Socialism, or collectivism, is a consequence of a more fundamental philosophical mistake. This mistake is the opinion that you do not have a moral right to your own life, that you owe part of your life to others. This idea is called altruism, which is mistakenly thought to be a moral position. Well, the principle of altruism, if you wish to actually think about it, is one of self-sacrifice, that it is moral to sacrifice your life to others. This should be clearly distinguished from benevolence, charity or philanthropy. Let’s take destruction out of the picture all together. I’m not saying that it isn’t good to give to others, but it becomes immoral when it is given away at the expense of the self. And becomes all out criminal when it is given away against the will of the producer, by force. Taxes, no matter in what form, are FIRST and FOREMOST an attack against the rights of the individual. It is the individual that creates and produces. It is assault and theft to force him or her to give his or her money to the government, which will, by mob rule (democracy), decide where his or her hard earned money will go, minus the pay-offs that go to corrupt Republican and Democratic politicians and lobbyists. We are born, with a gun pointed at our heads, enslaved to each other and the Fed, in the name of goodwill towards others. This brings us all down and government up. And if you vote for the Republican or the Democratic party, it is your fault.

This universe operates according to physical laws, which are predictable and reproducible. And by our physical structure as human beings, our brains function similarly, in that every action we make is a result of neuronal processes that cannot be shared. We are autonomous organic machines. There is no collective brain, not literally. Metaphorically, sure. It is always through this individualistic nature that we relate to each other. And proper government is the necessary protection from one monopolizing bully to ensure we are left capable of taking care of ourselves and our decisions. Individuals function as such, by our nature, and liberty is being left free to do as you wish as long as someone bigger and stronger doesn’t infringe on your autonomy.

“The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty or action of any of their number is self protection.”

---On Liberty, John Stuart Mills, 1859

There is only one thing that you can interfere with or limit the liberty of someone for, one goal, one value gives you the right to interfere and it is self protection. Nothing else besides protecting yourself, not getting your kids a good education, not getting the government to build you a road to get to work, not anything except protecting you from bodily harm and that which leads to it. This is the only principle that allows you to interfere with another’s autonomy. To justify doing something to someone else, of harm, you must prove that their actions were going to cause direct harm to another. Being free means being able to act in your own self-interest except if we are going to hurt someone. I should not be able to get money from someone I don’t know, who doesn’t need an education for my children, or a road near my house or healthcare my doctor gives me to pay for it from the money he or she earned, that money which is necessary to sustain their life.

And as for altruism, hogwash. Tricking the masses of humans into believing self-sacrifice is good is one of the greatest evils of religion and theology (the study of one particular metaphor) that there is. Every decision every human being makes is always, every time, one based on, at least perceived, self-interest. Sustained sacrifice of an individual would necessarily result in their demise. People do good for others because it is in their perceived self-interest.

Agreeing that we all share in each other’s individuality is what socialism, of any kind and percentage, is suggesting. It is irrational and results in slavery. Every good thing that happens in the economy does so because of the individuals that did the work, not because of governmental oversight and restriction. The one necessary monopolizer of retaliatory force has no business in the lives of individuals, except to protect them from impingements on their liberty.

A proper, or moral, government serves only to function as a single monopolizer of retaliatory physical force, to protect us from criminals, foreign aggressors and settle domestic disputes in law courts. Schools, roads and medical care, like everything else, except police, military and judges, should come from the only way they can, private enterprise, i.e., individuals producing, instead of the government redistributing wealth, bringing everyone down by taking from those with ability and giving to those with need. The moral limited government can certainly be financed with voluntary taxation, donations or the government itself creating money honestly, like thousands of private companies do every day. I, sure as hell, would pay for the protection of the government.

But, what of the starving unfortunate people in the world? I’m sorry, but because someone is hungry, does not mean I have a moral responsibility to give them my bread. If you wish to truly help these people, good for you. I recommend that you do not sacrifice yourself to do it and I certainly do not wish for you or anyone else to force me to chip in. I’ll do so on my own, after I’ve made my first million. That would come sooner if the irrational people of this country would let me keep that which I have earned, instead of taking nearly 40% of it and giving to corporate CEO’s, banks, Iran or some community in BFE to save a field which some rare turtle happens to use as a path from their mating area to their nursery.

And if you think that Roosevelt’s New Deal, in the 1930’s, actually helped the economy, well then, you need to go back and research it yourself, instead of taking the word of some postmodernist university professor. It was the WWII, the military industrial complex war machine that Eisenhower warned us of , in his presidential farewell speech in 1961, and hard working Americans that got us out. Our country was never more economically successful and thriving, without artificial "bubbles" created by governmental price setting and special interest subsidies, as it was pre-income taxes, before the very early 20th century. We are still now, less and less, reaping the benefits of the industrial revolution and the American capitalistic work ethic created in the 18th and 19th centuries. The more the producers are penalized for producing and the poor are enabled by a welfare state, the quicker we will return to dictatorship and subsequent revolution. If we empower people, by valuing individual rights, to earn and keep their own shit, standard of living would go up and the ignorant and lazy would stop multiplying as much. We enable them with the welfare state. The government cannot supply value or virtue, only make them possible by providing freedom.

Nowhere in The Declaration of Independence or The Constitution does it suggest that we should be forced to give up some of our individual rights to give to the so-called good of the people. The reason we became an independent nation to begin with was to be able to keep what we make and not have to answer to some arbitrary authority. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would be shitting in their pants right now if they were here to see this crap.

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Comment by MCT on May 29, 2011 at 6:45am
Glen,
 
There is no special treatment!!! A proper moral government respects one person the same as another! No special favors for the rich or the poor. Government has nothing to do with anything except the monopolization of retaliatory force!!
 

I do not have any responsibility for anyone, but myself. Period. There is no fundamental, epistemological, metaphysical, ethical or political need for me to give a crap about anyone other than me and mine. I may wish to help others, but I would like to decide who gets my help. It is wrong for the mob to, by force, demand that my money goes to the corrupt organization of institutionalized violence to decide, after pay-offs, kick-backs and bribes, where my money goes. This system does not work. And we have never seen a libertarian state, so you don't know that an economy without government wouldn't work. Of course there would still be suffering, but to empower those with guns to try and ensure what people should rightfully struggle with themselves is immoral and impractical.

How can you say we are no longer in a state of nature? Are we supernatural?

Forced taxation is not just a perceived infringement on my rights; it is an outright and blatant very real infringement. And it is not just that I am personally offended by this. It is that it is institutionalized aggression. People should be free, not forced to help each other. Not just so that some people are not unfairly stripped of the means of their life, but so that everyone will have equality in the only area that one can truly be said to be equal and that it is the singular nature of their minds and a personal responsibility for their decisions and actions. That some are born with more is not a reason to take it away for those that weren't. All citizens could never possibly have equal access to the means of production.

 

Alice,

 

In a libertarian society, the wealthy could not abuse anyone anymore than anyone else could. Corruption would, of course, still exist, but it would not be institutionalized, like it is now. You are concerned about what this system would look like for individuals. The government would not dictate what someone's life would be like. The government would only protect from aggressors, foreign and domestic (and have law courts based on objective laws that enforce individual and property rights, not just precedent set by one judge previously). Your example of a struggling mother, while sad, does not enter into a libertarian government, other than when they come and take him away for whatever crimes he commits. She can certainly sue for compensation. I believe in a society where people get to keep their money, philanthropy and charity would abound, as it already does even though we are taxed so much. She could ask for help. She could try to raise the money another way. Where is the rest of her family. My point is, that it is immoral and impractical, to have the organization of institutionalized violence help her after taking a piece of the pie for themselves, which invariably happens as dictated by the structure of a socialistic government. Maybe your friend should have thought twice before committing to a relationship with someone she did not know well enough, or creating a situation where the marriage, or civil union, had provisions for such a circumstance, such an prenuptial insurance policy. Our whole society and its institutions are archaic, including marriage and mob rule. Why should I pay for that husband's mental illness or her bad judgment? In my opinion, people should not procreate without extreme preparations. Another party's money should have zero impact on the police. They are, in a libertarian society, the only public institution and they would intervene to defend individual rights, not to make money. The father could hire a private investigator, but so what?

 

What it really boils down to is that you think that an individual is entitled to another's life. I believe this to be an ethical issue, not a political one. The ends of the alleviation of your suffering friend do not justify the means through which you take that help.

 

In short, how does an individual's life look like under a libertarian society? That is up to them, not the government. Private enterprise would flourish and one can always enlist their help, but not for free. Nothing is free. You can't and shouldn't try to get something for nothing.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on May 27, 2011 at 11:18pm

Good questions Alice, and I like the way you are thinking along practical lines.

Comment by Alice on May 27, 2011 at 7:40pm
Michael - reading your last post gets me thinking about how things are in Africa - where they have small government and citizens can hire army and police to carry out work on behalf of their business interests - I'm sure it could 'work' whether it would work in the way that you imagine, Glen imagines or I imagine - we would all go along and do out best to exploit the new system as humans have with all systems in place.

I would say that if the system isn't set up to try to be fair in someway - that stronger bullies would just terrorise and threaten others to get their way - the bigger and more aggressive the more power and money you can get. Not necessarily, as you haven't really defined your system clearly enough for me to understand. But I'm still waiting for you to tell me what it might look like for individuals in that system - for example - how would it be for a single mother of 3 who left her partner because she discovered he was sexually abusing their children? I would think that under your system she wouldn't get any money or help from the government. What if she didn't have any family support and all the fathers family and all their mutual friends supported the father - so she had no one familiar to gain support from - I'm not making this up by the way - I have a friend who is going through this at the moment - and she is getting government support for food and housing.

In your world the father would be able to hire police to investigate the situation - as he has a good income - do you think that the police would be without bias when the father is paying the bills? Do you think that the courts would be unbiased when the father is paying the bills? Is this just her bad luck and if she and her children suffer - well that's just bad luck - if the father gets custody and continues to sexually abuse the kids, is that just their bad luck? Or in your system are their systems in place to protect children? How would these systems work?
Comment by Alice on May 27, 2011 at 7:00pm

You know I think it would be great if we could have a computer program that you put all your social and political ideas into and it simulated them - and you could make changes along the way and zoom into individual lives and back out to bigger picture affairs and you could fast forward over time to see events unfold - it would need to be programmed to the variety of human natures that we have - a very complex program - but it would really be a testing ground for new ideas and policies - and it could also be an educational tool - in that anyone with any idea might run their theory and see the consequences of it - so an ideal theory might come up with lots of positives but have some really bad outcomes also - it would need to start as the world is now, with all our varying tenancies - and see what happened next... and it could obviously be reset every time to test a new and improved theory...

 

I try to do this in my own mind, but I can't hold all the elements and tend to forget some things whilst thinking about others - also we are all so biased in our expectations anyhow.  I aim to be open minded and only deal with what is being said - but we can't help out myths get in the way of that.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on May 27, 2011 at 4:15pm

Michael,

I bring up an apparent non sequitur, state of nature because it is essentially what you are asking for. You are imo the equivalent of an 18th century English liberal who is quite happy to see children die in factories. "Mustn't interfere with nature and business. Stiff upper lip and all that. What!"You are asking for special treatment for elite and state of nature for the rest of humanity.

There is nothing intrinsic in capitalism which is in part exploitation of the worker that mandates how man, no longer in a state of nature, is beholden to this social contract of adhesion. It is indeed not even close to an even playing field where all citizens have equal access to the means of production. Saying that it is the poor person's nature to be satisfied with their lot is the place of the catholic church and the libertarian, saying that the poor person is less capable than the wealthy feeds into racist notions of superiority.

You are hypersensitive about any perceived infringement of your freedom and dont give a hoot about responsibility for others or impact of your wealth on others. We have the opportunity to at least attempt to ameliorate government. And capitalism when it is unchecked is a disaster for the masses.

I still think there is room for libertarian influence to curtail the many abuses of american government. As a stand alone  I believe libertarian government  is only one step above a theocracy.

Comment by MCT on May 27, 2011 at 9:38am

Glen,

 

Nothing of what you wrote, imo, is a valid defense of socialistic laws or valid condemnation of capitalism. All I get from your posts, and others like yours, is that you are unhappy that some people can achieve greater amounts of success, wealth and power and other people are not going to.

Unfettered fair deals are not the cause of poverty. You are blaming a state of nature on the means of commerce. It makes no sense.

If a worker is abused, the government, in a capitalistic society, would rightfully hold the employer accountable.

You call it self-serving that a laborer is paid for his work (this has nothing to do with me). And it is not arbitrary. A laborer IS paid for his work. Work he agreed to do. This is not abuse or exploitation. I do not say fuck workers in general. I say fuck the worker who agrees to work for a dollar and then expects some more of my money that he did not work for. Your reasons why it is bad that producers employ workers are arbitrary. Your worker who is toiling at a job that you say defines them, can gain new skills, if he wants, and change his lot in life. In a free society, every individual has the same opportunity to do what they can with what they've got.  

Just because all someone can and will do is work on an assembly line for 8 bucks an hour, is no reason to pay him more than they agree to work for. What you are suggesting is a tax on success. This is slavery, for the group, at the expense of the individual. The individuals that are the supposed beneficiary of this money, don't even get it. The corrupt politicians do, because that's what a socialistic government and large bureaucracy are designed for. It is not practical or moral. It is absolutey, in no way, tyranny that wealthy people can by better things. It is not the wealthy persons fault or responsibility that someone who does not do what is necessary, whether they can or not, of their own means, become wealthy themselves. I always comes back to you thinking that becasue someone is born that they are born with the right to be happy and have things made easier for them. Nothing about reality dictates or suggests that people have a right to be taken care of. And there is something about reality that is the reason that individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law. The structure of our brains!!! We are singular beings and morality is a set of principle to guide ONE's actions. The moral decision must be by the individual mind. There is no collective mind; that is an oxymoron. It does not work when you have a large powerful corrupt force making decisions about where the fruits of one's labors will go or what their kids will learn or who their doctor will be. These are choices that must be made by the individual. Every has a right to their own life, all of it. Fine, if you wish to help the poor and needy, but you should not, by force, expect someone else to. 

A proper government offers freedom from coercion, not from the responsibility of self-sustenance. It protects people from thieves and killers, not from reality or the need to create one’s values from one’s own thoughts and labors.

A worker should not be paid a fraction of the company, unless that is his agreed wage. If a worker negotiates a salary of $30,000 a year, that is fair. And then you are upset that he is not paid more. Equality is fundamentally unfair. You are like a little schoolboy that is upset that the boy next to you has more peanut butter on his sandwich and then suggest that it is fair and right to equally dispense all peanut butter. You are the aggressor.

 

The military can certainly build bridges, homes and infrastructure. They can work in a myriad of ways as a service to make money. Who said anything about a mercenary force?

 

Capitalism has worked just fine as much as it has existed. Of course you decry it. You think it is unfair that people can be successful, while others are perceived to be suffering. You put restrictions on trade and behavior and then decry the very problems these cause and blame it on capitalism itself. The more you restrict individual rights, the more you will cause unfairness. And likely, the more the commoner will blame the producers. 

 

Alice,

 

Humans would live better without taxes, large government and wealth redistribution. What would this look like? I think it would look like a place where you can keep your money that you have to work for. We would have more responsibility and more power for self governance at the local level. And since private enterprise would be in charge of healthcare, infrastructure and education, it would be more successful and innovative. Empower the organization of institutionalized force to make roads, provide healthcare and provide education is just primitive.

"Also workers tend to want to just work, they don't want to take responsiblity - if they wanted to take responsibility then they would be self employed - but they don't - they prefer others to take responsibilty and that's why they have a job with a regular and reliable pay packet.  They get insecure about not knowing where the next money is coming from to buy their accomodation and food etc."

-right. At moments, you do sound reasonable. Yes, we are a war economy. Perhaps it was a good thing, the creation of the military industrial complex, because of Hitler, but it is no longer needed or beneficial. Well, unless we wish to continue this oppressive socialistic government. A small limited government would not have a lot of costs, so the debt would not be a problem.

Your 33% tax is what we call a flat tax and it is more fair than the graduated tax based on earnings, but still immoral, if you ask me. 

 

 

 

 

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on May 27, 2011 at 8:42am

Alice,

You are the greatest!

Comment by Alice on May 27, 2011 at 4:35am
Glen - I have very similar concerns...
Comment by Alice on May 25, 2011 at 5:34pm

Michael I agree with you regarding nature not needing taxation for humans or wealth redistribution - in that nature doesn't mind if we live or die or it any other life form lives or dies.

 

It 's not about nature as such, as our lives as humans - and you are saying that Humans could live better without large government, taxes and wealth redistribution.

 

I'm still wondering what this would look like?

 

Also workers tend to want to just work, they don't want to take responsiblity - if they wanted to take responsibility then they would be self employed - but they don't - they prefer others to take responsibilty and that's why they have a job with a regular and reliable pay packet.  They get insecure about not knowing where the next money is coming from to buy their accomodation and food etc.

 

It's not the first time governments have been in debt - it's part of the system that we have - it's happened before and it'll happen again - it goes up and down...  Is america a war economy?  Pehaps you need more war to help the economy get better again...

 

Apparently we are changing the tax system here - so we currently have a tax free threshhold of $6,000 and then the % tax goes up as your income goes up - but they are thinking of changing it to getting the first $26,000 tax free and then a flat rate of 33% tax for everyone....  which is good for low income earners and perhaps more fair for higher income earners....?

 

When reading your - this is what would happen - it concerns me that a few rich people could employ the army - what would stop them doing harm to further their own business intereststs against others?

 

Comment by Alice on May 25, 2011 at 5:20pm
Michael - I just read your post to Glen - quite agressive and frustrated - I still can't get a picture of what you mean intirely - can you give me a country in the world now or from history that has elements of what you are talking about here - how would your system look - can you describe how it would work - in relation to all the elements we have in our society?

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