Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why I Still Am a Voluntaryist

BrainPolice2 has a video called "Why I am not a voluntaaryist"

In it, I feel he makes the fallacy of the undistributed Middle -

If I am a voluntaryist, I take the use of coercive force off the table. So if Mr. Mann has a piece of property and wants to set up "The White's Only Diner" - excluding non-white people from his business, I will not use coercion or force to stop him from doing so.

That does NOT mean I approve of such behavior. That does NOT mean I find it "acceptable". It means that as a matter of my own ethical foundation, I eschew coercion or force, so I may not use those means to oppose him.

That leaves advocation, persuasion, ridicule, verbal abuse and certain forms of economic opposition and competition as tools I have to oppose Mister Mann and his racist, retarded business.

Just because I will not use coercion or force to oppose voluntary interactions between free individuals, that doesn't automatically mean I approve of annything they do.

I haven't listened to the responses or video responses to Brainpolice2's statement. Betcha it comes up and he covers the concepts more clearly than I do.

Human motivations and the NAP

Just a quick hit here - A follow up to an earlier post about the non-agression principle.

I am listening to Gary Chartier's videos at C4SS "Introduction to Anarchy"

In lecture 1c we're kicking off with the source book's description of human motivations. The Tannehills derive their theory of human liberty and self ownership from being alive.

Chartier goes into other human movtivations. "A Sense of Wonder", a need to conect with other human beings, an so on.

I'd reached a similar conclusion to the Tannehills myself without realizing it. I said "Don't kill me," is essentially a universal human value.

That idea was shot down by Dennnis Washburn who pointed out that some people do want to be killed. There was even a case where a man sold his body to another person on E-Bay, in order for the buyer to eat it.

Now, in Physics, if there's so much as a single exception to your theory, it means your theory is incomplete, or flat out wrong. When the apple falls up into the sky, it means your whole "gravity" idea goes into the garbage and you start over.

I don't think you can hold human behavior to that sort of all-or-nothing standard, because humans are very complex critters. There are more interconnections in the neurons of your brain than there are Stars in the Milky Way Galaxy - that means simulating your mind is more complicated than simulating 400 billion stars, planets and what-not all elese orbiting each other.

Looked at that way, the exceptions aren't surprising. The fact that we're so similar in mind set is absolutely stunning.


I think that the sense of wonder is of a different CLASS of human thought, emotion and action than "Don't commit aggression"

"Don't Commit Aggression" is a negative right - it defines something YOU have, by defining an action I might take as wrong. You have a right to remain intact, unmolested, unassaulted and so-on. You belong to you. Our language is set up so that "Don't Commit Aggression." is an easier formmulation of that idea.

That idea is a fundamental restriction on my actions. That idea is the foundation of millions of specific cases and development.

Your sense of wonder is not capable of violating any of my ownership of me. If your sense of wonder motivates you to aggress against me (Hard to imagine) then the sense of wonder is not the primary driver - your sense of wonder informs your desires, your desires frame a goal - and if that goal is across my boundaries - then you must decide. Will you agress to acquire your goal?

Maybe if I owned mountain top property, and you trespassed to get to a good place for viewing with a telescope...

See the sense of wonder cannot trespass - your awareness that your goal is blocked by my rights puts you in the position to chose or eschew agression.

(BTW, if I ever do get mountain top property with good astronomy viewing, talk to me. I'm not a dick. Maybe, if you and your astronomy club are willing, we can flatten out a space and put a BBQ there, make it a more comfortable place)


My point is this, there's the aggression/no-aggression point of choice - and then there's EVERYTHING else.

All other human motivations and experiences are. IMHO, of a different class of thing.

So if discussing ethical behavior - "Don't Commit Aggression" becomes the root. "Because no one wants to be killed, beaten or ganked." is the motivation behind that root.

Nothing else needs to be there.

If I tell you a funnny story for free, it's beccause You are amused by the story, and I enjoy having an audience. We are making an exchange outside of money or the calulation of marginal utility.

"Don't commit aggression" does NOT limit all human behavior to a economic calculations. It simply sets a bar, a limit at one end of human interaction. That still leaves about anything else we can invent as reasons for and products of our interactions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Reply to “Putting the Non-Aggression Principle into Context.”

A Reply to “Putting the Non-Aggression Principle into Context.”

Brainpolice2 made a video here - where he describes a problem with the non-aggression principle.

As I listened I found myself agreeing with him. I still do. I'd prefer to have proportional, measured responses to everything in life.

However, as I thought I discovered my objection to his statements - and I have just discovered another.

Problem one - BP2 describes a hypothetical situation where someone, Walden, for example, trespasses. This assumes that the property being walked on is owned by someone, for example, Wubzy.

Walden walks onto Wubzy's property, and is now trespassing (Walden, Wubzy, Widget and Daizy are friends - this is just hypothetical)

Wubzy, seeing that his rights are being violated grabs his weapon and blows Walden away.

This is a gross over reaction to Trespassing.

BP2 asserts that, While Wubzy has a right to his property, a right to remain trespass free, that Walden has a right to continue living, and that death is not suitable restitution for minor trespass.

I agreed. I see the above case as a conflict between Wubzy's right to remain un-trespassed and Walden's right to remain un-shot.

But - how do we resolve the conflict in rights there?

Well, in Libertopia, Wubzy would approach Walden and say "we have a conflict, let's call an arbitration service and resolve this conflict."

Walden may say "I see the conflict, and I agree." Walden may say "I see no conflict, go away." Or Walden may say "What are you going to do about it, Wubzy, bounce me to death with your bouncy tail?"

Why would anyone agree to submit to arbitration in the case of a conflict?

They’d agree because the alternative is uglier, more painful and more costly.

If Walden chooses option three and says "Go bounce yourself." then it's important that Wubzy can turn then response dial up to the disproportional 11.

If Wubzy's response dial is locked down to a 2, then this invites a miscreant to injure Wubzy up to 1.9. Wubzy can go so far and no further in deterring aggression against himself.

Now - BP2's hidden assumption -

Wubzy comes out onto his porch and finds Walden trespassing - Wubzy may go inside and get his "Make-my-Day-inator 3000" and blow Walden to kingdom come.

But because he MAY do this, that doesn't mean he necessarily will. We trust Wubzy to own a weapon and use it responsibly to defend himself. That means we're generically trusting Wubzy to exercise good judgment while holding lethal force in his hand.

(Given Wubzy's history of playing kickety-kick ball in the house, my examples are growing more hypothetical as we go!)

If Walden knows that Wubzy may just up and blow him away, this gives Walden motivation to avoid such an ugly scene by being more careful of Wubzy's right and to be more open to a non-explosive form of dispute resolution.


This is the basis for ALL society, not just our hypothetical Libertopia.

As Jose Ortega y Gasset said - "All civilization boils down to an attempt to reduce the use of force to the last resort."

And this is true. The inverse is also true. Unless the threat of violence is present, then no one has any motive to tolerate it when arbitration or a judgment goes against them.

Although I strongly suspect that 95% of humanity would agree with BP2 - that for Wubzy to execute Walden for trespassing is grossly unproportional.

I think that potential for disproportional response is an energy which drives reliance on more civilized forms of conflict resolution.

If Wubzy and Widget came to me to arbitrate a claim about the wrongful death of Walden, I’d find that Wubzy was out of bounds and ask him to pay restitution to the estate of Walden as if for murder, less the penalty for trespassing.

But unless Widget or myself has a valid threat of violence about us, Wubzy has no reason to adhere to the judgment.

If we post it to the Wuzzleburg times that Wubzy wiped out Walden and then blew off the arbitration - then Wubzy is going to have a hard time finding work, and buying supplies. He's going to be shunned.

But unless there is the possibility of being shot - then we might find Wubzy robbing Widget, myself or Daizy.

So - the application of force is something that has to be distributed and available to anyone - or else distributed push "Submit to civilized arbitration" is going to be absent - and then it'll be Mad Max time.

My second problem with BP2's video -

How many rights-points is Wubzy's yard worth? Specifically, the part that Walden took when he trespassed?

How many rights-points in Walden's life worth?

There's no good measurement for the proportionality of one violation versus the other.

I mean we could measure the two in relative terms - money bid on the open market.

But these are different transactions. If you rent me a square meter of your yard for 30 minutes - that's a voluntary exchange - and how much its worth depends on how badly I want to stand in your yard and what the benefit is to me.

It would be immoral to purchase someone's entire life, but we have a sort of market mechanism from murder restitutions - But murder is not a voluntary transaction on the part of the murdered, so the restitution amount is bound to be less than the murder victims presumed price of "don't murder me."

So setting a proportionality scale for judging rights transgressions against is subjective and difficult at best.

Surely such vagueness can't be considered a codified ethical principle, can it? That would make Google's "Don't be Evil" statement an entire code of ethics in and of itself.

Monday, March 22, 2010

First Post

Okay. I am Facebooking. and I am cruising around the net looking at stuff.

I found this interesting guy on the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Wiki. His name (So far as I know) is "brainpolice2" - He has many, many thinkies. And large ones.

I listened to his Video "The problem with Noam Chomsky." and I agree with him

So I listened to his Video

So then I listened to his Video "PUtting the NAP into it's proper context."

Then I wanted to comment. The comment section on youtube is limited - 500 characters. It's also a playground for drooling, violently stupidd retards.

I am also discovering that I am going TL:DR on facebook, too often.

So I grabbed this area on blogspot - and I am posting my longer ideas here.

This post is phrased as a reply to Brainpolice2 about his NAP video. Maybe someday he'll see it.

I am seeing your example of the tressapser as a conflict of rights, on one side the right of the property owner to control who comes and goes from his property, and on the other side the right of the tresspasser to continue to be whole and alive.

Your point seems to be that tresspass and loitering require a proportional response - that there is a defense of land property rights that is proportional to a small insult. I agree. However defining these in any consistent way is sort of slippery. Me standing on your lawn as I watch another incident happening in your neighborhood is one insult, Me going into your house and making myself a sandwich from your supplies is another. Me going into your bedroom and watching you and your partner enjoy an intimate moment is a higher level of creepy.

Each of these is only really defined by how BAD they make you feel, and how threatened you feel.

In the last two, I imagine some battary, assault and physically removing me from your property is entirely justified, while in the first example "Hey! Get off my lawn!" seems like a properly proportional response...

How do I know that? What Standard do I use to judge it?

So, if you come into your house and find me eating a sandwich, we are in a conflict of property rights. You have rights to your home and your sandwich fixings. You "Capping" me would be a disproportionate response.

How do we resolve the conflict? What mechanisms and tools do we have to do so?


Then I have to question the temporal aspect. You come home to find your TeeVee missing and discover that it's in my possession (apparently in this example I am sort of a creep) - So there is an ex-post facto conflict of rights. You owned a thing. I ganked it. In the straight forward NAP/Property-Rights Scheme, you then come around to my house, weapon in hand and shoot me. I asked for it. I stole your TV.

Now - on the one hand, the THREAT of this sort of response is supposed to A) Incentivize me not to steal your TV and B) Motivate me to cooperate with peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms. Giving you back your TV and making some restitution is cheaper than having a shoot-out with you.

Do you have another frame work for resolving disputes that works in the case of me helping myself in your kitchen or helping myself to your TV?