in which brute says things about libertarianism

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
Post Reply
chenda
Posts: 1161
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by chenda » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:51 pm

@jacob - Could you recommend some further reading on this wrt geopolitics and energy ? Your post is interesting and raises lots more questions for me.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:30 pm

jacob wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:24 pm
While it's hard to know, I think the threat of mutually assured destruction had a lot to do with preventing WWIII.
I agree.
BRUTE wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:59 pm
it could be said that the US has never been conquered because there is a bunch of water in front of it. even if an enemy army landed, it would be impossible to control a population with 300 million guns. that the US also had a military might not make such a big difference for defense.

....

the next thing is economics.
The oceans help a great deal, but with technological advances, the world is getting smaller. Being a hedgehog in the mountains of Switzerland is a great defense against horsemen and archers, but less so against intercontinental missles.

300 million guns or more making it difficult to conquer the US is one more potent argument for the defense of gun rights (but equally as much if not more so against a hive mind).

But the Great Game JLF references is absolutely manifesting itself economically. It may happen slowly enough that a generation or two may not notice, but over time, the US can be weakened through bad economics, to the point that it cannot finance a military sufficient for defense. And when I say defense, I include US aggressions overseas that procure resources like oil.
BRUTE wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:59 pm
as such, Mister Imperceptible's statements like "pay taxes to watch Netflix" are non-sequiturs. brute could also say he likes to pull sick wheelies for world peace, but there is simply no sufficient causal relation.
This is my sense of humor. What I typically see is persons who are living a perfectly comfortable existence suggesting ridiculously oversimplified solutions to the world’s problems. “Abolish the military, the FBI, ICE, confiscate the unlawful wealth of the rich and feed the world’s poor!” Such messages are typically posted by persons wearing designer clothes manufactured in an Indian sweat shop on a smartphone that was manufactured by some poor bastard in China who is about to hurl himself into a suicide net. Very easy to enjoy the fruits of the system but then out of “empathy” suggest that everything be burned down. Try living in the state of nature first. I am really enjoying my air conditioner today.
BRUTE wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:59 pm
as mentioned by DLj, economic interdependence or trade leads to peace. this is because trade is a positive-sum game. both parties of a voluntary transaction benefit from it, otherwise it would not happen. it is thus in both parties' egoistic interest not to start a war with the other side.
If the world consisted of all or mostly JLF and BRUTE types that lived within their means and were not burdens to society, this would work, because of reliable counter-parties.

However, most people live beyond their means and outbreed their resources. In the past, this was perfectly fine. The tribe on the north side of the river hoped to outbreed the tribe on the south side of the river, so the river could be crossed, the other tribe overwhelmed and annihilated, and their land and resources usurped. “Be fruitful and multiply.”

Now, resources are becoming increasingly scarce***, but most people aren’t looking at life consciously and dispassionately, “like a crossword puzzle to be solved.” They live mostly unconsciously, they waste their resources, they overbreed (see my contemptuous remarks in the UBI thread). Then, they look about frantically, in dire straits, and are ripe to be politicized. “Sure, I can solve your problems!” says Opportunist Politican. “It’s all the fault of Group X!” And then you have tribalism again, and your zero-sum game.

***I was perusing the “Can permaculture feed 7.5 billion humans” thread, and I wondered, if we are already well beyond the planet’s optimal carrying capacity, how many humans will volunteer themselves to not have children? Sure, the rational JLF and BRUTE types, but not the proliferating morons that are driving down the collective IQ of society.

So I am not arguing against libertarianism in favor of another system. I am just saying because the way people are, that tribalism, and coalitions, and the Great Game, seem inevitable to me. “If everyone were rational and logical and personally responsible!” But they aren’t.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5236
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:49 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:***I was perusing the “Can permaculture feed 7.5 billion humans” thread, and I wondered, if we are already well beyond the planet’s optimal carrying capacity, how many humans will volunteer themselves to not have children? Sure, the rational JLF and BRUTE types, but not the proliferating morons that are driving down the collective IQ of society.
JLF and BRUTE are both men. Men can't have babies. Yet.

I feel like I have to keep pointing this out even though it would be super obvious if we were discussing systems model involving rabbits, wolves, deer and/or coyotes.

If every male human who ever read Ayn Rand immediately went out and got a vasectomy, it wouldn't come close to the effect of the other factors that have raised the average marriage age of American female from 20 to 27 in the course of less than a century.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:54 pm

You know what I meant. I’m actually pro-natalist when it comes to the ERE community, because these people are “the real goods” and we need more JLFs and BRUTEs and C40s.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5236
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:14 pm

It is still very difficult to predict where human intelligence will pop-up. Like where did all these young Chinese guys who are taller than me come from? It is more likely than not that two outliers will have a child who will be closer to the mean due to unknown influences of environment. For instance, a very high IQ female with very low body fat during pregnancy might have a child with lower IQ than either her or her husband whose sperm is a bit iffy because he is 45 years old. Then they will have to spend/waste a bazillion dollars on SAT tutoring.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:33 pm

I do not know all the variables. I just know that incentives are necessary. I would not go to work tomorrow without getting paid, and without private property rights assuring that I could keep what I have. Idealist or no, I am still a biological unit striving after its own health, wealth and power. So are the other 7.5 billion biological units, and so conflicts, tribes, and coalitions are assured.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:54 pm

Don’t misunderstand me 7WB5, I ate burgers and hot dogs and brownies and sat on my duff and watched a baseball game on TV today, which is no more productive than eating pudding and watching “So You Think You Can Dance.” I’m not an Ayn Rand fanatic.

BRUTE asserts earlier in the thread that democracy was unimaginable in medieval Europe, so a libertarian society should be plausible to us now. I wish I could be so optimistic.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5236
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:45 pm

@Mister Imperceptible:

lol-Gotcha. However, if I do end up with a high IQ grandbaby someday, I think it would be cute if it ran around with no diaper wearing a t-shirt that said "Libertarian."

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:22 pm

@7WB5

I just got a lot of warm and fuzzies.

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:09 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:49 pm
JLF and BRUTE are both men.
how dare 7Wannabe5 assume brute's gender :D

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:31 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:30 pm
300 million guns or more making it difficult to conquer the US is one more potent argument for the defense of gun rights (but equally as much if not more so against a hive mind).
brute agrees - hive mind aka new world order is not something brute is fond of.

and the mountains of Switzerland didn't just repel archers on horseback, but arguably one of the biggest military threats of the first half of the 20th century, including fighter jets, bombers, tanks, artillery, and machine guns.

there is a difference between "not being attackable" and "not being conquerable". the latter is much easier than the former. also see: Afghanistan.

brute is saying that the US, currently, is "not attackable". but that even in complete absence of a formal military, given that there are 300 million guns and a few million Americans capable of pointing the right end away from their face, the US would be "not conquerable".
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:30 pm
It may happen slowly enough that a generation or two may not notice, but over time, the US can be weakened through bad economics, to the point that it cannot finance a military sufficient for defense. And when I say defense, I include US aggressions overseas that procure resources like oil.
while brute is no fan of procuring oil by means of war, he does agree that being left behind economically will eventually lead to losing military power. luckily, the US still seems to be one of the more economically advanced nations.
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:30 pm
Try living in the state of nature first. I am really enjoying my air conditioner today.
again, the conflation between trade/commerce/civilization and government. governments did not invent nor build air conditioners. private individuals did, motivated by greed and hot summers.

maybe Mister Imperceptible is arguing that only the existence of government could have led to the conditions necessary for inventing and building air conditioners, with which brute would disagree. but then that would be the whole point of the discussion.
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:30 pm
If the world consisted of all or mostly JLF and BRUTE types that lived within their means and were not burdens to society, this would work, because of reliable counter-parties.

However, most people live beyond their means and outbreed their resources. In the past, this was perfectly fine. The tribe on the north side of the river hoped to outbreed the tribe on the south side of the river, so the river could be crossed, the other tribe overwhelmed and annihilated, and their land and resources usurped. “Be fruitful and multiply.”

Now, resources are becoming increasingly scarce***, but most people aren’t looking at life consciously and dispassionately, “like a crossword puzzle to be solved.” They live mostly unconsciously, they waste their resources, they overbreed (see my contemptuous remarks in the UBI thread). Then, they look about frantically, in dire straits, and are ripe to be politicized. “Sure, I can solve your problems!” says Opportunist Politican. “It’s all the fault of Group X!” And then you have tribalism again, and your zero-sum game.

...

So I am not arguing against libertarianism in favor of another system. I am just saying because the way people are, that tribalism, and coalitions, and the Great Game, seem inevitable to me. “If everyone were rational and logical and personally responsible!” But they aren’t.
it feels like Mister Imperceptible is slightly talking past brute here. there are assumptions in here that brute does not make, but he has seen many humans assume that brute makes these assumptions.

the argument "humans are irrational => libertarianism doesn't work" does not actually counter any arguments libertarians make. the whole point of libertarianism is closer to "humans are irrational => only libertarianism will work".

at the same time, most libertarians (including brute) do agree that there are certain preconditions for libertarianism. these include a degree of foresight, planning, a culture of positive-sum games, and other things that Mister Imperceptible would probably call "rational".

but rather than concluding that many humans do not possess these qualities now, and therefore are irrational, and therefore libertarianism doesn't work, brute sees these as acquired social capital rather than innate.

it used to be that marriage wouldn't "work", because cave humans would just club each other over the head and rape each other (aka the animal kingdom). even tribalism probably used to not work, because humans lacked the social capital and foresight to form tribes. maybe this was pre-human.

brute will try to rephrase Mister Imperceptible's argument in a way that he hopes will still hold the same meaning, but not lead to "libertarianism is in principle impossible".

"human societies currently lack the mindsets, ideologies, and social capital to recognize that they could be acting in more positive-sum games => libertarianism currently only exists in certain policy regards within non-libertarian societies"

brute agrees.

brute is saying: "humans could build more social and ideological capital to gain the foresight that more positive-sum games would be better for them => some time in the future, human societies could approach libertarianism"

as evidence, brute poses that, as shitty and short-sighted and tribal as humans are now, they used to be way more shitty and short-sighted and tribal in the past. humans have come a long way. brute is somewhat proud of humans.
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:30 pm
BRUTE asserts earlier in the thread that democracy was unimaginable in medieval Europe, so a libertarian society should be plausible to us now. I wish I could be so optimistic.
maybe this is the fundamental misunderstanding. what brute meant is not "libertarianism should be plausible now". in fact, libertarianism is implausible right now to the degree that non-libertarianism exists.

what brute meant was that libertarianism seems plausible in principle.

parts of it are already very plausible, and parts are becoming plausible more rapidly.

for example, nothing has warmed brute's cold, dead heart this year like hearing that the Texas GOP is now for legalizing (not even just decriminalizing) marijuana. brute contends that the complete legalization of Marijuana in the US, and hopefully at least decriminalization of most other banned substances, will be the biggest libertarian victory of his lifetime.

the medieval democracy example just shows that many systems or ideas can work, even if they haven't worked in the past. they often require circumstances to change, and humans to learn and build up (social, ideological) capital. but there can be progress.

thus, brute is saying that, one day, human societies might be ready for minarchism, and many days after that, maybe for anarcho-capitalism. clearly they are not ready now.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:36 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:31 pm
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:30 pm
Try living in the state of nature first. I am really enjoying my air conditioner today.
again, the conflation between trade/commerce/civilization and government. governments did not invent nor build air conditioners. private individuals did, motivated by greed and hot summers.

maybe Mister Imperceptible is arguing that only the existence of government could have led to the conditions necessary for inventing and building air conditioners, with which brute would disagree. but then that would be the whole point of the discussion.
This series of volleys began with my assertion that non-interventionism is impractical. @daylen said he saw my suggestion of the world as one nation-state as very far off, to which I responded that I agreed and therefore support the military in the meantime so I can enjoy Netflix and air conditioning while war rages around us but we sit in our relatively safe bubble. The shrieking and bleeding hearts dressed in Indian-manufactured designer clothes that want the military to be defunded do not realize that the only reason they can type their socialist manifestos on Chinese-manufactured smartphones is because the military is keeping us safe.

If it seems like a conflation on my part, it is because I see the same people denouncing the military are also denouncing capitalism. So, as this thread unraveled, I saw that neo-left “type” in my mind that is gaining prominence and making such formulations as “Military Empire = Capitalism = Bad.” These same types usually (erroneously) extend the formulation to “Military Empire = Capitalism = Racism = Patriarchy.” If they were sincere about that formulation, they would make their own clothes, ditch their phones, and donate their private property to Native Americans as reparations. So it is probably my fault for not communicating that clearly, and why you might think I would be (erroneously) conflating government with commerce.

Regarding the rest of what you say, I see the trend is toward Communitarianism and Statism. Identity politics, assault on individuality, attack of free speech, attack of gun rights, attack of capitalism. Go to college campuses or listen to what is said by most media outlets, and what I am hearing is not building the social capital necessary for minarchism or anarcho-capitalism. There is no civil or adult discourse. It’s just identity politics, identity politics, identity politics. Whether the end result is socialism, or the elites are merely hoodwinking everyone while they accrete even more power to themselves, it does not seem to me that libertarianism is becoming more obtainable.

Even the legalization of marijuana is something the government can profit from, and does not seem like such a great victory to me. Though I enjoy it, it is merely a soma, and the government needs to placate the masses now that the cat is out of the bag about opioids and other pharmaceutical drugs.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:32 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:31 pm
as evidence, brute poses that, as shitty and short-sighted and tribal as humans are now, they used to be way more shitty and short-sighted and tribal in the past. humans have come a long way.
But have humans come a long way? Or have we merely seen great technological progress? Customs might change as a result of technological pressures, but I do not equivocate that to progress. With the printing press we had the democratization of knowledge, but remove the knowledge and men will be (more) ignorant again. As Jordan Peterson says, the humanities are dead. If the humanities are going under, what does that signal for civilization?

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=9894&start=220#p168490
https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/107/the-hunc ... chapter-2/

“Our eyes see change, but inside, we’re the same, as we ever were.”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CsLhNxzwK1Y

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:08 am

like all interesting phenomena, there is intercausal feedback between culture and technology. a certain culture is required to develop technology, and new technology enables new forms of culture.

brute basically agrees on the current trend re. identity politics and statism, but he hopes it's a short-term trend. the long-term trend certainly remains positive: humanity on average has never been so rich, healthy, educated, long-lived, and productive. a few crying millennials on college campuses aren't going to buck the trend for long, brute hopes.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11413
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by jacob » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:32 am

chenda wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:51 pm
@jacob - Could you recommend some further reading on this wrt geopolitics and energy ?
Michael T Klare and Georg Friedman.

https://www.countercurrents.org/eapen301114.htm
http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news ... 60833.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2 ... s_disputes

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1035
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:41 am

BRUTE wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:31 pm
it feels like Mister Imperceptible is slightly talking past brute here. there are assumptions in here that brute does not make, but he has seen many humans assume that brute makes these assumptions.

the argument "humans are irrational => libertarianism doesn't work" does not actually counter any arguments libertarians make. the whole point of libertarianism is closer to "humans are irrational => only libertarianism will work".

....

brute will try to rephrase Mister Imperceptible's argument in a way that he hopes will still hold the same meaning, but not lead to "libertarianism is in principle impossible".

"human societies currently lack the mindsets, ideologies, and social capital to recognize that they could be acting in more positive-sum games => libertarianism currently only exists in certain policy regards within non-libertarian societies"

brute agrees.

brute is saying: "humans could build more social and ideological capital to gain the foresight that more positive-sum games would be better for them => some time in the future, human societies could approach libertarianism"
I also want to say I am not trying to talk past you. I agree with your rephrasing of my argument, and interpreting it with the principle of charity. So it comes down to optimism or pessimism about the ability of society to develop the social capital for libertarianism. Surprisingly, it is BRUTE the Nihilist and not Mister Imperceptible the Hot-Headed Logician that is optimistic about this.

However, I must second what @ThisDinosaur said on the first page of the thread, in that what you say about positive-sum games is not necessarily inherent in the political philosophy of libertarianism. It may be true that personal liberty/responsibility carried to its furthest extremes would not benefit society. I think that in the mind of BRUTE, two different things “libertarianism” and “positive-sum game culture” have been synthesized into a higher ideal. Which also says to me that beneath BRUTE’s cold, dead heart, he is not really a nihilist.

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:12 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:41 am
t may be true that personal liberty/responsibility carried to its furthest extremes would not benefit society. I think that in the mind of BRUTE, two different things “libertarianism” and “positive-sum game culture” have been synthesized into a higher ideal.
it may be true. but most evidence points brute to liberty benefitting society.

Clarice
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:45 pm
Location: California

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Clarice » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:02 pm

In my mind the libertarianism is the answer when one wants to affect the change at the personal level. On a global scale it is so complex that the cause and effect relationship is impossible to determine. For example Russia (always authoritarian) has been able to fight off the invaders for a long time with a simple formula:

Step 1: retreat while burning everything behind you and buying time until Winter;
Step 2: freeze the enemy.

Nobody as of lately has been able to figure out the logistics of supplying the army stuck in Russia. I hope neocons will not tap Jeff Bezos for the job. His logistical genius just might be the match for the challenge. :twisted:


BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:58 pm

*smirks*

brute isn't really left handed

Post Reply