A Libertarian tries to argue against Egalitarianism…and fails miserably.

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I was recently pointed by some Libertarians to the article of one of their intellectuals who tries to argue that Egalitarianism is a Revolt Against Nature. Subscribers will have probably noticed that I am a big supporter of egalitarianism so obviously I went there expecting some new arguments, some challenge. But my expectations dropped almost immediately.

The article starts with some promotion from the book and then moves to the main subject a few hundred words down (!). The first thing that is mentioned is how egalitarianism has been the common ideal of the left. How it has always been promoted as the ideal we should be striving for and how the right never bothered to argue against the ideal.

Soon (that is, a few hundred words later again), we move to the actual critique of egalitarianism itself. Good, I think, finally something tangible.

Let us proceed, then, to a critique of the egalitarian ideal itself — should equality be granted its current status as an unquestioned ethical ideal? In the first place, we must challenge the very idea of a radical separation between something that is “true in theory” but “not valid in practice.” If a theory is correct, then it does work in practice; if it does not work in practice, then it is a bad theory. The common separation between theory and practice is an artificial and fallacious one. But this is true in ethics as well as anything else. If an ethical ideal is inherently “impractical,” that is, if it cannot work in practice, then it is a poor ideal and should be discarded forthwith. To put it more precisely, if an ethical goal violates the nature of man and/or the universe and, therefore, cannot work in practice, then it is a bad ideal and should be dismissed as a goal. If the goal itself violates the nature of man, then it is also a poor idea to work in the direction of that goal.

(Emphasis mine)
Err right, ok. I can already see where this is going. He’s going to try to argue that Egalitarianism goes against the fundamental nature of man. This is a common challenge from Capitalists, arguing that anything other than this system cannot work because this is the only thing that can work with Human Nature. I have already written on this topic so at this point I’m curious to see how he will backup such a claim. Will he fall once again on the classic example of the USSR as the only possible result?

Suppose, for example, that it has come to be adopted as a universal ethical goal that all men be able to fly by flapping their arms. Let us assume that “proflappers” have been generally conceded the beauty and goodness of their goal, but have been criticized as “impractical.” But the result is unending social misery as society tries continually to move in the direction of arm flying, and the preachers of arm flapping make everyone’s lives miserable for being either lax or sinful enough not to live up to the common ideal. The proper critique here is to challenge the “ideal” goal itself; to point out that the goal itself is impossible in view of the physical nature of man and the universe; and, therefore, to free mankind from its enslavement to an inherently impossible and, hence, evil goal.

Can I has realistic example? I  mean WTF!? “men be able to fly by flapping their arms.”?? This is an example which’s practicality can be proven in no time from simple controlled experiments. Proving the feasibility of egalitarianism is not as simple. In small isolated environments (ie. communes), the feasibility of egalitarianism has been proven time and again, the problem is proving the practicality of achieving egalitarianism in the whole world, something that is not really easy to test.

This example also assumes that not only the lack of feasibility of egalitarianism has been proven (for obviously people cannot fly by flapping) but that people are still arguing for the benefits of this impossible theory. Well, I can only think of one kind of people who continue arguing for the benefits of their beliefs in the face of conflicting evidence. Theists. But I digress.

What, in fact, is “equality”? The term has been much invoked but little analyzed. A and B are “equal” if they are identical to each other with respect to a given attribute. Thus, if Smith and Jones are both exactly six feet in height, then they may be said to be “equal” in height. If two sticks are identical in length, then their lengths are “equal,” etc. There is one and only one way, then, in which any two people can really be “equal” in the fullest sense: they must be identical in all of their attributes. This means, of course, that equality of all men — the egalitarian ideal — can only be achieved if all men are precisely uniform, precisely identical with respect to all of their attributes. The egalitarian world would necessarily be a world of horror fiction — a world of faceless and identical creatures, devoid of all individuality, variety, or special creativity.

UBER FACEPALM!

Equality is what?! Sweet titty-fucking Jeebus, we have already gone into total disconnection from reality. If you can’t get even this right, I’m scared to see how the rest of the article will continue. Here let me give you a hint of what most people mean by “Egalitarianism”:

Egalitarianism (derived from the French word égal, meaning equal) is a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights. Generally it applies to being held equal under the law and society at large. In actual practice, one may be considered an egalitarian in most areas listed above, even if not subscribing to equality in every possible area of individual difference. – Wikipedia

To attempt to equate egalitarianism with uniformity goes beyond a simple equivocation. It becomes intellectually dishonest. Egalitarianism under no possible world means that people should be identical and I have never heard one person who expects such a thing. The most simple explanation would be that under Egalitarianism people are equal in social status. It does not require people to be equal in intelligence, strength or anything else but rather that such difference does not equate to difference in status.

Needless to say that already by expectations of a good argument were loosing water fast. The author went on to equate egalitarianism to a horror novels and nightmare scenarios in order, obviously, to appeal to emotion rather than reason. Simply pathetic and not even worth a refutation as it is based on the previous horribly wrong definition.

The horror we all instinctively feel at these stories is the intuitive recognition that men are not uniform, that the species, mankind, is uniquely characterized by a high degree of variety, diversity, differentiation — in short, inequality. An egalitarian society can only hope to achieve its goals by totalitarian methods of coercion; and, even here, we all believe and hope the human spirit of individual man will rise up and thwart any such attempts to achieve an ant-heap world. In short, the portrayal of an egalitarian society is horror fiction because, when the implications of such a world are fully spelled out, we recognize that such a world and such attempts are profoundly antihuman; being antihuman in the deepest sense, the egalitarian goal is, therefore, evil and any attempts in the direction of such a goal must be considered evil as well.

This is the brilliant Libertarian intellectualism that most people point to? If that is it, it’s depressing. It’s like me equating the liberty that Libertarianism requires with fucking eating human babies. I then point out that baby-eating is obviously something taken out of a horror movie and any sensible person can see that. We recognise then that liberty is evil and any attempts to such a goal must be considered evil as well.
What drivel.

The great fact of individual difference and variability (that is, inequality) is evident from the long record of human experience; hence, the general recognition of the antihuman nature of a world of coerced uniformity. Socially and economically, this variability manifests itself in the universal division of labor, and in the “Iron Law of Oligarchy” — the insight that, in every organization or activity, a few (generally the most able and/or the most interested) will end up as leaders, with the mass of the membership filling the ranks of the followers. In both cases, the same phenomenon is at work — outstanding success or leadership in any given activity is attained by what Jefferson called a “natural aristocracy” — those who are best attuned to that activity.

Uh no. Inequality is not evident from “the long record of human experience”, unless you equate human experience to that which happened only after civilization, that is the last 10k years. Barbaric and Savage tribes show indeed equality within their ranks. They have leaders but those leaders are easily removed and do not have dictatorial powers. The people in such tribes did not follow their leaders all the time, but simply the leaders expressed the desires of the tribe (or else they were removed).

The kind of leadership the author is talking about is indeed the norm once humans moved to civilization but not because this is some kind of human nature and the best rise to the top. This is simply classic libertarian assumptions. Indeed the human history is full of horrible leaders, idiot kings and pathetic rulers. I mean, just look a G.W. Bush ferchristsake. This natural aristocracy is a fantasy to tell to the lower classes in order to convince them not to argue with their position.

The age-old record of inequality seems to indicate that this variability and diversity is rooted in the biological nature of man. But it is precisely such a conclusion about biology and human nature that is the most galling of all possible irritants to our egalitarians. Even egalitarians would be hard put to deny the historical record, but their answer is that “culture” has been to blame; and since they obviously hold that culture is a pure act of the will, then the goal of changing the culture and inculcating society with equality seems to be attainable. In this area, the egalitarians slough off any pretense to scientific caution; they are scarcely content with acknowledging biology and culture as mutually interacting influences. Biology must be read out of court quickly and totally.

Notice how our author jumps from a weak correlation to an actual conclusion? This is the kind of intellectual laziness that passes for arguments from this camp I’m afraid. “Seems to indicate” indeed. I’m certain that this Economist who obviously has not taken a deeper look into human history other than a cursory glance at the general history of civilization can find a lot of things that “seem to be indicated”.

But such “seeming indications” do not equal anything tangible other than a possible connection. To jump from there and claim that this is a deep set biological imperative of human nature and that egalitarians are trying to ignore the real biological enemy within our own goddamn mind (or something), is nothing more than a assertion without evidence with an attempt to sprinkle it with scientific talk. Much like neoclassical economics really.

More unrealistic examples follow which base themselves on conclusions such as the two above which I won’t waste your time analyzing. It basically takes an example that would be obvious for everyone and claims that the egalitarians would be incapable of seeing it.

Women are another recently discovered “oppressed class,” and the fact that political delegates have habitually been far more than 50 percent male is now held to be an evident sign of their oppression. Delegates to political conventions come from the ranks of party activists, and since women have not been nearly as politically active as men, their numbers have understandably been low. But, faced with this argument, the widening forces of “women’s liberation” in America again revert to the talismanic argument about “brainwashing” by our “culture.” For the women’s liberationists can hardly deny the fact that every culture and civilization in history, from the simplest to the most complex, has been dominated by males. (In desperation, the liberationists have lately been countering with fantasies about the mighty Amazonian empire.) Their reply, once again, is that from time immemorial a male-dominated culture has brainwashed oppressed females to confine themselves to nurture, home, and the domestic hearth. The task of the liberationists is to effect a revolution in the female condition by sheer will, by the “raising of consciousness.” If most women continue to cleave to domestic concerns, this only reveals the “false consciousness” that must be extirpated.

Hooooly shite!

We went from simple deluded and half-thought of conclusions to outright denial of feminine oppresion. The arguments toward that? That women are not repressented politically because they were simply not politically active. The author does not of course realize that he is begging the question of “why were women not politically active?”. Could it have been oppression? Naaaah.

He then goes to claim that every culture has been dominated by males. Well, once again he shows that he has not heard of any society beyond ones in civilization. Indeed most barbaric and savage societies, before farming was invented not only had no female oppression but women were very much in power as they were the only link that children had to their parents and thus their family bond.

But if you thought the author could not put his foot further in his mouth, this gets better:

Of course, one neglected reply is that if, indeed, men have succeeded in dominating every culture, then this in itself is a demonstration of male “superiority”; for if all genders are equal, how is it that male domination emerged in every case? But apart from this question, biology itself is being angrily denied and cast aside. The cry is that there are no, can be no, must be no biological differences between the sexes; all historical or current differences must be due to cultural brainwashing.

And there you have it ladies & gentlemen. Male domination of society is not because of oppression and male domination of the means of production. It is because men are better, biologically! Suck on that girls, You can’t argue with science! Booyah!

Really, I think I should just stop refuting this article at this point as the author does a percectly good job of shooting his own foot. Any minute now he’s going to claim that white domination of society is not because they were oppressing humans of other skin colour, or because they controlled the guns and the power, but because they were biologically superior…

But this should not surprise everyone. This is really classic Libertarian chewing gum. “If someone is in that position it’s because he deserves to be in that position” must be something like the basic tenet of Libertarianism and from which stem not only the absurdities you’ve seen above but also excuse by which the total disregard of human suffering can be achieved. Third world nation suffering? It’s their own fault. People impoverished? It’s their own fault. Women oppressed? It’s their own fault.

This Intellectual bankruptcy of Libertarianism is blatantly obvious for everyone except themselves. Much of this can of course be traced back to Ayn Randian bullshit, which has been instilled in the ideologies of the last century and finally produced the Objectivism-lite in the form of Libertarianism. Both have the same rotten core but Libertarianism tries to be a bit less asshole-ish about it.

After that, the author goes on to quote mine some socialists, including Marx, Engels and Trotsky but I won’t waste time dwelling on these so I’ll jump straight to the last paragraph of this joke of an essay.

We began by considering the common view that the egalitarians, despite a modicum of impracticality, have ethics and moral idealism on their side. We end with the conclusion that egalitarians, however intelligent as individuals, deny the very basis of human intelligence and of human reason: the identification of the ontological structure of reality, of the laws of human nature, and the universe. In so doing, the egalitarians are acting as terribly spoiled children, denying the structure of reality on behalf of the rapid materialization of their own absurd fantasies. Not only spoiled but also highly dangerous; for the power of ideas is such that the egalitarians have a fair chance of destroying the very universe that they wish to deny and transcend, and to bring that universe crashing around all of our ears. Since their methodology and their goals deny the very structure of humanity and of the universe, the egalitarians are profoundly antihuman; and, therefore, their ideology and their activities may be set down as profoundly evil as well. Egalitarians do not have ethics on their side unless one can maintain that the destruction of civilization, and even of the human race itself, may be crowned with the laurel wreath of a high and laudable morality.

You read that people? Egalitarianism will destroy the fucking universe!!1!exclamationmark. You can’t make this shit up. Seriously. No seriously.

Let me tell you what I understood from this essay. We began by considering the common view that the egalitarians, despite a modicum of impracticality, have ethics and moral idealism on their side. We end with the conclusion that the author does not know even what egalitarianism is, he likes to assert a lot of stuff based on his lack of historical knowledge and wishful understanding of biology and as a bonus he’s also a sovinist pig.

But at least we have also got a nice dose of Libertarian thinking. Of the mental process which flawlessly merges correlation to causation on a regular basis when such a merge would support their preconceptions. At the introduction of the article we read the following:

Among some economists, this syndrome has been carried so far that they scorn any attention to politico-economic problems as a demeaning and unclean impurity, even when such attention is given by economists who have made their mark in the world of specialized technique. And even among those economists who do deal with political problems, any consideration devoted to such larger extra-economic matters as property rights, the nature of government, or the importance of justice is scorned as hopelessly “metaphysical” and beyond the pale.

If this essay is what economists manage to write when they dip their foot into “politico-economic problems”, then I honestly suggest they simply abstain from doing that, so that they can avoid embarassing themselves to this degree.

QED

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77 thoughts on “A Libertarian tries to argue against Egalitarianism…and fails miserably.

  1. When you start with an egregious straw man, there's no place to go but down.

  2. Without conceding a single inch to Rothbard, who is clearly a douchebag, this dissection does little but prove that egalitarians and libertarians are not beginning the discussion from equivalent axioms.

    For instance, you mention a number of times that truly egalitarian societies existed before the rise of civilization. While this is an arguable point I'm going to assume it to be true for the sake of my next question. Since we live in a modern society with across the board division and differentiation of labor and since only the most marginal minority would ever agree to returning to a primordial social state, how do we establish a truly egalitarian system?

    The truth is, while perfect or near-perfect egalitarianism is a noble and worthy goal it does, at present, have practical limitations. This, of course, was the point Rothbard was failing to make by trying to argue some useless flotsam about human nature. This does not change the fact that every civilization of any size or lifespan has witnessed an aggregation of power &/or wealth by an overclass that then became entrenched. How, then does society structure itself to make this impossible whilst preserving the fundamental freedom and promoting the creative and innovative spirit of individuals?

    I'm certain it can be done but no one's yet come up with a way.

  3. Since we live in a modern society with across the board division and differentiation of labor and since only the most marginal minority would ever agree to returning to a primordial social state, how do we establish a truly egalitarian system?

    This point, of egalitarianism being the norm in barbaric and savage societies, is not an argument to go back to such a living but rather an argument against the idea that egalitarianism goes against human nature and is impossible to achieve.

  4. The truth is, while perfect or near-perfect egalitarianism is a noble and worthy goal it does, at present, have practical limitations. […]How, then does society structure itself to make this impossible whilst preserving the fundamental freedom and promoting the creative and innovative spirit of individuals?

    Ah, this is the whole idea of Communism. It is the true egalitarian society and Marxism is the theory of how to go about it. So the way to achieve it has been proposed already, the only thing left to do is to make it work.

  5. He completely lost it when he started out the things that go against human nature are inherently wrong. Consider that rape and murder are certainly part of human nature, and have been identified as part of our primate heritage – does he think laws against this will not work? WTF? As Dawkins said, if we recognize that things are part of our human nature, we can still work against that (and succeed as best we can) if we recognize that our nature is wrong for us. What worked in our evolution is not what will work now, not if we want a civilization that survives. The rest of this screed is a lot of strawmen (and other fallacies). This should be presented as "how not to make an argument".

  6. And therein is exactly the problem. Bloggers like you go off on these rants and take these positions without ever bothering to look and see what already exists on the topic at hand. This volume has been around for 50 years. It is a summary of critiques of egalitarianism that exised 50 years ago, but you have no idea that it exists. Not good.

  7. Let me just add one other thing. I presume that you are serious about this Blog entry. If so, it is more evidence of the same problem. Anyone who knows anything about libertarianism knows that Murray Rothbard was a great character. He was a great polemicist. He was the Bill O'Rielly of his time and place for libertarians. To quote one of his typically eccentric essays with equally not too bright responses and then conclude "thus I refute libertarianism" is, ah, pitiful. I am presuming that it is simply ignorant and not a rather puerile attempt to deceive an equally ignorant reader, but…

  8. Oh, did I insult your idol?
    Sorry, but your arguments from authority don't go very far with me. This essay fails on it's own (de)merits which I've lovingly pointed out above. Your apologetics that this person was very respected, the "Bill O'Reilly of Libertarians" (what a choice of an example eh? Couldn't you have chosen a more despicable personality?) and this was merely one black spot in his otherwise brilliant series of polemic essays are simply pathetic.
    This refutation was not for the whole of libertarianism but rather for this argument against egalitarianism and for the (very low) quality of argumentation your idol displayed. If you have anything more to add to his defence other than "But, he was a great character!" then I'll be waiting.

  9. Yeah well courtier's replies don't cut it with me either. I obviously have not all the time in the world to read all of Libertarian apologetics and all the Christian apologetics and all the Fascist apologetics. If you believe the books makes a good case against egalitarianism the burden is on you to strike up my interest with a summary sprinkled in your argumentation, enough so that I would pick up the book. Otherwise thanks but no thanks.

    Btw, have you read all the arguments in favour of Communism already? I hear that Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky were prolific writers so if you haven't (and by your logic you shouldn't dismiss Communism before you do) I suggest you get to reading.

  10. (1) I am not your daddy. If you are honestly interested in this topic you will make a serious attempt to read the literature on it. If you are just a propagandist, you've done your duty for the day. (2) You need to learn to read. I was not praising Rothbard. I was pointing out that he was a ranter, much like yourself, but for libertarians. Apparently me and the think the same about Bill O'Rielly. That was, of course, the point. No serious person would view Bill as the theoretician of fascism or comment on one of his rants and then conclude "thus I refute fascism." Get it the second time around?

  11. 1) I am not your daddy. If you are honestly interested in this topic you will make a serious attempt to read the literature on it.

    I am not your daddy either. If you are honestly interested in this topic, you will make a serious attempt to read the literature on it.

    Vague statements like that cut both ways.

  12. Oh, missed a point. Yes, ah, I have and have read much of the 45 voumes of the Collected Works of Lenin. I have not read the Collected Works of Marx, which, incidentally, are now on line, but I have read a three volume selected works and several other one volume collections. Did all that over 20 years ago when there was still a Progress Publishers and such stuff was being subsidized by the Soviets.

    If you think that those guys were "egalitarians" you've got another topic you need to study. Or maybe not. Maybe you're just happy wallowing in your ignorance.

  13. That was, of course, the point. No serious person would view Bill as the theoretician of fascism or comment on one of his rants and then conclude "thus I refute fascism." Get it the second time around?

    Can you grasp the concept that this article is not a refutation of Libertarianism but rather of this specific anti-egalitarianism point?

    Yes, Bill is a twat and many people criticize his opinions, but what you're saying is that Bill may be a twat but I should refrain on criticizing what he is spewing out of his mouth until I've read all the books defending neoconservatism

  14. You know, I've got a threading option for a reason…

    Anyway, I was simply pointing out your courtier's reply, not being literal. I can still point out that since you haven't read everything you must continue reading until you agree with me. Or perhaps you need to refresh your memory by reading it all again since too much Libertarian thinking make you say statements like "Marx is not an egalitarian" which is obviously false.

    But such a reply is simply a way to avoid discussing which is why I do not seriously propose it, and neither should you.

    If you think I have a wrong criticism on this article, you're welcome to present it. But recommending books to me that I have no interest in reading (which you do not help with) is not going to do the trick.

  15. Oy, you really are not too bright and ignorant as can be.

    No, Marx was not an "egalitarian," Marx was a later day Ricardian. Ricardians were concerned with the path of economic development or "national economic growth" and the change in distributional shares as an economy developed. Ricardo himself believed that the path of economic development was determined by unrestrained population growth and diminishing marginal returns from the cultivation of land. Marx believed that the determining factor was the path of technological change.

    If technological change is labor saving, if technological change simpifies tasks so that laborers become more interchangable [such that tasks are "geographically differentialed rather than functionally differentiated], if technological change increases the optimal size of a factory [ a "plant"] and a couple of other characteristics I've forgotten, you end up with a Star Trek economy – a disappearance of scarcity. You don't get "equality" as a political program, you get it because there is no further reason for politics or property rights.

    Get it? No, probably not.

  16. And that however does not make him egalitarian? You claim that he wanted politics and property rights to disappear as an end-purpose without egalitarianism as the final goal? That's simply inane man, even for low standards as yours.

  17. Oy, you really are not too bright and ignorant as can be.

    Bright enough to use threading, something you obviously still can't grasp

  18. I cant believe that anyone would be in favor of egalitarianism. It does go against nature, you must live in academia away from the real world, not even the communists of Cuba believe in it. Than again you must be a JEW or a useful idiot

  19. Mmmm…. I think I might become a blogger here…
    This is my first post. So I guess I should introduce myself. I live in Ecuador, a country which has recently adopted an "egalitarian" sistem: socialism. An I am telling you: there is nothing egalitarian with it. A true egalitarian goverment is one that does not side with anybody and doest grant "extra privileges" to certain kinds of people at the expense of the rest of society. In that sense "Anarchy" is much more egalitarian than "Communism", since communism reiforces inequity by treating different people differently while in an anarchic system, no central power can grant concessions or take rights away since such power has ceased to exist.

  20. GokuEn, what you have, if it's not egalitarian, is not communism. Don't be taken in by the name. One can call the most brutal dictatorship a people's democratic republic, but that does not make it a democracy or a republic.

    See my post about Communism is not the USSR.

  21. Right. The problem with egalitarianism is it assumes an abstract "greater good" exists, but the fact it, it does not.

  22. I don't know what being Jewish has to do with anything (Rothbard was Jewish) but egalitarianism is a sham standing in the place of charity. Egalitarian justifications for tyranny are for harnessing the good intentions of the daft, so that they consent to control.

    1. Socialism and State-Control are almost a nessecity if you want to create a communist utopia. You might argue that the Goverment is to "wither away" after their task is done, but the painful fact is that once you create a Communist State, it will not dissapear by itself and by a will of its own. In fact you are creating another ruling class who in this case WILL have the legal right of doing whatever the hell it wants with the citizens (all for the "common good" they'll argue). A Socialist or Communist State is a step back, not foward, into the process of freeing ourselves from injustice.

  23. Untrue. Unless by "ruling class" you mean everyone.

    When we're talking about a socialist state, it has nothing in common with the state you are familiar with.

    a Communist state is an oxymoron. Communism is stateless.

  24. I must be going insate then!, havent you argued that socialist state is necessary to destroy capitalism in the first place and then "with that danger away" the state "simply disappears"??? If I am right then I am sorry to tell you but your idea is illogical. You are giving full power to the socialist party to "reform the system", but guess what, they are going to reform it to become a new Ruling Class. You have argued that yourself when you said that URSS and China are ill examples of communism! As long as the power of the state exists, it does not matter if its run by capitalists or socialists are in power: injustice will prevail.

  25. Can you explain how it will not "do the trick". I would appreciate if you also took this reply to that post as well so that future visitors will see your criticism in the correct location.

    PS: Please make use of threading.

  26. Boy!… Where to start…
    Maybe we should start at the threshold of our modern philosophies on POWER. There are 2 revolutions that exemplify them: the american revolution and the french revolution. The American Revolution started with the premise that POWER exists to preserve the natural freedom of man trough law and that was its ONLY function, therefore power is to be limited.
    The French Revolution dictated that POWER was either good or bad depending only on who possesed that power. Therefore POWER was bad only because the monarch possesed it and thus if the National Assembly could get grip of his unlimited power then POWER was going to be "good". The French Revolution was marked by constant plots, executions and other horrors even after it was over then Napoleon crowned himself Emperor thus continuing the trend of despotism in France. The American Revolution instead was followed by a period of reconstruction and prosperity. Unfortunately, even in America, democracy ended up serving certain sectors at the expense of others resulting in many of the evls we have today.

  27. You are following the same trend as the French: "give full power to the State, just because now it is Socialist it will be different this time" . The other way is the correct one: abolish the State, and then, if communism is in fact the best way of governance, it will self-impose in the world. To thrust a state to impose it for you is immoral, reckless and has unintended consequences.

  28. These states had nothing similar with the socialist state again. These were contemporary states as it had always been and other than possibly ideological, they were more similar than they were opposite.

    Once again, the socialist state is a completely different beast. It has nothing similar to what we have had before.

  29. It has nothing to do with a random romantic belief that it will be "different this time" and all to do with the structure of the state which does not allow it to be corrupted. You cannot corrupt everyone in the world.

  30. You are falling in the same trap the French fell: "Give full power to the state, since it is Socialist now, it will be good, and since it will be democratic it wont fall into tyranny" but it is the other way that should be enforced. First destroy the State. Then, if communism is so self evidently better than any other economic system, successful communes should appear little by little and take over the world.

  31. You are starting to repeat yourself. "Give full power to the socialist state" equals "Give full power to everyone". The state under socialism is not an independent entity.

  32. Sorry, I doubled posted accidentally, I though my first post was erased. Sorry!

  33. ok. no prob. Your comments keep getting caught in moderation. If you don't see them after a refresh, don't repost. Just wait until I approve.

  34. Who will you corrupt and how? The representatives who can be recalled instantly? The ruler that does not exist? The army that consists of everyone?

    How would a representative grab a piece of power for his own sector? What is a "piece of power" when there is no private property and no central commitee. I'm afraid you will have to provide a concrete example. You cannot vaguely assert that a system that has not existed before will be plagued by the same problems of all previous systems. I can just as well assert that under no state, everyone will be corrupted and will grab power for themselves (which I know they will but let's not get into that now).

  35. A modern democracy is corrupted because special interests control the representatives who can only be revoked once per few years, don't suffer any consequences and because of the length of their service it is impossible to judge if overall they acted well or bad.

    Now think about a direct democracy without repressentatives and leaders. Who and how would impose himself?Furthermore, without property, why would anyone impose himself? To what benefit?

    I am equating freedom with egalitarianism. The only reason the socialist state exists is to impose egalitarianism, nothing else. If the state itself becomes unequal to the rest, then the majority will dismantle it instantly and replace it to the normal working order

    Again, you speak with vagueties which belong only in previous states. I gave you some questions and I am still waiting for a concrete example.

  36. As for the examples, I believe that modern democracies are examples were the "majority rule" ends in injustice. But you argue that your system, which is again majority rule, is totally different and hasn’t be tested yet. Well, if it hasn’t been tested yet, why do you expect me to have specific examples? I just point that even if it is not identical; it has the same flaws that certain systems such as Parliamentary Democracy have. In the same way I can ask if you have an example of a large scale socialist state that worked as you said. And by large scale I mean that tribes, or communes are not valid examples.

    1. And this is what I'm trying to explain, that the same flaws do not exist. I went into a bit more depth in my previous comment but we're getting into very deep detail here which I believe, you should lookup for yourself. You should check out on what transitional forms to communism/anarchism have been proposed and see if they all fall prey to classic democracy flaws.

  37. I think we all believe in equality of rights. Equality before the law is easy to measure, easy to define. Economic equality, on the other hand, is nonsensical. You can't possibly deny that we're all different. So if all of us have different abilities and different needs and contribute different amounts to society, no one's economic production or consumption is going to be exactly the same as anyone else's. Small economically egalitarian communities have existed, but don't those people sign up willingly to be part of such a society?

    If an egalitarian society is going to be made up of anything but willful volunteers, it's going to need a state-like apparatus to enforce all that equality. The human tendency is to maximize the return on your efforts, so the best status to have in an egalitarian society would be that of being helpless and hungry. Someone is going to have to make a decision about who is being lazy or greedy. And then from there it's just a hop skip and a jump back into Soviet-land.

    Self-ownership is part of the human soul. Put out a cigarette on your friend's arm without asking him and you'll learn what I mean pretty quickly. Out of self-ownership comes private property, and the only just transfer of property is through mutually agreed-to exchange. A unanimous vote to cut off my fingers does not justify mutilating me. Even if I happen to have been born with eleven of them.

    If we want to achieve a society in which all have equal rights, we have to accept that some people are just going to be wealthier than others, just in the same way some people are taller or fatter or blonder than others. Equal rights means to me that regardless of your age, religion, weight, hair color, skin tone or bank account, you have the same rights before the law.

    1. Equality before the law is easy to measure, easy to define.

      Is it? AFAIK, usually the ones who can hire the best lawyers have bigger chances to win.

      1. And that flaw is very obvious, isn't it! Our legal system is clearly flawed. The reason those with the most money have the best chance to win has to do with the fact t hat the legal class of society has succeeded in making the web of laws far too complex to navigate without their help.

        A legal system of simple and few laws, and jury trials is not hard to conceive of. So yes, equality before the law is easy to define.

  38. Economic equality, on the other hand, is nonsensical. You can't possibly deny that we're all different. So if all of us have different abilities and different needs and contribute different amounts to society, no one's economic production or consumption is going to be exactly the same as anyone else's.

    Egalitarianism does not require everyone to be doing the same thing and contributing the same thing, only that whatever one contributes does not give them the right to hold power over others. And money is power. So if you have economic inequality, you don't have neither political or social equality either.

    Under egalitarianism people would produce as much as they can, they would get as much as they need and could get as much as they want barring that does not, again, create inequality.

  39. If an egalitarian society is going to be made up of anything but willful volunteers, it's going to need a state-like apparatus to enforce all that equality.

    No it's not. Otherwise the state is not going to be equal to the citizens, and thus, no egalitarianism

  40. Self-ownership is part of the human soul. Put out a cigarette on your friend's arm without asking him and you'll learn what I mean pretty quickly. Out of self-ownership comes private property, and the only just transfer of property is through mutually agreed-to exchange. A unanimous vote to cut off my fingers does not justify mutilating me. Even if I happen to have been born with eleven of them.

    You're looking for intrinsic values where there are none. Self-ownership is simply an attempt to make negative liberty a objective right. But I can just as well assert that Self-ownership can only be achieved through positive liberty, for I cannot be said to own myself if I have only the option of doing something I do not want, or starving.

    1. Show me a person who doesn't have to do something he doesn't want in order to get what he does want. That person either lives in Heaven or in a parallel universe where roast pigeons fly into the mouths of the comrades. The wealthy are not on a different plane of existence from us.

      If you won't concede the existence of intrinsic values, then from what authority can you claim that positive liberty is "better" than the alternatives?

      1. Show me a person who doesn't have to do something he doesn't want in order to get what he does want

        The Capitalist? He doesn't have to work but he has enough money to do whatever he wants?

  41. If we want to achieve a society in which all have equal rights, we have to accept that some people are just going to be wealthier than others[…]

    That is just oxymoronic. For you an equal society is one where people are not equal. It is nonsensical. You do not have equal people to each other, you simply have equality in regards to whom can be the one to exploit others. You simply do not limit the right to exploit for religious or racist reasons but leave it free for everyone.

    1. An equal society in which we are all economically equal would require a fundamental change in the nature of human beings, since we are all different and we all own ourselves. If you can't accept that some people are different from others and will be able to do more or less than others with what they have. That's just the way humans are.

      Changing the definitions so wealth turns into an evil is not a very strong argument.

      1. A capitalist hates wealth just as much as a socialist. While a capitalist is fine with the current wealth distribution, he would absolutely despise the implementation of a wealth distribution that gave the more proper inheritors of American wealth (the Indians on whose ancestors' land, and the blacks on whose ancestors' backs, the new economy was built). Wealth, as you surely know, is typically passed through the generations by ancestry. A socialist would not think such a wealth distribution any worse. A socialist would be delighted at an egalitarian distribution of wealth, and a capitalist would be almost as unhappy as in the aforementioned. Clearly, you've changed the definition of "wealth" to something like "wealth for me". It's clearly not redistribution that the capitalist despises, as the capitalist is crying to expropriate the liberal democracy and redistribute its property among those sharecroppers we call capitalists. Your present confusion comes entirely from your reliance on the definitions you've been provided, I think, and it would be better if you looked at the world the way an alien might.

  42. No, you see that was the human society before merchantilism was invented. This argument from human nature is bollocks. I've already given you a link to read about it. Do it.

  43. We have complex laws because we are complex beings with complex societal structures. The laws themselves are not the complex thing however, it's mostly the ability of the lawer to find prior cases to support their arguments.

  44. If you won't concede the existence of intrinsic values, then from what authority can you claim that positive liberty is "better" than the alternatives?

    There's no need for intrinsic values and no need for authority. I claim that positive liberty is better with logical arguments from a utilitarian perspective. My purpose is to convice enough people of the same and have a revolution to this end, same as yours.

  45. You have chosen to reply to my comments rather than ignore them. You have made a choice. You decided your time at that moment was best used in replying to a comment on the Internet. You maximized the return for your efforts in that value judgment, even though it might have been small and momentary.

  46. You're trying to wrap libertarian-speak to the concept of egoism. Yes, all humans are to a degree egoists but that does not mean that we need to be materialistic egoistic.

    1. Actually I'm not. You might have been motivated by altruism rather than egoism. Or something else completely. Regardless of what it was, you decided you preferred the possible results of one action over those of a different action. That's rationalism, not necessarily egoism.

  47. As parasitic as they have striven to be lately, even the owners and CEOs of the automotive companies would find themselves on the fast track to broke if they sat around and did *nothing.*

    The satisfaction of wants and needs requires effort. There is no escaping this.

    1. The satisfaction one wants, one gets from doing what he wants. And the only ones who can consistently do what they want, are then rich.Your belief that the rich would go broke if they did not work is just that, an unfounded belief. The truth is that money makes money, and ones who has enough can simply hire someone to work on making money for him.

  48. It might not require it, but the fact that humans have different preferences and desires would. Everyone is going to produce different things in different quantities, and those things are going to have to change hands if everyone is going to get what they need. What do you do with the people who inevitably choose to not cooperate? In order to get him to cooperate, you will necessarily have a group of people with more power than he has, in order to compel his cooperation. But what if that power-wielding group starts doing things to entrench their own power?

    I totally sympathize with the goal of removing the coercive monopoly on force that the State currently holds, but I really don't see how you can also abolish private property without imposing it with some kind of monopoly on force, which is a State all over again.

    Property and trade occur very naturally to many human beings, and they are non-aggressive things. "Live and let live"; "Fences make good neighbors" and all that. I don't see how our lives would be improved by forcing those humans to act otherwise. Shun them, ostracize them, let them go elsewhere to live together in their dirty little market world, but don't use force on them just because they won't direct their productivity in the ways you think they should.

    1. Shun them, ostracize them, let them go elsewhere to live together in their dirty little market world, but don't use force on them

      That's exactly what I was going to reply. However those people are going to have a problem finding a place to go to. And they're going to have a problem in finding people to exploit, when everyone else prefers living without private property.

  49. A free market society in which wealth changes hands purely by free exchange would require a fundamental change in the nature of human beings, since we all own ourselves. If you can't accept that some people are different from others and will be more or less able to successfully violate property pretensions than others [sic]. That's just the way humans are.

  50. Everything we do is egoism. Desire of the self. That is the only thing you can claim as human nature. You don't rationalize and choose between decisions you make, you simply prioritize desires

  51. Rumford! you are a gentleman and a scholar. I love it. Where can I read more of your exceptional, principled, and very well informed observations. Thank you for sharing.

  52. Wow, I just read every single comment. Who has too much time on her hands? To be fair, the debate was quite intriguing, mostly because I wanted to see your methods of debate with Libertardians.

    1. There's probably some replies missing due to a bug of the commenting system unfortunately. If you really want to see me debating with Libertardians, you should check this shit out.

      Who has too much time on her hands?

      Oy! Are you calling me lazy?

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