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Individualism, Collectivism, and Sam Harris
Posted: 26 April 2010 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Has Sam Harris ever commented on individualist challenges to collectivism? If so, could you link me? In “Science Can Answer Moral Questions” he used the phrase “as a society.” The “for the greater good of society” view is one of the most popularly challenged positions in all of political philosophy.

Also, I’m interested in whether he has ever really gotten into the details of socialism and its morality. I realize his thing is primarily religion but he does have a degree in philosophy, so could see it going either way.

Has Sam Harris ever explicitly mentioned Ron Paul, Richard Epstein, Robert Nozick, or Milton Freedman? I know he has referenced Obama, McCain, and Palin.

Thanks.

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Posted: 03 May 2010 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Newbie, What moral values can be found in having the government allocate money and rights to the citiens?  I find total individual freedoms in all aspects of life as the most moral atmosphere for everyone. 

I do not speak for Sam but for myself.  A redistribution of wealth gaves the power to a government.  No thanks!

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Posted: 30 May 2010 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Newbie, What moral values can be found in having the government allocate money and rights to the citiens?

I’m undecided when it comes to political philosophy but I have questions for people advocating laissez-faire capitalism. It may also serve as a series of challenges to the question you posed.

In a place where every road surrounding your present location is privatized, and you are broke, is that freedom or confinement?

Should there be laws restricting corporations from performing cruel experiments on animals?

I recently spoke with a coworker who has an autistic son. She said she is very grateful for the government funds, which were substantially larger than the voluntary funds. Is what you call “total individual freedoms” a system where her autistic child would receive less funds? Would voluntary funding realistically be sufficient to meet the needs of autistic children?

Do you embrace the “self-made man” perspective on capitalism? I’m sure there are private schools with higher quality education than public schools, but would every child have the opportunity to attend secondary education in a 100% capitalist system? If you don’t become literate because your parents can’t afford private school, might you be too ignorant to realize why learning is important to compete in a capitalist system?

In America, there are zero public schools with corporal punishment. There are private schools that use corporal punishment. Would you concede that many private schools in America are bad examples of freedom?

Picture a Muslim/Christian who fears going to Hell (as a product of indoctrination) and revolves his/her life around avoiding (what he/she believes is) Hell. Do you think this Muslim/Christian can ever experience a true sense of freedom, even in a minarchy? Do you think public, secular schools expose religiously indoctrinated children to other views?

Do you agree with Ayn Rand that selfishness is a virtue? Do we have a moral duty to lift a finger if it alleviates horrifying suffering of another organism? If so, and a person does not live up to their moral duty to help poor/needy people, is it reasonable to expect the less fortunate people to respect their rights?

I know America is not laissez-faire, but I would like to note that American’s poverty rate is over 8x that of Sweden’s (according to my psychology text book I could cite upon request). Have you read about the effects that poverty has on the development of children?

Is there anything to be said about the law of diminishing marginal utility, the wealthy, and the reality of selfishness?

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Posted: 31 May 2010 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Trying to mix economics, ethics, objectivism in a single post will not be easy to take on. 

Do you base your philosophy on altruism?  Are you talking about taking the problems of others and working out solutions or are you talking about turning all of these problems over to the government?

When I read Rand’s essay “The Virtue of Selfishness” she examined whether we do things for others for our own joy or for the feeling of guilt that we get from witnessing the tragedies of others. 

The tragedy of autism has to be the saddest of all.  We all have choices on how to approach the problem.  Can we as individuals form a solution that can help this child or do we turn it over to a government that will always take a short cut at least cost?  I help support “Autism Speaks” which is financing the subject of the situation.  I do not expect any government to take on the problems of the citizens but in the last 50 years in America, the people demand this action.  When I read of the lack of care in our Veteran’s hospitals, I joined with a group to build a private facility in Texas with cleaner, more extensive care than the government would supply.  I do not do this from a mandate or from guilt but from the joy I feel when I can help.  This is exactly what Rand was writing about.  I can’t believe you actually read her words but assumed an attitude of many others. 

The choice of schools whether private or public depends on the curriculum.  I took an interest in the neighbor’s children who attended the local public school.  I went over to the Principal’s office and asked to see the reading list.  They were working on a curriculum which would explain the reproduction of human birth.  We are talking about 5 year old kids.  I visited a Private school and found phonics as a main subject with French language as another..  They had reading lists starting with books to be read to the first graders by their parents with discussion in the classroom.  The choice was easy and the vocabulary and dialog with the private school students was years ahead of the public schools. 

This is how I base the freedom question.  I want my children to learn to understand how important education will be for their choice of freedoms.  I do not want any teacher, private or public to ever touch my children. 

Capitalism is the best way for those of us who are not wealthy,  to be able to invest in the products of those who are wealthy.  I had no advantage over others except for my respect for free enterprise capitalism.  I often invested in the corporations that hired me.  During the Korean War when I had finished my schooling and found employment, I took advantage of the stock options of my employers.  I also began to buy cheap little houses and would pay them off and establish a credit rating.  I married a college professor so we never had a large income but we continued to invest.  How else could retirement be accomplished?  Those who waited for their social security income can’t even pay their electric bills. 

What may be the problem here is that we read different books.  I wanted a comfortable retirement along with the feeling of joy it gave me to help what you call the poor/needy.  Expecting the government to take responsibility for people who deliberately choose a lazy life over learning a trade, is where we view this subject differently.  I don’t even want the government involved in choosing the curriculum of my children.  I know what they need to learn.  My home was without a television until both kids were in the University.  My home was filled with books.  My kids read both “The Fountainhead” and Atlas Shrugged” before they went to Berkeley in California. 

My kids chose Berkeley for the enormous curriculum offered.  I ended up with one who has a degree in Psychology and other is a litigator for the U.S. Senate. 

If and when you have children and find they are unable to make it to a good University then you will see for yourself what poverty can do.  The answer to removing poverty is not from the government but from parents who understand the value of education. 

The American people have the Bill of Rights and the Constitution was written to control the government not the people.  You cannot sit a child in front of a television for 80% of their waking hours and come up with a developed brain in search of information.  The results of this television addiction are apparent when we have to repeat ourselves to others before we can get their attention. 

When people move into a residential area they agree that the local government take care of maintenance of the utilities and the roads.  The residents pay for these services and I wonder where you can associate this with a loss of freedom.  Have you actually bought a piece of property yet?  You can go out in the wilderness and feel free but what happens when a fire storm heads your way or an earthquake hits your property?  We are all connected by laws of responsibility; but wanting the government to lead you by the hand from the crib to the grave may solve your problems but not mine.

23 years of working disasters with the American Red Cross has given me great respect for the American people who do this for joy.  I have lived all my life on the San Andreas Fault and the survival training has saved many lives.  I was trained by the Monterey Mammal Rescue to help the wildlife in our area.  I had a pelican brought to my bookstore and with the help of many, we found a facility on the coast that would take the bird, heal it and let it loose.  My group found such joy in this action that we did a fund raiser for the facility to keep it open.  None of this action was mandated by any level of government.  Try it!  Get involved!  Show your stuff!  Take it all on and feel the joy that is selfishly your own.

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Posted: 02 June 2010 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Sandy - 31 May 2010 09:28 AM

Trying to mix economics, ethics, objectivism in a single post will not be easy to take on.

Yes, and my responses are very long, so I will be replying in multiple posts. It might take a while but I’ll reply in order and I won’t skip anything.

Sandy - 31 May 2010 09:28 AM

Do you base your philosophy on altruism?

Well, as stated, I am undecided when it comes to political philosophy. The best I can say is that if I see an organism suffering horrific pain, I will at least lift a finger to help it. Although lifting a finger potentially requires the self-sacrifice of a resource (time), I would still do it. You can infer what you wish from that. Personally, I am undecided about whether that comes from a subjective whim, the only win-win choice for both parties (perhaps what Harris might call the “right” choice), an act of selfishness, an act of altruism, etc. You could argue that I would be doing it to make myself feel better and avoid guilt, and it is therefore selfish. You could argue that everyone operates in self-interest (which, it seems like you might believe based on other comments, but I’m not sure). Just keep in mind that Ayn Rand’s book The Virtue of Selfishness has an entire chapter dedicated to nothing but rejecting the view that everyone operates in self-interest. That is called psychological egoism and she rejects it. Ayn Rand argued that everyone ought to operate in self-interest, which is ethical egoism. At the end of this post, I have challenged what I suspect is a contradiction between ethical egoism and being against theft.

Sandy - 31 May 2010 09:28 AM

Are you talking about taking the problems of others and working out solutions or are you talking about turning all of these problems over to the government?

I am not talking about either, if by “talking about” you mean “advocating”. I am undecided. I think there is a possibility that the former cannot be achieved without the latter.

Sandy - 31 May 2010 09:28 AM

When I read Rand’s essay “The Virtue of Selfishness” she examined whether we do things for others for our own joy or for the feeling of guilt that we get from witnessing the tragedies of others.

I never knew she had an essay called The Virtue of Selfishness. Do you mean the book? I read the book called The Virtue of Selfishness and she actually argued that we don’t always operate in self-interest. (She attacked it pretty stridently.)

Sandy - 31 May 2010 09:28 AM

The tragedy of autism has to be the saddest of all. We all have choices on how to approach the problem. Can we as individuals form a solution that can help this child or do we turn it over to a government that will always take a short cut at least cost?

That’s a very good question. I suspect there are not enough voluntary donors to match the numbers the government redistributes via coercion. Do you think voluntary funds for autism are higher than funds that result from coercive processes?

Sandy - 31 May 2010 09:28 AM

I help support “Autism Speaks” which is financing the subject of the situation.

Perhaps if everyone did that, then the funds might surpass coercive redistribution. I guess the question is what happens in reality. Are your funds enough to cover everyone? If not, how many people, in reality, are going to do the same thing as you? Would it be enough to match coercive redistribution?

Sandy - 31 May 2010 09:28 AM

I do not expect any government to take on the problems of the citizens but in the last 50 years in America, the people demand this action. When I read of the lack of care in our Veteran’s hospitals, I joined with a group to build a private facility in Texas with cleaner, more extensive care than the government would supply. I do not do this from a mandate or from guilt but from the joy I feel when I can help. This is exactly what Rand was writing about. I can’t believe you actually read her words but assumed an attitude of many others.

Again, Rand did not argue that everyone operates in self-interest. She argued that everyone ought to. You can’t believe I read her words but assumed an attitude of many others? I ask modern liberals questions challenging their positions, just like I did here. Moreover, I suspect Rand might have actually argued that you took an attitude of many others by self-sacrificing your resources for autism. In Ron Paul’s End the Fed he claimed to dissent from Rand because she was against the voluntary donations done by churches to help the needy.

(On a side note, I like hearing that you helped many needy people out.)

What is interesting about Rand’s ethical egoism, the position that everyone ought to operate in self-interest, is how quickly it backfires without assuming Nathaniel Branden’s premises are true. Why shouldn’t a criminal with no conscience steal, according to ethical egoism? Her rebuttal is that there is absolutely never a situation where it’s in the thief’s self-interest. That seems absurd to me.

What is interesting about psychological egoism, the position that everyone operates in self-interest, is that natural selection happens at the level of the allele, and alleles are weeded out all of the time because they didn’t code for the best move in the interest of self-replicating.

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Posted: 03 June 2010 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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The choice of schools whether private or public depends on the curriculum.  I took an interest in the neighbor’s children who attended the local public school.  I went over to the Principal’s office and asked to see the reading list.  They were working on a curriculum which would explain the reproduction of human birth.  We are talking about 5 year old kids.  I visited a Private school and found phonics as a main subject with French language as another..  They had reading lists starting with books to be read to the first graders by their parents with discussion in the classroom.  The choice was easy and the vocabulary and dialog with the private school students was years ahead of the public schools.

In Statistics, this sample would not be considered representative (of the United States’ schools or all private/public schools) for multiple reasons. The sample is too small. The sample is biased. (A statistics forum is here.)

More importantly, I said I had no doubt that there are private schools with higher quality education, and I asked a question in that very same sentence that hasn’t been answered. I’ll quote myself so you know which sentence I’m referring to:
“I’m sure there are private schools with higher quality education than public schools, but would every child have the opportunity to attend secondary education in a 100% capitalist system?”

(more coming soon)

[ Edited: 03 June 2010 07:52 AM by meditation]
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Posted: 04 June 2010 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Capitalism is the best way for those of us who are not wealthy,  to be able to invest in the products of those who are wealthy.  I had no advantage over others except for my respect for free enterprise capitalism.

No advantage? Who taught you about the stock market? If you learned it on your own, who taught you the basic math skills to be able to learn it on your own?

Was it your parents? Plenty of parents don’t know how to teach their kids that stuff.
Was it your private school? Plenty of kids can’t afford to pay for school.
Was it your public school? If so, then it was coercive redistribution that equipped you to compete.

(That is also my reply to the remainder of the paragraph I quoted from.)

This is how I base the freedom question. I want my children to learn to understand how important education will be for their choice of freedoms. I do not want any teacher, private or public to ever touch my children.

Right. Well, I was just making the point that private schools do that more than public in America. Regarding the first part, you still have the choice between a public and private school in the mixed economy.

What may be the problem here is that we read different books.

I suspect you said that because I mentioned the relationship between religious indoctrination and being deprived of a sense of freedom. To give you an idea of my book status, the (recreational) book I’m slowly reading is The Road to Serfdom. Nonetheless, I agree in the general sense that subjective experience can affect a person’s view on morality.

[ Edited: 04 June 2010 06:23 AM by meditation]
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Posted: 04 June 2010 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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meditation - 04 June 2010 10:17 AM

Who taught you about the stock market? If you learned it on your own, who taught you the basic math skills to be able to learn it on your own?

I learned what i know about the stock market from books from my local library and a couple of university papers I took. Here in New Zealand at least both resources - the library and the university were publicly funded. But this is still a capitalist society. I can pay my taxes and eat my cake too. What’s wrong with having a mixed economy where somethings such as health care and education can be funded privately as well as publicly? I view politics as getting the balance right.

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Posted: 04 June 2010 09:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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nimbus - 04 June 2010 07:23 PM

What’s wrong with having a mixed economy where somethings such as health care and education can be funded privately as well as publicly? I view politics as getting the balance right.

Well, I can list a few criticisms of a mixed economy that people make. I am not saying that I accept or reject these philosophies (I’m undecided about the overall picture in political philosophy), however, I can assure you the following are true libertarian arguments and not just neoconservative, Christian-right babble.

Theft/slavery:  When a person works hard to earn resources and he or she must either hand some of it over or be tackled to the floor, chained, kidnapped, and forced into a cage with criminals, merely calling such acts the word “taxation” doesn’t excuse/justify such behaviors. That is seen as a form of slavery and gross infingement individual rights/liberty. A 1/3 income tax rate is mathematically equivalent to stealing 4 months worth of labor every year. For an example of an argument like this, I recommend this YouTube video clip. It is an excerpt from Robert Nozick’s book Anarchy, State, and Utopia.

Tyranny progression:  In 1913-1915, the United States’s income tax rate ranged from 1% to 7%. From 2003 to 2009, it ranged from 10% to 35%. Here are a couple interesting quotes:
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”—Thomas Jefferson
“It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.”—David Hume
In Fredrich Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom, he argues that there are many parallels between how Nazi Germany justified the use of force and how Britain/USA were aiming to justify socialized programs (after WW2).

Individualism and Collectivism:  Check out a couple of videos here to see some fascinating arguments for individualism.

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Posted: 06 June 2010 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Sandy:
I’m looking at the remainder of your post. Good job volunteering! I’m glad you feel joy from helping others and it’s nice to hear they were helped. Other than saying that, I think I responded to everything you posted. It would be very redundant if I replied to your last couple paragraphs. Several questions I initially asked were not answered at all, however, I still enjoyed your reply. If you have the time, I would be interested to see answers to the questions. Thanks.

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Posted: 10 June 2010 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Theft/slavery:  When a person works hard to earn resources and he or she must either hand some of it over or be tackled to the floor, chained, kidnapped, and forced into a cage with criminals, merely calling such acts the word “taxation” doesn’t excuse/justify such behaviors. That is seen as a form of slavery and gross infingement individual rights/liberty. A 1/3 income tax rate is mathematically equivalent to stealing 4 months worth of labor every year.

The idea that taxation is theft and that paying taxes is a form of slavery is an interesting one. I don’t think that it is good to get ideological about it though. If taxation is slavery then it is a self-imposed slavery - the policymakers and politicians who set the taxes also pay taxes themselves. The majority of the public also voted in favour of ‘being slaves,’ - (probably because they are just brainwashed automatons, right?)

Strictly speaking you could have a system where there is no taxation and is purely a ‘User pays system.’ Where everytime you use a service provided for by the government you pay for it. Everytime you use a public road you pay a certain amount, everytime you use water you are charged a certain amount per quantity… the list goes on. This wouldn’t be slavery because no one is ‘forced’ to pay taxes and if anyone does not want to pay for a service that is fine, it just means they wont be allowed to use it. This all works fine and is great for those who can afford to pay but not so much for everyone else! Also public good such as Air Defence most probably would not be able to be provided without taxation. Which may leave this hypothetical country’s new political system vulnerable to attack!

I prefer to live in a society where you do pay taxes and everyone else has to as well whether they like it or not. Is this slavery? Probably, but you have to admit it’s not exactly like the old fashioned type of slavery. Taxes are the price you have to pay if you wont to live in the modern world. If anyone does not like it then they can form a political party and thus try to convince the majority to vote for them so they can usher in the new era and abolish slavery once and for all.

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Posted: 16 June 2010 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

If taxation is slavery then it is a self-imposed slavery - the policymakers and politicians who set the taxes also pay taxes themselves.

It is imposed on others who did not consent to such policies. Or, in other wording, it is not self-imposed by every individual.

nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

The majority of the public also voted in favour of ‘being slaves,’ - (probably because they are just brainwashed automatons, right?)

This is where the 3rd argument I mentioned comes into play. Does the mere fact that a majority consents justify using force against those who do not consent? Consider a lynch mob with 1 dissenting vote at the end of a rope. The majority consents and the minority does not. As one of the videos I linked to says, “That’s pure democracy in action.”

nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

Strictly speaking you could have a system where there is no taxation and is purely a ‘User pays system.’ Where everytime you use a service provided for by the government you pay for it. Everytime you use a public road you pay a certain amount, everytime you use water you are charged a certain amount per quantity… the list goes on. This wouldn’t be slavery because no one is ‘forced’ to pay taxes and if anyone does not want to pay for a service that is fine, it just means they wont be allowed to use it. This all works fine and is great for those who can afford to pay but not so much for everyone else!


Some would argue that voluntary funding would cover disabled people and such a system would flourish with enough resources to help the needy. For example, socialized food led to starvation and capitalized food fed everyone, including those who had work troubles. Health care? Ron Paul argues that before the 1950s there is no evidence of people being put out on the street. Personally, I don’t know if I buy all the arguments like this. That is why I asked that series of questions at the beginning of the thread. Additionally, some would say that an ethical principle is not a means to an end, but an end in itself.

nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

Also public good such as Air Defence most probably would not be able to be provided without taxation. Which may leave this hypothetical country’s new political system vulnerable to attack!!


Some people would dispute that. Ayn Rand argued that it would be in the self-interest of people to voluntarily fund a government.

nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

I prefer to live in a society where you do pay taxes and everyone else has to as well whether they like it or not.

Right, but the argument is that because you prefer the system, it does not give individuals the right to force that vision on other individuals who don’t share it. For me, I am glad I could afford school via government funds, so I can understand why you might feel that way.

nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

Is this slavery? Probably, but you have to admit it’s not exactly like the old fashioned type of slavery.

Agreed.

nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

Taxes are the price you have to pay if you wont to live in the modern world.

Does that make it ethical?

nimbus - 10 June 2010 10:41 PM

If anyone does not like it then they can form a political party and thus try to convince the majority to vote for them so they can usher in the new era and abolish slavery once and for all.

If other people do not hop on their bandwagon, does it mean that the majority has the right to impose their whims? This majoritarianism idea is in direct conflict with individualism. I strongly recommend watching the videos about individualism and collectivism that can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ST0PandL00K#g/u

[ Edited: 16 June 2010 10:03 AM by meditation]
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Posted: 17 June 2010 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Does the mere fact that a majority consents justify using force against those who do not consent? Consider a lynch mob with 1 dissenting vote at the end of a rope. The majority consents and the minority does not.

I agree with you. Morally speaking, just because a majority of society consents to impose taxation does not justify that majority using force against those who do not consent. But I can imagine someone arguing that it is necessary - for forced taxation of every member of the public - because it is in the interests of the greater good. In other words, the increase in benefits to society as whole outweigh the lose of freedom which is inflicted on the public by being forced to pay taxes.

Maybe an argument could be made that those who illegally don’t pay taxes are indirectly hurting society by not contributing to it. Also it could be argued that they are stealing from the government by using publicly provided goods and services and not paying for them. Although they may counter-argue that they would prefer to live in a user pays system and that government is stealing part of their income for taxation.

Some would argue that voluntary funding would cover disabled people and such a system would flourish with enough resources to help the needy. For example, socialized food led to starvation and capitalized food fed everyone, including those who had work troubles.

I would argue that socialized food led to people starving in some countries because it is an inefficient system compared to more market-oriented capitalist economies. Competitive markets are very good at effiently pricing goods -including food - in order to meet demand. However, even in capitalist economies you still pay taxes. I would say that if taxation were not compulsory - then it would be highly likely that more people would be starving than under a political system which incorporated taxation.

Ron Paul argues that before the 1950s there is no evidence of people being put out on the street. Personally, I don’t know if I buy all the arguments like this.

I don’t know who Ron Paul is. But I’m going to look him up.

Ayn Rand argued that it would be in the self-interest of people to voluntarily fund a government.

Ah yes I agree, but what would you do about the free rider problem? See link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_rider_problem

This majoritarianism idea is in direct conflict with individualism.

Does this then mean that democracy is in direct conflict with individualism?

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Posted: 17 June 2010 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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nimbus - 17 June 2010 04:17 AM

I agree with you. Morally speaking, just because a majority of society consents to impose taxation does not justify that majority using force against those who do not consent. But I can imagine someone arguing that it is necessary - for forced taxation of every member of the public - because it is in the interests of the greater good. In other words, the increase in benefits to society as whole outweigh the lose of freedom which is inflicted on the public by being forced to pay taxes.

Ahh, yes. The rebuttal to that argument is my favorite type of argument in all of libertarianism. Here is one variation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n4E2tAQBVE

nimbus - 17 June 2010 04:17 AM

Maybe an argument could be made that those who illegally don’t pay taxes are indirectly hurting society by not contributing to it.

Society? What is society? A number of individuals? Again, I would link to the above video.

nimbus - 17 June 2010 04:17 AM

Also it could be argued that they are stealing from the government by using publicly provided goods and services and not paying for them.

The public? What is the public? A number of individuals? Can you disregard the rights of individuals and protect them? (The rebuttal is along the same lines as the one above.)

I’ll reply more ASAP, but I recommend the following videos for common rebuttals to arguments against pure capitalism that contain the following:
“democracy”, “the greater good”, “society”, “public”

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkSHg3JV_V8
Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n4E2tAQBVE (this one is already linked above)
Part 3:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej5L3aJMlPA
Part 4:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3YxvySQqkk
Part 5:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5_N86Pblj0

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Posted: 17 June 2010 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Thanks for the video links. Cant look at them at the moment because I’m on dial-up and it would take too long but once my broadband kicks in (which should be in about a week) I’ll have a look at them.

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Posted: 18 June 2010 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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In the Bill of Rights found in our U.S. Constitution we have the 16Th Amendment which authorizes the government to set the standards for taxing Americans.  I remember a time in 1965 when a group of Libertarians wrote up a repeal of the 16Th and we got it on the ballot in many states twice.  Both times it was rejected by the voters.

I’ve heard that the tax codes are not fair which may indeed be the case; but we must understand that the Congress is responsible for writing the tax codes and the IRS is responsible for enforcing the codes. 

In a perfect world, every candidate running for the House or Senate should be questioned about how the tax codes are written or revised or whatever and that takes time, research and money that nobody wants to discuss.

Twice I walked the streets with petitions for people to sign and I was actually verbally insulted and spit on.  Most voters in America are too uninformed on the system of government and many would rather throw the blame (sometimes violently) rather than take a stand on anything.  Who has the responsibility to educate the American people?  The government schools?  I think not!  The American family who knows how to use the welfare and not overcome it. 

We have a new religious political movement in America that wants the IRS to be closed but not legally.  They have their guns and in one case an airplane that rammed the IRS building in Texas.  It will be the choice of the American voter to come up with an agenda to correct what they feel is wrong.  Will it be Palin carrying the cross and flag for God?  Will it be Rand Paul who has no clue what is in the Bill of Rights; he is a paid flunky for the religious right. 

I’ve been away from the computer for a time and realize I left many questions unanswered.  Since I became a political junkie for free minded leaders, I have seen a devastating rise in corruption.  I’m not surprised because there is no right versus wrong found in a Christian set of values.  Bush 43 became our Christian leader and his every move allowed the most corrupt members of his Administration to loosen controls on the very corporations who have destroyed America.  The oil spill brought this all home when it was determined that the chosen BP corporation cut corners to the point that we may have lost the Gulf of Mexico waters and beaches.  100 years ago, this would have been unheard of because America was building a free nation for free people.  Today American is building money for control of our government laws. 

I do not believe we can ever see integrity in our government again.  Our candidates need lobbyist millions to get re elected therefore the corporations will always win.  A Christian nation is never clean as the worst crimes against humanity can be done in the name of Jesus Christ and everyone loses.  Not even President Obama can clean up a damn thing.  He starts next year building his own reelection money box.  He received millions from the oil lobby as well as the Pharma groups. 

There is no independent movement within the voters to be able to judge the candidates on their agendas.  They will promise anything to win and then they can sit until the next year when they face reelection.  Even our Election laws were made when integrity ruled the voting booths. People want winning bumper stickers on their cars.  I had eggs thrown at my car when I advertised a third party candidate. 

America has hit a dead end.  There is only one road ahead and that is complete government control over every single one of us.  I have worked for 50 years for individual freedoms and ran into the religious right who has no interest in anything but making America into a Christian nation.  I’m at the end of my rope.  Frankly, my dear fools; I don’t give a damn.  We will just have to get used to Benzine in the air, water and the contamination of oil in our lives.  Our kids will get dumber each year and televisions will get bigger.  This is not a coincidence.

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