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Old 12-27-2010, 12:45 PM   #51 (permalink)
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An interesting topic indeed. I don't consider myself an anarchist, but a libertarian (which is not a very popular thing to be in Sweden, I tell you), which bears many resemblances with an anarchist bar the existence of the state. That, however, makes the difference between night and day.

First of all, let's not forget that political systems eventually apply to the practice of social manners and not ethics and/or morals of the individual. Why did I emphasize this? Because under the banner of anarchy lies a multitude of possible systems of interpersonal relations, ranging from anarcho-capitalism to mutualism to individual anarchy to social anarchism, all claiming to be the one "true" kind of anarchy. As has already been pointed out, the very term refers to the absence of the state and one assumption or another that the human is capable of "sorting things out on her own". This kind of argument, however, has nothing to do with the justification or rebuttal of anarcy according to its own standards.

What we need to examine is the necessity of the state as an institution, as well as the justification of its scope. The absence of a control function is arbirtrary; If man doesn't need to be prohibited there is no need for prohibition. (May seem banally self-evident, but I've experienced enough arguments through the years to feel the need of pointing that out). So the next question would be wether or not there is ever any need for prohibiting man from doing whatever he wants. Simply put I'd say that as soon as you're practicing your freedom to do what you want so far that it's intruding on another man's equal freedom to do what he wants, that's where you're freedom ends. I think that the no-harm-principle can be accepted by most people as it solves the dilemma of the social darwinism many people - righfully - fear would be the result of lacking a system of violence prohibition.

Of course, many anarchists promote free-market juridical instances, but I believe that such systems undermine the very premise under which everyone are free to act albeit under the prohibition of inflicting compulsion/threat/violence upon others. That is, it would mean the juridical system would be operating on an arbirtary basis (much like it does in basically all countries today, what with all the special interest-oriented legislations and all). Well, the argument goes, if you're not happy with the judgement of one juridical institution then you're free to turn to another for a different review. But that doesn't solve the arbitrary problem; Juridical decisions are not for making people feeling satisfied, they are for identifying crime, compensating the victims of it and hopefully reduce further crime by showcasing the consequences. And I'm yet to read/hear a justified argument from any anarchist how the actual system of jurisdiction is supposed to work in order to preserve the freedom of the individual.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:03 AM   #52 (permalink)
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the next question would be wether or not there is ever any need for prohibiting man from doing whatever he wants.
Maybe the question should be whether or not using a very organized forceful group of people (government) to inflict their will on man is better than not prohibiting man from doing whatever he wants.

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And I'm yet to read/hear a justified argument from any anarchist how the actual system of jurisdiction is supposed to work in order to preserve the freedom of the individual.
Well, I'm a kind of tribal anarchist, I guess. But to me, at this point, it doesn't matter what you believe in when there's 7 billion people on the planet. With all the people we have now, you can't take a piss without tresspassing on another. So step one of my never to happen utopia (that would admittedly probably turn to **** in actual practice anyway) is to convince people of the obvious truth that there are way too many of us and then to start on a cooperative way to reduce the world's population to a small fraction of what it is now. I think 500 million might be low enough. This might not answer your question completely because the issue of the victimized individual still comes into play. But with more elbow room, way more elbow room, humanity could spread out more allowing people more freedom to act before it becomes a tresspass. With regards to straight out exploitation of the individual, well, living in Sweden you may have some reason to believe that this is something that government is effective at preventing. In much of the world there is no force more effective at destroying the rights of the individual through violence than the current government.

I do admit that at this point I fear my neighbors as much as the police. So besides lowering the world's population, in order for anarchy to work people need to learn how to behave. Mankind is going to have to find a way to start weeding out undesirables. At this point, it seems obvious to me that it's the least desirable people of all who are breeding the most. Maybe lettting this planet go all the down the toilet is better than the measures it would take to prevent it.
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:09 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Maybe the question should be whether or not using a very organized forceful group of people (government) to inflict their will on man is better than not prohibiting man from doing whatever he wants.
You mean that the question is between using or not using initial brute force upon man? The answer to that is the underlying premise of my whole entry above.

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Well, I'm a kind of tribal anarchist, I guess. But to me, at this point, it doesn't matter what you believe in when there's 7 billion people on the planet. With all the people we have now, you can't take a piss without tresspassing on another.
I take several pisses every day without disturbing anyone and his grandma, but I think I see what you're hinting at. The limitations of everyman's freedom due to other people's presence? Well, that's what creates the need of an underlying moral system. On a desert island on which you're alone there is neither any need nor any possibility to exercise moral.

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So step one of my never to happen utopia (that would admittedly probably turn to **** in actual practice anyway) is to convince people of the obvious truth that there are way too many of us and then to start on a cooperative way to reduce the world's population to a small fraction of what it is now. I think 500 million might be low enough.
How did you reach that number? How many is too many? According to what and who?

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This might not answer your question completely because the issue of the victimized individual still comes into play. But with more elbow room, way more elbow room, humanity could spread out more allowing people more freedom to act before it becomes a tresspass.
What exactly do you consider trespass?

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With regards to straight out exploitation of the individual, well, living in Sweden you may have some reason to believe that this is something that government is effective at preventing. In much of the world there is no force more effective at destroying the rights of the individual through violence than the current government.
This I am actually glad that you brought up.

Living in Sweden, I have much reason to believe that the one thing government - regardless of intentions - is effective at is the exploitation of the individual. The big welfare state is more or less embedded in the bedrock up here and in many, if not most, people's minds it's taken for granted as a guarantee for the fulfilling of "public needs". That's why so many screams out loud when, after much ado, any state company or institution is privatized or a certain part of the market deregulated, because people are lulled to believe that some things "just has to be run by the state".

That is a discussion all in itself but what you're pointing out in the last sentence is definitely correct, regardless of what kind of extented government we're looking at. Bear in mind that the kind of governmental control I'm referring to in my original post is a night watchman state and not a welfare state of the swedish kind.

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I do admit that at this point I fear my neighbors as much as the police. So besides lowering the world's population, in order for anarchy to work people need to learn how to behave. Mankind is going to have to find a way to start weeding out undesirables. At this point, it seems obvious to me that it's the least desirable people of all who are breeding the most. Maybe lettting this planet go all the down the toilet is better than the measures it would take to prevent it.
If you're actually serious in your views of regarding some people undesireable, then I'd like to know what people you're primarily referring to and for whom they are undesireable.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #54 (permalink)
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no-harm-principle
There are two problems with the no-harm principle:

1. It ignores *systemic* harm. In a capitalist society, billions of people live in poverty "naturally". You cannot point to someone and say "this person is causing the poverty", but the poverty is inherent in the system. The no-harm principle does nothing to alleviate this.

2. It does not go far enough. Ask ourselves - what are our ethical obligations? I would argue they are primarily A. Survival of the species and B. Well-being of the species. Plenty of actions can occur which threaten both of these goals which are not prohibited by the "no-harm" principle. Under the no-harm principle, if I witness a mugger stab someone in the chest, I have no moral obligation to come to their aid, call an ambulance, etc. This does not seem reasonable to me.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:56 PM   #55 (permalink)
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How did you reach that number? How many is too many? According to what and who?
Well, it would be nice if people could limit their presence to a single continent. 50 million would still be, obviously, 50 million people cities so I could go with that number. It's just from me imagining what kind of planet I wish I lived in. Less is more, that's for sure.

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What exactly do you consider trespass?
One example is driving a car.

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If you're actually serious in your views of regarding some people undesireable, then I'd like to know what people you're primarily referring to and for whom they are undesireable.
For starters, people who have children and don't care for them. Which is something like 80% of American men.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:07 PM   #56 (permalink)
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There are two problems with the no-harm principle:

1. It ignores *systemic* harm. In a capitalist society, billions of people live in poverty "naturally". You cannot point to someone and say "this person is causing the poverty", but the poverty is inherent in the system. The no-harm principle does nothing to alleviate this.
Not in itself it doesn't, but that's just overlooking the cause of poverty. Consider what 'poverty' is; Lack of wealth. In a capitalist system, i.e. a non-interventional economy, resources are allocated where they are needed and not where politicians decide them to be. One thing the poorest countries in the world today, mainly in Africa, have in common is lack of property rights and isolation against the rest of the world as well as corruption among the politicians in said countries.

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2. It does not go far enough. Ask ourselves - what are our ethical obligations? I would argue they are primarily A. Survival of the species and B. Well-being of the species.
In other words, a sacrifice of the individual for a greater cause? If that's what you're proposing I'm simply gonna claim it to be plain wrong and thus not to be taken into account.

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Plenty of actions can occur which threaten both of these goals which are not prohibited by the "no-harm" principle. Under the no-harm principle, if I witness a mugger stab someone in the chest, I have no moral obligation to come to their aid, call an ambulance, etc. This does not seem reasonable to me.
Noone is obliged to come to his/her aid, correct, but if such was the case then it would be necessary to send someone to point a gun at your head in order to force you to take action. That in turn does not seem reasonable to me.

However, you remark implies that you yourself would have no problem in coming to his/her aid voluntarily so the moral implication lies within you and noone else.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:14 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Well, it would be nice if people could limit their presence to a single continent. 50 million would still be, obviously, 50 million people cities so I could go with that number. It's just from me imagining what kind of planet I wish I lived in. Less is more, that's for sure.
You didn't answer any of my questions. "Wouldn't it be nice" is a great song but not a great argument.

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One example is driving a car.
Do elaborate.

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For starters, people who have children and don't care for them. Which is something like 80% of American men.
So your vision includes the execution of 80% of all american men? I'm forced to ask: Are you a utilitarian nazi?
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Old 12-28-2010, 03:59 PM   #58 (permalink)
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His vision includes execution of an awful lot more people than that.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:57 PM   #59 (permalink)
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You didn't answer any of my questions. "Wouldn't it be nice" is a great song but not a great argument.



Do elaborate.



So your vision includes the execution of 80% of all american men? I'm forced to ask: Are you a utilitarian nazi?

You asked how I came up with 500 million. I'm telling you I just pulled it out of my ass. I'm not trying to win any argument. I know my ideas are stupid bs that will never happen. But I do have some kind of idea of what would need to be done to make this world one worth living in to me.

I need to elaborate on why driving a car is a trespass on others? I don't feel comfortable playing checkers on the freeway.

What's a 'utilitarian nazi'? I don't have anything against Jews if that's what you mean. If I were to generalize based on personal experience then Jews would have to be among my favorite people. I think it's sad the ones who actually believe in their fantasyland mythology but I don't hate them for it.
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His vision includes execution of an awful lot more people than that
.

I don't support executing anybody. I just wish I could wish them away. Executions would be ugly. Plus, I probably wouldn't want to live in a world with someone like me if I were someone else. I just think step one is to admit that there's too many people and then maybe we can think of sane and civilized ways of reducing the world's population. Once we get the numbers low enough- after our own deaths sadly- 'we' can start working on everybody living the good life.

Here's a step in the right direction: Some super rich guy somewhere ought to offer 5000 dollars to any person under 25 who's willing to be sterilized. If he's rich enough and maybe gets some other billionaires to pitch in he could probably get millions of people on board.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:30 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Well, your words were "Cooperative effort to reduce the world's population". I didn't think you meant that you wanted to get the world together and wish everyone away.
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