• NOS4A2
    4.6k


    But who could be convinced by such a viewpoint? I don't think you can even live according to a standard of "all compulsion is bad", unless you are a hermit subsistence farmer somewhere.

    Myself, for one, but also many individualist, anarchist, liberal, and libertarian thinkers. Anti-statism has quite a rich literature if you ever care to take a look. I could be wrong but I doubt you yourself engages in compulsion, and prefer a voluntarist approach to your relations.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    You're thinking of capitalism.

    I’m thinking of statism, though I’m interested to hear your argument.
  • James Riley
    1.1k
    I’m thinking of statism, though I’m interested to hear your argument.NOS4A2

    I basically keyed off your statement:

    The problem I have is I see state "communal action" as compulsory, maintained through coercion and funded by exploitation. This is why I cannot see it as something desirable, no matter the comforts it may be able to provide.NOS4A2

    When I read that I immediately thought of your average indebted working stiff in the U.S. The current situation in the United States and China, two states with capitalist economies, I see the majority of people as worker bees in compulsory communal action maintained through coercion and funded by exploitation, no matter the comforts it may be able to provided.

    While capitalism is an economic system and not a form of government, when it is unbridled, it ends up owning the government (U.S.). It manufactures tax exemptions, limitations on liability, coercive and binding user agreements, limited standards and scopes of judicial review, limits on collective bargaining, exclusive legislation, and a general "work will set you free" mentality. The same corporations that own the state will avail themselves of communist and dictatorial, artificially lowered labor value in order to produce cheap pieces of plastic Chinese shit for American workers who's wages must more accurately compare to emerging marked labor in order to survive. (i.e. the tide that lifts their boats, lowers our boats and keeps us in compulsory, coerced exploitation.) Can we bail? Yeah, just like the Individualist can bail.
  • Echarmion
    2.1k
    Myself, for one, but also many individualist, anarchist, liberal, and libertarian thinkers. Anti-statism has quite a rich literature if you ever care to take a look. I could be wrong but I doubt you yourself engages in compulsion, and prefer a voluntarist approach to your relations.NOS4A2

    From your previous posts, you seem to only be concerned with certain types of compulsion, where I cannot threaten someone with a slap on the face, but can threaten them with starvation. If we take the common meaning of compulsion - being forced to do something you do not, right now, want to do, it seems very implausible to have any kind of society - even an anarchist one - that might work only based on the day to day whims of it's inhabitants.

    And this is why your distinction between "voluntary" and "compulsory" is ultimately flawed. You treat these as if these were physical descriptions of some process, when in reality they are just judgements of motivations. You judge the motivation: "work to earn money, so you can buy food to avoid starvation" as a voluntary action, meanwhile you judge "work to fill your state-mandated quota so you avoid a prison sentence" to be compulsory. You may say the reason is that one motivation is caused by "force", but "force" here again is not a physical thing, just another value judgement.

    What you're missing is an actual ground to stand on regarding the value of freedom. Just what constitutes that value, and how it is manifested. Freedom cannot simply be equated with wants or needs, if one wants to avoid the paradox that the drug addict, as the person most directly in tune with their needs, is the most free person. Rather, it seems like the opposite is true: They're least free, precisely because they have lost the ability to compel themselves to act according to a goal, rather than just a need.
  • James Riley
    1.1k
    On compulsion, interesting tweet, when someone says:

    “Nobody wants to work anymore.”

    Response:

    "Nobody ever wanted to work at all. We wanted to be productive, be creative, be part of a community, be supported, be validated, and have the time and space to truly rest. No one actually wants to trade in hours of their life to “earn” necessities." Emelyne Museaux
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    To me the idea of “unbridled capitalism” is largely a myth. The history seems to me to be one of state interventionism. It’s even written into the American constitution. Congress has the power “To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes”. I cannot think of many states that have refused intervening in the affairs of the citizens, whether social or economic. Maybe there is, but nowadays the so-called capitalist economies are of the mixed variety, and have been for quite some time. This reeks to me of mercantilism rather than capitalism.

    But you’re right. One of the problems with a state is that it is ripe for corrupting influences, as have all institutions of human power. If it has the power, as all states do, to rig the game for its own interest it will do so. It will favor who it pleases, impose tariffs and taxes and so on. I contend that reducing state power will have a corresponding effect of reducing corruption for the simple reason that there will be no one in power besides the citizenry to seek favor with.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    I don’t see how a voluntary society is implausible, or at least you haven’t shown it. Appeals to incredulity do not suffice to dismiss the notion in any case.

    When using the terms “compulsory” and “voluntary” I am speaking of relations between human beings, not between the individual and nature. I thought this was clear. We can discuss the compulsion of nature if you want but I don’t see why we should. To me, speaking of voluntary and compulsory association—that is, between human beings—necessarily involves motivation and human action. Yes, my objections are value judgements, particularly moral ones. And you’re right, when I speak of “force” I do not mean the force described by Newton’s laws of motion. I mean the methods of coercion, violence, and exploitation. I don’t understand how any of this is flawed.

    I don’t subscribe to the Hegelian idea of freedom, as if one should be emancipated from the consequences of nature and his own actions, or that man is free so long as he is content with his situation. When I speak of freedom I do so in the social and political sense (negative), as in the absence of the methods of “force” mentioned above.
  • James Riley
    1.1k


    About 40 years ago I thought I read something about Mussolini and fascism. If I recall, he coined the term, and it had something to do with state control of corporations. I always thought, yeah, so what's the difference between state control of corporations and corporate control of the state? Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    While unbridled capitalism may be a myth, that is only because self-identified "capitalists" are really socialists to the extent they socialize costs and have government/politicians do their dirty work for them.

    (Digression: They can hardly complain when folks like me disparage capitalism. Sure, it's not pure capitalism's fault. But they don't abide pure capitalism. An analogy would be the "right" misappropriating "America" and the flag and "patriotism" and "the troops" as theirs, and theirs alone. Then they say "See!" when the left lets them have it. Fuckers. Well, it's the same for capitalism. So yes, unbridled capitalism is real. They stole it, they can bear their lie, and the twisting of the term on their own. While true capitalism may be innocent, American "capitalists" have redefined the term to mean them, and they are not capitalists.)

    Corporations have risen to such levels of power that if the people want to influence government, they are better off doing cancel culture on a corporation than they are petitioning their elected representatives. If you don't like a state statute, why call your worthless politician? Just follow the money, boycott corporation X who owns that politician, if the corps focus groups show it matters, they call the politician and tell him the corporation is going to cut off the gravy train and the politician whimpers and does what he's told.

    Citizens United and campaign finance make "the people" an emasculated joke.

    What you see as state interventionism is corporate interventionism using the state as it's proxy bitch.

    The American constitution, providing congress has the power “To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes” need only be peeled back to see how that power has been applied and for who, and to who.

    If you live in the U.S., it ain't the state that's been messing with you, and it hasn't been for a long time. But the plutocracy is happy to have you all pissed off at the state. That' part of the plan.
  • Echarmion
    2.1k
    I don’t understand how any of this is flawed.NOS4A2

    It's flawed because it's vague and you're not supplying any argument for why we should accept your conception of compulsion, why it should be avoided etc.

    For example:
    When I speak of freedom I do so in the social and political sense (negative), as in the absence of the methods of “force” mentioned above.NOS4A2

    This is just circular reasoning. Freedom is the absence of force, and force is bad because it's the absence of freedom. Nothing about this tells me anything beyond establishing "freedom = good, force = bad".
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k


    A reminder:

    I recall my first conversation with you in which you criticised the lawlessness (a statist notion) and implicit communism (a boogeyman of the American state) of a group of people protesting their oppression and lives lost in the hands of a violently oppressive state.Kenosha Kid

    But yes I tend to criticize violence, rioting theft, and the destruction of property, and my own statism require rights and properties be defended.NOS4A2

    You complain about the characterisation, but it's quite clear you permit no concept of a justified protest against murder of black Americans. I said "protestors", you read "violence, rioting theft, and the destruction of property". I wasn't talking about looters, why did you substitute them in? Then or now? The position you stated at the time was against BLM as a whole, not the violent members of it, or the concurrent looters on which we've had no disagreement. (Looters are protest parasites. There was a lot of looting during the 2010 UK student protests. Needless to say, they weren't students.)

    Just trying to pin down your logic here. It did seem rather incredible that you could describe the oppressive aspect of the state, and see a problem with people protesting state oppression and no problem with the state's violence (either that which triggered the protests or that which met them). It occurs to me that no rational answer to this can possibly be forthcoming.

    So no matter which way you model your state, at some point you’ll run out of voluntary participants and move right to force. In the end this scheming and state building will snuff out natural human behavior, not compliment it.NOS4A2

    I agree with part of the first point, but I'm not arguing that anything would reproduce that natural state in an unnaturally large group, merely that a law that is in line with that natural behaviour would have fewer problems it needed force to resolve. (Btw even small groups had to resort to force sometimes. There's no recipe for churning out 100% good citizens under any schema.) The second point is therefore rather moot.

    For one thing, it is simply not possible for our natural social behaviour to play out on a large stage: it's untenable to share your food with a town, or to help everyone you meet. Nor is it feasible to recognise fellow members of your group as in-group, since odds are you've never met them before.

    But it's straightforward to see that satisfying those impulses indirectly is better than directly thwarting them. An egalitarian society would have lower levels of stress (empirically), wouldn't have to work as hard (because they're not lining the pockets of others), would have less resentment (fewer reasons for those pesky protestors, or bloody revolutions), less class and race hate (no one to demonise), and of course no one dying of starvation or hypothermia.

    I'm not saying that there's any version of a state that's free from having to force individuals to behave in a certain way (the kinds of people you admire would probably be in prison, although that's happening anyway), just that, if we have to accept statism, we don't have to accept one based on the concept of protecting the dubious right of the rich to withhold stolen goods from the majority (which is what our states are at root)?
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    It's flawed because it's vague and you're not supplying any argument for why we should accept your conception of compulsion, why it should be avoided etc.

    Perhaps a more precise term is “duress”.

    It should be avoided because you do not own the person. He is neither your child nor your slave. He has not given you the right to force him to do anything.

    This is just circular reasoning. Freedom is the absence of force, and force is bad because it's the absence of freedom. Nothing about this tells me anything beyond establishing "freedom = good, force = bad".

    Except I never stated that, so that’s not my reasoning. How can you establish “force = bad” when we were just talking about forcing people to do things against their will? In fact, in the text from which you quoted I clarified what I was talking about.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    I partially agree, especially wherever the state weds itself to corporations. But I just don’t see corporations bombing countries, taxing and jailing citizens, or shooting them dead in the street for victimless crimes. Maybe there is, I don’t know, but states have engaged in countless atrocities and genocides, and that fact cannot be avoided. My point is, only the state has the monopoly on violence. Corporate influence doesn’t exist at that level as far as I know.
  • James Riley
    1.1k
    Corporate influence doesn’t exist at that level as far as I know.NOS4A2

    Bless your heart.

    Corporations don't have to do anything like that when they have a state to do it for them.

    P.S. Perhaps I should flesh that out a little bit: MIC, Private Prisons, distraction, Oil. You can take if from there. Just follow the money.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    Corporations don't have to do anything like that when they have a state to do it for them

    Well, I would have to blame the state in these instances. They could have refused and done otherwise, but didn’t. It’s just another reason why people shouldn’t have that sort of power over others.
  • James Riley
    1.1k
    Well, I would have to blame the state in these instances. They could have refused and done otherwise, but didn’t. It’s just another reason why people shouldn’t have that sort of power over others.NOS4A2

    That's what the corporations want you to do: blame the state. The state not executing the will of the corporations which own it, would be political suicide. I mean really, you expect a congressman or woman, or senator to go against the will of their boss? Oh, wait, you're still working under the mistaken impression that the people control the legislature. LOL! That's so 18th century.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    I don't believe people control the legislature at all. I believe the state is an anti-social institution. It operates only for its own benefit. It forbids murder but commits murder on a grand scale. It forbids theft but puts its hands on anything it pleases, and claims the right to do so.

    Why wouldn’t you blame the state? is the question. They’re the ones with all the power, who accept bribes, and pull all the levers. Remove the state and that all vanishes.
  • James Riley
    1.1k
    I don't believe people control the legislature at all. I believe the state is an anti-social institution. It operates only for its own benefit. It forbids murder but commits murder on a grand scale. It forbids theft but puts its hands on anything it pleases, and claims the right to do so.NOS4A2

    :100:

    Why wouldn’t you blame the state? is the question. They’re the ones with all the power, who accept bribes, and pull all the levers. Remove the state and that all vanishes.NOS4A2

    That brings us back to my original question regarding what I recall (long time ago) about Mussolini and fascism: six of one, half dozen of the other. If you remove the state, none of that vanishes. You just have the corporations doing the same shit, beholden only to the shareholders. In order for you to have influence, you have to buy stock and attend the shareholder meetings, raise a stink and pray enough other shareholders put their financial interests on the back-burner to support whatever it is you are whining about.

    Why do you think cancel culture works when people pressure corporations but it doesn't work on the corporate employees in the legislature? Follow the money.
  • Echarmion
    2.1k
    It should be avoided because you do not own the person. He is neither your child nor your slave. He has not given you the right to force him to do anything.NOS4A2

    Has he not given me the right? Everyone has the right to force other to respect what's theirs. So since everyone can demand respect from everyone else, they all mutually have the right to enforce that respect.

    Except I never stated that, so that’s not my reasoning. How can you establish “force = bad” when we were just talking about forcing people to do things against their will? In fact, in the text from which you quoted I clarified what I was talking about.NOS4A2

    You clarified that you mean freedom as "freedom from", yes, but that doesn't anwer what the force is, or why it's good to be free from it.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    That brings us back to my original question regarding what I recall (long time ago) about Mussolini and fascism: six of one, half dozen of the other. If you remove the state, none of that vanishes. You just have the corporations doing the same shit, beholden only to the shareholders. In order for you to have influence, you have to buy stock and attend the shareholder meetings, raise a stink and pray enough other shareholders put their financial interests on the back-burner to support whatever it is you are whining about.

    Why do you think cancel culture works when people pressure corporations but it doesn't work on the corporate employees in the legislature? Follow the money.

    Mussolini’s statism was a frightening, quasi-religious affair. He was statism and collectivism manifest. I have never seen any corporation rise to his level of ardor. Maybe there is a better example.

    I don’t like many corporations either, but they have no control over me. It’s only when they run to the state could they hope to do so. One can stop supporting a corporation and no longer associate with them by refusing to buy or use their products. Not only that but corporations are the work of private, non-state actors like you and myself. You and I could start a corporation and direct it towards good ends. That’s not the case with the state. Refusal to associate or purchase means prison or fine.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    Has he not given me the right? Everyone has the right to force other to respect what's theirs. So since everyone can demand respect from everyone else, they all mutually have the right to enforce that respect.

    Yes, and so you should respect the autonomy and individuality of their body. It’s theirs, not yours. I fully support the use of force to defend that right.

    You clarified that you mean freedom as "freedom from", yes, but that doesn't anwer what the force is, or why it's good to be free from it.

    I did answer what type of force I was talking about.
  • James Riley
    1.1k


    Again, you fail to grasp the concept of proxy. Whatever. I just see the genius and the effectiveness of their intent and implementation in you: blaming the state for your woes. LOL! Black ants, red ants, who's shaking the jar? If there were an independent state working for the people, it would want the opposite.

    And no, I'm not talking about mom and pop s corps. I'm talking about the big c corps that spend all that money on politics. They aren't doing that because it doesn't work. They are buying a product and a service and they are getting what they pay for as the new owners of that which they bought.
  • Echarmion
    2.1k
    Yes, and so you should respect the autonomy and individuality of their body. It’s theirs, not yours. I fully support the use of force to defend that right.NOS4A2

    But you narrow the extend to that right to a few specific cases. You don't delineate a general right of free self-expression of actualisation. You're only concerned with some conditions of life (such as bodily integrity), but not with the others. I'd like to know why you think this is a reasonable approach. To me it seems like you're lifting your view straight from 18th century enlightenment texts without accounting for the historical contingency of those demands.

    I did answer what type of force I was talking about.NOS4A2

    But in an anecdotal and ecclectic approach. What's the general rule according to which some methods are admissible and others are not?
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    But you narrow the extend to that right to a few specific cases. You don't delineate a general right of free self-expression of actualisation. You're only concerned with some conditions of life (such as bodily integrity), but not with the others. I'd like to know why you think this is a reasonable approach. To me it seems like you're lifting your view straight from 18th century enlightenment texts without accounting for the historical contingency of those demands.

    Nothing I’ve said precludes "a general right of free self-expression of actualization”, as far as I'm aware. I just don’t think anyone should have the right or power to make others provide the conditions for it. It seems to me a contradiction to do otherwise.

    Yes, these are old principles but so far I haven’t heard any better ones.

    But in an anecdotal and ecclectic approach. What's the general rule according to which some methods are admissible and others are not?

    If I had to formulate a rule it would be something like “do not make man a slave”.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    Again, you fail to grasp the concept of proxy. Whatever. I just see the genius and the effectiveness of their intent and implementation in you: blaming the state for your woes. LOL! Black ants, red ants, who's shaking the jar? If there were an independent state working for the people, it would want the opposite.

    And no, I'm not talking about mom and pop s corps. I'm talking about the big c corps that spend all that money on politics. They aren't doing that because it doesn't work. They are buying a product and a service and they are getting what they pay for as the new owners of that which they bought.

    Well, I think you imagined their intent and implementation, or at least you haven’t shown it. I blame the state for my woes simply because they are the perpetrator of them. If a corporation ever becomes a parasite, stealing my wealth, skimming from my purchases, restricting my movement, and claiming the right to use force against me should I refuse, my ire will turn to them.

    But yes its easy to curry favor with those in power if you have more money. That's why I think no one should have that power. Men are fallen and fallible.
  • James Riley
    1.1k
    I blame the state for my woes simply because they are the perpetrator of them.NOS4A2

    I know. By analogy only (for it's not simply a U.S. thing) the civilian population in a war zone often blames the soldier simply because he is the perpetrator. It's completely understandable for the simpleton on the ground to lash out at what he, in his naivety, sees in front of him.

    It's like the individual BLM member who hates cops. The more reasonable, objective member will see the systemic (system) racism behind it. Peel the onion more, and you find private prison systems and others who benefit from the way our system is set up. Follow the money. The state you hate is funded by someone. You just stop at the state and blame it. Part of the plan. It's working so long as you blame the state.
  • Echarmion
    2.1k
    Nothing I’ve said precludes "a general right of free self-expression of actualization”, as far as I'm aware. I just don’t think anyone should have the right or power to make others provide the conditions for it. It seems to me a contradiction to do otherwise.NOS4A2

    What's contradictory about it?
  • James Riley
    1.1k


    Here is my opinion: Ronald Reagan, and his acolytes, was/are wrong. Government (the state) is not the problem, it is the solution. And government, as proposed in the organic documents of the U.S., is the best solution.

    The problem is this: Those who don't want to see that solution fully realized, because it would be inimical to their financial interests, have successfully created a state that serves their interests at the expense of the people at large. They have done this in various ways that I could delve into if you wish, but for right now, in consideration of your feelings about the state, I will stick to the sewing of distrust of the state, and of those who look to the state for alleviation of woes.

    This is important, because the distrust (not just of the state, but of those who look to the state), is such that those who look to the state for simple protection of their civil liberties, feel they have been pushed beyond merely looking to the state for alleviation of those woes, ala the organic documents (and something that is dear to your heart, individualism), but further into a camp that itself would justify the distrust that people like you have of them.

    That was a little wordy and hard to follow, so let me try again: The wedge has been driven so deep that those who would simply have the state defend their individual liberties have been divided, right and left, to points where the right defends those who drive the wedge, while the left would use the state (if they could) to not only neuter those who drive the wedge, protecting their individualism, but to also and further provide reparations for the damage done by the wedge-drivers. In other words, the left was not the boogey man the right thought it was until the right created in the left what the right so feared.

    The right, and the wedge-drivers created the Sanders and the AOCs and the socialists and commies of the world by failure to protect the individual liberties of all. By failing to listen to enlightened capitalists like Warren.

    The state is the best solution if the wedge-driver is neutered. If there had been power to the people, then those on the left would not seek to use the state in derogation of civil liberties or individual liberty of the right.

    But alas, the longer you keep a man down, the worse you will suffer if he ever gets back up again. Ask the King of France. I'm sure he said "Hey, fellas, let's let bygones be bygones. It's all cool now. I get it."

    Sorry MFr, too late, LOP!

    If people like you would quit excusing the wedge-drivers by your antagonism toward that which our founding fathers set up to protect all, then we the people could take back the state and use it as the solution for the woes brought on by wedge-drivers. But alas, it may be too late. If the people ever get the state back, they may be looking for a little pay-back and then you'll be pissed, saying "See, I told you so. These evil statists are cutting heads off!"

    On this notion of "power to the people" it's also interesting to note how the wedge-drivers have the state infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear power. Those on the right, in support of the wedge-drivers, maintain that power. But those on the left forfeit that fundamental civil liberty from the Bill of Rights, further cementing the power of the wedge-drivers. Everyone should be well educated (the pen) and well armed (the sword) but today, the right has given up their pen to men like Donald Trump and the left has given their arms to men like MLK. And the wedge-drivers tighten their grip on the state, using it to do their dirty work.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    I like your opinion, James, and I can find some affinity with it.

    I can’t get out of my mind, though, that we the people are already in possession of the state. Every lawmaker up there is elected, funded by our donations and taxes, and by some feat of the imagination we believe that they represent us. Anyways, it doesn’t matter who takes power because the machinery, the laws, the regulations, the taxes, the agencies, and their enforcers remain after the politicians who enacted them are a faded memory. While state power accrues, our freedom diminishes. I swear, the distinction between state and citizen on the one hand and lord and serf on the other is steadily decreasing in degree. Is statism not fealty in a sense?

    I can’t stand the collectivist and paternalistic superstition that so long as the anointed are in power the future will be better for everyone. So many disasters have been premised on this obsequious and blood-soaked notion. Even so, I’m never disappointed with what Herbert Spencer called “the perennial faith of mankind”, that even though every day chronicles another failure, whether war or injustice or unforeseen consequence, every day it is believed that only the right rulers and an act of legislation can correct it.

    All that we have left is to take a vote and perhaps stamp our feet on the pavement now and then. It’s all we can do. We have to beg the state to take care of us because we’ve long since delegated our duties to one another, and any power we’ve had, to an institution of impersonal officialdom.
  • NOS4A2
    4.6k


    What's contradictory about it?

    Wouldn’t forcing someone to do something against their will contradict their general right of free self-expression of actualization?
  • Echarmion
    2.1k
    Wouldn’t forcing someone to do something against their will contradict their general right of free self-expression of actualization?NOS4A2

    Does it work this way for other rights? Doesn't restraining or injuring or even killing someone who is about to kill someone else violate their general right of bodily autonomy and freedom of movement?

    Rights are not absolute "bubbles" that extend a certain given distance at all times. They're rules that apportion a territory given by the circumstances.
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