It is currently Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:38 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 117 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:14 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
You're assuming humans are rational actors, Yov. The fact is that there are always people who wouldn't bail out their own lifeboat if it involved helping someone they deemed unworthy on the other end of the same boat. They'll always attempt to put it in different terms--up to and including denial that the lifeboat exists, that there's a hole in it, or that water is wet--but the truth is some people would rather drown and take everyone with them than admit they were wrong.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:25 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12922
Location: Florida
axordil wrote:
[color=#008080]You're assuming humans are rational actors, Yov.


No, I'm assuming I don't have the right to decide who's "rational" and who's not. :)

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:28 am 
Offline
bioalchemist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:08 am
Posts: 9812
Location: the dry land
...even if you're in a lifeboat?

_________________
When you can do nothing what can you do?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:40 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38763
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
If necessary societal institutions collapse because enough people take their money elsewhere, the harm to everyone else in the society outweighs (in my opinion) those individuals' benefit from controlling how every nickel of their money is spent. People who take those views will have to be able to provide themselves their own individually sourced water, roads, sewers, electrical service, Internet, schools, hospitals, police and fire protection, military, and mass transportation. Because of economies of scale, they will end up paying a lot more to receive a lot less than the current system.

A society of total individualists isn't a society. It's chaos.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:48 am 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
yovargas wrote:
axordil wrote:
You're assuming humans are rational actors, Yov.


No, I'm assuming I don't have the right to decide who's "rational" and who's not. :)


That's okay, there are handy empirical measurements, so you don't have to.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:07 am 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12922
Location: Florida
Primula Baggins wrote:
If necessary societal institutions collapse because enough people take their money elsewhere, the harm to everyone else in the society outweighs (in my opinion) those individuals' benefit from controlling how every nickel of their money is spent. People who take those views will have to be able to provide themselves their own individually sourced water, roads, sewers, electrical service, Internet, schools, hospitals, police and fire protection, military, and mass transportation. Because of economies of scale, they will end up paying a lot more to receive a lot less than the current system.

A society of total individualists isn't a society. It's chaos.


But if society in general agrees that these things are necessary and valuable, why would one need to force that society to contribute to it? Wouldn't it be possible to get a society that wants these things to contribute to them voluntarily? Perhaps it's highly idealistic of me, or I have too much faith in people, but I do think that to a large extend it could be possible if we wanted it to be. The only govt services you should have a hard time funding through voluntary contributions are the ones that not enough people agree are necessary and valuable and frankly, I think that's how it should be!

axordil wrote:
That's okay, there are handy empirical measurements, so you don't have to.


Measurements of what? :scratch:

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:37 am 
Offline
Aagragaah
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 12921
Location: Out on the banks
OK, walk me through it. A city of 10, 000 has roads full of potholes and broken up sidewalks. How do they go about fixing it?

_________________
Image
‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:06 am 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12922
Location: Florida
Ask for money. If they get enough to fix it, they fix it. If they don't, the city is pretty much voting that the roads aren't a high enough priority for them. That's their prerogative. Why not?

Just as an example. One could also imagine asking for people to generally fund The Govt and then letting The Govt spend those freely given funds as needed. (That'd be more practical, I imagine.) Either way, I imagine people will vote with their dollars. In a way, it'd really just be a more direct democracy.

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:53 am 
Offline
Aagragaah
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 12921
Location: Out on the banks
From the beginning, though. Who decides it's time to ask for money for road repair?

_________________
Image
‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:14 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 38763
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
yov, you're talking about an idealized "society" as if it's a monolith that can decide or not decide to pay for something, and then do so if it chooses to. Whereas you're also talking about individuals who have the right to disagree with "society" and choose not to participate (one hopes, while also being strictly separated from all benefits of participating; but who enforces this? I suspect these proud individualists would in the end be just as much moochers as Cliven Bundy, who proudly doesn't pay his grazing fees for the public range land all of us own in common and are supposed to benefit from).

If there's complete free choice as to whether to participate, there can be no "society" to decide to pay for things. Just as there can't be education in school, if no one is allowed to expect the students to follow any rules.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:37 am
Posts: 4710
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
I suspect that, in a voluntary-taxation society, what would eventually happen is that, amidst the decay and collapse, groups would band together and agree to pool their resources to create functioning local-level authorities. Which would evolve into new micro-states with compulsory taxation (pay up if you want to live in our area), some of which would merge into larger and larger ones. And we would eventually (maybe after centuries) end up back where we are now.

Of course, I would prefer not to go through the decay and collapse phase.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:35 am 
Offline
Aagragaah
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 12921
Location: Out on the banks
Speaking of that - on TORC a poster who identified as libertarian mentioned reading something by Nestor Makhno. It kinda warned my heart that someone knew about him.

He was an anarchist who carved out a chunk of Ukraine for his little experiment in the chaos of the Civil War that followed the Revolution of 1917. It was actually reasonably successful before the Reds brought him down, breaking a brief alliance, but he had to shoot a lot of people to make it work. My great aunt grew up there, she said he was a bandit like the rest of them, but at least he did not touch his own. A colorful character, look him up.

Anyway. I still would like a concept of how a purely volunteer participation in the functions currently mandated by the government. Assuming people are not being shot to make it work.

_________________
Image
‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:17 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12922
Location: Florida
Frelga wrote:
From the beginning, though. Who decides it's time to ask for money for road repair?

Well, jeez, it's not like I'm advocating for the total collapse of all or social institutions tomorrow. Right now, somewhere, there is a mayor in a town with too many potholes and not enough money to fix them. They can either a) raise taxes or b) do nothing. But why not consider route c) ask people to donate to our "fix the roads" fund. Do a bit of a campaign, a few interviews, see if the local paper will support it and, hey, if enough people are sick of the potholes, maybe you get your roads fixed.

I met a guy once who was a very serious but very pragmatic libertarian and he was a big proponent of what he called "gradualism" like this. If we're talking real world solutions instead of academic philosophizing, I am too. He actually started and organized his own volunteer firefighters group. The city didn't like it (it went against some rule to his great annoyance) and shut him down so he started and organized a group to help clean and de-litter city streets. The point being to try to convince people that things can get done by choice instead of by force if you can convince enough people that by choice is possible. Realistically, it'd be best to do this by starting small and trying to grow as you can, which would also avoid what LM talks about (coincidentally, much the same seems to be true for communist ideas; they seem to work better on a small scale but it gets harder as it gets bigger). (I liked that guy and liked what he was doing but I still didn't volunteer with him which maybe proves the point that this would never work. ;))

And Frelga, I don't know what kind of society that guy was trying to build but getting people to volunteer on the end of a gun is kinda missing the point. ;)

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:34 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Quote:
Measurements of what? :scratch:


Of how rational human decision-making actually is.

The answer is: not. For anyone, really. fMRI research revealed that people routinely choose a course of action a fraction of a second before the part of the brain used to decide things engages. We're mediocre at best when it comes to rational decision making, but we're experts at rationalizing those knee-jerk decisions after the fact.

In a way that shouldn't be a surprise. When you hear the leopard behind you, there's not a lot of time to go over the pros and cons of running vs. throwing the spear. Unfortunately our species is still carrying on as if we're constantly stalked by leopards, and if can't find them, we'll invent them.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:04 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12922
Location: Florida
I'd think the idea that we're all crazy would support the notion that we shouldn't be so pushy about our ideas, even when we're really convinced that they're super good ones. Don't be so sure you're not the crazy one on the lifeboat. :P

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:22 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Oh, I question my motives on an ongoing basis. It's my only defense against myself. :devil:

I don't claim to have super good ideas--but I can usually spot a super bad one at a hundred paces.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:16 pm 
Offline
Ni Dieu, ni maître
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:19 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Home
Well, in Switzerland quite regularly we have votations about rising taxes and more often than not, the people accept the rise . Would that be in your sense?

_________________
"nolite te bastardes carborundorum".


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:27 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12922
Location: Florida
Not exactly, but it does show that if people believe in their government and what it's doing, maybe they would contribute to it voluntarily. Switzerland's people must really like what their government is doing. :)


(Not to pretend this is an analogy to a freakin' govt - just an interesting anecdote that popped into my head - but a few years ago, super-popular band Radiohead put out their latest album up on line and literally said "Pay whatever you want for it". Meaning you could pay $0 if you chose. The album ended up being more profitable than their previous album.)

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 8:47 pm 
Offline
Ni Dieu, ni maître
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:19 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Home
Dear yov, unfortunately in the last weeks in the last weeks, I never had the time to formulate in detail a real answer to your question about the NAP principle and some more ideas about societies and their organisation. Also, my point of view is in constant evolution and right now again challenged by an astonishing lecture. But if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it, so here are some of the ideas which I tried to type out in the last weeks.

Why do we live in a society and not on our own and how should society be organised so that most people living there benefit from it?

There are many reasons why people live in society rather than alone. First, it is in fact a question of survival. A group of men has a far better chance to survive than a man on his own. (I use man for human, our of commodity) As soon as the majority of people are sedentary, a larger organisation of society is necessary and it needs an organisation of the exchange of goods as in a sedentary society, almost nobody is self-sufficient.

Organisation means to transfer power to someone else. The most important part of a larger human society is imho the transfer of violence. Violence becomes a privilege of the government and it can decide who has the right to exerce it legitimately.

In organised society, violence becomes less. And this is the main reason why living in an organised and ruled society is better and easier than living in anarchy. If everybody can use strength as he wants it, there is in fact no law. We all ive better if we transfer power to a limited group. But as this group is human and not of any divine inspiration (we are talking about modern society after all) it needs to be held in place by a system of checks and balances and a separation of power.

Within this given framework, the question is, which right are to be given to the government and which remains individual. Different societies organise this transfer differently, but all societies do organise it.

Taxes have been of all times a part of organised society, allowing a central government to function and to protect its subjects or citizens. If taxes in pre-modern society were mainly paid to allow the upper class to live a comfortable life without working, taxes in modern society do in principle serve to create a state which will allow most people to live in peace and prosperity. Somehow, you can say that we all accept by our own free will to pay taxes, as long as we agree to live in society and to benefit from the wealth it creates and the security it offers. And this does by far not only mean things to create roads, but to have universities in which engineers are able to build roads and bridges which will not collapse. For this, you need first pre-schools and kindergartens. So, even if you need just the money to repair the road, and if you manage to raise it, behind the very existence of roads is a whole system which needs public money to exist. So, I don’t think that for long-term politics you can use a fund raising like for a merchandise where you do have in the end a touchable benefice. A state needs a whole system which will cost money before being able to offer you the one benefit which we you will see. Another example would be public security for which you need an army and a police. If you were only ready to pay a policeman when you are robbed – I think the thought experiment shows why the principle is not realistic.

Some ore remarks about some philosophical points of view which have forged my view of the course of the world:
First, very important Kant and the enlightenment: Kant fixes some basic rules in his work: on perpetual peace. First, peaceful states should be democratic. In his opinion, democratic states tend to less war as the benefit for war is mainly for the rulers, whereas the negative effects concern mainly the people so if power comes from the people, rulers will tend to limit wars. International law should be founded on a federalism of free states. And last; people should be able to live free and safely in all countries of the world as long as they have no hostile intentions and bring no army along. These are ideas of the 18th century! We are still far from them but I do believe that he is right that those principals enhance peace in the world. (I am, as you can maybe guess from those very few lines, an opponent of nation states and usually not patriotic in any political way, I do think political patriotism is harmful).

Another principle of the enlightenment is dear to my heart: all human beings have a common core nature (which is opposed to political romantism based on differences and individual culture).

Very important is also Hanna Ahrendt and her principle of the banality of evil. If anybody can act as great villain, if law allows him to and no particular disposition is necessary to become evil – the idea of Hanna Ahrendt – only a state which prevents people from acting in barbaric ways instead of encouraging them can guarantee the functioning of a society.

Personally, I also follow some ideas of Marx, mainly the idea that most if not all property, is acquired thanks to the exploitation of the work of others and thus that every notion of rightfully acquired property is a distortion.

But there are other ideas and principles, like the process of civilization described by Norbert Elias and the ideas of Rousseau and the debate weather the enlightenment already holds the roots of totalitarism in itself.

_________________
"nolite te bastardes carborundorum".


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 4:11 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12922
Location: Florida
Quote:
Organization means to transfer power to someone else. The most important part of a larger human society is imho the transfer of violence. Violence becomes a privilege of the government and it can decide who has the right to exercise it legitimately.


This is a major sticking point because even in a fully democratic society, we are surely all agreed that there are some "exercises of violence" which are not legitimate, whether done by citizens or the govt. Even if 99% of a fully democratic society votes in favor of it, murder or rape or slavery are not morally legitimate, ever. There are limits to the "privilege of violence", as you put it, that we grant the government. (I'm not sure how it works in other countries but here in the US some of those limits are explicitly written into our constitution under our Bill of Rights.) So the question then becomes, where should those limits be? Why do we place the limit at this line instead of that line? One of the reasons the NAP thing is significant to me is that it is the only idea I've encountered that tries to draw clear lines on where those limits should be, unlike our usual practice of drawing those limits at lines of current convenience, pragmatism, or comfort.

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 117 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group