in which brute says things about libertarianism

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BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:09 pm

what does Hobbes mean by "lack of natural opportunities"? lack of land?

minarchism == small government
anarchism == no government

Hobbes
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Hobbes » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:27 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:09 pm
what does Hobbes mean by "lack of natural opportunities"? lack of land?

minarchism == small government
anarchism == no government
I had meant it more in the sense that, at least in the US, if you want to eat, drink, and have shelter, you need land or money (putting aside charity for the moment). Unless you possess land somehow, that means you need money. That's why I used the debt bondage analogy, because it seems that, at birth, you have that 'debt' that must be paid should you have the requirements of life. In other words, you are required to somehow acquire currency until you acquire enough to 'purchase' your freedom (ie, FIRE). Though, now that I think on this more, that's not quite accurate - as Suelo has managed to go money-less, as how Boyle (or at least he was at one point so)...hmm...though neither of those example struck me as particularly sustainable (they seemed to live off the waste of industrial society).

Perhaps contrasting the modern American with (what little I know of) a revolutionary American could be helpful here (as an idea of what I would consider a freer situation). My understanding is that many colonists owned smallish amount of land, and largely supported themselves from this land. If they desired something that they couldn't produce on their own, they would work in some trade or sell what they have in order the acquire the currency for what they wanted and get it. Then they would just go back to tending their own properties. From the outside, it would seem like, in that setup, people would have considerably more freedom than they have now, in that their needs for currency would be much less because they had the means for greater self reliance. As I type this out more I see that, yes, I am arguing that a land deficit is what I see as causing an over-reliance on money (though I am biased, in that my long term goals are the establish a permaculture farm).

I wonder if I am making sense? This is an issue I've rather avoided\not contemplated much for many years, as I've chosen to focus on things that are more under my control than the organization of society (over which I exert virtually no influence, and don't particularly desire greater influence if I'm honest). As such, I apologize if my writing here is more than a little disorganized\unclear

BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:30 am

brute is skeptical about the comparison with the colonial homesteaders. sure, there was land up for grabs, but grabs meant hard work back then. probably much harder than any humans in the US work for the equivalent of food these days. land rarely spawns food, clothing, or shelter in pure form - there's a lot of work that goes into farming, logging, and the like.

the distinction between land and money seems a bit arbitrary to brute.

if the end goal is to be free from hunger and the elements, it doesn't matter much to brute if the intermediate was money, labor + barter, or labor directly on the land. what matters more is the amount of hours worked for the same amount of freedom.

is it really more unfree to work 5-10 hours for minimum wage per month, compared to working however long it takes to tend to a wheat field and milk cows every morning?

that's not saying that land ownership cannot be valuable, but brute does not see it as inherently more free(ing) than getting stuff from other sources of labor.

and again, the "debt bondage" is not a result of the economic or political system, it is a result of human existence in nature. even fruits growing on trees require labor to get them. animals run away. building huts. none of this stuff was free.

Finn
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Finn » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:45 am

As someone who is not well versed at all in libertarian thinking (it's not a big thing in Europe), what do the several strands of libertarian ideology say about the equal opportunities of those who are underage, re: education, healthcare, etc? Also, is laissez-fare capitalism always the economic system of choice for libertarians?

I'm sure these are painfully basic questions for you guys, but I really am genuinely curious.

7Wannabe5
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:40 am

BRUTE wrote:is it really more unfree to work 5-10 hours for minimum wage per month, compared to working however long it takes to tend to a wheat field and milk cows every morning?
It depends on whether you are defining freedom as leisure or autonomy. I believe in the theory that language is embodied, so this is an important distinction. Is it your desire to not have to work your body or brain very hard or very long, or is it your desire to not work under the direction of another human? Of course, you could work for yourself without the use of land and engage in barter, and lease a share of private roads, private marketplace, private tools, etc. Obviously, one thing that currently renders the digital nomad lifestyle so appealing is that there are public facilities one can make use of in conjunction with minimalism, just like drug lords are able to make use of realms which a community can't afford to police.

IOW, if you can't maintain the fence, then somebody else will likely evince their natural right to your land. So, do you have enough muscle, or enough money to hire the muscle, to walk 2 acres of fence? 2 Acres of even marginally arable land/human is the current ratio. In comparison, the average range of an adult male black bear is around 5 square miles (3200 acres.) At current prices, the amount of money necessary to retire passively (full leisure besides cooking lentils, grooming, reading Barron's at the public library etc.) on 1jacob could purchase approximately 68 acres (1/10 square mile) of land rights in the range of the black bear, inclusive of public law enforcement of private property rights, and maybe 250 yards of frontage on a publicly maintained road.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by ThisDinosaur » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:40 am

Another definition of freedom: Freedom from a low position in a workplace dominance hierarchy. Freedom from another person having the authority to tell you what to do and when to do it for most of your waking hours during most days. Its related to the leisure/autonomy definitions but different.

Another one: Decoupling of your needs and wants from undesired activity. The vast majority of people and animals throughout time have had to work (=to do an activity they'd prefer not to do) in order to obtain food and shelter. Humans invented money, and a consequence is that some minority of people can have all their food and shelter needs met without having to do any undesirable activity.

@Finn
Libertarian ideology says that you don't have a 'right' to healthcare or education, except if you are willing and able to pay the fair market price. Libertarianism tires to maximize the choice optionality of the individual above that of the state. Since healthcare and education are provided by individuals, those individuals should have the right to choose the price for which they will provide their services.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:49 am

BRUTE wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:35 pm
brute thinks maybe once the world population of humans tapers out around ~10-12 billion, and the average standard of living approaches that of today's Europe, maybe humans will get their shit together and stop thinking in the short term, zero-sum ways of today. then libertarianism on a bigger scale could happen.
Will the population taper, or will it overshoot and crash? Given that people and governments are largely reactive, the latter seems more likely to me, and in a in a world of scarce resources we could end up with authoritarian governments at war, as a result of Pareto distributions. There are more people being born who need or want dependence on the state than there are self-sufficient Vikings.

All this talk of positive sum games. Not very nihilistic.

Riggerjack
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:43 pm

On the "never been tried" front, how have our current governmental forms been tried?

Socialism got it's start in Russia, after central failures, and while the Russians we're fighting WWI. Bolsheviks we're supported by Germany, who was looking to fund an internal conflict with their enemy.

Our American revolution was a civil war, with an internal civil war within each colony about Independence, and only after the central authority of parliament passed such bad policies as to cause rebellion. Then, with French support, they were able to fight a guerilla war that made colonies to be unprofitable at a time when England was cash strapped.

New forms of governance require both failure of the old system, and foreign support, usually because they are already at war with that failed state. Each is rare, and neither is fun, both together are extremely rare. That one form of governance hasn't been supported by both, and therefore is unworkable, is a pretty weak argument...

BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:18 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:49 am
Will the population taper, or will it overshoot and crash? Given that people and governments are largely reactive, the latter seems more likely to me, and in a in a world of scarce resources we could end up with authoritarian governments at war, as a result of Pareto distributions. There are more people being born who need or want dependence on the state than there are self-sufficient Vikings.
brute read "The Coming Population Crash" and found it pretty convincing. according to this book, it's a certainty that population growth will taper off. the decisions have long been made. brute forgets the exact math/reasoning because it's been a while, but basically he argues that the first derivative of the population, i.e. growth, has already decreased and is further decreasing, mainly due to India and China. there will be a peak, and then it will become relatively stable for at least a generation.
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:49 am
All this talk of positive sum games. Not very nihilistic.
tells you brute has typically been on the receiving end of the mob's zero-sum bullshit.

BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:23 pm

ThisDinosaur wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:40 am
Libertarian ideology says that you don't have a 'right' to healthcare or education
more generally, any right TO something is a right to take from another human. these are called positive rights. libertarians generally (not all of them) favor negative rights, e.g. the right NOT TO be murdered or NOT TO be stolen from. these do not require any active actions or resources from other humans, just refraining from imposing externalities on others.

a right to education == teachers have no right to their own time
a right to health care == doctors and nurses have no right to their own time

taken further, like in soviet states, all humans have a "right" to everything and therefore a "duty" to everyone. failing to show up to work in a soviet state is literally denying the right to eat to another soviet citizen, and thus a crime against the state.

BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:31 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:40 am
It depends on whether you are defining freedom as leisure or autonomy.
certainly. brute suspects that a lot of the homesteaders valued autonomy higher than average, because he can't imagine that more of them got rich than city dwellers and industrial workers.

even among libertarians, there are big differences. some libertarians are so opposed to US foreign adventures that they aim to pay no taxes, even if that means making almost zero income. they prefer to live by dumpster diving and barter (which is taxable, but hard to track) but not contributing their taxes to bombing brown humans over living a comfortable life but paying taxes that go to the military.

other libertarians make a huge distinction between "private" and "public", where everything that is nominally private is "morally good" and vice versa. brute does not believe that e.g. everything Facebook or Google do is just and positive simply because they are nominally not government agencies. in brute's world view, power corrupts, and the state is just one of the biggest sources of power, so it corrupts absolutely. but private enterprises can still absolutely be corrupt, inefficient, immoral, have asymmetric power, or develop any of the other negative dynamics that libertarians dislike about the state. the big difference being they don't have a legal monopoly on what they do (unlike the state with laws, police, and the military).
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:40 am
IOW, if you can't maintain the fence, then somebody else will likely evince their natural right to your land. So, do you have enough muscle, or enough money to hire the muscle, to walk 2 acres of fence?
absolutely. this is why, if humans are honest, might makes right. if brute has a gun to 7Wannabe5's head, he's right until someone else comes to help. that's why humans band together and have the police and courts.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:34 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:18 pm
tells you brute has typically been on the receiving end of the mob's zero-sum bullshit.
Either I misunderstand you or you misunderstood me.

It seems contradictory to me that someone who professes to be a nihilist is in search of positive sum games instead of zero sum games. If nihilism, why not zero sum games? Why not negative sum games? Why care?

I, too, have been on the receiving end of the mob’s zero sum bullshit. But is that a concern here in ERE land?

BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:44 pm

*shrug*

brute doesn't make the rules.

maybe brute's libertarianism and his nihilism act on two different levels. emotionally and practically, brute is a nihilist: he doesn't care if dinosaurs eat all humans and the species dies off.

intellectually, brute thinks that libertarianism is right about almost everything. and brute likes thinking things through and debating intellectual ideas.

but he doesn't think that libertarians will get elected or will change anything any time soon.

it feels a bit like solving crossword puzzles on the Titanic. it won't save the ship or anyone on it, but god damn it, it's correct and a fun mental exercise.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:46 pm

Cool-headed logician

prognastat
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by prognastat » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:50 pm

I suspect minarchist libertarianism could be possible to pull off if there were a government just to maintain a military, police force and legal system. I do believe it's very unlikely due to the nature of most people.(even among conservatives most still take advantage of most government benefits when they end up needing it, unemployment, medicare/medicaid and social security despite arguing that they are evil/wrong)

Anarchist Libertarianism I don't see ever working long term as it is just waiting for a new leader to collectivise a group and take over the anarchist libertarian paradise as things like military/war are done far more effectively when reducing individual rights(draft) and collectivising instead.

BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:00 pm

@prognastat

that seems like a reasonable view for the current context. but the context has changed just in the last 100 years. for example, WW1 and 2 were pretty much the last wars were a military draft was beneficial in any capacity. with current weaponry, warfare tactics and strategy, having a large number of unskilled soldiers is completely useless.

thus it could have been argued in ~1900 that a non-authoritarian government without a draft, that instead focused more on economic growth, was prone to being taken over by the more authoritarian one. and it might've been true at the time.

this is true not only for the military. if developments continue the way they have, a lot of "strengths" of the old nation states are going to turn into weaknesses. for example, a large population was a great asset for western countries in the industrial revolution, and China when it entered its manufacturing era in the 80s and 90s. now, these large, aging populations are becoming a drag on the economy. city states like Hong Kong and Singapore do not have to feed entire continents full of humans. they do not have to worry as much about structural unemployment, aging workers being replaced by robots, UBI-style systems (or at least they could more easily afford them). maybe a good analogy are the city states of the enlightenment, when large land masses and large numbers of humans became less important, and trade, finance, and creativity in science and the arts took over a more important role.

the viability of a political and economic (or any, really) system depends on its context, and who knows what the context of the future will look like. the only thing brute is sure of: being flexible and adaptive is going to be an advantage (yes, here goes the agile argument again).

prognastat
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by prognastat » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:11 pm

@BRUTE

I wouldn't quite agree that soldiers are useless at this time.

However I would agree they are becoming less useful.

Automation is of course something that could be applied to the military too and as such could make most military personnel useless. However there is also the concern of morals/ethics with automating the killing of humans. Do we want robots capable and allowed to kill humans without gaining permission from a human? If we do end up moving in this direction with automated drones/robots then we wouldn't even need people to control the drones/robots drastically reducing the need for personnel. This still wouldn't change the fact that resources are necessary to maintain a military(even an AI/Robotic one) and that easiest way to gain a large amount of resources for this purpose is extracting it from others.

It's possible that taking blockchain and digital currency technology with some further improvements where we could also reduce the need for a legal system at least for the sake of enforcing contracts.

I don't think though that we could get to the point of not needing a military and police force of any kind.

Hobbes
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Hobbes » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:21 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:40 am
BRUTE wrote:is it really more unfree to work 5-10 hours for minimum wage per month, compared to working however long it takes to tend to a wheat field and milk cows every morning?
It depends on whether you are defining freedom as leisure or autonomy.
Yes, exactly. I view freedom as autonomy. IE:
"the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
"absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government." (I'd rephrase this as absence of subjection to other people). Sans land, this doesn't seem overly likely. As you were mentioning BRUTE, it may very well take more effort to maintain your autonomy vs going into the market economy, but, speaking personally, I'm not allergic to hard work (and can see benefits in performing it beyond the cultivation of food, in the sense of positive character development). But I don't particularly enjoy being subject to needing a job, and hence losing my autonomy.
Besides, I tend to think small scale farming would be a psychologically healthier activity for an introverted meditator such as myself anyways :lol: , rather then doing essentially pointless work in the corporate game.

BRUTE wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:31 pm
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:40 am
IOW, if you can't maintain the fence, then somebody else will likely evince their natural right to your land. So, do you have enough muscle, or enough money to hire the muscle, to walk 2 acres of fence?
absolutely. this is why, if humans are honest, might makes right. if brute has a gun to 7Wannabe5's head, he's right until someone else comes to help. that's why humans band together and have the police and courts.
I don't see how might makes right, in any sense of 'right.' That action certainly isn't morally right, and judging by the long term consequences of that action (the general militarization of private life\distrust\fighting and dying), it wouldn't make much sense to pursue that course. Everyone is obviously worse off for doing it, even the people who score short term 'wins' (its doubtful that'll being able to hold their 'possessions' long until somebody else outguns them). But this gets back to the prisoners' dilemma I suppose, and I further suppose there isn't a general solution to preventing people from 'cheating' in the sense of robbing, as you both say.
Hmm. This thread as already given me much to think about.
Last edited by Hobbes on Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hobbes
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Hobbes » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:40 pm

@Riggerjack

Or a suitably compelling religious idea (see the near downfall of the Eastern Roman Empire and the collapse of the Sassanian Empire to certain folks).
In theory, any suitably compelling idea for how to organize society, conveyed with sufficient clarity\charisma when the conditions are 'right' for the change (the population is receptive to change) should be able to do the trick; though I confess I have nothing more than intuition to support this more general claim.

BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:59 pm

Hobbes wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:21 pm
Yes, exactly. I view freedom as autonomy. IE:
"the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
"absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government." (I'd rephrase this as absence of subjection to other people). Sans land, this doesn't seem overly likely. As you were mentioning BRUTE, it may very well take more effort to maintain your autonomy vs going into the market economy, but, speaking personally, I'm not allergic to hard work (and can see benefits in performing it beyond the cultivation of food, in the sense of positive character development).
maybe Hobbes really cares about land. brute does not. brute find that land has negative marginal utility - it comes with more cost than benefits to him. maybe this is because brute is allergic to hard work.

if "some land" anywhere is that important, libertarian free-market economics has an excellent solution for Hobbes to free himself of foreign subjugation - he can buy a piece of land somewhere in Idaho or Montana for next to nothing and live there, free. there are in fact many libertarians doing just that.

the biggest subjection to despotic government will come in the form of property taxes.

the more brute thinks about this, the more he gets confused. is Hobbes saying he wants a political system that guarantees the right to land ownership to all humans? what land? where? how much? what if they don't like that piece of land in Montana, but would prefer prime Manhattan real estate? what if the parcel is just 3x3ft? must it be enough to grow food on it? how much food?
Hobbes wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:21 pm
I don't see how might makes right, in any sense of 'right.' That action certainly isn't morally right, and judging by the long term consequences of that action (the general militarization of private life\distrust\fighting and dying), it wouldn't make much sense to pursue that course.
yet this is the basis for taxation. the government has a gun to Hobbes' and brute's head and therefore Hobbes and brute pay taxes.

brute agrees in general, but it seems that the definition of "long term" is of importance here.

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