated by Prospect on the correlation between laws (and unions, due to the source) and lower injury rates:

http://www.prospect.org.uk...

Just to point out that I really see no reason to believe what has been said here, as rationally again laws that prevent workplace injury can be reasonably deduced to prevent workplace injury.

3. Protection of basic rights (I see how they can become abused though through a gov't)

Government exists only through violation of rights, and cannot protect that which it violates.

Nice bit of rhetoric, but I don't CONSENT to using it to replace an actual argument.

Decentralized options where people can choose through the market will allow innovation and progress beyond anything I could possibly suggest, because all of us are smarter than any one of us.

And the market is stupider than any individual! The difference being the market isn't a person nor cares what we desire, but only how we act, which makes it similar to evolution: though if we all played perfectly fair and predictably it'd work towards its own ends (good or no), we can still fiddle and mess around with the system to pervert it to our own goals (eugenics in the case of evolution ; monopolies in the case of the market).

4. How would private money work

Just like government money, only you can choose whether you are willing to accept it, and you aren't required to use inflationary monopolist money.

Just inflationary money in general with no fixed or agreed price that changes so much and has no stability that I'll start trading in gold and chickens for ease.

5. Protection of copyrights

Intellectual Property (IP) isn't property, and no one has any right to claim copyright protections. IP laws are not protections, they are aggression against the real property rights of other people in threatening harm if they use their own property in a non-aggressive way you find objectionable. Non-disclosure agreements and private contracts with specific enforcement clauses may be used by some people, but consider this example: Right now, Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, etc. are spending vast sums of money on IP lawyers and wasting resources fighting over who "owns" ideas. If they would instead agree to drop these lawsuits, each company would benefit from access to each other company's inventions, costs would drop, first-to-market would offer massive rewards for continued innovation, and we would see an explosion in technological progress.

If I had a choice between spending $100,000,000 on inventing a new microchip, or spending $1,000,000 on spying on every competitor to steal their ideas (remember: the stealing of ideas is OK as intellectual property isn't property), what would be most rational? So when every company does this, they receive no benefit, but if a single company does not, then the company which spends 100 million loses massively (and probably goes bankrupt in the process but hey ho).

If I was in charge of a company knowing this, I'd begin setting up some trade leagues (a union for companies) to protect individual ideas, spend loads of money in defending my ideas from being stolen, and then and only then start researching very slowly and carefully, spending three times as much money in the process but actually being protected. I'd lose out massively, but I don't have some form of institution to protect my right to my own ideas.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
sdavio
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9/26/2013 9:05:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/26/2013 8:35:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 9/25/2013 10:27:11 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 9/25/2013 9:35:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
This guy isn't positing anything new. His naive and ridiculous arguments will convince only those who already endorse its conclusion. If physical compulsion is evil when initiated by the government, so too is it when initiated by an individual. A proper government is a system devises to retaliate with physical force against those who initiate its use, or prevent those who would otherwise, and to establish with objective laws what 'physical force' entails. Those who reject this sort of government on the basis that it has no right to operate in the first place condone a criminal's 'right' to murder and his victim's 'right' to be killed. Anarchism is a contradictory floating abstraction that rejects the system best suited to achieve what it holds as the ideal.

Isn't a society where government is reduced to those roles anarcho-capitalist?

I don't support the absurd notion of 'competing governments.'

There already are competing governments.

Besides, how should a government keep out competition without initiating force?
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
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9/26/2013 9:12:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/26/2013 9:05:16 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 9/26/2013 8:35:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 9/25/2013 10:27:11 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 9/25/2013 9:35:04 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
This guy isn't positing anything new. His naive and ridiculous arguments will convince only those who already endorse its conclusion. If physical compulsion is evil when initiated by the government, so too is it when initiated by an individual. A proper government is a system devises to retaliate with physical force against those who initiate its use, or prevent those who would otherwise, and to establish with objective laws what 'physical force' entails. Those who reject this sort of government on the basis that it has no right to operate in the first place condone a criminal's 'right' to murder and his victim's 'right' to be killed. Anarchism is a contradictory floating abstraction that rejects the system best suited to achieve what it holds as the ideal.

Isn't a society where government is reduced to those roles anarcho-capitalist?

I don't support the absurd notion of 'competing governments.'

There already are competing governments.

Besides, how should a government keep out competition without initiating force?

Anyone who establishes a working government would assume the role of an instigator of force, which cannot be left to the discretion of an individual whose intentions are unknown. And they aren't competing governments in the sense your using. A government is an organized system of protection over a geographical area whose borders protect it from other such systems. The point of a government is the protection from physical force, which would be impossible if neighbors were 'customers' of different governments.
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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9/26/2013 9:40:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/26/2013 9:01:23 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 9/26/2013 2:45:04 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 9/24/2013 7:52:30 PM, Contra wrote:
That was a very insightful post WSA.

However, there are several practical considerations that I have which prevents me from becoming an anarchist:

1. National Defense

What would be the benefit of invading a region populated by well-armed people with skilled private defense organizations who won't submit to your rule?

Conquest, looting, slaves, glory of the victory in war, protection of economic interests... the list goes on. Many anarchist countries failed for this precise reason: other groups (which were coincidentally governments, though even in an anarchist world collectives would still exist able to wage a synonym of war) invaded, stole wealth, and either occupied until submission or left.

Moreover, to claim people will never submit is not just empirically false but rationally utopian. To say that you cannot imagine a situation where you'd do what someone else says under threat of violence surely cannot be what you meant, yet this is of course a situation where someone would submit to being ruled.

2. Worker's Safety

Worker safety trends were not affected in any way by OSHA or other legislation. Check the history: Trends were in place, laws were passed, and the continued trend was attributed to the laws. That is a best-case scenario for government intervention. Usually the positive trends stagnate or reverse post-legislation.

I assume you have evidence for this, but here's a few collated by Prospect on the correlation between laws (and unions, due to the source) and lower injury rates:

http://www.prospect.org.uk...

Just to point out that I really see no reason to believe what has been said here, as rationally again laws that prevent workplace injury can be reasonably deduced to prevent workplace injury.

3. Protection of basic rights (I see how they can become abused though through a gov't)

Government exists only through violation of rights, and cannot protect that which it violates.

Nice bit of rhetoric, but I don't CONSENT to using it to replace an actual argument.

Decentralized options where people can choose through the market will allow innovation and progress beyond anything I could possibly suggest, because all of us are smarter than any one of us.

And the market is stupider than any individual! The difference being the market isn't a person nor cares what we desire, but only how we act, which makes it similar to evolution: though if we all played perfectly fair and predictably it'd work towards its own ends (good or no), we can still fiddle and mess around with the system to pervert it to our own goals (eugenics in the case of evolution ; monopolies in the case of the market).

4. How would private money work

Just like government money, only you can choose whether you are willing to accept it, and you aren't required to use inflationary monopolist money.

Just inflationary money in general with no fixed or agreed price that changes so much and has no stability that I'll start trading in gold and chickens for ease.

5. Protection of copyrights

Intellectual Property (IP) isn't property, and no one has any right to claim copyright protections. IP laws are not protections, they are aggression against the real property rights of other people in threatening harm if they use their own property in a non-aggressive way you find objectionable. Non-disclosure agreements and private contracts with specific enforcement clauses may be used by some people, but consider this example: Right now, Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, etc. are spending vast sums of money on IP lawyers and wasting resources fighting over who "owns" ideas. If they would instead agree to drop these lawsuits, each company would benefit from access to each other company's inventions, costs would drop, first-to-market would offer massive rewards for continued innovation, and we would see an explosion in technological progress.

If I had a choice between spending $100,000,000 on inventing a new microchip, or spending $1,000,000 on spying on every competitor to steal their ideas (remember: the stealing of ideas is OK as intellectual property isn't property), what would be most rational? So when every company does this, they receive no benefit, but if a single company does not, then the company which spends 100 million loses massively (and probably goes bankrupt in the process but hey ho).

If I was in charge of a company knowing this, I'd begin setting up some trade leagues (a union for companies) to protect individual ideas, spend loads of money in defending my ideas from being stolen, and then and only then start researching very slowly and carefully, spending three times as much money in the process but actually being protected. I'd lose out massively, but I don't have some form of institution to protect my right to my own ideas.
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