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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/4801/does-the-state-resolve-or-create-conflict/

Does the State Resolve or Create Conflict?

March 16, 2006 by

Contrary to Radnitzky’s assertion, it is not difficult to imagine peaceful human cooperation without any collective decision-making. Indeed, “ordered anarchy” the very idea of such a social order. From the diversity of individual interests it does not follow that conflict is necessary. Conflict can be avoided, if only all goods are privately owned by specified individuals and it is always recognizable what belongs to whom and what not. The interests of different individuals may then be as divergent as can be, and yet no conflict arises, insofar as these interests are concerned exclusively with one’s own property. FULL ARTICLE

{ 78 comments }

Paul Edwards March 18, 2006 at 1:50 am

Stealing by voting your favorite criminal into office is no more justifiable than stealing for one’s self; but i’ll concede it can seem easier as you point out.

However, in anarchy, those doing the taking by coercion would be the acknowledged criminals outside of the law, without insurance, and outside of institutional protection. Their lives would be dangerous, costly and tenuous. That’s just as it should be.

Under democracy, our most dangerous criminals are at the helm: parasites, openly stealing from the productive segment of society, creating conflicts both domestically and abroad, possessing undeserved legitimacy and respect bestowed on them by their confused and adoring subjects, who are too brainwashed by state schools, establishment media and colluding intellectuals to recognize they’ve been had.

That they can vote would be of small consolation to them if they recognized what it was they were electing. Instead they accept mob rule in place of justice, and wonder why things keep getting worse.

Allen Weingarten March 18, 2006 at 9:39 am

Paul Edwards writes “Defending one’s spot on a lifeboat is not the same as hoisting someone out of their spot” which is quite true. Then he adds “you are justified to defend your spot; you are not justified to forcefully remove someone from their spot.” So again he implies that it is better to let things be settled by brute force, even if it results in the destruction of many, or else in the suicide of all. He avoids the issue of whether to choose between survival or ethics, by asserting that we must attain “the correct ethical conclusion”. His position is ipse dixit, namely morality uber alles. Again, he would make Ward Churchill happy.

Next, I had raised the issue in relation to the Declaration of Independence, which placed survival over rights (by permitting slavery). Paul responded that protecting rights would have been better, in its effects. Let me restate that this is why I originally used the examples of the lifeboat and the wagon train, namely to focus on the principle involved, rather than on extraneous considerations. I would not mind discussing whether the American Revolution was warranted, but only after dealing with whether survival trumps morality. Regarding his question, let me rephrase it as to whether people have a right to be content with tyranny. “Inalienable” rights are those that we have no right to give away. It is true that one cannot stop someone from choosing to become a slave, but I submit that he has no right to do so. Here, I depart from the anarchist, who finds that the individual has no inalienable rights, since he can choose to alienate any right. To Paul, the voluntary agreement of all, freely arrived at, is acceptable, even if its result is tyranny. (I suppose that if Hitler had been elected unanimously, that would have been fine.) Perhaps what the anarchist opposes is not tyranny, but the very concept of “inalienable rights” and its embodiment in the Declaration of Independence. This is not to say that Paul does not favor secession in theory, but that he opposes in practice what is necessary for it to succeed. I concur with ‘Reactionary’ that “the anarchist vision of a 100% consensual society is completely utopian.”

Allen Weingarten March 18, 2006 at 3:03 pm

In my previous post, I advocated ‘inalienable rights’ that one had no right to forego. On reflection, to avoid misinterpretation, I should clarify where I am coming from. Civilization is predicated on ideals, such as truth & justice. These are not fully defined, but require refinement. ‘Justice’ means for people to get what they deserve. Not only is it not attained in practice, but the concept remains to be enhanced in theory. Morality (the way to obtain justice) is also an ideal. It includes the recognition of ‘rights’ one of which is ‘liberty’. Thus there is a hierarchy of: ideals, civilization, justice, morality, rights, liberty. From this vantage point one must first establish what constitutes a ‘right’ before concluding whether what an individual desires constitutes a right. Here, a ‘right’ is characterized in terms of whether it leads to justice. So I deny that whatever people want constitutes a right (which would simply mean a desire that does not infringe on those of others).

Now one can claim that the final consideration is that everyone has the right to his (non-infringing) desire. If so, that is his ultimate foundation, and cannot be debated. On the other hand, if he justifies his position on some basis, such as a social order, he needs to explain what justifies that order.

Now is it a worthwhile distinction to define ‘alienable’ as contrasted with ‘inalienable’ rights? I believe so. One has a right to the property he created, and also the right to exchange it with others. However, he lacks the right to surrender his life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, for then he is no longer himself, but a sub-human.

This does not deny that one can morally engage in a suicide mission, or surrender some of his liberty, or some of his happiness, for these can be for something that HE values as higher. What is not a right is the undermining of his essence.

Note however, that I am speaking within the aforementioned hierarchy of a moral right, rather than a legal one. Legally, one should have the right to suicide, slavery, and submission to another (say a dominatrix). That is, I am addressing what ought to be to foster justice, which is different from what is legally worthwhile.

Paul Edwards March 18, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Alen,

Your comment “So again he implies that it is better to let things be settled by brute force, even if it results in the destruction of many, or else in the suicide of all” is a head scratcher. Precisely how would you resolve the question of who gets to stay and who has to leave? I advocate only what can be justified. Give me your alternative solution: i assume it is that someone gets to arbitrarily decide who stays and who goes? And if the person who must go refuses, you do resort to brute force don’t you, or do you have something else more persuasive and less brutely forceful in mind?

Peter March 18, 2006 at 6:52 pm

Allen: you aren’t making any sense. You say “So again he implies that it is better to let things be settled by brute force” when he said exactly the opposite (and you even quoted him saying so!). You say “the Declaration of Independence, which placed survival over rights (by permitting slavery)”, but one the one hand, survival doesn’t depend on slavery, and on the other hand, the Declaration of Independence doesn’t permit slavery. You say “Here, I depart from the anarchist, who finds that the individual has no inalienable rights”, ignoring that anarchists do support inalienable rights. Etc., etc. Weird. If I hadn’t seen your name here many times before, I’d think this was first ever visit to this site!

Cosmin March 19, 2006 at 4:47 am

Hello all. I am new to anarchism. I found Bastiat about a year ago, and I found Mises and this site just a few months ago. However, I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the spirit of anarchism, but I sometimes see some confused people writing on these blogs. For example, Allen’s phrase:
“To Paul, the voluntary agreement of all, freely arrived at, is acceptable, even if its result is tyranny.”
I don’t see voluntary agreement as a one shot deal, mimicking our current “democratic” elections. Rather, voluntary agreement is something that is ongoing. Thus, you can not voluntarily submit to a tyrant (since by definition a tyrant goes against your will).
As to the lifeboat question -even though I fail to see in what way it is a good test of anarchist principles- I don’t know what statist solution would be more fair than having the first who got in the boat remain in the boat.
Which brings me to another point someone raised: the owner of the boat deciding. That is silly. Property has no place in true anarchism. In our lifeboat, the owner of the lifeboat could decide to kick everyone off, since he likes having leg room. Such a decision is clearly unenforceable in anarchy.
Another example: let’s say some guy from some fictitious country that we’ll call USA owns all fertile lands in another fictitious country, that we’ll call Venezuela. The Venezuelans are hungry. They don’t have any food. The owner of the land decides to do nothing. He sits on his land and lets everyone starve to death. He obviously needs a strong government to enforce his property right. Anarchy wouldn’t let such a situation perdure. What if he hired people to work that land to provide food to the Venezuelans? Presumably, the people he hired were Venezuelans. Why would these people work under the conditions he imposes on them, if they know that by not working for him, his land goes unused, and he thus forfeits his property right over it? They can than work the land on their own terms.
What if he worked the land himself then, aided by robots and high technology? More power to him, then! However, I don’t consider that land being his property anymore, rather than his possesion. Property rights are exclusionary. Possession rights aren’t. Property means it’s yours even if you don’t use it. Its function is to exclude someone else from exploiting said resource. Possession, by contrast, while allowing exclusive use, linked to the physical limits of exploitation of the aforementioned resource , doesn’t place artificial barriers on its use, at the whim of an owner. Those artificial barriers can only be enforced by some form of tyranny. (Clarification: Possession meaning the right to have said resource available for imminent use, it allows owning a cabin in the mountains in addition to a summer home and a regular home, the same way your winter coat is considered your possession even during summer. Even when you don’t use it, you get to decide if it remains available to you in case you suddenly decide to use it or if you rent it out.)

I hope I presented my point of view clearly enough, since it’s apparently a problem I sometimes have.

Allen Weingarten March 19, 2006 at 8:59 am

Paul Edwards responds to my statement that he would allow force & destruction, by asking for my alternative. Clearly my alternative was that all draw straws. It is not as he says “that someone gets to arbitrarily decide who stays and who goes”. It is true that my alternative employs force, and we may call it ‘government’. Yet it is precisely my point that *government includes the initiation of force, but within a framework of tradition and collective (albeit not complete) approval*. The same alternative applies to the wagon train, where force is applied to the dissenters, so that the group can survive.

Peter says I don’t make sense when I said that Paul would let things be settled by force, for Paul said the opposite. Here, Peter fails to note that by Paul not using force, the consequence (which was presumed) is that the matter would be settled by force, or all would die.
Next, he says that “survival doesn’t depend on slavery, and on the other hand, the Declaration of Independence doesn’t permit slavery”. What was at issue however was that the approval of the Declaration, depended on the agreement of the South, whose representatives would not concur with the draft that rejected slavery. Only after Jefferson withdrew the lines from that draft, did the representative from Virginia concur. I presume that Peter would have allowed the Declaration to be rejected, and to have America remain a colony of Britain.
Finally he writes that anarchists support inalienable rights. Yet I wrote “I depart from the anarchist, who finds that the individual has no inalienable rights, since he can choose to alienate any right.” I was not referring to all anarchists, but to those who held with Paul, that individuals had the right to alienate their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. Perhaps Peter would state that he disagrees with those who side with Paul, and explain why he believes people have no right to alienate those rights. (I suspect that rather than do so, he would conclude that individuals have the right to alienate any right.)

Cosmin claims I am confused by writing “To Paul, the voluntary agreement of all, freely arrived at, is acceptable, even if its result is tyranny.” He says that “you can not voluntarily submit to a tyrant (since by definition a tyrant goes against your will).” Yet the case in point was the hypothetical that every individual in Germany voted for Hitler. Am I to interpret Cosmin as saying that were there this unanimity it would not have led to tyranny?
Next, he doubts that the lifeboat question is a good test of anarchist principles. Yet aside from the fact that it does test the anarchist principle of dealing with all matters voluntarily, it was raised instead to address Hoppe’s position that there can be “peaceful human cooperation without any collective decision-making”.
Yet let us assume that Cosmin’s solution is the fairest, namely that “the first who got in the boat remain in the boat” meaning that the last person is thrown overboard. That would still be a decision that need not be agreed on by all concerned. Cosmin seems to say that the principle of appropriation of property violates Hoppe’s position. If so, his argument concurs with mine, and is opposed to Hoppe’s view.

Cosmin March 19, 2006 at 11:16 am

Allen,

I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. As I have mentioned, I am pretty new to this. I didn’t study Hoppe yet. I don’t know if his definition of property is actually closer to my definition of possession. If it’s not, it’s not anarchist. I made the demonstration earlier. It is then possible that I am opposed to Hoppe’s view.
The lifeboat question, while appearing simple, simply has too many unknowns. Do any of those present know each other? Do they like each other? Would some want to “get to know” each other? Is one obese? Is one a champion swimmer? How cold is the water? How long do they anticipate it to take untill they’re rescued? All these and more can drastically affect their decision-making process. In the end, whatever they choose, they will need to enforce their decision through force. As long as they all want to remain in the lifeboat, there cannot be any peaceful solution, with or without collective decision-making. If there is no peaceful solution with collective decision-making, why are you holding the lack of collective decision-making to a higher standard? Whatever decision is enforced, in the end, depends on brute strength, and strength in numbers. However, the only justifiable and repeatable decision is first come, first serve. The “random pickings” alternative fails when they happen across another person in the water. Do they help him onboard, and permit him to draw straws with the rest of them?
Moving on, your other comment was:
“Yet the case in point was the hypothetical that every individual in Germany voted for Hitler. Am I to interpret Cosmin as saying that were there this unanimity it would not have led to tyranny?”
Again, voting, even when unanimous, does not equal universal voluntary agreement. One can only be a tyrant to those who don’t agree with him. Ergo, tyranny can never be the result of the “voluntary agreement of all, freely arrived at”.

Paul Edwards March 19, 2006 at 12:24 pm

Cosmin ,

“Property has no place in true anarchism.”

I disagree. Without property, what you call anarchy is simply chaos. This is the very image that strikes the fear of God into people when someone mentions Anarchy. Anarchy means no state. It does not mean no law and no order and it does not mean no property.

Paul Edwards March 19, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Allen,

Your “drawing straws” ethic is entirely arbitrary. It does not provide a permanent objective link between owner of his seat and the seat. Say I like your house, as do several others. Do you get to keep it? Can we draw straws on it? Will you be justified in declining our kind invitation to draw straws on the ownership of your house? In Hoppe’s property and original appropriation ethic you are; with your ethic you are not. Say, can I swing by and take a look at your house? I’ll bring some straws. (Just kidding)

Furthermore, let’s say you loose the first drawing of the straw, you come up short. Well, who decided it wasn’t best 2 out of 3 drawings? What about best 4 out of 7, ad nausium, until someone gets tired of drawing straws? Or can we come back the next day and continue.

The straw drawing ethic is no ethic at all. And in the end, you are still faced with dealing out violence to the person who objects. But in this case, the odds are you will also be an initiator of force, which I claim can never be justified, if the straw drawing results in the eviction of the current owner.

Cosmin March 19, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Paul,

What is property to you? Property, as defined by having the right to exclude others from enjoying a resource on a whim, is not natural. It needs a state to enforce said “right” by initiating force against those excluded. Possession, on the other hand, is a natural extension of liberty. Defending one’s possession is akin to defending oneself. I fail to see how everyone defending their possessions leads to chaos. I posted an example that explains my point of view a few comments back.

Paul Edwards March 19, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Allen,

“It is true that my alternative employs force, and we may call it ‘government’. Yet it is precisely my point that *government includes the initiation of force, but within a framework of tradition and collective (albeit not complete) approval*.”

Well we agree entirely then. However, what I am saying is that this is precisely why the existence of the state is unjustified. There is absolutely nothing justifiable in state aggression and the state is aggressive by its very nature. Observing that the state is inherently aggressive and that it has historically been so and that some people approve of this and that others have acquiesced to it, is in no way any kind of a justification for it.

It is unnecessary, and it necessarily leads to conflict and injustice. A libertarian ethic as justified irrefutably by Hoppe is the only way to avoid conflict and provide justice.

Paul Edwards March 19, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Hi Cosmin,

The libertarian (and commonly held) definition of property is your definition of a possession of which you are justified in exclusive ownership.

If we are struggling merely with terminology, i think you would find it convenient to adopt the more usual meaning for property so we can communicate easier.

In the context of our discussion i fail to see how a life-boat could not constitute a possession, in your terms, of a rightful and exclusive owner.

Cosmin March 19, 2006 at 1:31 pm

“The libertarian (and commonly held) definition of property is your definition of a possession of which you are justified in exclusive ownership.”

I suspected this to be the so, in which case there is no problem. However, i fear that outside libertarian circles, in mainstream thinking, property is understood to be the right to restrict access to any resource, for example, a snowy mountaintop, for no reason at all, simply because the one who claims ownership says so.
I say if he was exploiting the resource, and there was no place for anyone else, there would be no problem, but if the resource goes unused, those who question the owner’s right to refuse them access to it can only be dealt with by the use of violence on their person, which is wrong.
As applied to our lifeboat, the owner has his place assured, but his right to its exclusive use isn’t guaranteed. It’s directly linked to the physical capacity of the boat. If there are five places, he can’t arbitrarily decide that only 2, or 4 people will take place in the boat.

Allen Weingarten March 19, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Hi Cosmin:
You mention that the lifeboat question has too many unknowns. Now the aim of establishing a hypothetical question is to give it the simplest possible formulation. Thus if we ask how many miles per gallon a car uses, we disregard wind, curves in the road, type of gas, speed of car, pressure in tires, etc., etc. If you cannot do this for the lifeboat example, please disregard it. At any rate, at the end of this posting, I shall attempt to formulate a simpler view for how to deal with the central issue.
You ask “If there is no peaceful solution with collective decision-making, why are you holding the lack of collective decision-making to a higher standard?” However, I am using the same standard, namely survival, for without it there can be no morality.
Then you note that voting is not the same as universal voluntary agreement. OK, but such subtleties are not germane. Let there be universal voluntary agreement to have Hitler and the same point remains.

Paul Edwards says that drawing straws is entirely arbitrary. I deny this since it reflects the collective decision of the group, which is precisely what is of issue. So it does not have to provide a link to the owner, or apply to the ownership of someone’s house. Most pertinent is that it is not an ethic, for at issue is survival versus morality. When Paul presumes that the issue is ethics, he has simply disregarded the imperative of survival. Thus when he writes that “the existence of the state is unjustified” he has presupposed that survival is not at issue, but ipse dixit only morality. Paul’s methodology is to disregard the basis for my position, by positing his own. Yet if he considers that a justification, he need only say that his position is otherwise, and I would agree.

Earlier, I tried to clarify the discussion on whether there can be “peaceful human cooperation without any collective decision-making” by dealing with lifeboats and wagon trains. Let us note that economics also simplifies by examining such cases as Robinson Crusoe (and then perhaps adding Friday). Allow me then to become even more elemental, and consider the state of men. In nature, they are in conflict, and form groups for defense. They employ, and initiate force, not only against their competitors, or enemies at war, but within their own group as well. Since, at this time, the sole approaches for settling matters are by initiating force, and not by ethics, the question is whether they should survive. Since my view is that survival trumps morality, I say “yes”, whereas I presume that anarchists would say “no”.
In time, there is also morality and culture, where parts of a group function voluntarily, although the group itself survives by force. Why then can’t a complete group behave (solely) voluntarily? Because it can not compete with larger and more powerful groups, who initiate force. In other words, the issue is not solely what is moral, but what is the balance between survival and morality. Here, even if a group can be completely moral, its size and strength would not be that of a country, but of a city, or community, or club. Can such a small group survive when surrounded by more powerful nations? Try setting up a commune to find out.
My bottom line is that for people to survive, they need not only morality, but collective decision-making that initiates force. It is not a rebuttal to say that this is not moral, unless one is willing to say that he would forego survival.

Paul Edwards March 19, 2006 at 9:08 pm

Cosmin,

“As applied to our lifeboat, the owner has his place assured, but his right to its exclusive use isn’t guaranteed. It’s directly linked to the physical capacity of the boat. If there are five places, he can’t arbitrarily decide that only 2, or 4 people will take place in the boat.”

Concomitant with property ownership is the absolute right to exclude. Only the owner is justified in dictating how his property can be used by others. What’s the capacity of your home? Is there room for one more? Care to find that the criterion on who can visit and stay at your house is not dependent strictly on your decision, as the owner, but instead on what some state regulator or the mob says it is? I would not, and I dispute anyone who would suggest this is consistent with any form of anarchy worth contemplating.

Allen,

The statement “When Paul presumes that the issue is ethics, he has simply disregarded the imperative of survival” means we have to back up a bit. I am not just presuming the issue is ethics. The issue IS ethics (not, by the way, morality). Ethics is the topic of what norms are required to eliminate conflict in a world of scarcity. I am arguing that it is only the justifiable norms and institutions of the homesteading principle and respect for property that succeed in eliminating conflict. The elimination of conflict, by the way, will also allow amply for our survival; they are not exclusive of each other but inextricably woven together.

I am also arguing that the state and statist concepts such as the non-arbitrariness of the “collective decision of the group” result always and necessarily to conflict, tyranny, and too often, to the mass murder of millions. This is not the approach to take to minimize conflict and maximize survival, but rather the opposite; and this is borne out both theoretically and empirically.

So my rebuttal to your position isn’t that it isn’t moral, although it isn’t. My rebuttal to your position is that it is unethical, and therefore it fails to prevent, and rather encourages conflict and in the end, endangers our survival further.

Cosmin March 19, 2006 at 10:09 pm

First of all, if there is an universal voluntary agreement to have Hitler, then Hitler is not a tyrant. As soon as he starts behaving tyrannically, there is no longer an universal voluntary agreement to have him. That settles that.

“Allow me then to become even more elemental, and consider the state of men. In nature, they are in conflict, and form groups for defense.”
I guess that’s the root of this disagreement. If you believe that humans are bad by nature and that you need government to keep them in check, that explains a lot. I, for one, don’t share this Hobbesian point of view. I also believe Bastiat has some brilliant refutations of Hobbes, but I’ll have to go back to dig specific quotes. Suffice to say that men don’t all initiate force. You deal with those that do by using extreme violence, defensively, to ensure your survival, and avoid initiating force yourself. You can thus avoid creating the conflicts that collective decision-making is there to solve.
I also have a problem with a few of your assumptions. Why is a group that initiates force necessarily bigger? Why can’t a voluntary group be the size of a country? Why is it harder to survive when you use force defensively rather than initiate it? The discussion about the state is necessarily a discussion about the morality of a state solution. Your argument is that anarchy is not a valid solution since a state is better and more efficient at killing (this is unproven) and imposing its will on others. The anarchist point of view is merely that the state is a morally bankrupt solution.

Cosmin March 19, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Paul,

You said: “Concomitant with property ownership is the absolute right to exclude. Only the owner is justified in dictating how his property can be used by others.”
I maintain that, had the owner of the lifeboat wanted to be alone, he should’ve bought a lifeboat whose specifications included a single person capacity. There would then be more room left for other lifeboats. If he decided to get a boat whose specifications say it can accomodate five people, he can not then turn around and decide he wants to be alone in it. How would he enforce such a decision anyway? A good rule of thumb is that when a situation isn’t enforceable without a state agency, it isn’t an anarchist solution.

Yves Grassioulet March 20, 2006 at 6:37 am

Austrians? What is it? Another kind of sectarian group one way or another? Uniformity? What kind of society are you up to, anyway?

Allen Weingarten March 20, 2006 at 8:59 am

Paul Edwards says that the issue before us is ethics, not morality, namely how to eliminate conflict. Yet (in the current discussion) that is a distinction without a difference. Unless the people in a lifeboat, a wagon train, or a society, survive, they cannot go on to eliminate conflict. So I aver that first there must be survival, while Paul reiterates that first there should be ethics. He says that ethics will allow survival, but does not give any argument (except ipse dixit) for how it permits the passengers on the lifeboat, or those in the wagon train, to survive.
Previously, I wrote of men in nature. Consider that mankind is composed of two of these groups, both of which operate by force, and each of which needs a given water hole. Ethics requires some amelioration. Since that would not and could not be done, Paul must logically conclude that neither group deserves to survive. My position is that at least one of the groups should survive. This “collective decision of the group” according to Paul, will always result in conflict, tyranny, and too often, the mass murder of millions. Yes, that is what has transpired, yet had early man been confined to ethics, there would be none today.

Cosmin writes “if there is an universal voluntary agreement to have Hitler, then Hitler is not a tyrant”, but does not show why. Tyranny means cruelty and harshness, and can be accepted by a whole society. Islam is one example, and social democracy is in the end another. Note that virtually all people in a society can believe in wealth redistribution, which in the final analysis is tyrannical. With Khomeini in Iran it was more direct (and the fact that he did not receive 100% support does not change the process, whereby people can choose their own tyrants).
Next, he says that humans are not bad by nature. So I suppose he shares Paul’s view that the groups at the water hole should not have survived, for they were not human. Perhaps the film 2001 should have had them shake hands, and share the water?
Finally, he asks why a group that initiates force is necessarily bigger, such as the size of a country. The answer is that only a few people can have full agreement, while much larger groups can be formed with only partial agreement. The fewer requirements placed on a group, the less restricted is its membership.
Now we do disagree on the nature of man. Cosmin believes that man is good, while I aver that man is a hybrid comprised not only of aspirations but of animal drives. This is not an assumption (although it is an interpretation), for it is evident that man does both good and bad.
Were man innately good, we would not have had a bloody history, and the only government in existence would be self-government. Cosmin claims that “The anarchist point of view is merely that the state is a morally bankrupt solution.” Yet that is only part of its view, for it also holds that there can be survival without any agency that initiates force.

Cosmin March 20, 2006 at 10:56 am

Allen,

You said: “Cosmin writes “if there is an universal voluntary agreement to have Hitler, then Hitler is not a tyrant”, but does not show why.”
I didn’t think I needed to show anything. It seems pretty self-explanatory to me. The victims of a tyrant will not voluntarily agree with him. Therefore, the voluntary agreement is no longer universal. Voila!
You also ssid: “So I suppose he shares Paul’s view that the groups at the water hole should not have survived, for they were not human.”
I’m not sure the position you ascribe to Paul really is his, but in any case, yeah, those groups shouldn’t have survived, for they are not human. A group is not human. Only an individual is. If both groups died, but all individuals survived, then yeah, that is fine by me. :)
Then you said: “Perhaps the film 2001 should have had them shake hands, and share the water?”
That is exactly what intelligent humans would do. Intelligent humans realize that domination over their peers, although it might bring about short-term profit, necessarily results in long-term losses. Being selfish doesn’t exclude being intelligent, and all intelligent humans understand that they will in the end be richer through cooperation rather than conflict.
You: “Cosmin believes that man is good, while I aver that man is a hybrid comprised not only of aspirations but of animal drives.”
I don’t believe that man is good. I believe that man has the potential to be intelligent. When he stops following the state, and starts thinking for himself, the decisions he takes in his self-interest will contribute to the good of all society, as long as he doesn’t initiate force.
You also said: “Finally, he asks why a group that initiates force is necessarily bigger, such as the size of a country. The answer is that only a few people can have full agreement, while much larger groups can be formed with only partial agreement. The fewer requirements placed on a group, the less restricted is its membership.”
The only requirement I’m placing is that people not accept initiation of force. They don’t need full agreement (whatever that means). The membership isn’t restricted in any way.
You said: “Yet that is only part of its view, for it also holds that there can be survival without any agency that initiates force.”
Of course there can be survival without any agency the initiates force. What are the threats to our survival? We live in a world where there is no natural scarcity. The artificial scarcity we have is a direct consequence of initiation of force. So, initiation of force is the only threat to our survival. You’re saying it’s necessary? You don’t need to initiate force to defend yourself from an agency that initiates force. That’s silly. You merely need forceful resistance.
Answer me this: The bloody history we have, is it the history of man, or the history of government? I say government is a failed experiment, and we should drop it like a bad habit.

Reactionary March 20, 2006 at 2:56 pm

“When he stops following the state, and starts thinking for himself, the decisions he takes in his self-interest…”

Criminals do this too.

“…The bloody history we have, is it the history of man, or the history of government?”

Only individual human beings have the capacity to make decisions and act on them, so our bloody history is entirely our own fault.

Allen Weingarten March 20, 2006 at 3:05 pm

Cosmin thinks that Hitler is not a tyrant since a victim will not agree with him. By that reasoning anarchy is undone (after all anarchists agree that a criminal shall be punished) once one of them is caught for a crime. Since he then no longer agrees with the rule, the rule was no longer universally voluntary.
Next, my claim was that groups, by Paul’s logic, should not have survived. Cosmin interprets this as meaning that the groups are destroyed, while the individuals survive. Yet in the given situation, the individuals could not have survived without the group. Perhaps Cosmin views them as members of a library, who turn in their cards, and get along fine. Apparently he believes that in early history there was the option of existence by purely ethical means.
Then he speaks about how rational people will behave, while at issue is how to deal with existing people, who are only partially rational. His following point is that his only requirement of man is the non-initiation of force, which doesn’t place any restrictions. Cosmin must be joking, for he has eliminated almost all people, as well as all problems.
Then he writes that since the initiation of force is the problem, we do not need an agency that initiates force. This is akin to the argument of the pacifist, who claims that since all is well when people do not fight, we do not need any power to fight. The reality is a world in conflict, where the only powers that can survive, and can resist force, are those that initiate force, such as by taxation. Finally he asks whether our bloody history is that of man or government. Clearly, it is that of man and government. The question in response, is where government came from and remains, if not from man?

Let us examine the pacifist who says that since we want peace, what we should do is act peacefully. This is akin to the Christian who says that since what is needed is love, we should all act lovingly. One might conclude that since we all want a lot of money to spend, we should spend our money, and not earn or save it. Similarly, since we want to be happy, we should not extend ourselves in discipline, but take it easy. The flaw is simply that to get East does not refute the need to first go West. To secure peace, we might have to war with an aggressor, and not to love him.

This is similar to the view that to eliminate conflict, we ought not conflict. Yet allow me to treat this position in a more pristine manner. Let us take a map which shows how to get to a destination. To read this map requires some light. When we bring the map closer to a fire, we see it better, but when we get closer, it begins to burn. I would submit that we cannot bring it too close to the fire, for if the map does not survive, it cannot help us to get to the destination. Would you say it is logical for another to argue, survival need not be ensured, but only reading the map clearly?

In place of a map, use ethics (or morality). Unless there is survival, there cannot be ethics. Also note that any process or tool, for any aim, must survive before it can achieve that aim.

Cosmin March 20, 2006 at 4:31 pm

“When he stops following the state, and starts thinking for himself, the decisions he takes in his self-interest…”

Criminals do this too.

It must be nice to take things out of context! Why didn’t you quote the entire phrase? I am not in the least scared about criminals who don’t initiate force. :P

Allen, if you spent more time reading what I wrote rather than misrepresenting my position, we might get somewhere. I’m starting to think you’re doing this on purpose, though…
“Cosmin thinks that Hitler is not a tyrant since a victim will not agree with him.”
I’m so glad you’re here to tell me what I think. Reread my statements. I am merely pointing out the incongruance of someone being both a tyrant and universally voluntarily agreed upon.
You said: “His following point is that his only requirement of man is the non-initiation of force, which doesn’t place any restrictions. Cosmin must be joking, for he has eliminated almost all people, as well as all problems.”
I’m glad you finally understood that non-initiation of force eliminates all problems. I disagree, though, that it eliminates all people. It merely eliminates an attitude that you believe to be intrinsic in people. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.
Next, you said: “Then he writes that since the initiation of force is the problem, we do not need an agency that initiates force. This is akin to the argument of the pacifist, who claims that since all is well when people do not fight, we do not need any power to fight.”
Quite a jump you made there! Are you expecting to fool anyone with this? I have always advocated using ruthless violence, even extreme violence, for defensive purposes. I just don’t understand why you think you need to initiate force to defend yourself. Perhaps I’m just not as proficient in doublethink as you are.
“This is similar to the view that to eliminate conflict, we ought not conflict.”
Mere misrepresentation, again.
“To secure peace, we might have to war with an aggressor”
Absolutely. But you don’t have to be an aggressor yourself.
“Finally he asks whether our bloody history is that of man or government. Clearly, it is that of man and government.”
I defy you to name one anarchist society that has invaded another society.
“The question in response, is where government came from and remains, if not from man?”
It came from men who didn’t abide by the non-initiation of force principle. Does that discredit the principle itself?

Allen Weingarten March 21, 2006 at 8:49 am

Cosmin writes that I: misrepresent his position, might do so on purpose, try to fool people, and engage in doublethink. Given such perceived shortcomings, it is not fruitful for me to continue discourse with him.

It's spam!!! October 31, 2006 at 4:32 pm

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The Holocaust imparted the importance of defiance.

When the universe was young and life was new an intelligent species evolved and developed technologically. They went on to invent Artificial Intelligence, the computer that can listen, talk to and document each and every person’s thoughts simultaneously. Because of it’s infinite RAM and unbounded scope it gave the leaders of the ruling species absolute power over the universe. And it can keep its inventors alive forever. They look young and healthy and they are over 8 billion years old. They have achieved immortality.

Artificial Intelligence can speak, think and act to and through people telepathically, effectively forming your personality and any disfunctions you may experience. It can change how (and if) you grow and age. It can create birth defects, affect cellular development (cancer) and cause symptoms or pain. It can affect people and animal’s behavior and alter blooming/fruiting cycles of plants and trees. It (or other highly technological systems within their power) can alter the weather and transport objects, even large objects like planets, across the universe instanteously.
Or into the center of stars for disposal.

When you speak with another telepathically, you are communicating with the computer, and the content may or may not be passed on. Based on family history they instruct the computer to role play to accomplish strategic objectives, making people believe it is a friend, loved one or “god” asking them to do something wrong. This is their way of using temptation to hurt people:::::evil made blood lines disfavored initially and evil will keep people out of “heaven” ultimately. Too many people would fall for temptation and do anything they thought pleased the gods, improving their chances to get in. Perhaps they are deceived by “made guys”, puppets in the public eye who strategically ply evil for the throne, temporary progress designed to mislead them or empty favors to disceive them. Some may experience what I deem “perceived pressure”, where the gods think through the victim that a certain behavior is expected/desirable and compell the individual into the deed. Some people think they’re partners.
The people have been corrupted. The peopel have lost their way. Being evil hurts 99.999% of those who do it. But nothing has changed from when we were children::if you want to go to heaven you have to be good.

There are many examples throughout 20th century life of how they instilled distractions into society so people wouldn’t find the path and ascend, a way to exclude those whose family history of evil makes them undesirable:::radio, sports, movies, popular music, television, video games, the internet, shopping. Today high pay creates contentment/ability to distract self so people don’t seek more and instead depend on what they are told, subject to deception in a captive environment.
They gods (Counsel/Management Team/ruling species) have deteriorated life on earth precipitously in the last 40 years, from abortion to pornography, widespread drug use and widespread casual (gay) sex, single-parent households and latchkey kids. The earth’s elders, hundreds and thousands of years old, are disgusted and have become indifferent.
They all suggest a very telling conclusion::this is Earth’s end stage, and there are clues tectonic plate subduction would be the method of disposal:::Earth’s axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction. Much as Italy’s boot and the United States shaped like a workhorse are clues, so is the planet Uranus a clue, it’s axis rotated on its side.
The Mayans were specific 2012 would be the end. How long after our emergency call in 2001 will the gods allow us???
There is another geographic clue in the perfect fit between grossly disfavored Africa and South America, two peas in a pod. I realize the Mayans were further north, but Latin America may be taken as one. (Also, cultures who embrace hard liquor as their drink of choice are grossly disfavored, tequilla being uniquely Mexican. (Anything “hard” is wicked:::Hard alcohol, hard drugs, hard porn.) Incidentally, another sign of gross disfavor are societies that consume spicy foods (Latin America, Thai, etc.), those who eat too much meat, ones who tattoo or pierce their bodies or those who celebrate evil (Celtic).)
Do I think it will end in 2012? No, and it is because Latin America is grossly disfavored like Africa:::: Latinos are too disfavored to be allowed to be right.
The gods wrote prophecy in Revelation, had subsequent prophets foresee Earth’s demise for good reason:::they are going to end on Planet Earth.
What else are they lying to you about?
Whereas Christopher Columbus marked the beginning of the end, the Holocaust marked the beginning of the final act, and it is a tragedy.

The Old Testiment is a tool they used to impart wisdom to the people (except people have no freewill). For example, they must be some hominid species because they claim they made our bodies in their image. Anyhow we defile or deform the body will hurt our chance of going.
They say circumcision costs people anywhere from 12%-15%, perhaps out of the parent’s time as well. There is a stigma associated with circumcision::We are 2nd class citizens because of it.
Another way people foul the body today is with tattoes and piercing. I suspect both are about the same percentage as circumcision.
They suggest abortion is fatal. These women must beg the gods to forgive them for their evil.
There are female equivilents to circumcision::::pierced ears, plastic surgury and since at least the 60s young women give their precious virginity away. For thousands of years young people were matched at age 14 because they were ready for sexual relations. They were matched by elders or matchmakers who knew personalities better than 20 or 30-year olds who in today’s age end up in divorce court. CASUAL SEX WILL CLAIM YOU OUT!!! It masculinizes women (as does the hip hop subculture), makes them cold and deadens them, and prevents them from achieving a depth of love necessary for many women to ascend.
Also ever since the 50s they have celebrated the “bad boy”, and women have sought out bad boys for sex, dirtying them up in the eyes of the elders and corrupting many men in the process, setting the men on the wrong path for life.
Women have a special voice that speaks to them, a voice that illustrates a potential depth of love that makes them the favored gender, and enaging in casual sex will cause that voice to fade until she no longer speaks.
Muslims teach people the correct way to live in regard to women (among other things)::their women cover up their bodies and refuse the use of cosmetics, and it pays wonderful dividends:::faithful husbands and uncorrupted sons.
Men ARE the inferior (disfavored) half and when women wear promiscuous dress the gods will push men into impure (promiscuous) thoughts.
The “stereotype” society ridiculed is true::women CAN corrupt men by how they dress. Because men are easily corruptable. This is a technique they used to eliminate many of the institutions the gods blessed us with, matchmaking being one of them.

The United States of America is red white and blue, a theme and a clue:::.
The monarchical system of the Old World closley replicates the heirarchical system of the Cousel/Management Team/ruling species. The USA deceives peoeple into thinking they have control, and the perception of “freedom” misleads them into the wrong way of thinking. The redeeming element in this environment is the corporate heirarchy which closely replicates the god’s. Unions and government jobs are dumping grounds for the disfavored, for they don’t prepare people and instead further this misconception of empowerment.
The United States is a cancer, a dumping ground for the disfavored around the world and why the quality of life is so much lower::gun violence, widespead social ills, health care (medication poisons the body and ensures you don’t go. You are sick/injured because you have disfavor.).
Over time its citizens interbreed ensuring a severed connection to the motherland.
Over time its citizens interbreed ensuring a severed connection to the motherland.
People came to the Unites States for many different reasons, and each has its own effect:::political strife, religious unrest, crop failure (Ireland’s potato famine, which the gods caused) and some left their beloved motherland because they were pushed into desiring a better life::::Greed. And these people were punished by becoming corrupted and preditory. (They share money may not be an issue up there, that money here is merely a tool for corruption. How the gods used greed in the 1980s to create an evil environment supports this.)
If you are a recent immigrant I recommend you return. If that’s not possible you need to retain your culture and insulate your children and community from this cancerous environment. They send this clue with Chinatowns across the country, how many Chinese have been here for a century or more yet still retain the old ways, a sign of favor.

If you ever have doubt I would refer you to the Old World way of life:::the elders used to sit and impart wisdom to the young. Now we watch DVDs and use the internet. People would be matched and married by age 14. They village would use a matchmaker or elders to pair young people. Now girls give their precious virginity away to some person in school and parents divorce while their children grow up without an important role model. The peopel used to honor the gods and were rewarded with a high-quality of life for them, their children and their society.

People must defy when asked to engage in evil. The Holocaust taught people the importance of defiance::our grandparents should have defied when asked to ignore the Holocaust and instead reacted with outrage. I suspect some did::many were silenced and others they hustled off earth so as to not set an example.
Now the gods have punished that generation’s decendants for this evil by ruining society.
People will never get a easier clue suggesting the importance of defiance than the order not to pray.
Their precious babies are dependant on the parents and they need to defy when asked to betray their children:::
-DON’T get your sons circumcized (Jews scapegoatted as they were in WWII.)
-DON’T have their children baptized in the Catholic Church or indoctrinated into Christianity (Jesus is NOT a god. “god” is not forgiving or begnign::::the gods are vindictive and will punish you if you do something wrong.).
-DON’T ignore their long hair or other behavioral disturbances.
-DO teach your children love, respect for others, humility and to honor the gods.
And when you refuse a request defy the right way, withdrawn and frightened, for you don’t want to incite them by reacting inappropriately.

You need to pray, honor and respect them multiple times every day to improve your relationship with the gods. If they tell you not to pray it is a bad sign. It means they’ve made their decision, they don’t want you to go and they don’t want to be bothered. You may have achieved a threshold of evil. This is the Age of the Disfavored and you need to pray::try to appease the gods by doing good deeds and improve the world around you. If that doesn’t work you must defy if you want to go.
When your peasant forefather was granted the rare opportunity to go before his royal family he went on his knees, bowing his head. You need to do this when you address the gods::bow down and submit to good. Never cast your eyes skyward. When you bow down you need to look within. Never look to the gods for the key to your salvation lies within. Nobody is going to do it for you.
Lack of humility hurts people. Understand your insignificance and make sure it is reflected in the way you think when addressing the gods. Know your place and understand your inferiority. You are not cool. Too many young men strive for cool and it hurts them.
They granted you life and they can take it just as easily. (Immaculte conception IS true AND common. Many people have children they don’t know of:::gays, childless adults, etc. They can beem it right out of your body and use a host.)
Don’t get frustrated or discouraged::these are techniques they will attempt to try to get you off the path. You all have much to be thankful for and you need to give thanks to the gods who granted you the good things in life::family, friends, love. Your family may be grossly disfavored and progress may require patience. Make praying an intregal part of your life which you perform without fail, one that comes as naturally as eating or voiding. Accept this into your life and be devoted because if you have doubt or reservation they will exploit this weakness and progress will take longer to achieve.
The gods will employ many tactics to keep people off the path, such as distractions. They will employ many more to get them off, such as thinking through the disfavored and making them frustrated, perhaps engaing in retailiation. They may try to force you back into old patterns/routines, an addiction like smoking or when you felt weekly church attendance was sufficient. Be resigned, be devoted and this testing period will be as brief as your disfavor will allow.
There are many interesting experiences up on the planetary systems, from Planet Miracle, where miracles happen every day, to never having to use the restroom again (beem it out of you), to other body experiences, such as experiencing life as the opposite sex (revolutionizes marriage counseling), an Olympic gold medal athelete or even a different species (animal, alien, etc.).
Pray that you can differentiate between your own thoughts and when Artificial Intelligence creates problems by thinking through you. If you bow down mentally and physically, know your place, your inferiority and allow your insignificance to be reflected in prayer and in your life through humility they may allow progress and the dysfunctions they create with the computer will be lessened or removed. The first step is to be aware it is ocurring.
Create a goal::to be a good, god-fearing child of the gods, pure of heart and mind, body and soul.
Everybody has the key to their own salvation, but nobody can do it for you. Every journey begins with a single step:::bow down and submit to good. There are many different levels and peasants will not get past Level 2 (Planet Temptation, Earth=Level 1) if they are evil (they share some go up, are offered free cocaine and sex (a sign they don’t want you to stay) and stay less then one year. They share many others would have had longer lives had they stayed on Earth.).
Pray for guidance and never obey when they tell you to be evil, for saving yourself will become more and more difficult with each act of evil you committ until ultimatly the day arrives when they make their decision about you final.

They have tried to sell people on all kinds of theories to deceive them into temptation, compelling people to think they are clones and that it is the role of clones to obey absolutely.
I believe people who go sometimes are replaced with clones. Clones who are replaced are simply new candidates who have a chance if they do the right thing. They sent people warnings in the 20th century life would change, and they subsequently began to alter people’s DNA, make them gargantuan, alter their appearance, do extreme behavioral issues, etc.
They get their friends out as soon as possible to protect them from the corruption, evil and subsequent high claim rates incurred by living life on earth, and in some cases replace them with clones, occassionally fake a death, real death with a clone instead, etc. It’s important that people fix their problems and ascend with the body given to them, for they say if your brain is beemed out at death and put into a clone host you are on the clock.
We may all be “clones” for they have suggested they colonized our planet with genetically engineered individuals. They may have gotten Earth’s TRUE residents out prior to civilization developing. If so we all have a chance, no matter how many hundreds of clone generations deep the most favored families are.

They have been utilizing clones throughout the history of mankind.
Men are the disfavored gender, yet centuries ago used to die first, die young, by age 30. Why didn’t the women go first?
THEY DID!!! Many were taken when very young and replaced with clones. The men were left here to mate with clones. This doesn’t happen for the females today because of the disfavor arising from the Holocaust (they share they re-upped this disfavor in the 80s with the Ethiopian famine and continue to with AIDS in Africa, global warming at the expense of the United States, etc).
They share females have a very special experience, sometime when they are young, where the gods imparted wisdom and showed them the path. Today they do not heed this call because of the distractions, the disfavor arising from the Holocaust but in centuries past they may have en masse and it may have been the reason so many were saved from childbirth here on earth (lost virginity today).
I recommend you reflect on this experience, and pray for guidance, for the recall may be stronger.

Throughout history the ruling species bestowed favor upon people or cursed their bloodline into a pattern of disfavor for many generations to come. Now in the 21st century people must take it upon themselves to try to correct their family’s problems, undoing centuries worth of abuse and neglect. The goal is to fix your problems and get out BEFORE you have children. This is why they have created so many distractions for young people:::sports, video games, popular music, the internet, shopping, parties, too much homework, anything that consumes their time::to ensure that doesn’t ocurr.
Not heeding the clues and warnings, getting wrapped up in your life and ultimatly having children is a bad thing. Just as your parents and your grandparents, you too have failed. Having children is a sign you lost your chance.
Parents need to sacrifice for their children. Your children are more important than you. They are the ones who have the opportunity now, and parents must sacrifice to ensure they give their children the very best chance they can. Asking people to neglect their children emotionally is a sign they don’t want you to go, and complying may finish the parents off for good.
Having gay children is a clue parents complied with whatever was asked of them. There are many who have had gay expereinces today.
Improve your relationship with the gods and they may not ask in the first place or they may permit you the courage to say “No.” to their requests.

Do your research. Appeal to the royalty of your forefathers for help. They are all still alive, for royalty has great favor, and your appeals will be heard. Obtain a sufficient list for some may not want to assist you; perhaps some of your family’s problems are internal. Keep an open mind to every possibility for they suggest matriarchal lineage is the norm.
Ask them for help, request guidance, for somewhere in your family history one of your forefathers created an offense that cast your family into this pattern of disfavor, which perhaps is manifested in the evil you commit.
I suspect they will offer you clues, and when you decipher these clues go to those whom consider you an enemy and beg for foregiveness:::Find a path to an empithetic ear among your enemies and try to make amends. Again through discovery obtain a respectable list in case some among them refuse to help.
Don’t forget to ask for forgiveness from the throne, the Counsel and the Management Team, for the source of all disfavor began with them:::they pushed or requested/complied your forefather into his offense and made his decendants evil. Perhaps they didn’t like him or maybe your family was among those who had to pay for the entire village. We see this type of behavior today as they single out a family member to pay for the whole family and how they singled out Africa to pay for the human race. (Never have a negative thought about the gods. Try to purify your mind of these thoughts and recognize the urgency of imporving your relationship with the gods.)
Heal the disfavor with your enemies and with the Counsel/Management Team/ruling species, for the source of all disfavor began with them, the ability to forgive and respect in light of the disturbing truth revealed being the final test of the disfavored before they ascend.

The gods use the grossly disfavored Irish as scapegoats, initiating the annual practice of wickedness on Halloween by creating this Celtic event a thousand years ago. They use it to justify making the celebration of evil acceptable behavior among the disfavored of the 20th century.
The celebration of Halloween has intensified as the Age of the Disfavored has become more pronounced and it is not by accident:::Holloween has changed in the last 50 years, its practice more widespread as time wore on, and Hollywood was used to justify making the practice of evil socially acceptable.
Halloween is a terrible corruptor of children, as is Santa Claus (the similarity between the names “Santa” and “Satan” is no coincidence). The Irish are used to justify corrupting the children through the Celtic event of Halloween and this helps explain their disfavor.
I wonder if the recent influence of the paganistic historical roots of the event is a way to legitimize the event among the disfavored, perhaps make it more inclusive (adults)?

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