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FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: penguinsscareme on March 11, 2004, 08:19:58 pm

Title: We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 11, 2004, 08:19:58 pm
I've noticed lately that almost every thread on this forum starts out as "hey, I have a question about this or that," or "hey, I like this about you but not that, could you clarify some stuff."  But in almost every case it ends up descending into a war of words, and soon people start saying stuff like, well, if you think we should arrest people because someone might get hurt, then you don't belong in the fsp.
This stuff is killing us.  We draw lines, put up walls, build defenses, and then dare someone to challenge so we can unload on them.
It's all worded in such a way as to create standoffs and impasses, not meeting, understanding and accepting.

We have such lovely principles, such pure ideals.  Heaven forbid someone sully them with suggestions that our perfect philosophies might not so easily make the transaction from abstract idea to real world application.

I have seen, time and again, a person of sincere intent come to this forum with a carefully considered (if, in some cases, honestly misguided) opinion only to be beaten about the head and shoulders because it wasn't strict libertarian dogma.

I'm a little sensitive to the problem myself because I've been through it, and it's tough.
I've been accused outright of not being a libertarian, I've been called a communist, I've been...other stuff.  Ridiculous stuff.  Now, I have my own vision of freedom, and no I'm not a libertarian, but I've been all over the fsp homepage, the statement of intent (which I solemnly agreed to and intend to honor), the participation guidelines and the faq, and I tell you this, that nowhere does it say that I have to be a libertarian.

I have a pretty casual, informal, loosely thrown together set of ideas about what I think freedom is, what it all means, all that stuff.  I haven't read Nietsche, or Ayn Rand, or Karl Marx or what have you.  Frankly I'm not much into theory.  I'm more into practice, I guess.  And that's why I have dedicated a significant part of my own free time to trying to build up this project, increase the breadth of our appeal, increase our exposure to mass audiences, and whatever else I can think of to attract new members and build momentum for the cause.  So what if I can't sit on a damned stump all day and explain the theory of liberty; I can bloody well get off my rear end and show you how to live it!

But there are those (I think you know who you are) who just love to throw shite and cause a stir, who place higher value on their own opinions than on what is best for the success of the fsp.

When well-intentioned people come here who don't agree with a certain aspect of our endeavor, we need to welcome them, welcome their input and ideas (I'm not saying we need to compromise ouselves in order to do this), and give them information and encouragement.  We need to give them every chance.

We get visitors on this forum who agree with 90% of our ideas, so of course we have to show them the door.  I mean, they're either absolutists or they're not, right?
Sh_t, horsesh_t and bullsh_t!!!

I tried recently to introduce a little throttling-back to the rawbones pitch of the rhetoric on a particular thread (which when I got there had already long since ceased to be an attempt to answer the question of a prospective member), and I got almost completely stonewalled.

In other posts I have cited how fiery-eyed radical extremism can kill an issue that might have been winnable, and how it's better to have something that's pretty good and actually works than to have something perfect that doesn't work.  I can give actual examples.  But some among us just won't hear any dissent.
And it's just killing us.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Morpheus on March 11, 2004, 08:29:45 pm
Provide some solid examples, besides that stupid thread about drugs in the FSP.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 11, 2004, 08:39:55 pm
You just did.  Thanks.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: atr on March 11, 2004, 08:57:37 pm
I have seen, time and again, a person of sincere intent come to this forum with a carefully considered (if, in some cases, honestly misguided) opinion only to be beaten about the head and shoulders because it wasn't strict libertarian dogma.

We get visitors on this forum who agree with 90% of our ideas, so of course we have to show them the door.  I mean, they're either absolutists or they're not, right?
Sh_t, horsesh_t and bullsh_t!!!

The thread you mention is not a good example of us scaring away prospective members. The prospective member who started the thread was actually testing us to make sure we supported real liberty.

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=12;action=display;threadid=4032;start=msg60049#msg60049

Quote
I apologize for being misleading.  If the moderators see this as trolling or a reason to warn me or ban me from the site, so be it.  I only wish more people had responded.  My true reason for the question was to find out what the FSP really believed in.  Kater, ATR, Reaper, Zack, forgive me if you can, but thank you for standing up.  You are the type of people this project will need to succeed.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Morpheus on March 11, 2004, 09:02:31 pm
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You just did.  Thanks.


I make a simple request.. and you get pissed.

Get over yourself.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 11, 2004, 09:26:45 pm
Dude, you can take your pick around here.  Most people would prefer to go to a church where they are warmly greeted and shown genuine interest, rather than one where the preacher gets up on his fundamentalist lectern every week and shouts about how corrupt and unworthy you are.

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=12;action=display;threadid=5852

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=12;action=display;threadid=5939;start=45

You can just watch it happen.
Get over your own self!  A good start would be not jumping in with the hostility right off the bat!  Do you ever actually solve a problem or just keep perpetuating them everywhere you go?
Stop treating me like I'm your enemy.  Apparently we differ on some stuff.  It's a whole lot more important to you than it is to me, evidently.  I don't really care.  I'd rather work towards our common goal.
I just don't know what the hell you're trying to do here.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: LeRuineur6 on March 11, 2004, 09:27:23 pm
Let's try this:

Let's spend less time worrying about each other and attacking each other and more time recruiting.

If you think the FSP should be mostly atheists, then go recruit atheists.
If you think the FSP should be mostly constitutionalists, then go recruit constitutionalists.
Whatever you think the FSP should be, recruit toward that goal.

This is far more effective than the victim mentality of arguing amongst ourselves, whining, complaining, and spreading defeatism.

Whoever gets the most recruits determines what the FSP becomes.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Kelton Baker on March 11, 2004, 09:31:57 pm
I noticed that in the last two issues of the LP News, this point about the negativity from extreme hardline orthodox libertarians was identified as being a great concern for the Libertarian Party.
I witnessed an example recently at an LP meeting:  a local minor celebrity and well-known multi-millionaire entrepreneur and former Republican announced that he wanted to run for a statewide office on the LP.  He stood before the crowd and gave a speech about the reasons why he felt that running as a Libertarian was better than running under the Republican party.  He then outlined his plan as to what he was going to do to win, including spending over $100,000 on his campaign (he'd already spent $5,000 that afternoon paying a political consultant).  Wow!  Super-awesome, I thought,  this guy actually has a chance of winning!
He went on and expressed his heartfelt desire to win as a Libertarian and work for freedom and bringing the party and its principles to prominence in Utah.  He signed the membership statement and brought applause from everyone there. . . then. . . then . . . oh no!!!  gasp!!!  he did the unthinkable. . . aaaaaaahhhh!  he expressed his feelings that pornography on freeway billboards was a violation of the rights of passer-bys,  he also presented a novel way of routing pornography on the internet to an .XXX designation instead of .com as a way of assisting people to block porno. . .
a couple of people nearly fell out of their chairs,  somebody left the room,  some others started shouting him down and contending against this new LP hopeful.  "you're seeking to initiate force!"  someone shouted at him.  "That's not libertarian!" another shouted.  "As a purveyor of pornography, I'm offended that you would try to control my actions"  another commented.    This candidate was not deferred, he went on to explain his rationale and defend his position,  then admitted that he was open to suggestions.  Slowly, he regained the naysayers in the audience,  but the positive energy was gone and the candidate looked a little puzzled and confused over what he had said to cause the disruption. . .

These hard-liners were not seeking to teach or instruct this new LP member and hopeful candidate about their views on the subject, they just wanted to be disagreeable and offensively enforce their rigid orthodoxy, without regard for tact or respectful disagreement, I think.  
Losertarians is what I call them and they will someday deserve their chains of slavery for refusing to work towards liberty by demanding a fantasyworld or nothing.

I don't think it is a matter of asking people to compromise their internal principles,  I think that it is a matter of demanding that everyone adhere to a rigid conformity.  People can all agree with a generalized principle,  even hold the same principle, but have different ideas about how that principle can be expressed.

The key is,  we need to work towards more liberty, not destroy ourselves with endless internal debate and strife about genuine differences of the expression of a common principle in a defeatist manner.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 11, 2004, 09:37:53 pm
Kelton, I don't think I can put it any better.
Ditto, LeRuineur6.
But I do disagree with you about one thing... ;) (kidding!  Okay, not funny)
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: LeRuineur6 on March 11, 2004, 10:05:39 pm
Exactly, Kelton.  Well said.

People join the FSP because they agree with many of our principles, not all of them.  Extreme libertarians promoting their strict principles in a positive way can win over more and more people.

Extreme libertarians, like myself, are often disgusted at the sight of non-libertarian, non-ZAP views.  There's nothing wrong with this, it's our instinct to defend our ideals within our own mind if we believe they are right and true.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a negative and destructive way, the consequences can only be negative and destructive.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a positive and constructive way, the consequences can only be positive and constructive!
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Stumpy on March 11, 2004, 10:33:56 pm
Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.

Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: George Reich on March 11, 2004, 10:52:01 pm
Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.

ROTFL! Doug, that is the funniest thing I have read all day...  ;D Man, I needed a good laugh...
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 12, 2004, 02:48:55 pm
People join the FSP because they agree with many of our principles, not all of them.  Extreme libertarians promoting their strict principles in a positive way can win over more and more people.

Extreme libertarians, like myself, are often disgusted at the sight of non-libertarian, non-ZAP views.  There's nothing wrong with this, it's our instinct to defend our ideals within our own mind if we believe they are right and true.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a negative and destructive way, the consequences can only be negative and destructive.

When we bring these thoughts into the open in a positive and constructive way, the consequences can only be positive and constructive!

I can appreciate your point.
I have noticed, and I don't mean this to be at all pejorative, that libertarians are a lot like liberal democrats in that they tend to be way too intellectual and not nearly practical enough.
I think almost any ideal, taken to its extreme, is useless to humanity.  I don't view extremism as the path to liberty but the path to defeat.
We will do well to consider what is practical for us and what we can do to attract a wide audience.
Stamp your money, for starters.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Jhogun on March 13, 2004, 09:23:06 am
Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.



Sometimes I think I have it. I get so frustrated when people I talk with say they believe in something (like that its wrong to take something that belongs to someone else) but then hold positions on individual issues that contradict their belief, and worse, when they won't even admit or can't see the contradiction.  And I get so tired sometimes of making the same arguments over and over to different people when it should be common sense.

I'm not always like that, but it hits me every now and then.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Stumpy on March 13, 2004, 10:15:03 am
Libertarianitis - A disease where one, having defended their positions for so long, is incapable of doing anything other than debate. The sufferer is rendered totally incapable of being constructive and constantly marginalizes him or herself by displays of extreme negativity, bitterness and intransigence.



Sometimes I think I have it. I get so frustrated when people I talk with say they believe in something (like that its wrong to take something that belongs to someone else) but then hold positions on individual issues that contradict their belief, and worse, when they won't even admit or can't see the contradiction.  And I get so tired sometimes of making the same arguments over and over to different people when it should be common sense.

I'm not always like that, but it hits me every now and then.

The first step to recovery from Libertarianitis is acknowledging that you have a problem.  :D

Seriously, for us to attain real freedom, we must train ourselves to be constructive.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Justin on March 13, 2004, 12:13:26 pm
Poppycock!  Balderdash!  Piffle!


The FSP should not waste time seeking to convert the 90-percenters to join our ranks.  Now is the time to find those who already understand freedom, fully and without contradiction.

When the socialists seek to increase their numbers, they aim for the young and impressionable; they speak to egalitarian emotionalism, of theft and greed and slavery.  This methodology is extremely beneficial for the socialists in that new converts are the most fervent belivers, able to speak the party line with conviction, and nary a logical thought goes unignored.   But that which benefits our enemies does not benefit us.

We must use reason; we must explain true compassion, the compassion to let others do as we might not; we must convey that there are no contradictions, most especially with freedom.  But first we must get 20,000 individuals who are already girded with the tools to fight this battle.

When we are in the fray, and the enemy is before you, do you wish also to have to fight the man next to you when his socialist indoctrination rears its ugly head?  We'll have plenty of time to spend educating the educatable once the army is amassed.

And if we should be unable to get 20,000 that can bear the full brunt of freedom, what then?  Then it would have been a lost battle, before the first sword unsheathed, neophyte soldiers notwithstanding.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: rdeacon on March 13, 2004, 02:55:39 pm
The FSP should not waste time seeking to convert the 90-percenters to join our ranks.  Now is the time to find those who already understand freedom, fully and without contradiction.
You don't have to believe in ZAP to understand freedom.  People are liberty-leaning for a great many different reasons, and we need to embrace all of those reasons.  90% is a damn fine percentage when it comes to politics - it's way more libertarian than I am (I scored an 81 on that purity test).

Quote
When the socialists seek to increase their numbers, they aim for the young and impressionable; they speak to egalitarian emotionalism, of theft and greed and slavery.  This methodology is extremely beneficial for the socialists in that new converts are the most fervent belivers, able to speak the party line with conviction, and nary a logical thought goes unignored.   But that which benefits our enemies does not benefit us.
Actually, the socialists increase their numbers by mobilizing moderates and appealing to the mainstream.  How do you think socialism gained prominance in America?  Because socialists attracted the mainstream through incrementalism and moderate action.  Sure, you'll always have the extremists shouting in the corner, but a lot of socialist action is taken in small steps, at the local level - and such an approach works.  This is also exactly the reason why libertarianism routinely fails, because we pitch a small tent and show the door to anybody who doesn't fall into lockstep.

Quote
We must use reason; we must explain true compassion, the compassion to let others do as we might not; we must convey that there are no contradictions, most especially with freedom.  But first we must get 20,000 individuals who are already girded with the tools to fight this battle.
I think that any extremist libertarian already knows about the FSP.  Who doesn't know about the FSP?  People who genuinely believe in smaller government, but aren't ready to accept donkey sex shows, legal incest and the open carry of artillery.  These are the people that we need to mobilize!!!

Quote
When we are in the fray, and the enemy is before you, do you wish also to have to fight the man next to you when his socialist indoctrination rears its ugly head?  We'll have plenty of time to spend educating the educatable once the army is amassed.
This is not analogous.  First off, our efforts are not analogous to war, a better analogy would be one of negotiations between peaceful peoples.  If it were war, we'd be outnumbered 100 to 1 because we close our doors to anybody who isn't "pure".  Ask the Nazis how well that strategy worked.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: thrivetacobell on March 13, 2004, 03:33:23 pm
If we could get people that agreed with the simple fact that government is too big, I'd like to have them.

 We aren't moving to NH because its people support us 100%. They may agree with one or two things... And if they understand the reasoning which makes those true, they'll probably be more open to understanding how our other beliefs are justified.

Hopefully NH will take after Canada, and truly celebrate diversity rather than boil 'em all down in the American melting pot.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: SteveA on March 13, 2004, 04:32:52 pm
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I get so frustrated when people I talk with say they believe in something (like that its wrong to take something that belongs to someone else) but then hold positions on individual issues that contradict their belief

Plenty of conservatives fall under this category.  (I can personally vouch).  For all the talk of smaller government, they don't know how to do it.  It's just like saying, I want lower taxes AND more law enforcement (we can help make it more efficient but there's a real limit).

Quote
Hopefully NH will take after Canada, and truly celebrate diversity rather than boil 'em all down in the American melting pot.

:)  I agree.  When I visited Canada, the people were great there.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: RidleyReport on March 13, 2004, 05:36:11 pm
In response to penguin's original message here...

Flame wars and such are the norm for all message boards of all ideologies.   I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Unlike most message board groups we will be getting together in person a lot, and that generally tends to harmonize things.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 13, 2004, 06:12:26 pm
I'll be really happy when that happens.  I have yet to meet another porcupine in the flesh, although that will be changing next week.
It's my impression that the great majority of us do not agree about everything 100% but accept that as the way life is and that we can work together very well because we share most of our staple views of liberty.
Unfortunately it seems that with every cause but the most mainstream, it is the most extreme views which are expressed the most loudly.

Andrew
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 13, 2004, 06:49:27 pm
You know what else I've noticed, a lot of hard-line libertarians reject the fsp and will not endorse us because we do not measure up to their lofty ideals.  They turn a deaf ear to us exactly because we do embrace 90%-ers.
The real purists, they're not even in the fsp.

I don't think it's possible to find two people, let alone 20,000, who agree fully and without contradiction on 100% of everything.  Hey, my wife and I can't even do that.  In fact, the more closely one person identifies with another, the more contentious their differences become.  It's easier to tolerate two colors that are completely different than two colors that are almost but not quite identical, or two musical notes that are in different keys entirely than two notes that are really close but just a little off.
I guess that's why 90% is such a difficult number.  But my wife and I, who agree on most things but disagree on a few, have been working together quite beautifully for almost seven years, and we are even bringing up the next generation now.
I've found it much easier to work with people who do not have very advanced degrees in political theory simply because they don't make the fatal mistake of thinking they've got it all figured out and everyone else is wrong.  It's ironic that we ostensibly come to the forum to have an intelligent exchange of ideas and learn from one another, but so often the discussion quickly falls into dogmatic impasse.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Justin on March 13, 2004, 07:28:44 pm
The FSP should not waste time seeking to convert the 90-percenters to join our ranks.  Now is the time to find those who already understand freedom, fully and without contradiction.
You don't have to believe in ZAP to understand freedom.  

But if one does understand freedom (without self-contradiction, or using the word to cover your own socialistic goals) then logically one would must accept the zero-aggression principle.  If someone "isn't there yet" philosophically, there is a wealth of info out there to help them, encourage them to move to NH.  We just don't need them falsely padding the FSP membership count.


People are liberty-leaning for a great many different reasons, and we need to embrace all of those reasons.  90% is a damn fine percentage when it comes to politics - it's way more libertarian than I am (I scored an 81 on that purity test).

How one gets to a philosphical point of development is largely irrelevant.  The fact that they are at that point is what counts.  Those who have not yet fully realized where liberty must logically lead them are not at that point yet.


When the socialists seek to increase their numbers...   But that which benefits our enemies does not benefit us.
Actually, the socialists increase their numbers by mobilizing moderates and appealing to the mainstream.  How do you think socialism gained prominance in America?  Because socialists attracted the mainstream through incrementalism and moderate action.

You're making my point for me.  Reason takes effort.  Primitivism, emotionalism, and socialism do not.  Welcoming those without rational mettle might increase our numbers, but only by putting principles of liberty as a secondary priority.  If there are not 20,000 reasoned liberty activists then the FSP should fail.  

"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles." - Rand


We must use reason; we must explain true compassion, the compassion to let others do as we might not; we must convey that there are no contradictions, most especially with freedom.  But first we must get 20,000 individuals who are already girded with the tools to fight this battle.
I think that any extremist libertarian already knows about the FSP.  Who doesn't know about the FSP?  People who genuinely believe in smaller government, but aren't ready to accept donkey sex shows, legal incest and the open carry of artillery.  These are the people that we need to mobilize!!!

Mobilize for what?  Lower taxes?  Bah!   Opening the doors to all-comers will only give us false hope.  Better to fail and know there aren't enough people in the world that care about freedom, than to wander naively into a conflict ill prepared.



To summarize, if someone doesn't understand the full impact of true liberty, then we needn't dilute our membership with their participation.  We would be better served by simply pointing them to some good reading material.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Justin on March 13, 2004, 07:36:48 pm
I don't think it's possible to find two people, let alone 20,000, who agree fully and without contradiction on 100% of everything.

Don't make the mistake of confusing differences in concrete implementation for differences in principle.  Many here may disagree with how things should work, but only a few disagree philosophically.  Those few seem to be slowly weeded out (http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=46;action=display;threadid=6123).
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: thrivetacobell on March 13, 2004, 07:41:57 pm
<<I've found it much easier to work with people who do not have very advanced degrees in political theory simply because they don't make the fatal mistake of thinking they've got it all figured out and everyone else is wrong.>>

There ya go! Like (Socrates?) said, the only true knowledge consists in knowing you know nothing.

Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 13, 2004, 08:16:44 pm
Don't make the mistake of confusing differences in concrete implementation for differences in principle.  Many here may disagree with how things should work, but only a few disagree philosophically.

This kind of relates to my point, Justin.  What good is a principle if you can't implement it?  I used to have an ideal vision of being so independent that I didn't need anyone at all, I could supply all my own needs to live -- food, shelter, clothing, etc.  But as I began to think about all the things that would be necessary to achieve that, in other words as I pursued the idea to its logical extreme, I realized that I couldn't implement it.
I still cherish the idea, and I believe I can implement half of it, or maybe two thirds, perhaps three quarters, and if I'm lucky maybe ninety percent.  If I dare to dream really big, then maybe ninety-five percent.  But the logical extreme, the pure ideal, is useless to humanity because it is unattainable.  Worthy of pursuit, yes.  Realistically attainable, no.
In other words, there is no such thing as a perfect idea, so there's little to be gained from painting each other into corners over philosophical minutae.  You push far enough, you can find a philosophical difference with anyone.  In fact, I'm sure that I do disagree with you on a very fundamental point of our respective worldviews.  But there's no point in arguing it.  I love liberty, I live it.  I believe in less government.  You agree?  Fine.  Let's keep the conversation short.  We agree on that much, we don't really need to know that much more about each other.

Ever notice that a Reformed Baptist and a Southern Baptist will be more polite to a Hindu than to each other?  It's that 90% thing again.
The Founding Fathers somehow managed to put together a Constitution without the likes of Ayn Rand, or Bastiat, or whatever.  It was all designed to be simple.  They didn't waste time arguing about whether to allow the most extreme forms of self-expression.  Somehow they managed to run a nation without settling whether or not to forbid people to stand on the street corner shouting epithets all day.
I like the Founders.  They weren't simpering intellectuals.  They were realists, who set attainable goals.  So let's take a page out of their book, and instead of working to make things as complicated and stringent as possible, let's work to make them simpler and more accessible.
Let's work for success, not defeat.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Justin on March 13, 2004, 11:53:02 pm
What are you blathering on about?  Your inability to live up to some personal desire to not take advantage of the benefits of division of labor and a modern economy has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

"I believe in less government" means nothing without intellectual backing; every Republican can spout it just as easily.

Freedom accepted as principle--and all that entails--should be the standard here.  So long as FSP members agree on the same principle, we can hash out the implementation details later when we know we have a valid cadre of liberty activists.  What you propose is making members of people with disparate, even conflicting principles who just happen to want the same near-term concrete goals.  Such a plan would sow the seeds of ruin within the FSP and bode ill for the future of New Hampshire.

There are plenty of "freedom leaning" people in NH already; there's no need to move more of them there.  We need libertarian activists, backed by intellectual rigor, to help turn the tide.  

Regarding Rand, Bastiat, et al., it would behoove you to read up on some of these liberty-related primers.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: The Hillbilly on March 14, 2004, 12:04:15 am
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Let's work for success, not defeat.

And that, my friends, should be the last words on any controversy within the FSP.

"Success", very likely the most important single word in relation to the Free State Project.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Justin on March 14, 2004, 01:50:38 am
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Let's work for success, not defeat.

And that my friends should be the last words on any controversy within the FSP.

"Success", very likely the most important single word in relation to theFree State Project.


Other than sounding pleasant to the unthinking, it's an empty phrase.  The issue at hand is how to work toward success.   Some want us to pad our numbers at any cost, welcoming anyone willing to fill out a web form, so long as they say nice phrases like "I believe in smaller government."  Platitudes and unexamined emotion do not a liberty activist make.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: bookish_lass on March 14, 2004, 06:12:46 am
Other than sounding pleasant to the unthinking, it's an empty phrase.  The issue at hand is how to work toward success.   Some want us to pad our numbers at any cost, welcoming anyone willing to fill out a web form, so long as they say nice phrases like "I believe in smaller government."  Platitudes and unexamined emotion do not a liberty activist make.

Neither does purist hot air which is never put into action make a liberty activist.  (Not referring to you, BTW, Justin.)
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: thrivetacobell on March 14, 2004, 07:09:38 am
<<Some want us to pad our numbers at any cost, welcoming anyone willing to fill out a web form, so long as they say nice phrases like "I believe in smaller government." >>

Well, Justin, what would you suggest? Should we have a more extensive form asking one to explain why one believes in small government- and a special committee to deem who is or is not believable?

And in saying we shouldn't go after the 90% people, that its gotta be all or nothing, would I no longer be welcome? I despise today's government. Not as empty hatred, but in understanding what is right, and why, and what makes it so.

However, I refuse to seriously support public fat orgies. I do not yet see that being a necessary gain for the realization of liberty to be possible. And I think anyone would be hard pressed to prove that not being able to have a fat orgy on the streets or masturbate outside a school at recess is oppressive.

Please note that I would not especially support legislation against such things as much as I would expect a free society of responsible individuals would learn that morality is not just a bunch of rules that someone else made up and your condemned to follow, but the guidelines to live a full life of character, worth, self esteem and happiness. Not to mention keeping it open for others to achieve the same.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 14, 2004, 07:23:39 am
Pardon my blathering, Justin, I was trying to illustrate a point which was apparently lost on you.

Evidently it is also lost on you that we are moving to NH BECAUSE it is populated by liberty-leaning people, and apparently most of the people in the fsp do feel that we do need more of those or we would have moved to a state with nicer weather.

Ultimately, Justin, what it comes to is that I believe that it is possible, in fact easier, to be a liberty activist without being a philosopher.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: kater on March 14, 2004, 08:51:38 am
So, it's somehow beneficial to promote liberty from a position of ignorance?  Christ.

I'm not going to argue that we should have some sort of approved reading list or a litmus test for members, but for god's sake, you can't actually argue that knowledge of the philosophy behind libertarianism is a detriment.  How do you expect to get up and convince someone of the truth?  When they say "why?" will you have an answer?  Other than some knee-jerk appeal to emotion that would sound an awful lot like modern liberals?

I agree that having our heads buried in the collected works of Ayn Rand and Bastiat probably isn't the most productive move ever.  But being able to explain why we read those things, why there is truth in them, and how they could open someone else's eyes--that IS how we (or at least some of us) explain and hopefully spread our beliefs.  

So, penguinsscareme--rather than bashing "philosophers" why don't you go see if your philosophy-free version of libertarianism is spreadable.  Get your three members, and let other people get theirs.  

Oh, and if you want to remind us (rightfully in some cases) that we waste too much time arguing with each other, it might be better if you just said so and let it drop.  (Unless your extended arguments are meant to be ironic?)
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 14, 2004, 09:15:38 am
Well, you've got a point, kater.  I have become what I beheld.
I'm going to shoot for a lot more than three members, though.
I see where I may come across as promoting ignorance.  That was never my intent, but then that's part of the reason I don't like philosophical debates -- my point always seems to get lost.
I can only assure you that I take our goals very seriously, and only want to find the most effective way to achieve them.
If I were in government, I'd probably be in the executive branch, not the judicial branch, you savvy?  It's just my experience that the way to get stuff done is to freakin' do it, not dream and argue it to death.
Anyway, your point is well taken.  Didn't mean to exacerbate the problem.  I can see I'm not going to get any further with this approach.
I'll see you all in NH -- the first round will be on me, and you can all educate me on libertarian philosophy.

Andrew
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: rdeacon on March 14, 2004, 11:55:33 am
But if one does understand freedom (without self-contradiction, or using the word to cover your own socialistic goals) then logically one would must accept the zero-aggression principle.  If someone "isn't there yet" philosophically, there is a wealth of info out there to help them, encourage them to move to NH.  We just don't need them falsely padding the FSP membership count.
It's a false assumption that belief in freedom automatically requires adherence to the ZAP.  There are plenty of people who would love to reduce government by 2/3rd but who aren't ready to say "bring on the donkey sex shows".


Quote
How one gets to a philosphical point of development is largely irrelevant.  The fact that they are at that point is what counts.  Those who have not yet fully realized where liberty must logically lead them are not at that point yet.
I disagree that *your opinion* of freedom is the opinion that must be shared by all FSP members.  I don't agree with your opinion, but I plan to work hard for liberty.  And there are thousands of people out there who would really love to see a much smaller government, but who are shown the door by libertarian groups because they don't believe in a certain arbitrary philosophical statement.

Quote
You're making my point for me.  Reason takes effort.  Primitivism, emotionalism, and socialism do not.  Welcoming those without rational mettle might increase our numbers, but only by putting principles of liberty as a secondary priority.  If there are not 20,000 reasoned liberty activists then the FSP should fail.  
Bah.  Socialism takes just as much effort to push as liberty - appealing to somebody's inner laziness is just as entincing as appealing to their inner libertine.  The fact that we see socialism spreading is not a result of the ease of implementation, but rather the success of implementation.  In truth you're making the point for me.  

Quote
Mobilize for what?  Lower taxes?  Bah!   Opening the doors to all-comers will only give us false hope.  Better to fail and know there aren't enough people in the world that care about freedom, than to wander naively into a conflict ill prepared.
Not all comers, but open the doors to more than the aryan-libertarians.  The fact that you'd rather fail than have a partial victory is sad, and it does not speak well for our chances of success - because when you insist on everything you will always end up with nothing.  
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: adam86 on March 15, 2004, 08:18:12 pm
 I had some ideas on smoking bans and can/bottle deposits that not everyone agrees with, and virtually got beaten away with a stick! I hate most taxes as much as the next guy, but a few non-libertarian ideas get someone ostracised in the forum.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Mike Lorrey on March 15, 2004, 08:59:13 pm
I had some ideas on smoking bans and can/bottle deposits that not everyone agrees with, and virtually got beaten away with a stick! I hate most taxes as much as the next guy, but a few non-libertarian ideas get someone ostracised in the forum.

Nah, you don't know ostracism. What you got was just a mild virtual caning. If you are an FSP member, you signed a statement of intent that you agreed to adhere to a non-initiation of force principle. You need to understand what you agreed to. Smoking bans on public areas, or on private areas imposed by government, and government requirements about bottle/can deposits are initiations of force.

Advocating such is contrary to your SOI agreement. Now, it isn't terribly wrong that you didn't understand this. Consider it an educational experience, and shame on those who automatically assume everyone here is totally versed in what ZAP means. Adam here is likely, as Tim Bauman says, a "recovering statist".

Good teachers don't slap down their students.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 16, 2004, 08:11:46 pm
Hey, this was fun.
http://similarminds.com/
Helped me figure out why I find people so annoying. :P
http://cogen.mit.edu/crusso/intj.htm
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Mike Lorrey on March 17, 2004, 12:19:55 am
Keep in mind that your scores can change day to day, depending on whether you are relaxed or agitated, among other factors.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Terry 1956 on March 17, 2004, 12:30:51 pm
But if one does understand freedom (without self-contradiction, or using the word to cover your own socialistic goals) then logically one would must accept the zero-aggression principle.  If someone "isn't there yet" philosophically, there is a wealth of info out there to help them, encourage them to move to NH.  We just don't need them falsely padding the FSP membership count.
It's a false assumption that belief in freedom automatically requires adherence to the ZAP.  There are plenty of people who would love to reduce government by 2/3rd but who aren't ready to say "bring on the donkey sex shows".


Quote
How one gets to a philosphical point of development is largely irrelevant.  The fact that they are at that point is what counts.  Those who have not yet fully realized where liberty must logically lead them are not at that point yet.
I disagree that *your opinion* of freedom is the opinion that must be shared by all FSP members.  I don't agree with your opinion, but I plan to work hard for liberty.  And there are thousands of people out there who would really love to see a much smaller government, but who are shown the door by libertarian groups because they don't believe in a certain arbitrary philosophical statement.

Quote
You're making my point for me.  Reason takes effort.  Primitivism, emotionalism, and socialism do not.  Welcoming those without rational mettle might increase our numbers, but only by putting principles of liberty as a secondary priority.  If there are not 20,000 reasoned liberty activists then the FSP should fail.  
Bah.  Socialism takes just as much effort to push as liberty - appealing to somebody's inner laziness is just as entincing as appealing to their inner libertine.  The fact that we see socialism spreading is not a result of the ease of implementation, but rather the success of implementation.  In truth you're making the point for me.  

Quote
Mobilize for what?  Lower taxes?  Bah!   Opening the doors to all-comers will only give us false hope.  Better to fail and know there aren't enough people in the world that care about freedom, than to wander naively into a conflict ill prepared.
Not all comers, but open the doors to more than the aryan-libertarians.  The fact that you'd rather fail than have a partial victory is sad, and it does not speak well for our chances of success - because when you insist on everything you will always end up with nothing.  
                                                                              People do not have to believe in ZAP but when they Commit Agression against you thats important.                  
   People generally come to libertarian ideas from two prespectives political ethics or economics. The gradualist  approrach fails on both, its bad ethics, its bad for the economy and its also bad politically in keeping poltical sucess, its counter productive politically.                                                                              
        If people don't want donkey shows( and I don't) restrict them by private property and covenants not state law. You see most people I've talked to can understand that when it is explained to them, don't sell people short so much.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 17, 2004, 05:03:59 pm
Gradualism has worked pretty nicely for the socialists.

What are covenants?  This is a new idea to me.  If it works then I like it.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: rdeacon on March 17, 2004, 06:44:03 pm
People do not have to believe in ZAP but when they Commit Agression against you thats important.                  
   People generally come to libertarian ideas from two prespectives political ethics or economics. The gradualist  approrach fails on both, its bad ethics, its bad for the economy and its also bad politically in keeping poltical sucess, its counter productive politically.                                                                              
        If people don't want donkey shows( and I don't) restrict them by private property and covenants not state law. You see most people I've talked to can understand that when it is explained to them, don't sell people short so much.
Not true, many people who are libertarian (but who are shown the door by the national LP) are simply socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  These are the people who can arrange for major party status for the LP.  Remember, we shouldn't concentrate on an endgame.  Everybody's endgame is radical.  but the people who win show the crowd their practical first steps.  And that is exactly why they win.  It is the strategy that we need to adopt, because you can't just go from current society to libertarianism in one fell swoop.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: adam86 on March 18, 2004, 02:58:16 pm
I'm only 17, so I haven't joined yet. Perhaps ostracism was too strong a term. I might just want to be Republican.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Morpheus on March 19, 2004, 12:06:21 am
And what exactly does that entail? There are multiple types of Republicans.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: adam86 on March 19, 2004, 02:56:55 pm
An almost libertarian one of course!  The FSP takes Republicans, right?  I thought this wasn't a "lockstep movement." I'll be 18 in November.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Stumpy on March 19, 2004, 03:23:53 pm
An almost libertarian one of course!  The FSP takes Republicans, right?  I thought this wasn't a "lockstep movement." I'll be 18 in November.

Sure the FSP takes Republicans, so long as they can agree to the terms of the Statement of Intent (https://freestateproject.org/members/join.jsp).

Quote
I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the state of New Hampshire. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: SBottari on March 20, 2004, 02:19:43 am
Quote
http://cogen.mit.edu/crusso/intj.htm

I'm one of these too, but I don't hate people that much anymore; I'm sort of a borderline ENTJ.  Dr. David Keirsey expanded and made a new type of Myers-Briggs test.  His revision of his book, Please Understand Me (2) can help a lot of people understand their own personalities and others.

Why do you think we like Jefferson so much - he thought like we do.


Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: SteveA on March 20, 2004, 03:28:50 am
Quote
And in saying we shouldn't go after the 90% people, that its gotta be all or nothing, would I no longer be welcome? I despise today's government. Not as empty hatred, but in understanding what is right, and why, and what makes it so.

However, I refuse to seriously support public fat orgies. I do not yet see that being a necessary gain for the realization of liberty to be possible. And I think anyone would be hard pressed to prove that not being able to have a fat orgy on the streets or masturbate outside a school at recess is oppressive.

I likely sound like a broken record but I agree that most people have a different idea of what freedom means to them and why they desire to have fewer restrictions on placed on them.

Again, the mistake some people could be making is to assume that libertarians don't want any rules placed on society.  I think the key component is just not using force or fraud to impose their desires on someone else.  This doesn't mean that people can't agree on rules of social conduct or even back them by force on the participants, it just means that you can't unwillingly expect someone else to agree to the same standards.

I'm sure there are people who believe clothing should be optional and I guess in the extreme public orgies (that'll be a tough sell LOL).  I know opinions vary but some steps that would seem appropriate without resorting to forceful intervention are:

1)  Inform the offending individuals that their actions are causing grief and try to find an acceptable agreement.
2)  Social influence on a larger scale may be needed to discourage the actions if a compromise isn't reached.
3)  Communities can be voluntarily formed and restrict access to them based upon various criteria.
4)  Courts and legal action can be used when all else fails (the situation may be resolved by force at this point if police action is required)
5)  Repeat steps 1-4 until you either find justice, learn to live with the offending actions or find some other way to deal with it.

That's the short view of how I picture things working but, as always, I'm open to better ideas.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: FSDan on March 21, 2004, 09:05:10 am
I have to agree with my fellow Mass-Hole; the penguin.

Kater: I’ve read your arguments.  You have a great point in your stance that certain types of knowledge can be used as a weapon.  However:  You feel it necessary to add comments like “Christ” and “for god's sake” into your arguments.  This is nothing but loaded rhetoric and introduces emotion into a debate that doesn’t need it.  You take shots at your own teammates, (Get your three members, and let other people get theirs.) belittling them and talking down to them.  Your whole post is attacking at position that you ASSUME he is taking.  (Which he isn’t as he later explained.  He is not trying to bash philosophers.  He is just saying to not get so wound up in the debate that you loose sight of what you are debating)  You are doing exactly what he asked us not to do in his original post; regardless of where the thread has degenerated since.  He may not have the fancy education that you (and I, for that matter) have but he is presenting his arguments in a much more ethical manor.  Talking down to prospective members won’t get us anywhere.  Also, seeing us bicker amongst ourselves like this won’t win them over either.

Justin:  I found myself agreeing with some of your points but you completely lost me with this line: “What are you blathering on about?”  That kind of blatant disrespect as well as the uselessness of that type of rhetorical question is just not a tactic that mature, adult debaters use to win arguments.  Furthermore, if you don’t want to waste your time with the 90%ers then don’t.  You are free to not do so which is what we’re all here for; freedoms.  But don’t stop us from seeing the merit in taking a little extra time to explain things to someone who may be 89% and rising.  You don’t have to be positive but Penguin is asking us to not be negative.  Is that so bad?

As others have admitted, I also do not agree with every thing that all of you push for.  For example, I think to only give a child home schooling may produce a very book smart person but will rob the child of vast amounts of cultural knowledge necessary to get along in this world.  (The few people I know who were home schooled could impress me with all kinds of technical knowledge but nobody liked them and nobody listened to them.  Kinda like the extreme liberals we have debated here).  However my disagreement with this is not the point.  The point here is freedom; freedom to do what we want and pay the consequences ourselves.  I don’t believe in smoking pot.  But I don’t think the government needs to get involved in it either.  If people smoke it so much that it affects their ability to work then they’ll get fired and that will be more job openings for me… GREAT!!  If some kid who was home schooled and therefore doesn’t “work well with others” gets fired then that’s one more job for me…GREAT!!

So you see, I may not agree with you all, but I will fight tooth and nail for the very same things you want….. if only for my own reasons.  Why should we be turning away those who don’t agree with us if they are willing to fight for us?
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 21, 2004, 11:44:43 am
Thanks, Dan, but in defense of kater, I have corresponded with her and can tell you her intent was to be positive and return the focus back to building membership.
That said, I like your attitude.  If you still reside in MA, check out my local group.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MA-RI-FSP/
We can use you.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Terry 1956 on March 22, 2004, 04:19:18 pm
Gradualism has worked pretty nicely for the socialists.

What are covenants?  This is a new idea to me.  If it works then I like it.
Covenants are agreements, one would be co-op apartments, neighborhood associations with true consent not just a  percentage of neighbors with an agenda. Many subdivision developments have restrictive covenants , you agree to them before buying the home. A lease agreement can work in a similar way.                                                                          
      Where the socialist gainned was through the Fabian  way by connecting to the intellectuals, the opinion molders such as, Clergy, Professors, teachers, media and other members of the community that people respect and will listen to. They  have lost ground because  central planning, a command economy is a failure even non economic centrally planned and command operations like the Pentagon are a failure, for example Rumsfield speaking in 2001 before 9/11 of the Pentagon not being able to account for possibly more than 2 Trillion dollars in spending over the years.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Terry 1956 on March 22, 2004, 04:31:04 pm
People do not have to believe in ZAP but when they Commit Agression against you thats important.                  
   People generally come to libertarian ideas from two prespectives political ethics or economics. The gradualist  approrach fails on both, its bad ethics, its bad for the economy and its also bad politically in keeping poltical sucess, its counter productive politically.                                                                              
        If people don't want donkey shows( and I don't) restrict them by private property and covenants not state law. You see most people I've talked to can understand that when it is explained to them, don't sell people short so much.
Not true, many people who are libertarian (but who are shown the door by the national LP) are simply socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  These are the people who can arrange for major party status for the LP.  Remember, we shouldn't concentrate on an endgame.  Everybody's endgame is radical.  but the people who win show the crowd their practical first steps.  And that is exactly why they win.  It is the strategy that we need to adopt, because you can't just go from current society to libertarianism in one fell swoop.
                                                                             
  We can work with with those to a degree but don't buy into their policies. We can work with the ACLU and The ACU to a degree but their is not a need to join either. I'm certainly am not going to turn down a tax cut, especially a big one but they have their limits and if not done enough or the ink runs red they can be counterproductive over the long run.                                  
  Convince people, educate them or convince and educate those they will listen to, don't pander to big government ideas that fail, you are just shooting yourself in the foot.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 22, 2004, 04:31:52 pm
Wow, Terry, you just totally lost me.
The covenant thing seems straightforward enough, but why is that any different from a government restriction?  A friend of mine lives in a condo complex where they don't allow anyone to have dogs.  So how is that different from a government ordnance against dogs?  Sure, you could choose to live in a neighborhood that does allow dogs, but still, how is that any different from moving to a town without anti-dog ordnances?
I mean if you can't do it then you can't do it.  What difference does it make whether it was a law voted on at a town meeting or a rule imposed by a condo developer?
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Terry 1956 on March 22, 2004, 04:36:00 pm
An almost libertarian one of course!  The FSP takes Republicans, right?  I thought this wasn't a "lockstep movement." I'll be 18 in November.
Now  running as a Republican or in some areas as a Democrat may be the best way to go in most cases. There is not a real need to get cozy with the GOP or DNC leadership just don't deceive people in to thinking your are something your not.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: rdeacon on March 22, 2004, 07:48:13 pm
Convince people, educate them or convince and educate those they will listen to, don't pander to big government ideas that fail, you are just shooting yourself in the foot.
The problem that libertarians face is that government doesn't fail.   People get their social security checks and food stamps.  Government does provide services.  What we need to argue is that government provides them in a less efficient manner than the alternatives.

Remember, not every libertarian is a minarchist, some people desire government, just one with less power than the fedgov has now.  These people are our target demographic, but we continue to alienate them by saying that they need some revolutionary change of heart.  It's insulting because THAT is what shoots us in the foot.  If we want the crowd to walk to liberty, we first need to walk to the crowd, and that means compromise.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 22, 2004, 09:10:05 pm
I don't think of it as compromise.  I mean, we declaw the government, put it back in its cage, what have we compromised?  We had to work with some people who don't agree with us on everything?  So what?  Hey, we don't agree with each other on everything, as if that's a news flash.
Yeah, we've just been spending way too much energy sweating the small stuff that we differ on and ignoring all the big stuff that we agree on.

There are throngs of people who love liberty, who hate what the government has become, but don't know how to fight it.  They feel like they are part of the system because they are trapped in it.  They are ready to do something about it, buy they don't know what.  They look around and don't see a cause to rally behind, they're hesitant to believe in something good because the world they live in has taught them to be cynical.  My friends, there are a lot more than 20,000 people who are ready for something like the fsp.  All we have to do is light the lamp!
The people to whom I refer are not the philosophical elite.  They are the salt of the earth, they are the regular folks who live and work and pay their mortgage and their taxes and they see their pay stub every week and shake their head, and maybe they've tried their hand in small business and found out how high the deck is stacked against them.
They haven't read In Defense of Elitism, or The Libertarian Reader.  They aren't fluent in politicalspeak.  But dammit, they're not stupid, either.  They know what's what and they know how to get stuff done in the real world.
We don't have to compromise with these people.  We just have to show them what's possible.  They just need us to give them what they go to bed every night thinking about -- something to believe in.  Well, we've already got that.  We just need to present it in the right way.
I admit, when I first came to the fsp website, I was a little overwhelmed.  There is such an incredible depth of information, and it was on a subject I'd never really studied before.  Thank God I found the summary description and the SOI and the faq.
We don't have to compromise.  We just have to realize that we're reaching out to largely unindoctrinated minds.

Take it from me, sometimes the undereducated can be really good activists.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Morpheus on March 22, 2004, 11:03:42 pm
Quote
Wow, Terry, you just totally lost me.
The covenant thing seems straightforward enough, but why is that any different from a government restriction?  A friend of mine lives in a condo complex where they don't allow anyone to have dogs.  So how is that different from a government ordnance against dogs?  Sure, you could choose to live in a neighborhood that does allow dogs, but still, how is that any different from moving to a town without anti-dog ordnances?
I mean if you can't do it then you can't do it.  What difference does it make whether it was a law voted on at a town meeting or a rule imposed by a condo developer?


Covenants involve unanimity. Governmental Law, within the context of which we are familiar, does not.

My property, my rules. If people agree with them, then good. If not.. too bad.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 05:47:10 am
So how does this help me have a dog?
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Morpheus on March 23, 2004, 11:14:36 am
It doesn't. If that property forbids canines, then it forbids canines. Go elsewhere.

As it is, I rather doubt that New Hampshire will be overtaken by anti-dog ordinances.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 11:58:40 am
Meanie.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 12:05:42 pm
So if I come into a town which has a covenant -- which is based on unanimity -- that says no dogs in city limits, and I decide to have a dog -- thereby breaking the unanimity -- does that not nullify the covenant?
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Karl on March 23, 2004, 12:36:48 pm
So if I come into a town which has a covenant -- which is based on unanimity -- that says no dogs in city limits, and I decide to have a dog -- thereby breaking the unanimity -- does that not nullify the covenant?

Of course not.  You agreed to it before, now you broke the contract.  The private property association ("town" if you will) would have the right to prosecute you.  If you want a dog, you'll have to move to a neighborhood that permits dogs.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 01:03:41 pm
Oh, I get it.  So I just wouldn't come to that town in the first place.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 01:18:54 pm
So theoretically, if all property were private property, then dogs could be banned in the whole state.  So there could be areas where anything was allowed, other areas where only white people or only gay men or only people with double-jointed thumbs might be allowed.  I'm not saying I'm against it, it's just a new concept to me.  What I still don't get is why covenants are better than laws.  I understand the unanimity thing, but the fact is my friend does want a dog; the condo management company doesn't allow him to have one.  I'm just not understanding why he's more free under privately imposed rules than government imposed laws.  Sure, he could move someplace that has no anti-dog ordinance (which is only true in theory, by the way, in practice he's stuck where he is), but how is that different from saying if you don't like the laws in one town you can move to a town whose laws you do like?
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Karl on March 23, 2004, 02:10:01 pm
So theoretically, if all property were private property, then dogs could be banned in the whole state.

Theoretically, yes, but I don't know of a single HOA (other than condos) that disallow dogs (although there probably is a handful of them).  Even so, a lot of people love their dogs, so even if the number of anti-dog neighborhoods somehow increased dramatically, dog lovers could found their own communities.

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So there could be areas where anything was allowed, other areas where only white people or only gay men or only people with double-jointed thumbs might be allowed.

Yes.  That's freedom of association, or disassociation, as it may be.  We don't have to like their choices, of course, and we can rightfully call them the racist biggots they are.  But haul them off to jail at the point of gun we cannot morally do.

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What I still don't get is why covenants are better than laws.

They're similar, with a key difference.  Covenants tend to be (but not always) explicitly consented to.  When you buy a house in "Dog Haters Estates", the covenant you sign says "no dogs" and you can decide whether or not you like it.  Of course, the covenants could change after you buy the property (you would be aportioned a vote in the matter, as a member of the community).

There are other advantages.  The typical HOA is rarely more than 1,000 members (voters), which makes for a more responsive common management.  New HOAs can constantly form and innovate.  In HOAs, only property owners (who pay dues) have a say on land-use issues.  HOAs can hire and fire employees as they please.  They are geographically limited to a small, urbanized area, created with a particular vision.  Most do not grant themselves "eminent domain" like powers.

Contrast this with, say, Manchester, one of 234 public towns in New Hampshire that is (mostly) fixed forever.  Population of 108,000 people.  All adults vote on land-use and other economic issues, even if they own none of the affected property, even if they share the property with family members.  Manchester can't hire and fire as they see fit because they are held to onerous public hiring standards.  Manchester is large by comparison (33 square miles), contains an urban core, and a semi-rural fringe.  Zoning crudely partitions everything, urban and rural.  They can take your property through eminent domain.

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I understand the unanimity thing, but the fact is my friend does want a dog; the condo management company doesn't allow him to have one.  I'm just not understanding why he's more free under privately imposed rules than government opposed laws.

He can do one of two things -- move, or convince the condo to change its rule.  Most condo boards are desperate for people who want to be board members, especially if it is a smaller condo.  He's more free, because he can move and find a place that allows dogs, or create such a place himself.  Should not those who founded the condo be free to restrict dogs?  Maybe a bunch of people who are allergic to dogs decided to create the condo years ago so they don't get sick all the time.  Its important to consider their freedom as well.

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Sure, he could move someplace that has no anti-dog ordinance (which is only true in theory, by the way, in practice he's stuck where he is), but how is that different from saying if you don't like the laws in one town you can move to a town whose laws you do like?

When you live near lots of other people, you gotta deal with them.  Its a pain sometimes, yes.  He can try to change things or get out of the condo.  You say he's "stuck" but, as they say, beggars can't be choosers.

Hope this helps. :)
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 02:37:52 pm
Thanks, Karl, that does help.
I don't really think it's a perfect solution, but then I don't believe much in perfection.  It's better than what we have now, I'll grant you that.  Your illustration about Manchester really helped me understand.
So that's why the Founders originally only wanted to grant voting rights to landowners, is that right?  So the only people voting would be people who actually had a vested interest and had to live with the results?

Honestly, it sounds a little too much like a repackaging of the current system for my comfort.  Instead of laws we have covenants, instead of taxes we pay dues.  Eh.  I guess what it comes down to is that there's no way for people to prevent other people from being jerks to each other.
On the one hand, government can outlaw racial discrimination, but only by the initiation of force, and even then they do a crappy job, at best hacking at the branches and never striking the root.
On the other hand, total privatization says forget it, let people be jerks to each other, as long as it's on their own private property.

The more I think about stuff like this, the more determined I become that the only viable answer is decentralization.  Private power can be abused just as readily as government power.
I'm not sure, but it seems like there was one or two generations in America, after the ratification of the Constitution but before the industrial revolution, where --except for the slaves -- it was pretty good.  The government was small, companies were small (most of them), and most people just pretty much got to do whatever they wanted as long as they minded their own business.
I wish I understood that better.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Karl on March 23, 2004, 03:16:32 pm
Many libertarians equate decentralized, local governance to liberty.  I'm increasingly of that view.  A free society isn't a society without rules; rather, it is one based a framework of clearly deliniated property rights, and the right to choose among multiple competing options.  The more options, the better.

There was a brief but interesting discussion about the ideal city size in the thread How many people should a city or town ward have? (http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=20;action=display;threadid=1939).  According to the numbers Terry 1956 posted, the average neighborhood association has 200 people.  This is the number that the free market selected.  A pretty good number for effective local governance, I think.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: atr on March 23, 2004, 03:26:38 pm
I'm just not understanding why he's more free under privately imposed rules than government imposed laws.

One major difference is that the market affects private rules much differently than it affects government laws. Although permanent covenants (or deed restrictions) are a big turn off to me, I have to recognize that they're an important part of property rights.

Covenents require the consent of the landowner(s), and laws do not. The no pets rule imposed by your friend's landlord is analogous to a no smoking rule in a hotel. A hotel owner can forbid smoking throughout the hotel, and even require a buyer of the hotel to continue imposing this ban as a condition of sale. Certainly imposing such a condition on the purchaser of the hotel will affect its selling price (negatively), just as a no smoking rule affects demand for room rentals.

Usually, though perhaps not always, markets create more libertarian environments than do laws. A good example of this is the infamous discrimination policy imposed on buses in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Bus companies, like other businesses, have a strong financial incentive not to engage in "irrational" discrimination, which limits their customer base. Rosa Parks wasn't arrested for violating a rule imposed by the bus company, it was because she disobeyed city and state laws requiring bus segregation.

Similarly, to the extent that your friend would have preferred to live in a condo that allows dogs, he was willing to pay less for the condo in which he now lives. Certainly if I am ever negotiating over the imposition of an oppressive covenent like a no pets rule, I will fight it. Just as I would want to decide for myself what rules to impose on my own property, I wouldn't expect to be able to impose my own set of rules on other people's property.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 07:33:34 pm
See, that's what makes me nervous.  It's not like he's renting.  He owns his own home; I don't like that someone can tell someone else what to do in their own home, I don't care if that person is government or private.
My friend doesn't smoke, but he says he pays the same for his home insurance as a smoker would, the logic being that a smoker runs a higher risk of having a housefire, and even though he doesn't smoke, the insurance company assumes his neighbors smoke, condos having common walls, thus the risk.
So I understand the insurance company's point of view, but the upshot is that my friend is being charged for a service he isn't getting, but because the company is strong and the individual is weak, the interests of the company get put ahead of the interests of the individual.

I guess it just goes back to decentralization being the only way to protect the rights of the individual.
That and maybe consumer groups, although I'm less amped about that.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Karl on March 23, 2004, 08:40:31 pm
See, that's what makes me nervous.  It's not like he's renting.  He owns his own home; I don't like that someone can tell someone else what to do in their own home, I don't care if that person is government or private.

I doubt they do care what he does in his own home.  They're more concerned with the problems that pets can cause to their own units and the common elements -- and there are real problems.  Dogs often bark and howl, sometimes in the middle of the night; fuzzy animals attract flees that can travel between units; pet-born allergens and odors can often travel between units; irresponsible pet owners often leave dog poop in the yards (especially in winter, with snow, they love to cover up the poop with snow, and come springtime, the whole dang yard is a pile of poop).

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My friend doesn't smoke, but he says he pays the same for his home insurance as a smoker would, the logic being that a smoker runs a higher risk of having a housefire, and even though he doesn't smoke, the insurance company assumes his neighbors smoke, condos having common walls, thus the risk.

Sounds like he needs to look for a new insurance company.

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That and maybe consumer groups, although I'm less amped about that.

He should have known about the restrictions in his condo, without needing the services of a consumer group.  It was all in black-and-white in the documents he signed at settlement.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 23, 2004, 09:50:27 pm
All good points.  I guess I just can't see myself ever voluntarily living on someone else's say-so.
Of course, I was in the military, so go figure.
In fairness to my friend, he likes his life the way it is.  He doesn't worry about mowing the grass or plowing the driveway or painting the house or re-roofing.  That's all taken care of for him, and he's only trading away a little bit of his liberty for all that convenience.
Gawd, it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: atr on March 24, 2004, 06:43:53 am
See, that's what makes me nervous.  It's not like he's renting.  He owns his own home; I don't like that someone can tell someone else what to do in their own home, I don't care if that person is government or private.

I don't like it, either. But, your friend agreed to this restraint on his condo when he purchased it, and presumably was able to factor the restraint into the purchase price. If I am a landowner some day, I would like the ability to pass on restrictions to future owners of the property if I so choose, e.g. no buildings over three stories high. Imposing such a restriction might inhibit my ability to sell the place, and I'm don't really like the idea of permanent restrictions in general, but my property rights (and rights to free association) include the right to contract with the buyer in any way I choose (with the buyer's voluntary consent, of course). When the seller and buyer agree to a restriction, it hasn't harmed anyone.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: atr on March 24, 2004, 06:46:20 am
All good points.  I guess I just can't see myself ever voluntarily living on someone else's say-so.

I feel the same way. However, I currently rent a condo that doesn't allow me to have pets. All things considered, this was the place I chose to live. It's not perfect, but I'm happy living here. All things considered, there wasn't another option that I thought was better.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 24, 2004, 09:06:19 am
When you live near lots of other people, you gotta deal with them.  Its a pain sometimes, yes.  He can try to change things or get out of the condo.  You say he's "stuck" but, as they say, beggars can't be choosers.

I guess that pretty much says it all.  You live near other people, you compromise or you move on.  Which I think kind of sucks, but oh well, that's the way it is, that's the way it's always going to be.
To kind of tie it back to the original intent of the thread, I think the beggars can't be choosers principle kind of applies to us as porcupines moving to a new state.  The fact is we're doing quite well if the majority of the natives are open to a majority of our ideas.
We've got a pretty good climate to work with if we stick with like minded people when we can and compromise with unlike-minded people when we have to.
ATR, I believe it was you who in another thread basically said I was dishonoring my SOI because I wouldn't come down in favor of legalizing public orgies.
To put it another way, what I'm saying is that the condo complex just isn't going to let us have a dog, and they're not likely to anytime soon.  But the fact is it's still the best option on the table.  And rather than insist that they ought to allow dogs to the point where we're just coming across as petulant, let's just take what we can get for now and be mostly happy.
To use yet another metaphor, we've got a good solid foundation in common.  Okay, we disagree on how to finish out the trim details, but I still think we can build a pretty solid structure.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: atr on March 24, 2004, 09:56:48 am
ATR, I believe it was you who in another thread basically said I was dishonoring my SOI because I wouldn't come down in favor of legalizing public orgies.
To put it another way, what I'm saying is that the condo complex just isn't going to let us have a dog, and they're not likely to anytime soon.  But the fact is it's still the best option on the table.  And rather than insist that they ought to allow dogs to the point where we're just coming across as petulant, let's just take what we can get for now and be mostly happy.

The distinction is that the condo is private property. As long as public property exists, it's hard to imagine the government letting people use it with no restrictions. (E.g. roads are public property, yet it would be unreasonable to expect the government to allow people to pitch tents in the middle of highways.) However, since the rules enforced on public property are not based on voluntary consent, government regulations should be minimized in pursuit of a government that does no more than protect life, liberty, and property (at least according to the SOI). In other words, regulations on private property are an exercise of property rights (and freedom of association), whereas regulations on public property are impositions on liberty.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: penguinsscareme on March 24, 2004, 10:17:06 am
Well, you're right.
I was just trying to say that even the best option on the table requires some concessions.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: TFA303 on April 08, 2004, 08:16:24 am
Having read this entire thread, I figured that this would be a good place for my first post.

Someof you are, I think, worrying too much about the 90% issue. The FSP has a built-in filtering process against what one might call "fair-weather  liberty lovers", to wit: moving to New Hampshire.

People who are kinda in favor of a kinda smaller government are not going to convince their wives (stereotypical, yes, but let's be honest) to pack up the house and kids and move to another state. The only people who will do that are people who are down-in-their-gut-fed up and not gonna take it any more. Probably slightly nuts, but you'll want that in your ideal liberty activist.
 Someone who's determined enough to do that isn't going to wuss out when the politcs get rough. If they are more interested in lax gun laws, or unrestricted homeschooling or home-grown pot than they are in legalizing donkey erotica, they're still going to be the kind of folks you want beside you in a fight, either literal or metaphorical.

Tom

N.B. Since I'm considering this, I'm probably slightly nuts, too. I'm OK with that.
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: Dave Mincin on April 08, 2004, 08:34:14 am
Hey TFA303,

Welcome to the forum! :)  Look forward to you positive thoughts on how to move this project forward.

We are very much a "think outside the box" group.  Your thoughts, and ideas are most welcome, better yet, if you have any ideas that might help or would like to help, drop me a note!

Dave
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: SteveA on April 08, 2004, 11:19:50 am
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People who are kinda in favor of a kinda smaller government are not going to convince their wives (stereotypical, yes, but let's be honest) to pack up the house and kids and move to another state. The only people who will do that are people who are down-in-their-gut-fed up and not gonna take it any more. Probably slightly nuts, but you'll want that in your ideal liberty activist.

I'll vouch that wives can be a challenge (and a few husbands I suspect as well).

Glad to see you're interested :)  Welcome to the FSP forum.

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N.B. Since I'm considering this, I'm probably slightly nuts, too. I'm OK with that.

You'll fit in just fine ;)
Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: rdeacon on April 08, 2004, 06:20:58 pm
Can't say that I agree.  I convinced my wife to leave a great job, friends, and family - and I'm probably one of the more moderate people in this movement.

But your point is not lost - this organization, by and large, will attract more extreme members than a cross-section of average pro-liberty voters.  This does not mean that we should avoid appealing to the moderates, who at the end of the day will carry this movement, just like moderates carry every successful political movement.

Having read this entire thread, I figured that this would be a good place for my first post.

Someof you are, I think, worrying too much about the 90% issue. The FSP has a built-in filtering process against what one might call "fair-weather  liberty lovers", to wit: moving to New Hampshire.

People who are kinda in favor of a kinda smaller government are not going to convince their wives (stereotypical, yes, but let's be honest) to pack up the house and kids and move to another state. The only people who will do that are people who are down-in-their-gut-fed up and not gonna take it any more. Probably slightly nuts, but you'll want that in your ideal liberty activist.
 Someone who's determined enough to do that isn't going to wuss out when the politcs get rough. If they are more interested in lax gun laws, or unrestricted homeschooling or home-grown pot than they are in legalizing donkey erotica, they're still going to be the kind of folks you want beside you in a fight, either literal or metaphorical.

Tom

N.B. Since I'm considering this, I'm probably slightly nuts, too. I'm OK with that.

Title: Re:We're being way too negative
Post by: rodschmidt on April 08, 2004, 06:54:04 pm
He then outlined his plan as to what he was going to do to win, including spending over $100,000 on his campaign (he'd already spent $5,000 that afternoon paying a political consultant).

So all he has to do is hire 19 more consultants and his goal will be achieved.

;)