The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Take shots at me...

I invited readers to toss out a statement of political philosophy for me to use as target practice. Mr. Fleming responded with an irrelevancy, not undeserved.

If I'm tossing up clay pigeons, I may as well toss this one...

Does anyone out there have an objection to a political system based on the philosophy that no one has the right to initiate force or commit fraud in the pursuit of personal or political goals?

That forms the basis of my philosophy for life and is the primary consideration I weigh when I vote for the person whom appears likely to infringe on my boundaries the least.


larry kurtz said...

Protect the Earth, support candidates that have records of action.

Humans are altering the planet and if we don't stop doing it, humanity's brief folly will usher Bob Ellis to his eternal pew.

The United States is a sacred experiment, that's for goddamn sure. The rule of law is built on solid foundations and works most of the time. Fort Laramie Treaty? Maybe not so much.

Indian Country needs leaders, christians need leaders, I need leaders. Education, education, education.

I was radicalized by Bush v. Gore and voted for Barrack Hussein Obama because so far he is probably the smartest guy to hold the office.

He was handed a big shit sandwich and with some help from other really angry people, the Bush cabal will divvy up and eat that shit sandwich, bite by bite.

Ellis accuses some of us of hating this country, guess what: it is South Dakota that I loathe.

Sorry, Bill, Cory, Sam, Mary Alice, Sherry Bea, Deirdre, Curtis and your twenty thousand brave friends..don't forget to flush.



Douglas said...

Well, you are trying. Good enough start I guess, but your starting point is a bit limited. It is a political variation of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Let us assume for a minute that Party B has broken your standard and engaged in some kind of fraud or promised physical violence against Party A either of which are effectively life threatening directly or indirectly.

Does Party A then have the right to initiate violence? Or is your minimalist government obligated to act as big brother and save Party A? How does that fit with your implicit support for minimum government?

Never was much good at shooting clay pigeons.

Bob Newland said...

Defense against initiated violence or commission of fraud is not initiation of force.

If you swing at me I am justified in both blocking your swing and punching you to prevent a second swing.

It may not work. You might proceed to kick the shit out of me. If I didn't ask for the shitkicking too obviously I may have chance in a civil or criminal trial to make you sorry you swung.

Douglas said...

Is "fraud" initiation of force?

Civil and criminal law? Sounds like support for big brother government.

Bob Newland said...

Fraud is a form of force.

Like I say, government will exist; we really have no choice there. We do have some choice in the stuff we allow government to meddle in.

Bill Fleming said...

It's an interesting proposition. Of course it invalidates the First Amendment, makes all police and judicial systems illegal, outlaws the military, and prohibits all political campaigning, but other than that, it's... um... an interesting proposition, I guess.

Bob Newland said...

Maybe you'd like to expand on those assertions, Bill?

I understand that compared to you I am hopelessly befuddled, but I do have access to the trigger end of this blog and I wouldn't want to be firing out philosophical arguments that would, if promulgated, invalidate the First Amendment, make all police and judicial systems illegal, outlaw the military, and prohibit all political campaigning.

Gee Whillikers!

Lyman County Libertarian said...

I agree with Newland that he is often befuddled, but Fleming's statement makes no sense. Is all political campaigning fraud? Or is it simply an initiation of force? How? What are you talking about, Bill Fleming?

Bill Fleming said...

Okay, let's start with the First Amendment. Anyone want to argue that churches (let's pick on the Morman's here, just for fun) aren't fundamentally fraudulent, and that they have always been so primarily to amass personal and political power?

How about the National inquirer? How about the fake knockers in Playboy? Come on, guys, this is too easy.

Bob Newland said...

The Mormans are a law firm in Sturgis. I assume you mean the Mormons, which along with all well-known churches are fundamentally fraudulent.

However, the fraud is gleefully accepted by adults whom we presume have had the opportunity to educate themselves about the fraud. They give money to a human institution to try to assure themselves comfort in a non-human institution (the afterlife).

We libertarians make no pretense of attempting to cure human voluntary stupidity. That is the province of "progressives."

Church leaders are careful to make no guarantees to which they can be held in return for money, unless the giver is Ted Kennedy and the sum is high enough, and the stakes are only the granting of an annulment (holding that a marriage of 15 years or so had never been consummated).

We libertarians don't hold that people who give away pixie dust should be prosecuted for fraud when hordes of people voluntarily walk under the pixie wand and then drop bundles of money in the busker bucket.

Prosecutable fraud would have to be limited to instances of charlatanism that creates or attempts to create quantifiable damage to someone who is lied to.

Bill Fleming said...

For that matter, how about using fake names on internet blogs? Posting under two or more names on one thread? Circulating rumors? Quoting out of context?

All illegal under Newland's construct.

Bob Newland said...

I haven't proposed making all violations of a moral code also violations of statute law. I do propose making fraud illegal if it results or attempts to result in quantifiable damage to an identifiable victim or group of victims.

Nor do I suggest that the mere creation of a reasonable law can result in the prosecution of all who violate it. The best that can be hoped is that the existence of the law will at least diminish the incidence of violations thereof.

Laws that are routinely violated should probably be revisited as useless.

Bill Fleming said...

In other words, mandating "integrity" by Constitutional fiat. By what authority? The elected body in power? It sounds like a fast track to tyranny to me. Sorry.

Bill Fleming said...

You could argue (as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins do) that the brainwashing of children with fraudulent religious dogma damages them psychologically for a lifetime.

Does that mean religion should be banned?

Michael Sanborn said...

Off we go...into the heady blue yonder!

Bill Fleming said...

(...right Mike... someday, I'll learn to just write, "yeah sure guys, sounds good, go for it." and save myself a lot of head scratching.)

larry kurtz said...

Bob, I have always supported you when you have run for office and it's not because I have always agreed with you.

It's reasonable to assume that change has to begin with diversity in the polls at the very roots of the electorate; you are living proof.

The deconstruction has to take place from the peoples' perspective or it is perceived as insidious, anti-american or just plain cultish; it's hard to imagine Ted Kaczynski or David Koresh running for county commissioner.

Massive boycotts and strikes of corporate entities, now there's a revolution. Democracy Now!

Bob Newland said...

I am pretty close to not bothering to respond to BF any more. His sarcastic meanness delivered with an "I'm just sayin'" shrug renders serious discussion all but impossible.

Banning religion is as fruitless a quest as banning government. Both are evils that are requested by their constituents.

All political platforms that I have seen will result in arguments at the edges. I'm trying to state a philosophy that can be used as the basis for reasonable laws and a reasonable system for enforcement thereof. I'm not interested in protracted discussions about the damage done by stuff we can't possibly legislate out of existence.

Is that the best you can do? C'mon, mon. Sorry. I'm just sayin'...

Bob Newland said...

"'s hard to imagine Ted Kaczynski or David Koresh running for county commissioner."

Not at all. Don Holloway ran and won.

Bill Fleming said...

Oh! Okay, now I get it, we can only have the rights "to initiate force or commit fraud in the pursuit of personal or political goals" that "are requested by their (government's) constituents. Thanks for clearing that up, Bob. Yeah sure, sounds good, go for it.

larry kurtz said...

Or Noem? I stand corrected.

Humans are hard-wired for deception, right? Until hunger disappears from Maslow's heirarchy, Haiti and Somalia (maybe Cherry Creek?) have too much in common.

Bill Fleming said...

Larry, nature is hard wired for deception. Angler fish have danglers that look like bait, moths scare off birds by making "mean face" patterns on their wings, bugs look like plants, plants like bugs, etc, etc. Survival depends on it. It will be a hard habit to break.

Hell, we'll even have to change the rules of poker, football and boxing. Plus, no more enhancing of resumes, makeup, toupees, or cosmetic surgery.

But if Bob wants to go there, what the hey. Let's give it a shot.

larry kurtz said...

Here is one of my leaders:

"bulars," fellers!

Douglas said...

SDPB had a series with a Harvard Law professor (Michael J. Sandel)that attacked this kind of issue from the perspective of a number of philosophers.

Can't honestly say I remember much detail, but it was interesting and had me tempted to buy the guys book.
Maybe we need to have a book reading club.