Corruption in Government Motivates Anarchism?

Ptgymatic's picture
Submitted by Ptgymatic on Mon, 2009-04-20 20:59

This started out as a response to Sharon's question to Jeffrey about whether private individuals or organizations could offer DRO-type of services. That is buried in another thread, which has moved on, so I'm writing my answer here.

There cannot be competition in enforcement, so: No, no services to enforce your rights may be supplied by businesses or DRO's.

Choice and force are exact opposites. The fact that it is the very same contract which one voluntarily agrees to that subsequently requires enforcing does not imply that whoever creates a contract may, by the same token, enforce it. Forming a contract and enforcing that contract do not belong to the same realm. Being in a position to enter into a contract does not imply being in a position to enforce that contract. Having the right to enter into one does not mean you have the right to enforce it.

Logically, the idea of a contract presupposes the idea of enforcement. If there is not a mechanism for enforcement in existence before the first contract is formed, that "contract" has no force, no effect, and no more status than a casual promise. The "contracts" anarchists imagine individual people entering into with DRO's are themselves meaningless unless there is a superior organization to enforce them. Even if both parties to a contract subscribe to the same DRO, there is nothing on earth to prevent one party from entering into a new contract, with a competing DRO, to thwart the other party from enforcing that original contract. If you imagine DROs just wouldn't act like that, you might as well imagine that people who enter into a contract in the first place just wouldn't cheat one another. A single repository of force is the essential precursor to enforceability of any contract. A single repository of force is the only alternative to living with open wars in the streets.

You are concerned with the corruptibility of governments. It is a just concern, proved to be realistic countless times, in the most horrific ways. However, that has nothing to do with governments per se. Corruptibility is a matter of humans' having choice, of volition. That is a universal and permanent element in human affairs. Corruptibility is the reason people institute governments in the first place--friends and neighbors and tradesmen and strangers are sometimes corrupt.

When faced with corruption, man must resort to force. When corruption means a violation of one's rights: theft, fraud, personal injury, etc., then it represents the initiation of force, and that can only be responded to in kind. Pre-civilization, corruption meant fighting, man-to-man, or tribe-to-tribe. But in that scenario, might makes right. The Mafia, drug lords, Somalian pirates, and community gangs do, but the rest of us do not, want to live in a system where "might makes right."

In civilization, we try to change the fact that, when men must resort to force, the result is might over right. In civilization, we try to create a permanent connection between the greatest might and the genuine right. Government, with explicit laws, and a constitution, is our best answer to that effort.

The best we can do in the face of the ubiquitous possibility of corruption is to align the greatest force with the best rules of just behavior, then live within the sphere in which that force is in effect. That is what a constitutional government aims at.

Nothing will eliminate corruption among men, and nothing can prevent corruption's entering government through the men who occupy its seats. A constitution, however, is an enduring document that identifies even governmental corruption, and makes explicit our authority to eradicate it! A constitution such as America’s allows government corruption to be opposed without resorting to force! (What mind-boggling brilliance it took to figure that out!)

Still, that constitution will succeed only if real people take the initiative to make claims and put its potential power to eliminate corruption into action. If there are no good people to act, nothing will prevent corruption from dominating any group or system.

So, while a constitutional government holds no guarantee against corruption by its officials, it makes it possible for corruption to be confronted and defeated without the injured parties’ having to mount a rebellion or revolution to do so! It facilitates keeping its own, just ideas in effect.

One answer to your question is simply that contracts cannot be the source of enforcement because they presuppose it.
Another answer is that the idea of allowing competing armed forces is exactly what the uncivilized social context of pre-history consisted in, and it is where might makes right.
If you are motivated by the sight of corruption in government, look deeper and see that, in America, at least, our system incorporates mechanisms to root out its corrupt officials.
If your disgust comes from the fact that the government doesn’t prevent or root out its own corrupt people, automatically, then I’m afraid what you’re looking for is the equivalent of a socio-political baby bottle.

Mindy


( categories: )

Laure

sharon's picture

"I do not believe that all use of force is bad. Use of force in defense of your rights or in retaliation is good. So, no contradiction."

Use of force in defense of your rights or in retaliation is good. I agree. That is not the contradiction I mention.

No Contradiction

Laure Chipman's picture

Not sure if I know what "contradiction" you are referring to, but I suspect your line of reasoning is, "All use of force is bad, all governments use force, therefore all governments are bad." The premise you need to check is the first one. Not presuming to answer for Mindy, but I do not believe that all use of force is bad. Use of force in defense of your rights or in retaliation is good. So, no contradiction.

Mindy

sharon's picture

I don’t think it makes sense to ask someone how they can reconcile a contradiction, but it sure in hell is reasonable to ask you to acknowledge it.

mindy

sharon's picture

Then you find yourself in a contradiction.

You should take yourself more seriously, Scott

Ptgymatic's picture

I do.

Mindy

"Sorry," Sharon

Ptgymatic's picture

I've addressed those things, and summarized and re-iterated. There is nothing else to say, at least nothing I can see to make those issues clearer. The answers have already been given. I have nothing else to say on the same questions, and I don't think there is more that needs to be said.

Mindy

Evidently so

atlascott's picture

Evidently so.

"Others here evidently think

Aaron's picture

"Others here evidently think that it is cute to obliquely threaten my professional status over such things."

WTF? At least Billy had the 'decency' to openly threaten you with violence. That's sneaky and low.

Aaron

Scott

sharon's picture

"We have had some heated exchanges. I was wondering--have you taken investigatory steps towards reporting me for unethical conduct as an attorney for our exchanges here?"

Certainly not. Has someone else?

I'm curious, Sharon

atlascott's picture

We have had some heated exchanges. I was wondering--have you taken investigatory steps towards reporting me for unethical conduct as an attorney for our exchanges here?

No?

Because you understand the forum and what these exchanges signify? Because you know that even an accusation can tie up a bunch of my time defending against it?

Well, if you HAVE NOT, then thanks, Sharon.

Others here evidently think that it is cute to obliquely threaten my professional status over such things.

“In the absence of a moral

sharon's picture

“In the absence of a moral government, anyone who attempted to set such a one up would be acting correctly. Once there is a moral government in existence, opposition to it is opposition to peaceful co-existence, and so wouldn't be moral.”

Not opposition to it, as in wielding some sort of force, or a la “Beer Hall Putsch”—but rather competition. I am simply interested in setting up my DRO system --as are other citizens, say.

“Why can't you set up a mini-government/DRO as long as you stay moral in your actions? Because enforcement must be centralized.”

This is asserted but not proved or argued as to why.

"One set of proper principles means one proper way to act or respond, and one set of priorities as to how to implement the enforcement goals of the particular situation."

This is a rather pragmatic argument as to *effect*. I don’t know (or thought of) all the logistics of a fully free and moral anarchist society and what challenges that would entail, because I don’t argue from “effect”; I am making a moral argument.

Mindy

sharon's picture

I have argued that a ‘government’ is a conceptual description for a group of people—in that the word “government” is a conceptual description; it has no more existence in reality than “numbers” do. Actual individual people exist - a “government” does not. Institutions are set up, but they are merely conceptual categories and have no existence apart from the individuals who set them up and comprise them. I have argued that it is therefore erroneous to elucidate on the actions or ethics of “governments” per se, we can only describe the actions and ethics of people—concrete specific individual people.

I have also argued:

‘If morality is to have any Objective meaning, it must be universal, consistent and reversible. It cannot be considered ethical for me to propose that “Action X” is perfectly moral for me, but perfectly immoral for you - or that this action is perfectly moral today, but perfectly immoral tomorrow. What is right for one must be right for all - and what is wrong for one must be wrong for all.’

Would you agree with these elucidations?

The right to form a government

Ptgymatic's picture

One: Why do some lucky souls get the "right" to create and impose a government?

In the absence of a moral government, anyone who attempted to set such a one up would be acting correctly. Once there is a moral government in existence, opposition to it is opposition to peaceful co-existence, and so wouldn't be moral. If different groups get the same idea at the same time and each goes about setting up a moral government, they will act in concert, and there will be no competition or conflict between them. The end result must be a single, integrated organization, though.

Two: Why can't you set up a mini-government/DRO as long as you stay moral in your actions? Because enforcement must be centralized. Centralized means singular. One set of proper principles means one proper way to act or respond, and one set of priorities as to how to implement the enforcement goals of the particular situation. It might actually help to think that it isn't a question of who gets to wield force, but that nobody gets to wield force. Civil relations and interactions are all peaceful, so there is no possibility of selling enforcement.

Self-defense is the exception, of course, and citizen arrests, and bounty hunters. These things may be sold, as security forces. DROs could do that sort of business.

When a crime occurs, it is necessary for the government to respond. It is necessary if the government is to be real, because that is its function. If someone else tries to interfere, they are interfering with the proper, the moral functioning, of government.

Governments are set up to eliminate force. A DRO enforcement agency is a violation on its face. There is no force in civil affairs, so you can't sell it as a product, security forces being the exception, as mentioned.

Sure, there are individual police forces in every town and village, but they are all ruled by the same constitution, they are coordinated, they are official. If you want to join one of them, and be a policeman, that would be a kind of DRO activity, but your terms would not be variable, and you would not be allowed to serve some people only.

You aren't denied the opportunity to be involved in law enforcement, or government. You aren't prevented from being one of those "lucky people," except as history denied you the opportunity to live at the right moment... So you aren't being cheated out of something others are allowed.

Mindy

Mindy

sharon's picture

It is said that the purpose of government is to prevent the initiation (or the thereat) of force. This argument has been countered by asking to explain how a government can form without the use of force. That is, how can a state form without violating the very purpose you say it must have?

You argued:

"The morality of imposing the American Constitution on you comes from the morality of its principles, not from your consent."

On its face, it is a compelling argument. But I do have a few problems with it nonetheless. It is said that that every individual has rights--the exact same rights by virtue of being a human being. By what logic do you justify a certain group individuals having a special right above everyone else to form into a government, no matter what the moral justification you purport them to have? That is, why those specific individuals (of whatever aggregate of individuals who are forming into a government) and not some other group of people?

There are other logical problems.

You will recall that I solicited clarification when I wrote the following post:

“If I understand you correctly (and Objectivism), the government has only the limited function of protecting rights and to do so in accordance with objective laws. So long as I do not violate anybody’s rights—do not initiate force against anybody—I am entirely free, otherwise, to do as I please. Is that correct? And, as Rand points out, rights can only be violated by means of force. That is correct, right?”

I put it to you--why can’t I (and other like-minded individuals) form such an institution? Leaving semantics aside, I do not care for the term 'government' and prefer DRO. Now, my DRO would function in the exact same manner a “proper government” would (perhaps offering a greater array of services and much more effectively) and therefore I would not violate anybody’s rights.

Please let me make myself very clear: I will not initiate the use of force against anybody and all the individuals who deal with me will be on voluntary bases.

By the very nature of the premises you have outlined---you don’t have the right to stop me. Not you, not your government, nor anybody else.

Would you stop me? Do you support my moral claim to do as I wish so long as I do not violate anybody’s rights? How can you, or anybody else, stop me from doing as I please without violating my rights?

I am taking the Socratic

sharon's picture

I am taking the Socratic approach for the sake of clarity and to ensure a mutual understanding (if not agreement) of your case for government (the type of government you defend, that is). I will do away with the business that I am misrepresenting you or any other kind of back-door escape that debates often take. So we do have a common understanding. I have repeated your argument you are satisfied that I understand it fully.

"The U.S. Constitution represents one case of authority from consent of the governed, it isn't something a monarchy, etc. put in place. It respects individual rights, if not with perfect consistency, and that is the source of its morality. Doesn't that cover it? "

Fine, that covers it.

Has the subject changed?

Ptgymatic's picture

What exactly is the question you want to argue? Is it other than what the thread began discussing?

The U.S. Constitution represents one case of authority from consent of the governed, it isn't something a monarchy, etc. put in place. It respects individual rights, if not with perfect consistency, and that is the source of its morality. Doesn't that cover it?

If I'm supposed to step onto a trip line here, you're going to have to lead me to it.

Mindy

Mindy

sharon's picture

"I am not saying that the U.S. constitution was ever or is now perfect."

I don’t want to argue my case using the existing constitution with its noted existing flaws to be countered later that my argument fails given those short comings, that’s all. I don't want to be said that I am arguing against a straw man. This is to make sure we are on the same page...or the same premise. Does that make sense?

I don't understand

Ptgymatic's picture

...the need for the questions, so I guess I don't understand what you are asking.

As far as I can see, the ball is in your court. Argue away.

Mindy

Mindy

sharon's picture

Would you care if I argue my position from the existing American government and her constitution, or from the base of a fully moral government, to use your language? That is up to you.

By the way, all things considered, we are in agreement, yes?

Yes, only a general statement

Ptgymatic's picture

...of constitutional government that is based on moral principles...which would automatically mean based on protection of individual rights. I am not saying that the U.S. constitution was ever or is now perfect.

Mindy

"The morality of imposing

Aaron's picture

"The morality of imposing the American Constitution on you comes from the morality of its principles, not from your consent."

If what you really mean is that a legitimate minimal government (i.e. which only defends individual rights instead of initiating force) would be moral regardless someone's consent then certainly I agree. The US Constitution does not fit this, however. While I recognize much of its modern issues are with inexcusable interpretation instead of just how it is written, the US Constitution does contain some very major issues at odds with moral government - e.g. article 1 section 8 (and amendment 16) concerning coercive taxation, control of money, and the infamous commerce clause, 5th amendment declaring property can be taken for public use by unilaterally determined 'just compensation', etc. I think you were intending the comment in the general sense referring to a legitimate government, but wanted to clarify this in case it be mistaken for regarding the US Constitution as completely moral.

Aaron

Mindy

sharon's picture

When I said, 'Principles--philosophy--ethics--comes first and politics is the implementation of an ethical system, which is the order of things' --I only meant what the first part of my sentence conveys regarding a philosophical hierarchy, which I think is clear here. I suggest striking the 'the order of things' if that serves to only confuse matters. Imprecision in language is exactly what I am seeking to avoid.

So now that I have made my clarifications, I take it we are not only on the same page, but we are reading the same paragraph…to draw the analogy out even further. ;]

I most certainly understand that fraud is an indirect use of force. Do not forget that I am well versed in Objectivism, which is an advantage as it does allow a commonality in language and we can argue as equals, at least in the capacity of our knowledge of Objectivism.

Ok, we have an understanding. I will formulate my thoughts and get back to you.

P.S. Perhaps we could have Scott pipe in and concur (if he does) with the understanding that you and I are having, Mindy, see if he understands and aggress with my interpretation of the Objectivist position in regards to government outlined by Rand and explained by you.

I agree

Ptgymatic's picture

...with the quote of Rand, of course. I trust you noted the word, "basically" in that quote. Fraud is a form of force, I trust you understand that is the intention?

I agree as long as some imprecision of language is acknowledged on both parts. Otherwise, I'd need a little more precision in your language about "the order of things."

Thank you for the compliments. They are especially rewarding coming from an opponent.

I await developments...

Mindy

Thanks

Ptgymatic's picture

Thanks, Scott.

Mindy

sharon's picture

"The morality of imposing the American Constitution on you comes from the morality of its principles, not from your consent."

Ok, I get it. Principles--philosophy--ethics--comes first and politics is the implementation of an ethical system, which is the order of things. Would you agree?

This is a very interesting post and you have a gift for bringing things down to its core essentials with the least amount of verbiage. You have a wonderful economy of words.

I do have some clarifications questions—to make sure we are on the same page.
First, let me take this quote from Ayn Rand:

"The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man's rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man's right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control."

— Ayn Rand, "What is Capitalism" Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, p. 19.

If I understand you correctly (and Objectivism), the government has only the limited function of protecting rights and to do so in accordance with objective laws. So long as I do not violate anybody’s rights—do not initiate force against anybody—I am entirely free, otherwise, to do as I please. Is that correct? And, as Rand points out, rights can only be violated by means of force. That is correct, right?

-

Best argument so far

atlascott's picture

"The morality of imposing the American Constitution on you comes from the morality of its principles, not from your consent."

Best argument on this topic so far.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident..."

Cliff Notes

Ptgymatic's picture

You've been fighting some careless and nonsensical posters on this topic elsewhere, Sharon, so I am giving you all the benefit of the doubt I can muster.

Here's the Cliff Notes version:

Only centralized enforcement delivers us from a might-makes-right chaos.

Centralized force is moral if it enforces moral principles.

A constitution recognizing individual rights is moral.

Enforcement of moral principles does not require consent.

Here are the margin notes on your proposal:

Contracts presuppose enforcement.

The American Constitution and government does not consist in a set of people, but of a documented set of rules of conduct, which gains its authority from the consent of the governed, en masse, if not unanimously.

The morality of imposing the American Constitution on you comes from the morality of its principles, not from your consent.

Enjoy.

Replies without new questions aren't going to get responses. This is already a repetition, you haven't dealt with the many points I have made in answer to your specific points, and your insincerety with misquotes counts against you.

Mindy

Mindy

sharon's picture

Mindy, my arguments remain in full force and you have not properly addressed yourself to them.

Can I compete with this government doing exactly as they do? By what right do they bar me or others in a given society? Perhaps they were sprinkled with some magic Philosopher King dust? That what I mean by *opposing moral principles* ascribe to one set of human but not to others; this cancels the whole concept—morally and epistemologically—of a centralized government.

It must work somewhere

atlascott's picture

Otherwise, she would not employ such a "strategy."

Maybe it works well in a standard-less Anarchistic utopia?

Too many mis-quotes!

Ptgymatic's picture

if you read as inaccurately as you quote, Sharon, it is no wonder you can't understand.
Your last post brings the count up to five, I think. Does that sort of tactic work for you elsewhere?

The discussion about consent was an explanation of the ontology of government, not of its moral authority. The moral authority of a government--a constitutional one--comes from the principles it institutes. A government that protects your individual rights does so morally, whether or not you consent.

Mindy

How can there be such a

sharon's picture

How can there be such a thing as “violent consent” anyway? Sound like more logic chopping. "Consent --or I'll shoot you down!"

Hell, maybe we should have that discussion on epistemology, which is much more fundamental than politics.

"Is a government more than the people in office at the moment? Yes. It is an institution."

Inserting the word “institution” does not establish your case in crediting a difference between a citizen and a government official. An “institution” is nothing other than an aggregate of *individuals*.

Consent is ongoing

Ptgymatic's picture

I covered this. If I left something out, please be specific.

Mindy

"Yes, there is always going

sharon's picture

"Yes, there is always going to be force. That consent I mentioned is consent as to the use of force...for pete's sake, what did you think it was???"

Mindy, my contention is...that even this much is not true. Who consented and how? Are people still consenting and are all future generations to consent? Where’s my signature, if that is how consent is obtained? How? Where? When?

Government is consent regarding force!

Ptgymatic's picture

Yes, there is always going to be force. That consent I mentioned is consent as to the use of force...for pete's sake, what did you think it was???

I am not deaf, and I am not dumb. Consider yourself warned.

As for your dinner-party discussions of epistemology--who do you think you are kidding?

You said everything you had in your first ten words.

Mindy

Mindy, I can’t address the

sharon's picture

Mindy,

I can’t address the challenges and arguments of your posts within the scope of a single post by me, but overtime perhaps I will. Rather, I will do exactly that. Frankly, I still believe you have dodged the argument I presented regarding the citizenry and government, and the opposing moral properties assigned to one group of human beings and not the other.

Leaving that aside, I can’t –no matter how pressed for time I am—avoid taking issue with this:

>>Is a government more than the people in office at the moment? Yes. It is an institution, the ontology of which is the consent of the governed, which consent is predicated on the ideas the government serves.

It is one thing to argue with me, a market-anarchist, but it would seem that a fellow Objectivist (I assume) would have an issue with this line of argument. Scott De Salvo reproaches the Gregster on this very issue. I quote:

“Your "government by consent" falls apart under the weight of a single dissenter. Then, it is a government by use of force.

“That is the weakness of the "social contract" theory. That, and it is nonsense.

There is going to be force. The only question is--wielded by whom, under what limitations, and for what purpose, and guided by what principles.”

Indeed, it is nonsense. Not even the great Objectivist patriot of minimal government can dilute and disguise and avert his own attention to the fact that the gun is in the room.

As to epistemology, it is always a favorite topic—especially at dinner parties. ;]

But I’m not sure if we would have any fundamental differences there. Who knows?

edit:

(The quote about defining government as a concept for a group of people... isn't a quote of me. )

Yes, I know that.

Governments are people, too?

Ptgymatic's picture

If I understand you correctly, Sharon, you are saying governments do not exist, only the people in government at a given point in time do. Since all people in a society ought to have equal rights, the people in government's right to enforce, for example, contracts ought to belong equally to all people. (The quote about defining government as a concept for a group of people... isn't a quote of me. )

There are a couple of ways to answer this. A simple, straight-to-the-jugular one is that this is as true of DROs as of a government. However, that errs in promoting a relatively minor fault over the more critical ones. Contracts cannot exist, do not mean any more than a friendly agreement or promise, if there is not an agency to enforce them. You can't begin enforcement with something that itself requires enforcement!

It is fun to go into all the problems with the idea of competing enforcement agencies, but it just stirs up the dust.

Is a government more than the people in office at the moment? Yes. It is an institution, the ontology of which is the consent of the governed, which consent is predicated on the ideas the government serves. Those ideas are set and made explicit in the constitution, and it is the constitutionally set principles of government action that gains the people's consent. It is, basically, your and my plan to consult a court to settle how much I owe you for running over your mailbox. It exists in the form of the will of the people it subsumes to live in a governed province. It applies to a geographical area because it is a social institution.

I didn't invent this government, and didn't ask to be included in it. Tough for me. I can leave if I wish. "Sovereignty" extends to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A government that serves those things cannot, in principle, violate my sovereignty. I mean, living under the U.S. Constitution does not make me any less free and sovereign than living on a deserted island. (The issue of taxes aside, for the moment.) This is what government for the people means. I am nobody's subject by being an American. I don't give anything up by being an American, rather, I gain by it: my rights have much greater defense than I can provide them on my own!

The people in government do not get privileges the rest of us are denied. They are cogs in a defined wheel, and must act and may act only to serve and protect me/us/you. They are not empowered to decide whose interests are to be forwarded and whose thwarted. They are not allowed to act as thugs.

I'm leaving out the epistemology of the status of something that "is a concept," as that would just confuse the issue. But if you want to discuss that elsewhere, I'm game.

P.S. I am not deaf.

Mindy

"What can people do who

sharon's picture

"What can people do who learn there is a DRO that backs up their customer's claims no matter what? What prevents mafia-like protection/extortion? The biggest, meanest DRO could do whatever it wanted, couldn't it? Who would stop it? It could become a de facto government, why not? In short: How do you deal with the problem that without centralized enforcement, might makes right?"

How do you deal with the fact that the centralized enforcement is might doing whatever it wants?

You didn’t answer my question regarding opposing moral principles and the logical problem therein from the post below. I understand you are interested in epistemology as read on your profile.

"The biggest, meanest DRO could do whatever it wanted, couldn't it? Who would stop it?"

Dependent upon their customer base, how would they --and by what means and to what extent?

Excellent!

Laure Chipman's picture

Mindy, I've got to chime in, too. Your post is magnificent, 100% spot-on. I couldn't have said it better myself, so I'm glad you wrote it up.

Guns that offer "value"

Ptgymatic's picture

One: It is more than a piece of paper, because it was adopted in the first place, which is not so trivial as you might think. Yes, there are poor constitutions, inadequate ones. But compare governments that have a written constitution to those that do not, and see which group is overall superior in defending individual rights.

That piece of paper is a permanent statement of priorities. A public statement offers durability to the rules in effect. It is open to dispute prior to specific, wrong acts which might be done under its authority. In short, it represents thought about how people should treat one another, and, by its very nature, invites comment, review, and further thought on matters of government. All of that is to the good.

Two: Laure offered some excellent observations about whether it helps that one's DRO went bankrupt after failing its customers. Small comfort when your life is ruined! But that is neither here nor there, because DRO's--and I mean actual enforcement agencies, which means wielding force, are no different from the individuals you live next to or companies you form contracts with are. We are each a DRO.

What can people do who learn there is a DRO that backs up their customer's claims no matter what? What prevents mafia-like protection/extortion? The biggest, meanest DRO could do whatever it wanted, couldn't it? Who would stop it? It could become a de facto government, why not? In short: How do you deal with the problem that without centralized enforcement, might makes right?

Mindy

gregster

sharon's picture

What would the centralized state be doing that it wouldn’t permit me to do, though?

Magnificent !

Howard's picture

Mindy, that was truly a magnificent post.

Howard

Set up your DRO, Sharia

gregster's picture

they already exist. (Some known as DROpout centres.)

I said below:

"DROs' functions could be subsumed under this objective law. Under control. Based on many case law decisions."

gregster

sharon's picture

“A statist is a man who believes that some men have the right to force, coerce, enslave, rob, and murder others.” (AR)

Great! Maybe I was wrong to equate statists with Objectivists. So in an Objectivists society, I can set up my DRO and nobody is going to "force or coerce" to stop me. (Read my response to Mindy).

Mindy

sharon's picture

>>There cannot be competition in enforcement, so: No, no services to enforce your rights may be supplied by businesses or DRO's.<<

“A government is a conceptual description for a group of people (who claim and possess the moral right to initiate the use of violence against others within a specific geographical area”).

While Jeffery Smith might ague with latter part of this definition, it can’t be argued that a *government is a conceptual description for a group of people*—in that the word “government” is a conceptual description; it has no more existence in reality than “numbers” do. Actual individual people exist - a “government” does not. It is erroneous to elucidate on the actions or ethics of “governments” per se, we can only describe the actions and ethics of people—concrete specific individual people. If morality is to have any Objective meaning, it must be universal, consistent and reversible. It cannot be considered ethical for me to propose that “Action X” is perfectly moral for me, but perfectly immoral for you - or that this action is perfectly moral today, but perfectly immoral tomorrow. What is right for one must be right for all - and what is wrong for one must be wrong for all.

Now you can see, logically and clearly, where the contradiction exists when it comes to the citizenry and “government”. You can’t ascribe opposing moral principles to different sets of human beings. The logic is clear. Now then, let me ask you: Who is going to stop me from setting up my DRO? Who has the right?

Keep trying, honey. You're doing well. Smiling

Edit:

I untangle the other mistakes in your most interesting post later. I’m tired now.

Mindy

sharon's picture

"You are concerned with the corruptibility of governments. It is a just concern, proved to be realistic countless times, in the most horrific ways. However, that has nothing to do with governments per se."

Corruption is here to stay. But any single DRO would not have the type of power that current day governments have and therefore couldn’t cause as much widespread damage. Let’s not forget the very backbone of government is “a bunch of guys, a mob, with guns” --that rule with might, held in check, supposedly by a piece of paper--whereas DROs must offer *value* to thrive. Strawman attacks abound here. Wow!

No such change

Ptgymatic's picture

as could make you smile, Greg-stir. I don't know what you mean exactly by that, but I can promise you that it isn't anything you'll approve of. Save your smiles.

Mindy

More like it Mindy

gregster's picture

Mindy, that's definitely, I think, your best post.

Another Sharonism is equating objectivists with statists.

A statist is a man who believes that some men have the right to force, coerce, enslave, rob, and murder others.” (AR)

So Sharon ignores purposely that statism, is the principle that man’s life belongs to the state. She can't see that her free-for-all system of DROs would end up stateless and lawless.

There is a just role for “the state” and no need to throw the baby out with the bath water as Sharon wishes.

The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.” (AR)

DROs' functions could be subsumed under this objective law. Under control. Based on many case law decisions.

You say above;”The best we can do in the face of the ubiquitous possibility of corruption is to align the greatest force with the best rules of just behavior”

“Best rules of just behavior” put better:

a means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws.” (AR)

You have changed. Smiling

Bravo!

jeffrey smith's picture

Corruptibility is a matter of humans' having choice, of volition. That is a universal and permanent element in human affairs.

And that's the nub of it: Sharon and her fellow DROers seem to be unable to understand that nothing can keep their DROs from becoming corrupt. They are asking the police to police themselves on the honor system. Even a casual glance at contemporary America should show you how well that idea works.

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