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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #75 on: May 13, 2009, 07:43:20 AM »

For the most part, libertarian-oriented people who say they reject the NAP seem to be denying reality.  They are engaged in some silly game of [insert 50 year old burnt out hippy voice] "Don't label me, man.. I'm a non-conformist and I don't need your dogmatic NAP rules oppressing me," and so they seem to reject the "label "more than they do the substance of what is contained in the label.  Which of course, makes the rejection irrational if that is their primary line of thinking.

What about those of us minarchists who realize that the NAP prohibits any form of government?  The NAP is inconsistent with any government no matter how you slice it.  I don't see myself as being "non-conformist" or hippy-like.  It's simply a fact that I don't agree 100% with the NAP.

Well, I suppose that depends on the role you see moral principles as playing at all. You could say that they are guidelines that should be generally cleaved to, but that there are exceptions.
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #76 on: May 13, 2009, 07:46:10 AM »

I was specifically talking about minarchists who realize that government violates the NAP.  I don't think I'm inconsistent unless I'm being judged by the NAP.  However, I reject the NAP so I think it's silly to judge me as inconsistent based on a principle I don't believe in.  I hope you realize that most people in America would probably agree with your same argument applied to a slightly different context.  Libertarians are inconsistent because they nominally share some positions with both Republicans and Democrats simultaneously.  Most people use the Democrat-Republican yardstick, not the NAP.  So, are we all inconsistent here?

Perhaps such a minarchist's position is not a ZAP (Zero Aggression), but a minimise aggression principle, so you have as little institutionalised aggression as you see practicable?
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2009, 07:50:32 AM »

Here it is:

I don't believe that most libertarians, myself included, follow or believe in the NAP.  Support for the existence of any sort of government is a violation of the NAP, leaving NAP only to the anarchist wing of the movement.  I do think the government has a role in providing a justice system, because I don't believe there can be justice without coercion.

Government is made of citizens.

Which is not the same as saying that all citizens are the government, of course.

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Therefore, there are certain citizens whom I would grant the power to violate the NAP in certain circumstances.

To aggress against you? Or to agress against somebody else? Why can't you authorise somebody other than those citizens to violate the NAP? What if not everybody else wants to grant those citizens that power?
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freeAgent

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #78 on: May 13, 2009, 08:13:48 PM »

This sums up my position pretty well:

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Other consequentialist libertarians do not promote the non-aggression principle at all; they simply believe that allowing a very large scope of political and economic liberty results in the maximum well-being or efficiency for a society, even if securing this liberty involves some governmental actions that would be considered violations of the non-aggression principle. It just so happens that these actions are limited in the free society they envision. This type of libertarianism is associated with Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich Hayek.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle#Consequentialist_criticism

I would authorize government agents who are engaged in the administration of justice the ability to aggress against me or anyone who violates does harm to another person.  You could say that this is like a "minimal aggression principle", but it certainly isn't consistent with the Non-Aggression Principle.  I just don't feel the need to bandy labels around in hopes that they might fit after enough abuse.
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Alex Free Market

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2009, 08:52:54 PM »


I would authorize government agents who are engaged in the administration of justice the ability to aggress against me or anyone who violates does harm to another person. 


That's not necessarily an act of initiating aggression though, in the context of the NAP, in the same way that self defense is not considered initiating force.  It is simply a response to a transgression.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 08:57:28 PM by Alex Free Market »
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freeAgent

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #80 on: May 13, 2009, 09:11:49 PM »


I would authorize government agents who are engaged in the administration of justice the ability to aggress against me or anyone who violates does harm to another person. 


That's typically not considered initiating aggression though, in the context of the NAP, in the same way that self defense is not considered initiating force.  It is simply a response to a transgression.

I thought you were just saying that government violates the NAP?  It certainly does violate the NAP if the person being aggressed against by my government does not consent to its laws or the enforcement of its system of justice.
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Alex Free Market

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #81 on: May 13, 2009, 09:29:43 PM »


I thought you were just saying that government violates the NAP? 


In some regards they do. And in some regards they don't [violate the NAP].

All depends what specific actions we are talking about.

In the specific context of exactly the comment of yours that I quoted, that alone is arguably not a NAP violation.


What is a NAP violation, are numerous other things government typically does, which they need not do.  Taxation being one example, which would have to be replaced with a voluntary user-fee type system.  Jurisdictional monopoly of both land and services being another example of where the government violates the NAP.  Government need not do that either, as we could have a polycentric law system.  Etc.. etc...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 09:47:01 PM by Alex Free Market »
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jeffersonish

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #82 on: May 14, 2009, 03:27:36 AM »


I thought you were just saying that government violates the NAP? 


In some regards they do. And in some regards they don't [violate the NAP].

All depends what specific actions we are talking about.

In the specific context of exactly the comment of yours that I quoted, that alone is arguably not a NAP violation.


What is a NAP violation, are numerous other things government typically does, which they need not do.  Taxation being one example, which would have to be replaced with a voluntary user-fee type system.  Jurisdictional monopoly of both land and services being another example of where the government violates the NAP.  Government need not do that either, as we could have a polycentric law system.  Etc.. etc...

When you remove all uninitiated force from the agency formerly known as government, it is no longer government. In other words, you could define government as an organization that violates the NAP and you would be well on your way to a working definition.

I'm all for the NAP in that I understand the moral implications. I simply am a pragmatist and would have to believe strongly in the non-governmental alternatives to certain functions the government now undertakes. I haven't seen anyone make an argument that makes sense to me for complete NAP aka complete anarchy. Until someone does, I'm squarely in the minarchist camp. That said, even those government functions I would like to keep could be modified to minimize the violation of the NAP. Some have been mentioned like voluntary "taxes." Also, I don't think it would be hard to find people to serve on a part time basis for a minimal government as volunteers. We already do that to an extent with volunteer fire departments and in a lot of cases, people like city council reps receive so little pay, it might as well be voluntary in smaller locales.

As far as the connection between NAP and libertarian, the functioning definition in society for a libertarian is someone who espouses limited government. I don't think if you asked most people who have some clue about libertarianism, but aren't immersed in it, for a definition, that a very large percentage would say, "an anarchist." Therefore, I group anarchists (the NO government variety vs. say anarcho-syndicalists) and minarchists together when I use the term libertarian. Of course, I'll respect Ian's desires and exclude him from that designation. LOL
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #83 on: May 14, 2009, 05:33:50 AM »


I would authorize government agents who are engaged in the administration of justice the ability to aggress against me or anyone who violates does harm to another person. 


That's typically not considered initiating aggression though, in the context of the NAP, in the same way that self defense is not considered initiating force.  It is simply a response to a transgression.

I thought you were just saying that government violates the NAP?  It certainly does violate the NAP if the person being aggressed against by my government does not consent to its laws or the enforcement of its system of justice.

But this is not what is talked about as aggression, and is also really why you have to read my criticism of the NAP earlier in this thread.

Incidentally, the need for consent to things, from Locke, rests on the presumption that you are bound by certain rules whether you like it or not, whether you have consented or not: To take a simple example, the reason that consent is needed for a government to legitimately tax is because everybody, including those in government, has an obligation not to take other people's property without their consent. This obligation is not something that is consented to.

Likewise, take another example: A shop keeper sells you a newspaper. I didn't consent to that. Why doesn't that matter? Because whether you and the shopkeeper get to make this exchange is not something that requires my consent, or something I am entitled to prevent. The need for consent, then, is limited to things that effect me.
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #84 on: May 14, 2009, 05:40:28 AM »


I thought you were just saying that government violates the NAP? 


In some regards they do. And in some regards they don't [violate the NAP].

All depends what specific actions we are talking about.

In the specific context of exactly the comment of yours that I quoted, that alone is arguably not a NAP violation.


What is a NAP violation, are numerous other things government typically does, which they need not do.  Taxation being one example, which would have to be replaced with a voluntary user-fee type system.  Jurisdictional monopoly of both land and services being another example of where the government violates the NAP.  Government need not do that either, as we could have a polycentric law system.  Etc.. etc...

Could you tell me what a government is, then, or what a state is? If I can get the services one "government" provides from another "government" without even moving house or anything, then I can't tell the difference, really, between that government and any private firm or club? Say the government service is, for instance, protection against crime or torts: What would make one of these things you call a "government" different from all the security firms competing out there? I mean, I can switch my security provider without moving house, and security firms provide law enforcement services, so what is the difference?

I think that when you get to that level, you are just not talking about governments anymore.
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freeAgent

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #85 on: May 14, 2009, 08:49:18 AM »


I would authorize government agents who are engaged in the administration of justice the ability to aggress against me or anyone who violates does harm to another person. 


That's typically not considered initiating aggression though, in the context of the NAP, in the same way that self defense is not considered initiating force.  It is simply a response to a transgression.

I thought you were just saying that government violates the NAP?  It certainly does violate the NAP if the person being aggressed against by my government does not consent to its laws or the enforcement of its system of justice.

But this is not what is talked about as aggression, and is also really why you have to read my criticism of the NAP earlier in this thread.

Incidentally, the need for consent to things, from Locke, rests on the presumption that you are bound by certain rules whether you like it or not, whether you have consented or not: To take a simple example, the reason that consent is needed for a government to legitimately tax is because everybody, including those in government, has an obligation not to take other people's property without their consent. This obligation is not something that is consented to.

Likewise, take another example: A shop keeper sells you a newspaper. I didn't consent to that. Why doesn't that matter? Because whether you and the shopkeeper get to make this exchange is not something that requires my consent, or something I am entitled to prevent. The need for consent, then, is limited to things that effect me.

Show me where Locke believes that in a state of nature people are "bound by certain rules", particularly in regard to violation of property rights.  Locke believed that government was necessary for the protection of property rights.  The "obligation" in Locke's world is enforced by government.  I think nearly everyone believes there is a moral obligation to not initiate force on others, but certain people do not follow that obligation at certain times, and I believe that in these cases a government is necessary to provide justice for those aggressed against.
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #86 on: May 14, 2009, 11:04:23 AM »

Show me where Locke believes that in a state of nature people are "bound by certain rules", particularly in regard to violation of property rights. 

Chapter 2, "Of The State of Nature," section 6:

Quote
But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions

Quote
Locke believed that government was necessary for the protection of property rights.

This proceeds too quickly: Locke though that government was necessary to protect property rights whilst also avoiding the "inconveniences" of leaving that protection up to the individual himself. But his argument about these inconveniences was fallacious: he said that people couldn't be trusted to judge in their own cases, and therefore require an independent and impartial third party to judge for them, and to reach a final resolution. However, two responses can be made to this:

1) The need for an independent and impartial third party does not imply that everybody needs the same independent and impartial third party to resolve their disputes. It is no more logically the case that because everybody needs an independent and impartial third party thate there is an indpendent and impartial third party everybody needs than it would be to claim that because everybody likes at least one TV program, there is at least one TV program everybody likes. You and I could have our dispute resolved by A, and yet Alex Free Market and free agent can have their dispute resolved by B.

2) The argument that there needs to be an independent and impartial third party to achieve a final verdict in a dispute is an argument against government, not for it: This is because one party in a dispute could be the government itself. But if the government itself is supposed to be the final authority, with a monopoly on ultimate resolution of disputes and use of legitimate force, then so long as government exists, there can be no independent and impartial third party in disputes with it.

On these issues, I reccomend you check out this informal talk by Roderick Long, which is transcribed here.

Quote
The "obligation" in Locke's world is enforced by government.  I think nearly everyone believes there is a moral obligation to not initiate force on others, but certain people do not follow that obligation at certain times, and I believe that in these cases a government is necessary to provide justice for those aggressed against.

I don't see why government is necessary even in these cases, and I don't see it for the simple reason that it would be bizarre to say that a government is just any government that protects people from agression, or provides protection under the law. After all, security firms do this, too. In fact, as an Englishman, I have the same rights of arrest as any policeman does, and can make a citizen's arrest. So it is clear that not just every institution that protects people's rights under the law is a government.

But, if being an institution that protects people's rights under the law is insufficient for said institution to be a government, it follows that the fact that we need such institutions does not prove that we need a government.
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Alex Free Market

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #87 on: May 14, 2009, 12:26:38 PM »


Could you tell me what a government is, then, or what a state is? If I can get the services one "government" provides from another "government" without even moving house or anything, then I can't tell the difference, really, between that government and any private firm or club? Say the government service is, for instance, protection against crime or torts: What would make one of these things you call a "government" different from all the security firms competing out there? I mean, I can switch my security provider without moving house, and security firms provide law enforcement services, so what is the difference?

I think that when you get to that level, you are just not talking about governments anymore.


Well, that distinction we were both discussing above is coming somewhat through the lens of "right-anarchism" (e.g. an-cap) insofar as you (we) do not consider private security firms to be an actual government (by traditional understanding of the meaning of the word government), but rather it moves towards having all the necessary and sufficient characteristics to be considered a private entities.   

I will point out, however, that many left-anarchists (I'll generalize and call them the commie kind) fervently reject that idea that private companies are not a government.  They consider private companies to be a de facto government, even if they may not be a de jure government per se' (it's the old, "capitalism is a hierarchy" debate).


We could probably debate the etymology of the word "government," and if we did that... I think the left-anarchists would end up losing that argument... but in any case, I think my point to FreeAgent had less to do with defining government in it's traditional etymological sense, per se... and more to do with simply point out that a "government-like" entity (whether we call it that, or not) can be had for our benefit, without doing many of the things a government traditionally does... and I don't think that even "pragmatic minarchists" ought to object to us moving in that direction, even if it is only done in a piecemeal fashion.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 12:33:38 PM by Alex Free Market »
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Richard Garner

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #88 on: May 14, 2009, 12:57:26 PM »


Could you tell me what a government is, then, or what a state is? If I can get the services one "government" provides from another "government" without even moving house or anything, then I can't tell the difference, really, between that government and any private firm or club? Say the government service is, for instance, protection against crime or torts: What would make one of these things you call a "government" different from all the security firms competing out there? I mean, I can switch my security provider without moving house, and security firms provide law enforcement services, so what is the difference?

I think that when you get to that level, you are just not talking about governments anymore.


Well, that distinction we were both discussing above is coming somewhat through the lens of "right-anarchism" (e.g. an-cap) insofar as you (we) do not consider private security firms to be an actual government (by traditional understanding of the meaning of the word government), but rather it moves towards having all the necessary and sufficient characteristics to be considered a private entities.   

I will point out, however, that many left-anarchists (I'll generalize and call them the commie kind) fervently reject that idea that private companies are not a government.  They consider private companies to be a de facto government, even if they may not be a de jure government per se' (it's the old, "capitalism is a hierarchy" debate).

Thats true, because they seem to regard any hierarchy as a government. However, private protection agencies are different from this again, since the protection agency and ther person they are protecting and the person they are protecting against are not all part of one organisation with it hierarchy. So, worker's co-ops and non-hierarchical firms could supply police protection.

Quote
We could probably debate the etymology of the word "government," and if we did that... I think the left-anarchists would end up losing that argument... but in any case, I think my point to FreeAgent had less to do with defining government in it's traditional etymological sense, per se... and more to do with simply point out that a "government-like" entity (whether we call it that, or not) can be had for our benefit, without doing many of the things a government traditionally does... and I don't think that even "pragmatic minarchists" ought to object to us moving in that direction, even if it is only done in a piecemeal fashion.

Thats true.
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freeAgent

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Re: Is the NAP Necessary?
« Reply #89 on: May 14, 2009, 07:50:09 PM »

Show me where Locke believes that in a state of nature people are "bound by certain rules", particularly in regard to violation of property rights. 

Chapter 2, "Of The State of Nature," section 6:

Quote
But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions

Quote
Locke believed that government was necessary for the protection of property rights.

This proceeds too quickly: Locke though that government was necessary to protect property rights whilst also avoiding the "inconveniences" of leaving that protection up to the individual himself. But his argument about these inconveniences was fallacious: he said that people couldn't be trusted to judge in their own cases, and therefore require an independent and impartial third party to judge for them, and to reach a final resolution. However, two responses can be made to this:

1) The need for an independent and impartial third party does not imply that everybody needs the same independent and impartial third party to resolve their disputes. It is no more logically the case that because everybody needs an independent and impartial third party thate there is an indpendent and impartial third party everybody needs than it would be to claim that because everybody likes at least one TV program, there is at least one TV program everybody likes. You and I could have our dispute resolved by A, and yet Alex Free Market and free agent can have their dispute resolved by B.

2) The argument that there needs to be an independent and impartial third party to achieve a final verdict in a dispute is an argument against government, not for it: This is because one party in a dispute could be the government itself. But if the government itself is supposed to be the final authority, with a monopoly on ultimate resolution of disputes and use of legitimate force, then so long as government exists, there can be no independent and impartial third party in disputes with it.

On these issues, I reccomend you check out this informal talk by Roderick Long, which is transcribed here.

Quote
The "obligation" in Locke's world is enforced by government.  I think nearly everyone believes there is a moral obligation to not initiate force on others, but certain people do not follow that obligation at certain times, and I believe that in these cases a government is necessary to provide justice for those aggressed against.

I don't see why government is necessary even in these cases, and I don't see it for the simple reason that it would be bizarre to say that a government is just any government that protects people from agression, or provides protection under the law. After all, security firms do this, too. In fact, as an Englishman, I have the same rights of arrest as any policeman does, and can make a citizen's arrest. So it is clear that not just every institution that protects people's rights under the law is a government.

But, if being an institution that protects people's rights under the law is insufficient for said institution to be a government, it follows that the fact that we need such institutions does not prove that we need a government.

Yes, Locke believes that these things should exist.  He does not say or believe that they will exist or be respected in a state of nature--see "ought".  For enforcement, he turns to government.  I'm just puzzled as to why you bothered to bring him up as if he was in support of non-government or consistency with the NAP.  He clearly was not.

I'm with you on point #1.  I'm fine with resolving disputes in private courts.  In fact, it happens all the time.

I disagree with point #2.  It is possible to be impartial when you are the complaining party, and I would say it is necessary in the case of the murder of a person with no heirs and nobody with any legitimate claim to the person's estate, etc.

I would like to bring up a point #3: I believe that property rights of individuals should be enforced (pursuant to their wishes, if specified) regardless of whether or not a complaining party exists after a crime has been committed.  I see no way to guarantee this in a completely private system.
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