Do I Have A Right To Rule Others?

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rbs
rbs's picture
Common_Man_Jason wrote:But

Common_Man_Jason wrote:
But that does not apply to whether society should have rules, and if so, should we as a society enforce them.

I'm not arguing against rules.  I am arguing that a group of people is nothing more than the sum of the individuals in the group, and any morals and ethics that apply to individual continue to apply to those individuals whatever their organizational relationship.  They may make whatever rules they wish, but each of them, as humans, still must comply with all the moral and ethical laws that apply to each individual.  If attacking another human is wrong, membership in some group does not make it right.  

I contend that society should have rules, and that those rules should prohibit any person initiating violence against another.  Seems like that would advance the cause of civilization.  I'm surprised and disappointed at the degree of resistance to this idea.

Common_Man_Jason
Common_Man_Jason's picture
rbs wrote: Common_Man_Jason

rbs wrote:

Common_Man_Jason wrote:
But that does not apply to whether society should have rules, and if so, should we as a society enforce them.

I'm not arguing against rules.  I am arguing that a group of people is nothing more than the sum of the individuals in the group, and any morals and ethics that apply to individual continue to apply to those individuals whatever their organizational relationship.  They may make whatever rules they wish, but each of them, as humans, still must comply with all the moral and ethical laws that apply to each individual.  If attacking another human is wrong, membership in some group does not make it right.  

I contend that society should have rules, and that those rules should prohibit any person initiating violence against another.  Seems like that would advance the cause of civilization.  I'm surprised and disappointed at the degree of resistance to this idea.

The resistance is about the comparison you're using being wrong. I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it. There is no comparison to that and societal rules which are created upon the consent of the society as a whole.

rbs
rbs's picture
Common_Man_Jason wrote:The

Common_Man_Jason wrote:
The resistance is about the comparison you're using being wrong. I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it. There is no comparison to that and societal rules which are created upon the consent of the society as a whole.

"I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it."  Agreed.  Can two people?  How about four?  How about a million?  In your opinion, how many people have to agree upon some rule before they feel that they are morally justified in initiating violence in order to enforce it?

The point is that there really is no such thing as "society".  There are just people, and no person can morally justify initiating violence against another, despite their position in any organization.

Would you personally initiate violence against Joe to shut down his shop?  I know I wouldn't, because I have absolutely no moral or ethical authority to do so.  Nor would I, or could I, delegate this nonexistent  authority to any other person, whether or not that person calls himself the government. 

I am not arguing against organizing ourselves provide collective self-defense, nor am I arguing against government adjudication of disputes.  I am arguing against the government violation the fundamental ethical rule that one person does not initiate violence against another.

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:What I am trying to

Quote:
What I am trying to explore is how we can all have equal rights, yet have one man initiate violence against another while everyone seems to think that this is all just the way things are supposed to be because government has unlimited authority.

But our government doesn't have unlimited authority. Sure, there are those that will abuse authority, but that isn't the same as codifying that in the constitution or law. In fact, abusers of power can be prosecuted but that decision appears based on political considerations rather than justice, as in Obama choosing to not prosecute Bush and Cheney for their high crimes and misdemeanors. In effect some people are above the law.
Quote:
Other than your insistence that I have to accept the fact that government is all powerful, you haven't given me any sort of philosophical, moral, or ethical reasoning to understand how some people become imbued with an authority that none of us has individually.

But I have given my philosophical, moral, and ethical reasoning: You have the right to know what you are buying and the seller has no right to not disclose that information to you. Your right to know trumps his desire to not tell you.
Quote:
And just so you're not misunderstanding me.  I believe there are just laws.  Just laws are the delegations to the government of preexisting individual moral and ethical authorities, such as self-defense and the ability so get compensation for torts.  Unjust laws are "delegations" of powers that none of us has individually, but that somehow magically appear once we decide to organize a government.

Well, it's really not that simple simply because each person may not have the same definition of "just" and "unjust". For example, one person may consider it just to take away a person't freedom for smoking weed, while another considers it a travesty of justice. The devil's in the details. Just look at religions derived from what we call the bible and you will come to the conclusion that what someone considers obvious and uninterpretable is interpretable in accordance to what any given individual considers obvious.

Common_Man_Jason
Common_Man_Jason's picture
rbs wrote: Common_Man_Jason

rbs wrote:

Common_Man_Jason wrote:
The resistance is about the comparison you're using being wrong. I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it. There is no comparison to that and societal rules which are created upon the consent of the society as a whole.

"I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it."  Agreed.  Can two people?  How about four?  How about a million?  In your opinion, how many people have to agree upon some rule before they feel that they are morally justified in initiating violence in order to enforce it?

The point is that there really is no such thing as "society".  There are just people, and no person can morally justify initiating violence against another, despite their position in any organization.

Of course there is a such thing as society, and it behaves differently than any individual. This is, perhaps, why cons never understand left wing thought, because they don't believe systems exist or that a group of people create a system which has its own set of behaviors and consequences that transcend the individual. Ironically, you've already said as much.

Philosophically, no group of people has the right to impose rule on others. That is, everyone subject to a given set of rules has a right to have a role in the creation of said rules. I.e., democracy is the best way to organize.

That isn't always the way it works out, but it's the way it should, in my opinion.

Kerry
Kerry's picture
rbs wrote:  I am arguing that

rbs wrote:

 I am arguing that a group of people is nothing more than the sum of the individuals in the group, and any morals and ethics that apply to individual continue to apply to those individuals whatever their organizational relationship.  They may make whatever rules they wish, but each of them, as humans, still must comply with all the moral and ethical laws that apply to each individual. 

I agree with that in principle.   That's why I keep quoting Henry David Thoreau's assertion that 'the government that governs best governs not at all'.  But, as I have said to you and Austro-Libertarian before, even Henry David Thoreau knew that was not where the state of mind (or 'consciousness')  in human progression was--not then, and not now. 

However, I don't qualify our need for government in exactly the way many here in thomland like to.  Our 'social being' has impositions upon us as 'individual characters'--and, it is most prominent in 'nature's law' that, in the 'survival of the fittest' manner, predatory groups can overcome any individual.  There is power in numbers.   Individuals acting collectively can overcome any individual acting on their own (which is why we have worker unions trying to 'correct the contested contracts' with corporations that the Supreme Court in the First Gilded Age wouldn't correct even when there were state legislatures that tried).  The problem I see in your assessment is that you assume that that is just not the case--and your continued ignoring of other 'grouping conditions' than just 'government' makes me wonder just how 'honest' you are in your own assessment. 

As I reported on the other thread, without the restraint of something, many 'groups' will take their 'freedom' to battle for dominance if not held in check by something stronger--as what I think the dueling Mexican cartels indicate to me.  And, despite their constrained 'legal status', I do NOT see 'corporations' as 'individuals'--but, rather, as just another group trying to dominate in a fashion that has no consideration whatsoever of any 'individual member' in that 'corporate group'--or any group or individual they may be trying to dominate over (to me, they are just like the Mexican cartels--they've just been coerced to 'behave a little more openly civil'--so far....and, in a way, the Mexican cartels are less hypocritical about it).  And, certainly, the function of the corporation has NOTHING to do with 'individual rights' (except 'legally' as its 'individual rights for itself' as a 'grouped being').  So, IF 'individual rights' are your priority, what are you to do with those groups that intend on dominating over individuals that aren't 'government', specifically, and have no intent on 'securing individual rights', themselves? 

As Henry David Thoreau pointed out, if we can't have a 'government that doesn't govern at all' because we DON'T have each individual in that group 'thinking in a moral and ethical manner towards all other individuals', then, his second best option was to have all members of that society envision what good government would be and, then, enact that vision through the very mechanisms of government.  One thing that I think would represent 'good government' is containing all oppressive actions of all other groups (just like, as with the issue of slavery, it has done quite well in doing against most 'oppressive individuals')--and those 'groups' are including corporations.  And, this cannot be obtained by just waiting for 'lawsuits on torts to correct it'--because, since civil lawsuits, themselves, are dictated by the monetary options available to those who are suing, that doesn't elimimate major money managers from being able to usurp real 'individual rights' to their own favor--one major money manager being the grouped entity of corporations.  So, in line with 'good government' securing as much as possible 'individual rights', it has to do so against other 'grouping powers' and it has to do so without just 'monetary gains' being its priority.  And, especially with other grouping powers, it may have to do so aggressively (but, with your continued examples of aggression being only 'individual behavior', that's not going to address this problem)--government (like, as I've said, 'any grouping authority') easily aggresses over and contains many of those such individual aggressions that all your examples of 'violence' have in common; however, at least in recent history with its collusion with that 'other group', the corporation, government has yet to show it can do so against the implicit aggression of such other 'legal groups' that, themselves, subjugate individual behavior and 'individual rights'.  But, again, if government doesn't do that--especially a government intending on 'securing individual rights'--what will?

In short, while your premise may have merit, your proposals as to how that is really going to be carried out and eliminate not just the impositions of government but, also, the impositions of corporations, lacks any consistent basis as far as I can see it.   And, to contain such 'groups', you are going to require something bigger than such 'groups'--and, as far as I'm concerned, I want that to be the 'group' that at least continues to express its intent as being 'securing individual rights'--which is what I thought 'our form of government' was supposed to do....

rbs wrote:

 I am arguing against the government violation the fundamental ethical rule that one person does not initiate violence against another.

But, you say nothing about any group doing that.  Why not? 

And, your insistence on defining violence solely in the content of what 'individuals' do doesn't address the aggressive maneuvers of things like take-overs by corporations, gaming the system, or even having any 'rights' to 'any group' as having, itself, impositions upon all individuals whose consequences can be as devastating as what any gun or knife can do--and to a whole lot more 'indivduals' at the same time (my own example of 'Joe, Inc.' comes to mind).

As I said on the other thread paraphrasing Elizabeth Warren from Simon Johnson's '13 Bankers', if it were a defective toaster burning up one in five houses, we would see the problem--but, if it's predatory banking practices that cause one in five families to be 'burned out of their houses', that's just 'business as usual' to those that don't see that as aggressive or defective....and, more likely to blame 'individual choice' than the 'grouping authority' that had a hand in manipulating that 'choice'....

 

Kerry
Kerry's picture
All this reminds me of the

All this reminds me of the lyrics in Don Henley's song, 'Gimme What You Got':

 

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_henley/gimme_what_you_got.html

'A man with a briefcase can steal more money than any man with a gun'.

 

 

rbs
rbs's picture
jeffbiss wrote:But I have

jeffbiss wrote:
But I have given my philosophical, moral, and ethical reasoning: You have the right to know what you are buying and the seller has no right to not disclose that information to you. Your right to know trumps his desire to not tell you.

Okay, see your reasoning.  I have the right to know the nutrition information of the food Joe is selling.  By refusing to publish nutrition information, he's violating my rights.  Given that each of us is morally and ethically authorized to defend our individual rights I am morally authorized to defend my rights with violence to make him reveal the information.

So if, as you argue, I as an individual have a right to use violence to defend my right to know what the nutrition information of Joe's burgers, then I can understand how I could delegate that right to others to defend that right for me.

On the other hand, the notion that each of us has the right to know the nutritional information of the food someone may wish to trade with us is, as another poster said, patently absurd. 

"Hey, would you like to trade that cabbage for one of these hamburgers?"

"Tell me the nutrition information of your hamburgers."

"No thanks, forget it."

"Hey, I said tell me the nutrition information of those burgers buddy, or me and a bunch of friends of mine will be back to rough you up.  I'm never going to let you trader you hamburgers to anyone else ever again!!!"

Yup, that's the way to defend your rights. 

jeffbiss wrote:
Well, it's really not that simple simply because each person may not have the same definition of "just" and "unjust".

Obviously.  What I'm trying to do is to explain what I consider to be a just law, and try to convince people that condoning the initiation of violence on their behalf is morally wrong.

rbs
rbs's picture
jason wrote:Of course there

jason wrote:
Of course there is a such thing as society, and it behaves differently than any individual.

Well then I suppose it's okay if society shows up with guns drawn to shut Joe's stand down.  I just don't think it would be ethical for any, you know, people to do that.  See, I have this weird idea that it's unethical for actual people to initiate violence against another innocent person.

jason wrote:
Philosophically, no group of people has the right to impose rule on others. That is, everyone subject to a given set of rules has a right to have a role in the creation of said rules. I.e., democracy is the best way to organize.

And this power to make rules that allow one person violently interfere with the peaceful activities of other people comes from where exactly?  Aren't we all equals? 

Earlier you said, "I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it."  I completely agree. But again I ask, according to you how many people does it take to before the members of the group receive this magical power to impose their will on others?  Two people?  A million?  Somewhere in between?

rbs
rbs's picture
meljomur wrote:You cannot

meljomur wrote:
You cannot just sell meat to the public, without first contacting your local Health and Safety department.

It's not a moral issue, its a legal issue.  You have the obligation to contact the Health and Safety department on Joe's behalf, if he hasn't already done so.

Yes, it is a legal issue.  What I am trying to do is examine the morality of the law.  Just because something is a law does not necessarily mean that it is ethical or moral.

As I asked you before, if Joe and I are equals, in that we are endowed with equal rights, what is the moral or ethical justification for me initiating violence against him in order to make him do what I wish, which is, in this instance, providing nutritional information about his product.  Am I his ruler?  Do I have some sort of Divine right to rule others?   How about me and another person?  Me and two others?  Me and a million others?  How can it ever be ethical for any number of people to do something that is unethical for each of them to do individually?

Kerry
Kerry's picture
I'm thinking rbs must be Dr.

I'm thinking rbs must be Dr. Buckley because rbs is trying to ignore me like Dr. Buckley.   Let's see if rbs is Dr. Buckley:

rbs wrote:

 What I'm trying to do is to explain what I consider to be a just law, and try to convince people that condoning the initiation of violence on their behalf is morally wrong.

And, that is, of course, according to you, because the only 'moral incentive' that individuals can take is 'not hurting anyone else', correct?  Unless, of course, in what you say is 'self-defense'.  And, therefore, the only intervention that a government based on such 'morally-induced individual rights' is non-intervention and non-violence, right (unless, of course, as a means to 'self-defend'--and, I'm not sure if that means 'self-defend' government to you--or 'its people'--or, just what you might let government 'self-defend'--but, that's besides this point)?  So, then, what do you, rbs, say of government's standing armies?  And, if government is empowered to create violence (especially as a preemptive strike like we did to both Iraq and Afghanistan--after all, neither country struck us first--so, really, this can't be claimed as 'self-defense' by any real meaning of the term) with such 'standing armies', where did government, supposedly there to 'mirror our moral authority on non-violence towards each other unless in self-defense' get that right--and authority?  By your own analysis, it did NOT get it from 'any act allowed an individual' (especially as a preemptive strike, right?  I mean, a preemptive strike is NOT 'self-defense' to you, is it?).  And, by the statements of our founding fathers, like that statement I quoted from Amar's book of Patrick Henry's, they feared the intent of 'standing armies in a free country'--and our Constitution does NOT give government the right to have 'standing armies'.  What do you say, rbs? 

I remember Dr. Buckley's answer on that when reincarnated in thomland as BarefootGen.   What's your answer rbs? 

Now, as a comparison, Ron Paul, a libertarian with corporatist leanings, is (I thought, somewhat paradoxically when I first read that) a pacifist--and, in his book, End The Fed, did not condone the preemptive strike in the Middle East--claiming that wars (especially recent wars) are just another method for the 'power elite' (I don't know what Ron Paul means by 'power elite'--I read into that 'corporate-government collusion'...) to 'game the system' to their advantage in getting more money for themselves--and I agree with that.  What do you say, rbs? 

douglaslee
douglaslee's picture
So society has no right to

So society has no right to prevent a business from killing members of the society, as long as it is done through fraud, and not with a gun

Quote:

by Deep HarmMon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:57:42 PM PDT

Today, the FDA issued inspection reports on the two egg farms involved in a recall of half a billion eggs for salmonella contamination, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.  Conditions were, shall we say, less than optimal.  

The inspectors found manure piles up to 8 feet high, holding doors open and giving wildlife access. "Wildlife" included live rodents, wild birds and a plague of flies, live and dead, including their larvae (maggots).  "Additional problems included overflowing manure pits, improper worker sanitation and wild birds [a potential source of avian influenza] roosting around feed bins," reports the New York Times.

The investigators also found salmonella bacteria in chicken feed and in barn and walkway areas, and in water used to wash eggs at a Hillandale facility.  It isn't clear, yet, which came first:  the salmonella or the egg.

Think of Hillandale farms as Joe, and rbs as buckley

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
I think the basic premises of

I think the basic premises of the overall discussion have become confused in the minds of some posters.  When I entered this fray, my contribution was to state that I am totally in favor of the Pure Food & Drug Laws as regards Joe the burger guy.  What this implies is that I believe that he shouldn't sell tainted meat, or any variant thereof, which in any way resembles the consumer meat products detailed in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. That includes screening Joe's wholesale suppliers for compliance in animal feeding to avoid Mad Cow Disease.  If Joe were to violate any of the Pure Food & Drug Laws, or any local health department codes, he should be shut down via government bringing the full force of law to bear upon him, for the common good.  

Selling poison is illegal.  Does RBS think the Pure Food & Drug Laws are moral and ethical?  I dunno.  Does RBS think that before the Pure Food & Drug Laws were passed, they should have had an imprimatur from some unspecified external authority -- an unspecified litmus test to ascertain whether they were moral and ethical?  I dunno.  

Maybe RBS would agree that there's moral and ethical force behind the idea that selling poison is illegal and that Joe should be shut down by the coercive force of government if he does it.  The Public Health Department and the Police have been vested by the populace with the authority to apply coercive force -- violence, if you will -- against law breakers, which Joe would be if he sells tainted meat.  Maybe RBS would agree that consumers' right not to be sold poison inherently resides within every one of us, and that it doesn't have to be "conferred" upon us by some specified external authority, that it derives from consensus based on common sense and an inherent knowledge of what the common good is, simply because we're rational human beings, and in shutting Joe down if he sells tainted meat, our elected and appointed officials are acting morally and ethically based on that.  But given RBS's other arguments, I dunno...   

I inveighed against mandatory nutritional labeling because I believe Americans are intellectually lazy and that the buyer shoud beware -- Caveat Emptor.  When I brought up nutritional labeling, I was not using that term interchangeably with the Pure Food & Drug Laws.  I believe the latter should be enforced without question, as the default position.  When I brought up nutritional labeling, I meant the chart you see on all packaged foods, which includes quantities of fats; proteins; carbohydrates; salt; sugar; cholesterol, calories, etc.  I still believe that requiring that of restaurants would be asinine. For example, is anybody so stupid that they really don't know that there's lots of sugar, fat, and cholesterol in cheesecake?  Why should a restaurant have to post that? 

It appears that some have confused nutritional labeling with the Pure Food & Drug Laws over the course of this discussion.  In light of that, I've posted this to provide greater clarification of the variables being discussed.

My position has not changed as it regards intellectually and mentally lazy Americans who don't want to read anything, find anything out for themselves, or do any basic research to benefit themselves.  The fact that my position on that has not changed does not imply agreement or disagreement with any other singular post in this discussion.

I hope this provides some clarification on these two points.

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
rbs wrote: meljomur

rbs wrote:

meljomur wrote:
Isn't that what you are getting at here rbs?  Some kind of Libertarian view that a person has the right to do what he wants and no one can control or stop the action.

It's more an issue of rights and equality.  If Joe and I are equals, in that we are endowed with equal rights, what is the moral or ethical justification for me initiating violence against him in order to make him do what I wish, which is, in this instance, providing nutritional information about his product.  Am I his ruler?  Do I have some sort of Divine right to rule others?  

So far, the only person who has answered is Jeffbiss, who has said that the only ethical use of violence in in self-defense.  I tend to agree with Jeffbiss on this.  

What do you think Meljomur?  Do I have the right to initiate violence against Joe in order to make him publish nutritional information?

You've never specified whether or not you consider the Health Department and/or the cops simply shutting somebody down, without beating or killing them, constitutes violence.  

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
Rodger97321 wrote:The Emptor

Rodger97321 wrote:
The Emptor cannot caveat without an education.  One cannot scutinize what one does not know how to scrutinize.   And one is at a disadvantage when the education available to them is lesser than others, by design.

We differ slightly here; while I'm a progressive, I believe that it's an existential world, and that consumers have some responsibility to learn what they're buying before they do so if they're going to make intelligent choices. Would you buy a used car from Donald Rumsfeld?

Quote:
Also, I think they've proven that the main culprit in the mechanism which turns a body into a fat storing machine is high-fructose corn syrup.  They've actually proven that it meets the definition of a poison (like alcohol).  Industry denials are as scientific as the "no climate change here" ones have been.

No argument here, but we're discussing meat, which has no high fructose corn syrup.  Still, if more Americans would lay off of the soft drinks, there'd be far fewer potbellies.  The info on that is there; the soda guzzlers disregard it.

Quote:
What I see here is the manner in which the question is phrased (like push-polling) where enforcing rules to protect the general public is cast as having a desire to rule someone else.

Yes, it's contrived sophistry.

Quote:
Remember, the vendor (knowing what the rules are) made a series of choices before their stand was opened, and acceptance of operating in a manner which does not give them an unfair advantage over other vendors is part of that.

Yes, and one could reasonably expect that anybody willing to open a food business for a livelihood would be just as cognizant of good health practices as they would be of their own financial business plan...

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
Quote:If you think about what

Quote:
If you think about what you mean by "operating in any illegal fashion", this brings you back to my question.  What you mean by illegal is this: Someone has decided that they wish Joe to do something related to his business.  (In my example it is publishing nutritional information, but of course the imposition could be anything.)  This person or group of people, writes down their requirement, and calls it a law.  They then tell Joe, "If you know what's good for you, you'll do X."

Reality check, for clarification:  It's exactly at this point in this discussion that you chose to use nutritional information for your hypotheticals.  I, for the record, initially advocated against requiring nutritional information NOT because I thought it would be immoral or unethical if enacted into law, but because I believe that it would be an example of asinine catering to the average American's residual consumer laziness.  This distinction is an important one in the interest of keeping the discussion on the rails.

Quote:
Which brings us back to the original question.  Perhaps I can phrase it differently: Can I, and a group of my neighbors write a letter to Joe, call that letter a law, and threaten to initiate violence against him unless he publishes nutritional information?

No, you cannot legally do that.  Elected lawmakers are the only authority within our political and legal system who can draft laws and then call on duly constituted authorities to enforce them. 

 

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
douglaslee wrote: Whoever

douglaslee wrote:

Whoever issued the license, [community,city, county, or state] has the right to suspend the license, and or fine the vendor, if the standards as outlined in license are violated.

Why do you keep saying no one has answered your question? I have read many replies, Ulysses the best. I don't consider a suspension of a license or levy of a fine to be violence.

 

Thank you.

douglaslee
douglaslee's picture
Nutrition information is

Nutrition information is available and basics are not that complicated. Protein [complete and incomplete] , carbohydrate [complex and simple], and fat [saturated, unsaturated, monosaturated], fiber. When I was taking nutrition in college I developed a diet that covered the basics in a balanced manner. White cheddar,  sharp,  longhorn, or swiss cheese, [protein and fat]  triscuits [carbohydrates and fiber], and beer [more carbohydrates].

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
Quote:Unless I missed

Quote:
Unless I missed something, nobody has taken a stand either way as to whether or not I have the right, individually, as rbs, to force Joe to put up nutrition information or suffer whatever punishment I decide to dish out to him.

I would've thought you'd have understood, based upon my responses, that for you, unilaterally, to do so as a free-agent individual, would be illegal, would constitute vigilantism, and that you would probably be charged with multiple misdemeanors or felonies if you took it upon yourself to do anything of the kind.  What is not clear about that? 

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
jeffbiss wrote: Quote:My

jeffbiss wrote:

Quote:
My apologies.  Looking back I see you wrote, "No one has the authority to assault or batter another unless you are defending yourself."  Is this the answer to which you are referring?  Are you coming down on the "I have no authority to force Joe to post nutrition information" side?  Can I count that as 1 no vote?

To clarify my point, you do have the authority as a citizen to force Joe to post nutritional information via the political process, as in government, whether local, state, or federal, mandating that businesses serving food provide such information. So, you can count on me as a "no" vote for you alone, but as a "yes" if you consider how a democracy operates.

You and I concur.  Its not hard to understand.

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
Quote:I would further assert

Quote:
I would further assert that whenever I lack the moral or ethical authority to do something, I cannot ask someone else to to that thing for me or on my behalf.  This is to say that an agent cannot have powers that do not initially belong to the principle.  For example, I cannot legitimately ask jeffbiss to force Joe to publish nutritional information, and even if jeffbiss agreed and did so, he does not  somehow magically acquire the moral and ethical authority to do so.

This is where your argument becomes sophistry, because it ignores the inescapable reality that in order to transcend barbarism, humans must develop laws and governments, in whatever form. There's no way around it if one is grounded in reality.  Political considerations aside, no matter whether any system is extreme right, such as Nazism, or extreme left, such as Marxism, the laws for public welfare are often virtually identical, i.e., both in Germany under Hitler and in Russia under Stalin there were sanitation laws governing restaurants.  Law does not exist or operate in a philosophical vacuum; it is written to be applied, and thus, to provide legal coercion which will bring about desired behaviors for the common good.

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
rbs wrote: Ulysses wrote:OK,

rbs wrote:

Ulysses wrote:

OK, maybe this will be clear if your question is literal and not rhetorical.  If the state or government does "violence" in the form of imposing legal sanctions, regardless of whether the police have to drag you out of your house and throw you into jail, or you get a fine, or you get closed down, the state or government has the legal right to do so.  It has that right because the state is, in fact, us, as manifest in our elected and appointed officials.  It is  enforcing the laws and imposing the legal sanctions that the majority of voters approve because we've voted for  and/or appointed officials who have passed those laws and will now enforce them, based on our implied pre-approval of their actions at the ballot box.

If I don't have the right to use violence to force Joe to publish nutritional information, and neither do you, and our elected and appointed officials are agents acting on our behalf, how do these people acquire this right?  How can we collectively delegate something to others that we do not ourselves possess in the first place?

Because in creating government, we must, of necessity, empower some to enforce its laws. Since it's impractical for everybody to be his/her own Health Department official or police officer and thus enforce the laws himself/herself, we vest government and its agents to do it and pay them their salaries for doing so.  If we didn't, the only course of action left would be every individual trying to enforce the laws himself/herself, in which case nobody could provide enough body bags, or everybody would simply disobey all the laws, in which case what would be the point of having any laws at all?

 

meljomur
meljomur's picture
Good call Kerry.  After

Good call Kerry.  After re-reading this post, I think you got that one.

Also, I am always a bit suspect of those posters who feel the need to keep telling the rest of us, that he/she is a "progressive"...

Obviously, quiting while you are ahead is not drilled in, back at the ranch.

meljomur
meljomur's picture
I will say one thing for this

I will say one thing for this thread, it has once again made a BRILLIANT argument AGAINST the whole idea of Libertarianism.

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
Quote:Perhaps you misread

Quote:
Perhaps you misread what I wrote.  I don't claim that our representatives and appointees lack the moral and ethical authority to enfore ANY law.  I am talking about a law that requires Joe to publish nutritional information.  Certain laws, aganst murder for example, are clearly delegations of our natural right to self-defense.  They do not imbue our representatives with any power that we do not already have.  They are simply forms of cooperation.

Nobody gets to pick and choose what types of laws will be enforced.  If the legislature drafts a law you consider bad, you can light up your legislators about it and try to get it repealed, refuse to vote for them next time, if their laws make you unhappy, or go out and actively work against their re-election or for people you think will do a better job.  Selective enforcement of existing laws would constitute discrimination, and if society is to remain civil, we cannot tolerate that. Meanwhile, everybody has to obey even those laws they don't like, or the whole structure of law falls apart.

Ulysses wrote:
All you're really positing is that ultimately, nobody ever has the moral or ethical right to tell anybody else what to do through government.

Quote:
No, I'm not.  I'm trying to explore whether there are any moral or ethical limimts on how we may act collectively versus how we may act individually.  I see no moral or ethical reason why a group of people acquire certain powers that none of the members themselves posses.

Then you're jousting with windmills because it's inherent in the very existence of governments and governing that there will never be perfect reconciliation between the morality and ethics of collective action and individual action.  That's part of the human condition.  All we can hope for is to come as close as possible by making a genuine attempt to retain our humanity.  There will always be a dynamic tension between ethics, morality, and Caesar's law, just as there will between individualism and collectivism. 

Quote:
You say, "Elected governments in representative democracies are vested with the mantle of authority through the consent of the majority of the governed, as reflected in vote counts."  I have to assume that you believe there are some sort of moral or ethical prohibitions on the actions of our elected and appointed officials, even when they've been selected by a majority.  I'm trying to explore what principles we can use to determine what these prohibitions might be.

The laws, including legal, moral, and ethical laws. They're not mutually inclusive or mutually exclusive, but in the U.S., as in most societies, the average citizen will usually come up with what's right and what's wrong if all the facts of a given situation are presented objectively and without guile.  That's why the jury system works. And public officials are not above the law, although many often get away with far too much. 

Quote:
For me, the test is whether or not the law is a delegation of each of our already existing individual powers.  If the law acts contrary to our own individual proscriptions on interpersonal behavior, then I cannot accept it as morally legitimate.  If I accept that we are all created equal in that we all have the same rights, I cannot do otherwise.

I believe that's a crabbed, cramped, reductionist, and overly simplistic view that doesn't take practical necessity and the need for legitimate government and the public welfare into consideration.

Quote:
The principle is responsible for the actions of his agent; a man who hires a killer is guilty of murder even though he did not pull the trigger.  The way I see it, if I elect and support someone to go bust up Joe's shop and forcibly shut him down, I am as guilty as the perpetrators. I cannot ask my elected and appointed officials to do my dirty work and expect to be relieved of moral responsibility for their actions.

The way I see it, if Joe wants to obey the Pure Food & Drug Laws and if he sells good burgers, I'll eat there myself from time to time.  If he knowingly sells poison, I hope the authorities do shut him down.  By the way, in this scenario, they probably wouldn't bust up his shop. They'd just tell him to cease business unless he wants to clean up his act.  He might be fined.  He could then sell off his equipment and make any other such relevant dispensations he would choose to make.  The only time Joe would encounter physical violence in this scenario would be if he were to get violent first.

Ulysses
Ulysses's picture
Common_Man_Jason wrote: rbs

Common_Man_Jason wrote:

rbs wrote:

Common_Man_Jason wrote:
The resistance is about the comparison you're using being wrong. I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it. There is no comparison to that and societal rules which are created upon the consent of the society as a whole.

"I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it."  Agreed.  Can two people?  How about four?  How about a million?  In your opinion, how many people have to agree upon some rule before they feel that they are morally justified in initiating violence in order to enforce it?

The point is that there really is no such thing as "society".  There are just people, and no person can morally justify initiating violence against another, despite their position in any organization.

Of course there is a such thing as society, and it behaves differently than any individual. This is, perhaps, why cons never understand left wing thought, because they don't believe systems exist or that a group of people create a system which has its own set of behaviors and consequences that transcend the individual. Ironically, you've already said as much.

Philosophically, no group of people has the right to impose rule on others. That is, everyone subject to a given set of rules has a right to have a role in the creation of said rules. I.e., democracy is the best way to organize.

That isn't always the way it works out, but it's the way it should, in my opinion.

Clear, factual assessments.  Outstanding!

kwikfix
Let me explain reality to all

Let me explain reality to all of you:

Authority does not come from God or Government. Authority comes from two or more free men living in a free land. They make certain agreements that pertain specifically to their tribe, as for instance, you cannot kill another member of the tribe, or tresspass on his property, or enter his house, or take anything from another man without permission. We call these things laws, rules, regulations, but they are agreements.

All authority comes from two or more free men agreeing to put self-imposed limits on their freedom in order to preserve and protect themselves, their families,  their tribe, their land, their state, their country. There is nothing "magical" about it. Anyone who disarees is also free to pack his suitcase and move to another part of the world.

One man, one vote. Self-rule. No dictators allowed. Free men run their own lives.  Does anyone need further clarification?

rbs
rbs's picture
douglaslee wrote:So society

douglaslee wrote:
So society has no right to prevent a business from killing members of the society, as long as it is done through fraud, and not with a gun

No, society should everyone accountable for the harm they cause other people, either through tort adjudication or laws against criminal negligence.

rbs
rbs's picture
Good response,

Good response, Ulysses.

Ulysses wrote:
Does RBS think the Pure Food & Drug Laws are moral and ethical?

Ulysses wrote:
Maybe RBS would agree that there's moral and ethical force behind the idea that selling poison is illegal and that Joe should be shut down by the coercive force of government if he does it.

Yes, there is a big distinction between requiring that nutritional information be posted and ensuring that what is offered for trade is not something other than what it appears to be.  Offering to trade a healthful burger but delivering poision harms another person.  It is either a tort or a crime.  Either the harmed party must be compensated with damages or if the substitution was intentional, then criminal charges probably apply. 

Additionaly, from a practical point of view, it would be in the best interests of those offering burgers to trade that they can differentiate their product by having had their facilities inspected and approved by a well respected inspection firm.  Customers would probably prefer a burger supplier who has such inspections performed.  Lack of inspections would probably play a role in any lawsuit.

rbs
rbs's picture
Ulysses wrote:You've never

Ulysses wrote:

You've never specified whether or not you consider the Health Department and/or the cops simply shutting somebody down, without beating or killing them, constitutes violence.  

Yes, I do, as it is enforced through the implicit threat of force.

rbs
rbs's picture
Ulysses wrote:This is where

Ulysses wrote:
This is where your argument becomes sophistry, because it ignores the inescapable reality that in order to transcend barbarism, humans must develop laws and governments, in whatever form.

I understand that we will always have laws and government.  Good laws can raise us above barbarism, while unjust laws can simply impose barbarism by law.

My assertion is that the ethical test of a law is whether it institutes a power that we as individuals would posses without a government.  My conclusion is that we have very limited authority over others, which consist mainly of self-defense and compensations for wrongs done to us.  Other than that, our interactions with others must be cooperative not coercive, if they are going to be considered ethical.

My contention is that the establishment of an organization that calls itself government does not somehow relieve each of us of the ethical imperative to act cooperatively rather coercively.

rbs
rbs's picture
Ulysses wrote:Because in

Ulysses wrote:
Because in creating government, we must, of necessity, empower some to enforce its laws. Since it's impractical for everybody to be his/her own Health Department official or police officer and thus enforce the laws himself/herself, we vest government and its agents to do it and pay them their salaries for doing so.  If we didn't, the only course of action left would be every individual trying to enforce the laws himself/herself, in which case nobody could provide enough body bags, or everybody would simply disobey all the laws, in which case what would be the point of having any laws at all?

There is a distinction between laws that protect us and our property from the initiation of violence and laws that coerce others to do things that we as individuals could never ethically coerce that person to do. 

 

Yes we need laws.  Some laws.  And others are unjust.  I'm talking about developing a princliple by which we can determine whether or not a law is just.  Are we to assume that any law enacted is just?  If not, what rule of thumb would you use to make such a determination? 

rbs
rbs's picture
Ulysses wrote:Nobody gets to

Ulysses wrote:

Nobody gets to pick and choose what types of laws will be enforced.  If the legislature drafts a law you consider bad, you can light up your legislators about it and try to get it repealed, refuse to vote for them next time, if their laws make you unhappy, or go out and actively work against their re-election or for people you think will do a better job.  Selective enforcement of existing laws would constitute discrimination, and if society is to remain civil, we cannot tolerate that. Meanwhile, everybody has to obey even those laws they don't like, or the whole structure of law falls apart.

I am not advocating disobeying the law.  I am discussing what I consider to be good laws and bad laws, which informs and directs the platforms and candidates I support.

Ulysses wrote:

rbs wrote:
I'm trying to explore whether there are any moral or ethical limimts on how we may act collectively versus how we may act individually.  I see no moral or ethical reason why a group of people acquire certain powers that none of the members themselves posses.

Understood.  I'm not looking for perfection, just a goal to shoot for.

Common_Man_Jason
Common_Man_Jason's picture
rbs wrote: jason wrote:Of

rbs wrote:

jason wrote:
Of course there is a such thing as society, and it behaves differently than any individual.

Well then I suppose it's okay if society shows up with guns drawn to shut Joe's stand down.  I just don't think it would be ethical for any, you know, people to do that.  See, I have this weird idea that it's unethical for actual people to initiate violence against another innocent person.

jason wrote:
Philosophically, no group of people has the right to impose rule on others. That is, everyone subject to a given set of rules has a right to have a role in the creation of said rules. I.e., democracy is the best way to organize.

And this power to make rules that allow one person violently interfere with the peaceful activities of other people comes from where exactly?  Aren't we all equals? 

This conversation is pointless if I say one thing, and you respond as if I said the opposite.

Quote:

Earlier you said, "I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it."  I completely agree. But again I ask, according to you how many people does it take to before the members of the group receive this magical power to impose their will on others?  Two people?  A million?  Somewhere in between?

I've answered that question already. Are you even reading my responses?

rbs
rbs's picture
Common_Man_Jason wrote: rbs

Common_Man_Jason wrote:

rbs wrote:

jason wrote:
Of course there is a such thing as society, and it behaves differently than any individual.

Well then I suppose it's okay if society shows up with guns drawn to shut Joe's stand down.  I just don't think it would be ethical for any, you know, people to do that.  See, I have this weird idea that it's unethical for actual people to initiate violence against another innocent person.

jason wrote:
Philosophically, no group of people has the right to impose rule on others. That is, everyone subject to a given set of rules has a right to have a role in the creation of said rules. I.e., democracy is the best way to organize.

And this power to make rules that allow one person violently interfere with the peaceful activities of other people comes from where exactly?  Aren't we all equals?

This conversation is pointless if I say one thing, and you respond as if I said the opposite.

I apologize if I'm not expressing myself effectively.  I am truly trying to both understand what you're saying and react to it.  

I suppose there's not much point in me continuing to say the same thing over and over again.  Thanks to everyone who responded, as you have all helped me reach a better understanding of progressive philosophy and how it differs from my own.

Common_Man_Jason wrote:

Quote:

Earlier you said, "I, as a person, can not just decide that a rule should exist, then go and enforce it."  I completely agree. But again I ask, according to you how many people does it take to before the members of the group receive this magical power to impose their will on others?  Two people?  A million?  Somewhere in between?

I've answered that question already. Are you even reading my responses?

Yes, I have read every response to this thread.  At this point, I think I'm all caught up with the responses, which have definitely given me the insight I was looking for.  Thanks again to all for the responss.  I think (or hope) that I've sufficiently expressed my ideas on the subject, so I won't continue to beat them to death.  I'm more interested in clarifying our respective positions than forcing my ideas on anyone.  Unless anyone has any need for me to clarify, I think I'll give it a rest for a while.

polycarp2
People have grouped

People have grouped themselves into what we call societies ever since human beings walked the face of the planet...and have formed agreements on how they deal with one another and their environment..

The Lakota had a sustainable group  relationship with buffallo. Kill 'em out of season...and your tipee was burned down..

Societal organization is just a fact of human existence. Sometimes that organization is dictated top down...sometimes bottom up...and it's always there. The name for that is "society".

Probably the democratic functioning of the Iroquis Confederation compares favorably with the Warlord functioning of Somalia..The final resort to enforce societal agreements is always violence or the threat of it...even if it was only banishment of primitive societies. A confiscation of property and near certain death...

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:Okay, see your

Quote:
Okay, see your reasoning.  I have the right to know the nutrition information of the food Joe is selling.  By refusing to publish nutrition information, he's violating my rights.  Given that each of us is morally and ethically authorized to defend our individual rights I am morally authorized to defend my rights with violence to make him reveal the information.

What is your problem? In this case there's no need for violence, so you can't morally use violence to get him to post that information and the state couldn't legally create a law or ordinance to force him to post that information with violence for a number of reasons but chief among them is the constitution's "cruel and unusual" punishment clause.
Quote:
"Hey, I said tell me the nutrition information of those burgers buddy, or me and a bunch of friends of mine will be back to rough you up.  I'm never going to let you trader you hamburgers to anyone else ever again!!!"

Yup, that's the way to defend your rights. 


Man, there is something thick about you. How many times do I have to say that violence isn't even remotely required to enforce your right to know what is being sold to you? Why do you insist on ignoring thta fact? Is it only to keep this "discussion" going to some absurd conclusion?

rbs2
rbs2's picture
jeffbiss wrote:Man, there is

jeffbiss wrote:

Man, there is something thick about you. How many times do I have to say that violence isn't even remotely required to enforce your right to know what is being sold to you? Why do you insist on ignoring thta fact? Is it only to keep this "discussion" going to some absurd conclusion?

Not sure what happened, but I couldn't log in as rbs.  I've got to remember to write my passwords down somewhere.  I hate when that happens, but now I'm rbs2.

Anyway, sorry to be dense.  I am just trying to illustrate my proposition that we all have equal rights and that a group of people cannot be said to have any rights not inherent in each of us individually.

I have to disagree on your assertion about violence being unnecessary.  You have to realize that you may ask Joe to publish nutritional information, and he may refuse.  At that point what are you going to do?  You say our elected and appointed officials will shut down his business.  Okay, then what if he opens his store back up and starts selling again?  They fine him?  What if he refuses to pay the fine and continues selling burgers?  Some people show up at his shop and say, "Come with us."  He says no.  Then what?  They just leave and let him continue selling burgers form the shop they shut down?  I don't think that's the way it would happen.  I think you have to be honest and say that if the government is authorized to force Joe to post nutritional information, then the government must necessarily be prepared to use force to make Joe comply with the law.

I realize now that I'm not going to convince anyone that there are certain laws for which the government cannot claim any moral or ethical authority.  Okay, I accept that.  But you have to accept that any law is ultimately enforced through the threat of violence.

As I said before, I don't see much more clairification that I can add without getting even more repetitive than I have already been.  Obviously we're not going to agree, but now I have a better understanding of everyone's view of individual rights and the role of government.

So for now, I'll stop beating a dead horse, unless someone would like to continue the discussion.

rbs2
rbs2's picture
kerry wrote:Well, rbs may

kerry wrote:
Well, rbs may have read every post here--but, didn't respond to mine.

You seriously wonder why I no longer care to carry on discussions with you?  This is why:

kerry wrote:
But, go ahead, honey, and fight your supposed 'non-aggressive' cause (sounds sort of oxymoronic, if you think about it) in your passive-aggressive (I'm sorry, but, also, to me, somewhat self-righteous) manner.   But, just remember, there will be those with you that will have more aggression in mind no matter how it's done--but, then, as long as your eyes don't see it, don't you fret none, honey.  God has a place for you with all the other friendly hypocrites (but, don't worry, honey, I really don't know if it's hell--I'm not God so don't you mind none, honey--however, I do know how your attitude skews everything here RIGHT NOW--because, after all, to you, GREED is 'just an emotion' and 'not an act'--and I do know how THE GREEDY LOVE THAT--that I think can be shown by their actions--right here and now).   And, say hello to Guido for me, will you, honey?

That is not discussing politics; it is behaving like an ill-mannered boor.  You have a habit of peppering your posts with emotional outbursts and expletives, and inevitably descend into angry, personal diatribes.  It's not exactly what I'm looking for in a philosophical discussion.

Here's the deal.  You apologize and clean up your act and I'll give you one last chance.

Kerry
Kerry's picture
Well, rbs may have read every

Well, rbs may have read every post here--but, didn't respond to mine. 

While this thread started as a hypothetical on what Joe's hamburger stand was to be 'forced to do', I believe rbs's true purpose was to present this rather constrained thesis that the moral extent of government cannot extend beyond the moral extent of any one individual--specifying, and limiting, that moral extent to 'not forcing anyone to do anything against their will'--unless in self-defense.  rbs appears to ask the question:  How does government, supposedly having no more moral capacity than any one individual to impose unless self-defending, obtain an authority that goes beyond that--and believe its actions to be 'moral and ethical'?  That is, of course, why I asked rbs to expound on this thesis with the real world example of 'our' government with its Un-Constitutional 'standing armies' being able to carry on a preemptive strike against two countries in the Middle East that did not strike us first--negating the premise that government should only 'respond out of manners of self-defense'.   If this thesis is to be based on government, supposedly based on the consent of the governed, getting no more capacity to intercede than what any one individual has the capacity to intercede against another's will in any moral context, how did our government get the capacity ('right' and 'authority') to preemptively strike in war?   It's a real world example that strikes at the very basis for rbs's thesis--and rbs ignored it.  Why?  I doubt it was because rbs was here to 'offer his thesis up for critical scrutiny against real world examples and progressive arguments' because rbs ignored that real world example of government extending itself not only beyond individual capacity--but beyond any semblance of individual authority--or individual rights.  In other words, rbs's theory intentionally--and with a certain degree of constrained sophistry--is ignoring the facts--or explaining this theory so offered through such facts.   Which is a pity because an answer from rbs might have actually gone a long ways into having us come to an understanding of what we want the 'extent of government' to be...

But, I don't think that's what rbs is here for--and, rbs is carrying on exactly like Dr. Buckley because Dr. Buckley also dodged out at this point.  By the way, Dr. Buckley's answer to 'standing armies'--even if Un-Constitutional, even if extending beyond any capacity of an individual to act--was 'it's a dangerous world'...of course, made more dangerous by our government giving itself the right to preemptively strike in war beyond any semblance of 'self-defense'--creating another form of 'self-fulfilling prophecy' in escalating a response to that out of self-defense.   And, otherwise, totally against the limits that rbs, otherwise, placed on this 'thesis of government to not impose any more than what any individual is allowed'.   rbs's ignorance of this point lends me to believe that rbs's little sophistic thesis isn't really to 'limit government'--as much as rbs is here to 'limit individuals' under this rathered constrained idea that 'morality' means 'individuals not imposing on another'--but, government actually can in certain contexts--the 'police state' context--the 'military state' context--both of which help endorse the 'corporate state' context.  I may be wrong--but, since rbs doesn't seem to want to interact with me in this manner--I can come to any conclusion I see....

Which comes to what I see as a deeper point in this discussion--since government does have capacities above and beyond any one individual, what is the limit of that from a government supposedly based on 'the consent of the governed'?  Some here seem to offer 'voting out the ones you don't like'--even rbs has offered that--but, some have offered another limit in the legal context--jury trials and the jury system.  As I said on the other thread, the problem with 'voting out the ones you don't like' in a system where the candidate that spends the most money is, also, the one most likely to win that election--making, again, just like 'relying on lawsuits on torts to correct it', it dependant upon money sources to manage.  Money talks--bullshit walks.  But, is all that which is not money, bullshit?  In a government 'of the people, by the people, and for the people'?  Where are these supposed 'limits' rbs is searching for? 

The jury system.   Akhil Reed Amar in his book, The Bill of Rights, points out that the jury system had at one time more authority in its 'decision-making' than it appears to have now.  In early America, the juries were given the capacity to not only judge the defendant--but, also, to judge the law in which that defendant was charged.  And, while it is still on the books, it has not been emphasized that juries also have the capacity to nullify a law in any one circumstance--jury nullification--even to the point to where that jury can conclude that, according to the letter of the law, the defendant did act unlawfully, but, they still find the defendant 'NOT GUILTY'--under their own 'natural law ability' to determine what is 'moral and ethical' in any one circumstance.   Why did our system include that capacity?   Amar points out that many of the founding fathers and early Americans were suspicious of any authority given a carte blanche to dictate 'what is right' and 'what is wrong' by only 'the letter of the law'--many saw that authority implemented by the 'majority will through the legislatures' as being too authoritarian for a 'free state' that, also, intended on guaranteeing 'minority rights' (and, I still beleive that the 'smallest minority' is 'the individual').  The early Americans were, also, against any imposition of a 'police state' intent on subjugating 'individual will by law'.  As Amar points out, in early America, the Constitutional ban against 'improper search and seizures' in the Bill of Rights was used to sue the police  in a jury trial anytime a person thought the police acted in such a manner.  This ability was removed in the early 20th century with the 'issuance of a search warrant' by a judge.  And, now, is even removed even more by the Patriot Act.  

So, I don't believe rbs is here to condone 'individual will' as much as here to restrict 'individual will' against the broader police state interventions of government.  Giving government full credit to do that in the name of 'security'--both domestically by police and overseas by the military.  The only thing that rbs seems to want to domestically limit is government's capacity to 'force anyone to act' unless, of course, if that 'force' is considering a 'criminal act'--defined specifically by 'the letter of the law' as 'unlawful'.   Again, I may be wrong, but since rbs doesn't appear to want to reply to my quesitons, specifically, I'm suspicious that this is really what rbs's little 'thesis' is all about....subdue the sheeple and impose the corporations--with, of course, the only real right of government is 'police against the criminals' (defined by rbs as 'any harmful act one individual does to another')--and not to 'regulate business' (despite what 'harmful acts' may come out of such 'business as usual' functions)...

But, rbs can come in and correct my analysis whereever it appears to differ from what I believe to be rbs's 'true purpose' in this little 'Libertarian-like thesis'....

Kerry
Kerry's picture
rbs wrote: You have a habit

rbs wrote:

You have a habit of peppering your posts with emotional outbursts and expletives, and inevitably descend into angry, personal diatribes.  It's not exactly what I'm looking for in a philosophical discussion.

Yeah, that's 'harming you', isn't it?   Better get the police--I've figured you want them to control all 'individual acts that have any semblance of aggression in them', don't you?  But, leave those cartels--I mean, corporations--and any 'business regulations', alone.  Correct?   Read above....(I really wish editing a post didn't remove its position here).....

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:I have to disagree on

Quote:
I have to disagree on your assertion about violence being unnecessary.  You have to realize that you may ask Joe to publish nutritional information, and he may refuse.  At that point what are you going to do?

Part of linving in a civil society is to accept the rule of law. Therefore, whether the state must use violence is entirely up to Joe. If the law requires him to do so in order to operate, then he can't refuse and operate. If he then refuses, then he is not granted a license. If he sells without a license, then another law rules, such as one that requires that one have a valid business license to sell. It is Joe's choice whether to escalate or not. Joe has got options, among them are a) fight the notification law in court, (b) not comply as civil disobedience and suffer the consequences, (c) not comply and sell illegally and suffer the consequences, (d) comply and sell legally, (e) not comply and not sell. Whether violence results is up to Joe as we are all required to follow the law.

Now you appear to be arguing for anarchy, in which each person decides what rules they will follow. Madoff and Bundy would be happy under that system.

rbs2
rbs2's picture
jeffbiss wrote:Now you appear

jeffbiss wrote:
Now you appear to be arguing for anarchy, in which each person decides what rules they will follow. Madoff and Bundy would be happy under that system.

Absolutely not.  I'm pretty sure I've already said that I am not advocating selective obedience to laws or any sort of anarchy.  I am giving my opinion on why I don't think we should pass a law that would require someone selling burger to publish nutrition information.  I'm explaining my position based upon my philosophical principles. 

These philosophical principles determine what laws I would advocate being enacted and what laws I would like to see repealed.  We cannot select which laws we will obey, but we can try to influence what laws are made and which are repealed.  That's what I'm doing here.  (With little success, I must add.)

Common_Man_Jason
Common_Man_Jason's picture
This whole thing is a mental

This whole thing is a mental journey that might be useful for pondering, but is not very useful when thinking about real life.

Yes, governments do get violent, and yes I personally agree that in almost every case that is bad.

However, the implication rbs is making is that violence is the only way to enforce rules. That's just simple minded thinking.

To begin, as I've already stated, a just law is one in which *all* people subject to them participate in creating them.

Secondly, rbs, can you name a case in which someone refused to disclose the ingredients of a food product they were selling, and a person consequently used violence on them? If there is a particular event you're referring to, it might be better to discuss it directly. But in any event, violent punishment is *not* on the books for labeling laws. Rather, fines and or closing of the business are what will result. And I doubt it would ever come to violence if democracy is maintained.

In short, I'm growing tired of people putting thoughtful posts in here, and you responding with an implication that liberals support violent punishment for people who don't disclose the ingredients of food they sell. That's just an insult to the people who were taking you seriously only to get the response you planned on giving all along.

MarkRoger
MarkRoger's picture
Insanity:Performing the same

Insanity:Performing the same action over and over again, expecting different results.  Maybe insanity is brought on by its definition.  Be careful.

meljomur
meljomur's picture
Kerry, you had it spot on

Kerry, you had it spot on with your initial assessment.

rbs2, personal attacks on other posters is not allowed here.  You should know that by now.

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:Absolutely not.  I'm

Quote:
Absolutely not.  I'm pretty sure I've already said that I am not advocating selective obedience to laws or any sort of anarchy.  I am giving my opinion on why I don't think we should pass a law that would require someone selling burger to publish nutrition information.  I'm explaining my position based upon my philosophical principles.

Your philosophical principles are severely flawed as they posit that a person can defraud another. You have the right to know what is being sold to you and the seller has no right to not disclose that information, period. A law that requires such disclosure is moral and ethical as it would ensure that you know what is being sold you. Of course you can choose to ignore that information.

rbs3
rbs3's picture
meljomur wrote: Kerry, you

meljomur wrote:

Kerry, you had it spot on with your initial assessment.

rbs2, personal attacks on other posters is not allowed here.  You should know that by now.

Hey, wait a second!  Did you actually ban me?  No email or anything?  My account just doesn't work?

I made no personal attack, Mel.  Please point me to the offending post(s).

rbs3
rbs3's picture
jeffbiss wrote:Your

jeffbiss wrote:
Your philosophical principles are severely flawed as they posit that a person can defraud another. You have the right to know what is being sold to you and the seller has no right to not disclose that information, period. A law that requires such disclosure is moral and ethical as it would ensure that you know what is being sold you. Of course you can choose to ignore that information.

Thank you for informing me of my right.  I can't wait to get Coke's recipe.  I've always wanted to make my own.

Seriously, I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.  I am not condoning fraud.  The way I see it, I can ask for the nutrition information and Joe can refuse.  At that point, I can decide whether or not I want to proceed with the trade.  On the other hand, if Joe gives me nutrition information that he knows to be false, then he is indeed defrauding me, and I would have a claim against him. 

But we don't have to quibble over the right to know the nutritional information.  The same principle can be applied to lots of other cases.  Let's say, for example, that Joe is once again selling burgers for $5.00 each.  I want him to sell them for no more than $3.00.  I get use the political process to have a law declared that limits the price of a hamburger to $3.00.

Is this law ethical?  Do I and a bunch of other people get to force this on Joe and those who want to buy his burgers?  Why or why not?

A. Tytler
A. Tytler's picture
Morning rbs. Yes,

Morning rbs. Yes, Management or in this case Thom Hartmann himself is trying to silence you. I've lurked through your thread and found in interesting and stimulating. That is why management wants you gone. you inspire discussion and upset the locals.

Thomhartmann... the forum of not practicing what you preach. It's not a rule, it's a way of life.