[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

On Tuesday 02 May 2006 03:24, Curt Howland wrote:

> The only difference between you and I is that what we consider beyond
> the "legitimate" reach of government is different.

[...] That is true; I think we have misjudged eachother; I am also an 
anarchist (although a collectivist one), but I'm getting on a bit and have 
accepted that we won't be living that way in my lifetime! In the meantime, I 
believe we need to engage with what is actually happening, by trying to make 
governments behave in the interests of the people as much as possible.

> It is my impression you have read none of the dissertations on
> voluntary, as opposed to coercive, interactions between people.

On the contrary, I have made a long and detailed study of anarchist 
literature; I simply am not attracted to the individualist strands of it 
(what we used to call "American" or even "Right-wing" Libertarianism). To my 
mind, capitalism is the the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time and one of the 
greatest threats to personal freedom; it makes no sense to remove other 
impediments to liberty but not those protecting private ownership (of the 
means of production)[1], usury and the monetary system. These laws are 
equally as coercive as any tax for public health, but much less nobly 

> >[...]
> > The world appreciated this generosity; what I was referring to was
> > the resistance to domestic welfare,
> Again you err. There is as much resistance to the coercive transfer of
> money from the productive to the non-productive as there is from my
> wallet to that of the thief.

I'm not sure what you mean here; you say I err but your next sentence appears 
to back me up. And in a way I find a little chilling: who is to decide who 
is "productive"? Is a poet productive? Or only if her books sell? How about 
an esoteric researcher? A child with Down Syndrome? An athlete? A 
philosopher? Is mining uranium and leaving the waste lying about productive? 
What about currency speculation?

I believe any society, however governed or not, needs to be more than just an 
economic playing field for entrepreneurs. Why does it all have to be about 
money? You also help and protect the weak, sick and the hopeless, you nurture 
beauty and art and curiosity, you create culture. It's the difference between 
living and just fighting for survival.

> >  tsunami victims are seen as blameless and worthy of
> > assistance, whereas someone standing on a New York street corner
> > with a paper cup is seen as the author of their own misfortune,
> > without any consideration of whether they may have experienced
> > poverty, racism, mental illness, social or family dysfunction, etc.
> How well you read peoples minds. However, this article will
> demonstrate that your premise is entirely false:
> http://lobby4linux.com/WordPress/?p=63

This is an interesting anecdote but hardly refutes my general point.

> I don't mind if you want to dismiss me as a hopeless romantic,
> anarcho-capitalist, an-archist, whatever. Just don't advocate the use
> of force against me when I have done you no harm. Please?

I would never do that; I'm finding this discussion too interesting; so 
interesting that I am able to overcome my shame at being _so_ OT!


[1]  Don't get me wrong, people are entitled to their own stuff, but the 
acquisition of massive wealth and therefore economic control by individuals 
is a travesty of the idea of ownership. Sure, someone might be able to work a 
hundred times harder or smarter than somebody else, but a thousand times, a 
billion? That kind of wealth can only be achieved by manipulation of the 
monetary system to skim everybody else's pockets.

Reply to: