Go read case 2241453247 of what happens when a feeeeemale attempts to criticize men objectifying women in geek culture.
[trigger warning for transphobia]
I don’t want your fucking sympathy, trans-lover.
What the actual fuck Francois? When did you become a bigoted scumfuck?
Sorry, but this sentence, along with recent peppering of “bitch”, “retard” and “faggot” as slurs in your posts makes me think you’re a very confused individual. Let me make that very very clear to you: You can’t go using misogynistic, ableist or homophobic slurs and then claim that you “do not impose harm”.
Your laughably misguided “antinatalist” tirades are one thing, but outright bigotry it quite another. Sorry to say but the left-libertarian forum was right to treat you like shit.
Work on your shit dude.
So, apparently one of my articles has drawn the attention of Stefan Molyneux of the Freedomain radio, I’m guessing after it was crossposted and discussed in this forum thread. You might remember Stefan from the time I tried to call his online station after he asked for input from Anarcho-Communists and I wasn’t particularly impressed back then. This time Stefan made a video responding to my criticism of the Non-Aggression principle which I felt compelled to respond to.
After a few introductory words which addressed minor things (Note: saying that something is “not half bad” is a figure of speech. Not to be taken literally), Stefan presented his first argument basically arguing that “You cannot say that the initiation of force is virtuous. Thus Non-Aggression is virtuous”.
My contention is not whether the initiation of force is virtuous. The contention is on what exactly constitutes intiation of force, or more explicitly – violence or threat of violence. Yes, of course aggression is not virtuous, but this does not mean that the Non-Aggression Principle becomes suddenly useful as a moral guideline. Yes, aggression is bad and not aggressing is good. Murder is also bad. Not murdering is also good. But we do not create a basis for our entire ethical system out of “Thou shalt not murder”. Not only does one need to first define “murder”, but it is just far too limited a guideline to base one’s entire sociopolitical system on.
The reductio ad absurdum that Stefan attempts, might prove that you cannot have Aggression as a moral guideline, but it does not logically follow from that, that Non-Aggression is a useful moral guideline instead.
Further to that, Stefan makes a huge logical leap: From arguing that Aggression cannot be a virtue, to concluding that “Property Rights are the only thing that can work”. This is not at all evident from the arguments put forth and is blatantly begging the question.
Stefan then goes on a tangent, explaining how Self Ownership leads to property rights. I understand that this is what right-libertarians tend to accept, but it is largely irrelevant to the subject at hand, especially given that I reject “Self Onwership” as an internally contradictory concept. Nevertheless, the reason this is brought up, is to show that one is responsible for one’s actions, and therefore that “theft is theft, is because you’re stealing someone’s time”.
This is the main thrust of the argument here I believe, but “Self-Ownership” was not required to make this point, so I’m unsure why it was brought up. Nevertheless, I’ll take the time to address this argument from “theft of time”.
The idea presented is as such: When someone puts forth labour to create something, and someone comes around and takes that thing away, then that person can be assumed to have stolen all the time required for creator to make it, which is similar to slavery.
This argument looks solid at first glance, but unfortunately, when one challenges the premises behind it, it shows that it is on very shaky ground based on assumptions of specific property rights.
The most basic counter-argument I would make against this concept of “theft of time” is: Who says that whatever you put labour into creating, belongs to you automatically? Ownership is a split gradient ((By which I mean that the various types of ownership differ by a degree, but there is a hard split in the middle, between possessive ownership and “sticky” ownership” systems because those two are incompatible)) which can take many forms based around social agreement on what constitutes a valid claim or disposal. It is not a universal law. What happens here, is that the type of ownership that Stefan prefers, is assumed into the argument. But as soon as one challenges the premise of what you can own and how you come about owning it, things become much less solid.
Do you own something you created out of the commons? Stefan would say yes, I would say yes as well, with stipulations. My stipulations of course being that you only own whatever you created as long as you keep using it. As long as you do not, it goes back into the commons for anyone else to use. Stefan would have no such stipulation however. Whatever you create, no matter if it came from the commons or not, belong to you forever.
So if Stefan makes something out of the commons and doesn’t use it anymore, and I come and use it in the meantime, for Stefan that amounts to slavery for I have “stolen his time”. Were that to be enforced however, Stefan would have in effect enclosed the commons. An immediate split forms on what is ethical in this case. I do not recognise Stefan’s right to enclose the commons and he does not recognise my right to steal his time. Who is rights is an argument for another day, but suffice to say that “theft of time” only works if you look at it from a propertarian perspective, which is not something everyone will or should do.
Furthermore, Stefan’s argument ends up with some telling conclusions when in mind of his larger worldview as well. The larger worldview of course being Capitalism which is naturally permeated by wage slavery. In this world, taking someone’s labour is just fine as long as it’s voluntary. A wage slave toils all week but does not get to own the product of his labour at all. Rather, they end up with a price for the creation that is lower than the market value of such a creation. In Stefan’s worldview this is a clear “theft of time”, but it’s OK because as it’s voluntary. That is, as long as the wage slave agreed to be one. This naturally leads us to the conclusion that Slavery is OK as long as it’s voluntary.
I’m sure the argument will be put forth that working for a wage is nothing like being a slave so this is not an apt comparison, to which I will counter that in a similar vein, “theft of time” is nothing like slavery either. You can’t have it both ways and I won’t even bother to argue on whether voluntary slavery is AOK either.
Finally, I’ll just make the most obvious counter to this argument. Stefan says verbatim: “The reason that theft is theft, is because you’re stealing someone’s time”. But this is just a tautology and doesn’t really tells us anything. Theft is theft because you’re stealing? Yes, of course. Perhaps he meant to say that “Theft is wrong because you’re stealing someone’s time” which only makes marginally more sense as it ends up telling us that “theft is wrong because it’s theft”. Circular reasoning.
The argument only “works” at first glance, because Stefan is basing himself on intuitive assumptions and biases from the audience, which is expected to already believe that theft is bad within a specific framework of ownership rights. As soon as those premises are missing, as soon as the audience does not share Stefan’s conclusions, this conclusion becomes baseless. Theft of time is wrong *why* exactly? This needs to be argued, not simply asserted. And it is in the process of arguing “Why is Theft of Time bad?”, where all the nuances and exceptions and outright mistakes will be pointed out and addressed.
After this brief overview of the “theft of time” argument, Stefan concludes that it’s not arbitrary to not-aggress, or respect private property. This, again, does not follow. Those two are still subjective. The non-aggression principle remains a moral guideline, all of which are subjective (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but as I explained before it is comparatively useless on its own. The stateless propertarian framework is normative as well as it’s put forth as a superior socioeconomic organization (And there’s nothing wrong with that either). It is not a science like physics as Stefan likes to imagine. Defining “aggression” within the stateless propertarian framework, which not everyone accepts, is what is arbitrary and that is wrong.
Next Stefan addresses the difficulty of figuring out what constitutes initiation of force within a propertarian framework, admitting that shooting trespassers is not acceptable and so on. However he misses my point. He ends up discussing how “degree” (degree of what? violence?) is not as important as morality. I.e. it’s not as important to figure out how to deal with something bad, as it is in defining that something is bad in the first place. And I agree with that. Societies of the future will find their own ways to deal with aggressors. But the reason I pointed out the impossibility of intuitively defending against violation of private property rights is to point out that given differing expectations of ownership, the non-aggression principle coupled with private property ends up excusing actual violence against non-violent people. The degree is not important either. The fact is that if I start working on land you are not using, you will have to aggress against me (likely with literal violence) in order to stop me.
To give you a contrast within a possessive ownership framework, If you started using land I am already using for myself, you can have either of two purposes: Co-operate or Violate. If you co-operate with me, then we can share the fruits of our labour, thus benefiting us both. If you violate my work, then you are being visibly destructive and threatening to my livelihood. You are aggressing against me and thus literal violence is then justified to stop such destruction.
The point thus, is that the “Non-Aggression principle” does not help us understand or resolve the former case in the slightest. The point is that both parties can have differing understanding of what constitutes “aggression”. The problem is in declaring that it’s the owner of the private property that decides what is aggression.
Finally Stefan makes the argument that all these issues on attempting to see how the NAP can be useful in the real world, are inconsequential because people work these things out intuitively and organically. And here’s the funny part, I absolutely agree. The difference is that Stefan assumes that people would work out things in such a way as to allow private property to flourish, and this is not just untrue, it’s ahistoric. The example of “tailgate parties” that he brings up is a perfect example of this. I doubt in any of those parties you see people taking up more space than they can personally use. If anything, the temporary ownership setup in those parties is possessive, i.e. claims based on occupancy and use.
It is precisely because societies naturally organize themselves according to possessive and communal ownership, that capitalism requires a state to support it. Because private property is not common sense and it is not an acceptable arrangement by the dispossessed. A society “working these things out naturally” and ending up with some people owning vast tracts of land and factories, while others own just the clothes on their back and live day to day on subsistence is unrealistic in the extreme. The people on the lower scale would absolutely take the first opportunity to use the unused land, reclaim and re-institute the commons and expropriate their productive means. Or do you think that someone working on subsistence on a mega-farm is going to “work it out” with the landowner who owns it? No, the farmers would expropriate the land the first chance they got, while the landowner would declare aggression and bring in their private
state defence company to restore order.
To think that such arrangements will be upheld naturally is wishful thinking. There has never been a single society or community where anything remotely like this wasn’t upheld by force. Not one.
So yes. Aggression is likely to be absent from a free society, but not because people morally adhere to a stale moral guidelines such as the NAP, but rather because people absent oppression tend to work out things via possessive rights, making “aggression” primarily about violence, which is dealt with intuitively.
And if people can work things out intuitively even in a propertarian framework, it seems to me the NAP remains unnecessary. It seems to me, that the only purpose of the NAP is to give an ideological excuse to private defence companies to…”reform” individuals who somehow just can’t seem to work out Capitalism naturally with the capitalists and landowners . Those silly people.
It seems someone wrote a reply to my post about anarchists using questionable tactics in stuggle, but reading through it, I fail to see the actual argument or even refutation of the points I made. Instead I see some general declaration of what states do in order to control, and how fascism has not gone away.
What I do not see is any counter to my point that using tactics compatible with fascism, will not bring about anarchism, that fighting fire with fire, in short, does not work. Then is the suggestion for this “insurgency”.
The second effective tactic is insurgency. This is perhaps the only option available to us. While from an idealist perspective, I applaud devZero’s essay as well-reasoned, from the realist perspective I must choose insurgency as more practical. As capitalism continues to crumble, something most assuredly will take its place. For the first time in history, and the globalists are correct on this point, virtually all of mankind is following the same playbook — capitalistic, economic progress. AKA “growing economies” at any cost, human or environmental. A paradigm shift is coming, whether we like it or not.
Yeah, ok, a paradigm shift is coming, but what is this insurgency you’re talking about supposed to work? You can’t just throw the word out and assume that everyone knows what you’re talking about. How does this counter at all my suggestion not to use the tactics of fascists?
Perhaps there is a misunderstanding here. Perhaps jamon assumed that I was suggesting some kind of Ghandian pacifist resistance and my call against questionable tactics was a call against all forms violence. This is not true. I am not a pacifist and nor do I believe that it was Ghandi’s or MLK’s movement by itself the cause for change. What I do say is that there’s some ways violence is warranted (eg self-defence) and some ways it isn’t (eg murdering politicians).
This of course means that insurrection is a valid tactic, as long of course as we even know what “insurgency” is. Just saying the word is meaningless. And it’s the tactics that will bring about this insurgency that need to be judged according to the ethical guideline I proposed.
I have been a fan of Techdirt for a few years now but as Masnick becomes more and more rabidly pro-“Free” Market Capitalism, I start to reconsider. I keep seeing articles which seem critical of one action only because it opposes the free market, not because of any utilitarian argument.
The latest post commenting on the recent siding of Mozilla with the EU anti-trust action against Microsoft is the latest such example of this trend. Within, the author complains that such a move is obviously wrong as well as misguided as obviously there isn’t a monopoly since Firefox has managed to gain market share. In the same breath however, he also mentions that the original instigator, Opera is an “also-ran”.
Basically what Masnick is saying is that if a complaint is made by someone who cannot gain any market share, it’s because they are not good enough. But if it’s made by someone who managed to gain a foothold, it’s disingenuous. Whatever happens, there can’t be a monopoly issue brought up at all.
Anyone can easily see the fallacious reasoning here. The truth of course is that Microsoft is not simply abusing its market position to stiffle innovation on the browser space ((mainly because it was in their best interest to have apps based on the OS or an OS-locked browser instead of a multiplatform browser)) but it has been doing so aggressively and for a very long and well documented time.
Firefox managed to achieve market acceptance despite Microsoft’s monopoly on the space. When the new browser came out, it didn’t even register on the radar until the first major grass root advertising and word-of-mouth campaigns started. Even though it was vastly superior to any of MS’ offerings, its growth was slow and tortured, owning mostly to the fact that most webpages were “optimized” for IE and flat-out refused to work with Mozilla based browsers.
Not only that but the fact that MS bundled IE with their OS ((After they hastily made it an “integral part” of the OS during the Netscape anti-trust case, in order to claim that they couldn’t remove it)) made any viable alternative difficult to discover. Why would most normal users even consider looking for an alternative browser which most of the time couldn’t access their banking portals? Many times. even when you put an alternative browser on one’s desktop and advised them to use it, they wouldn’t because it was not what they were used to. This is how deep the IE conditioning had gone.
There is no more striking example than what Techdirt dismisses quickly: Opera. Almost everyone will tell you that for a long time before even Firefox got conceived, Opera was the undeniable leader in features, standards-implementation, speed and basically all there was in a browser. And yet, it didn’t even make a dent in the market share of MS. Techdirt, the stalwart defender of innovation for some reason does not even wonder why Opera didn’t make it but rather assumes that it must have been because they were not good enough or something. In other words the classic selective view of reality that annoys me so much about Free Marketeers.
Of course Firefox managed to compete, in the same way that GNU/Linux managed to compete, by being adopted immidiately by the Free Software movement who then went had to fight uphill for every percentile of market share. The reason they achieved it is because of their distributed nature, philosophical backing and knowledge of technology which allowed them to be unaffected or quickly overcome many of the hurdles in their way. Does that mean that the competition was fair? Not at all. It was stacked against them on every turn. But they persevered.
Opera unfortunately had neither a huge community behind them, nor the budget required to raise awareness of its existence which is why then, and still now, it still can’t get market share, even though it is still considered by many as one of the better browsers. However, were MS Windows to come bundled with Opera and IE and ask the user which one they wanted to use, then things would have been much much different. Most people who didn’t know either, would give a try to each and stick with Opera overwhelmingly.
The author also brings as examples of competition Google’s Chrome and Safari, both of which don’t sustain his argument in the slightest. The only reason either of those managed to achieve any market share is not because of any innovation but because of the popularity of their respective distributors. Apple has a well known fanatic fanbase and a considerable market share in the OS, for which they also bundled their own product. Google did a smart marketing campaign but overall Chrome, even though an inferior product from all others, gained share because it’s suggested in the front page of the most popular search engine.
And with all this, IE still stands at ~70% even though it’s the worse of them all and Microsoft has done practically no marketing whatsoever about it and only a half-arsed effort to improve their own offering (mainly by copying popular features). If that does not give you a very clear hint that something is amiss, then I do not know what will. Everyone must strive infinitely more to achieve even a single market share percentile while MS without doing anything can still enjoy a monopolistic percentage.
So yes, Firefox has managed to crack MS iron grip on the browser but that is not because a monopoly “obviously” doesn’t exist but rather despite this very clear, for all but the Free marketeers, monopoly. Just because they have managed to a degree to overcome the mountain of challenges posed by the anti-competitive business practices of MS does not mean that these practices should be left unpunished.
If you play a game and you opponent is obviously cheating but you nevertheless manage to defeat him by playing fair, does it mean that they do not deserve condemnation and punishment? Of course they do. You do not punish them only when you lose, you do it regardless – not out of spite or revenge – but as a lesson and a warning for the future. Leaving them unpunished simply gives the incentive to cheat the next time as well.
But the view of Techdirt is more inane than that. When you play with a cheater and you lose, you’re just a sore loser. If you win, then they couldn’t possibly have been cheating could they?
The Barefoot Bum has once again posted a really insightful article on socioeconomics. I especially agree on the very basic moral values that most people agree on.
[…] but no one should oppose in principle the idea that no one deserves to starve in his old age. No one should oppose in principle the idea that every child should receive sufficient education to participate fully in a democratic society. No one should oppose in principle the idea that everyone should expect a safe workplace as a matter of course. No one should oppose in principle that everyone should expect that the products they buy, the air they breathe and the water they drink have been made safe to the best of our ability.
He then takes it a step further and explains how laissez-faire has not only shown that it is incapable of achieving these goals but it is actually dragging society to the other direction.
What I hadn’t realised however is how much damage the perverted teachings of the Objectivism cult leader have done, not only to the US society but to the world at large. It is telling when you see the US empire slowly ((Slowly for our lifetime that is. In historical standards, it is disintegrating amazingly rapidly, almost as fast as the Macedonian empire)) disintegrating the more they try to follow “laissez-faire” which basically means that the rich are using it as a way to make the poor vote for them to take their money.
I wasn’t aware that the US had a socialistic reform (Roosevelt) but now that I do, the US rise to the forefront as a the first world nation makes much more sense. That US’ position as a developed nation erodes along with these reforms should not surprise anyone but the deluded Right-Libertarians and Objectivists. That Western Europe, where Ayn Rand never got very popular has ended up much more tolerant, secular and generally has a better way of life that the US, also comes as no surprise.
Anyway, go and read the above post. I mostly posted this because I didn’t want to leave him yet another “well-said” comment.
This is directed to all my theist readers: What would you do if the god of atheism was real?
Imagine a God that provides no proof, or even hint, of his existence. He will only reward people who have lived their life believing that no gods existed, including him, and have reached this conclusion through critical and rational thinking.
If your life ends as an Atheist/Agnostic, you will be rewarded. If not…
How would you deal with this?
This query was triggered by a recent question directed to Atheists by a Christian. It asked directly on how would we react if we ever discovered that the evangelical abrahamic deity existed, no matter how that happened.
What follows is some analysis and thoughts on the question posed. You can jump directly to my question details from here
Now, as others stated and is furthermore plainly obvious, this is a kind of a Pascal’s wager. The inquirer is simply attempting to make us think of the consequences of being wrong. This may sound like a scary concept for someone who is already a Christian or recently deconverted, and indeed it is one of the reasons why some people remain christians, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. The fate of eternal punishment is just too great of a threat to even contemplate switching. A powerful meme in its own right.
Unfortunately, this does not work the same way on atheists and agnostics who know the facts and are not cowed by threats. This is readily apparent from many of the replies where the answer given is one of defiance, even in the face of eternal torment.
However, what is interesting is the own author’s own reply when the question is switched (as indeed is easy to do with any Pascal’s wager) and directed back at him, in the form of the existence of Allah. Read for yourselves:
NZskep, if tomorrow I found out that Allah was true, I’d become a Muslim as fast as I could recite in Arabic “Allah hu akbar, bismillahi rahman hu rahim, la illa il allah, Mohammed rasul Allah”.
Why? Because if that is the truth then it’s the truth. I don’t really have a choice if I’m a truth seeker. I have to accept it.
That also goes for Hinduism, Buddhism or even African Animism and of course if there is no god then I’ll become an Atheist..tomorrow.
No questions, no if’s and’s or but’s.
This is unsurprising really. The author claims to be a truth seeker and would instantly convert to Allah, Hinduism, Dodecatheism or whatever, if only those deities made themselves undeniably real.
It is nothing more than the user displaying his Atheism/Agnosticism in regards to those other deities and then, like the rest of us, demanding proof that is not only undeniable, but also superior to the proof he has on his current god.
Surprisingly, he further claims that if there is no god, then he’ll become an atheist…tomorrow. Im not certain if this “…tomorrow” has some other meaning but what he is asking is again, undeniable proof for the non-existence of god. Barring the fact that you cannot prove a negative, this undeniable proof already exists in the many philosophical, scriptural and empirical problems all theistic religions face. The fact that he chooses not to consider them only shows that he is not really willing to look at it.
However, this apparent willingness to test his own beliefs leads me to the question I posted at the start of this post. I can even spicy it up a little to avoid some responses that might be directed to me.
I think I’ve covered all the bases so lets hear it my theist readers (And I hope my atheist readers may help spread the question around): What would you do if the god of atheism was real?
Unfortunately it seems that creationists are not the only ones limited to lying. There are many others who even though they claim an intellectual base (in biology no-less) but are just as shallow and quick to turn to comment deleting and banning in order to silence and the ones that refute them.
Thus, witness the my recent exchange with one such liar with whom I tried to engage in a conversation after I read a recent post from the Black Sun journal. Initially I left a simple comment and didn’t expect to respond any more. However after taking a second look and seeing that I’ve been labeled as an Objectivist (of all things)I decided to leave a second one.
I expected it to be deleted in short order which is why I kept my browser window open to it. And this is exactly what happened. Not only that, but the blog author decided to tell blatant lies in order to save whatever credence she had left with her audience. Unfrotunately, for some reason my browser window reloaded and I lost my comment (although you can see when I tagged it here) which means I cannot easily copy-paste it here.
Within my reply, in short, I tried to actually discuss the matter with her. I explained that she was doing the all too common fallacy of appealing to emotion. I explained how having the goverment take an active hand in the curriculum does not lead to totalitarianism, as exemplified by the situation in Europe where not only is the education level superior to the USA but homeschooling is also illegal. I asked her to put aside for a moment the communism/fascism idea and actually try to discuss the issue at hand.
What did I get for my trouble? I am being labeled as Black Sun’s alias, an Objectivist and a Troll.
Now, you would assume that anyone with even 2 minutes to space would very easily discover the validity of the first two claims by visiting my blogger profile, clicking on the “My Website” link and then coming to the Division by Zer0. Then it would be obvious that I am independent from BSJ and also find out my thoughts on objectivism (Hint: They’re not positive). It would also be easy to surmise that I am also not a Troll, unless Troll for this particular hypocrite includes anyone who disagrees with her…
But no. Even that simple task was too much to ask for this Homeschooler. It was just so much easier to delete my comment, put her comments on moderation (so that we don’t spoil her party) and put invalid labels on me and everyone else who dissagreed with her. Just read Black Sun’s latest post for more amusement.
If this is the kind of discussion she is having, I’m feeling sorry for her kid(s). I really am. Here is a child who will grow up learning that you should never challenge your authority figures or else you risk losing your rights to speech. And Gawd help the kid if he so much as dares to say that Communism/Socialism has some nice ideas. Seeing how she reacted to people proposing goverment intervention in order to save children from being kept ignorant, I’m half-expecting her to explode and start urgent brainwashing procedures (Yeah right, as if she’s not doing so now…)
It’s impressive though. Even Objectivists were not so rude so as to delete comments without a fair warning and an attempt to discussion.
Unfortunately people like this seem to be perfectly happy to live in their little bubble world where all they hear is praises from their friends. Putting their head in the sand is apparently a very appropriate method of dealing with issues and they’re displaying the classic “Live and let die” mind frame that has, and still is, creating so many problems in the world. It is a pity but like a hedgehog, when reality rears its ugly head, they will prefer to curl up in a ball rather than face it.
I have no specific problem with that when it affects only themselves but unfortunately not only do they brainwash their children to act in such a manner but they are also spreading their lies to the blogosphere without havign to deal with any feedback. Against such action, like Alonzo Fyfe says, our only course of action is Words and Private Actions. You have seen my own actions already and these are to spread the word and label them as appropriate.
I urge any and all of you (yes, all five) to expose such people for what they are by linking to them with keywords that describe them. I selected “Liar” in this caseand Black Sun selected the quite appropriate “Hypocrite”. They may be able to delete comments but unfortunately for them, they cannot delete linkbacks on the web. Hopefully anyone who is looking at whom is linking to them is bound to discover the antilogue…
If you dissagree with my action on the other hand, I’d love to hear your opinion on this.