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Videos => Anarcho-Capitalist Videos => Topic started by: Seth King on August 29, 2011, 11:45:13 AM



Title: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Seth King on August 29, 2011, 11:45:13 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsMaJRZhFew&feature=player_embedded

I'm not posting this video to debate about the tactic of what Nathan did. That's too boring. What I do find interesting, though, is the debate over which what he did violated the N.A.P.

Here's my two cents. He did not violate the N.A.P. and therefore did not commit a crime. Let me explain.

If I write a threat on a piece of paper, then proceed to fold it up, stuff it in an envelope, and then lock it in a safe in my closet, have I commit any crime? I would say no. This is because you have commit no wrong by writing WORDS on your OWN PAPER.

Now, if some douche bag comes along and breaks open your safe and discovers the letter, is it then a crime? Still no, I would say. The act of somebody else reading the letter does not constitute a violation of the N.A.P.

So, if I type some keystrokes on my computer and send it out into the ether, who has been aggressed against? No one. Now, what if somebody reads my keystrokes? I say nothing has changed. There has been no trespass of anyone's justly acquired private property. The fact that this case concerned the President is a moot point.

However, one could make the case that since the President is an aggressor himself, that retaliatory violence could be justified. Still, since this is the case, and Nathan knew the government for what it is, there should be no surprise on anyone's part that Nathan was aggressed against.

But to me, this brings up a really fascinating point, which I think was lost on Nathan. If NATHAN is not a criminal for typing some keystrokes on a computer, then the PRESIDENT is also NOT A CRIMINAL for giving some speeches and signing some papers. Just because some douche bags in costume initiate violence against peaceful people does not make the signer of any letters responsible.

I really am coming to the conclusion that the only real criminals are those that initiate violence against peaceful people. Politicians are nowhere near as criminal as the local police. They may be guilty of fraud or something for some other reasons, but not the wholesale crime that the military and police engage in.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: ff42 on August 29, 2011, 08:12:29 PM
Okay, let's do a thought games. 

Who is responsible for an intelligence bomb striking an innocent foreigner?  Is it the pilot of the plane?  The one who opens the rear doors?  The one who pushes the bomb out the back door?  The software writer of the guidance control?  The bomb assembly team? The decision maker in the military?  [Fill in more if I have missed some]. 

Who was morally responsible at Waco? The tank drivers?

Is the prison warden clean?  How about any guards that never hit an inmate, but just push buttons and are perhaps big enough to be physically intimidating?

My Dad was drafted into the Navy, but never launched a bullet (big or small), but did indirectly support those efforts.  Is that a NAP violation?

PS.  I think I am beginning to understand your point (by haven't yet decided if I agree with it and therefore am trying to look at it from many angles).


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: nhwulf on August 29, 2011, 08:32:42 PM
I agree that he did not violate the N.A.P. and therefore did not commit a crime. His actions were akin to, yet less immidiate than shooting an armed robber. This is because the president is an agressor extrodinaire.
I agree that writing words, any words on paper is not a crime. Its actually quite theraputic. One breaking into that safe and reading it, also does not make it a crime as that letter was forcibly removed from your possesion.
To type words and save it onto a computer is the same principle. Here is where I break from your analysis. Sending that threat into the world knowing it would be read, especially directly to the "target" or his/her representitives and handlers is an anouncement of intent. A decleration of sorts. It is not the act itself but a precursor. I dont believe it to be a punishable "offense",there has yet to be an actual victim, but had I recieved a similar threat to myself or family I would follow up with the sender. The recipient being the president or a janitor makes no difference.
The difference between Nathan and the president...The writings of Nathan are "I will do", while the president writes "You will do." Nathan writes of his own voluntary action while the president orders others that owe there livleyhood for most, and alligiance for some. If Nathan were to denounce his own words and not follow through, no violence would ensue. If a soldier were to not follow through with an order, even more violence would ensue as retaliation. Politicians are very nearly as guilty of criminal acts as the physical perpetrators themselves. The politicians know these orders will be followed under threat of violence. The military or police are the individuals who actually commit the crimes. These men and women pass the buck of violence from themselves to the targets specified rather than make a principled stand. Soldiers to a lesser extent since they recieve a more active violent response from the tatgets, whether initiated or as a defence. The police on the other hand are more intimately involved with a more unarmed and peacefull public. Their actions are to a large degree the initiators of force. They are the beares of the greatest guilt. Both suffer from the delusion of the Nurenburg defence. "Im just following orders." A cowardly justification to commit violence in the name of any that will grant the authority to do so.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Linux on September 05, 2011, 04:18:55 PM
This guy merely threatened to kill the president, whereas the president initiates (through request/commands) violence against others.

With regard to the bombing scenario I would say all who were knowingly involved in the act are guilty.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Seth King on May 09, 2013, 09:00:52 PM
Insane thread resurrection.

I had thought that I created another topic that turned into a much longer thread on this topic, but I can't find it.

Anywho, no need to watch the video to catch up. Simply read my explanation beneath it to understand where I am coming from.

I've sort of held this belief for a while. That politicians are not criminals, at least in the sense that they're not murderers, because they don't actually DO anything violent, including pulling triggers or pushing buttons.

And also that they have the freedom of speech, which means they should be able to say "kill that person" and that they are doing nothing more than exercising free speech when they do it. Only the actually people involved in committing the murder are guilty of murder.

But the Boston bombings got me thinking. Not about the particular case of the Boston bombings, but of how bombings can and likely do transpire.

Say you are a nefarious organization, like the CIA, and you want to see a bombing go off. What better way than to get somebody else framed for it instead of doing it yourself?

Here's how they likely do this sort of thing. The CIA commissions one guy to build the bomb and then hand it over to another guy to package the bomb who hands it over to another guy to deliver the bomb.

The bomb builder doesn't have any clue who the other people are or what the bomb will be used for. The guy who packages the bomb doesn't know the other people or what the bomb will be used for. And the guy who receives a simple package and a location to deliver it doesn't know the other people, the fact that he's carrying a bomb, or what it will be used for.

In other words, NONE of those people committed a crime. Building a bomb is not a crime. Packaging a bomb is not a crime. And delivering a package is not a crime. At least none of those are crimes according to libertarians.

So, clearly the only one in this scenario who IS a criminal is the mastermind. Or, perhaps, the others are criminals as well if they KNOW they are working for criminals.

So, now I'm torn. On the one hand, speaking your mind is not a crime. All they did was give verbal commands. Nobody had to follow them. And on the other hand, they were the masterminds, who in many cases are the only ones who knew what the outcome would be.

This has actually left me in a state of being where the whole idea of criminality is either non-existent or a moot point.

As students of the Austrian School of Economics, we pretty much base our entire philosophy on the study of human action. And I think we limit our study of human action strictly to economics to our own detriment.

Human action, in my opinion, is simply that for every action, there is a reaction. Take morality out of the equation. If somebody, or some group does something to piss another person or another group off, there will be resentment. Pure and simple. It doesn't matter the topic. It doesn't matter who's right or wrong. It's just that simple.

Life is a gigantic cesspool of competition and past grievances and war.



Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: State-God on May 09, 2013, 10:04:31 PM
Crime in general is a purely human construct. Libertarian definitions of crime are just the least subjective and usually the most equitable.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 09, 2013, 10:11:27 PM
Crime in general is a purely human construct. Libertarian definitions of crime are just the least subjective and usually the most equitable.
The initiation of coercion is an objective act. The fact that we define it as a crime is subjective.



Making idle threats is one thing, giving orders to kill is another. I say that the mastermind of a murder is a murderer just like the thug who follows orders.

Should I ever run a defence firm, I'm going to treat the entire conspiracy as murderers of one form or another.


Quote
Now, if some douche bag comes along and breaks open your safe and discovers the letter, is it then a crime? Still no, I would say. The act of somebody else reading the letter does not constitute a violation of the N.A.P.

Destruction of property, and theft of property are crimes. Does it matter that the property stolen was a note? I don't think so as far as the criminality is concerned. Furthermore the Kopimist in me would say that intercepting and reading correspondence is immoral at the least, maybe it's  a crime too I haven't decided quite yet.

Then again the fighter in me says that intercepting the enemy's correspondence is just good business. So hmm... it's a question that's for sure. I'll be pondering it for some time I suspect.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on May 09, 2013, 10:41:02 PM
Mind = blown

Awesome post Seth. I've never had this thought before.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Seth King on May 09, 2013, 11:15:46 PM
Mind = blown

Awesome post Seth. I've never had this thought before.

Which part exactly? The OP or the thread resurrection?

Mind you, it's these thoughts that leave me feeling nihilistic, or at the most, extremely egoistic, as the only truth that seems to resonate with me is what makes me happy, to hell with everyone else(unless they serve my happiness).


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on May 09, 2013, 11:32:19 PM
Mind = blown

Awesome post Seth. I've never had this thought before.

Which part exactly? The OP or the thread resurrection?
"The bomb builder doesn't have any clue who the other people are or what the bomb will be used for. The guy who packages the bomb doesn't know the other people or what the bomb will be used for. And the guy who receives a simple package and a location to deliver it doesn't know the other people, the fact that he's carrying a bomb, or what it will be used for.

In other words, NONE of those people committed a crime. Building a bomb is not a crime. Packaging a bomb is not a crime. And delivering a package is not a crime. At least none of those are crimes according to libertarians.

So, clearly the only one in this scenario who IS a criminal is the mastermind."

^That part. Somehow I never managed to stumble upon that line of thought.

Quote
Mind you, it's these thoughts that leave me feeling nihilistic, or at the most, extremely egoistic, as the only truth that seems to resonate with me is what makes me happy, to hell with everyone else(unless they serve my happiness).
What's the relationship between the two?


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Seth King on May 09, 2013, 11:54:58 PM
Between nihilism and egoism? Well, not much except that when all else fails, might as well do what makes me happy.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on May 10, 2013, 12:05:12 AM
No, sorry. That was ambiguous. I meant why does a thought experiment about crime make you lean towards nihilism? Is it just the fact that you can't draw any objective lines in the sand? In that case, I guess I've been a nihilist for a long time. I don't really think much about it though. I still care about other people, if only for the selfish reason that helping others makes me happy.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Seth King on May 10, 2013, 12:13:45 AM
No, sorry. That was ambiguous. I meant why does a thought experiment about crime make you lean towards nihilism? Is it just the fact that you can't draw any objective lines in the sand? In that case, I guess I've been a nihilist for a long time. I don't really think much about it though. I still care about other people, if only for the selfish reason that helping others makes me happy.

Bingo. Although I think we're different. I think we see that a happier world for "everyone" is a happier world for me, too.

But most people don't really give a shit about others. They SAY they do, when pressed, but for the most part they're living their lives for themselves. And perhaps there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I really think that we do ourselves a disservice by moralizing all of the time.

Instead of "it's wrong to cage pot smokers" perhaps I should be saying "I have other things I'd rather spend my money on, like vacations or early retirement, instead of waging a war against pot smokers."

Maybe that would resonate with people more. Because there are a lot of people out there who don't give a shit about pot smokers, end of story. But when they fully internalize the fact that waging a war on pot smokers means they might never retire, or never get that sports car they want, maybe it will mean something to them.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 12:56:00 AM
Mind = blown

Awesome post Seth. I've never had this thought before.

Which part exactly? The OP or the thread resurrection?
"The bomb builder doesn't have any clue who the other people are or what the bomb will be used for. The guy who packages the bomb doesn't know the other people or what the bomb will be used for. And the guy who receives a simple package and a location to deliver it doesn't know the other people, the fact that he's carrying a bomb, or what it will be used for.

In other words, NONE of those people committed a crime. Building a bomb is not a crime. Packaging a bomb is not a crime. And delivering a package is not a crime. At least none of those are crimes according to libertarians.

So, clearly the only one in this scenario who IS a criminal is the mastermind."

^That part. Somehow I never managed to stumble upon that line of thought.

Quote
Mind you, it's these thoughts that leave me feeling nihilistic, or at the most, extremely egoistic, as the only truth that seems to resonate with me is what makes me happy, to hell with everyone else(unless they serve my happiness).
What's the relationship between the two?

This is essentially Jim Bell's Assassination Politics (http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/jimbellap.htm) rewritten and put into the bombing context. Not that it isn't an excellent point I would just like to draw your attention to Assassination Politics (http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/jimbellap.htm) because it's a good essay to read.

Quote
Instead of "it's wrong to cage pot smokers" perhaps I should be saying "I have other things I'd rather spend my money on, like vacations or early retirement, instead of waging a war against pot smokers."

Maybe that would resonate with people more. Because there are a lot of people out there who don't give a shit about pot smokers, end of story. But when they fully internalize the fact that waging a war on pot smokers means they might never retire, or never get that sports car they want, maybe it will mean something to them.

This is gorgeous imagine if the Statists who condemned Rich Paul had thought like this instead of like they did... The world would be a better place that's for sure. 



Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Syock on May 10, 2013, 06:43:34 AM
This line of thought is why I have always considered politicians, and in fact the citizens that elect politicians (but not necessarily all citizens), to be criminals.  I believe I have made a post long ago about WWII nukes being a bad thing, but only because it also likely harmed a minority of people that are anarchy oriented and therefore were not in support of the war or politicians, and therefore innocent. 

The comment about living to be happy is something I have always supported as well.  We are only alive for awhile.  What is the point of it if we are not happy?  Live free now, in whatever sense that means for you. 


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: State-God on May 10, 2013, 07:33:17 AM
Crime in general is a purely human construct. Libertarian definitions of crime are just the least subjective and usually the most equitable.
The initiation of coercion is an objective act. The fact that we define it as a crime is subjective.



Making idle threats is one thing, giving orders to kill is another. I say that the mastermind of a murder is a murderer just like the thug who follows orders.

Should I ever run a defence firm, I'm going to treat the entire conspiracy as murderers of one form or another.


Quote
Now, if some douche bag comes along and breaks open your safe and discovers the letter, is it then a crime? Still no, I would say. The act of somebody else reading the letter does not constitute a violation of the N.A.P.

Destruction of property, and theft of property are crimes. Does it matter that the property stolen was a note? I don't think so as far as the criminality is concerned. Furthermore the Kopimist in me would say that intercepting and reading correspondence is immoral at the least, maybe it's  a crime too I haven't decided quite yet.

Then again the fighter in me says that intercepting the enemy's correspondence is just good business. So hmm... it's a question that's for sure. I'll be pondering it for some time I suspect.

Is it objective? I think that's a question Seth's trying to raise here.

What is coercion? Is it the physical harm of another person? Well, then there's no such thing as second-degree murder. Oh, is it more than that? Then what non-physical actions qualify as coercion? Where's the line?

I mean, when you get down to it all violence is is one group of atoms doing something to another group of atoms; at what level- atomic, molecular, cellular- does atoms effecting others become 'crime' or 'violence' or 'coercion'?

We need to get out of this Lockean/Christian mindset of objective truths. Everything is subjective, including coercion, crime, justice and morality. Not to say that they're not useful concepts; they are. But we need to realize they're just that, concepts.







Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 12:49:49 PM
Crime in general is a purely human construct. Libertarian definitions of crime are just the least subjective and usually the most equitable.
The initiation of coercion is an objective act. The fact that we define it as a crime is subjective.



Making idle threats is one thing, giving orders to kill is another. I say that the mastermind of a murder is a murderer just like the thug who follows orders.

Should I ever run a defence firm, I'm going to treat the entire conspiracy as murderers of one form or another.


Quote
Now, if some douche bag comes along and breaks open your safe and discovers the letter, is it then a crime? Still no, I would say. The act of somebody else reading the letter does not constitute a violation of the N.A.P.

Destruction of property, and theft of property are crimes. Does it matter that the property stolen was a note? I don't think so as far as the criminality is concerned. Furthermore the Kopimist in me would say that intercepting and reading correspondence is immoral at the least, maybe it's  a crime too I haven't decided quite yet.

Then again the fighter in me says that intercepting the enemy's correspondence is just good business. So hmm... it's a question that's for sure. I'll be pondering it for some time I suspect.

Is it objective? I think that's a question Seth's trying to raise here.

What is coercion? Is it the physical harm of another person? Well, then there's no such thing as second-degree murder. Oh, is it more than that? Then what non-physical actions qualify as coercion? Where's the line?

I mean, when you get down to it all violence is is one group of atoms doing something to another group of atoms; at what level- atomic, molecular, cellular- does atoms effecting others become 'crime' or 'violence' or 'coercion'?

We need to get out of this Lockean/Christian mindset of objective truths. Everything is subjective, including coercion, crime, justice and morality. Not to say that they're not useful concepts; they are. But we need to realize they're just that, concepts.







Whether or not someone has aggressed on another is an objective fact, words mean things or language is useless. What qualifies as aggression or coercion? l think that's a question for the dictionary.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on May 10, 2013, 03:22:01 PM
Whether or not someone has aggressed on another is an objective fact, words mean things or language is useless. What qualifies as aggression or coercion? l think that's a question for the dictionary.
No.
Suppose there is an island, totally undisturbed by humans. Then one day, my grandfather plants a circle of apple trees on the land. He goes away. Your father (the only other person to wander onto this land) finds those trees 20 years later, and settles there. Now I come back to that land, having heard that my grandfather made an investment for the future. I go to claim what he left for me. But your family has already built there...
Can I fight you to take back my grandfather's trees? Are they his trees?
If we can't come up with an objective theory of property (we certainly CANNOT), then there's no way objectively describe aggression. This is exactly the problem that shows up in ancap vs ancom arguments. The meaning of aggression is different, and it all comes down to property.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 03:26:10 PM
Whether or not someone has aggressed on another is an objective fact, words mean things or language is useless. What qualifies as aggression or coercion? l think that's a question for the dictionary.
No.
Suppose there is an island, totally undisturbed by humans. Then one day, my grandfather plants a circle of apple trees on the land. He goes away. Your father (the only other person to wander onto this land) finds those trees 20 years later, and settles there. Now I come back to that land, having heard that my grandfather made an investment for the future. I go to claim what he left for me. But your family has already built there...
Can I fight you to take back my grandfather's trees? Are they his trees?
If we can't come up with an objective theory of property (we certainly CANNOT), then there's no way objectively describe aggression. This is exactly the problem that shows up in ancap vs ancom arguments. The meaning of aggression is different, and it all comes down to property.

No, in the ancom vs ancap arguments the meaning of aggression is different because the ancoms believe in positive rights. In other words in their minds forcing obligations on people isn't coercive whilst not forcing obligations on people is coercive. In other words they're backwards. Their view on property is because of the positive rights issue.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 03:30:12 PM
If we can't objectively define anything then words might as well not have meanings. In fact I'm calling myself a lolipop from now on because lolipop doesn't mean anything.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 03:32:55 PM
I mean shit by this line of reasoning murder isn't ethically abhorrent. So yeah it'll be okay for me to kill everyone who pisses me off.

I've always wanted to justify that and haven't been able to. It turns out I've been doing it wrong. I should've just discarded ethics because they don't mean anything from the begining.

Yeah, this gets silly really quick doesn't it?


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 03:38:08 PM
I'm not even saying that ethics are objective, because they aren't, because value is subjective. I am saying however that words mean things, or language wouldn't exist.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on May 10, 2013, 03:50:32 PM
Words don't mean the same thing to everyone. Language isn't a perfect way of transmitting ideas, it's a fuzzy human to human interface. In some places it's less fuzzy than others.

Despite the fact that it isn't perfect, it's still useful.

Lettuce.

Well, sometimes.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 03:55:43 PM
Words don't mean the same thing to everyone. Language isn't a perfect way of transmitting ideas, it's a fuzzy human to human interface. In some places it's less fuzzy than others.

Despite the fact that it isn't perfect, it's still useful.

Lettuce.

Well, sometimes.

This is absolutely the case. Which is why it is imperative that we use words properly. The fact that words mean different things to different people is exactly the quality that the "liberals" used to gain false legitimacy and demonize capitalism.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Seth King on May 10, 2013, 04:58:04 PM
We all have different programming languages. When somebody says the word capitalism I smile. When somebody else hears the word capitalism, they frown. When I think of capitalism, I think of voluntary trade and private property. When somebody else hears the word capitalism they think corporations and state granted limited liability.

Is there a right or wrong definition of capitalism? It's subjective.

And then you have debates over who owns what. When I homestead some land, do I own the view I created for myself as well? What if somebody build 10 miles away from my property, but totally fucks up the view?

It's things like the middle east and the never ending battles between the Israelis and the Palestinians that sort of show me that right and wrong are irrelevant. Life is just a gigantic pissing contest. We get along with whoever we want to get along with and the rest be damned.

We have a protocol of how to do things. The goal is to get that protocol as crystal clear as possible, and then get as many people to adhere to that protocol as we can.

I've come to believe that man's natural state is that of war with other men. Peace is not a natural state that devolves to war. War is the natural state that can only progress to peace.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: MAM on May 10, 2013, 06:03:59 PM
Interesting Seth, I'm going to have to chew on that for a bit I think.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on May 10, 2013, 06:32:45 PM
Words don't mean the same thing to everyone. Language isn't a perfect way of transmitting ideas, it's a fuzzy human to human interface. In some places it's less fuzzy than others.

Despite the fact that it isn't perfect, it's still useful.

Lettuce.

Well, sometimes.

This is absolutely the case. Which is why it is imperative that we use words properly. The fact that words mean different things to different people is exactly the quality that the "liberals" used to gain false legitimacy and demonize capitalism.
What is proper? When you hear a word, there are tons of associations happening in your mind that occur automatically, without any conscious thought. But the exact associations in another person's mind might not be the same. Like I said, this isn't something we can control. Seth's example of "capitalism" is a good one. The "aggression" example I gave earlier in the thread is another.

Definitions for words are built out of other words, so that doesn't solve the problem. You have to realize that words are abstract ideas, which have different concrete implementations in each person's mind. It's not something we can ever totally fix.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Hanzo on May 12, 2013, 10:33:52 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEQOvyGbBtY


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: State-God on May 12, 2013, 01:07:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEQOvyGbBtY

Yep.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: Seth King on May 12, 2013, 02:27:49 PM
That was funny.


Title: Re: Is threatening the President a crime?
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on May 12, 2013, 08:53:25 PM
post a URL for the Tor users!