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Author Topic: On Subjectivity  (Read 8017 times)
JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2013, 07:32:11 PM »

So I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I could use some input from you guys.

More and more I've been thinking about subjectivity and its implications. There are, of course, the obvious ones most of us agree on; morality being subjective, value being subjective, etc.

More and more, however, it seems to me that subjectivity applies to a LOT of other things.

'What is violence?', for example. The foundation of libertarianism is the NAP, and it stands as the moral framework of our system. But the NAP doesn't say what violence is. There are some obvious definitions: the purposeful harm of another person, violating private property (including a body), etc.

But what is harm? What violates private property? If my neighbor has floodlights on his lawn running 24/7, is he violating my property? If so, why can't I argue that he's also violating it when he turns on his kitchen lights at 2 a.m. and wakes me up? Could I argue that his waking me up could possibly have long-term psychological dangers due to sleep deprivation?

Mind, I'm not saying they're not useful concepts. The NAP is definitely a good general framework for a legal system, and for societal structure in general. But what about situations where the NAP isn't technically violated? Most of them aren't direct threats to person and property, but they sure as hell can cause chaos and violence.

All of this is to say, I think that the new basis of libertarianism should be that 'Everything is subjective, with some things being less subjective than others'. Our ideology would be better for it, I think.
Congratulations. You've transcended Rothbardianism. You've graduated from introductory market anarchism, and reached the next level.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2013, 08:08:28 PM »

So I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I could use some input from you guys.

More and more I've been thinking about subjectivity and its implications. There are, of course, the obvious ones most of us agree on; morality being subjective, value being subjective, etc.

More and more, however, it seems to me that subjectivity applies to a LOT of other things.

'What is violence?', for example. The foundation of libertarianism is the NAP, and it stands as the moral framework of our system. But the NAP doesn't say what violence is. There are some obvious definitions: the purposeful harm of another person, violating private property (including a body), etc.

But what is harm? What violates private property? If my neighbor has floodlights on his lawn running 24/7, is he violating my property? If so, why can't I argue that he's also violating it when he turns on his kitchen lights at 2 a.m. and wakes me up? Could I argue that his waking me up could possibly have long-term psychological dangers due to sleep deprivation?

Mind, I'm not saying they're not useful concepts. The NAP is definitely a good general framework for a legal system, and for societal structure in general. But what about situations where the NAP isn't technically violated? Most of them aren't direct threats to person and property, but they sure as hell can cause chaos and violence.

All of this is to say, I think that the new basis of libertarianism should be that 'Everything is subjective, with some things being less subjective than others'. Our ideology would be better for it, I think.
Congratulations. You've transcended Rothbardianism. You've graduated from introductory market anarchism, and reached the next level.

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"[In a Socialist Commonwealth] the wheels will turn, but will run to no effect." - Ludwig von Mises
JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2013, 06:13:45 PM »

@State-God:
The answer to your meme is yes.

I do think that Rothbard-style market anarchism is a common landing spot for people. A "rights" based argument is popular for people who were (or are) either constitutionalist or religious. The appeal to objective morality and justice really makes us feel good.

After a while, a fraction of those anarchists get pushed, or stumble over themselves, and find their way into a new chamber of the rabbit hole, where you can justify market anarchism without 'proofs' that "I own myself" or claims that "violence is unjust, so I win."

The idea that aggression is wrong is just your damn opinion. Violation of the NAP is something that you think is bad. That's it. They are statements of your preferences, and nothing more.
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2013, 04:25:48 PM »

@State-God:
The answer to your meme is yes.

I do think that Rothbard-style market anarchism is a common landing spot for people. A "rights" based argument is popular for people who were (or are) either constitutionalist or religious. The appeal to objective morality and justice really makes us feel good.

After a while, a fraction of those anarchists get pushed, or stumble over themselves, and find their way into a new chamber of the rabbit hole, where you can justify market anarchism without 'proofs' that "I own myself" or claims that "violence is unjust, so I win."

The idea that aggression is wrong is just your damn opinion. Violation of the NAP is something that you think is bad. That's it. They are statements of your preferences, and nothing more.
This seems utterly useless to me. I mean if you don't use reason to define things and give proofs for anything what the fuck is the point? It seems like what your saying is that all that exists is preference and that all preferences are equal.

Is Statism wrong in your opinion if so why? If all you say is my preference is to not have the State it seems like you have no principles and that if your preference happened to be that you like killing people and or taking their shit that would be okay because all preferences are equal... Am I missing something here?
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2013, 06:30:51 PM »

This seems utterly useless to me. I mean if you don't use reason to define things and give proofs for anything what the fuck is the point? It seems like what your saying is that all that exists is preference and that all preferences are equal.

Is Statism wrong in your opinion if so why? If all you say is my preference is to not have the State it seems like you have no principles and that if your preference happened to be that you like killing people and or taking their shit that would be okay because all preferences are equal... Am I missing something here?

The statists sure seem to think it is ok.  I don't think you are missing anything.  As you have said yourself, might makes right etc.  What we think or can prove doesn't matter if all the guys with the guns want to take our stuff. 
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2013, 08:02:25 PM »

This seems utterly useless to me. I mean if you don't use reason to define things and give proofs for anything what the fuck is the point? It seems like what your saying is that all that exists is preference and that all preferences are equal.

Is Statism wrong in your opinion if so why? If all you say is my preference is to not have the State it seems like you have no principles and that if your preference happened to be that you like killing people and or taking their shit that would be okay because all preferences are equal... Am I missing something here?

The statists sure seem to think it is ok.  I don't think you are missing anything.  As you have said yourself, might makes right etc.  What we think or can prove doesn't matter if all the guys with the guns want to take our stuff. 
If I claim that using force to take other people's stuff is wrong, that's fine. Say I'm having a discussion with a statist, and I make it clear that's what I think. I ask him if he agrees. He says yes. I can prove that the state violates this, and make a strong case that it's the state's sole purpose of existence. Let's suppose this guy can't think of anything to argue back, because I've done such a good job explaining it. Then he gets angry, walks away and ignores it.

What does this mean?

It means he doesn't care. In his eyes, people stealing at gunpoint is okay, and is justified for maintaining the status quo. It turns out that he doesn't agree with your original point. It's not like everyone has to agree.

The people WAY at the top sure as hell don't care. They benefit most directly, and are happy to eat the rest of us alive.
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"I like to eat. Instead of a monarch I propose we have a Chef be final arbiter in matters. We'll call it anarcho-chefism."
-MAM
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