Members propose suggested Libertarian Party platform planks

Applications for the LP’s Platform Committee were due two days ago, and were to include three sample planks. Several applicants have chosen to make their proposals public. Here are the ones I am aware of; please post links to others in the comments.

UPDATE: In the comments, Susan has clarified that her last plank quoted below was not actually a proposed plank, as the first three are, but is more along the lines of an idea in a formative stage.

Thus far, the discussion has been mostly about the particulars of these proposals. I had been hoping more for links to (or just posting here) of the proposals of any other applicants who want to make their proposed planks public. If any are posted here, I’ll add them to the body of the post.

Susan Hogarth:

National and Community Defense

A community of free people will act in their own defense and that of their neighbors without compulsion. We oppose any form of compulsory military service, including taxation to support a standing or wartime military.

Social Security

It is the right and responsibility of each individual to provide for his old age as he best sees fit. We therefore support the abolition of the compulsory, burdensome, and unworkable Social Security system. Those who have been victims of the Social Security tax and who can therefore rightfully expect some compensation for their effort should have a claim against government property.

Civil Disobedience

Obedience to unjust laws perpetuates injustice. Therefore, we support peaceful disobedience of all unjust laws.

Offensive Weapons

Weapons which cannot be used without extensive concomitant damage to civilian populations (often called ‘weapons of mass destruction’) are – whether controlled by individuals or by states – the tools of terrorism, and as such have no place in the arsenal of a free people. We therefore support a ban on ownership of such weapons and call on the U.S. Government to divest itself of such offensive weaponry. The U.S. Government’s nuclear, chemical, and biological arsenals should be dismantled promptly, and further government research into the production of such materials should cease immediately.


Starchild
:

1.7 The Arts [proposed new plank]

Art is a weapon against tyranny. The artistic spirit is anti-authoritarian, and stands in sharp contrast to the nature of bureaucracy, which is the nature of big government. Bureaucracy is deadening, art is enlivening. Bureaucracy upholds authority, art questions authority. Bureaucracy stands for repression, art for expression. Bureaucracy crushes the human spirit, art uplifts it. Bureaucracy is boring, art is passionate (this is reflected in the quote “boredom is counter-revolutionary — always”). Bureaucracy encourages conformity, art encourages nonconformity. The bureaucrat values law and order, the artist values freedom.

Again and again throughout history, poets, painters, musicians, sculptors, novelists, actors, and others have played key roles in motivating people to stand up for their freedom and resist government oppression. The Statue of Liberty designed by Frederic Bartholdi, and the poem by Emma Lazarus that graces its base, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” are both works of art which have inspired millions, and today Lady Liberty, the “Mother of Exiles,” serves as the unofficial symbol of our party.

To put the fate of art in the hands of bureaucrats, politicians, or tyrants, either via the power to censor controversial works such as pornographic or “politically incorrect” material, or via the power of the purse by controlling which artists receive funding, is simply wrong. We favor the widest possible application of the First Amendment in protecting creative expression, and no less ardently insist that art not be degraded and robbed of its dignity by paying for it with blood money gained through government aggression.

2.8 Education [proposed replacement plank]

Although frequently desirable, formal education is not a duty which should be imposed on the young. Made compulsory, it often does more harm than good by killing the spirit of learning in children. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Libertarians decry laws forcing young people to spend regimented hours of the day in educational institutions as if they were prisons.

Just as we should be under no obligation to become formally educated, neither do we have a “right” to attend an educational facility at the expense of anyone else, because no legitimate right can impose a duty on another to work to achieve it. We *do* have the rights to *seek* knowledge and technical skills, and there are many ways to exercise these rights, only some of which involve enrolling in schools or programs specifically called “educational.” Writer Mark Twain wisely advised, “Never let your schooling interfere with your education.” Many accomplished leaders in science, business, art, and other areas of endeavor had little in the way of formal schooling, just as today in the United States, students who are homeschooled often outperform their peers in various measures of learning.

Unfortunately, schooling *does* appear to be greatly interfering with the education of millions of young people in U.S. government-run public schools. This is regularly revealed in news stories about high school students who cannot even find the country on a map of the world, high school graduates who cannot construct a grammatically correct sentence, and so on. Some of this, as crazy as it sounds, may have been according to plan: According to Thomas Dewey, sometimes called the “father” of the government (”public”) system of elementary education in the United States, “Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society.” Dewey, a state socialist, was an early admirer of the Soviet Union, and wanted children to be indoctrinated to serve the needs of the State. And indeed, the current school system largely modeled on the theories of Dewey and other “progressives” has been progressively “dumbing down” generations of students.

Government schooling is also a source of conflict in society, as factions of the public fight over how these schools use their stolen tax dollars. Today we see the cherished tradition of Separation of Church and State under new assault, with some on the religious right attempting to substitute the teaching of Creationism for evolution, replace sex education with abstinence propaganda, and sneak organized prayer into the classroom. Meanwhile, others on the far left use their control of many government-run universities to further an agenda of “political correctness” under which speech codes are used to criminalize dissenting points of view, school resources are used to lobby for yet more government funding, and educators who do not conform to the dominant mindset often have difficulty getting hired or promoted.

Libertarians believe that choices of which school to attend, whether to pursue academic or vocational learning, or whether to attend an organized school at all, should be made at the family level, by students and parents, according to their wishes and budgets. We urge private industry and charity to be generous in supporting these choices with scholarships and other educational offerings. Society desperately needs Separation of School and State for the same reason Separation of Church and State is so important — it is dangerous to allow those who make and enforce the laws to be involved in telling people what to think and believe. And how much more true when those being so indoctrinated are among the youngest and most impressionable members of society.

3.4 Freedom of Movement [proposed replacement plank for “Free Trade and Migration”]

Freedom of movement, when not infringing on the private property rights of others, is a fundamental human right which should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. Countries are not private property, and governments have no legitimate authority to limit who may enter and leave these usually vast areas. Detaining people at national borders without probable cause is just as wrong as detaining them in similar unprovoked fashion at their homes or in the streets.

This is a pressing human rights issue. Border controls enforced by governments of wealthy countries have created black markets in human smuggling, with tragic and deadly consequences. Each year, numerous migrants seeking to cross the border unmolested die in the deserts of the southwestern United States or in overheated vehicles without adequate food and water, while others are trafficked into the country as virtual slaves, forced to work in exploitative, sub-market conditions in order to pay off their smugglers, and afraid to leave these workplaces lest they be deported.

We strongly condemn the construction of the walls and fences which are slowly turning the United States, home to about five percent of the world’s population, into the equivalent of a wealthy, gated community. Such barriers are also the silent killers of millions who never attempt to migrate, taking years off their lives by denying them the opportunity to relocate in places where their life expectancy would have been extended through access to cleaner drinking water, better health care, etc. Equally ominously, with the United States in danger of becoming a police state, the militarization of the border represents a potential “Berlin Wall” which could be used to prevent people from *leaving* the country as well as entering it.

While we understand the concerns of those who resent migrants as an added drain on taxpayer-funded government services, and would like to see the welfare state ended before opening the borders, basic rights are not conditional. If we were not allowed to own guns until there were no shootings, or free speech were put on hold until it was no longer used to express bigoted views, we would wait forever. There is no justice in criminalizing whole groups of people because some
members of those groups take advantage of government largess. Per capita, immigrants to the United States actually receive less in total government benefits than do U.S. residents born in the country. The promise of freedom must be extended to all peaceful refugees and migrants to the United States, whether they come to escape tyranny or poverty. Toward this end, we call for the elimination of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, an end to the massive roundups of Hispanic Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing certain government documents, and the repeal of laws punishing employers who hire undocumented workers. Such laws hurt the economy and systematically discourage employers from hiring Hispanics. Finally, we demand a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country without government approval, except in cases where such entry was in furtherance of committing an actual crime.

UPDATE 2, Nov. 20

James, AKA VirtualGalt (submitted existing planks, with added language in bold)

1.3 Personal Relationships

Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. We specifically call for the repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

2.0 Economic Liberty

A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society. Because of our belief in a free and competitive market, we are opposed to efforts by governments to protect businesses from the consequences of their poor decisions.

2.4 Government Finance and Spending

All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.
We call for the gradual retirement of all governmental indebtedness over a 50-year period.

461 thoughts on “Members propose suggested Libertarian Party platform planks

  1. chuckmoulton

    I am glad to see that Susan proposed planks that won’t be rejected out of hand for their length.

    I certainly hope Susan is selected because we get the best Platform when intelligent libertarians from many different strategic viewpoints (Radical Caucus, Reform Caucus, etc.) are involved in the process.

  2. Steven Druckenmiller

    We oppose any form of compulsory military service, including taxation to support a standing or wartime military.

    Even though there is a vast portion of libertarians who believe that maintenance of the national defense is a legitimate function of the State, the anarcho wing is insistent on driving them away.

  3. JimDavidson

    Steven, are there any libertarians in that vast portion who believe in involuntary servitude? Are you asserting some sort of new libertarian who believes in slavery? Because that is what compulsory military service is.

    And that is exactly what compulsory taxation to support a standing military is.

    There is a constitutional provision against a standing army in peace time, and there is a limit to the endurance of legislation funding a war time army, and the reasons for these limitations are clearly explained in The Federalist Papers – written by several men who were clearly not libertarians at the time.

    Ms. Hogarth has proposed wording she finds acceptable. Her proposal has not been adopted. So how is anyone “insistent on driving them away” these magical pro-slavery libertarians? Is it just the expression of opposition to war that you despise?

    Does it drive you away to even have someone *propose* an anti-war measure? Because that’s good. I’d like to drive you away, so I’ll propose the USA “stop the war” in every message I post. That ought to infuriate you.

  4. JimDavidson

    Ms. Hogarth’s proposed language on Socialist Insecurity is okay, except for the last two words. I reviewed this proposal by weirdo Harry Browne to distribute to elderly people, like himself, property that was claimed by the government in the name of all the people.

    http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle1996/le9611a06.html

    Simply put, I don’t think the people now paying into the system have any less of an expectation of compensation, and I would oppose any land sale for the sake of the elderly. Instead of “against government property” I would propose “…against the property of those politicians, and their heirs and assigns, who voted for or signed previous social security legislation.”

    The Ponzi scheme operators are the ones to be made to pay off the victims. I would argue that distributing “government property” to the elderly, or selling it to distribute the proceeds, is ethically similar to having the UN impose a national government in Somalia to force the Somalis to pay taxes to reimburse the international bankers for the funds they lent to the former dictator – who used those funds to torture and massacre the Somalis (or their forebears).

  5. JimDavidson

    On offensive weapons, I think Ms. Hogarth is completely mistaken on the use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. There are plenty of places in the universe where individuals might have some legitimate purpose for such tools. Any restriction on the possession or use of any kinds of weapons is an affront to the essential freedom to keep and bear arms.

    It has been well over 100 years since the first Hague conference, about a hundred years since the London naval conference, and so far there have been few disarmament policies with widespread implementation. A small number of missiles, mostly obsolete, and an even smaller number of warheads have been eliminated. Meanwhile, lots of 16 inch guns for shelling coast lines are still in navy yards, and as recently as the 1980s were employed for the senseless shelling of Lebanon.

    The success of authoritarian societies depends entirely on disarmament, as was proven many centuries ago by the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan. The military occupation of China and Korea by the Empire of Japan, and its depredations on civilian populations in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Guinea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Burma, and elsewhere, were much worse because so many of those civilian populations had already been disarmed.

    Artillery shells, hand grenades, dynamite, and machine guns have previously been put forward by the pacifists as weapons of mass destruction, and have certainly been responsible in the killing of many civilians. I think it is idiotic and ludicrous to suggest that people today can know what free people need, or may need tomorrow, and circumscribe their choices.

    It worked very poorly in Japan. Disarmament has generally worked very poorly over the years.

    The one thing everyone in Africa I met or spoke with had in common was a fierce determination to be armed. It is the disarming of populations that causes war, tyranny, and injustice.

    Hoplophobia has no place in the pursuit of peace.

    Stop the war.

  6. Steven Druckenmiller

    And that is exactly what compulsory taxation to support a standing military is.

    By that logic, all compulsory taxation is slavery, ergo, only anarchists are libertarians.

  7. JimDavidson

    Starchild on the arts. Very pretty prose, though some of the repetition gets a bit dull. It might be improved by being shorter. The thrust of the policy: open and free expression for everyone, not one red cent of tax money for bureau-rats to distribute to artists – is excellent.

    Stop the war.

  8. paulie cannoli Post author

    Opposition to compulsory taxation is insufficient to make one an anarchist.

    It is possible to have a government which is funded voluntarily, yet still claims a monopoly on certain functions such as national defense and courts within a self-defined territory.

    This is the position I held immediately prior to becoming an anarchist; I sometimes referred to it as micro-minarchist.

  9. G.E.

    Susan’s first three are excellent. #4 is really bad, though. I don’t think it can be reconciled with anarchism.

    the anarcho wing is insistent on driving them away.

    Yes, please go away.

  10. JimDavidson

    All compulsory taxation is slavery. No taxation without consent. Or don’t you believe in the consent of the governed, you filthy authoritarian whore?

    Stop the war.

  11. hogarth

    Even though there is a vast portion of libertarians who believe that maintenance of the national defense is a legitimate function of the State, the anarcho wing is insistent on driving them away.

    I’m not sure who you mean when you say ‘anarcho wing’, but as the author of those words, I certainly wasn’t aiming to drive anyone away. I absolutely am big on maintaining a strong defense – I just don’t see any need for compulsion to do it. Perhaps you do, or perhaps you don’t think that taxation is compulsion.

    Paul, it’s common courtesy to ask before reposting content entire from another site.

  12. JimDavidson

    If you don’t believe in consensual taxation, then do you believe in bond issues? Do you believe in referenda to raise property taxes? In many communities throughout the country, the city or county cannot impose a sales tax, property tax, or even borrow money against future tax revenues without the consent of the voters.

    Yet, somehow, all these communities have consensual tax systems. Or, at least, consent by a majority of those who vote on those matters. Which is a good deal better than what you want, I think.

    I think what you want, Mr. Drunkenmiller, is to have guys with guns go door to door and rape and loot and pillage. We had that when the redcoats ran this country, and we fought a revolution over it. Americans took redcoats out and slit their throats, eviscerated their bodies, and left them rotting in the Sun – to judge only by the primary source materials I’ve read on the rout of the British from Concord bridge back to Boston.

    I realise that you and your posh friends in your pleasant think tanks in your Beltway banditry offices don’t much like the rest of us. But you can get our consent before you impose taxes, or you can get your throat slit by your neighbors, and I don’t mind which.

    Stop the war.

  13. JimDavidson

    Ms. Hogarth, I wonder if a specific statement that war protestors need not pay taxes that support the war effort might be enough to fix Drunkenmiller’s problem. But, then, all the funds go into one general federal revenue fund, and we never know which taxes actually go to anything.

    The gasoline tax is supposed to pay for highways, but the highway trust fund is rarely used, to create the illusion of slightly less imbalanced budgets. Oh, well.

    Stop the war.

  14. JimDavidson

    Paulie, she’s right. What you should have done was excerpt each proposal to its own article. That way, you’d be quoted each one, and we could have the discussions separated, too.

    I personally don’t think the press have any obligation not to report, nor to cravenly seek permission, before publishing the words on a political party’s web site where those words can be discussed and picked apart. The LP, like the BTP, wants to run the country. So its policies, and its policy discussions, are fair game for open dialog.

    Stop the war.

  15. hogarth

    G.E., you might find this bit by Rothbard interesting, even if you don’t agree (incidentally I don’t particularly like MR’s use of the term ‘crime against humanity’, but I let the paragraph entire in the quote):

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard26.html

    It has often been maintained, and especially by conservatives, that the development of the horrendous modern weapons of mass murder (nuclear weapons, rockets, germ warfare, etc.) is only a difference of degree rather than kind from the simpler weapons of an earlier era. Of course, one answer to this is that when the degree is the number of human lives, the difference is a very big one. But another answer that the libertarian is particularly equipped to give is that while the bow and arrow and even the rifle can be pinpointed, if the will be there, against actual criminals, modern nuclear weapons cannot. Here is a crucial difference in kind. Of course, the bow and arrow could be used for aggressive purposes, but it could also be pinpointed to use only against aggressors. Nuclear weapons, even “conventional” aerial bombs, cannot be. These weapons are ipso facto engines of indiscriminate mass destruction. (The only exception would be the extremely rare case where a mass of people who were all criminals inhabited a vast geographical area.) We must, therefore, conclude that the use of nuclear or similar weapons, or the threat thereof, is a sin and a crime against humanity for which there can be no justification.

  16. paulie cannoli Post author

    Paul, it’s common courtesy to ask before reposting content entire from another site.

    Sorry, I thought you were trying to bring your ideas to the largest interested audience and discussion. I’ll ask next time before posting anything you write.

    I have zero interest in promoting that site now that I have been kicked off of it, but you and the other writers there (and other people as well) are welcome to cross-post on Next Free Voice, which doesn’t make a regular practice of kicking people off.

    Let me know if you want a log in. (That’s a general you, not only Susan).

  17. JimDavidson

    The overall direction of Starchild’s 2.8 on education seems good. I think it is very long, and I found it tedious to read through.

    Stop the war.

  18. hogarth

    There are plenty of places in the universe where individuals might have some legitimate purpose for such tools.

    I understand this argument. This plank was something I’m just playing around with a bit; it was not offered as part of my ‘application’ to the platform committee – as the comment that Paul left out when he reposted it indicated.

    The original posting is here:

    http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/lp-platform-committee-application-sample-planks/

  19. JimDavidson

    I should note that I myself do not regard majority consent for a tax to be adequate evidence that it is non-compulsory. We’ve recently had a bit of difficulty with majority consent to gay marriage.

    I do not think that my consent is obtained if a majority of my neighbors vote to give their consent. Nevertheless, it is at least the illusion of consent, and arguably better than the federal tax system.

    Stop the war.

  20. paulie cannoli Post author

    I personally don’t think the press have any obligation not to report, nor to cravenly seek permission, before publishing the words on a political party’s web site where those words can be discussed and picked apart. The LP, like the BTP, wants to run the country. So its policies, and its policy discussions, are fair game for open dialog.

    I would generally consider proposals for changing a political party’s public platform, posted in a public place by a prospective party platform participant, to be fair game.

    However, I also believe Susan has the right to her work, so I’ll do my best to keep her wishes in mind in the future. As for multiple articles, the purpose of this thread was to discuss all proposals for the platform. It’s just that I haven’t found other proposals besides Susan’s and Starchild’s yet. I’m not interested in putting up hundreds of articles about it, at least at this time.

  21. hogarth

    Simply put, I don’t think the people now paying into the system have any less of an expectation of compensation, and I would oppose any land sale for the sake of the elderly.

    I didn’t specify elderly. I wrote “Those who have been victims…” which certainly includes those paying now as well as retired people.

    I understand the difficulty with the term ‘government property’, but I’m not sure of the best way around it.

  22. Steven Druckenmiller

    If you don’t believe in consensual taxation, then do you believe in bond issues?

    Where did I say that?

    Mr. Davidson, you have a terrible habit of putting words in my mouth.

  23. JimDavidson

    Starchild 3.4 on freedom of movement, misses some important points, and spends a lot longer getting to the ones it reaches.

    People are not only detained at borders without probable cause, but they are also searched at borders in direct and utter violation of the fourth amendment protections in the constitution. There seems to be no recognition of a need for probable cause for search, anywhere, any longer.

    Your car can be searched with the say so of a dog. You’d think a judge, but, no, a dog can sniff at your car, or jump into it (very common for those of us who own dogs and have cars that smell of dogs). The dog may be “trained not to react to other dogs,” but it is, in fact, a dog. Dogs are gregarious and are unlikely to stop being dogs on the say so of some cop dog trainer.

    You can have your home searched without a warrant, on the say so of a national security ninny. You might be told 90 days later, if they didn’t find anything, and if their keystroke loggers on your computer couldn’t be used to fabricate some sort of evidence of possible wrongdoing.

    Borders should not be any different. If USA government personnel are conducting the search, whether it is in a foreign country or at the borders or within this one, it should be conducted only if probable cause has been established, duly sworn, with the approval of a magistrate. Goodness knows there are enough whores in judicial robes willing to issue warrants on little or no cause that we don’t need to loosen things up further.

    Being the exact kind of person who writes way too much to convey a point, I would again note that Starchild’s freedom of movement proposal is wordy. And I should know.

    Stop the war.

  24. paulie cannoli Post author

    This plank was something I’m just playing around with a bit; it was not offered as part of my ‘application’ to the platform committee – as the comment that Paul left out when he reposted it indicated.

    Sorry, again. The only thing I left out were the words ‘bonus plank.’ I just thought that meant you offered four, above and beyond the requested three. I did not realize it was in an entirely separate category.

  25. JimDavidson

    @23, I didn’t say you said it. I asked whether you believe in them. I asked a question. Do you see that funny mark at the end of the sentence that isn’t a period? It is a question mark. When I ask a question, you cannot suppose that I know the answer. It does not impugn your intelligence or assert a position of yours to ask you a question.

    But, of course, I forgot, you are an authoritarian. So, anyone asking you a question is being impertinent.

    You wanna stop me from asking questions? Come on over. Pig.

    Stop the war.

  26. hogarth

    Actually, Jim, I think I answered your objection by using the wording “Weapons which cannot be used without extensive concomitant damage to civilian populations…”.

    If you’re prepping a nuclear device on Mars to melt the polar ice cap, that’s a whole different kettle of fish than capping a missile whose launch codes *only* include major population centers.

  27. JimDavidson

    @22 There are many problems with government property. One of them is, we don’t really know what’s what.

    For example, there is the equal footing clause. States are supposed to enter on an equal footing. But, those admitted after 1861 were essentially prevented from doing so, and were coerced into adopting provisions to turn over vast tracts of territory to the national government. There is considerable question whether the national government can own any land on which it does not erect a “needful building” such as a fort, dock yard, or arsenal, as provided in the authorising language in the constitution.

    There are also requirements for the legislature of the state to explicitly consent to the land being turned over. In many cases, a constitutional convention adopted the policy, instead. It is all a terrible mess.

    We also haven’t seen an audit of the Federal Reserve, nor of the Treasury’s precious metals, in the first instance since they were formed in 1913 and in the second since around 1954 or so. So we don’t really know how much gold the CIA recovered from the Japanese – who stole it from all over Southeast Asia.

    I would be less uptight about this distribution of wealth to cover false promises of future pensions if there were some way of knowing what the government actually owns. That might be a program point for the Boston Tea Party to consider in future.

    Stop the war.

  28. JimDavidson

    @29 Agreed, Mars is a potential site for such application. One might also widen a canal, or create one to compete with Suez or Panama, using such tools.

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to own a weapon that could only be coded to fire at large population centers. I suspect you’ll find that some of those launch codes point to missile silos, and some of those missiles can be pointed at the vicinity of submarines and carrier battle groups at sea. I’m suspicious of what we know about such things because the nationalist socialist security apparatus is determined to lie to us “for our own good.”

    Which, as we’ve seen, did not do us much good after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, nor after the weapons of mass destruction thing in Iraq. Secrecy is a disease.

    Stop the war.

  29. JimDavidson

    @31 No, Mr. Drunkenmiller, I’m very sincere.

    I don’t disagree with you more often, nor more vociferously, than GE or Paulie. I’m perhaps a tiny bit more likely to call you a pig.

    But, really, you are an evil authoritarian. You might pretend you are some sort of nice pleasant libertarian. But you are a villain. I want to make you suffer for your villainy.

    Authoritarians advocate aggression and initiation of force. Doing so is wrong.

    Stop the war.

  30. Jeremy Young

    Paulie, how exactly do you of all people get kicked off an anarcho-libertarian site? I can’t imagine you were rude, as I’ve never seen you be so (at least not on blogs). However it happened, that’s a pretty neat trick. I haven’t even managed to be banned from Daily Kos yet, though Lord knows I’ve tried.

  31. hogarth


    I am glad to see that Susan proposed planks that won’t be rejected out of hand for their length.

    I hope that nothing will be ‘rejected out of hand’ – and most especially not for length. The platform-writing process is collaborative, and it’s simple enough to distill Starchild’s essay-length planks into something punchier – if the committee even desires to do so.


    I certainly hope Susan is selected because we get the best Platform when intelligent libertarians from many different strategic viewpoints (Radical Caucus, Reform Caucus, etc.) are involved in the process.

    Thanks for the compliment, and I agree. Not so much that I’m intelligent 🙂 as that the best platform will come from a lively mix of ideological viewpoints.

  32. rdupuy

    Well, having only these 2 to compare, Susan’s have the correct form, at least.

    Starchild making your point like *this*, is a mistake. I guess you thought it added more emphasis, or made your point stronger, but it has the opposite effect. It makes it appear weak and in need of gimmickry.

    Frankly I didn’t finish reading your rant.

    Susan loved the style of your writing, although I personally wouldn’t support your planks.

    My thoughts, on National defense: I think we must have a military of some size, and therefore that military, properly sized, would have expenses which would be paid by the public.

    Social Security: I agree on the point of eliminating the many government entitlement programs, but I’m not sure I’d list them out separately as plank items. I think the word victim, is not only a bit too strong, but in many cases, not even correct. SSN may run out of money someday. But for now, people collect far more than they put in. And more than that, the vast majority of americans, supported the social security system. If we are the victims, most of us are the perpetrators as well.

    Civil Disobedience. I completely disagree. Civil disobedience has its place, and I respect those, who engage in principled stands. However, the mere fact that a law is unjust is not enough to break the law, and I don’t start from the position of supporting law breakers. I start from the position of obeying the law.

  33. hogarth

    My thoughts, on National defense: I think we must have a military of some size, and therefore that military, properly sized, would have expenses which would be paid by the public.

    But I quite agree with this! Nothing I’ve said contradicts that as far as I can tell.

    And more than that, the vast majority of americans, supported the social security system.

    The ’04 platform – which was the basis of this particular plank – contained the proviso that those who wanted to continue with the SS system should be allowed to – a sort of ‘opt out’ transformation of SS. I could live with that in the plank.

    However, the mere fact that a law is unjust is not enough to break the law, and I don’t start from the position of supporting law breakers. I start from the position of obeying the law.

    It was the alarming number of times I have heard this sort of statement from fellow Party members in the past year which induced me to propose this plank. I view it as the most important of the three (or four, if you count the ‘practice’ one). Whether or not I am asked to serve on the PC, I will press for it to be offered to the Convention, or offer it myself from the floor if it is not.

    If you had served on a jury in, say, 1845, would you have convicted a man of refusing to return a slave to his ‘owner’? Or would you have acquitted him, deeming the runaway slave laws to be abhorrent?

    Isn’t jury nullification just another form of civil disobedience?

    Or if you don’t think jury nullification = civil disobedience, ask yourself this: would you have helped a runaway slave who showed up at your doorstep and begged for your assistance?

  34. paulie cannoli Post author

    FWIW it’s worth, I like Susan’s proposed planks, except that I would shorten the “offensive weapons” quasi-proposal a bit. Mine would read:

    “Weapons which cannot be used without extensive concomitant damage to civilian populations (often called ‘weapons of mass destruction’) are the tools of terrorism, and as such have no place in the arsenal of a free people. We therefore call on the U.S. Government to divest itself of such offensive weaponry. The U.S. Government’s nuclear, chemical, and biological arsenals should be dismantled promptly, and further government research into the production of such materials should cease immediately.”

    Also, on the SS plank, I would take out the last sentence.

    “It is the right and responsibility of each individual to provide for his old age as he best sees fit. We therefore support the abolition of the compulsory, burdensome, and unworkable Social Security system.”

    Claims against government property are a tricky issue, in that the government does not legitimately own any property. Also, as a practical matter, it has already used up many of the resources it has taken from people, and thus would be in no position to pay out everyone who has paid into it in full. And, not everyone has the records to prove exactly how much they paid over the years.

    What to do with the property in the possession of the regime is an interesting question. I think it should be addressed separately, if at all.

  35. hogarth

    Paul – I like your change to the weapons plank. Seems like an awful lot of Libs are OK with the USG owning WMD though 🙁

    Taking out the last sentence of the SS plank does indeed make it less arguable.

  36. paulie cannoli Post author

    Seems like an awful lot of Libs are OK with the USG owning WMD though

    That’s a shame. We both know that’s the direction the party has been going in, though.

  37. Steven Druckenmiller

    Seems like an awful lot of Libs are OK with the USG owning WMD though

    I suppose I am “OK” with it. I view United States disarmament as “putting down your guns” when the other guys still have theirs pointed at you.

  38. mscrib

    On Social Security:

    Can we specify transition actions? The best way to attack Social Security is to go to a means tested system. One of the largest critiques of a means tested Social Security program is that the public will stop overwhelmingly supporting its existence once it becomes viewed as a welfare program rather than social insurance. Anyway, from a fiscal point of view, means testing for Social Security certainly would be better than the current situation.

  39. chuckmoulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    I am glad to see that Susan proposed planks that won’t be rejected out of hand for their length.

    Susan Hogarth wrote:

    I hope that nothing will be ‘rejected out of hand’ – and most especially not for length.

    You’re missing the point. You and I can hope all we want, but the reality is the LNC will reject Starchild’s application out of hand because his planks are too long. That’s pretty much a certainty based on past experience. And I’m sure Starchild knew that.

    There are some people on the LNC who will be opposed to both you and Starchild being on the Platform Committee. Avoiding giving the fence sitters a silly reason to reject you is a good thing, and that’s why I’m glad you stuck to a sample plank length commensurate with the existing Platform.

    Once you make the Platform Committee, propose and discuss planks of any length the Committee wants to consider.

  40. Jeremy Young

    Paulie, so what I take from that lengthy post of yours is that:

    1) You set up a blog, and later on invited someone else to be co-administrator; and

    2) That person then deleted you from the blog.

    In what universe that is appropriate behavior, I have no idea. It makes no difference what your history or behavior is or isn’t. If she had a problem with you, she should have left, not thrown you out of the house you built.

  41. Steven Druckenmiller

    you can get your throat slit by your neighbors, and I don’t mind

    There’s those threats of violence again. And for what? Speaking words.

    You’re a terrible libertarian, The Troll.

  42. paulie cannoli Post author

    Actually, I did not set it up. Stuart Richards set it up. Eventually he got too busy with real life and moved on. But, you are correct, I did in fact do a lot to build it, I invited many of the people who post there (including the one who kicked me off), promoted it extensively, put up hundreds of posts and thousands of comments, spent thousands of hours on it, etc.

    I was the last of the people from the early days of the blog who was still actively posting there recently. One or two of the people who were signed up before me or around the same time as me are still signed up, but have not been posting (or commenting much or at all) lately.

    And you are correct that I am not happy about the way in which I got booted. In fact up until she did it I had forgotten that one admin could demote another. If I thought she would do such a thing, I would have never promoted her to admin to begin with.

    What’s done is done, so now I am not promoting that site anymore, but I am inviting the people that write and comment there (and here) to Next Free Voice instead.

    So far Peter Orvetti, Less Antman, Matt Harris, Jim Davidson, and Robert Mayer have signed up to write there. Michelle still has a log in but has not posted anything in a long time. I’m hoping we get more people signed up to write, and more people commenting.

  43. hogarth

    You’re missing the point.

    No, I got it – I was just riffing off your point to make another point 🙂

  44. hogarth

    I view United States disarmament as “putting down your guns” when the other guys still have theirs pointed at you.

    Once again: I have *never* suggested ‘disarmament’. I’ve said that we should not support the ownership or use of WMD by *anyone*.

  45. Steven Druckenmiller

    The U.S. Government’s nuclear, chemical, and biological arsenals should be dismantled promptly

    I know you’re still batting this idea about, but it seems to me you are suggesting disarmament.

    Ms. Hogarth, what sense does it make for an American party to advocate that as part of American policy?

  46. hogarth

    Ms. Hogarth, what sense does it make for an American party to advocate that as part of American policy?

    I explained that; weapons which cannot be used without killing large numbers of innocents are inherently terroristic weapons and should not be used by civilized people.

    We just have to decide if we’re civilized or not.

  47. hogarth

    I acknowledge that, but again, how is that not advocacy for disarmament?

    I’m afraid we’re talking past one another. If I have a vial of anthrax (just sayin’!), several handguns, and an SKS, and I decide to (safely) dispose of the anthrax because I realize that mailing it to a congressman would present an inevitable danger to innocent parties, I hardly consider that ‘disarmament’.

    I’m using the word ‘disarmament’ to mean getting rid of all weapons, not merely getting rid of one. I don’t advocate that Americans ‘disarm’ at all; only that we get rid of weapons whose use is clearly unethical.

  48. Coming Back to the LP

    A few quick thoughts for the platform:

    1 Repeal all taxes on income at all levels of government. Abolish the IRS. Repeal the 16th amendment.

    2 Repeal all taxes on property at all levels of government. The property tax is the worst of all taxes. Free people who own their own land or home and are self sufficient would be able to live without any income or participation in the cash economy. They are forced by the property tax to have an income and are forced into the hands of the government.

    The property tax consititues a “taking” of a portion of a person’s property each year, without compensation.

    3. Abolish the Federal Reserve and move toward free market money. In the interim, if government issues money, it must be backed by gold as required under the constitution.

    4. Non invervention. End the wars. Bring all the troops home stationed outside the US, in an orderly by timely manner.

    5. Free trade with all.

    6. End the war on drugs. Free persons should be allowed to self medicate.

    7. Abolish Social Security taxes. End mandatory participation. Phase out benefits. Only those wholly dependent and elderly would be allowed to continue to collect.

    8. Abolish all laws regulating freedom of speech, press and religion.

    9. Abolish all marriage laws that prescribe a one-size fits all marriage contract and prevent the natural long-term relationships that adults may wish to contractually create for themselves.

    10 Abolish all child support laws that coerce one party into paying for children being raised by another party.

    11 End Selective Service registration and abolish the draft for ever with a constitutional amendment prohibiting government slavery in any form including: the draft, conscription, national service or taxation of income.

    12 Prohibit and abolish the use of eminent domain by any level of government.

    13 Abolish ______ any agency that you have the time and energy and good writer to write a platform plank about.

    Please make a radical, hard hitting platform we can all be proud of.

    Smash the state. Vote Libertarian.

  49. Steven Druckenmiller

    only that we get rid of weapons whose use is clearly unethical.

    And that should be done without other countries’ emptying their arsenals?

  50. hogarth

    SH:
    only that we get rid of weapons whose use is clearly unethical.

    SD:
    And that should be done without other countries’ emptying their arsenals?

    Yes. If the use of the weapons is unethical, then it doesn’t matter that other governments or individuals might be contemplating the use of similar unethical weapons.

    We are either prepared to carry out the mass slaughter of civilians in war – in other words, to act as savages – or we are not. If we’re not, there is no purpose to keeping weapons whose deployment necessarily involves such mass slaughter.

    What would be the point? Those things aren’t cheap to keep up, and eventually we *will* have another madman in the White House who will use them. And even without that, their presence is a deliberate threat against innocent people. Why keep them unless we agree that their use is good and right?

    If you think that there’s a place in civilization for such behavior, then by all means advocate for the development and maintenance of the tools to achieve the slaughter. I do not think that’s civilized, so I do not advocate that anyone keep them for such purposes.

    If another country’s government sent nuclear weapons to our cities, would our government be justified in retaliating? I don’t think so. So why keep the weapons?

  51. G.E.

    Collective defense is appropriate and would exist in a free society.

    I’m against the monopoly state owning any property whatsoever.

    But I have to agree with Druckenmiller to an extent. Saying the U.S. should abandon its nukes, etc., is sort of like saying the government should stop prosecuting murderers. Yes, I think the government SHOULD stop prosecuting murderers — but only if it leaves that task to others. Similarly, I think others (private entities) should be in charge of the state’s nukes, and instead of worldwide disarmament, I wish more collective-defense entities were nuked up. I know this is a divergence from Rothbardianism.

  52. G.E.

    Dropping nuclear bombs is unethical. But they have another “use” that is perfectly ethical, and indeed, virtuous: they prevent the evil U.S., or whatever may come after it, from invading. If Iran had nukes, there would be no talk of a coming war with Persia.

  53. G.E.

    If another country’s government sent nuclear weapons to our cities, would our government be justified in retaliating?

    No, but the threat that our government would retaliate is a deterrent.

  54. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m sorry, Ms. Hogarth, but the genie is out of the bottle.

    If another country’s government sent nuclear weapons to our cities, would our government be justified in retaliating? I don’t think so.

    What? Why? Do you think that “we” should just sit there and take it?

  55. hogarth

    Dropping nuclear bombs is unethical. … but the threat that our government would retaliate is a deterrent.

    See, this is the sort of argument that I find blindingly illogical – even setting aside the immoral nature of a constant threat against large civilian populations.

    Either you approve of slaughtering civilians or you do not. Keeping weapons whose sole purpose is that slaughter implies *that you do approve*. The idea that you would make a ‘threat’ that you would never carry out is just plain silly – and guaranteed to get you into trouble.

    So in effect you seem (to me) to be saying that you approve of the use of threats of actions which you find unethical. Sorry, but that just doesn’t square with my reading of your character, G.E.

    Any shooter knows this lesson: “Don’t point the gun at anything you aren’t willing to put a hole through.” I find it astounding that so many people are willing to point such a horrible gun at so many innocent people with the blithe assumption that the brandishment itself can serve the purposes of keeping peace without the risk of the gun actually going off someday.

    I wonder if shooting lessons should be made mandatory.

    Just kidding! 😉

    -sigh-

  56. hogarth

    SH:
    If another country’s government sent nuclear weapons to our cities, would our government be justified in retaliating? I don’t think so.

    SD:
    What? Why? Do you think that “we” should just sit there and take it?

    My apologies – I was unclear! You were right to call me on it. I should have written ‘retaliate in kind’ rather than simply ‘retaliate’.

    The question was designed to ask you whether you think destroying civilian population centers is ever justified, not whether you think we should defend ourselves or retaliate against the aggressing government. Sorry for not being clear!

  57. Steven Druckenmiller

    Do I think destroying civilian population centers is ever justified?

    I think defining “civilian” is very hard to do in mass warfare.

  58. hogarth

    I think defining “civilian” is very hard to do in mass warfare.

    *puts head in hands and groans*

    Hoppe wrote about this as one of the greatest perils of democracy – that because of the (obscene) idea that ‘we are the government’, it becomes much more a true Hobbesian ‘war of all against all’ than any state of anarchy could ever aspire to be.

  59. JimDavidson

    There is certainly no logic to mutually assured destruction. The best that can be said for it is that deterrence may have been helpful in preventing bad situations from escalating, as long as both sides could convince people that they had sufficient animosity and insanity to “push the button” if missiles began falling out of the sky.

    If nuclear weapons provide a deterrent effect against other major world governments, it is based on the threat of insanity. You do a crazy first strike against us, we do a crazy obliteration retaliatory strike against you, everyone goes to nuclear winter. One nuclear weapon can make for a very bad day.

    The problem with nuclear deterrence as a credible threat is that it doesn’t work so well against non-national terrorist organisations. If it was a deterrence, where are the Twin Towers?

    Now @66, Drunkenmiller says that he can’t define a civilian in mass warfare. But, I can. The people who aren’t in uniform and who aren’t occupying someone else’s country are civilians. Civilians are expected to be partisans and have guns, at least in several of the relevant conventions on warfare. So, having guns doesn’t make you a combatant. And fighting an occupying force to defend your home doesn’t make you a combatant, necessarily, though there have been exceptions.

    The problem with not being able to define “civilian” and claiming that all warfare is now mass warfare is, how do you establish a criminal or war criminal nature to the planes flying into the Twin Towers? If those weren’t civilians, what were they, in the Twin Towers? With whom was the USA formally at war at the time?

    And this event also illustrates that the nuclear threat, to, say, obliterate Mecca, which the USA military could certainly accomplish with existing nuclear missiles, was perceived as a paper tiger. So the hijackers flew the planes into the buildings, and accomplished massive destruction without nuclear bombs. If they could have gotten nuclear weapons, or radiological ones, I think the same guys would have been willing to accomplish even more destruction.

    (The anthrax events would show that someone is willing to use biological weapons of mass destruction in spite of the nuclear threat to Mecca, but I cannot find conclusive evidence to disprove the hypothesis that the anthrax scare might have been the USA government’s own doing.)

    One of the uses of a nuclear device is to power a high powered, possibly x-ray laser in orbit, or a set of them, at just the moment when needed to shoot down incoming missiles. As part of a missile defense system, nuclear weapons in orbit would also be in violation of half a dozen treaties, not only on anti-ballistic missile systems, but also on the peaceful uses of outer space, to which the USA is party.

    Nuclear weapons have also been discussed in use as “Orion” the large vehicle propulsion system. You build a hemisphere of hardened plate steel of gigantic proportions, put enormous springs on top, mount a huge cargo on top of that, and toss a nuke underneath. Up goes the hemisphere, and near the apex of its trajectory, another nuke goes off, sending it higher. This propulsion concept can also be used in orbit for such a vehicle. Not exactly environmentally friendly on Earth, or in near Earth orbits (since the cloud of radioactive material formed in space would co-orbit with Earth and at times intersect).

    I am suspicious of the case for unilateral disarmament on ethical grounds. Not because I dispute the ethics, but because the practice of warfare is essentially unethical. A defensive capability structured entirely on reason and ethics would seem to be at a disadvantage against enemies who often prove willing to do irrational and highly unethical things.

    The film “The Usual Suspects,” reviews some of these facts about human conflicts.

    Here’s the monologue:
    “There was a gang of Hungarians that wanted their own mob. They realized that to be in power, you didn’t need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn’t. After a while, they come into power and then they come after Soze. He was small-time then, just running dope, they say.

    (We see all of this in flashback)

    “They come to his home in the afternoon, looking for his business. They find his wife and kids in the house and decide to wait for Soze. He comes home to find his wife raped and children screaming. The Hungarians knew Soze was tough, not to be trifled with, so they let him know they meant business.

    (Flashback: Hungarian cuts one of the children’s throats)

    “They tell him they want his territory, all his business. Soze looks over the faces of his family. Then he showed these men of will what will really was.

    (Soze shoots two Hungarians, then shoots his children and his wife as the last Hungarian watches in surprised horror)

    “He tells him he would rather see his family dead than live another day after this. He lets the last Hungarian go, waits until his wife and kids are in the ground, and then he goes after the rest of the mob. He kills their kids. He kills their wives. He kills their parents and their parents’ friends. He burns down the houses they live in, the stores they work in. He kills people that owe them money. And like that, he’s gone. Underground. Nobody’s ever seen him since. He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night. ‘Rat on your pop and Keyser Soze will get you.’ But no one ever really believes.”

    Stop the wars.

  60. Steven Druckenmiller

    that because of the (obscene) idea that ‘we are the government’

    That is not what I am saying. Are you saying that civilian factories that are actively producing shells and conventional war weapons are not legitimate targets?

    What if the factory produces uniforms? Mess kits? MREs?

    The people who aren’t in uniform and who aren’t occupying someone else’s country are civilians.

    The Troll – tell me why it is that, on the other thread, you said that people who send care packages to Soldiers in Iraq are “accessories and supporters of murder”, yet, you know have this definition of civilians?

    It is one way or the other.

  61. G.E.

    Susan –

    Either you approve of slaughtering civilians or you do not.

    I oppose all initiation of force, period. I support defense. I support Iran having nuclear weapons in order to defend themselves against the mass murder that our government would like to perpetrate against them. I don’t see anything illogical about that position.

    So in effect you seem (to me) to be saying that you approve of the use of threats of actions which you find unethical.

    If I tell someone, “if you break into my house, I’ll shoot you,” I’m not threatening to shoot them. “It’s not a threat, it’s a warning.” The same can be said of nuclear deterrents. The difference, of course, is that if someone breaks into my house, I don’t shoot the criminal and twenty of my neighbors, while a nuke being dropped on the U.S. would kill innocents along with aggressors (government employees, etc.).

    I could tease out how I suspect this would work under anarchism, but what I find illogical is your assertion that mere possession — in this case of a nuclear weapon — is tantamount to an offense. If I could join an Anarchotopian non-state in Africa, I would. And I’d be more than happy to voluntarily surrender a share of my earnings to fund a Private Defense Organization’s nuclear arsenal in order to defend my life and liberty from a U.S. (or any other imperialist) invasion.

  62. hogarth

    Nuclear weapons have also been discussed in use as “Orion” the large vehicle propulsion system.

    That makes them not weapons. I’ve never suggested that all nuclear devices should be given up.

  63. G.E.

    The problem with nuclear deterrence as a credible threat is that it doesn’t work so well against non-national terrorist organisations. If it was a deterrence, where are the Twin Towers?

    The non-national terrorist organizations were reacting in response to a nuclear nation (U.S.) invading, bombing, and occupying non-nuclear nations (in the Middle East), which the U.S. could have never done if those nations had nuclear arms.

  64. hogarth

    Are you saying that civilian factories that are actively producing shells and conventional war weapons are not legitimate targets?

    Well, no. When I said ‘civilians’, I meant -people-, not factories.

    Actually, I said “civilian population centers” (aka ‘cities’) – then you responded by saying that “I think defining “civilian” is very hard to do in mass warfare.”

    So. Do you think it’s OK to bomb cities in wartime?

  65. Steven Druckenmiller

    Don’t you think that you and I both would have to know how much that particular city was contributing to the war effort?

    That’s why I am asking these questions: at what point do “civilians” cease to be civilians?

    When I said ‘civilians’, I meant -people-, not factories.

    Well, it isn’t robots working in that factory.

  66. G.E.

    After mulling this over, I guess I believe something that you probably don’t, Susan. And that is that we do bear some responsibility for what our government does in our name. If Iran developed nukes and said, “Listen, U.S. If you nuke us, we retaliate,” and then our government did just that, I would say that yes, Iran would be justified in retaliating. It would be our responsibility to overthrow the regime and abolish the state before things got to this point. At some point, we have to accept responsibility.

  67. JimDavidson

    @69 If you are supporting the occupation of another country, you are an accessory to its occupation. Civilians are people who are not involved in occupying another country. Do try to keep up.

    @74 What he is saying is that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all the little children living in each city, were legitimate targets for nuclear detonations.

    It is a difficult ethical position, because there is no way to separate the civilians who were supporting the war effort willingly from those who were coerced to do so nor from those who were not doing so.

    Susan, I don’t have any good answers. War is illogical and unethical. Making war policy based on logic and ethics is very appealing, intellectually. But intellect is not what wars are about.

    Wars are very stupid, especially wars of aggression. Militarily occupying other people’s countries is unethical and illogical.

    The problem facing those who make defense policies is that there are guys like Drunkenmiller who live in other countries who insist that it is okay to go to other people’s countries and massacre their children.

    Stop the wars.

  68. hogarth

    I oppose all initiation of force, period. I support defense. I support Iran having nuclear weapons in order to defend themselves against the mass murder that our government would like to perpetrate against them. I don’t see anything illogical about that position.

    Do you just think it’s OK for the government of Iran (say) to have nukes, but not to ever use them? Or do you think that government would be justified in their use?

    The idea of nukes as defensive weapons involves constructing a pretty odd scenario – and even then would involve mass murder.

    They might work as deterrent – but of course the people owning them would have to admit to being willing to initiate force against innocents – which you say you oppose.

    They might work as retaliation – but of course the people deploying them would have to admit to being willing to initiate force against innocents – which you say you oppose.

  69. hogarth

    Sorry, G.E. – I replied without reading your entire post. It only makes things more confusing.

    BUT! Clarity came in your next post:

    And that is that we do bear some responsibility for what our government does in our name.

    That does nail the difference between us.

    I wouldn’t agree that we bear enough responsibility to warrant the death penalty 🙁 – nor that young’uns bear the same responsibility. In fact, I don’t agree at all with this sort of collectivization of guilt. That’s what allowed so many Americans to so blithely watch the slaughter of so many Japanese civilians (and even now allows people like George Phillies to excuse this slaughter).

    But at least now I understand where you’re coming from.

  70. hogarth

    Don’t you think that you and I both would have to know how much that particular city was contributing to the war effort?

    No.

  71. JimDavidson

    @77 It is certainly wrong to advocate the initiation of force, and to use nuclear weapons as a deterrent, one would have to advocate it.

    However, I continue to be puzzled how to deal with irrational and unethical behaviors on a strictly ethical and rational basis.

    From the evidence I’ve seen, the Vietnam war ended because Americans in large numbers refused to fight. In very many cases, as documented by films like “Sir No Sir” it was a direct refusal by conscripts.

    Given that a number of volunteers have been turned into conscripts by stop-loss, I wonder if the Iraq and Afghanistan wars might be stopped the same way.

    But I have no insight into global nuclear disarmament policy. I think it is very likely all bollocks.

    Stop the wars.

  72. G.E.

    I don’t think dropping nukes on Japan — which was provoked into the war and was willing to surrender — can be compared to Iran threatening a nuclear retaliation against the U.S.

    You’re being very theoretical here. I’m being practical: I don’t want bombs being lobbed at Persia. I don’t want little girls having their skin burned off of them, little boys having their legs blown off, and hundreds of thousands of people dying.

    You bring up Japan: If Japan too had the atomic bomb, Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have never happened.

    And wow, you’ve just given me one more good reason to detest George Phillies’s politics.

  73. hogarth

    Jim,

    Yes, I agree there’s nothing simple about it. But saying ‘stop the wars’ over and over like a mantra while supporting them by saying “It’s too complicated an issue for logic and morality,” is simply bizarre.

  74. JimDavidson

    @78 Susan is exactly correct. Even if those in government were actually chosen by the people generally, they still don’t represent the choice of all of them – some don’t vote and some voted for the other candidates. And there is no contract.

    I cannot be held responsible for the actions of an agent if I have no contract that can be enforced to cause that agent to do my bidding. Electoral politics as they are practiced are flim flam. Campaign promises are empty of value.

    Now, one could argue that if I hired the government agents and they acted directly for me under contract, then I would bear some measure of responsibility for their actions – in carrying out my policies. If I could show that they were either negligent or acted against my explicit orders, those things would be exculpatory.

    But as presently organised, the elections don’t represent any sort of delegated authority. I am not the government. I don’t consent to be governed by it. I don’t vote, and I don’t have any responsibility for anything done by any bureau-rat or politician. If they claim to be acting in my name, they lie.

    There is not enough evidence that people generally elect or support the government to imagine a collective responsibility for the government’s actions. When Obama doesn’t end the wars, it’ll be in defiance of the mandate that put him in office.

    Stop the wars.

  75. G.E.

    Let’s sort this out.

    If Iran says, “We will nuke the U.S. IF the U.S. nukes us,” are they initiating force against me and you? Or are they only initiating force against me and you IF the U.S. first nukes them, and in that case, wouldn’t it be the U.S. that initiated the force against Iran, and us?

  76. hogarth

    I don’t think dropping nukes on Japan — which was provoked into the war and was willing to surrender — can be compared to Iran threatening a nuclear retaliation against the U.S.

    It’ll look mighty similar to the victims.

    You’re being very theoretical here. I’m being practical: I don’t want bombs being lobbed at Persia. I don’t want little girls having their skin burned off of them, little boys having their legs blown off, and hundreds of thousands of people dying.

    WTF? As far as I can tell, *I* am the only one here calling for us – *as citizens*, who *you* say are responsible in some measure for our government – to call on that government to turn its back consciously on such ‘bomb lobbing’. You’re *objecting* to that call.

    And, Paul, I now agree wholeheartedly with you idea of removing ‘ban’ language and directing it solely at the U.S. government.

    Not that it will help, as so many libertarians seem to be wedded to the idea of holding one country’s civilians as hostages to its government’s actions…

  77. G.E.

    What Jim is saying in #78 is that Iranians should die in order that he be spared. That’s the practical implication of saying you have absolutely no culpability in the U.S. military’s actions, and thus, Iran may not threaten retaliation against the U.S., since doing so would kill innocent Jim, innocent Susan, and me, along with statists like Druckenmiller (who would deserve it in this case).

  78. JimDavidson

    @83, That is to irritate Drunkenmiller. He objected to you advocating an end to aggressive warfare, as some sort of anarcho-wing conspiracy to drive out the pro-war “libertarians” like himself. So, I have taken to adding “stop the wars” at the end of my posts here to irritate him. I know that he secretly wants to massacre small children in other countries. -smirk-

    It isn’t too complicated, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that war is an emotional and for some people a spiritual behavior. It is irrational and illogical. It makes no sense. I’m saying that pursuing a very logical policy such as your “nuclear weapons are bad” proposal doesn’t get at the essence of war. You can’t fix irrational things using rational instruments.

    If war is going to stop, it has to be stopped by people. If you look at why people refuse, it is often very illogical. They refuse for emotional reasons. They talk about the twisted minds that return from wars, the twisted bodies they’ve seen, the ugliness, the things that scare them about it, the things that sicken them. War evokes emotional responses, because it is an emotional behavior, and I think it is on that side of human behavior that we have some believable expectation of stopping the wars.

    It would be nice if people could behave rationally about irrational things, I suppose. For a time. Until all the passion and fun got sucked out of the world. But people are as they are.

    Perhaps what I am saying is: I don’t think it logical to pursue a logical approach to an illogical behavior.

    I realise this isn’t appealing. It is anti-intellectual. And I don’t like anti-intellectualism generally. I like to see thoughtful people proposing thoughtful policies.

    What I am saying in a nutshell is, your defense policy proposals are unlikely to be adopted in a world which has irrational behaviors like war. If they were, the fact that war is about exercise of will, about naked power, about men and women behaving badly, makes me certain that the policy, for all its logic, would have bad consequences. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live with those consequences.

    Stop the wars.

  79. hogarth

    If Iran says, “We will nuke the U.S. IF the U.S. nukes us,” are they initiating force against me and you? Or are they only initiating force against me and you IF the U.S. first nukes them, and in that case, wouldn’t it be the U.S. that initiated the force against Iran, and us?

    We need better precision in language:

    – If the government of Iran threatens to murder people in America if the U.S. government murders people in Iran, then the government of Iran is initiating force against Americans (mild force, and like you, I understand why they’d be tempted to do such a thing and empathize with them some).

    – If the U.S. gov’t murders people in Iran, and then the Iran gov’t murders Americans, both governments are aggressors.

    Your scenario of making it the USG’s entire fault only works if you don’t consider threats to be aggression *and* if you consider a retaliation against civilians to be a proper response to aggression.

  80. hogarth

    What I am saying in a nutshell is, your defense policy proposals are unlikely to be adopted in a world which has irrational behaviors like war.

    I’m not sure what the point of this is.

    Next you’ll be saying that nothing is certain but death and taxes.

    I am an activist because I want to speak of the -possible-, not the ‘likely’.

  81. Steven Druckenmiller

    who would deserve it in this case

    More death wishes. You guys suck at libertarianism.

  82. JimDavidson

    @85 They aren’t initiating force. They are advocating the initiation of force against many persons who are not the USA govt and who don’t have nuclear weapons. They may be doing so for what they regard as a good reason – to deter the USA gov’t people who do have nukes.

    It is advocating initiatory force to say that you would retaliate with nuclear weapons against unarmed civilians who have not attacked you. Doing so is unethical. But it might be effective at preventing a nuclear attack on your country.

    Stop the wars.

  83. Steven Druckenmiller

    That is to irritate Drunkenmiller. He objected to you advocating an end to aggressive warfare

    The Troll – no I didn’t.

  84. hogarth

    Perhaps what I am saying is: I don’t think it logical to pursue a logical approach to an illogical behavior.

    This is madness. It is the policy of ‘going berserk’.

  85. G.E.

    WTF? As far as I can tell, *I* am the only one here calling for us – *as citizens*, who *you* say are responsible in some measure for our government – to call on that government to turn its back consciously on such ‘bomb lobbing’. You’re *objecting* to that call.

    If I believed slander were a crime, I’d get Gary Fincher’s attorney on the phone and sue you for everything you and Angela Keaton are worth.

    You’re saying I’m objecting to your call for the U.S. to cease lobbing bombs. That is NOT true. I want the U.S. government to flat-out go out of business. To disarm entirely and shut down.

    BUT collective defense is a legitimate service. The U.S. monopoly state should only abandon that service (it does a horrible job at it, of course) when it makes it legal for private entities to compete in the provision of that service. Calling for the U.S. to disarm, by itself, is the same as saying the U.S. monopoly state should stop prosecuting murder (and maintain the ban on private criminal justice). THIS is what I’m objecting to.

    Not that it will help, as so many libertarians seem to be wedded to the idea of holding one country’s civilians as hostages to its government’s actions…

    I hope you’re not including me here. The extent to which I’m willing to hold a country’s civilians as hostages is only to that which their country invades the territorial monopoly on the provision of collective defense that the U.S. has carved out for itself. This can be debated in a theoretical setting, but in practicality, NO country has done anything to warrant U.S. military response except in the War of 1812 and Japan in WWII, and in both cases, the other countries were provoked. I get that you’re saying that even an unprovoked attack by a foreign nation would not justify retaliation that would inevitably impose force (and death) against the country’s citizens, but in practical terms, if this standard were observed then there would have been exactly zero wars in U.S. history.

  86. JimDavidson

    @86, I agree with this development, Susan! I like the idea of restricting this proposal to just the USA government. I could get fully behind it as such. (I don’t think it would be adopted as policy, though.)

    If there is one thing I’m sure of, I don’t trust the USA government. Therefore, I don’t trust it with nuclear weapons.

    Stop the wars.

  87. G.E.

    If there is one thing I’m sure of, I don’t trust the USA government. Therefore, I don’t trust it with nuclear weapons.

    I agree. The weapons should be privatized, along with every other quark.

  88. JimDavidson

    @87, GE, dude, I didn’t write @78.

    I didn’t say that Iran may not say things. I said that saying certain things is advocating initiatory force, and is wrong. Iranian gov’t officials may feel fully justified in saying things to deter a nuclear attack on their cities. That doesn’t make it ethical. It only makes it justifiable.

    Stop the wars.

  89. JimDavidson

    @89 “If the government of Iran threatens to murder people in America if the U.S. government murders people in Iran, then the government of Iran is initiating force against Americans”

    Nope. They are not initiating force. They are advocating the initiation of force, under certain conditions they anticipate might be possible.

    No one has the right to advocate initiation of force, and doing so is not libertarian. But, it is a step away from actually initiation of force. And the reasons for doing so may be more understandable, as you say.

    Stop the wars.

  90. Steven Druckenmiller

    No one has the right to advocate initiation of force

    The Troll says “No free speech!”

  91. JimDavidson

    in re 93, quote @2
    “Even though there is a vast portion of libertarians who believe that maintenance of the national defense is a legitimate function of the State, the anarcho wing is insistent on driving them away.”

    Nothing in Susan’s proposals advocates an end to national defense, especially by well organised militias. She repeatedly makes this clear.

    Therefore your only objection to her proposals is the expectation that they would, if implemented, hamstring the government’s ability to wage aggressive war.

    Therefore you support aggressive wars, I think, and what’s more, I suppose you want to massacre small children in other people’s countries.

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    Stop the wars.

  92. Trent Hill

    “NO country has done anything to warrant U.S. military response except in the War of 1812 and Japan in WWII, and in both cases, the other countries were provoked.”

    The Oil Embargo against Japan could certainly be understood to be a provokation, as could pre-war actions against the UK before 1812–but I dont think they are tantamount to acts of war, nor do I think that places the fault of the wars on America’s shoulders. In both cases, the other countries were the first to attack, were defeatable, and were retaliated against with recipricatory force (with the exception of the Nuclear Bombs dropped on Japan when they’d already offered to surrender). Both were Just Wars as defined by Augustine, at least in the beginning. Any massacreing of non-millitary or non-intelligence targets made those wars Unjust—but certainly the US was correct to respond with equal force to Japan and Britain–as well as Germany in WWII.

  93. Steven Druckenmiller

    Therefore your only objection to her proposals is the expectation that they would, if implemented, hamstring the government’s ability to wage aggressive war.

    No, I objected because I think that compulsory taxation for the maintenance of national defense is legitimate.

    Troll.

  94. JimDavidson

    @94, Been berserk, got T-shirt.

    No, it is not the policy of going berserk. It is a recognition of war as berserkergang.

    Having said that, if you are sincere in removing the individual proscription on nuclear weapons, and just direct the policy at government, I’m eager to help. As long as the people I am willing to trust, generally, have access to any tools they need for self defense, I’m cool with restricting the government.

    Indeed, if we could bind it down in a cage so much that it became immobile, I would be soooooo happy – to quote Craig from South Park.

    Stop the wars.

  95. G.E.

    Your scenario of making it the USG’s entire fault only works if you don’t consider threats to be aggression *and* if you consider a retaliation against civilians to be a proper response to aggression.

    This has been an enlightening debate. I think it has demonstrated the difference between actual aggression and threats, which are a milder form of pseudo-aggression. If you disagree, just consider this: A guy threatens to punch me in the nose (pseudo-aggression), or he punches me in the nose… Both are violations of my rights to be free of all aggression (including threats), but I’d certainly prefer the former to the latter. I can walk away, in tact, from the former; whereas the latter causes me actual damage.

    So I’ll say this: the threat of retaliation, which is “initiation” of pseud- force, is morally justifiable if it is used in a strictly defensive manner — i.e. to keep an aggressor from invading sovereign territory, killing people, and destroying property.

    The degree to which we’re responsible for our government’s actions is minimal. But if shared equally, it wouldn’t take much. The problem is that the vast majority of people, like Druckenmiller, root for death and destruction like they’re at a football game. When did this really start? Once the U.S. became a nuclear super power, thus insulating itself from domestic attacks. If other nations had the ability to drop a bomb on Druckenmiller’s house, his attitude might be different, and he might take a more active role in stopping the killing that is done in his name.

  96. Trent Hill

    “Therefore you support aggressive wars, I think, and what’s more, I suppose you want to massacre small children in other people’s countries. ”

    Jim–you are obnoxious. Steve is obviously a somewhat thoughtful libertarian and I havent seen him advocate aggressive war yet (though certainly I could be missing something). Furthermore, your rhetoric about “massacreing small children in other people’s countries” is lunacy–he obviously isnt suggesting that. Keep the outlandish statements to a minimum.

  97. Steven Druckenmiller

    The problem is that the vast majority of people, like Druckenmiller, root for death and destruction like they’re at a football game.

    Liar.

  98. Steven Druckenmiller

    Mr. Hill – if you don’t latch onto G.E. and The Troll’s religion, you must be a murdering baby-eater.

  99. JimDavidson

    @100 “A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.” – L. Neil Smith

    http://bostontea.us/node/441

  100. G.E.

    The Oil Embargo against Japan could certainly be understood to be a provokation, as could pre-war actions against the UK before 1812–but I dont think they are tantamount to acts of war

    Ron Paul says embargoes are an act of war.

  101. Trent Hill

    “Mr. Hill – if you don’t latch onto G.E. and The Troll’s religion, you must be a murdering baby-eater.”

    I know, I know. But GE is actually at least SOMEWHAT respectful of me, perhaps because I’ve been around for so long. Don’t let them each you alive, minarchists are libertarians, whether Jim Davidson, GE, or L Neil Smith say so or not.

  102. JimDavidson

    @105 GE, a threat to punch you in the nose is a very different threat from threatening to fire bomb your neighborhood with a missile.

    Your counter-threat of retaliation is defensive, and ethical when you say you might punch him in his nose. The aggressor is the appropriate target for defensive and retaliatory force.

    What Susan has been saying is that there is a problem with threatening to punch Bill Jones in the nose if Joe Simpson has threatened to punch you in the nose. The problem is, it is unethical. Threatening to retaliate against the USA by nuking an American city full of Americans who are not the government, in the event the USA gov’t nukes an Iranian city, is advocating the initiation of force against third parties.

    You don’t believe in collective guilt, right?

    Stop the wars.

  103. hogarth

    Calling for the U.S. to disarm, by itself,…

    I assume your ‘slander’ comment was a joke, and I’ll say backatcha with it (jokingly, naturally) for suggesting I’ve ever called for the U.S to *disarm*.

    What I’ve called for is for the USG to stop brandishing nukes, which has NOTHING to do with defense, very little to do with deterrence (IMO), and -everything- to do with holding innocents of other countries hostage to the whims of their equally stupid governments.

  104. Steven Druckenmiller

    Hey, I know. I just wish that there was a way to cut out all the ridiculous, hyperemotional twaddle The Troll and G.E. spew and intelligently argue the facts.

    It’s getting tiring to have to defend myself from unsubstantiated smears and tired tripe.

  105. Trent Hill

    “Ron Paul says embargoes are an act of war.”

    I dont recall that, but I’d love to see a link or quote or something.

    However, even if HE claims they are–I dont think they are. The US enacted the Oil Embargo in an effort to stop Japan from maurading around the world, particularly indochina and south of the Phillipines. Stating that as a fact doesnt mean I agree with it–just that those were the stated motivations. Japan didnt need Oil to survive, or even to thrive, only to go on an imperial killing spree against Indochina. I certainly agree that restriction of trade is BAD, but I dont see how restriction of trade sourrounding one substance (oil) in response to that country’s warmongering is tantamount to war.

  106. JimDavidson

    @106, Obnoxious, yes, deliberately so.

    With regard to your order, please make me stop writing as I please. I write as I please to make the points I wish to make. If it doesn’t please you, and you have the power to do so, then prevent me. If you want to appeal to my better side, consider that I may not have one.

    Stop the wars.

  107. hogarth

    I get that you’re saying that even an unprovoked attack by a foreign nation would not justify retaliation that would inevitably impose force (and death) against the country’s citizens, but in practical terms, if this standard were observed then there would have been exactly zero wars in U.S. history.

    Bingo!

  108. Trent Hill

    “I didn’t know Neil Smith was the Pope of Libertarianism.”

    L. Neil Smith isnt even a particularly thoughtful libertarian, much less the Pope of libertarianism. Even Murray Rothbard, throughout his career, called minarchists libertarians, albeit he thought they were inconsistent in their beliefs.

  109. Trent Hill

    “It’s getting tiring to have to defend myself from unsubstantiated smears and tired tripe.”

    That is a typical method of anarchists in general, though the more thoughtful ones will refrain from it. GE doesnt often refer to me as bloodthirsty or a murderer anymore.

  110. JimDavidson

    @111 Talk about obnoxious. Neil happens to have written something very cogent, in which I happen to believe.

    Of course, you don’t. You believe that libertarians initiate force, advocate its initiation, and delegate its initiation. You support a strong national defense that invade other people’s countries, massacres their children, and feasts on their property, right? Or am I somehow mistaken in my assessment of you?

    If I’ve erred in supposing you are a vicious war monger and hateful authoritarian, it is only from interpreting your words.

    Stop the wars.

  111. hogarth

    In both cases, the other countries were the first to attack, were defeatable, and were retaliated against with recipricatory force (with the exception of the Nuclear Bombs dropped on Japan when they’d already offered to surrender).

    And, let us not forget, the firebombing of Tokyo.

    And the bombing of many other civilian population centers.

    I’m not sure what relevance ‘reciprcatory force’ has in this discussion (one city of ours for one of theirs?), but even if you subscribed to such madness, I’ve yet to see evidence of the attacks on American cities by Japanese bombers.

  112. Trent Hill

    “If it doesn’t please you, and you have the power to do so, then prevent me. If you want to appeal to my better side, consider that I may not have one.”

    We dont ban around here. Just stating the obvious,that you are obnoxious and no one outside of your echo chamber can take your arguements seriously because of the drivel you fill them with.

  113. hogarth

    I objected because I think that compulsory taxation for the maintenance of national defense is legitimate.

    I want defense against the IRS. Is it legitimate to propose a tax for that?

  114. Trent Hill

    “And, let us not forget, the firebombing of Tokyo.”

    I included a sentence for attacking innocent population centers. I was thinking of Dresden, but the firebombing of Tokyo applies too.

    “I’ve yet to see evidence of the attacks on American cities by Japanese bombers.”

    That is my point exactly. Only military targets are viable targets in a Just War. The minute once side deliberately aims at civilians, it becomes unjust on their part.

    “I’m not sure what relevance ‘reciprcatory force’ has in this discussion (one city of ours for one of theirs?)”

    Refer to Augustinian’s Just War doctrine. Im not going to interpret what he meant, just applying it to WWII.

  115. hogarth

    So I’ll say this: the threat of retaliation, which is “initiation” of pseud- force, is morally justifiable if it is used in a strictly defensive manner — i.e. to keep an aggressor from invading sovereign territory, killing people, and destroying property.

    The problem is that – and I find this astonishing, coming from you – you seem to keep on conflating individuals with governments.

    No one has a damn bit of a right to threaten *my life* in *retaliation* against the actions of the government that happens to be ruling over me very-much-against-my-will.

    What you describe is hostage-taking, not legitimate defense.

  116. JimDavidson

    @116 I recall reading in _Revolution: A Manifesto_ the argument Ron made that embargo is an act of war.

    At this link Ron says economic sanctions, such as an embargo, are acts of aggression.
    http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=8864

    Japan did need oil to maintain its empire. I would argue that its empire in Korea since 1895 and elsewhere was aggressive and unethical. But, the embargo was clearly meant to provoke a war. It was not just oil but other materials.

    If you are interested in the topic, you might like Robert Stinnett’s book, _Day of Deceit_ which goes into thorough detail about the deliberate policy of FDR to provoke an attack, and to maximise casualties by not warning the military in Hawai’i of the impending attack when it was on its way. Stinnett includes essential documentation to prove his case.

    Of course, Stinnett has been attacked by the harpies who hate any impediment to the military’s war machine.

    Minarchists are not always libertarians. Many of them are authoritarians. Many minarchists are also very timid.

    Stop the wars.

  117. hogarth

    That is a typical method of anarchists in general, though the more thoughtful ones will refrain from it.

    Trent, please do reflect that there might be a modicum of observer bias in this observation. I know there is, because I have the same ‘gut’ response to statists, but I reflect that I am generally engaging with only a small sample, in no wise representative, and inclined to be argumentative.

    It would be much more accurate to say “That is a typical method of less-thoughtful people in general, though the more thoughtful ones will refrain from it.”

  118. JimDavidson

    @116 In another link, it appears that Ron Paul was saying that the Japanese regarded the embargo as an act of war. Stinnett indicates that FDR knew the Japanese would view it that way. There were also a half dozen other provocations meant to stimulate an attack.

    The fact that the Japanese empire did declare war on the USA, though they were late getting the translation work accomplished, strongly supports Ron’s thesis that the Japanese viewed American actions as acts of war.

    Stop the wars.

  119. G.E.

    Susan – You said “Bingo!” but ignored the practical implications of what you were bigo-ing: “but in practical terms, if this standard were observed then there would have been exactly zero wars in U.S. history.” The threat of retaliation, if made by the U.S. government or any other government, has never burned the skin off a single civilian. I’m advocating the reimposition of this standard (military isolationism) as preferable to “everybody put your guns down and we’ll all respect one another, starting now!”

    No one has a damn bit of a right to threaten *my life* in *retaliation* against the actions of the government that happens to be ruling over me very-much-against-my-will.

    I’m sorry. I just don’t put your right not to be “threatened” ahead of the right of Persian babies not to be burned alive.

  120. JimDavidson

    @123 Actually, Honolulu was attacked by Japanese bombers on 7 December 1941. I believe there were a large number of civilian casualties, although some of these were friendly fire due to the difficulties in anti-aircraft weaponry. If a shell fired at a passing plane misses, it may land on the city nearby. That sort of event is clearly the responsibility of the attacking planes and those who ordered the attack.

    It is also the case, I believe, that FDR wanted substantial casualties both civilian and military. He wanted an excuse to go to war. Stinnett concludes that because the Japanese were so evil, and because going to war with them would bring war with Hitler, whose regime was so evil, that provoking the war and deceiving American military personnel all over the Pacific as to the threat of war, was justified. I do not.

    Stop the wars.

  121. G.E.

    And while I don’t have the right to sacrifice your rights, Susan, I gladly donate my own: Iran, you have every permission to threaten to bomb me and my family (after I get their okay) in the event that the U.S. attacks you. I gladly sacrifice my right to not be threatened by you in the name of avoiding the maiming and murdering of your people by my government. Susan: Won’t you do the same?

  122. JimDavidson

    @133 I don’t agree to be a hostage for USA gov’t policy makers. They are fools. Let them and their families stand as hostages.

    Stop the wars.

  123. G.E.

    Trent – Rothbard accepted radical minarchists — minarchists who were radical in their hate for the state. He preferred them to gentle anarchists like David Friedman. I’d say you are a pretty good libertarian. You have a pretty healthy distaste for the state. Not enough, though. But I’d take a minarchist who hated the state with all his being but wanted to replace it with a less evil one limited to police, military, and courts; to an anarchist who was less vociferous in his hate. Regardless, Druckenmiller is a hardcore statist who LOVES the state and worships it. I’d align myself with left-wing anti-propertarian anarchists before I would with him (he’s against capitalism too, so I don’t even know what he is other than a proto-fascist).

  124. G.E.

    Jim – I’m not offering myself as a hostage to the U.S. government. I’m surrendering my right to not be threatened by Iran. What kind of right is that anyway? What kind of action can I take against the government of Iran if they do threaten me?

  125. JimDavidson

    @103 compulsory taxation to maintain national defense is indistinguishable from compulsory taxation to engage in aggressive war. Once you compel the taxes, the person taxed has no control over how they are used. And no liability for how they are used, either.

    Indeed, compulsory taxation lets out any obligation for what the gov’t does with the money.

    And I simply don’t believe you, Drunkenmiller. You do want aggressive wars, even if you don’t say so here, I believe. You are an authoritarian.

    How do I know you are an authoritarian? Because you advocate compulsion. Compulsory taxes. You are agreeable to the IRS coming to my home and killing me if I won’t pay them exactly what they demand, right? That’s compulsion.

    So, yes, Trent, I would argue that there may be minarchists who are libertarians. Drunkenmiller isn’t one of them.

  126. JimDavidson

    @135 I would not. Left wing anti-propertarian “anarchists” are themselves authoritarian. You can’t be libertarian in your philosophy if you don’t recognise private property.

    Stop the wars.

    @137 Stop the wars.

  127. JimDavidson

    @136 You aren’t surrendering any right. Rights are themselves inalienable, they are essential to your character, so you cannot surrender them. You might encumber your use of them through a contract.

    You are trying to generate a right for the Iranians to advocate initiatory force by giving them advanced permission to do so in your case. Are you also going to go door to door and get all your neighbors to do so? A nuke has far reaching consequences.

    And if even one of your neighbors objects, then your city is not a proper target for a nuke, nor would advocating its destruction as a retaliatory target be ethical.

    I’m sorry, I don’t think you can fix this situation by agreeing to let Iran say it’ll nuke you. Nice try, in a weird way.

    Are we in agreement that the USA gov’t is not ethical and should not be trusted with nukes? I think Susan is persuaded to pursue such a proposal in place of her broader one.

    Stop the wars.

  128. JimDavidson

    Speaking of anti-intellectualism, Drunkenmiller’s argument against what Neil wrote about libertarians is to call him “pope.” But that doesn’t address the arguments Neil was making.

    The definition of libertarian is what Neil wrote. And Drunkenmiller is no sort of libertarian. He is an authoritarian. He believes in compulsion.

    Drunkenmiller would have the IRS hold a gun on a father’s head to make him pay taxes for Drunkenmiller’s national defense establishment, even if that meant the father’s children went hungry, or died in the hospital. That is the authoritarian at work.

    Stop the IRS, stop the wars.

  129. Steven Druckenmiller

    Druckenmiller is a hardcore statist who LOVES the state and worships it.

    More lies. You’ve been rattling around in the echo chamber of your head so long that anyone who disagrees with you must be evil.

    he’s against capitalism too

    So are you. You’re against capitalism in the form of sales of sex.

    If being morally opposed to a certain trade practice makes me anti-capitalist, then you, too are anti-capitalist.

  130. G.E.

    You are trying to generate a right for the Iranians to advocate initiatory force by giving them advanced permission to do so in your case. Are you also going to go door to door and get all your neighbors to do so?

    I have no plans to do so right now, but I would also argue that I don’t think most people think they have a right to not be threatened. If you don’t claim a right, as you and Susan are doing, then I don’t think it exists (it is being voluntarily encumbered as you say). So I would ask all thoughtful people, libertarians, to voluntarily encumber their right to not be threatened in the name of saving Iranian children. I think it’s a pretty small price to pay.

    How about this hypothetical: A gunman invades your house and holds your family hostage. He has with him a young girl, a Patty Hearst type, who’s being forced to participate in the invasion. Anyway, the gunman is about to being murdering your family one by one, and you’re able to snatch the Patty Hearst girl and put a knife to her throat. The gunman is deranged and in love with the girl (he feels it’s his duty to protect her). QUESTION: Is it preferable to let your family get executed, or to threaten the Patty Hearst character so that the gunman will leave your house?

  131. G.E.

    So are you. You’re against capitalism in the form of sales of sex.

    No I’m not. I’m only against the abrogation of contractual obligations. That’s because I AM a capitalist.

  132. Steven Druckenmiller

    and what contractual obligations are abrogated in a contract for the sale of sex?

  133. G.E.

    And besides, as I stated elsewhere, being opposed to an activity is not anticapitalist. Being opposed to the buying and selling of that activity IS what’s anticapitalist. Loans cannot be separated from the buying and selling because THEY ARE buying and selling.

    But I’m having a debate with Susan, Jim, and Trent. You are not worth my time and I have been successful in ignoring your comments for a while now.

  134. G.E.

    and what contractual obligations are abrogated in a contract for the sale of sex?

    Arg. Sucked in.

    No contractual obligations are abrogated if all participants are unmarried, uncommitted, without children, and sterile. If any of the above circumstances are not met, then there could be some abrogation (or maybe not).

  135. Steven Druckenmiller

    prostitution cannot be separated from buying and selling; that is its definition.

    you’re like a cardboard cutout of a libertarian: everything looks good on the surface, but you have no depth.

  136. Steven Druckenmiller

    there could be some abrogation

    You’re either opposed to abrogation OR you’re opposed to situations that COULD lead to abrogation.

    Being opposed to abrogation is fine. Opposing situations that could lead to abrogation means opposition to all contracts, because they all can potentially be breached.

  137. G.E.

    And in which case, the aggrieved party would have to seek damages after the fact. There would be no prohibition.

    My personal opposition to sex outside of a committed relationship is not anticapitalist because it extends to non-commercial instances as well (even more so). Your “moral opposition” to legitimate lending is disdain for the commercial aspects thereof, implicitly, because there’s no other iteration of that activity. What’s more, to have disdain for the ONE legitimate form of lending amidst a sea of immoral and destructive loans is not only immoral, it is completely f-ing stupid and evil.

  138. G.E.

    You’re either opposed to abrogation OR you’re opposed to situations that COULD lead to abrogation.

    Being opposed to abrogation is fine. Opposing situations that could lead to abrogation means opposition to all contracts, because they all can potentially be breached.

    Here you are totally correct. And I am opposed to the former, not the latter. If the situation DOES lead to abrogation of contractual duties, then it is up to the aggrieved party to seek damages after the fact.

  139. G.E.

    prostitution cannot be separated from buying and selling; that is its definition.

    And that’s why I’m not opposed to it. I’m morally opposed to sex outside of committed relationships. Follow along.

  140. paulie cannoli Post author

    Arg. Sucked in.

    No contractual obligations are abrogated if all participants are unmarried, uncommitted, without children, and sterile. If any of the above circumstances are not met, then there could be some abrogation (or maybe not).

    I missed a good chunk of this thread (will be catching up) but…

    Arg. Sucked in.

    No contractual obligations are abrogated if all participants are unmarried, uncommitted, without children, and sterile. If any of the above circumstances are not met, then there could be some abrogation (or maybe not).

    Supposing this was correct if I am uncommitted and get a blow job from a prostitute, even if I am not sterile? What if I was married, but my wife didn’t care?

  141. Steven Druckenmiller

    one has to support ALL commerce to be a capitalist?

    the ONE legitimate form of lending amidst a sea of immoral and destructive loans is not only immoral, it is completely f-ing stupid and evil.

    Please define “legitimate”.

  142. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m morally opposed to sex outside of committed relationships.

    But not to sales of sex?

    If you’re opposed to sex outside of marriage, you must be opposed to the buying and selling of sex i.e. the commercial aspect.

  143. G.E.

    Supposing this was correct if I am uncommitted and get a blow job from a prostitute, even if I am not sterile? What if I was married, but my wife didn’t care?

    Where would there be a victim in either case? The answer is that there would be none.

    one has to support ALL commerce to be a capitalist?

    All commerce of legitimate goods and services (i.e. those which do not violate individual rights), yes.

    Please define “legitimate”.

    Loans in which the money extended is actual capital from savings and investment, and not just created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve System. This is why the rates are high — they’re REAL rates for bad borrowers, while we have fake rates for good (and average) ones. The disparity between the two would be much smaller without the Fed.

  144. G.E.

    If you’re opposed to sex outside of marriage, you must be opposed to the buying and selling of sex i.e. the commercial aspect.

    Nope. I am opposed to the act, not the buying and selling of the act. And I’m not even sure if I’m really opposed, on any grounds, to the act, wherein there are no violations of contracts. I’m working through that.

  145. Steven Druckenmiller

    All commerce of legitimate goods and services

    Selling sex is a legitimate service.

  146. G.E.

    Selling sex is a legitimate service.

    Never said it wasn’t. Wherein force and fraud (abrogation of contractual rights) are not violated. I never said I opposed the selling of sexual services. You are dense. I’m making the argument that there’s a difference between opposing an act, and opposing the SELLING of the good or service inherent in that act. I’m opposed to crack smoking, but I am absolutely NOT opposed to selling crack.

  147. hogarth

    I’m advocating the reimposition of this standard (military isolationism) as preferable to “everybody put your guns down and we’ll all respect one another, starting now!”

    For the nTH time: I’ve never suggested disarmament. Only divestment of weapons whose *purpose* is to mass-slaughter civilians.

    But I’m with you on isolationism, certainly. As my husband used to say (before I took him literally when making discretionary purchases) “Not one or the other, but BOTH!”

    I’m sorry. I just don’t put your right not to be “threatened” ahead of the right of Persian babies not to be burned alive.

    I don’t either. But it’s not a trade-off. Your supposition is that Iranians will be safer if their government has nuclear weapons. I am not convinced this is true, but even if it is, my concern as an American political activist is with my own government. I want it to get rid of civilian-targeted weapons of terror. What the Iranian government does is of concern to me, naturally, but not as an LP activist. That’s the main reason I support dropping the ‘ban’ language as Paul suggested.

    I suspect we’ve come to a point of violent agreement. That’s always so weird.

  148. Steven Druckenmiller

    The buying and selling of crack is what facilitates crack smoking, G.E.

    This is like saying “I’m opposed to assassinations. I’m not opposed to the buying and selling of assassinations, however”.

    What?

  149. paulie cannoli Post author

    Paul – I think the back and forth between Susan and me is worth reading. It’s a bit of a brain twister, imo.

    I’m catching up. I take an afternoon nap and there’s like a hundred more comments 🙂

  150. hogarth

    And while I don’t have the right to sacrifice your rights, Susan, I gladly donate my own: Iran, you have every permission to threaten to bomb me and my family (after I get their okay) in the event that the U.S. attacks you. I gladly sacrifice my right to not be threatened by you in the name of avoiding the maiming and murdering of your people by my government. Susan: Won’t you do the same?

    Not just no; but hell, no. If you want to play human target, please let me know where you’re living so I can live elsewhere.

  151. G.E.

    Susan – Okay. I was still responding to the platform suggestion as originally written. Still, I’d pay $1 a month to have a PDO defend my property with nuclear weapons. Like Druckenmiller says (I can’t believe I can agree with him on any point), “the cat is out of the bag.” Laying down the nukes is only creating the opportunity for one state to have a monopoly on them. I don’t trust the U.S. government, but in a free society, I’d want nuclear protection — as an alternative to not having it.

  152. hogarth

    The gunman is deranged and in love with the girl (he feels it’s his duty to protect her).

    There’s the flaw in your analogy.

    True – governments are deranged. But to imagine that they love their citizens strains credibility.

  153. G.E.

    The buying and selling of crack is what facilitates crack smoking, G.E.

    So what?

    This is like saying “I’m opposed to assassinations. I’m not opposed to the buying and selling of assassinations, however”.

    No it’s not. Assassinations violate the rights of at least one individual (the assassinated). Smoking crack does not. Prostitution may, but usually does not. And payday loans CERTAINLY DO NOT.

    Crack smoking, prostitution, and assassinations can all be separated from commerce. Payday loans cannot be.

    You’re comparing apples to oranges to hand grenades here. You need to do more reading and thinking and come back to me when you’re not such a dumbass.

  154. G.E.

    True – governments are deranged. But to imagine that they love their citizens strains credibility.

    I don’t know about that. I think they’re paternalistic, and I think they brainwash themselves with the notion of “protecting” us. But if not, it doesn’t matter to my analogy. The threat is still the issue, not WHY the aggressor might respond to the threat (love in my case, fear of their own destruction in the other).

    AND ALSO: I’m not playing “human target.” I don’t want to get blown up. But I’m willing to sacrifice my “right” to “not be threatened” — which I don’t even know if that is a right — in order to make sure a hundred thousand Iranians get to keep their skin. I think any moral person should do the same.

  155. Steven Druckenmiller

    Crack smoking, prostitution, and assassinations can all be separated from commerce.

    No, they cannot. Even if the sex is donated, or the crack is donated, somebody paid for it to be made and somebody bought it, even if they paid for it in opportunity cost.

    TANSTAAFL.

  156. hogarth

    Still, I’d pay $1 a month to have a PDO defend my property with nuclear weapons.

    And how exactly do you envision that ‘protection’ would work?

    Do you really think that just waving a gun around will convince everyone that you’re serious about defending yourself with it? Eventually you -will- be tested, and if you’re not willing to shoot, you’ll be in a much worse place than when you started.

    So now replace ‘gun’ with ‘civilian-slaughtering weapon of mass destruction’. Are you really willing to see such a weapon deployed on your behalf – even assuming it could be used in timely enough fashion to be ‘defensive’ rather than simply ‘blindly, murderously, retributively’?

  157. G.E.

    I have another acronym for you: STFU.

    Prostitution is clearly a different act than engaging in consensual, non-commercial sex. There are plenty of people who are opposed to the former and not the latter.

    Okay, I am OFFICIALLY reinstating my personal ban on responding to your comments. Please understand this and don’t take my non-responses of the future as anything other than what they are: a reflection of my lack of desire to communicate with government worshiping proto-fascist libertine anticapitalists who offer me NOTHING in return for my time.

  158. G.E.

    Eventually you -will- be tested, and if you’re not willing to shoot, you’ll be in a much worse place than when you started.

    This is a prediction, and a bad one at that, not a statement of fact. No nuclear country has ever been nuked, and I’m willing to bet that record can last for my lifetime and then some.

    If anarchists buy some land in Somalia to set up a Rothbardian non-state, am I moving? Maybe. But if I learn that they have nukes to defend against any kind of invasion from the U.S. or any other evil state? I’m DEFINITELY there.

  159. Steven Druckenmiller

    oops. looks like I touched a nerve. Usually when someone goes on like that, it means they do not have a response.

    Prostitution is clearly a different act than engaging in consensual, non-commercial sex.

    Each has opportunity costs. That was my point.

  160. hogarth

    But I’m willing to sacrifice my “right” to “not be threatened” — which I don’t even know if that is a right — in order to make sure a hundred thousand Iranians get to keep their skin.

    Sure, that’s real practical. That’s like saying you’re willing to accept a national sales tax to avoid an income tax.

    Governments don’t work that way. I used to share your conviction that the people of Iran would be safer if the lunatics ruling over them possessed nukes, but I no longer believe so. Their best bet for safety is to make their government as nonthreatening to the surrounding world as possible. Our best bet for safety is exactly the same.

    In neither case will the possession of civilian-slaughtering weapons accomplish the goal of defanging our respective governments.

    You know how governments are, Jason. Can you *possibly imagine* that the government of Iran could have nukes without using that as an aggressive advantage from which to bully the neighboring governments?

    Sure, it might buy them some peace for a short time from the US government – although I can’t imagine the prospect of a sole nuke lobbed at the U.S. would give much pause to our rulers because *they* have bunkers, remember. But lasting peace? No – quite the opposite.

  161. Steven Druckenmiller

    tell you what, G.E., this oughta make you happy:

    I’m not opposed to the buying or selling of money under payday lending: I’m just opposed to the use of that money.

    there you go. problem solved. I just divorced the commerce from the product.

  162. hogarth

    If anarchists buy some land in Somalia to set up a Rothbardian non-state, am I moving? Maybe. But if I learn that they have nukes to defend against any kind of invasion from the U.S. or any other evil state? I’m DEFINITELY there.

    Even if they are willing to use those weapons against cities?

  163. Steven Druckenmiller

    If anarchists buy some land in Somalia to set up a Rothbardian non-state, am I moving? Maybe.

    Yeah, right.

  164. G.E.

    The imposition of a national sales tax, backed by guns, is not in the least comparable to a “threat” — words — uttered by a government thousands of miles away in the name of its own (and its people’s) defense. You’re being selfish and indifferent to the REAL suffering these people face, Susan.

  165. paulie cannoli Post author

    After mulling this over, I guess I believe something that you probably don’t, Susan. And that is that we do bear some responsibility for what our government does in our name. If Iran developed nukes and said, “Listen, U.S. If you nuke us, we retaliate,” and then our government did just that, I would say that yes, Iran would be justified in retaliating. It would be our responsibility to overthrow the regime and abolish the state before things got to this point. At some point, we have to accept responsibility.

    I’m personally “responsible” for failing to overthrow the state? What is this, collective guilt? Collective guilt is for collectivists. If I coulda, I woulda.

  166. Trent Hill

    “Minarchists are not always libertarians. Many of them are authoritarians. Many minarchists are also very timid.”

    I cannot think of a minarchist who is an authoritarian in any real sense. Name one please.

  167. Trent Hill

    “Trent – Rothbard accepted radical minarchists — minarchists who were radical in their hate for the state. He preferred them to gentle anarchists like David Friedman. I’d say you are a pretty good libertarian. You have a pretty healthy distaste for the state. Not enough, though. But I’d take a minarchist who hated the state with all his being but wanted to replace it with a less evil one limited to police, military, and courts”

    Well thanks for the compliment. I happen to like David Friedman, actually. And my hate of the State is probably more severe than I’ve displayed on these blogs. I dont want to be identified as an anarchist, so I dont say some things that might identify me as one. My wife will attest to the fact that I can find a problem with the State during any situation. Routine traffic stop, traffic light camera, stop signs, zoning laws, charities—they all point towards my detestation of the State. On that note–I’m currently reading through Nock’s “Our Enemy, the State”–if you havent read it,DO.

  168. Trent Hill

    “My personal opposition to sex outside of a committed relationship is not anticapitalist because it extends to non-commercial instances as well”

    This is insane. Someone is anticapitalist if they morally dissaprove of prostitution, pornography, etc? Is Ron Paul anticapitalist GE?

  169. JimDavidson

    #181. Depends. If you think Drunkenmiller is a minarchist, then he would be an authoritarian.

    An authoritarian is anyone who advocates compulsion. Compelling others is wrong. And it is not libertarian.

  170. JimDavidson

    @142 I don’t think it is going to work. So, I’m not willing to try it. I think there are more direct ways of saving Iranian children. For example, preventing the bombs from being dropped on them might be a better place to start.

    @184 Stop the Wars.

  171. JimDavidson

    @142 Patty Hearst was not an innocent bystander. I don’t know how I would behave in the hypothetical circumstances you indicate. I do think that my emotional state would figure prominently in how I behaved. I would be very likely berserk. I don’t say that to suppose it would be a good thing.

    Stop the wars.

  172. JimDavidson

    @149 GE you don’t have to be in favor of prostitution to be libertarian about it. You just have to be against compulsory prohibition of prostitution, which I think you are. You can be against an activity without being in favor of compelling others to stop them from doing it.

    I’m against killing unborn children. I’m also against having the government involved in the matter. And just because I’m against it doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the arguments that people make justifying such homicide for the defense of life, liberty, and property. It is because I do understand these arguments that I look for a technological solution, where a pregnancy can be ended without killing the unborn child.

    Having ethical and moral qualms about prostitution is something any libertarian is entirely free to do, to have, to express. Advocating government coercion to prohibit prostitution is not.

    Stop the wars.

  173. BrianHoltz

    In its 11 months the 2008 PlatCom list saw 2400 messages, only a minority of which constituted progress in finding and improving actual platform language. This thread makes our batting average look good by comparison. 🙂

    Coming Back To The LP @57: Of your 12 proposed planks, all but 2 are already included or largely implied in the 27 planks of the current platform.

    I don’t think any NatCon would ever accept a plank eliminating child support obligations of any parent that doesn’t have primary custody, but they might accept something that talks about proportionate custody.

    As for property taxes, we should distinguish between taxing A) one’s labor, peaceful production, voluntary exchanges, and resulting wealth, and B) the monopoly rents that one might extract by monopolizing a portion of the Earth’s surface without leaving “as much and as good” for others (as Locke enjoined). People on the frontier (i.e. on land at the margin of production) would indeed owe nothing under a geolibertarian policy of returning geo-rent to the surrounding community that created it.

    For more on geolibertarianism and green libertarianism, see http://ecolibertarian.org . Note especially the long list of prominent libertarian(-leaning) land value tax advocates/sympathizers at http://ecolibertarian.org/lvt-advocates . For an example of how geolibertarianism can be expressed in a platform, see http://libertarianmajority.net/democratic-freedom-caucus-redacted-platform

  174. paulie cannoli Post author

    @149 GE you don’t have to be in favor of prostitution to be libertarian about it. You just have to be against compulsory prohibition of prostitution, which I think you are. You can be against an activity without being in favor of compelling others to stop them from doing it.

    For context, see the discussion at

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/11/cindy-sheehans-veterans-day-message-to-george-bush/#more-4537

    esp. closer to the end

  175. JimDavidson

    @161 Assassination is a coercive act. It cannot be consensual on the part of the victim, or that person would suicide. Crack smoking and crack selling are nothing like assassination and murder for hire.

    Of course, an authoritarian wouldn’t understand.

    Stop the wars.

  176. JimDavidson

    @168 I am not saying there is a right not to be threatened.

    I am saying that there is no right to advocate initiatory force. There is no right to threaten.

    Threatening someone is assault. Assault is making a threat of force, whether it is credible or not.

    Which is why the authoritarian on this thread, Drunkenmiller, thinks it is “free speech.” He’s got no problem with compulsory taxation either. He loves his IRS abuses of power.

    Stop the wars.

  177. JimDavidson

    @172 Being one of those Rothbardians that went to Somalia (Michael van Notten being the other) for the express purpose of establishing a free port, free trade zone, and toll road to Ethiopia, I can assure you that no Somali is ever going to sell land to anyone.

    We worked on negotiating a lease agreement with elders of two of the relevant clans. Admittedly, the long term lease agreement and the usufruct provisions of it would have allowed “beneficial ownership” in some ways. But not actual ownership. Somalis are exceptionally sensitive on this point.

    Stop the wars.

  178. JimDavidson

    @174 making countries as innocuous as possible – might have been the view of Icelanders up until the end of August 2008.

    Since then, I think they may be regretting being so very innocuous. Having the UK impose anti-terrorist laws to confiscate Iceland bank property in the UK is bizarre. And an act of war. However, no one takes the threat of war from Iceland seriously at this point.

    I’m not confident that Iceland can recover. I’m not sure that they would be able to do so if they had a huge war machine, either. But some of them are obviously thinking about it.

  179. paulie cannoli Post author

    In its 11 months the 2008 PlatCom list saw 2400 messages,

    This thread might have it beat before it’s done, and it probably won’t take nearly as long LOL

  180. JimDavidson

    @180 There’s nothing for it, Paul. You must now save face by overthrowing the state. -grin-

    Stop the wars.

  181. JimDavidson

    @182 Don’t worry, Trent. You will be identified as an anarchist. It is a favorite tactic of authoritarians.

    Stop the wars.

  182. paulie cannoli Post author

    @178 see 194. I did not. buy. any. land. in. Somalia.

    Sorry, I glossed over the “buying land” part. I only meant you moved there.

    War’s the stop.

  183. JimDavidson

    @182 Nock, brilliant. Good choice. Also try Thoreau on Civil Disobedience and Spooner on treason.

    Stop the wars.

  184. JimDavidson

    @185 Trent, I’ve given the definition of libertarian that I prefer. I have written it out. I practically sang it on the bostontea.us site (embedded Youtube video). If you don’t like that definition of libertarian, then offer one of your own.

    So far, I have not seen Drunkenmiller claim to be a libertarian as I’ve defined the term. I’ve seen him agree with compulsory taxation for national defense, and I have no reason to suppose he would oppose compulsion in other circumstances.

    Compulsion is authoritarian. I do not have the right to compel you to pay me money, Trent.

    Therefore I do not have the right to delegate such behavior to government. It has the power to compel you to pay it money, but that power does not derive from my consent, which I have withheld. And it does not derive from any just power of any individual.

    I also don’t have the right to advocate you being compelled to pay me money. So neither does the government.

    Stop the wars.

  185. Trent Hill

    “Nock, brilliant. Good choice. Also try Thoreau on Civil Disobedience and Spooner on treason.”

    I’ve read Spooner at length, especially his thoughts of Abolition being unconstitutional. Thoreau I find less interesting, but have read a number of his works.

    I’d suggest Nock, Mencken, and Garrett as the ultimate individualists that anyone should read. Henry Hazlitt is a good one too, though. Tibor Machan is sort of the modern-day Nock, though that is certainly a compliment he hasnt earned.

    As for your arguement about compulsion, taxations, etc. You are an anarchist, i’d be dissapointed if you told us you were FOR compulsion. With that said, there are plenty of hardcore anti-statists who reluctantly accept the idea that taxation might be neccesary.

    My opinion? None of that matters right now. When we shrink the government to that point we can go at each other’s throats—for now we should aim our hatred at the State.

  186. JimDavidson

    @204 I like Nock and Mencken. I like Randall Garrett. Is there another good one?

    I like Hazlitt and Leonard Read.

    I’ve met Tibor and enjoy his company thoroughly. He’s a very good guy. He writes well. I like his blog.

    Actually, I’m not an anarchist. I’m a propertarian. One might also say that I’m a sovereign individual. I am not for no government. I’m for cooperation and consent, and I’m for self-government. What I mean by self-government is the government of me, by me, and for my benefit. I do not agree with this label anarchist.

    I’ve read Harry Browne’s thoughts on taxes, and I have to say it made me quite certain he wasn’t a hard core anti-statist. I share Neil Smith’s many criticisms of Browne. Browne was a lackluster libertarian in a time when libertarianism needed someone shiny.

    Your opinion clearly matters to anyone who reads what you write, as I have done.

    Glad to see you are on board with the Boston Tea Party platform.

    Stop the wars.

  187. paulie cannoli Post author

    GE, my apologies if this has already been answered, I still have a good chunk of this thread to catch up on. Even if you accept personal responsibility for failing to overthrow the government, how about your family? Are they responsible too? How about the families of your neighbors? This collective guilt shit is for insects. Maybe not even them.

  188. Trent Hill

    “I like Randall Garrett. Is there another good one?”

    Garet Garrett, born Edward Peter Garrett, is who I was talking about.

    Garrett’s “The People’s Pottage”, “The Driver”, and his collected columns at the Saturday Evening Post are all worth reading, and closely.

    “I like Hazlitt and Leonard Read.

    I’ve met Tibor and enjoy his company thoroughly. He’s a very good guy. He writes well. I like his blog.”

    I know the first two were minarchists, is Dr. Machan a minarchist or anarchist? (statist or propertarian, if you prefer).

  189. G.E.

    This is insane. Someone is anticapitalist if they morally dissaprove of prostitution, pornography, etc? Is Ron Paul anticapitalist GE?

    You’re not following along.

  190. G.E.

    if you accept personal responsibility for failing to overthrow the government, how about your family? Are they responsible too? How about the families of your neighbors?

    I talked about it with my family, and they agree with me. I’m talking about surrendering my right to “not be threatened” by Iran — a “right” I’m not sure exists anyway. I don’t know if I really have a “right” to not be threatened by a foreign government half-way around the world. Nor do I accept that they necessarily don’t have the “right” to make that threat in the name of their own defense.

    As for my neighbors: If they renounce the state and its works, then they can claim a right to not be threatened. But if they cheerlead the beligerant foreign policy, then they (and everyone else) deserves what they get.

  191. G.E.

    The practical implications of the ethics a being espoused by the (intelligent and principled and moral) triumvirate of Susan Hogarth, Paul, and Jim Davidson are U.S. imperialism. I guess I’m an anti-imperialist even before I’m a libertarian or an anarchist. And I’m willing to eschew libertarian principles in the name of preventing the mass murder of foreign people.

  192. Trent Hill

    “You’re not following along.”

    Im following perfectly. You think that to dissaprove of the commercial trading of something of value is anticapitalist. This extends to payday lending, prostitution, and pornography.

  193. JimDavidson

    @212 Your logic reads as Apples are to Oranges as Beef is to Xylophone.

    How is my logic promoting imperialism, by anyone?

    Stop the wars.

  194. paulie cannoli Post author

    I oppose imperialism completely. The idea of collective guilt enables imperialism.

    I think calling on the US empire to end mandatory war taxes, end draft registration, and unilaterally dispose of weapons of mass destruction is a step towards ending imperialism.

  195. JimDavidson

    @209 I’m not saying you have a right not to be threatened. I am saying that Iran has no right to advocate initiatory force against anyone, for any reason, at any time.

    Stop the wars.

  196. G.E.

    You think that to dissaprove of the commercial trading of something of value is anticapitalist. This extends to payday lending, prostitution, and pornography.

    Yeah. If you oppose specifically the commercial aspect of it. If you oppose the non-commercial equivalent of the act, then your opposition does not stem from hostility to capitalism. Ron Paul does not champion wild promiscuous sex, regardless of whether it takes place commercially or not. So your comment makes no sense.

  197. JimDavidson

    @217 I like Tibor as a guy, as a mensch. I’ve met him. I also like Rod. He’s much wackier, but also more intellectually rigorous.

    I met Tibor at the same conference where I met Mary Ruwart, in 2000, at ISIL.

    I think minarchists like Tibor who hang out with principled individualists like Long and Ruwart must see something of value in their views, too. And, anyway, I don’t think I’m an anarchist.

    I think the logical minimum of order is self-government. If the individual governs himself, why is there any need for externally imposed coercion?

    Perhaps my views are super-minarchism. Or the logical consequence of minarchism, taken to its rational conclusion.

    Stop the wars.

  198. G.E.

    I think calling on the US empire to end mandatory war taxes, end draft registration, and unilaterally dispose of weapons of mass destruction is a step towards ending imperialism.

    Yes, but calling for Iran to not arm itself with nukes is a step in the wrong direction. And why should the U.S. “dispose” of its weapons? It should sell them. I also reject your opposition to claims on government property. If it leaves the hands of the government, it has to go somewhere. All outstanding debts should be treated as claims, and all dollars are debts. What is the alternative? A mad rush to looting?

    I am saying that Iran has no right to advocate initiatory force against anyone

    Someone has to be infringed upon in order for a violation to be taking place. If it isn’t me, then who is it? And how will the aggrieved party seek damages from Iran for exercising a non-right?

  199. G.E.

    And, anyway, I don’t think I’m an anarchist.

    I think the logical minimum of order is self-government.

    “Yourself” is not a monopoly state being imposed on you. Thus, self-government (or any voluntary government) is perfectly consistent with anarchism.

  200. paulie cannoli Post author

    Yes, but calling for Iran to not arm itself with nukes is a step in the wrong direction.

    Maybe, maybe not. I have yet to address it.

    I haven’t called for Iran to disarm itself of WMDs to a be a plank in the US LP platform. Susan’s language, with the acceptance of my friendly amendment, only calls for the US government to divest itself of weapons of mass destruction. What other countries should do, is a separate question, and probably not what the US LP should focus on.


    And why should the U.S. “dispose” of its weapons? It should sell them.

    That is a form of disposal. Not the only form, though.


    I also reject your opposition to claims on government property. If it leaves the hands of the government, it has to go somewhere. All outstanding debts should be treated as claims, and all dollars are debts. What is the alternative? A mad rush to looting?

    Perhaps. But I haven’t opposed claims on government “property,” – what I did oppose was making them part of the SS plank, and I did say it is a complicated question which we should address separately.

    I’m also not here to try to be the great guru who has the answers to all the thorny questions in the world. I did not apply for this committee. If I was that interested in sorting out each and every one of these dilemmas, I would have applied.

  201. Trent Hill

    “Yeah. If you oppose specifically the commercial aspect of it. If you oppose the non-commercial equivalent of the act, then your opposition does not stem from hostility to capitalism.”

    I see. So it the idea that payday lending is “predatory” that you take issue with, not the actual THING being sold. Makes far more sense.

  202. Trent Hill

    “I met Tibor at the same conference where I met Mary Ruwart, in 2000, at ISIL.

    I think minarchists like Tibor who hang out with principled individualists like Long and Ruwart must see something of value in their views, too.”

    And vice-versa, im sure.

  203. paulie cannoli Post author

    What other countries should do, is a separate question, and probably not what the US LP should focus on.

    However, if you ask me, I’d say the Iranian ruling gang should do exactly what every other ruling gang should do: disband.

    Not that they will listen to me.

    But do you think they would be inviting imperialism if they did?

  204. G.E.

    I see. So it the idea that payday lending is “predatory” that you take issue with, not the actual THING being sold. Makes far more sense.

    I don’t know if you were being sarcastic there, but I DO think it makes more sense.

  205. G.E.

    And the thing being sold in the instance of payday lending is the loan. There’s no separation between the two. It’s like being morally opposed to changing five $1’s for a $5.

  206. paulie cannoli Post author

    Steve is obviously a somewhat thoughtful libertarian and I havent seen him advocate aggressive war yet

    Yes. Coercive taxation and a standing military, yes – but it’s a common position, even among minarchist libertarians. I certainly can’t have much hope of convincing him with some of the invective used against him here, unless what I want to convince him is to discount our views completely.

    Consider that he is much closer to our position than the vast majority of Americans (or non-Americans), and still talking to us after being shelled with some pretty harsh judgments.

  207. Trent Hill

    “I don’t know if you were being sarcastic there, but I DO think it makes more sense.”

    No sarcasm, It DOES make sense.

  208. Trent Hill

    “Yes. Coercive taxation and a standing military, yes – but it’s a common position, even among minarchist libertarians.”

    I said i hadnt seen him advocating for Aggressive War. Coercive Taxation and a standing military does not equal aggressive war.

  209. G.E.

    He threatened to commit violence against me for stating various facts about military personnel. He’s a solider-sniffing war-loving statist, and pretty much a troll (or a complete idiot). The invective is not even remotely just one way. Read back through the comments, particularly on the Sheehan thread.

  210. paulie cannoli Post author

    I said i hadnt seen him advocating for Aggressive War. Coercive Taxation and a standing military does not equal aggressive war.

    My point exactly.

  211. paulie cannoli Post author

    He threatened to commit violence against me for stating various facts about military personnel.

    Ah, I forgot about that. OK, I disapprove of any such invective from the other side as well.

    Let’s try to disagree agreeably.

  212. G.E.

    He not only advocates aggressive war, he advocates that opponents thereof should leave the country or face beatings from macho men (YMCA-style) like him. And he’s always spoiling for fights. The guy is a turd. Not worth spending time on.

  213. Trent Hill

    You make him sound worse than Eric Dondero–I havent seen anything to indicate he is in favor of aggressive war, and plenty to suggest otherwise–namely his own statements.

  214. Steven Druckenmiller

    He threatened to commit violence against me for stating various facts about military personnel.

    I did? What did I say, exactly?

    He’s a solider-sniffing war-loving statist, and pretty much a troll (or a complete idiot)

    More lies. As always.

    How many times have talked about how much I would just love it when people get raped and murdered.

    he advocates that opponents thereof should leave the country or face beatings from macho men (YMCA-style) like him.

    Wrong again. The comments that spurred that kind of talk from me were the ones from the The Troll, who advocated my execution for disagreement, which were comments you explicitly distanced yourself from, that’s how inflammatory they were.

    He not only advocates aggressive war,

    Prove it. You damn liar.

  215. Steven Druckenmiller

    At least Dondero doesn’t have a “moral opposition” to legitimate loans.

    I keep forgetting that my personal morality has something to do with my libertarianism.

  216. paulie cannoli Post author

    Steve, I think GE may have been talking about this:

    2. ““Soldiers” sign up to receive welfare, but instead of having the decency to sit home and watch Jerry Springer” – Ahh, all Soldiers are dumb white trash, right G.E.? Go ahead and say it. As a matter of fact, I want you to e-mail it to me, with your full name. If you want to be such a mighty man and dog out all Service Members as parasitic white trash, get up and do it, face-to-face, man-to-man. Tell everyone who you are.

    I have the sneaking suspicion that you don’t say this terrible shit when you’re around actual people because you don’t have the balls.

  217. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m failing to see the threats in there.

    I have been called a neocon Communist warmongering who advocates baby-killing and woman-raping from the very first day I got here, paulie.

    I grant that I was *not* nice, but good gravy.

  218. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m failing to see the threats in there.

    There does seem to be something of an implicit threat – otherwise why the insistence on full names, face to face, man to man, actual people, and balls? I’m assuming the intent was not romantic.

    I have been called a neocon Communist warmongering who advocates baby-killing and woman-raping from the very first day I got here, paulie.

    I grant that I was *not* nice, but good gravy.

    Yeah, I just said I think that kind of hyperbole does not help.

  219. Steven Druckenmiller

    I mean, I refer to Mr. Davidson as “The Troll” because he explicitly and intentionally spells my name wrong, which is just childish disrespect.

  220. Steven Druckenmiller

    paulie – my insistence on “full disclosure” for the kind of terrible shit G.E. was saying is that I think a lot of people don’t say things half as bad when they do it to the faces of others.

    In other words, I just wanted to see if the internet tough-guy acted extended to real life.

    I’m still fairly convinced that G.E. is probably a great guy in real life (but probably timid) who has to come here to get his aggression out on others from the safety of thousands of miles away.

  221. paulie cannoli Post author

    I mean, I refer to Mr. Davidson as “The Troll” because he explicitly and intentionally spells my name wrong, which is just childish disrespect.

    I advocate spelling your name correctly when possible.

    I’m still fairly convinced that G.E. is probably a great guy in real life (but probably timid)

    I’ve met him. He did not seem timid to me.

  222. Steven Druckenmiller

    Mr. Hill – there you go, that’s what I wanted. I just highly doubt that in real life he would call me a communist first thing out of the gate.

  223. Trent Hill

    I havent met him in real life. I suspect he could not be lured to CPAC 2009 to party with us Young Americans for Liberty people, CFL people, and Libertarian Party folks.

    But, he is a good guy. In real life, I doubt name-calling would be nearly as present in GE’s lingo. I’v always found that patient, reasoned, arguements are the best, in person or the internet.

  224. Steven Druckenmiller

    I thought about coming to CPAC this year…if for nothing else, to see what a meltdown the conservatives are going to have this year.

  225. G.E.

    The ill will between Druckenmiller and me began when he attacked my for essentially agreeing with him, RE: Sheehan.He was clearly unaccustomed to a principled, hardcore, antiwar perspective, and then said I wouldn’t say what I said in real life, implying that I’d fear for my safety. Whatever. Responding to words with threats of violence was Druckenmiller’s M.O. and then he accuses ME of fronting like I’m “tough.” Just like when the former owner of TPW said he wanted to “punch me in the face” in Denver. If I were timid, would I have confronted him about that, or would I have ducked and hid? Also, not that I’m proud of it, but I came very close to coming to blows with a Barr/Root d-hole in Denver, in a fairly well known incident, in which I was doing nothing but defending my rights. So this unknown newbie wants to come in here and make assumptions about me, and I’m supposed to be all patient with him and whatnot? Not for me. Paulie and Trent, you can take him on as a project if you want. I did my mentoring back in ’97.

  226. Trent Hill

    “I thought about coming to CPAC this year…if for nothing else, to see what a meltdown the conservatives are going to have this year.”

    You should go, I’ll be hanging out with the new YAL group. This is YAL’s first real event, in conjunction with CFL.

  227. G.E.

    for the kind of terrible shit G.E. was saying

    Terrible thing = that people who sign up to be tax- and inflation-financed murderers for the most evil regime in the history of humankind are parasites?

    YES, THEY ARE.

  228. Trent Hill

    GE,

    Cut soldiers a break. Some are douchebags, some are welfare queens. The greatest amount of them are simply unaware of what they’re signing up for, unaware of the immorality of what they’re doing, or just trying to get by.
    I have a rule, as it concerns government money. I do not fault anyone for TAKING government money (though I do not personally). If the money is available to them, I expect them to advance their lives by taking it. I take issue with the fact that that money is being offered in the first place.

    I apply the same ideals to the army. I believe a standing army is dangerous, and expensive. I believe that the army, and all military units, are often utilized to the detriment of our safety (see: Iraq or Lebanon), and I believe that the military is a generally anti-family institution (becasue it breaks up families, kills others, etc.). However, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the individual soldier is a bit unfair.
    See Adam Kokesh for an example of a brave, brave soldier.

  229. Trent Hill

    “most evil regime in the history of humankind”

    Pure poppycock. See Cambodia under Khmer Rouge, the USSR under communist rule, Nazi Germany, Atilla’s Hunnic Empire, Robespierre’s shortlived revolutionary government, Idi Amin’s Udanga, Leopold II’s Free Congo State, Vlad III’s Romania, Ivan IV’s Russia, and possibly Hirohito’s Japan (Rape of Nanking,etc).

    If you think the US is the worst empire in the history of the world you are QUITE mistaken. It has, for the duration of its existence, been one of the top 5 freest countries on earth (no stats on that,just an observation, and a well-founded one I think). It has only recently committed serious atrocities (namely, the bombs in Japan, firebombing Tokyo and the vociferous destruction of Dresden–all under Truman and FDR mind you). Perhaps you should peruse the history books and we can pick up this discussion again…or you could stick to financials.

  230. G.E.

    Cut soldiers a break. Some are douchebags, some are welfare queens.

    I agree. “Some” (i.e. virtually all of them that did not support Ron Paul).

    The greatest amount of them are simply unaware of what they’re signing up for, unaware of the immorality of what they’re doing, or just trying to get by.

    Ignorance, stupidity, and “just trying to get by” (which is why I sold my sister into sex slavery … or why I murdered that Iraqi family) are NOT valid excuses.

    I do not fault anyone for TAKING government money

    I don’t fault people for taking Social Security or unemployment insurance … things they paid into. I DO fault them for being government employees and aligning their interests with the evil state.

    However, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the individual soldier is a bit unfair.

    What, I’m excusing Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi? No. I’m not even excusing the American people for their complacency. See much earlier. But if the soliders just refused to murder and destroy property, our problems would be 99% solved.

    See Cambodia under Khmer Rouge, the USSR under communist rule, Nazi Germany, Atilla’s Hunnic Empire, Robespierre’s shortlived revolutionary government, Idi Amin’s Udanga, Leopold II’s Free Congo State, Vlad III’s Romania, Ivan IV’s Russia, and possibly Hirohito’s Japan (Rape of Nanking,etc).

    Does believing this myth help you sleep well at night?

    None of these evil regimes have come close to the global destruction the U.S. has been wreaking since a minute before the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. I mean… Revolutionary France? Are you kidding me?!?!?

    been one of the top 5 freest countries on earth

    Yeah, if you just discount all of the oppression it foists on the rest of the entire world. Wake up, Trent. There are about three or four dictators in the entire world that are not expressly U.S. pawns. The body count for the U.S. and its client states make Adolf Hitler look like Ron Paul.

    Perhaps you should peruse the history books and we can pick up this discussion again…or you could stick to financials.

    Finance is the most important issue to be concerned with. But that has no bearing on the fact of the matter than no entity has ever been as big or as oppressive on such a grand scale as the U.S. federal government.

  231. G.E.

    It has only recently committed serious atrocities

    I guess we’re going to ignore the 80 million or so black Africans who were killed in the slave trade, the many millions more who were raped and mutilated and enslaved, and the 600,000 Americans who were conscripted to fight in a tariff war, etc., not to mention the post-WWII propping up of evil, mass-murdering dictators all around the globe, mass theft via inflation, and on and on and on.

  232. Steven Druckenmiller

    you can take him on as a project if you want. I did my mentoring back in ‘97.

    you act like you are some kind of wise Libertarian-Buddha master. you are not. Like I said, you just know came to the realization that something immoral does not necessarily have to be illegal, so spare your superiority complex.

    The greatest amount of them are simply unaware of what they’re signing up for, unaware of the immorality of what they’re doing, or just trying to get by.

    Exactly. This is the point that I was (and did) try to get through to you, but you persisted in calling people parasites.

    Responding to words with threats of violence was Druckenmiller’s M.O.

    Another lie. Where did I threaten you? Whereas you did compare me to a Nazi sycophant in the Sheehan thread.

    So this unknown newbie wants to come in here and make assumptions about me

    Assumptions that, as it turns out, are true. And what does the fact that I am new have to do with it? Does that mean I cannot be right?

    The ill will between Druckenmiller and me began when he attacked my for essentially agreeing with him

    I want everyone to read that again. We, essentially, agree, and yet, G.E., you’ve called me a communist neocon who advocates for baby-killing and woman-raping….

    If this is how you treat people with whom you “essentially” agree, I would hate to see what happens if someone accidentally knocks you down at the mall.

    You don’t have a bone of manners, benevolence, restraint, justice or proportionality in your body.

  233. Steven Druckenmiller

    But if the soliders just refused to murder and destroy property, our problems would be 99% solved.

    It would work even better if you refused to pay them.

    I guess we’re going to ignore the 80 million or so black Africans who were killed in the slave trade,

    80 million….80 million?? Where do you get your numbers? And even if, over the thousands of years of African slave trading, 80 million people did die, it is ridiculous for you to place that at the feet of America, who traded slaves (as a nation) for less than 100 years.

  234. Steven Druckenmiller

    And this is the all-wise “intelligent libertarian” who has said more than once that we’re all collectively responsible for the actions of individuals.

  235. Steven Druckenmiller

    Mr. Hill, you might as well not even appeal to reason at this point. G.E. has been repeating the lie in his personal echo-chamber that the United States is “THE MOST EVIL INSTITUTION IN THE UNIVERSE” (even though he lives here! and supports that institution!) that he’ll find any excuse to prove you wrong.

    The USSR killed between 100-150 million people directly…who knows how many people died in USSR-propped regimes like Cuba, East Germany, Romania, Afghanistan, Vietnam, North Korea…

    G.E.’s claim is patently ridiculous, but he’s committed to the lie.

  236. Trent Hill

    “None of these evil regimes have come close to the global destruction the U.S. has been wreaking since a minute before the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. I mean… Revolutionary France? Are you kidding me?!?!?”

    Um, what?
    Speaking purely in terms of war, rather than oppression and state-caused death…which is impossible to gauge and not from direct action.

    Atilla’s Hunnic Empire was responsible for at least 1 million murders over the course of 9 years.
    Robespierre’s France, lasting only 10 months, was responsible for the execution of 40,000 people.
    Idi Amin’s Uganda was directly responsible for the murder of 500,000 innocents.
    Leopold II’s Belgium conquered the Free State of Congo and forced its 5 million inhabitants into forced slavery. No–not the kind of slavery we philosophical types talk about–chains and beatings-slavery. 3 million Congoleese died because of this forced-slavery. 3 million deaths over 40 years.
    In 3 years, Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge killed 2 million innocent Cambodians. 1826.5 deaths per day.
    Vlad’s Romania killed 10,000 people by torture, in public, in 1460 alone.
    Over the course of 2 years, Ivan IV killed over 500,000 in Novgorod alone.
    Hitler’s Germany, and I cant believe Im saying this, killed 6 million jews in blatant genocide. Another 2 million blacks, handicaps, and gypsies were killed as well. This doesnt count the millions of French, Russians, Germans, Americans, and British killed in the war Hitler started. The total for Nazi Germany is probably well above 10 million in only 15 years.
    Josef Stalin committed genocide against just about anyone, Jews, Romanians, Siberian natives, Outer Mongolians, Uzbeks, etc. Estimates of death becasue of his genocidal rule ranges from 20-50 million. In 31 years. Meaning at the LEAST, he killed over 654,000 people a year.

    The US, through its various terrible military actions, cannot hope to approach these numbers. If you said “FDR/Truman” America—then you’d be less crazy—but crazy nonetheless.

    As for the reasons Robespierre was cited. He brutally executed, in public, over 40,000 people in 10 months. That is about 133.3 people per day, which is probably roughly the rate we are killing innocents in Iraq.

    Again i’ll say—you should stick to financials. History isnt your strong suit because you’re just regurgitating what Lew Rockwell says.

  237. Trent Hill

    “I guess we’re going to ignore the 80 million or so black Africans who were killed in the slave trade, the many millions more who were raped and mutilated and enslaved, and the 600,000 Americans who were conscripted to fight in a tariff war”

    I’d be happy to talk about that. I dont know where you got this 80 million number—but you should stop using it, it isnt credible in the slightest. Between 9 and 13 million slaves were brought to the New World (Read: Not just America) through the Atlantic Slave Trade. About 2/3rds of these came to the United States (most others went to caribbean isles, with some to Spanish Florida or Mexico and some to Portuguese Brazil). So assuming the highest estimates are right, 13 million times .66 = 8.58 million.
    Many more were killed during the British Empire’s days of slavery, somewhere around 10 million is the contemporary estimate.

  238. Steven Druckenmiller

    There are about three or four dictators in the entire world that are not expressly U.S. pawns.

    I want a list of dictators who are expressly “pawns” of the United States.

    And proof for each.

  239. Trent Hill

    Oh, and I didnt talk about slavery or the Civil War because you said “since 1 second before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima”. I assumed that was our starting point.

  240. G.E.

    you just know came to the realization that something immoral does not necessarily have to be illegal, so spare your superiority complex.

    I’m on an entirely different level of thinking than you. You aren’t even scratching the surface of my thought process.

    It would work even better if you refused to pay them.

    If the woman just refused the rapist, she couldn’t get raped.

    If this is how you treat people with whom you “essentially” agree, I would hate to see what happens if someone accidentally knocks you down at the mall.

    We agree that Sheehan is a loon. You then said I wasn’t man enough to state the truth about welfare-leech soldiers offline.

    The USSR killed between 100-150 million people directly…who knows how many people died in USSR-propped regimes like Cuba, East Germany, Romania, Afghanistan, Vietnam, North Korea…

    It’s a question of direct vs. indirect. The U.S., by virtue of its support for various dictators, has a much higher indirect body count on its hands.

    Atilla’s Hunnic Empire was responsible for at least 1 million murders over the course of 9 years.

    A drop in the bucket vs. the U.S. Lincoln killed 600,000 in four years. That’s about the same pace. Not to mention 220,000 in one year (Truman). Every death by all of the client states in the world can be blamed on the U.S. Not to mention the tens of thousands who die every year, domestically, due to the FDA, the interstate highway system, etc., on and on. This is what I mean when I say you have an insufficient hatred of the state.

    Again i’ll say—you should stick to financials. History isnt your strong suit because you’re just regurgitating what Lew Rockwell says.

    And what is it that you’re regurgitating? “The U.S. government isn’t that bad — this petty dictator killed about 1/1000 as many people in X period of time, see!” That sounds like public schooling coming through. I’ll “stick to” the truth.

  241. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m on an entirely different level of thinking than you. You aren’t even scratching the surface of my thought process.

    I cannot believe that you are trying to get away with that.

    “I’m so far ahead of you…I couldn’t figure out how something could be simultaneously immoral and illegal!”

    Give me a break!

  242. G.E.

    I want a list of dictators who are expressly “pawns” of the United States.

    It’d be easier to list the few countries that aren’t client states: Cuba, China, Iran, Peru, Venezuela, Russia, and sort of North Korea… Maybe a few others.

    Proof? Just follow the money.

  243. Steven Druckenmiller

    If the woman just refused the rapist, she couldn’t get raped.

    women who are raped are under the threat of immediate and direct force and are unable to flee.

    you do not fall into that category…and did you not just say “we do bear some responsibility for what our government does in our name”.

  244. G.E.

    You are a child.

    But I’ll make one brief try.

    The only morality I recognize is the non-initiation of force. Anything that initiate force should be “illegal.” Thus, no disparity between immorality and illegality. In a nutshell.

    But I withdraw from that thinking. Clearly it is immoral to be as stupid as you clearly are, and yet I do not wish for you to be thrown in one of the state’s animal cages, nor be “beaten” like Jim said. Thanks for helping me sort through that.

  245. G.E.

    women who are raped are under the threat of immediate and direct force

    Try not paying your taxes.

    unable to flee.

    The woman should abandon her family and her community and let the rapist take her property. I see.

  246. Steven Druckenmiller

    Cuba, China, Iran, Peru, Venezuela, Russia, and sort of North Korea… Maybe a few others.

    That’s more than the “three or four” you just asserted.

    Proof? Just follow the money.

    You said “expressly”, G.E. and if you cannot provide any proof for your assertion, just say so.

    Unless you think it is permissible to accuse anyone of anything and just say “follow the money!” when you get called on it.

  247. Trent Hill

    “Not to mention the tens of thousands who die every year, domestically, due to the FDA, the interstate highway system, etc., on and on. This is what I mean when I say you have an insufficient hatred of the state.”

    This applies to every government, to most of them moreso than ours. You are so trapped in your echo chamber you think that the IRS is worse than the Nazi SS. That the FDA is worse than North Korea’s institutions. In terms of economic freedoms, the US currently ranks 6th. In terms of civil liberties, they rank at least in the top 25.

    Compare that to, say, Stalin–who was responsible for 20-50 million DIRECTLY and probably hundreds of millions indirectly and you can see why i’m calling you crazy. You obviously dont have a grip on reality where this discussion is concerned, nor do you have a firm grasp on history.

    “And what is it that you’re regurgitating?”

    History, cold-hard facts as much as possible.

    ““The U.S. government isn’t that bad — this petty dictator killed about 1/1000 as many people in X period of time, see!””

    The US Government is an oppressive regime, as are all government. But as governments go, the US cannot possibly be classified as the worst by anyone of sane interest. It has killed less people, oppressed less, and contains more economic and civil liberties freedoms than 5/6ths of current countries, not to count the empire’s that have already died.

  248. Steven Druckenmiller

    Rape is not applicable in this instance, and you know it.

    Try not paying your taxes.

    If I wanted to do that (and truly believed, as you do, that “we’re all responsible”), I would leave.

    You have ample opportunity to disallow the State access to your money. The fact that you do not tells me you are not as morally bothered by what the State does with your money as you would have us all believe.

  249. G.E.

    It has killed less people, oppressed less, and contains more economic and civil liberties freedoms than 5/6ths of current countries, not to count the empire’s that have already died.

    I would correct you and say it has killed “fewer” people, but it hasn’t. Count them up. There is no comparison. No government has ever been a fraction as powerful as the U.S. is. And forgetting about history for a second, which government is killing more people now? Are any even remotely close? Yeah, I get to own a gun here, and my taxes are “low” (not the inflation tax, though). People in the U.S. don’t have it so bad, and I’ve never denied that.

  250. Steven Druckenmiller

    Do your own research, dipshit.

    This is what happens when someone does not have any proof for an assertion.

    You asserted that only “three or four” dictators are not express U.S. pawns. Your words, your assertion, the onus of proof is on you.

    The only morality I recognize is the non-initiation of force…But I withdraw from that thinking.

    See, here’s your problem. Non-initiation of force is only one part of an individual’s ethical and moral code. You’ve let it subsume the entirety of your beliefs, meaning that things, even if freely undertaken, cannot be condemned by you.

    You’ve let your politics dictate your morality.

  251. G.E.

    If I wanted to do that (and truly believed, as you do, that “we’re all responsible”), I would leave.

    1. So you like paying taxes? Yes. They go to the good cause of raping and murdering Iraqi girls. But I can’t speak ill of the welfare parasites who suck me dry in the commission of that murder.

    2. The “responsibility” thing: I’m saying that if we allow our country to nuke another; yeah, we deserve to get nuked in retaliation. You’re such an imperialist that you think we can nuke others with impunity.

    The fact that you do not tells me you are not as morally bothered by what the State does with your money as you would have us all believe.

    Why should I leave because the federal government is occupying my state and my town? No. I want it to leave. That’s like saying the Iraqi freedom fighters should “just leave” after the evil U.S. invaded their nation. But wait — you probably do believe that!

  252. Trent Hill

    The facts are these (to quote my favorite TV show that plays on Wednesdays): The US has killed less people directly in its 230 year existance than Josef Stalin did in 31 years. You could stretch the deaths caused by the US in WWII, the Civil War, etc to maybe reach 10 million. Josef Stalin killed a MINIMUM of 20 million in 31 years. So in 7.5x the time, the US has directly killed HALF of the MINIMUM number of people directly killed by Josef Stalin.

    It is ridiculous that you are comparing the bombings in Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Dresden, Tokyo, and the Civil War as numbers ANYWHERE approaching the 31 year rule of Stalin in Russia. Again I say, stick to financial and do not—for any reason—approach the subject of history.

  253. G.E.

    This is what happens when someone does not have any proof for an assertion.

    You asserted that only “three or four” dictators are not express U.S. pawns. Your words, your assertion, the onus of proof is on you.

    You’re asking me to prove the sky is blue. You are a religio-statist who will not be swayed by anything I said. Go join freerepublic.com.

  254. Trent Hill

    “I would correct you and say it has killed “fewer” people, but it hasn’t. Count them up. There is no comparison. No government has ever been a fraction as powerful as the U.S. is”

    Give me numbers, I’d be happy to crunch them. But you wont, you just keep saying “no, you are wrong.” or “This isnt even a comparison”. Give me specific instances. You could combined every US millitary action, genocide, or expansion since the Revolution, just or not, and still not reach 10 million direct deaths. Again, that is less than half of Josef Stalin’s 31 year total.

  255. Steven Druckenmiller

    here we go again. Anytime you get backed into a corner, G.E. you lash out with ridiculous hyperbole like “the raping of Iraqi girls.”

    You’re such an imperialist that you think we can nuke others with impunity.

    I barely weighed in on the nuke debate, and yet you think you can impute my position? Oh yes, I forgot, you’re so much above me in thinking that you must also be a mindreader.

    Why should I leave because the federal government is occupying my state and my town?

    Because you know that, every year, they’re going to take your money and do things with it that are morally abhorrent to you?

    Every. Year. this happens…and yet, even though you’re free to put a stop to it…..you don’t. Actions speak louder than words.

  256. G.E.

    Trent – You’re just way off base. How many people did Hussein kill as a U.S. pawn? How about Israel? How about the Shah’s Iran? How about all the African and central American dictators that we prop up? How about all of the people killed in the drug war? And on and on and on. I’ll approach any subject I like. You should work on approaching the TRUTH and abandoning your reactionary “USA #1” attitude.

  257. Steven Druckenmiller

    You’re asking me to prove the sky is blue. You are a religio-statist who will not be swayed by anything I said.

    “It’s so obvious, I don’t have to prove it!”

    The last refuge of someone who doesn’t have any evidence.

  258. G.E.

    Again, why don’t the Iraqis just leave? Why didn’t the founding fathers “just leave” — just go West, for example? Why don’t all libertarians (not you, you’re not one) just dig holes and live in them to be “free”?

    I love my community and my family. That comes first, not the state, Nazi. Furthermore, I’ve only felt this strongly for a little over a year, and only been financially able to do something like that for even less time. Regardless, the fall of the evil empire is imminent. Why should I move to somwhere I’ll have even less freedom, when the U.S. is on the verge of collapse?

  259. Trent Hill

    “You’re asking me to prove the sky is blue. You are a religio-statist who will not be swayed by anything I said. Go join freerepublic.com.”

    Ohk then–if you wont name names for him,name them for me. It is well-known, and I can pull up a few quotes form you, that I am anti-state. I would love for you to show me even marginal proof, circumstantial evidence, that the US is in control of 200-some odd nations, enough for the deaths in their military conflicts to be on the shoulders of the United States Government.

    You are operating under the assumption that anyone who is recieving money from the US is a “puppet client state”. You’re kidding right? France, Switzerland, Brazil, The Vatican, Uzbekistan, Jamaica, Canada, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Sri Lanka, India—are ANY of these nationd amongst the puppet-states you claim?

    Some nations are undoubtedly too-highly influenced by the US Government. The UK, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, and Mexico all come to mind. Can the deaths of Indonesian seperatists honestly be placed in the US Government’s column? I dont see any proof for that, nor does it make sense.

  260. G.E.

    The last refuge of someone who doesn’t have any evidence.

    You’re right. The U.S. doesn’t prop up other regimes.

    Just because you’re so godawfully ignorant doesn’t mean I have to do your research for you. Google IMF for god’s sake, you fucking moron.

  261. Steven Druckenmiller

    Again, why don’t the Iraqis just leave?

    They’re actually fighting, unlike you.

    Why didn’t the founding fathers “just leave” — just go West, for example?

    They didn’t. They stood up and refused to take it.

    You haven’t done anything approaching that kind of bravery. You think of yourself as a victim. You have assumed the worst of the PC-Left: “Oh woe is me, I’m such a victim!”

  262. Steven Druckenmiller

    You’re right. The U.S. doesn’t prop up other regimes.

    I didn’t say that. You said that every dictator except for “three or four” are express pawns of the United States. That is a very different assertion from “the U.S. doesn’t ever prop up a regime somewhere”.

    Blatant goalpost moving.

  263. Trent Hill

    “You’re just way off base. How many people did Hussein kill as a U.S. pawn? How about Israel? How about the Shah’s Iran? How about all the African and central American dictators that we prop up? How about all of the people killed in the drug war? And on and on and on.”

    Here we go. Naming names is good. I would probably agree to blame Hussein’s Iraqi military conflicts on the US Government, the Shah’s Iran is a stretch,but ohk, and even Israels ill accept. Now we have 3. You add in every African country (which is absurd) and we’re up to 50-something out of more than 300 nations. Add in the drug-war, which was not started by the US internationally but i will put in the US colum—and you STILL arent approaching anywhere near 20 million. Maybe 15 if you really pulled and stretched at the numbers.

    “I’ll approach any subject I like.”

    Sure. It’s just that i’m of the opinion that when speaking of something, someone should have a basic knowledge of it. 80 million slaves? Right.

    “You should work on approaching the TRUTH and abandoning your reactionary “USA #1″ attitude.”

    I like Switzerland and New Zealand the best.

  264. Steven Druckenmiller

    I am still waiting on evidence for that “80 million deaths” (a clearly fabricated number) from the slave trade AND a rationale for why all those alleged deaths should be directly attributed to the United States Government.

  265. Trent Hill

    I know all about the IMF—how does IMF inflation rest on the US’s shoulders. It’s a United Nations institution in which the US controls only 16.79% of votes. Japan, Germany, and France can easily block anything the US brings up by themselves.

    Some dictators were supported by the IMF, most were supproted during the Cold War by the Entire West, not just the US’s votes.

  266. Steven Druckenmiller

    Mr. Hill, he is sending you on a fool’s errand. There is a group of articles out there that convinced G.E. of all of these tragic and historically-illiterate lies, but he does not want to reveal these Sacred Scrolls, for fear that you’ll tear down his faith.

  267. Trent Hill

    “I am still waiting on evidence for that “80 million deaths” (a clearly fabricated number) from the slave trade AND a rationale for why all those alleged deaths should be directly attributed to the United States Government.”

    Don’t hold your breath. When GE is clearly wrong, he resorts to insults and then flees the thread. Once that is brought up, he’ll likely say something about how he doesnt have time to spend on IPR all day, or about how he wanted to spend time with his family.
    Fact is, he is wrong and he knows it. He has been fabricating numbers this whole time,as well as changing the parameters of the arguement, which I have moved with rather well and defeated him on his grounds as well.

  268. Trent Hill

    “There is a group of articles out there that convinced G.E. of all of these tragic and historically-illiterate lies”

    It is just regurgitated Rockwell. I like Lew Rockwell, but this idea that this is the worst empire in the history of the world is retarded. All governments are terrible, but as far as governments go, the US ranks in the top 10th percentile.

  269. Steven Druckenmiller

    When GE is clearly wrong, he resorts to insults and then flees the thread.

    No offense, Mr. Hill, but I saw that about him the minute I got here :-D.

    Sometimes the child in me likes to rub salt in the wound, though.

  270. Steven Druckenmiller

    I do think, though, that one ill-guided place that G.E. went was to talk about “numbers of people killed” as the metric for how evil a regime is.

    Intent matters. Now, granted, that might sound cavalier given that, hey, people are still dead, but we cannot context-drop. If someone kills another in cold blood, that’s evil. If I kill three home invaders, hell, most people would (rightly) consider me a hero.

    So, yeah, context matters, and throwing about numbers as if they are dispositive of evil is a dangerous and wrongheaded game.

  271. Trent Hill

    Steven,

    Dont let this conversation damper your opinion of GE. When he isnt being a child he’s quite the guy. When he isnt resorting to outlandish hyperbole or completely torturing fake-numbers on slavery, he is pleasurable.

  272. Steven Druckenmiller

    Dont let this conversation damper your opinion of GE

    Uhh…I will try, but I can only be called a rape-enabler and a supporter of child slaughter so many times before it might start to taint my opinion of the man just a little. 🙂

  273. Trent Hill

    Consider it a trial by fire, every minarchist goes through it when around a large collection of anarchist.

  274. hogarth

    And I’m willing to eschew libertarian principles in the name of preventing the mass murder of foreign people.

    Good luck with that, then.

    As a Christian, I would have thought you’d reject this sort of “I’ll be decent only when others agree to be decent,” language.

  275. hogarth

    Incidentally, I never got a reply to my application email.

    I have asked twice for a receipt from the address to which the application with sample planks were to be sent – the second time was just this morning and CC’d to Sullentrup. So far no reply.

  276. hogarth

    The guy is a turd. Not worth spending time on.

    Which makes me wonder why you do spend so much time on exchanges with him….

  277. paulie cannoli Post author

    Incidentally, I never got a reply to my application email.

    I have asked twice for a receipt from the address to which the application with sample planks were to be sent – the second time was just this morning and CC’d to Sullentrup. So far no reply.

    If anyone reading has applied and *has* received a reply, please let us know, even if you don’t want to share your plank proposals.

  278. hogarth

    I’m saying that if we allow our country to nuke another; yeah, we deserve to get nuked in retaliation.

    Ouch. Setting aside the appalling collectivism inherent in such thinking, who do you mean by ‘we’? The millions of children who have refused to take up arms and assassinate the American president before he pushed the button?

    This is impenetrable, collectivist, pseudo-logic.

    No one ‘deserves’ to be nuked – because nuking any one person – no matter how ‘deserving’ he is – will inescapably involve killing thousands (at least) of innocent bystanders.

  279. hogarth

    I’m pretty sure he is an atheist.

    In which case, and speaking as an atheist myself, I’m even *more* surprised 🙂

  280. G.E.

    RE: Trent Hill

    I know all about the IMF—how does IMF inflation rest on the US’s shoulders. It’s a United Nations institution in which the US controls only 16.79% of votes.

    You have to be kidding me. The UN is a U.S. pawn. How does the IMF issue its loans? It supports the dollar standard. It was originally a tool of the Bretton Woods System. It is a U.S. imperialist operation.

    Don’t hold your breath. When GE is clearly wrong, he resorts to insults and then flees the thread.

    Nope.

    Fact is, he is wrong and he knows it. He has been fabricating numbers this whole time

    You’re right. I’m a liar with no integrity.

    “Referring to slavery and its aftermath as the “Black Holocaust”, Ms. Tillman has estimated that 80 to 100 million Africans died from starvation and disease due to brutal treatment during the voyage to America and other regions. ”

    http://www.finalcall.com/national/reparations5-9-2000.htm

    I’m not “fabricating” numbers, and for you to suggest that … I’m very insulted.

  281. G.E.

    RE: Susan

    As a Christian….

    ????

    Not only am I NOT a Christian (and offended that you would just assume that I was), I don’t understand where you’re coming from with this “be nice to others only when they’re nice to you” you accuse me of.

    Let me reiterate my take: The U.S. federal government acts as our agent. Are we responsible for all of its actions? On some minute level, yes. And one thing we should be able to stop it from doing is dropping a nuclear bomb on another country that promises to retaliate if our government does that.

    The practical implications of what you’re advocating are the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iranians — i.e. Iran can’t even THREATEN to respond to a nuclear strike because to even THREATEN to do so would violate Susan Hogarth’s precious “right” not to be threatened. Never mind the Iranian girl’s right to keep the skin on her body.

    Fast forward two years: The U.S. has nuked Iran. Later it is discovered that Iran abandoned its nuclear program because it didn’t like the idea of violating Susan’s right not to be threatened. So much for the 250,000 Iranians who died. They were worth it to preserve Susan’s non-right.

  282. G.E.

    And Trent – Don’t listen to Druckenmiller’s lies, RE: me attacking him when he first got here. Go back and read the Sheehan thread and you’ll see who fired the first blow.

  283. rdupuy

    “When GE is clearly wrong, he resorts to insults and then flees the thread.”

    Wow I hadn’t been to this thread myself, in a while, I hope I didn’t “flee it”

    I have not read the whole thing…got through about 50 and realized I don’t have the time.

    Somehow this comment struck my fancy though.

    Please, lets agree a comment is never a social contract to remain in a thread, no matter how long it gets…that sounds rather burdensome to me.

  284. G.E.

    Trent – Since I’m the only one here who is making the argument that the Iranian people have the right to defend themselves with nuclear weapons and the threat of retaliation, I’d like to know where you stand on this. Actually, Druckenmiller, too.

  285. G.E.

    Please, lets agree a comment is never a social contract to remain in a thread, no matter how long it gets…that sounds rather burdensome to me.

    No shit. I go off the thread at about 2:00 AM for a thing called “sleep” and suddenly I’ve “abandoned” it because I’m “fabricating” numbers.

  286. paulie cannoli Post author

    There are huge disagreements about the numbers of people who died in all these historical events.

    For a good annotated and referenced list of some of what the US empire has been up to which is quite easy to read, see:

    Addicted to War

    77 pages and well worth reading, despite the author’s mistaken idea that the government should do better things with the money rather than not coerce it out of people in the first place.

    I recommend giving it a read.

  287. paulie cannoli Post author

    Please, lets agree a comment is never a social contract to remain in a thread, no matter how long it gets…that sounds rather burdensome to me.

    No shit. I go off the thread at about 2:00 AM for a thing called “sleep” and suddenly I’ve “abandoned” it because I’m “fabricating” numbers.

    What happened to watching Tropic Thunder? Don’t let this political discussion habit get in the way of enjoying the rest of life.

  288. G.E.

    What happened to watching Tropic Thunder? Don’t let this political discussion habit get in the way of enjoying the rest of life.

    Yes. My wife was very frustrated when I said, “in a minute,” and then I had to answer Trent’s charges, etc. But we watched Tropic Thunder and it was hilarious. Highly recommended.

  289. hogarth

    Not only am I NOT a Christian (and offended that you would just assume that I was),

    No, I didn’t ‘just assume’ – I ‘just misremembered’. Try to not be so quick to take offense at the simplest mistake. I guess I should be flattered that you completely discounted the idea that I could have mis-remembered, but this bristliness on your part is really tiring.

    I don’t understand where you’re coming from with this “be nice to others only when they’re nice to you” you accuse me of.

    From this, which is what I wrote it in response to:

    “And I’m willing to eschew libertarian principles in the name of preventing the mass murder of foreign people.”

    Which seemed to me to be saying that you think non-aggression is fine, unless you happen to see some use for it.

    Let me reiterate my take: The U.S. federal government acts as our agent.

    Without our consent, remember.

    The mob might claim to be acting as ‘agent’ of Vinnie’s Bar and Grill, but if the Mob is threatening to kill Vinnie’s child unless he pays up, can Vinnie really be held responsible for mayhem committed by the Mob?

    I don’t think so. Perhaps you do.

    The slaveowner certainly claimed to be acting as the ‘agent’ of his slaves, but does that make the slaves who have somehow failed to revolt a legitimate target of someone attacking the slaveowner himself?

    I don’t think so. Perhaps you do.

    You’ve made a fundamental error here that really surprises me – you keep acting as if you thought the US government was a consensual institution.

    It’s not.

    Are we responsible for all of its actions? On some minute level, yes. And one thing we should be able to stop it from doing is dropping a nuclear bomb on another country that promises to retaliate if our government does that.

    But you should know that in practice, we have less chance of doing that then Vinnie does of taking down the Mob that ‘represents’ him, single-handedly. Less chance than the slave had of burning down the plantation and freeing all his buddies, single-handedly.

    The practical implications of what you’re advocating

    First, let’s be clear about exactly what I’m advocating. There are two issues here:

    1) Platform plank, which just deals with the US government’s ownership of WMD.

    2) The general advocacy of and end to aggression, which would include, naturally, the government of Iran.

    are the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iranians

    Speculation. Your speculation that Iranians would be safer if the government that ruled over them possessed nukes is about as valid (in my opinion, of course – we are talking about speculation here) as the speculation that thousands or millions of lives were ‘saved’ by the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    — i.e. Iran can’t even THREATEN to respond to a nuclear strike because to even THREATEN to do so would violate Susan Hogarth’s precious “right” not to be threatened.

    You keep bringing this up. I do think that a credible threat of mass slaughter is a form of aggression, but I don’t insist on it – that’s a discussion for another day.

    But regardless of that, no on has the right to slaughter uninvolved people or even those whose ‘involvement’ comes in the form of submitting to the yoke of their own oppressors.

    Never mind the Iranian girl’s right to keep the skin on her body.

    Ah, the trademark GE dash of hyperbole!

    You’ve just said that for my crime of being born in America, I deserve to be nuked if the USG aggresses against the people of Iran.

    Or do you think it’s just the threat that is legitimate, and not the action itself? Because I’m not entirely clear on your thinking there. Is it OK for the gov’t of Iran to threaten Americans, but not to slaughter them? Or both?

    Fast forward two years: The U.S. has nuked Iran. Later it is discovered that Iran abandoned its nuclear program because it didn’t like the idea of violating Susan’s right not to be threatened. So much for the 250,000 Iranians who died. They were worth it to preserve Susan’s non-right.

    This is about as useful as the times people cite the plots of SF novels as ‘evidence’ that their way of thinking is correct.

    Can we stick to logic and real evidence, please, rather than made-up scenarios?

    The strongest point to be made in defense of this theory is that, since more than one government has possessed nukes, no one has been nuked, whereas before that was the case, the one government with nukes *did* use them.

    You should stick to that *fact* rather than some made-for-TV-movie plot you’ve concocted in your mind.

    As for no-nukes post multi-county ownership: I get that. I really do. It gives me a lot of occasion for thought. But there are several points to consider:

    1) It’s not an infallible safeguard.

    2) Having the nukes in your country may make you MORE of a target in some political climates.

    3) Having an immoral state (and is there any other kind?) in charge of such a powerful weapon wouldn’t be safe even for (maybe especially for) the citizens of that country. Governments ALWAYS turn ‘defensive’ weapons on their own people. ALWAYS. You must know this to be true.

    4) The weapons are a substantial cost to own and maintain (oh, and advertise, to make the threat credible!) – and those people in Iran aren’t being *asked* to pony up the cash. They are also a risk to have around.

    5) And of course there’s the nontrivial ethics question of what to do if the ‘threat’ is ever challenged. Murder innocents?

    Look at NK. They probably *do* have a nuke. That probably *has* kept the USG off their backs to some extent – or more properly, off the back of their own government.

    Are they better off than the people of Iran? I don’t think so, somehow. Are they safer from the threat of USG aggression? Maybe.

    Will the NK government be guilty of mass murder if it sends a nuke to a target in SK, or even (miracle) the US? Damn right it will.

  290. Trent Hill

    “Trent – Since I’m the only one here who is making the argument that the Iranian people have the right to defend themselves with nuclear weapons and the threat of retaliation, I’d like to know where you stand on this. ”

    My simple answer—the US isnt going to give up Nuclear weapons, so Iran should persue them in order to defend themselves via Mutually Assured Destruction (ironically, MAD).

  291. Trent Hill

    “I’m not “fabricating” numbers, and for you to suggest that … I’m very insulted.”

    Fine–those numbers arent fabricated, BY YOU. You are repeating fabricated numbers. It is Ms. Tillman, not you, who should read a little on History or familiarize herself with the facts. My apologies. However, you would hold me culpable if I cited some rediculously (TM) high or low number, and im going to hold you to it also. 80 million is astronimically high and nowhere near the real total. Even though she says “the voyage to America…and other regions” it still isnt viable, not to mention her qualifying statement “..and other regions” means that the number doesnt apply to our discussion.

    Still, you were not fabricating the number. Next time fact check though.

  292. Steven Druckenmiller

    I would like to point out that G.E. not only repeated a number that is clearly preposterous but also wanted to lay that preposterous number solely at the feet of the United States.

  293. Trent Hill

    Drunkenmiller,

    Thats why im holding him to it. It’s possible he just plain didnt know that that number is insanely high, but he also tried to pass it off as the number that could be blamed on the US.

    Furthermore, the Slave Trade was not the fault of the US Government. It was PRIVATE CITIZENS who were buying slaves, and thus cant be counted against the US Government.

  294. Steven Druckenmiller

    I think that the legal idea of “proximate cause” is going to help us slog through the idea of “guilt”. At some point, it is manifestly unjust and unwieldy to hold all of the citizenry responsible for the actions of its government.

    However, there comes a point where assignation of responsibility is important, if for nothing else than to determine what to do to prevent the bad activities in the future.

    Also, intent matters.

    Let me ask this hypothetical, G.E.: if another government invaded the United States and expressly stated that they would “end United States aggression abroad, promote individual rights, cut spending, lower taxes and end the war on drugs”, would you still fight the invaders?

    If so, why? If not, why do you uplift Iraqi “freedom fighters”, who are nothing more than religious totalitarians?

  295. Trent Hill

    “If not, why do you uplift Iraqi “freedom fighters”, who are nothing more than religious totalitarians?”

    I take issue with this. Not all of them are religious totalitarians. Many of the “terrorists” in Iraq are just anti-imperialists and dont want to see Theocracy embedded in thier nation. Furthermore, even if they did—at least it would be under localized control, instead of under the control of a massive nation halfway around the world. Localized and tyrannical rule is more just than imperial and slightly-less tyrannical rule.

  296. Trent Hill

    Also, on the subject of nuclear arms.

    “Take military spending. I believe in a strong national defense. I want our troops here, defending our territory; I want nuclear submarines and an adequate arsenal of weapons that can repeal any conceivable attack. What I don’t want to do is spend a trillion dollars a year maintaining an empire. ”
    -Ron Paul

  297. Steven Druckenmiller

    Localized and tyrannical rule is more just than imperial and slightly-less tyrannical rule.

    Wait, really? You think so? Pure tyranny is more just than something less simply because it is homegrown?

  298. hogarth

    …an adequate arsenal of weapons that can repeal any conceivable attack…

    Did he really write “repeal any conceivable attack”? That’d be a neat trick! 😉

    Even REPELLING ‘any conceivable attack’ is a tall order. We have some pretty fine ‘conceivers’ out there…

    More mundanely, it’s my understanding that ‘nuclear’ in ‘nuclear submarine’ refers to the type of propulsion, not armaments.

  299. Trent Hill

    “Wait, really? You think so? Pure tyranny is more just than something less simply because it is homegrown?”

    Local tyranny is responsive to the people, it must be or it goes down in flame. Imperial tyranny is far more harsh, and generally far stronger. Are you endorsing the War in Iraq Drunkenmiller?

  300. VirtualGalt

    Well I’m just a little old small businessman in New England, but for what it’s worth I also put my name in the hat.

    My proposals were very… well… minimalistic, and focused on 3 issues: the repeal of DOMA; opposition to bailouts of stupid/failed businesses; and retirement of the Federal debt over x years (I suggested 50).

    Everybody knows Obama is not going to do Jack for the LGBT community, as the Dems view LGBT people as an ATM. Say nice things as you punch the buttons for the cash. Here is an opportunity to make a clearer statement than is in the 08 platform. On bailouts, the Dems and Reps are falling over each other to shovel out yet more fiat money to these people. Ugh.

    And favoring gradual retirement of the debt, probably pie in the sky but a good “principle” to have.

    I could have, seated here in my office, drafted out more elaborate revisions and statements. I did not, and let me tell you why.

    I was in Denver as a delegate. The platform was debated at length. And in the end, what was passed clearly had a strong majority.

    Now, you may argue, *how* they came upon that majority/people didn’t know what they were doing/didn’t realize the implications/the vote was rigged etc etc

    All I can say is, How come it was that only one of the Presidential candidates even bothered to ask me for my vote? We even had a very pleasant chat, he and I. Well I didn’t vote for him in the end… but it really didn’t surprise me that the gentleman in question is in fact the guy who won.

    My point is, you can’t beat “somebody” with “nobody”. We had a convention, everybody got to have their say, the platform was voted on, and that was that.

    If we are going to come back from where we are, we have to do it incrementally. Look at 2010 as a building block for 2012.

  301. Trent Hill

    Paulie,

    If you know of anyone submitting platform planks for the CP or GP, go for it–in seperate threads. Im plugged in with the CP and dont have that info. Though im sure the Federalist Caucus in the CP (the more libertarian-oriented group) is still pushing to have the Gambling, pornography, and Protectionist planks removed.

  302. Trent Hill

    “More mundanely, it’s my understanding that ‘nuclear’ in ‘nuclear submarine’ refers to the type of propulsion, not armaments.”

    Your understanding is correct. My point was not to add to the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” conversation, but to show Paul’s views on defense and weaponry.

  303. paulie cannoli Post author

    If you know of anyone submitting platform planks for the CP or GP, go for it–in seperate threads. Im plugged in with the CP and dont have that info. Though im sure the Federalist Caucus in the CP (the more libertarian-oriented group) is still pushing to have the Gambling, pornography, and Protectionist planks removed.

    Honestly, I don’t know much. I know there were some rumblings at the GP convention about people not happy with their platform. Also, I’d rather someone else do it, if possible – I did my part here.

    I’ll ask on the IPR list too, since there are probably IPR writers who are not reading this whole thing.

  304. Trent Hill

    “I know there were some rumblings at the GP convention about people not happy with their platform.”

    Also at the CP convention. I’ll email some of my old buddies to see if any of them will be trying to change the platform. On second thought—I think the platform only changes at Quadrennial conventions, in presidential election years…

  305. paulie cannoli Post author

    Well I’m just a little old small businessman in New England, but for what it’s worth I also put my name in the hat.

    You mean you officially applied for the committee? If so, two queries

    1) If you don’t mind sharing the actual proposed planks you sent, please post them – I’ll add them to the body of the post with your permission.

    2) Either way, there is a question about the committee’s responsiveness. Did they acknowledge your submission?

  306. G.E.

    Try to not be so quick to take offense at the simplest mistake.

    I was just joking. Not being “bristly.”

    Which seemed to me to be saying that you think non-aggression is fine, unless you happen to see some use for it.

    This is getting absurd. You’re making me out to be “aggressive” when my position is that the people of Iran have the right to DEFEND themselves. Your position is that they don’t, and the practical implication of that is that the U.S. walks all over them. Your head is in the clouds.

    Susan, answer this question, please: Iran develops nuclear weapons. It says if the U.S. invades, it will respond with a nuclear strike against the U.S. By your standards, Iran has now committed an act of aggression against you — what recourse do you have? What would be a legitimate response to this “aggression”?

  307. G.E.

    My simple answer—the US isnt going to give up Nuclear weapons, so Iran should persue them in order to defend themselves via Mutually Assured Destruction (ironically, MAD).

    Agreed. Thanks for checking in with me in Reality Town.

  308. G.E.

    Furthermore, the Slave Trade was not the fault of the US Government. It was PRIVATE CITIZENS who were buying slaves, and thus cant be counted against the US Government.

    B.S. The U.S. government declared a territorial monopoly on the provision of law, and upheld the non-right to own slaves in its courts. The blame rests solely at its feet.

  309. hogarth

    I was just joking. Not being “bristly.”

    Right. It’s always so easy to tell the difference with you, I don’t know -what- I was thinking 🙂

    You’re making me out to be “aggressive” when my position is that the people of Iran have the right to DEFEND themselves.

    I absolutely agree with that – I just don’t consider obliterating a city ‘defense’ by any stretch of the imagination. I consider it aggression. I also consider the threat of aggression to be an aggression.

    Your position is that they don’t,

    No, it’s not. I’ve never denied a basic right to self-defense.

    and the practical implication of that is that the U.S. walks all over them.

    If you want to be ‘practical’, consider that the USG will do just about *anything* to destroy Iran’s nuke capability before it obtains it – remember the ‘no options off the table’ talk? So the ‘practical’ viewpoint is that the pursuit of nuclear weapons by the Iranian government – besides being a primary aggression against its own taxpayers – is MORE likely to result in their being bombed than staying non-nuclear.

  310. hogarth

    Susan, answer this question, please: Iran develops nuclear weapons. It says if the U.S. invades, it will respond with a nuclear strike against the U.S. By your standards, Iran has now committed an act of aggression against you — what recourse do you have? What would be a legitimate response to this “aggression”?

    Recourse: very little.

    Legitimate response: take out the Iranian gov’t. Not likely, though, as it’s both impractical and a much lower priorty than dealing with my own government.

  311. Steven Druckenmiller

    Are you endorsing the War in Iraq Drunkenmiller?

    It is “Druckenmiller”.

    And no, I am not, but not for the reasons you would think. I think that the government instituted in Iraq (if it survives) will be far more just and humane than the one that preceded it.

    However, I do not think it is the responsibility of the U.S. Taxpayer nor should it be in the purview of the United States Armed Forces to nation-build.

  312. hogarth

    Your turn to answer a question, GE – perhaps you have but I’m still unclear on your position on it. You speak of Iran’s government making a threat to bomb American cities. Let’s set aside for now the question of whether the threat in itself constitutes an aggression. Do you think that such a bombing – if carried out – would be an aggression?

  313. Steven Druckenmiller

    I do not think it would be a legitimate response to “take out” Iran if all it says is “Invasion will bring dire consequences”.

    It would be proper to take down Iran if Iran, sans threats from the United States, made credible and imminent threats to the United States.

  314. Trent Hill

    “The U.S. government declared a territorial monopoly on the provision of law, and upheld the non-right to own slaves in its courts. The blame rests solely at its feet.”

    But didnt force anyone to buy slaves. That’s like saying you can blame the death of all puppy-dog-slaves on the US Government because they created laws exclusively governing those puppies. But civilians purchased these puppy-dogs as slaves. It is their fault individually.

  315. G.E.

    Right. It’s always so easy to tell the difference with you, I don’t know -what- I was thinking

    I didn’t mean to imply you should have been able to tell. The Internet is a poor medium for conveying tone, and my “style” makes it even worse. I was just letting you know that I was intending to be “bristly.”

    I absolutely agree with that – I just don’t consider obliterating a city ‘defense’ by any stretch of the imagination. I consider it aggression. I also consider the threat of aggression to be an aggression.

    I don’t consider obliterating a city “defense” either. I do consider the “threat” defense if it works.

    If you want to be ‘practical’, consider that the USG will do just about *anything* to destroy Iran’s nuke capability before it obtains it – remember the ‘no options off the table’ talk? So the ‘practical’ viewpoint is that the pursuit of nuclear weapons by the Iranian government – besides being a primary aggression against its own taxpayers – is MORE likely to result in their being bombed than staying non-nuclear.

    This is a fair point. But I’m talking about IF they could develop the nukes, not whether they could.

    Legitimate response: take out the Iranian gov’t. Not likely, though, as it’s both impractical and a much lower priorty than dealing with my own government.

    Here we have it. Susan, at least “theoretically,” advocates “taking out” the Iranian government if it should “threaten” a nuclear COUNTER-strike against the U.S.

    I admire Susan for sticking to principle and admitting the implications of her reasoning.

    Do you think that such a bombing – if carried out – would be an aggression?

    Against you and me and most people reading this thread. Not against the average American for whom the government DOES speak and act.

    If I threaten to punch you, I have committed some form of aggression against you, Susan. You have recourse against me. Iran threatening a counterstrike against the U.S. just isn’t the same type of “threat” in my eyes. It is the country and the people’s biological imperative to survive. Nuking New York won’t enable to do that, but threatening to do so might — and who the hell is really injured as a result?

  316. G.E.

    But didnt force anyone to buy slaves. That’s like saying you can blame the death of all puppy-dog-slaves on the US Government because they created laws exclusively governing those puppies. But civilians purchased these puppy-dogs as slaves. It is their fault individually.

    By this logic, slavery should be re-legalized. If it’s just the individual slave-buyer’s morality in question, and not the blame of the government, then there’s no need for legislation.

    Comparing “puppy dogs” to black Africans is not accurate. One group are human beings with rights — the other not. You’re a “minarchist” — what’s the purpose of government if not to defend life, liberty, and property? If the government doesn’t do that, and prevents others from doing that, then the government IS to blame.

  317. Steven Druckenmiller

    Wait, G.E., are you saying that every time the government fails in its prescribed duties, that it is directly responsible for the crime?

    That is sort of negating the free will and culpability of the criminal, is it not?

  318. Steven Druckenmiller

    If I threaten to punch you, I have committed some form of aggression against you, Susan.

    I disagree with this. Imminence and reasonable belief that the threat will be carried out is required to direct recourse.

  319. Trent Hill

    “By this logic, slavery should be re-legalized. If it’s just the individual slave-buyer’s morality in question, and not the blame of the government, then there’s no need for legislation.”

    You misread my intentions. Im not equating puppy-life with human rights. The government exists to protect life, obviously. But the government did not directly kill these people, which is afterall the main parameter of our conversation. It did not even indirectly kill these people. It indirectly allowed for their murder without consequence or defense. Actively killing someone (on the part of the slave-owner or trader) is far different than a government not providing for the defense of those same someones.

    View it this way. Your insurance companies who provide defense, assume Mike has paid his premiums continually and deserves full protection. Jimmy comes in and kills Mike and the insurance company/defense agency does nothing to stop Jimmy becuase of a perception that Mike does not deserve protection.

    Who is to blame? Mike or the defense agency? Undoubtedly Mike is the one who did the active killing. The defense agencies could be cited for negligence, but it is not complicit in the killings.

  320. Trent Hill

    “If I threaten to punch you, I have committed some form of aggression against you, Susan.

    I disagree with this. Imminence and reasonable belief that the threat will be carried out is required to direct recourse.”

    Druckenmiller is correct (sorry, I didnt know I was mispelling your name before).

  321. hogarth

    Susan, at least “theoretically,” advocates “taking out” the Iranian government if it should “threaten” a nuclear COUNTER-strike against the U.S.

    Yes. Governments which (credibly – yes, I agree with Steven there) threaten to indiscriminately murder large numbers of folks have no right to exist.

    This should be non-controversial for libertarians. Mass murder = bad. Mass-murdering governments = illegitimate.

    Incidentally (and amusingly) you shifted the discussion: your question specified “U.S. invades” and suddenly now you’re saying “nuclear COUNTER-strike” – which implies a response to a nuclear bombing, not an invasion.

    But it doesn’t change things for me; murdering innocents is an illegitimate response in either case. I do find it funny that you made that shift though. You are either being sloppy or slippery here.

    Against you and me and most people reading this thread. Not against the average American for whom the government DOES speak and act.

    I disagree, and deplore your blaming-the-victim mentality, but that’s an argument for another day.

    Iran threatening a counterstrike against the U.S. just isn’t the same type of “threat” in my eyes. It is the country and the people’s biological imperative to survive.

    Say this three times slowly:

    Countries are not living beings. Countries do not have biological imperatives.

    I continue to be astonished that you would defend threatening *and performing* an act of mass slaughter as ‘defense’.

    Let’s imagine this: I live next to a raving lunatic. Said raving lunatic has demonstrated that he is capable of and willing to kill people to get what he wants. He threatens my family, in so-many-words. But he’s powerful, so I can’t take him out. Am I justified in making the announcement that if Mr. Lunatic messes with my family, I will set his 12-year-old-daughter on fire?

    I. Do. Not. Think. So.

    You may disagree, of course, or find my analogy lacking. But you’re the one who brought up biological imperative.

  322. Trent Hill

    “If it’s just the individual slave-buyer’s morality in question, and not the blame of the government, then there’s no need for legislation.”

    If the government fails to protect someone, then they are culpable for negligence, but not for murder—unless they actively participated in the murder. You’re trying to excuse the actions of the slave owner and trader by placing the blame on the US Government, which did not actively buy or sell millions of slaves—the individuals did.

  323. Steven Druckenmiller

    I didnt know I was mispelling your name before

    Not a problem. I know you meant nothing by it, unlike The Troll.

    Am I justified in making the announcement that if Mr. Lunatic messes with my family, I will set his 12-year-old-daughter on fire?

    Oh, I don’t know about that one. If it gets him to stop his credible, imminent threats….I might be amenable.

    Abhorrent though that may sound, I think that (as you said) biological beings do have imperatives to survive.

  324. G.E.

    Wait, G.E., are you saying that every time the government fails in its prescribed duties, that it is directly responsible for the crime?

    Failing to prevent or prosecute an individual murder is one thing.

    LEGALIZING murder is another.

    Imminence and reasonable belief that the threat will be carried out is required to direct recourse.

    Good point.

    I don’t think Iran saying “we will respond in kind to a nuclear strike” passes this test, particularly the first part.

  325. G.E.

    If the government fails to protect someone…

    This isn’t an issue of “failing to protect someone” — it’s making it ILLEGAL to protect someone.

    Again, if the government doesn’t have a responsibility to defend liberty, as you are suggesting, then we don’t need it. What you’re defending is a government that 1) refuses to defend liberty of black Africans, and 2) prohibits, by force, anyone from taking on this job. HOW IS THIS NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S FAULT?

  326. G.E.

    Not a problem. I know you meant nothing by it, unlike The Troll.

    Drunkenmiller is way cooler. You should just go by that.

  327. G.E.

    Am I justified in making the announcement that if Mr. Lunatic messes with my family, I will set his 12-year-old-daughter on fire?

    If you reasonably believe that the Lunatic will kill you, and you reasonably believe that this threat will make him significantly less likely to kill you (and your family), then I say yes. Whether or not you carry out the action is another question. But I don’t think this is an aggressive “threat” by Druckenmiller’s surprisingly cogent criteria.

  328. Steven Druckenmiller

    Yes, G.E. but as he said, permissibility of a thing and doing that thing are two different animals.

    What you are saying is that the United States Government passively murdered and enslaved people. In fact, it just permitted these actions.

  329. Trent Hill

    “LEGALIZING murder is another.”

    For the record: Murder of a slave was never legal in the United States. Technically speaking, it was illegal, but slaves could not be called as witnesses.

  330. Trent Hill

    “it’s making it ILLEGAL to protect someone.”

    It was not illegal to protect a slave. In fact, slaves were protected by law from murder. Also, anyone could emancipate or release a slave, and anyone could purchase and then release a slave–and anyone could purchase or provide protection for their slaves.

    You ARE correct that the government did not take proper steps to protect the slaves’ individual rights to self-ownership–but to say they made protection illegal or murder legal…is patently false.

  331. G.E.

    Murder was an analogy.

    If the U.S. government legalized murder, nationally, for people of all ages (as it already legalized it for people under 0), would it not be at fault for a spike in the murder rate? After all, I could not sue you on the behalf of a murder victim in a private court, since private courts and systems of law are not allowed under the U.S. state’s monopoly on those services.

    The “passive” approach would be anarchism. In this case, the slave could bring charges against his master in a public court. More likely, slave liberators could take action to free a slave, and it would be the slavemaster who would file the case in a private court.

    The U.S. was not anarchistic or passive — it was proactively pro-slavery.

  332. G.E.

    It was not illegal to protect a slave.

    Absolute bullshit.

    Slaves were property. It was no more legal to protect a slave than it is now for me to protect your chair. I can’t steal your chair and give it its freedom, and I couldn’t “steal” your slave and set it free, either.

    You really have a deep investment in the “slavery wasn’t that bad” cult, don’t you, Trent?

  333. Trent Hill

    “What you are saying is that the United States Government passively murdered and enslaved people. In fact, it just permitted these actions.”

    This is a succinct statement on my point. Well said Druckenmiller.

    Let me state this to be clear, the government should have protected the slaves’ individual rights. But the fact that so many slaves were murdered or drowned was solely the fault of those people who sold them into slavery (individuals), those who bought them and carried them to America (individuals), and the individuals who bought them in America (individuals). Furthermore, even assuming GE’s arguement is right, and it isnt, the only deaths the US Government would be culpable for would be those slaves who died on US soil or in US waters, and possibly those slaves who were being shipped under US flags (probably about 1/2 of all slave-traders sailed under the US flag for the duration of the slave trade). However, GE’s arguement doesnt stand–the government neglected to protect those slaves but did not actively or passively kill them.

  334. G.E.

    but to say they made protection illegal…

    See the Fugitive Slave Act.

    This is really a waste of my time.

    I’m not “fleeing,” I’m just bored.

  335. G.E.

    This is a succinct statement on my point. Well said Druckenmiller.

    It’s B.S.

    As a territorial monopoly, the U.S. state prohibited private provision of justice that could have emancipated slaves.

  336. Trent Hill

    “Absolute bullshit.

    Slaves were property. It was no more legal to protect a slave than it is now for me to protect your chair. I can’t steal your chair and give it its freedom, and I couldn’t “steal” your slave and set it free, either.
    You really have a deep investment in the “slavery wasn’t that bad” cult, don’t you, Trent?”

    First of all. Dont accuse me of thinking slavery was “not that bad”. It dips below the belt and this should remain a rational debate,rather than an emotional one. Slavery was HORRENDOUS, and I consider William Wilberforce to be the only great progressive because of what he did to end slavery in Britian.

    You are correct that slaves were property. However, if you have decent knowledge of Slave laws in the slaveholdings USA, then you know that it was illegal to kill a slave. They were considered property,but they did have some legal rights too—this isnt my opinion, it is fact.

    As for the whole chair arguement. I never suggested anyone could steal the slaves and set them free without consequences. I said anyone could release a slave (by which I meant,their own slavces,not others. Perhaps this is where the confusion came from) and anyone could buy someone else’s slaves and release them.
    Furthermore, you said it was illegal to protect slaves. It was illegal in some sense, GE would not be permitted to protect my slave from me, but GE could certainly protect his own slave from others. Thus, protection was not illegal. Perhaps you misspoke and meant sometihng else, but protecting a slave, just like protecting one’s own property, was legal. I do not AGREE with the notion that slaves were considered property, but their owners were able to protect them. I think perhaps YOU meant that slaves could not be protected FROM their owner. And in that case, in all cases but murder, you are correct. In the case of murder, a man could be fined heavily or placed in jail for killing a slave, even his own.

  337. Trent Hill

    “See the Fugitive Slave Act.”

    So you meant that others could not protect a slave from his owner. And you are correct. That does not make protection illegal. Protection against anyone BUT the owner, was perfectly legal.

  338. Trent Hill

    “As a territorial monopoly, the U.S. state prohibited private provision of justice that could have emancipated slaves.”

    Again—this is not the active or passive killing of slaves. It is neglect to protect individual’s rights on the part of the government. This is neither active nor passive involvement in the killing of slaves. Individuals were responsible for that.

    For a libertarian, you sure dont let individuals take any credit for their actions.

  339. VirtualGalt

    341 Paulie

    No, I received no acknowledgement of my submission. I sent it to the address indicated in the paper.

    My “planks” are really just amendments, additions of one sentence to existing planks.

    AMENDMENT ONE

    Paragraph 1.3 is amended by adding the following after the last sentence:
    “We specifically call for the repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.”

    AMENDMENT TWO

    Paragraph 2.0 is amended by adding the following after the last sentence:
    “Because of our belief in a free and competitive market, we are opposed to efforts by governments to protect businesses from the consequences of their poor decisions. “

    AMENDMENT THREE
    Paragraph 2.4 is amended by adding the following after the last sentence:
    “We call for the gradual retirement of all governmental indebtedness over a 50-year period.”

    EXPLANATION:
    1. Amendment One is motivated by the passage of Proposition 8 in California and other antigay ballot measures. Increasingly the LGBT community is learning they face hostility from Republicans and condescension from Democrats. Obama made a point of saying he was against gay marriage. This amendment could be a wedge to attract greater numbers of LGBT people to the Libertarian Party.
    2. With the financial sector bailout and pending bailouts of other industries, it seems clear that the two-party duopoly favors socialization of losses (well, at least the losses of well connected firms and people). This is a monstrous betrayal of libertarian principles and it would serve us well to make a clear statement of opposition.
    3. Hamilton was wrong when he encouraged Federal indebtedness in the 1790s. The acceptance and practice of current consumption, paid for by taxes on future generations, has left a mountain of obligations it will be difficult to repay. We should commit ourselves in principle to beginning that hard work.

    As I wrote earlier, the existing platform — for better or worse — was adopted barely 6 months ago by a clear majority of delegates. It doesn’t seem to me that the core of the party would wish to make wholesale changes so quickly. Nor would I support an immediate about face. Even though I would prefer a more pointed document personally, it seems a lot of hearts and minds have to be won over.

    So I say strategically, pick 3 hot button issues that are in the public eye now, and make bright line statements on them. Then, incrementally, we get to where some of the folks here want to be.

    Again… I am very new to this, learning the personalities, unfamiliar with all the history… but I am a devout libertarian and well intentioned.

    James

  340. JimDavidson

    @364 Being justified doesn’t make it a right.

    You may be justified in killing a trespasser who is on your property without your permission. You would very likely be justified in killing a robber who is on your property to steal things, or has stolen and is trying to get away with loot. You would certainly be justified in killing someone trying to kill you.

    You have a right to defend your life, liberty, and property. That doesn’t give you a right to kill anyone at any time. It makes homicide justifiable, not a right.

    Stop the wars.

  341. G.E.

    V.G.’s suggestions are good, but I think #3 is way too moderate, and at the same time, impractical. The U.S. will not exist 50 years from now, at least not as the entity that has incurred debts that are impossible to pay off. If you want to touch on the debt issue, say “we oppose deficit spending” (moderate) or “we support privatization of government assets with the proceeds applied to paying down the debt” (better).

  342. starchild

    This is in response to the comments from several folks (Chuck Moulton, Jim Davidson, “rdupuy”) who feel my proposed planks are too long.

    Libertarian Party politics are in some ways like a microcosm of the national political debate. Just as the political establishment is hostile to libertarian solutions, so too the present LNC appears mostly hostile to the Libertarian Party standing for no-compromise libertarianism.

    Just as in the larger political universe, I think that whatever political advantage could be gained by watering down one’s principles is not worth what one would be giving up.

    I believe in a detailed platform. The current 2008 LP platform contains many good general statements that are largely unobjectionable in and of themselves. But without the necessary level of supporting detail, many people will miss the radical implications of those statements, and it will be easier for Libertarian candidates and other party members to take un-libertarian positions without being called to account for contradicting the platform.

    Having a strong level of detail in our platform allows us to appeal to more different constituencies of people fighting for various freedoms by mentioning the specific issues they care about. Addressing those issues in detail shows them we care about their issues, and are willing to take strong stands in their favor. Most non-Libertarians who view our platform are not going to read the whole thing, even if it’s only 5 or 6 pages long as is currently the case. Many if not most who search it out are going to be looking to see what we say about a particular issue that matters to them. If they find we say little or nothing, we’ll likely lose that opportunity to create a single-issue ally with someone who wants less government.

    Our 2004 platform was not too long. The Democrat and Republican party platforms are far longer — somewhat ironic, considering that we are supposed to be the party of substance in contrast to their superficial soundbites.

    The 2008 platform is an outgrowth of the bastardized 2006 platform which never should have been adopted in the first place. It lacks both necessary detail and vivid, inspirational language. I believe both of those qualities are important, and the planks I wrote were designed to reflect those qualities.

    In my estimation, the present LNC is unlikely to vote to put me on the Platform Committee no matter what planks I submit. So why should I have pandered to them by submitting planks that were anything less than the best I could come up with in a reasonable amount of time?

    Hundreds of Libertarian Party members signed the Restore 04 petition started by party co-founder David Nolan, advocating we return to the longer, more detailed 2004 platform.

    By submitting longer planks more in keeping with the spirit of that platform, I am representing that sizable constituency. If the LNC majority cares about balance, and wants to ensure that the views of various factions of the LP are at least minimally represented, I am offering them a clear opportunity to do this.

    If on the other hand, they want to pretend that we’re all one big happy family, that the party is not in crisis, and that there are no factions in the LP worth acknowledging, I have no interest in making it any easier for them to do so.

    In response to “rdupuy” (post #37), the *asterisks* in my planks were meant to indicate material that should be italicized. I thought that convention would be familiar to readers, but perhaps I should send an addendum explicitly stating this intent.

  343. Steven Druckenmiller

    G.E. – regardless, it has been amply demonstrated that:

    1. The United States Government did not, in fact, kill 80-100 million slaves. For one, because that number is terribly overinflated and two, “kill” is a word that means certain things, and it does not mean “permit”. and

    2. Even assuming your definitions and numbers are correct (which they definitely are not), your act of laying that number solely at the feet of the USG is not correct. Many nations participated in the African slave trade for thousands of years. There is just no way that the USG, in the 90 years it permitted slavery, actively killed 100 million people. It’s just not so.

  344. Trent Hill

    The vast majority? No indeed. Between 1/3rd and 1/2 on nuetral ships (basically anything but Spain, France, and England—but mostly the US and Portugal).

    On ships from France and Spain, the rate was around 1/3rd. On English ships, lowest of all–1/4th or so.

  345. Trent Hill

    “There is just no way that the USG, in the 90 years it permitted slavery, actively killed 100 million people.”

    It is not possible that the USG even PERMITTED 100 million deaths by neglect via slavery. At slavery’s height, US citizens held almost 4 million slaves. As I previously stated, roughly 8-10 million slaves were traded in the Atlantic Slave trade, and it seems only about 3/4ths of them came to the US. Many reproduced here in US, but it still does not approach 80-100 million. 30-40 million would be a high estimate.

    The Census numbers for every 10 years between 1790 and 1860 (read: 7 decades) recorded the number of slaves in the United States. If we add up all these numbers (which would be stupid,considering most slaves lived through at least 2 decades, some through half or all of them) then we arrive at a little over 15.8 million slaves who existed in the United States over those 7 decades that it was legal. If we take that number and arbitrarily multiply it by 5, we STILL dont reach 80 million.

    You could maybe triple that number to account for deaths of slaves and introduction of new ones and still only reach slightly above 45 million.

  346. G.E.

    Okay. The 80 million number is inflated. I bought the book The Black Holocaust back in ’99 or so at a library booksale. The number stuck with me. Whatever. You’re right: slavery was no big deal and the U.S. hasn’t killed very many people, directly or indirectly.

    Now, here’s a minarchist I could count among my fellow travelers. Can you, Trent? Certainly not soldier-sniffer Steve:

    “Another neighbor, a patriarchal old Englishman with a white beard, kept a great stand of bees. I remember his incessant drumming on a tin pan to marshal them when they were swarming, and myself as idly wondering who first discovered that this was the thing to do, and why the bees should fall in with it. It struck me that if the bees were as intelligent as bees are cracked up to be, instead of mobilising themselves for old man Reynolds’s benefit, they would sting him soundly and then fly off about their business. I always think of this when I see a file of soldiers, wondering why the sound of a drum does not incite them to shoot their officers, throw away their rifles, go home, and go to work.”

  347. Trent Hill

    That’s got to be Nock.

    Nock and Mencken are my two most important influences. Both were anti-state minarchists of the first rate, I only hope such great men will someday grace the freedom movement again.
    I prefer Mencken to Nock–but both are dizzingly verbose and spot-on with their politics.

  348. Trent Hill

    “Okay. The 80 million number is inflated. I bought the book The Black Holocaust back in ‘99 or so at a library booksale. The number stuck with me. Whatever. You’re right: slavery was no big deal and the U.S. hasn’t killed very many people, directly or indirectly.”

    Slavery was a huge deal and the US ended it in the worst way possible. The US Government neglected one its FEW true jobs, protecting the rights of innocents, for probably between 15-20 million slaves. And the US has probably indirectly killed millions and directly killed a few million. To accuse me of saying otherwise is a strawman. My point is that the US government isnt the worse government to have ever existed, though it is definetly the worst regime NOW as it concerns foreign policy or Monetary systems.

  349. Steven Druckenmiller

    You’re right: slavery was no big deal and the U.S. hasn’t killed very many people, directly or indirectly.

    Who said that? G.E., here’s a hint: you can simultaneously be right in spirit AND be intellectually honest!

    Certainly not soldier-sniffer Steve

    Did Mommy not love you enough or something? I swear that you’re just starved for attention.

    “Everybody look at G.E…..PLEEEASE!”

  350. Trent Hill

    Ohk Steven,answer the question honestly since im asking honestly.

    Do you consider HL Mencken or Albert Jay Nock fellow travelors?

  351. Steven Druckenmiller

    I like a lot of the Old Right (which, even though he was the proto-anarcho-capitalist, is where Nock squarely belongs). Mencken, Nock, Rand, Rose Wilder Lane…sure, they’re all big influences.

    When I want to befuddle my friends, I say that I’m a proud member of the Old Right.

    One thing that ran rampant through the Old Right and still exists in a lot of libertarianism today (including LRC, reason, Objectivist circles) is serious misanthropy. And it irritates me to no end.

  352. Steven Druckenmiller

    I think that the existence of the Old Right explains a lot of the reason that the GOP is in such disarray today and why a lot of libertarians think that their home is in the GOP.

    Fundamentally speaking, we’re seeing a split in the GOP between the Southern Agrarians and what I would call the “Mencken branch”, or “Rand branch” of the Old Right, in that the “Rand branch” supported cities, modernity and industrialism.

    Mike Huckabee is a great modern-day example of a Southern Agrarian (though not as intelligent as his predecessors).

  353. Trent Hill

    “Mencken, Nock, Rand, Rose Wilder Lane…sure, they’re all big influences.”

    I wouldnt put Mencken and Nock anywhere near Rand…though Rose certainly fits in.

    I dunno if misanthropy is the word—but libertarians like to eat their own.

  354. Steven Druckenmiller

    How much Rand have you actually read?

    And misanthropy is the word:

    “Someone asked me years ago if it were true that I disliked Jews, and I replied that it was certainly true, not at all because they are Jews but because they are folks, and I don’t like folks.”
    -Nock-

    What would you call that? Mencken wrote much in the same way.

  355. Trent Hill

    Steven,

    I’v read The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, We the Living, and Anthem. I meant no disrespect to her. She was certainly a good thinker and I like her and her books, but she isnt in the same league as Nock or Mencken.

  356. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’ll tell you another thing that irritates me about all of those guys. Much like G.E., pretty much all of the Old Right constantly predicted the “downfall” of the system (Nock included!). In this way, they remind me of Christians who constantly move the goalposts for when the End Times is going to occur.

    Like it or not, relatively free but “stable” nations last a looooong, long time. The United States isn’t going to “crash down” or “implode” any time soon.

  357. Trent Hill

    “What would you call that? Mencken wrote much in the same way.”

    Im quite aware of how Mencken and Nock wrote. Both of them were misanthropic–and for good reason, people are stupid.

    Still, I dont think it is fair to say the freedom movement as an entire group is misanthropic.

  358. Trent Hill

    “Like it or not, relatively free but “stable” nations last a looooong, long time. The United States isn’t going to “crash down” or “implode” any time soon.”

    …said the economists in 1928.

  359. Steven Druckenmiller

    Mr. Hill –

    I would highly recommend avoiding Ayn Rand’s fiction. Go straight to the non-fiction (Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal, An Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.)

    All of these would appeal to the conservo-libertarian in you. Trust me. Her non-fiction is wildly better than her stilted fiction.

  360. Trent Hill

    Like it or not—I dont care how stabilized the system is—eventually inflation MUST be corrected. If it isnt allowed to, it must crash. This isnt opinion, its a basic understanding of economics. Even at a mere 4% inflation per year (which we’re exceeding currently)—the dollar would EVENTUALLY have to implode.

  361. Steven Druckenmiller

    and for good reason, people are stupid.

    See?!

    I dont think it is fair to say the freedom movement as an entire group is misanthropic

    Libertarians, as a group, really are more disdainful of the “average person” than almost any other group.

    …said the economists in 1928.

    Did the United States cease to be that year? Markets rise and fall, yadda yadda…but look at Nock’s idea of The Remnant.He’s practically saying “Any day now…crash!”

    All of them were the same way, and their intellectual heirs are the same way.

  362. Steven Druckenmiller

    Even at a mere 4% inflation per year (which we’re exceeding currently)—the dollar would EVENTUALLY have to implode.

    Not really. All you do is reset the values. It would be a temporarily painful transition, but implosion? Nahh.

    And this is true under the gold standard, too. All the politicians did before was just “reset” the amount of gold a dollar was worth and *poof*, more dollars.

  363. Trent Hill

    Steven,

    I dont care for Rand’s epistemology or her philosophy. I dont want to know which cigarettes or art is rational.
    I have, however, read Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. My favorite quote in that is when Alan Greenspan praises the gold standard. =)
    My one big criticism of Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal is Rand’s “Objectivist Theory of Value” where she suggests that the value is dependent upon Reason and Value. How insane.

  364. Trent Hill

    “Did the United States cease to be that year? Markets rise and fall, yadda yadda…”

    Basically,yes. It went from a decent country based on federalist and free-market ideas to a “New Deal” country led by FDR, hungry for War and government jobs.

  365. Trent Hill

    “but look at Nock’s idea of The Remnant.He’s practically saying “Any day now…crash!” ”

    Show me. By my recollection,he does not suggest that the US is going to crash–only that all things move on, pass away, or get destroyed…except the Remnant.

  366. Trent Hill

    “Not really. All you do is reset the values. It would be a temporarily painful transition, but implosion? Nahh. ”

    So you’re a monetarist?
    And by what authority does the government “reset” the amount of money I have control over?

  367. Trent Hill

    “And this is true under the gold standard, too. All the politicians did before was just “reset” the amount of gold a dollar was worth and *poof*, more dollars.”

    Did I say I was for a gold standard?
    I am for free-market currency. If that settles on gold, fine.
    And by the way: Reserve banking is what got us in this banking mess.

  368. Steven Druckenmiller

    I dont want to know which cigarettes or art is rational.

    Now, see, you’ve been reading too much Rothbard. There was one (unnamed!) character in Atlas Shrugged who talked about cigarettes for one paragraph, and Rothbard’s Red Pawn made a bunch of hay out of it….for no good reason.

    “Objectivist Theory of Value” where she suggests that the value is dependent upon Reason and Value. How insane.

    Why is that insane? And remember that Ayn Rand did NOT say that “reason = pure logic”…she acknowledged that reason = logic + emotion, just that emotional concerns need to be mastered rather than whimsically followed.

    And Isaiah’s Job certainly seems to suggest that the United States is on the verge of collapse and reformation is useless. And that was in 1936.

  369. G.E.

    The macro conditions in ’28 and ’08 are very different.

    The U.S. is in the process of collapsing. It might take 30 or 50 years… Or it might take less than 1. This is not 1929, it’s worse. In 1929, the U.S. was still a manufacturing nation on the gold standard. Even in 1979, conditions were totally different. There’s nothing that can be done to avert this crisis. Just prepare yourself for it — or don’t.

    Anarcho-capitalists are principled populists. We are not disdainful of average people but of the state and its minions who steal from average people.

  370. Steven Druckenmiller

    Reserve banking is what got us in this banking mess.

    I disagree. Reserve banking could (and probably would) exist in a free market. After all, how hard would it be to develop and contract into existence?

    Now, tell me, how Reserve banking is directly responsible for the mortgage meltdown. A weak dollar policy created the asset bubble (which Clinton and Greenspan planned, I’ll readily admit), but that’s not a failure of Fractional Reserve.

  371. Steven Druckenmiller

    There’s nothing that can be done to avert this crisis. Just prepare yourself for it — or don’t.

    “There you go again.”

    I’m fully prepared for emergencies, but if you want to make a bet right here and now that the United States is still standing in 50 years, I’ll take that bet.

  372. Trent Hill

    “Now, see, you’ve been reading too much Rothbard. There was one (unnamed!) character in Atlas Shrugged who talked about cigarettes for one paragraph, and Rothbard’s Red Pawn made a bunch of hay out of it….for no good reason. ”

    I got it from Rothbard’s “Mozart was a Red” actually. And did Rand not outline which art was rational? Im quite sure she did. Romantic Realism I think it was called?

  373. Steven Druckenmiller

    She did, but it’s in a separate book and it is one of many places where I depart from Objectivism.

    Anyway, yeah, one character in a 1000+ page book and that little Jester made a big deal about it. Rothbard may have been smart but he was an extremely unstable and jealous little man.

  374. Trent Hill

    “Why is that insane?”

    Because Reason doesnt even slightly figure into the value of a Jackson Pollack painting. The man just drops paint on a canvas from above. It conveys no rational thoughts, and it doesnt even particularly appeal to emotion and definetly not logic. Nor does it derive its value from Labor…which is relatively minimal.

    So how do Jackson Pollack paintings sell for hundreds of thousands? Subjective value.

  375. Trent Hill

    “Now, tell me, how Reserve banking is directly responsible for the mortgage meltdown. A weak dollar policy created the asset bubble (which Clinton and Greenspan planned, I’ll readily admit), but that’s not a failure of Fractional Reserve.”

    A fractional reserve banking system would almost definetly occur in a free market–but it wouldnt be butressed by inflationary policies of the Fed. If you need an explanation of how fractional reserve banking becomes injurious to the public when it is backed by the State and their inflationary policies…then you ought to go read Mises’ Bailout Primer.

  376. Trent Hill

    “She did, but it’s in a separate book and it is one of many places where I depart from Objectivism.”

    So she did argue that there was a certain ART that was rational? I believe she was quoted as saying certain kinds of music too. I didnt say she was worthless because of these statements, just that I wasnt going to read her philosophy—its cultism bullshit.

  377. Steven Druckenmiller

    See, here’s the thing: objectivism is not intrinsicism. Nothing has intrinsic value, but it can have objective value, and the way that it has objective value is how it relates to the valuer’s goals.

    In that way, it is subject-dependent but the subject’s choices can still be judged by outsiders to be consistent with the subject’s stated goals.

    Subjectivists never ask why they value a thing. Objectivists can tell you why they do or do not value Jackson Pollock.

  378. Trent Hill

    “Anyway, yeah, one character in a 1000+ page book and that little Jester made a big deal about it. Rothbard may have been smart but he was an extremely unstable and jealous little man.”

    Perhaps he was. But I dont think he was jealous of Rand.

  379. Trent Hill

    Steven,

    You need not look just to libertarian for pessimism about the market.

    “The National Intelligence Council analysis “Global Trends 2025” also said the current financial crisis on Wall Street is just the first phase of a global economic reordering.

    The U.S. dollar’s role as the world’s major currency would weaken to become a “first among equals,” the report said.

    The outlook is intended to inform U.S. President-elect Barack Obama of factors that will influence global events. It is based on a year-long global survey of experts and trends by U.S. intelligence analysts.

    “The next 20 years of transition to a new system are fraught with risks,” said the report, which was more pessimistic about U.S. influence and the potential for conflict than the last outlook for 2020.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/usDollarRpt/idUSN2041155720081120

  380. Steven Druckenmiller

    just that I wasnt going to read her philosophy—its cultism bullshit.

    From the outsider’s point of view, Ron Paul followers look and act like a cult as well.

    Cults derive from the followers, not the supposed object of worship. Ayn Rand thought that a certain type of art and appreciation thereof told her much more about a man than most. You can agree or disagree with the conclusion, but I would suggest that, rather than dismissing the arguments as “cultism bullshit”, you read them, evaluate them and tell me why it is bullshit.

  381. Steven Druckenmiller

    Perhaps he was. But I dont think he was jealous of Rand.

    I think he was. Rothbard tried to run with “The Collective” (and note that was a self-deprecating joke title for Rand’s crew) but was not all that welcome. He then went off and tried to form his own crew (Circle Bastiat) and then wrote “Mozart was a Red”, mocking Rand.

    There is also evidence that he plagiarised Nathaniel Branden.

    But that’s neither here nor there. I just wanted you to know that Rothbard’s caricature of Rand is grossly inaccurate.

  382. Trent Hill

    Saying it is objective to each person is the same as saying it is subjective. Objectivity is defined as external reality. It must be uniform.

    For example, if I stated that paintings are made of paint…that would be an objective statement.
    But to say “that painting is pretty” is subjective.

    Rand’s weasel words just recognize that the Austrians were right about value and she tries to claim it as her own.

  383. Trent Hill

    “Nothing has intrinsic value, but it can have objective value, and the way that it has objective value is how it relates to the valuer’s goals.”

    I keep a picture of my dead grandmother. Tell me how that has objective value. To me, it is worth thousands. To anyone else, it is a worthless scrap. Thus…it is an intrinsic value. What would the GOAL im using this picture to OBJECTIVELY achieve be? Remembering? I could just as easily remember without the picture and save myself the cost of printing a picture.

  384. Steven Druckenmiller

    Austrians were right about value when it came to prices, Mr. Hill.

    But price does not necessarily = value. You have to understand that Objectivism is primarily about ethics, and how rational men further their lives.

    Are you saying that because value is entirely subjective, I cannot make any kind of moral condemnation of it? So, what is your rationale for condemning pornography?

    Saying “It’s all subjective, man”, is amazingly post-modern for such a conservative individual.

  385. Trent Hill

    “Ayn Rand thought that a certain type of art and appreciation thereof told her much more about a man than most. ”

    The cultism statement was offhand. My point is that Im not going to read her views about art becuase I. Do. Not. Care. I dont care what she thinks about art—her opinion on art sucks, I dont need to read WHY she thinks it good.

  386. Steven Druckenmiller

    “Value” is not a floating abstraction, Mr. Hill. People determine value, but it is also proper to judge whether people have correctly determined value.

    What would the GOAL im using this picture to OBJECTIVELY achieve be?

    You tell me why you keep it and then we’ll talk. I cannot read your mind.

  387. Trent Hill

    “I think he was. Rothbard tried to run with “The Collective” (and note that was a self-deprecating joke title for Rand’s crew) but was not all that welcome. He then went off and tried to form his own crew (Circle Bastiat) and then wrote “Mozart was a Red”, mocking Rand.”

    The Circle Bastiat was formed long before Rothbard met Rand that night in Nathaniel Branden’s livingroom. He did mock Rand, and she earned it. Rational art? Seriously? Rational music? Really? What’s next, rational bathroom design?

  388. Steven Druckenmiller

    her opinion on art sucks, I dont need to read WHY she thinks it good.

    Well, that’s a perverse, anti-intellectual attitude to take!

    Imagine if I had done that when I was a Christian statist. “I don’t need to read anything about libertarianism…their opinion sucks! No, I don’t need to know WHY their opinion sucks…it just does.”

  389. Steven Druckenmiller

    Rational art? Seriously? Rational music? Really? What’s next, rational bathroom design?

    Do you believe that all art, all music and all design are equal and cannot be judged?

    That boggles the mind.

  390. Trent Hill

    “But price does not necessarily = value”

    We’re talking about economics. Value does = price.

    ““Value” is not a floating abstraction, Mr. Hill.”

    You are the one claiming value is objective, which it clearly isnt, otherwise a piece of glass woulds be worth the same amount of money everywhere. It is clearly intrinsic.

    “So, what is your rationale for condemning pornography?”

    I find it to be morally repugnant. It has nothing to do with price-values.

    “You tell me why you keep it and then we’ll talk. I cannot read your mind.”

    I keep it because it has intrinsic value to me, and to no one else. This means the value is subjective.

  391. Trent Hill

    ““I don’t need to read anything about libertarianism…their opinion sucks! No, I don’t need to know WHY their opinion sucks…it just does.”

    Libertarianism is philosophy and politics. Not art, music, and bathroom design–all of which are NOT life and death matters. They are matters of intrinsic value.

  392. Trent Hill

    “Do you believe that all art, all music and all design are equal and cannot be judged?

    That boggles the mind.”

    No. I believe their value is subjective, unique to each person. Rand believed that art can be objectively judged and only one kind was “rational”. Ironically, she was displaying her appreciation of those paintings’ intrinsic values.

  393. Steven Druckenmiller

    you keep using the word “intrinsic”, and I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Nothing is simultaneously intrinsic and subjective.

    We’re talking about economics. Value does = price.

    That’s where we are differing. A value is something one acts to gain or keep, that furthers one’s life. That is, honesty, a sense of justice and civility are all values.

    Libertarianism is philosophy and politics. Not art, music, and bathroom design–all of which are NOT life and death matters.

    Art certainly is a matter of life and death. Do you think that all that communist propaganda existed for no reason? That Nazi war posters and all that pomp was for nothing?

    Art runs deep in the human psyche, Mr. Hill. It’s very important.

  394. Trent Hill

    “her opinion on art sucks, I dont need to read WHY she thinks it good.

    Well, that’s a perverse, anti-intellectual attitude to take!”

    How so? She is going to make an arguement that only romantic realism is art worth looking at. I happen not to like romantic realism, and I like the most irrational of arts (modern, post-modern, and surrealism). Why would I want to read 200 pages about why she thinks her art is better, based on a philosophy I dont believe in?

  395. Steven Druckenmiller

    a piece of glass woulds be worth the same amount of money everywhere. It is clearly intrinsic.

    IF a piece of glass were worth the exact same everywhere, THEN its value would intrinsic.

    IF a piece of glass is worth something to you, but you have no idea why, THEN it is subjective.

    IF a piece of glass is worth something to you and you can explain how it furthers your life and your goals, then your valuing of it can be objectively judged.

  396. Steven Druckenmiller

    Why would I want to read 200 pages about why she thinks her art is better, based on a philosophy I dont believe in?

    Pffft…well, just imagine: “I happen to LIKE the War on Drugs…why should i….?”

  397. Trent Hill

    “Nothing is simultaneously intrinsic and subjective. ”

    Yea, my dumbass is interchangeably using the two terms. Supplant all uses of “intrinsic” for “subjective”. Sorry–sickness+little sleep = stupid ass mistakes.

  398. Steven Druckenmiller

    Thank goodness. I was getting really confused.

    If you’re saying de gustibus, Mr. Hill, more power to you. However, keep in mind that people can claim that they have all kinds of “tastes” for all kinds of things.

    Religion, for one. Pornography, for another. I mean, hey, de gustibus, right?

  399. Trent Hill

    We’re argueing about Subjective or Objective value. In all economics books, value here refers to exchange value or price.

  400. Trent Hill

    “I happen to LIKE the War on Drugs…why should i….?”

    Again, War on Drugs is life and death. Art, especially the art Rand is admiring in her book, is simply what she thinks is most aesthetically appealing.

  401. Trent Hill

    de gustibus meaning?

    No arguement,right?

    And yes, by endorsing subjective value theory im saying de gustibus to art, labor, and coin. In essense, to PRICE!

    However, it does not logically follow that to say value (meaning price) is subjective means that morality must be, or should be.

  402. Trent Hill

    In short, I am a libertarian because it provides the most logical, moral, and economically viable theories for governance.

  403. Steven Druckenmiller

    I ascribe to libertarian politics because man’s only means of surviving and thriving is reason, and reason is abrogated when force is applied.

    However, it does not logically follow that to say value (meaning price) is subjective means that morality must be, or should be.

    On what is morality based, if not values?

    And again,I think we’re using two different meanings of the word “value”.

    I value honesty. I value fair dealing. These do not have prices attached to them.

  404. Coming Back to the LP

    Since I have very little time, there is no way to enter into all the discussion above.

    I just took a brief look at the current LP platform, and it has been drastically shortened and watered down from years ago.

    We definitely need to strengthen our platform. It needs to be much more hard hitting and radical.

    This is especially true with regard to property rights. We must demand an end to all taxes on property. These are the worst of all taxes. They hurt the economy, causing increased: homelessness, pollution, poverty, resource misallocation, and misdirected infrastructure development.

    There is no such thing as “monopoly rents” or any of the other fascist socialist nonsense from the wacko marxists of the Henry George cult.

    The Libertarian Platform must call for the complete protection of Private Property rights:

    The Libertarian Party calls for the repeal all taxes on property by all levels of government. The property tax is the worst of all taxes. Free people who own their own land, farms, businesse property, apartments, condominiums, houses, homes or any other property must be left free by government to exercise sole dominion over their property. They must be allowed to live tax free and to use their property as they see fit.

    Property taxes deny individuals the right to become free, independent and self sufficient. Without property taxes, millions of Americans would be able to live without any income or participation in the cash economy. They are forced by the property tax to have an income and are forced into the hands of the government.

    The property tax consititues a “taking” of a portion of a person’s property each year, without compensation. It should therefore be declared unconstitutional under the Constitution’s “takings clause” that requires compensation for the taking of property by the government.

    The Property Tax is absolutely the most evil of all taxes. It causes the greatest harm to the rights of the individual. It is the essential first component in the government’s tyrrany of taxation.

    No person can every be free so long as property taxes are allowed to exist.

  405. Steven Druckenmiller

    We definitely need to strengthen our platform. It needs to be much more hard hitting and radical.

    Oh, *yawn*. Do we have to go through this every year?

  406. Steven Druckenmiller

    Right meaning that we have to be more and more radical until no one can fully ascribe to anything in the platform?

    Ho-kay.

  407. Trent Hill

    “And again,I think we’re using two different meanings of the word “value”.

    I value honesty. I value fair dealing. These do not have prices attached to them.”

    Then you arent participating in an economic arguement, which is how this started. You’re trying to shift goalposts to make this an arguement about overall morality.

    No thanks.

  408. paulie cannoli Post author

    Email from Brian Holtz, used with permission:

    “I haven’t heard back from LNC, but they didn’t reply in the last round either. I haven’t thought of any compelling argument for publishing my application before they vote, but I’ll definitely do so afterwards.”

  409. Don't BE Stupid

    I guarantee you PEOPLE, WE will LOSE A LOT OF LIBERTARIAN VOTERS if some of Susan Hogarth proposal is done!!! While we have people who have finally started to do things to get Libertarian awareness, as well as joining the Libertarian party for something was done somewhat right for a change, and making headway. OTHERWISE WE WOULDN’T HAVE WHAT WE HAVE NOW!!! DON’T BE STUPID, by doing the STUPID THING AND stabatoging the platform when we have come this far.

  410. Melty

    As i said before, cut the vapid verbiage in the first line of 1.3 Personal Relationships. It should read “Sexual orientation should have no . . .”

  411. The Inquirer

    @457

    Dear Mr. or Ms. Stupid,

    What exactly do you have against Susan’s proposals? Can you be more specific?

  412. Michael H. Wilson

    Hey “Don’t Be Stupid” how about explaining in some detail exactly what you mean. Don’t criticize someone just to be a critic. Btw the membership numbers have been going in the wrong direction for sometime.

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