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Guest Post: Evil And The State

Tyler Durden's picture




 

The next in a continuing series (most recently: The Nature and Origin of the State).

Submitted by Free Radical

Evil and the State

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil. – Thomas Paine

If the state is “an evil inflicted on men by men,” yet the preservation of society nonetheless “justifies the action of the organs of the state,” then the inescapable conclusion is that the state is indeed “a necessary evil.”

But how can this be? How can this or any other evil be necessary without rendering evil itself necessary? And if evil itself is necessary, then what of right and wrong, and thus of human morality? For surely the necessity of evil renders human morality null and void, as any action, no matter how heinous, can therefore be justified.  Law is then whatever anyone who has the power to back it up says it is; might then makes right; and the state, which is inherently an instrument of might, is then the only legitimate authority, never mind that legitimacy itself is rendered null and void.

To escape this travesty of reason, then, we must show that however inevitable it might be, evil can never be necessary, which we can only do by defining what evil, broadly speaking, is.  And we do so by (1) acknowledging the primordial fact that being is, (2) intuiting from this the primordial value that being is good, and (3) acting on the resultant impulse that more being is better.  For from these it follows that (1) less being is bad, (2) nonbeing is worst of all,i  and (3) evil is therefore that which fosters one of the other. 

Understood in this way, it is clear that evil has no existence apart from being and the goodness thereof and is instead derivative of them.  Thus did Augustine of Hippo, for example, argue against the

… conception of evil as an independent reality and power coeternal with good. … Evil, he taught, has no independent existence, but is always parasitic upon good, which alone has substantial being. ii

Co-eternity, after all, would mean one of two things: Either mutual dependence – in which case good would need evil as much as evil needed good – or mutual independence – in which case evil would have substantial being and thus the same ontological validity as good.  Thus would evil either be as necessary as good or as “good” as good, leaving human morality in the lurch regardless (e.g., I steal because I need to or because it’s as “good” as honest work), leaving civil society in the lurch as well.

For human morality to be preserved, then, and thus the basis for civil society, we must assert, with Augustine, that evil cannot be co-eternal with good but must be parasitic upon it.  And as we have already established that the state, having no existence beyond that which it is able to extract from (the good(s) of) society, is similarly parasitic, we can only conclude that because the state is evil, it cannot be necessary.  It follows, then, that while the state is indeed “an evil inflicted on men by men,” the preservation of society in no way “justifies the action of the organs of the state.” Instead, it justifies whatever action society deems necessary to diminish – and ultimately eradicate – the state. 

And as this includes the so-called “democratic” state, it is to this most insidious form of evil that we turn in my next submission: “Democracy and Its Contradictions.”

 


To argue that nonbeing is better is simply to take nihilism to its logical extreme – i.e., to “believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.” Such belief is therefore not only antisocial but antihuman, anti-life, and anti-existence.
ii  The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. & The Free Press, New York, 1967, Vol. 3, pp. 136 and 137.

 

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Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:10 | 939141 gorillaonyourback
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there is no right or wrong, no good or evil,  there is just what is, natural law.  your perspective is what is right for you, but that doesn't mean its right for the next guy.  so if anything right and wrong or good and evil is totally arbitrary, hence universally undefined

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:20 | 939150 plocequ1
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.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:56 | 939221 AnonymousAnarchist
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Today's educational video comes from two people ZH readers are familiar with. Doug Casey and Thomas Woods discuss Is Limited Government an Oxymoron?. Part of the Introduction to a Stateless Society.

Still, if you only read one thing from the intro, make sure it is Hasnas' The Obviousness of Anarchy (pdf).

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:38 | 939196 Missing_Link
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Wow, that's fuckin' deep, dude.  My mind is BLOWN  ... blown, I say.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:07 | 939409 Bananamerican
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another ZH "think piece"

if evil is legitimate and hippos are inherently derivative,can non being escape the inevitable conclusion???

How heinous to intuit this tragic bolus.....

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 02:48 | 940009 i.knoknot
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take the blue pill?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:19 | 939270 Wynn
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@ gorillaonyourback

true. but groups of like minded people always coalesce. the more refined the belief, the smaller the group.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:46 | 939308 gorillaonyourback
gorillaonyourback's picture

well if you look at all who junked me im a group of 1 lololol.

i suppose most people didnt like the simplicity of my statement, but i believe in simplicity. i like to use as an example copernicus and his relatively simple calculation for predicting the heavenly bodies movement, before him the calculations were so incredibly difficulty because the premise was wrong.

so i guess if look u for the reasons we have corrupt goverment is because evil is winning, maybe the premise is wrong.

so now i will say something even simpler, IF YOU DONT LIKE WHATS GOIN ON IN THE WORLD AROUND YOU, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. now doesn't that take the whole question of right or wrong, right out of the equation?  IM NOT SAYING I DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT all the time but i do know its up to me to make my world around me the best i can, and its not easy

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:59 | 939414 lesterbegood
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+10

Stand up for your rights!

Withdraw your consent!

Stop playing the corporate states' game.

http://republicoftheunitedstates.org

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:21 | 939273 bigargon
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total Bullshit.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:02 | 939419 hardmedicine
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relativism may not send you to hell but at least you'll feel all justified while on the road there

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 20:59 | 939576 mouser98
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wrong.  to attempt to forcibly control or own another's life, liberty or property is immoral, there is nothing relative about it.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 22:41 | 939699 vanderrook
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Mouser,

I think a lot of people are confusing legal relativism with moral relativism; you are correct sir: there is, I believe, absolute morality as you have defined it- it is the legal arbitrariness that has fucked so many people up...

Positive (man made) laws must be stopped!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 06:17 | 940098 Batty Koda
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Are parents evil for telling their children what to do?

"Don't touch that stove, it's hot." Is this an example of a malignant patriarchy applying it's totalitarian rule to an innocent child?

Unfortunately we don't live in the realm of bunny wabbits and candyfloss, there will always be a ruling authority, it's called civilisation, I'm a fan, if your not just move to the woods and become a hermit or something.

The question is what form should this ruling authority take, if the visions of libertarians/anarchists come to fruition we'll be ruled by a consortium of mega-corporations. I prefer the idea of a democratically elected group of experts setting laws and such (not what we have now) but if you want to be slave on a global plantation that's your business, at least realise what your advocating.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 08:56 | 940214 ms1408
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"we'll be ruled by a consortium of mega-corporations"

You mean don't have that system at the moment?

Take a look at a chart of wealth disparity against the size of the welfare state and you will see a strong positive correlation. Government has historically produced the greatest disparity between rich and poor.

You also forget that "corporations" are a legal illusion invented by the state. There is no such thing as a "corporation" or a "government" - only people. It is immoral to enact violence against someone who hasn't aggressed against you and no perverted ideological construct will change that. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 09:02 | 940219 mouser98
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you reduce us all to the level of children with your thinking.  i don't know about you, but i learned to think for myself about 30 years ago.  i don't need Uncle Sam to tell me not to touch a hot stove.  if you do, i will volunteer to look out for you, we don't need to enslave all of humanity just to keep you from hurting yourself.

you pretty much got it entirely backwards.  you are a slave on a global plantation right now, because you can't give away your right to think for yourself fast enough.   you are nothing more than livestock, and because you refuse to recognize the right of a man to own himself, you would keep all of us on the farm forever.  people that think like you make me sick.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 21:21 | 939606 DosZap
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There is a definite RIGHT, and WRONG.

Your being human, having a conscience will tell you immediately if what your doing , planning to do is right or wrong.

Everyone (unless your a Sociopath),knows its evil to murder/steal/rape,etc.

There is Natural Law, and there is mans Law.

The original state of this country before it became a country was built and operated on Anarchy, but there are different types of anarchy.

Kind of like Rights, your rights stop at my nose.

Human Government is from GOD, it is needed to promote law.( our laws were set up on GODS LAWS).

It's function is to keep total anarchy(wrong type), from evil,on /against innocents and society.

If you break the law of Government its their job to mete out justice.

This takes out vigilantism.

Their must be a system of order.

If the SYSTEM itself is evil, then it must be changed.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:04 | 939832 gorillaonyourback
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this is what  bothers me ,people like this one talks in absolute terms which IS BULLSHIT.  if you think hard enough you can justify killing, stealing and rape. although rape is  tough, but in the history of man im sure you can find instances.  these people who deal in absolute are the CANCER for they r the ones who ascribe their morality on all others at all costs.   I myself can justify for the common good getting ride of people like this, for the good of society, there is no arguing with people like this, they r 1 step away of fanatism just like those christrians muslims jews and any other who believe in the absolute, which may be stupidity.  now i feel im talkin in absolutes

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:07 | 940417 Desperado
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Yes, you just demonstrated the fatal contradiction of your reason. 

Everyone believes in absolutes.  The problem is that noone wants anyone else to tell them what the absolutes are. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 14:47 | 941031 gorillaonyourback
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whats the fatal flaw in believing absolutly there are no absolutes, it leaves my mind wide open for listening to anothers point of view

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 14:10 | 940884 cranky-old-geezer
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I junked you for citing imaginary beings as sources of authority.   Natural law is the proper source of authority to cite.

Human government doesn't get its authority from imaginary beings.  It comes from those governed, as clearly stated by the Founders, who also clearly said the governed have authority to alter or dissolve said goverment if it ignores and / or abuses the governed, which IS vigilantism in a sense.

It's amusing how religious types say government gets it's authority from "God" then turn right around and say they have a second amendment right to take up arms against that authority.

The "God" type government they hope for and pray for would be a top-down dictatorship where they have NO rights.

"Rights" is a completely bogus concept arising from "fairness", an equally bogus concept.

LIMITED AUTHORITY is the proper concept.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 14:43 | 941022 gorillaonyourback
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agreed

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:11 | 940415 downrodeo
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they say the same thing in the video game  Assassin's Creed:

nothing is true, everything is permitted

 

Aleister Crowley said something along the lines of "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". It sounds good, but isn't that a perfect recipe for the total chaos that the anarchist-bashers are always so concerned about? There seems to be something wrong with this.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:13 | 939144 Milestones
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We must then conclude that ours is the end result of such a state and would appear to finish where " Thus Spake Zarathustra" leads us. G-D is Dead (ethics/morality) and we are now bound, if we are to survive, to become Fredrick's Supra moral man, replacing G-D.

This ought to get me a bundle of junks.     Milestones

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:46 | 939393 snowball777
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That which does not kill you, makes you weaker so the next thing can.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:22 | 939145 topcallingtroll
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These is where people beg the question and make semantic arguments. During the enlightenment period all these things were debated endlessly. Humans are imperfect and thus of course mediating institutions will also be imperfect. The fact that there are no perfect outcomes and people and their mediating institutions often both cause and suffer from these imperfections in no way makes the institution of government an evil. Governments can be evil, but broadening the definition of evil to lack of perfection and the inevitable accidental miscarriages of justice is probably overly broad. Making broad assumptions that cant be proven and using semantic arguments in a circular way is classic don scotus from which the word dunce came from. Schools should train people in rhetoric and logic like in the old days. Most people would then find this primitive level of arguing over definitions, basic assumptions, and circularity to be boring and irrelevant.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:52 | 939217 cossack55
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Agreed.

Rule 1: 4 legs good, 2 legs bad.

End of Rules.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 04:20 | 940056 AnAnonymous
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Humans are imperfect and thus of course mediating institutions will also be imperfect.

 

Can humans draw the perfect circle? The perfect square? The perfect line?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 08:48 | 940204 TheEternalTriangle
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No. Your point being?

We can create the conceptual contruct of the perfect line or circle but cannot bring it into being. I would draw that out to other ideal concepts.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:16 | 939147 fragrantdingleberry
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Pure sophist drivel.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:23 | 939165 tmosley
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Right, because the mind of a drive by troll's sock puppet can't be made to comprehend logic derived from the simplest of axioms in existance.

I don't know why you seem to think you can fool ANYONE by just changing names all the time.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:27 | 939170 topcallingtroll
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But the axioms themselves are subject to dispute. The assumption that we all agree on the axioms is begging the question.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:35 | 939188 tmosley
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If you disagree with the axioms presented, then you are a nihilist, and don't get a say in anything.  Death worship is not legitimate, unless you only seek your own death.  In which case, feel free!  I'll even pay for the bullet.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 21:01 | 939578 Withdrawn Sanction
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Howzat?  Nice try to sneak in the logical fallacy of question begging, while simultaneously denying the foundations of logic itself.  Have another go, logic certainly wont be an impediment to your reasoning skills.

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:25 | 939166 topcallingtroll
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Agreed, but it always helps to explain why!

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:20 | 939152 tmosley
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Wow.  I wonder if I have been pulling a "Fight Club" and blacking out and writing under a pseudonym.  This guy seems to have a philosophy that was cloned from my own (or vice versa).  But then, I simply derived my own philosophy from the same first principles as he did. 

Thanks for posting this, TD. 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:20 | 939157 Great Depressio...
Great Depression Trader's picture

The reality is that these types of ideas are so foreign to your average American. Most people believe that the "government" is a magical entity, out to protect us and always has a plan to keep the country humming along. The more educated one is, the more likely they are to believe in the government superbeing myth. I believe that this country will see dark days of tyranny and restricted liberty the likes of which we have never seen in American history. The people have taken their liberty for granted, and thus, are willing to lose it in order to be free.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:29 | 939421 lesterbegood
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No government in the history of civilization has ever voluntarily granted its people any rights or liberties.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 21:26 | 939617 DosZap
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ROME?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:31 | 939767 tmosley
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2/3rds slave, 1/3rd welfare recipients.  Sounds a lot like today.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 08:52 | 940208 TheEternalTriangle
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You forgot the 0.1% wealth hogging Oligarchs.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:21 | 939160 Steroid
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True, the state is parasitic, however, it is the necessary final arbiter.

I suggest a self regulating mechanism. E.g., at the highest level a congressional lottery:

The monthly (weekly?) winner will be ... executed televised to satisfy both the philosophers and the mob.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:25 | 939168 tmosley
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No need to use guns for arbitration.   I would suggest you read this: https://mises.org/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_3.pdf

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:33 | 939180 Steroid
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@tmosley, I tend to agree with von Mises (not mises.org) that human action can hardly be called rational and as such that Osterfeld thesis is wrong from the beginning.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:37 | 939195 tmosley
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Some people just want to use force instead of thier minds.  Careful you don't find yourself among their number, as those who live by the sword die by the sword.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:49 | 939214 Great Depressio...
Great Depression Trader's picture

There comes a point where the use of reason and debate no longer have any effect. Thus, violence is in fact necessary. And while it is true that those who live by the sword will die by it, it is alo true that "there is a time for peace and a time for war." When life is so unbearable as a result of tyranny and people are willing to die for the chance to live free, revolutions begin. The US is not at this point, yet..

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:18 | 939861 gorillaonyourback
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very well said. great depression

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:54 | 940564 Shell Game
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Having trouble reconciling your agreement with this statement and your initial post re: no good, no evil.  If tyranny is not evil then why do you agree it must be met with violence as a penultimate option?

Personally, I am complete agreement with GreatDepression's statement, but I believe there is evil and there is good, there is right and there is wrong..

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 02:51 | 940012 i.knoknot
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i see images of the trusting sheeple getting on those WWII german trains and have no problem at all knowing that there would be no nobler end than taking out a few of 'them' as i die by that sword.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:48 | 940537 Shell Game
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+1776

 

the junk vote came from a Hamptons IP address..

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:02 | 939236 Steroid
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@tmosley, Ignoring reality only makes you a victim, maybe a divine victim but just a victim.

I only know one sort of stateless "society" that of insects. Humans are still far from that.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:17 | 939265 AnonymousAnarchist
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Some reading...

...on the Icelandic Free State.

...of the historical and anthropological evidence from societies in Southeast Asia that have avoided states for thousands of years.

A few hundred years ago, "there are no slaveless societies" was a common argument (fallacy) against the abolition of slavery.

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:38 | 939383 Steroid
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@AnonymousAnarchist,

Thanks for your examples. They are highly educational for both sides of the debate.

I still honestly doubt that statelessness can be achieved in our globalized, highly specialized system which already is under a virtual superstate.

I think states grow because they have a positive feedback loop. Turn it to a negativ feedback loop and it will decay thus my suggestion.

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:54 | 939404 AnonymousAnarchist
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There are also anarchists that doubt statelessness will be achieved (I'm not one). "It is possible to be a pessimistic anarchist, after all." ;)

Here is the abolitionist argument in 35 seconds (Alport doesn't like to use the label "anarchist").

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:29 | 939449 flaunt
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Abolitionist really is a better term than anarchist with all its baggage.  Abolishing the state is no different than abolishing slavery.  There were all kinds of naysayers who couldn't imagine a world where humans were not the property of other humans, just as there are the same today who can't imagine a world where people are free of arbitary ruling authorities that cover the globe like a virulent skin cancer. 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:36 | 939775 Founders Keeper
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[There are also anarchists that doubt statelessness will be achieved (I'm not one).]---AnonymousAnarchist

While I do appreciate the anarchists' sense of individual liberty, I do not subscribe to their ideal of a stateless society. 

IMO, anarchists are the most naive idealists.

At the other end of the ideological spectrum, we have the centrally controlled totalitarian state. These folks(the citizens living under the rule of their leaders) are the most disappointed  idealists.

I see a lot of anarchist types on ZH. And, personally, I'm glad you're here contributing to the discussion. Consider this thought: The land of anarchy sounds great, until you find yourself living there.

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:46 | 939912 AnonymousAnarchist
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"While I do appreciate the anarchists' sense of individual liberty, I do not subscribe to their ideal of a stateless society."

To which ideal do you subscribe? Usually, when one argues against something, an alternative is either implied or offered. You have done neither.

"IMO, anarchists are the most naive idealists."

While I'm sure you have a valid reason to hold this opinion, not only have you not provided a reason for your opinion, you didn't even bother to point out what it is you find naive. Unless you're willing to elaborate, I'm not sure what your comment adds.

"I see a lot of anarchist types on ZH. And, personally, I'm glad you're here contributing to the discussion."

I can't speak for everyone but I'm glad you're glad. Feel free to join us with a contribution of your own.

"Consider this thought: The land of anarchy sounds great, until you find yourself living there."

That is a deep thought but, as with the rest of your comment, I don't understand what you're getting at. I've considered it. Now what?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 09:55 | 940294 TheEternalTriangle
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Not at whom you aimed the comment I know put I would put forward the following. I would draw from the Iceland example posted earlier.

Generally the idea of a stateless society falls down when you reach the issue of infrastructure. In the Iceland example posted earlier we moved from a society with no communal infrastructure (few roads as bulk transport was by water, no sewers systems etc) to one with some communal infrastructure (Churches). This was swiftly followed by the establishment of private monopolies controlling this infrastructure followed by a rise in inequality and ultimately the collapse of the system.

Whilst you could build several competing road networks it would be hugely wasteful to do so. This is also the case with many other things like water pipes, sewers and so forth. These are essentially natural monopolies as it is unsustainable to maintain multiple competing networks.

The question then arises who should control and benefit from these natural monopolies. A private owner would face no competitiona and hence could parasitically extract a lot of value with little risk to himself. Hence I would argue that it should be owned and run by the community that supports it.

Once the various pieces of infrastructure have become so complex that people have devote their entire time to their administration and maintenance you have the beginings of a state. In a state which is well run and well overseen and kept in check by it's population the costs and benefits of the infrastructure will hopefully be equitably distributed.

However from what I see in the world this state is not very stable and private monopolists or narrow interests tend to gain control of these communal resources to exploit them. A state is not required for this (I believe this is where I might differ with several people here...).

As an aside, I would also concur with the fact that stateless societies are far more common than many accept. In fact if you look at Afghanistan and parts of India or Africa whilst they might have de jure states, de facto the state has little to no power or presence in a significant part of their countries.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:33 | 941496 AnonymousAnarchist
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"Generally the idea of a stateless society falls down when you reach the issue of infrastructure... Whilst you could build several competing road networks it would be hugely wasteful to do so. This is also the case with many other things like water pipes, sewers and so forth. These are essentially natural monopolies as it is unsustainable to maintain multiple competing networks."

There is a lot of question begging here. You say free-market roads and utilities are "hugely wasteful" but fail to back it up with anything but opinion. You just assume it. Meanwhile, you drive to work on a government-subsidized highway system (built under the supervision of auto executives) with a commute that takes almost an hour because those subsidized freeways and utilities to outlying developments made it artificially cheap to build communities far from where you work (and/or shop and/or play). Same for "water pipes, sewers and so forth" which have rate structures to provide artificially low-cost water for large-scale industrial use. Not only is this "hugely wasteful" but it also benefits a relatively few at the expense of everyone else, completely distorting how society would otherwise develop in a free market. You're perfectly entitled to hold your opinion (it's shared by many) but I've heard it a million times. I'll need more than that to convince me that there is anything more wasteful and exploitative than state monopolisation of infrastructure.

"As an aside, I would also concur with the fact that stateless societies are far more common than many accept. In fact if you look at Afghanistan and parts of India or Africa whilst they might have de jure states, de facto the state has little to no power or presence in a significant part of their countries."

You'll also notice that the majority of violence in those countries happens to occur in the areas where the governments are in control or are trying to establish control. And while Somalia isn't a place you'd want to live, it is interesting to see how much things have improved after the state collapsed. Death rate, infant mortality and cases of tuberculosis are all on the decline while life expectancy, access to telephone lines, mobile phones, TV, internet and immunizations have increased. From one study (pdf)...

Telecommunications is one major area of success in Somalia. The one measure for which we have complete data, main lines per 1,000 of population, shows dramatic relative improvement since Somalia became stateless, moving from 29th to 8th among the African countries included in our survey. We only have data since the collapse of the state for mobile phone, Internet usage, and households with televisions. Somalia ranks highly in mobile phones (16th) and Internet users (11th), while it ranks 27th in households with televisions. In many African countries state monopolies and licensing restrictions raise prices and slow the spread of telecommunications. In Somalia it takes just three days for a land-line to be installed; in neighboring Kenya waiting lists are many years long.

Alse see: Better Off Stateless: Somalia Before and After Government Collapse (pdf).

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 13:39 | 946851 TheEternalTriangle
TheEternalTriangle's picture

You have misread my opening statement. You read "several competing road networks" as a straight "free-market roads and utilities". Having multiple parallell systems of pipes, power lines or raods are wasteful no matter whether these are run and constructed by governments or private enterprise. My basic point would be that it is utterly impractical to have several paralell roads running to your front door.

My basic argument was that for many utilities and certain other government services several conditions on which efficient markets rely cannot be practically satisfied. In utilities I would point to a very limited number of sellers, high entry and exit barriers and low factors of mobility.

These are conditions likely to leads to the creation of monopolies or cartels. Which is what you tend to see when you examine them in the world.

I would also quickly add that technological progress could also change some of these conditions. The untethering of telephony from copper landlines has utterly changed that market and the sclerotic Telecoms monoplies of yore have had a rough time of it.

This is not to say that many governments perform much better. The wastefulness encouraged by subsidies is one of the biggest blights. You can point to people growing crops in inappropriate climates in the US or some of the crazy pertrol consumption in the Middle East. I am not excusing the status quo.

So, what kind of framework can be equitable and efficient where an efficient free market cannot operate and government is likely to be captured by rentseekers and special interests.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:35 | 948236 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

You have misread my opening statement. You read "several competing road networks" as a straight "free-market roads and utilities".... My basic point would be that it is utterly impractical to have several paralell roads running to your front door.

Hopefully you can understand my confusion since I'm arguing for a stateless society, a stateless society would mean a free market for roads and utilities and you said "the idea of a stateless society falls down when you reach the issue of infrastructure". Since a stateless society does not call for and I never put forth a suggestion "to have several paralell [sic] roads running to your front door", telling me that to do so would be "utterly impractical" is to attack a straw man. I don't know if the purpose of the statement was to make a straw man argument or just to share an unrelated opinion but, either way, it does nothing to support your claim that "the idea of a stateless society falls down when you reach the issue of infrastructure".

My basic argument was that for many utilities and certain other government services several conditions on which efficient markets rely cannot be practically satisfied.

More question begging. What "conditions on which efficient markets rely" can not be satisfied by the market? How do forceful monopolisation and subsidization achieve these conditions? If you're not suggesting forceful monopolisation and subsidization and not suggesting a free market, what are you suggesting and how does it achieve these "conditions on which efficient markets rely"?

In utilities I would point to a very limited number of sellers, high entry and exit barriers and low factors of mobility. These are conditions likely to leads to the creation of monopolies or cartels. Which is what you tend to see when you examine them in the world.

As you just said, by examining the current state (no pun intended) of things, government monopolisation and subsidization has created high barriers to entry, which has led to a "very limited number of sellers" and has resulted in "monopolies or cartels". Again, this a great argument against state involvement in utilities but it's definitely not an argument against a free market in utilities. If you meant it to be, you failed to show (or even imply) why you think a free market would generate the same outcome that monopolisation and subsidization has.

I would also quickly add that technological progress could also change some of these conditions. The untethering of telephony from copper landlines has utterly changed that market and the sclerotic Telecoms monoplies of yore have had a rough time of it.

Without the state, there would have been no telecomm monopoly (the state was Ma Bell's biggest tool), nor would there be the telecomm cartel we have today (thanks FCC). As technology moves forward, the cartels have and will continue to use the state to create barriers to entry and costly regulations that only they can afford in those areas as well.

This is not to say that many governments perform much better.

Again, I'm utterly confused. This seems to imply your post was not a critique of government-delivered utilities (even though every criticism you listed applies to government-delivered utilities) but, at the beginning of your post, you said you were not criticizing "free-market roads and utilities".

So, what kind of framework can be equitable and efficient where an efficient free market cannot operate and government is likely to be captured by rentseekers and special interests.

I don't know what you mean by "equitable" but you know my answer. A freed market. But, for some reason, after telling me a free market won't work, you've pointed out the problems with government roads and utilities (not necessary since I agree) and pointed out how "utterly impractical" it would be to have "several parallel roads running to your front door" (something that no one has suggested) but have still not explained why (you think) "the idea of a stateless society falls down when you reach the issue of infrastructure" (your initial claim).

To quote Gustave de Molinari from The Production of Security...

"In reality, we have a choice of two things:

 

Either communistic production is superior to free production, or it is not.

 

If it is, then it must be for all things, not just for security.

 

If not, progress requires that it be replaced by free production.

 

Complete communism or complete liberty: that is the alternative!"

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 15:11 | 975198 TheEternalTriangle
TheEternalTriangle's picture

How do you envision 2 "road providers" competing or two power line providers? I put forward one absurdity, please provide more reasonable scenarios.

I also want to add that I don't know what the perfect system is which will solve every one of our resource allocation problems.

You have picked up on my disillusionment with governments the flaws of governments are obvious to me and they are obvious to you. However unlike you I also see, and admit to, the flaws in markets.

Unless you are simply following this as a creed you know that the theory backing you thinking rests on certain assumptions. These assumptions are never perfectly fulfilled in this world. In many cases these assumptions are met closely enough for many markets to function far better than any alternative we have yet devised.

However markets as they exist in this world cannot prevent the establishment of monopolies, cartels or other market and efficiency distorting arrangements in [b]all[/b] cases. This is not a function of the existence of governments; these can and do arise without governments being present. In the Iceland example which started this debate certain private parties gained control and then exploited private monopolies which arose in a "stateless society".

Certain markets, due to their inherent characteristics, tend to be more prone to certain market distorting activities. Aside from infrastructure you could point to the financial markets which are prone to different breakdowns. Topical would be market distorting fraud due to the ease of establishing information imbalances between buyers and sellers.

In many ways I find your final quote illuminating. It presents a false dilemma between two straw men. [b]Complete[/b] liberty does not exist and neither does [b]complete[/b] communism. Not only do either of them not currently exist, neither of them can ever exist. There are always restraints and compromises and no universal solutions.

I am indeed a dangerous moral and ideal relativist...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:30 | 940491 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

"At the other end of the ideological spectrum, we have the centrally controlled totalitarian state."

 

This is why we will always need "the most naive idealists". Over time, government will naturally expand it's power through whatever means necessary. As we've seen in the grand ol' US of A, the general citizenry cannot be trusted to curtail that expansion. That would then suggest that the only natural force within society to keep governmentat bay are the 'naive idealists'. Anarchists will accompany government until government no longer exists. Don't listen to me though, I am extremely naive. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:07 | 940597 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

While my opinion falls somewhere near FoundersKeeper on this topic, I find your point to be an excellent one.  As the carnivore is absolutely crucial for keeping the DNA of herbavores as fit as naturally possible, so are the anti-government inividuals necessary for keeping government 'DNA' as healthy as possible.

I do believe in minimal government, one that fills the role of servant and is easily controlled. Global government is now quite opposite that.  The era of the anti-government carnivore is at hand..

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:43 | 941517 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

"I do believe in minimal government, one that fills the role of servant and is easily controlled."

How do you control an institution that you've authorized to commit crimes (acts of aggression)?

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 15:13 | 943640 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

How do you control an institution that you've authorized to commit crimes (acts of aggression)?

These criminals are operating outside of any authority and law.  The wisdom of our Constitution puts forth the statement and plea that federal government MUST be kept small and limited - that part is OUR job. We fucked it up by enjoying decades of fiat false prosperity and bying into the big lie.

States and local governments are much easier to keep in line - they have never been, and should never be, able to print their own money.  Keep an honest monetary system and you'll always be able to control government.

 

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 20:05 | 944689 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

"These criminals are operating outside of any authority and law."

While I agree with this statement as is, it's meaningless if people believe their authority is legitimate. As long as that myth is maintained, "these criminals" get to make the rules, enforce the rules and even decide if they themselves are breaking the rules.

"The wisdom of our Constitution puts forth the statement and plea that federal government MUST be kept small and limited - that part is OUR job."

As Spooner said in The Constitution of No Authority, "[the Constitution] has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist". Even if minimal government - minarchy - could be justified on moral grounds (it can't), your statement could be an argument against (another attempt at) minimal government. The Constitution is a piece of paper. If writing on a piece of paper could prevent the state (people) from doing bad things then, instead of writing rules for the state, we could just use that same paper to write "no one shall commit crimes". Of course, as you pointed out, the piece of paper does nothing. When it comes to keeping people from committing crimes, "that part is OUR job".

"Keep an honest monetary system and you'll always be able to control government."

OK, back to the first question I asked, "How do you control an institution that you've authorized to commit crimes (acts of aggression)?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:22 | 939455 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Somali customary law might be of interest to you as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeer

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:43 | 939972 Steroid
Steroid's picture

@tmosley, I don't think that a plunderer community of pirates, let it be somali, viking or south-east asian be the best advertisement for anarchy. I am still not convinced. Just decrease the state one step at a time. Just do it beyond all and then, some day it will be over and out.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:12 | 941080 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Somalian pirates have claimed control over their waters, which is a perfectly legitimate solution to how anarchists use and establish control over the seas.  Can you imagine what the North Koreans would do if they had a bunch of ships moving through their waters without permission?  These guys are getting off lightly.  If you want to use their resources (shipping lanes), they should pay for it.  

Sadly, the nation-states of the world refuse to recognize the rule of the individual in Somalia, or on the high seas, so it is impossible for ships to simply pay a small fee to pass though those waters unmolested.

You will notice that the Somalis do not invade other lands as the Vikings did, nor do they patrol waters claimed by anyone else, as the ones in South East Asia do.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:03 | 939341 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You misunderstand me.  Revolutionaries do not live by the sword, but rather take it up only when injustices can no longer be tolerated.  Governments, and their officials, live by the sword.  They use it, or the threat of it, every single day.  They grow fat off of it.

Non-aggression is NOT pacifism.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:34 | 939471 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Excellent summary.

The OP never defined evil, so the piece is kind of pointless IMO.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 02:54 | 940013 i.knoknot
i.knoknot's picture

simply: +++, mr. tm, +++

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:25 | 939162 plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

My friends, Its what Arthur Jensen called " The primal forces of nature". The world is a corporation. Anyone who meddles with the primal forces will be called to Arthur Jensens office and get torn a new Asshole. Its the natural order of things today. You dont want to get yelled at by Ned Beatty, Err.. I meant Arthur Jensen.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:35 | 939183 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

His argument was broader than that. We might be controlled by evil selfish men depending on how you define it. His basic postulate was that all government is an evil all the time. I reject his postulate.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:38 | 939197 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You sure your name isn't "topcallingosterich"?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:40 | 939201 gwar5
gwar5's picture

The state is force and coercion. Statism is institutionalized force and coercion for a single purpose.

Here's a vintage Milton Friedman, discussing the morality of a voluntary participatory system of capitalism versus  compelled central planning socialism models that require force and coercion. Civil society devolves with the use of force by the state.

YouTube - Milton Friedman - Socialism is Force

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:20 | 939448 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Friedman could talk a good game, but he was very much a mixed bag on liberty.  Let's not forget who came up with the notion of tax withholding...

 

A far better source for sensible inspiration here is Albert J Nock--read his works Our Enemy the State and Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, for instance.  He also wrote a study on Jefferson.  He also wrote beautiful prose.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:38 | 939477 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

+1.  Nock is essential reading.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 03:16 | 940021 i.knoknot
i.knoknot's picture

+++ OP

i'll second that and raise you one.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:11 | 939202 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Alien, "Take me to your Leader"

Jimmy, "Which One?"

The human state is that of the individual. We exist only as individuals, we experience the world as individuals. We work best in each making our own decisions (self-government) how could it be any other way?

The State meanwhile is a totally false construct. It pretends to represent us all and works by central committee who actually represent nobody like the average man only exists as a statistic. Govt tries to hand down one policy from central committees that suits a country (another false construct) but it does not represent anybody because we are too diverse it just represents the States own self delusion.

The only other state that exists is we are herding and pack animals. We come together as individuals at certain points that serve a collective purpose of ours, such as joining a company or joining fellow Greenbay Packers fans. We herd for periods then when it suits us then go back to being individuals.

The Govt tries to exist with the pretence it represents us as a pack leader. But 95% of the time we need no leader, we're quite happy going about and managing our own life thanks. We will join groups 5% of the time when it suits us, leave groups when it suits us to do so.

Govt is a totally false construct from its borders to its deciept it represents anybody but itself, it is societies parasites simply trying to herd us and live off its hosts wealth creation. The State only serves itself and lust in its own authority and ego (ie. a parasite). Go fuck the false State and its nonsense, we never needed it, we are self governing and all the more freer, more peaceful and much more wealthier without it

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:20 | 939451 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

Zero Govt,

I am sure you agree that we need some rules to be able to get along with each other.  You would like to have protection from those who would take your personal property.  Of course, you and your neighbors, being reasonable people(except for that one family that were troublemakers), could agree on a neighborhood protection association.  That would need rules, of course, and you would need to elect a leader.  The leader would have to be able to assign jobs or roles, some of which wouldn't be much fun.  You would have to consider what to do about the trouble makers or outsiders who might come into your neighborhood to pilfer in the wee hours of the night. Everything would be fine until someone really got hurt, accidentlly of course and a feud was started.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield%E2%80%93McCoy_feud

I am afraid that you would find in the long run that you would eventually need hire special people which we will call for convenience, police or soldiers, to protect your neighborhood.  That would cost a lot of money, so you would want to combine with perhaps many other neighborhoods until you had a standing body of professionals take care of the protection as well as quarrels that might errupt between neighbors.  You would have to write rules to keep this complex body in smooth operation because you can hardly expect a large number of people with different education backgrounds and ways of making a living to aggree on everything. 

How large would this complex body have to be to ensure peace and freedom to follow the "dictates of our heart and conscience"?

I am afraid that this exactly how governments came to be.  If, there were none, the first time you were robbed, where would you go to complain?

 

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:51 | 939482 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

More recommended reading: The Virginia Militia in the Seventeenth Century by WIlliam Shea.  Describes the development of the colonial militia in what could be described as an isolated environment: the Virginia Colony in the early 1600s.  Later discusses the development of train bands, the select corps, paying others to serve your militia committment, etc etc.  Also describes the quiet dispersal of Crown-provided armory weapons to individuals to be kept at home for instant readiness, initiating what the author describes as "a troubling American custom."

A truly excellent little book that describes the colony's ongoing efforts to deal with a nearly constant threat of external violence.  The forces developed become aligned with the nascent "government" by need, but then become a threat to that government as tghe government takes on a life of its own; Bacon's Rebellion is covered.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:51 | 939486 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Look to Xeer, a form of customary law that has worked quite well for centuries, even in the face of overbearing and oppressive governments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeer

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:49 | 939802 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Nice reference. Thanks.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:39 | 939903 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

tmosley,

Thanks for the post.  Very interesting thread.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 20:21 | 939525 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

It seems as if you are confusing "governance" with "government". Anarchists aren't arguing for a rule-less society, we're arguing for a stateless society. A society without order is not a society at all. That means no monopoly on dispute resolution, law enforcement, defense, etc.. As Hayek said, "The argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful tools human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better."

Since you made rules the main point of your post, I ask, are you familiar with "common law"? Government was not necessary to establish most of the rules upon which society agrees (protection of life, liberty and property). Quite the opposite. It's the rules that wouldn't exist without government that tend to undermine society. As Hasnas pointed out, "[D]escribing the English common law as judge-made law is akin to describing the market as something created by economists."

If this topic interests you, I suggest you start with Hasnas' The Obviousness of Anarchy (pdf) and, if you're still interested, continue here. Until you've covered that stuff, you'll have a hard time coming up with objections that haven't been addressed repeatedly.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 06:42 | 940110 Batty Koda
Batty Koda's picture

That doesn't make sense. What's the difference between governance and government? Surely governance comes from a government. Whoever sets the laws is the government, they don't have a monopoly on dispute resolution, law enforcement, defense, etc because there are lots of nation states.

You seem to be arguing for smaller scale governments without even realising it, but then you say governments are all evil and intolerable. Make up your mind.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:05 | 941227 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

"That doesn't make sense. What's the difference between governance and government?"

"Government" is a group of people with the exclusive power to create and coercively enforce rules which all members of society must follow. "Governance" refers to how any organisation, including a nation, is run (force is only one option for governance).

"Whoever sets the laws is the government, they don't have a monopoly on dispute resolution, law enforcement, defense, etc because there are lots of nation states."

Are you serious? You believe that, if a monopoly maintained by force is not maintained globally, it ceases to be a monopoly? Did I interpret that correctly?

"You seem to be arguing for smaller scale governments without even realising it..."

I'm arguing for the abolition of the state. That should be pretty obvious.

"...but then you say governments are all evil and intolerable."

While I believe the existence of the state can not be justified (aggression -- non-defensive force - can never be justified and no one has ever shown how a state can exist without employing aggression), I don't recall saying governments are "evil and intolerable" (nor that they were good and tolerable). However, if you point me to my quote, I'll stand corrected.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:46 | 939207 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The logic here is tortured. 

How do you define evil without good? How do you define good without evil? Nature is a world of polar opposites- also referred to as diversity. When we attach value judgements to them, we become subjective and ignorant of the necessity of diversity.

The problem with government is simple: it is a power structure that abuses the majority for the benefit of a small minority. There are some trade offs, but it is equally tortured to add of their value and compare it to what could be achieved privately and with the benefits accruing solely to those that invest their personal or monetary wealth. This is because as a function of having the majority provide for this minority there is an unequal transfer of value and wealth.

It is made more unequal when we add law and the inevitable manipulation of that law for the same minority to benefit. 

It is made worse when we add in a police power.

It is the penultimate in abuse when we then hand over the power to control monetary substitutes to a restricted class.

There will always be "good" and "evil" in the eyes of someone and those eyes will have a thousand different definitions and reality. The only protection lies in the inability to create power structures for the benefit of an elite group- weather religious, economic or political. 

Liberty with personal responsibility provides the best framework for social structure. Subjective values are the worse point to start a line of reasoning.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:55 | 939320 tmosley
tmosley's picture

It isn't tortured.  You just don't want to see it.  That which increases being is good, that which decreases being is evil.  Fairly simple, yet incredibly profound.  Those who simply use the words without understanding where they are derived from can ascribe their own meaning to them, but those meanings are simply not correct.

Non-aggression is universal morality.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle  Unfortunately, the entire world is currently ruled by "evil", and people call for evil to fight evil.  They do not look at first principles, and thus perpetuate ignorance and violence.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:10 | 939352 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Evil and good are subjective assessments. This is tortured logic in every way. Subjective assessments make value systems for communities impossible. As long as you define being as good and evil- the system fails.

Being is. That is all. Any system that allows beings to just be will be devoid of law or complex structure, as these require a standard. 

Your own statement makes this point perfectly:"...but those meanings are not correct". This is a value judgement, subjective and personal.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:24 | 939457 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

+10

And, to have a discussion that goes somewhere, there must be an agreement on the definitions of the words.  We have to agree on "what the definition of 'is' is". 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 22:58 | 939727 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Hi Bill!!!     Milestones

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:23 | 939877 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

Explanation.  Irony.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:28 | 939459 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Uhhh, no.  You are just talking without putting any thought into your words.

Good is DEFINED (here) as that which increases being, as in the beings that are known as humans.  You kill a human, then there is less being.  You steal from him, he can not sustain himself, and he lives less, and being is reduced.  That is evil.

This is not rocket science.  These rules apply EVERYWHERE and at ALL TIMES.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 20:09 | 939508 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Then if you kill someone in self defense, that is evil? If a person uses euthanasia on their partner to spare them pain and suffering? If a doctor "pulls the plug". 

Is it theft to steal an apple in order to keep your child alive? 

How do you increase being? Why only humans? Is not the land that feeds the human not important? Are not the animals? Does this mean humans can do anything they want that "increases" being regardless of the detriment to the rest of the planet?

Could not a situation develop where the loss of being would be better for the greater "whole" of humanity? Does the person that saves a Hitler increasing being and is therefore good? Is not the death penalty a great evil, no matter the crime?

Good is a subjective value. Being is a state. Each being will define that state differently and attach differing values to every action and response. Likewise for evil. 

This is rocket science, otherwise we would be able to resolve the debate in an afternoon. 

Your insult withstanding, if you got past the juvenile philosophical argument, you might understand that.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 21:14 | 939589 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Killing in self defense is life neutral.  Their aggression made it a matter of life or death for one of you.  If a person uses euthanasia on a person without their consent, it is evil.  If it is with consent, then it is neutral, because the person wanted their own death, and thier life is theirs. 

There is a minor divergence of my own philosophy from that described in the article, in that mine is based on the presupposition that a person owns their own life, and they own their property, as property is an extention of the self.

Is stealing theft?  Yes.  Your child survives, but another dies.  You have further introduced an evil into the world, in that those who do not produce are now able to provide for himself and others, while those who do produce are not.  You should be able to see where that road leads.

All of those things you mentioned increase being through their use by humans.  If people do not recognize each others claims to these things as property, then everyone is reduced to the level of "noble savage".  You should be able to see where that leads.  If not, merely look at the state of tribal warfare that was in existance in North America as it was settled by whites.  Property rights were previously recognized by the Mississippian culture, which created a sprawling culture which traded advanced goods up and down the Mississippi.  Once they collapsed, likely due to the emergence of those who did not recognize natural rights, then they floundered and sank into savagry.  People do NOT use natural resources to the detriment of the environment when they own the land.  It is only when governments use resources that problems arise (see Easter Island and the tribal chiefs self-aggrandizement via the erection of statues depleting that land of its trees).  Had that culture fought the evils of government, they would not have lost those resources.

Tell me, what harm could Hitler have done without government?

Good is NOT subjective.  You have said nothing to prove that.  Prove it or stop saying it.

No.  This is not rocket science.  In fact, it's so easy, a caveman could do it.  Also, I love how you call philosophy juvenile.  To say such a thing implies that you hold none of your own, which further implies that you have no basis for your assertions.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 22:37 | 939692 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

No, I called your philosophy juvenile. 

Life neutral? Not to the person dead. Now, you change the terms by saying YOUR philosophy is different from the author? Convenient.

Don't think a child dies if you steal an apple. Where it leads is that good and evil are situational and subjective. You want to protect that property, but is the other person entitled to the opportunity of property? If denied, then can he steal the apple?

This is not about private property, it is about being and good and evil.

People do destroy their property- unless your not paying attention to corporations and pollution.As for Hitler, government is not the issue- being and good and evil are. 

Good will always be subjective and you have not provided an argument to show otherwise, in fact, you continue to change the argument as your examples fail. 

This is the problem with the whole concept: how do you find support for an idea unless you can show it is superior to everything else? One way is to attach a morality based good versus evil subjective evaluation system. Unfortunately, that value system will always be defined by those who benefit the most.

A different way would be to allow the people to vote with their feet and their commitment to the system. It is not about good and evil, being or non-being , value systems are a trap and a threat to liberty.

 

 

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:55 | 939818 tmosley
tmosley's picture

"not to the person dead"

Well, the aggressor shouldn't have aggressed.  The punishment for violation of natural law can and often does include death.  Sorry if you can't accept reality.  This aggressor was evil (attempted to violate anothers rights), and paid the ultimate price.

You don't think a child dies if you steal an apple?  Well, I don't think your stealing an apple saves a child.  I don't think your not stealing an apple kills them.  There are plenty of ways to get food for free.  Dig worms out of the ground if you have to.  Food is everywhere, but you want to steal it.  Next you'll want two, then a hundred, then a thousand, then all of them, to be distributed to the "starving" as you see fit.

Property is a part of good.  Theft is a part of evil.  If you disagree, feel free to try to steal from me and see what happens (here's a hint--it's not good).

Who destroys their own property?  Be specific.  Pollution spreading onto the land and water of others is aggression, and is evil, and will be met with some response, be it destruction or arbitration.

You are a liar, or you don't understand my argument.  Point out EXACTLY where I changed my argument.  I doubt if you can.  You are just asserting the subjectivity of good and evil, something that is TERRIBLY convinient for liars, theives, murderers, and other aggressors.  Good, according to the article, it that which increases being.  Good, according to me, is that which comes from failure to violate rights.  They are very similar concepts.  Perhaps this is what you mean when you say I "changed my argument".  I can't argue for the author, as I am not him. 

The point is that that which is good and evil is understood across ALL cultures.  I challenge you to prove otherwise.  Find me a culture where it is just fine to murder a man in the street, or to steal an apple from a merchent, to trespass onto someone's property, or to gain property via fraud.  You might find one where such actions are LEGAL through some EVIL law, but the people will be against such laws.  Indeed, such governments find themselves on shaky ground as they stir up resentment among their own populations, until something happens that people feel is worth dying for, or until they have nothing to lose.

But hey, you go ahead and think that good and evil are reletive.  You go murder in the street, rape women and children, you trespass onto property, burn homes to the ground, defraud people of thier property.  You just do that and see what happens to you.

Some kind of sociopath here.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:16 | 939939 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Your devotion to your argument and your unwillingness to see you lost it are what makes you so much fun to write with. Take an honest look at your last two comments and you should see the changing definitions of the very terms this discussion was about. 

I never said good and evil are relative, I said they are subjective. You want a world that is black and white and assume that your values are the best examples of these ideas. You assume they are international, because it helps you feel "right" in your judgements. 

Many values are international across cultures, because they have always been accepted by the majority of cultures, but this was not the original point of the debate. Additionally, we can probably agree on most values of private property protection being the best method of encouraging the development of capital and wealth- which will benefit most people, whether they realize it or not. 

Still, I find the concepts of evil and good to be antiquated and recessive. Useful for the manipulation of people to further someone's private goals. Good and Evil are abused. They are a propaganda tool and they are a perfect example of subjective labeling.

Is the war in Iraq good? or evil? How many answers would you get to that question? Eminent domain? good or evil? The Federal reserve, good or evil?

I prefer to forgo the subjective labels and find useful descriptions of situations. Take the Xeer system- good or evil? Can we really define it with so simple a label or concept? 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 09:55 | 940295 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Hey, I can arbitrarily tell you that you lost too!  YOU LOSE!

I can't see where my definitions are changing, except where noted above.  If you are going to assert that I changed them, then you had better provide some evidence rather than simply asserting such.

You say that you call them subjective, but then you make relativistic arguments.  Fail.  For example, you say stealing isn't bad if you "need" it.  Killing someone isn't wrong because they "might" kill millions of people.

If you don't see that these values are not only valued across cultures but across any and all sentient beings that a. live, b. take possessions, and c. take territory, then you are missing the point of the debate.  You are just saying a lot of words to try to convince everyone that nothing is.  This is monstrous, and the argument of a nihilist.  You then contradict your stance by saying that "we can probably agree on property rights".  NO WE CAN'T!  You have no idea where those rights came from!  You think you can steal because you need it!  That isn't a right to property, that is a ticket to savagery and collapse.

Yes, monsters do find the concepts of good and evil to be (insert belittling adjective here).  Good and evil aren't abused, definitions are.  Becaue you refuse to derive from first principles, you open the words to be misused, which ALWAYS results in evil!

Evil, evil, and evil.  The first was murder on a massive scale and initiation of aggression.  The second and third are theft on a massive scale, and initiation of aggression.  This is cut and dry.  Determining what is good and bad under this system is EASY.  Those who wish to commit evil, or to apologize for those who do hate it for that reason!

Xeer preserves natural rights peacefully, and prevents contraction of being (through retaliatory murder), so it is good.  Period.

Understand that the ONLY reason for the creation of moral ambiguity is to allow snakes to wriggle free from the LAW.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:30 | 940648 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I did provide examples, read past your anger. 

You are subjective and my making a relativistic point doesn't change that.

Again, show me where I have said any of these things are not without consequence. I haven't. I just don't label them good or evil. You have a real problem with that.

I never contradicted my stance, it was the one point where I actually disclosed my position. I am aware of yours, therefore I know we share this value. The value of property rights is a subjective one, one quite dear to me. However, not so dear to the Native American, who could never understand the White Man's stupidity in this regard.

There is another reason for having moral ambiguity: to nurture the ability to understand the values of others, to be free from those that would impose their own ridgid principles upon you, to see that the world flows from black to white in a sea of grey. It enables us to see the position of the battered woman that kills her husband, rather than just kill her- eye for eye. It allows us to understand the confusion of the mentally disturbed or drug addled. It allows us to distinguish between first, second and third degree murder or manslaughter.

As for cut and dry, it is funny how both sides use the same framework to justify their atrocities and the people are cradled in their acceptance. It is only cut and dry for the winners in a conflict. 

In the course of my being, I could never experience evil or never experience good and I would still have been. Get past the comfortable labels and there is the liberty of anarchy. 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:28 | 939760 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

It is theft to steal an apple. period.  You can come up with any justification you like for stealing it but chances are if you went to the corner and blew sombody for a few dolars you could have paid for the apple.

If I had an apple tree I wouldn't let you blow me but might give you a couple if you asked with some genuine grace.

blow me

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:15 | 940327 TheEternalTriangle
TheEternalTriangle's picture

That assumes there is someone willing to sell you the apple.

There are frameworks in which I would say stealing is morally justifiable.

As an aside (not directed at you dogbreath) I find it amusing how people seem to find it easier to conceive of situation where killing is morally justifiable than stealing.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:49 | 941174 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

If there is an apple to steal there is an apple to buy.  The price of the apple in the market is what two parties agree too.  Sombody with an apple needs a blowjob.  Some people should start practicing for the day may come where they have nothing else to trade. 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:05 | 939729 Milestones
Milestones's picture

I kinda enjoy your posts, but you seriously need a few classes in logic. You are setting yourself up as the Pro, Con and Arbitrator.          Milestones

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:18 | 939360 Rockford
Rockford's picture

Sean,

Always enjoy your comments. Your road actually leads somewhere. 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:28 | 939376 Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

I second this - reading a Sean7k/tmosely debate is like a heavyweight title fight.  Both are outstanding.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 21:38 | 939634 tmosley
tmosley's picture

All roads lead somewhere.  The question is, do we want to go there?  His road leads to a world where we deny the foundations of existance, and leave all to ambiguity such that men can do whatever they like without consequence, where law is ignored as legislation is brutally enforced whenever it pleases arbitrary authority.

Oh wait, we're already there.  Fuck.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 22:46 | 939707 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I have yet to define my road on this thread. I have not denied the foundation of existence, I merely refuse to attach arbitrary values to it, then call it good or evil. I have not called for an ambiguity that allows people to do what they please- I have only refused to call it good or evil.

You have played fast and loose with the argument. This is intellectual poverty. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 00:01 | 939833 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Yes you have.  It's called moral reletivism, and has been used to justify every horror that has ever been inflicted on men by men.  You have denied the foundations of existance by refusing to acknowledge that men own themselves or their property (ie you can kill Hitler, even if he had never done anything, you can steal if you "need it").  You may not have called for ambiguity, but you have created it. 

I have played fast and loose with NOTHING.  You are the one who has committed these crimes.  If you truly believe in this way, then you are a monster.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 01:29 | 939954 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You can't even form a reasonable argument at this juncture. Are the morals of every culture identical? Then they are subjective. Morals are relative because they are used to manipulate the population. They are designed to fit the goals of the elites that employ them.

I have never denied men own themselves or their property. You made this statement- not I. 

I cannot create ambiguity, the ambiguity exists in your own mind- probably because you have failed to consider the "foundations" of your own beliefs. A set of morals appears to be more important to you than if you need them. Which, if I remember right- is the crux of the argument.

Crimes? Monster? Really? I live my life according to my own set of values, they define MY existence, but they do not, not do I hope they ever define anyone else's. This is because they are my subjective values. They work for me. I make sure they do not infringe on the natural rights of others. They are neither good nor evil- they just are.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 02:54 | 940014 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Wrong. Morality is not relative because different cultures have different morals; you fail to account for the fact that many cultures have defective morals and are evil.

Moral relativism is nihilism. There IS right and wrong, just as there are natural physical laws like gravity that exist indisputably, and men CAN discover them through careful discernment. It is unfortunate that great numbers of men fail, or simply do not bother trying-- either as individuals, families, societies, nations, or cultures.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 03:29 | 940027 i.knoknot
i.knoknot's picture

best thread all month.

this gets interesting when i get shot stealing those apples to feed my kids. moral dilemma, eh?

like any investment... there is risk return

i remember seeing 'wanted' signs at the local 5c bottle redemption place for folks stealing bottles/cans from the bins...

imagine doing time for that...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:07 | 940411 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Your first sentence proves my point. Your subjectivity is off the charts. Cognitive dissonance at it's best.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:37 | 940312 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You are just putting random words together in order to pretend that there can be no such thing as logic or thought.  This makes you a destroyer.  As such, your thoughts, opinions, and words have no use.  You say that if the morals of every culture are identical then they are subjective--that is stupid.  That means they are OBJECTIVE, because they have all made observations from different viewpoints and come to the same conclusions!  This implies universal "morality".  You then claim that morals are relative because they are used for something.  Is a hammer relative?  What kind of nonsense is this?  Someone obfuscating morality (by doing EXACTLY what you are doing, I might add!) doesn't change what is moral, they only act in an immoral way (ie evil).

You said someone has a right to steal or murder.  This implies no right to life or property.  YOU said that, not me.

I guess you can't create a story either, because that exists in the minds of others?  Give me a break.  You are just telling lies at this point.  You should fix the second sentence there ("A set of morals"), as it doesn't form a cogent thought.

You have laid out your values, and revealed that you have none.  You slither about in the mud.  You steal when you need it, you murder when you feel like it.  You do whatever thing that pulses into your head, and justify it all by saying "there is no such thing as good or evil, there is only existence".  How does it feel, lowering yourself to the level of a dumb beast?  

Good day, bastard.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:33 | 940476 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Now, you are just lying. I said some morals were international, some are not. This implies subjective evaluations. Just as some actions are considered a greater crime than others. This not stupid, it is an observation. For example, not all countries use the death penalty.

They become relative, in that, while many cultures share cultural inhibitions, they are not in agreement as to how it should be deterred. Homosexuality being a fine example.

I never said someone has a right to steal or murder. It was conjecture for the sake of argument. An intelligent conversation explores the edges as well as the middle of a concept. Your inability to detach yourself emotionally from an argument clouds your judgement. I suggested that different people have different views of this "evil" (in your terms)- pointing out it's subjectivity.

I have not laid out my values, because they are subjective. They are what I use to light my path in this life. I would never attempt to impress them upon others, because they are "right" and "good". This is the action of a tyrant, as a collective, the actions of totalitarianism.

You stoop to insults and charcter aspersions- the tools of the tyrant. The "how dare you disagree with me" rant. It is the "dumb beasts" that have developed successful strategies for living within their environment, rather than destroying it as we do. It is the dumb beasts that can identify their greatest enemies as those outside their species, unlike us. 

As for their being dumb, how would we know- we fail to understand or communicate with them unless it is on our terms. 

Your values seem to be reserved for those that share them. This is pretty typical of the fascist. From your posts, I would never had thought that possible. 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:39 | 941141 tmosley
tmosley's picture

The problem here is that you have confused morality with good and evil.  These are different.  

Not all GOVERNMENTS use the death penalty.  Governments are by definition evil, because they exist only through theft, and exert their will only through force!  Just because one government is less evil than another does not mean there is no good or evil!

Homosexuality is an agreement between two people to do certain things together.  Any law made against such peaceful and consensual arrangements is evil.

Your "conjecture" implied that you believed those people had a right to steal and murder under some arbitrary set of conditions that you NEVER DEFINED.  I showed that stealing and murdering is EVIL, no matter the circumstances.  One may use force, including lethal force, in response to aggression, and that is IT.  Stop telling me my judgement is cloudy.  You don't know me at all.  Your arguments don't anger me.  You have simply shown yourself to be a monster, or to believe that monsters are a-ok in your book, and I have called you out as such.  Further, you don't seem to understand the difference between legislation and law.  Legislation is created by man.  Law already exists.  It is INHERENT.  Legislation (including "moral" legislation by religious authorities or otherwise) often VIOLATES THE LAW. 

Law is a simple consequence.  One can evaluate the correct choice or set of choices for ANY situation.  All you have to do is obey natural law.  Don't initiate aggression.  Period.  End of story.  Aggression is evil.  Non-aggression is good.  Returning aggression against aggression is neutral.

You are a fool if you think words that are not backed by legitimate threat of force constitute any form of tyranny.  

You misunderstand what a beast is.  A beast does not recognize the rights of others.  A cow will eat your grass without permission.  A dingo will eat your child.  A monkey will steal your clothes off of the line, etc.  Men can be beasts as well.  Since you have consistently failed to recognize that men have rights by nature of their being, you thus claim they have NO rights, save perhaps for those given by someone or something else (the state?).  THIS is the argument that real tyrants use.  No Tyrant in history has ever said that men have the rights I have described by nature of their being!  I dare you to find me one.  They always attempt to either cast themselves as the source of those rights, or some higher power, for whom they happen to speak.

You refuse to use first principles to derive your value system, so you end up with a mess where some can steal and others can't (according to something called "need"), and you can kill random people according to your admittedly non-existent definition of evil.  Basically, your mind is a mess.  If you want to continue this conversation, you need to clean it up.  Find some axioms and derive your value system from there.  You can't get much more axiomatic than "humans own themselves".  You have constantly refused to do this, and have instead resorted to the moral ambiguity that has justified every act of evil ever committed--apparently out of intellectual laziness.  You then go on to call the guy saying that rights are inherent a "tyrant" and a "fascist".  LISTEN to yourself.  You sound like a crazy person.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:59 | 941555 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Law is inherent, but law created is evil. This inherent law is observable in nature? Like when predators are aggressive? No, they are being evil? Seems your world has been whittled down to just humans. 

 Ownership of property is an inherent law also? Is it evil to not own land or just to deny someone from owning land? Until all land is divided up proportionate to population- every one is being evil? 

You are arguing ideals, attaching a value to them and declaring them the TRUTH. How nice to be god.

I don't misunderstand beasts. I am one. As are you. To assume the mantle of some god beast does not make it so. If man was so capable of good and evil and the benefits were so obvious- why hasn't he chosen them? It would be so easy. This is good. That is bad.

This argument started over a basic premis: being is advanced by good and subtracted by evil. You have done nothing to show that these terms are not value judgements and therefore subjective. 

You have alluded to an inherent law, but it is your own definition- again subjective. You have applied it to a special class, while excluding it from others- again subjective. This is not cloudy thinking on my part. 

When the tiger charges, I will be sure to exclaim that "I own myself". If I take the time to ask him, perhaps he will illume about HIS definition of natural law. 

The problem with logic, philosophy and science is the same. They all depend on a method that is dependent on a foundation or theory. If the theory or foundation are faulty, you get faulty results. If it is subjective, you get faulty results. Which is why science, logic and philosophy are often useless or in worse cases, dangerous and destructive.

If something was inherent, it would be universal. Fear, happiness, loathing, love, nurture,flight from danger, confusion, etc are all universal and exhibited by all creatures. Property ownership is an aberration in the natural world. Unless only humans count- that would be subjective again.

Funny, if it is so simple to determine what is good and evil, why are we of so many different minds on the matter? Historically, Culturally, Politically and Economically. You love examples, here's one: Hitler was only responding to the aggression of the jewish bankers that sought to punish Germany for it's actions in WWI by seizing Germany's manufacturing zones, the RUHR and by forced starvation of it's citizen's through draconian repayment schedules. These jewish bankers used the police power of several governments where they had influence to enforce their collections. By killing jews, Hitler was only defending his people and saving their lives. It would be value neutral.

How about, the Palestinians have every right to kill every jew in palestine that attempts to keep them from reclaiming their property that was seized by the Britain for jewish resettlement. It would be value neutral.

The Native Americans have every right to seize land stolen through government, speculator or corporate deceit and violation of contracts? They would merely be using aggression against aggression- even if lives are lost?

Proclaiming good and evil is playing God. Even God is subjective. 

 

 

 

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 22:48 | 939711 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Thanks. 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:52 | 939216 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

A more interesting argument to me, rather than arguing over basic postulates and definitions of evil, is that if we all acknowledge government exists, what should we do about it?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:58 | 939227 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

do somthing about it??   we can't agree what the problems with government are let alone the origin of those problems, present company excluded, therefore we cannot agree as to what the solutions could be.  divide and conquer and a the tyranny of the minority persists. 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:27 | 939374 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

Problem: The state is a group of people who are allowed to commit crimes.

Solution: Abolish the group.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:39 | 939382 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

you eradicate a group of parasites, but you not eradicate the system of parasites.... Govt is a monopoly power structure, ripe for parasites to infest and ripe to fuk over society once again... end Govt, it is the problem not the solution 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:16 | 939443 flaunt
flaunt's picture

+1

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:27 | 939461 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

AA,

Does that have anything to do with HFT?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:16 | 939442 flaunt
flaunt's picture

Government should not exist.  It's an antiquated idea that needs to be put to bed and relegated to children's fairytales.  Look at Egypt... Out of chaos comes spontaneous order in SPITE of the government.  The gov't abandoned them and then send their thugs out on the streets in plainclothes to terrorize neighborhoods.  The people banded together and defended their neighborhoods and each other.  They  would be much better off if they got rid of Mubarak and replaced him with no one.

Check out Stefan Molyneux's work on the subject.

http://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot#p/u/13/2vlyZLHL00g

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 23:11 | 939742 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

The old guard have had their day; a long, tragic, blood-soaked day of several thousand years and of which no advocate of government can be legitimately proud. Unless, of course, they're completely insane, and I'm sure not going to rule that out. Certainly, the propagation, for this long, of the violent and illogical disease known as government is not exactly an indication of psychological stability. It is, in fact, monstrous. Barbaric. And at the same time, immensely petty.

 

A new dawn is rising: One in which the life, liberty, and property of each individual will be held sacrosanct; and in which the violent, coercive collectivism of government is as bizarre and antiquated of a concept as is now the idea that the earth is flat, or that tomatoes are deadly poison, or that aviation is impossible. That day is arriving, the day on which government will finally, inevitably die a well-deserved death.

Government Will Die, Alex Knight

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 16:53 | 939222 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Was Evel really good, but sometimes bad?

Wow, this was really bad!

Hence, Evel was bad.

http://www.spike.com/video/when-stunts-go-bad/2952938

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:03 | 939240 misterc
misterc's picture

I guess it's wanting to do good for the majority but doing evil with the unintended consequences.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:23 | 939276 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

im a nihlist, but who  says theres any point to burning books. sigh sounds like too much effort.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:25 | 939277 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

de·moc·ra·cy

/d??m?k r? si/ [dih-mok-ruh-see]

–noun, plural -cies.

1.

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/democracy

*******************************************************

A two–party system is a system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government. As a result, all, or nearly all, elected offices are members of one of the two major parties. Under a two-party system, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature and is usually referred to as the majority party while the other is the minority party. While the term two-party system is somewhat imprecise and has been used in different countries to mean different things, there is considerable agreement that a system is considered to be of a two-party nature when election results show consistently that all or nearly all elected officials belong to only one of the two major parties, such as in the United States. In these cases, the chances for third party candidates winning election to any office are remote, although it's possible for groups within the larger parties, or in opposition to one or both of them, to exert influence on the two major parties.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-party_system

 

*********************************************************

In a democracy, people get the government they deserve. It starts with registering to vote in elections.

This weekend, 5-6 February, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is holding its first voter registration weekend, ahead of this year’s local government elections. In the City of Cape Town and many other DA-run municipalities, the DA has proved that it delivers better government for all the people. By registering to vote, you can extend this record of delivery to more South Africans.In the municipal election you will only be able to vote where you are registered. This weekend is therefore an opportunity both to make sure you are registered, and also to ensure that you are registered in the right place, and establish where your voting station will be. If you need help with registration, the DA has set up a dedicated hotline to assist all voters. Our hotline number is 0861 CALL DA (0861 225 532).

http://www.facebook.com/notes/helen-zille/in-a-democracy-people-get-the-government-they-deserve-it-starts-with-registering/10150131879325399

 

*******************************************************************

 

So the pen is mightier than the sword?

We should all just think about it and talk?

That is what allowed this bullshit to go on for the last 40 fucking years, all of you cowards should be shot for treason.

Talk is cheap... and the time for talk should be over... but it’s not! lots of food stamps and Jerry Springer to keep idiot amerika glued to the tv and planted on their fat asses.

so wanna be high brow commentary can go on and fucking on, Yay!

Don’t forget to register for the two party control system… change “you” can believe in!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:29 | 939285 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

There seems to be (at least) two aspects left out of the discussion, namely the limited quantitative grasp that human minds are capable of (like visualizing 1T dollars) and the natural diminishing moral returns that come with the abstraction of governance.  People can't literally picture their actions affecting hundreds of millions of people, and even if they could, their separation from them (geographically, racially, ideologically) allow them a comfortable amount of selfishness, which isn't allowed to them when dealing with their own neighbors.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:22 | 940334 TheEternalTriangle
TheEternalTriangle's picture

Indeed. We're still very much stuck in our tribal thinking (and probably always will be). I do think however that with easier communication across the globe we can start expanding our tribes far beyond what we could previously.

The kind of empathy and fellow feeling we achieved with the Egyptian demonstrators would have been difficult to impossible to achieve 100 years ago.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:32 | 939289 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

that is to say, government is evil due to the abstraction that invariably results from large scale governance.  so either we keep government local, or we keep it evil.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:34 | 939290 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

double post.  FIELD GOAL!

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:38 | 939295 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

Poor logic throughout.  Even if *a* state is necessary, there is nothing that says we must accept the *current* state, or any current form for that matter.  Small minds see only what is as possible.  Duh.  1-star.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 17:51 | 939311 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

stay and STEEL all you can VS. PACK your bags and leave

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:28 | 939377 snowball777
snowball777's picture

who do libertarians pick in the SB, when both teams are named after unions?

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:04 | 939342 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Evil doesn't exist huh?  Suck on the barrel of my shotgun for a second, I'd like to test that hypothesis.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:09 | 939350 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Where did you get that from?  Not the article.  It defines evil quite succinctly.  

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:17 | 939359 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Clumsy clicking, should have been below one of the first posts.  Few walk an evil path by choice, but many will by force and famine.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:30 | 939466 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Ok.  Thought it was kind of weird.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 18:45 | 939390 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

Evil does exist.  The anti-christ walks the earth as we live now .   There are times when it does not, but, it (he/she/it) is on this earth now ......... people are going to starve to death in the coming few years, commodities, foodstuffs, going through the roof .............. DELIBERATELY, this country is being taken down DELIBERATELY & with FORETHOUGHT & PLANNING, as is EUROPE, too .    Just remember, this has been planned for years & as KISSINGER just told BLOOMBERG last week, "this is the first act of a long play" .  ............ DELIBERATE.

Please, you tell me, who's the anti-christ wreaking havoc & harming innocents ?   Come on, someone tell me their thoughts instead of junking me.

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:11 | 939438 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Obama is too obvious , i never take the obvious choice

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:20 | 939450 lesterbegood
lesterbegood's picture

I agree.

For the New World Order to succeed in their quest for complete world dominion, the united States must be destroyed, or at least rendered completely powerless.

Events do not simply happen. There is always a cause.

 

 

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:28 | 939462 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Rahm has my vote for antichrist...

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 19:46 | 939483 lesterbegood
lesterbegood's picture

Not being a religious person, I'd like to offer a proposal that perhaps the concept of the anti-christ, is perhaps a philosophy of death (anti-life), not limited to just one person.

My vote for the anti-christ is the New World Order.

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