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Author Topic: FSP Concerns  (Read 16607 times)

dalebert

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2011, 12:08:41 pm »

One of my concerns is the confusion by some activists between libertarian goals and social change.  They are not one in the same.

They're not the same, but I don't see how you achieve libertarian goals without affecting social change.  Statism is a tool of people who have a desire to control other people.  I don't see how we're going to end it (or reduce it) without affecting a social change in people so that they are more accepting of people's differences and choices.  A free society requires people to believe that others should be free to live their lives as they choose.

MaineShark

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2011, 01:14:40 pm »

Some seem to think that being a libertarian means that you have to fight "bigotry", denigrate the family, ignore social mores and customs, etc.

Other than the bigotry part, the only ones who seem to think that, are the ones who oppose libertarianism.  Very few libertarians don't oppose bigotry, simply because bigotry is (by definition) irrational, and libertarianism is a rational philosophy.  I'm not aware of more than a small handful of libertarians who "denigrate the family" or "ignore social mores and customs."

Joe
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Argentum

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2011, 01:22:03 pm »

One of my concerns is the confusion by some activists between libertarian goals and social change.  They are not one in the same.

They're not the same, but I don't see how you achieve libertarian goals without affecting social change.  Statism is a tool of people who have a desire to control other people.  I don't see how we're going to end it (or reduce it) without affecting a social change in people so that they are more accepting of people's differences and choices.  A free society requires people to believe that others should be free to live their lives as they choose.


I agree with what you are saying to the extent that the social change is libertarian.  As long as we're changing people's attitudes as to the appropriate use of force in society, we are acting in the capacity of libertarians or consistent with libertarianism.  Anything beyond that, whether laudable or not, is not libertarian.  I don't know what to call it.  For example, trying to change the minds of  people who think that certain behaviors or lifestyles, though non-aggressive, are immoral.

I don't think people have to be accepting of people's differences or choices.  In many cases, it would be nice.  In some cases, overtolerance could be a bad thing.  All that matters is that they are not going to use force to interfere with these choices.  If that is what you meant by accepting, I apologize.  I hate overanalyzing people's words and get into sementical games.  On the other hand, I value clarity in language.  It's a balancing act.
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Argentum

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2011, 01:25:18 pm »

Some seem to think that being a libertarian means that you have to fight "bigotry", denigrate the family, ignore social mores and customs, etc.

Other than the bigotry part, the only ones who seem to think that, are the ones who oppose libertarianism.  Very few libertarians don't oppose bigotry, simply because bigotry is (by definition) irrational, and libertarianism is a rational philosophy.  I'm not aware of more than a small handful of libertarians who "denigrate the family" or "ignore social mores and customs."

Joe

What about religion? Many libertarians think religion is irrational.  Does that mean that the rational libertarian must oppose religion? 
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ptb

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2011, 01:47:14 pm »

Yes.
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MaineShark

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2011, 01:58:53 pm »

As long as we're changing people's attitudes as to the appropriate use of force in society, we are acting in the capacity of libertarians or consistent with libertarianism.  Anything beyond that, whether laudable or not, is not libertarian.  I don't know what to call it.  For example, trying to change the minds of  people who think that certain behaviors or lifestyles, though non-aggressive, are immoral.

"Immoral" almost always translates to "I will forcibly stop this, because I believe it is universally wrong."

Libertarianism holds that the only universal wrong is to initiate force against others.  That's the sum total of the universal morality within libertarianism.

I won't say that anything is wrong, unless I might forcibly stop it.  I might say that certain things are things I don't support, or I prefer not to be around, or would actively avoid, or would cause me to ostracize those who do them, but I would not describe anything as "wrong" unless I believed that it involved an actual initiation of force.

To a libertarian, once you mention "morality," you are almost automatically talking about force.  "My personal ethics" or "the ethical standards of my religion" or such would be better terms.  If you try to claim that there are universal standards which others may be held to, merely because you happen to have certain beliefs, even though they never agreed to be held to those standards, libertarians will tend to react with indignation; we believe in the sovereignty of the individual, so trying to hold someone else to some personal ethic that he never agreed-to, and pretending that it's universal (despite the fact that he did not agree to it, so it clearly is not universal) is offensive to that sovereignty.

Some seem to think that being a libertarian means that you have to fight "bigotry", denigrate the family, ignore social mores and customs, etc.
Other than the bigotry part, the only ones who seem to think that, are the ones who oppose libertarianism.  Very few libertarians don't oppose bigotry, simply because bigotry is (by definition) irrational, and libertarianism is a rational philosophy.  I'm not aware of more than a small handful of libertarians who "denigrate the family" or "ignore social mores and customs."
What about religion? Many libertarians think religion is irrational.  Does that mean that the rational libertarian must oppose religion?

I guess that would depend upon the particular religion, and the rationality of the particular practitioner.  Most folks will tolerate a great deal, before they feel the need to actively oppose something.

There are certainly religious individuals who are more or less rational.  Libertarians do not tend to be anti-religion, in general.  Libertarians tend to be opposed to specific religious individuals and groups who pick certain passages to justify their prejudices, while ignoring the overall teachings of their religion, because that sort of irrational, hypocritical behavior is far more of an affront to rationality than simple religious belief.  At some point, that converts from "personal foible" to "annoyingly irrational" in the mind of the observer.

Those who admit that their beliefs are their own, don't tend to have problems with libertarians.  I recall a semi-recent discussion in which Russell said something like, "I don't believe in gay marriage, so I wouldn't attend a church while one was being held."  The gay, atheist libertarian he was talking to, did not seem to take offense.  Change it to, "gay marriage is wrong, so ...," and I bet he would have taken a good deal of offense.  Telling someone that they are automatically bound by your personal beliefs, is only a small sliver of a step away from using force against them.  Much as one might be upset if some guy was walking down the street with a gun in his hand, even if he hasn't shot anyone, libertarians tend to get upset when someone does the verbal equivalent.  Keep the gun holstered by making it clear that you are speaking only for yourself and those who agree with you, and you won't get that reaction.

Joe
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dalebert

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2011, 04:48:29 pm »

Anything beyond that, whether laudable or not, is not libertarian.  I don't know what to call it.  For example, trying to change the minds of  people who think that certain behaviors or lifestyles, though non-aggressive, are immoral.

Libertarian morality is about avoiding aggression.  Whether it's libertarian regarding other notions of morality depends on how you're trying to change people's minds.  If you're exercising free speech and not using any violence, then it's libertarian.  In that case you're using reasoned arguments.  Fining or taxing people for "immoral" behavior (like alcohol) is not libertarian.  Alternatively, taxing or regulating everyone and using some of that to selectively license or reward "moral" behavior is also not libertarian.  It's the same idea but more devious.

That said, it's hard to sell people on the message that they should base their actual behavior on one morality that says violence is only acceptable for defensive purposes (the libertarian message), while out of the other side of your mouth you're talking about a different code of morality that has completely different standards.  Libertarians believe defensive violence is justified for immoral acts, specifically aggression or fraud.  If you're out there convincing people that lots of non-aggressive activities are immoral, why would you not expect them to feel that violence is justified to deal with those "immoral" acts?

It seems obvious on its face that achieving social change, i.e. promoting tolerance of our differences, can help to achieve libertarian goals of living together peacefully.  It also seems obvious on its face that you're fueling statism when you convince people that some behaviors, though hurting no one, are immoral.

"Immoral" almost always translates to "I will forcibly stop this, because I believe it is universally wrong."

Word.

Argentum

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2011, 06:48:56 pm »

"The fact is that libertarianism is not and does not pretend to be a complete moral or aesthetic theory; it is only a political theory, that is, the important subset of moral theory that deals with the proper role of violence in social life.

Political theory deals with what is proper or improper for government to do, and government is distinguished from every other group in society as being the institution of organized violence. Libertarianism holds that the only proper role of violence is to defend person and property against violence, that any use of violence that goes beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and criminal. Libertarianism, therefore, is a theory which states that everyone should be free of violent invasion, should be free to do as he sees fit, except invade the person or property of another. What a person does with his or her life is vital and important, but is simply irrelevant to libertarianism.

It should not be surprising, therefore, that there are libertarians who are indeed hedonists and devotees of alternative lifestyles, and that there are also libertarians who are firm adherents of "bourgeois" conventional or religious morality. There are libertarian libertines and there are libertarians who cleave firmly to the disciplines of natural or religious law. There are other libertarians who have no moral theory at all apart from the imperative of non-violation of rights. That is because libertarianism per se has no general or personal moral theory. "

Murray Rothbard

It's better sometimes to quote the Master.


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Argentum

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2011, 06:54:42 pm »



"Immoral" almost always translates to "I will forcibly stop this, because I believe it is universally wrong."


I disagree.  I think that it's more like a majority of the time.  And even so, that doesn't mean that you should assume that just because someone thinks something is immoral that they are likely going to employ force to remedy it.

If the NAP is the extent of your morality, fine.  But there are plenty of libertarians who have additional moral standards on top of the NAP.  Even many statists aren't complete statists.  Some of them might abhor certain things but still not call for it to be stopped by force. 

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MaineShark

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2011, 07:19:33 pm »

"Immoral" almost always translates to "I will forcibly stop this, because I believe it is universally wrong."
I disagree.  I think that it's more like a majority of the time.  And even so, that doesn't mean that you should assume that just because someone thinks something is immoral that they are likely going to employ force to remedy it.

As in the case of the man walking down the street with a gun in his hand.  He might not do anything with it, but if it's in his hand, not a holster, odds are that sane people will be wary of him.

If the NAP is the extent of your morality, fine.  But there are plenty of libertarians who have additional moral standards on top of the NAP.

If they are not universal, they aren't worthy of being called morality.  They are ethical standards, particular to those individuals and the groups they belong to.

Even many statists aren't complete statists.  Some of them might abhor certain things but still not call for it to be stopped by force.

You can't be a little bit pregnant, and you can't be an "incomplete" statist.  Statism is a religion, predicated on the notion that when a group of individuals gets together and performs certain rituals, they are transformed into a "State," which grants them the ability righteously do things which none of them, individually, has the right to do.  One either believes that mythos, or does not.  No matter how small a State some particular Statist would like to see, if he wants to see any State at all, he is a Statist.

Joe
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Denis Goddard

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2011, 07:31:33 pm »

Even many statists aren't complete statists.
The difference between an effective winner of hearts and minds, vs. a masterdebater, is the masterdebater doesn't understand that his philosophical enemies are intelligent humans who believe they are acting for the good.

MaineShark

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2011, 08:30:06 pm »

Even many statists aren't complete statists.
The difference between an effective winner of hearts and minds, vs. a masterdebater, is the masterdebater doesn't understand that his philosophical enemies are intelligent humans who believe they are acting for the good.

That definitely explains why you are unable to win hearts and minds, Denis.

Me, I understand that Statists are working for what they perceive as good; zealots always believe their cause is just.

Thus, the only way you can embrace liberty, is to give up your zealotry.  So long as you believe in Statism, you cannot possibly believe in liberty, because what Statism calls "good" is antithetical to liberty.  You will act towards what you believe is good, but that good is actually evil, when not viewed through the distorting lens of Statist belief.

Thus, only by abandoning Statism, can you stop working towards the evil that you imagine is good.

Joe
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Russell Kanning

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2011, 10:46:33 am »

Why would you be worried about being tied to the okc bombing when you are conservative? the guys that did that were government trained killers .... which you are not.

Yes, some of us associated with the FSP are extremist and anarchists. I guess you can tell your friends and the media that you don't agree with us.

My goal is to try and convince guys like you that the right path is an extreme one. A path that runs counter to the current culture. Jesus's early followers were considered troublemakers who obeyed a different god than Ceasar. I try to walk that same path.

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Russell Kanning

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2011, 10:52:30 am »

I guess I am repeating Curtis' concerns but hopefully in a more tactful, and therefore more conducive-to-communication manner.   :)

and shall we say .... "conservative" manner? :)

I agree with Dale. In many ways most of us are not conservative because we want our society to change  .... and guys like Dale and I want the government to disappear (maybe by people not believing in it) :)
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The NH Underground - "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -Mahatma Gandhi
New Hampshire Free Press - The Nonviolent Revolution Starts Here

"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces." -- Etienne de La Boetie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude

CurtHowland

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Re: FSP Concerns
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2011, 04:13:20 pm »

I agree with Dale. In many ways most of us are not conservative because we want our society to change

Sadly, the -word- "conservative" has been warped to mean a particular set of beliefs.

For example, I have commented on the videos by "libertywriters", a YouTube poster whom Fox got all over for reposting Freedom Watch. Which is a real shame because that's the only way I get to see it.

Anyway, so long as it's not -his- cause I comment about, so long as I decry the statist efforts of the people -he- disagrees with, he considers me a "conservative".

But the moment I said, "I don't like Ann Coulter", he jumped in with, "I thought you were a conservative?"

I said, "I am. In fact, I think the Articles of Confederation worked a lot better than this Constitution has."

When I equated an irrational belief in Omnipotent Govt, which he was against, with an irrational belief in Omnipotent Sky Spirits, which he was for, suddenly I'm his enemy again, and no longer a "conservative".

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and guys like Dale and I want the government to disappear (maybe by people not believing in it) :)

I do not like hypocrisy. That for one person coercion is illegal, and for another person coercion is not illegal, that I consider reprehensible. The definition earlier by MaineShark, that because people got together and bestowed upon themselves the "right" to coerce it is now "legitimate" for the group to do what no one member of that group had the right to do, is an excellent definition of the state.

The state itself is grounded in hypocrisy. Eliminate that hypocrisy, the state is eliminated.
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