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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    But your rejection of absolutism (as a Rawlsian) is highly contingent - if it were the case that absolutism were the form of government which made the worst-off group in society best-off, you wouldn't have much of a complaint against it, right? Doesn't this remind you, among other things, of the utilitarian position on, say, slavery?
    You seem to make a couple of rather odd presumptions there. Of course, Rawls believed that the position of the worst-off in society was particularly significant, but it was only his second principle - inferior to the first of as equal a division of liberty as can be allowed.

    Moreover, if the worst-off in society became the best-off, and a slave underclass was created, then they would become the worst-off.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    But your rejection of absolutism (as a Rawlsian) is highly contingent - if it were the case that absolutism were the form of government which made the worst-off group in society best-off, you wouldn't have much of a complaint against it, right? Doesn't this remind you, among other things, of the utilitarian position on, say, slavery?
    Not at all. 4 words.

    1st Principle of Justice.

    EDIT: And Rawls is clear that we need a democracy anyway ...
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    Talking to some relatives, one raised the point that the government 'work for us, and are our servants'. I feel that if the past 12 years have taught us anything, it is that the government is not to be trusted, and it has to be reduced to what it is meant to do - uphold the rights of individuals, and nothing else.

    Anyone got any theories in favour or against my view?
    Perhaps this goverment can't be trusted.

    Hopefully the next one will work harder to remove the errors created by the current shocking excuse for a goverment..
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Have a read of Friedman.

    In a nutshell, the reason is that it's quite a lot cheaper to negotiate than to fund an all out war.
    Thank you for the elaborative link.

    One question arises in my mind, however. If we have an agency that caters for the rich, and acts upon their [unjust] whims, what prevents them? (I will call this the 'mob' agency).

    They still maintain profits, for their rates are high, and their customers can pay. Other agencies will be forced to either:

    a) offer increased protection against the 'mob' agency, meaning higher rates for their customers.

    b) not provide protection (unfeasible?)

    c) form some kind of unification with other non-mob agencies, to create a general (just) protection agency, while maintaining low rates.

    The only viable option, as I see it, is c. In order to stop 'mob' agencies acting on behalf of the rich, there needs to be an agency or collaboration thereof that has the power to prevent 'mob' agencies forming and acting on behalf of their clients.

    If this is the case, then what happens to the argument concerning the relativity of certain agencies (i.e. the scarcity of water, etc.)? Does this agency constitute a ultra-minimal state (I realise it still offers only protection to those who pay) since it seems to hold a monopoly?

    (I ask these questions out of general interest, I apologise if I have inadvertently offered a straw man).
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    (Original post by missimpossible)
    This reminds me of my one of my tutors, who is trying to drill into our heads that The Government Is Bad (using those exact words). I agree with a lot of what he says but his fervour is highly amusing.
    That's interesting. I am a libertarian anarchist but I generally try to stay more impartial than that.
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    (Original post by Gremlins)
    Relative vs. absolute gains. The whole thing is a bit like the prisoner's dilemma in that yes, Dial-a-Goon could talk the whole thing over with Vigilates'R'Us. On the other hand it could just woop the Vigilantes'R'Us agents. Just like how in the prisoner's dilemma I could make both of us better off over all, or I can **** the other guy over, and there seems to be something psychological going on in that people are much better at recognising relative gains and losses rather than absolute ones; there's also no evidence that private companies would sort this out any better.
    But the prisoners' dilemma is not a realistic representation of the situation. An iterated n-person prisoners' dilemma is. When there is a high chance of future interaction between your agency and others, and when there are others observing your actions as a possible indicator as to how you will treat them, the payoff matrix changes entirely. In that situation a "nice strategy" like Tit For Tat, rather than nasty ones, are the rational choice.
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    (Original post by Aesop)
    Thank you for the elaborative link.

    One question arises in my mind, however. If we have an agency that caters for the rich, and acts upon their [unjust] whims, what prevents them? (I will call this the 'mob' agency).
    Wouldn't this just raise the market price of protection? I mean the market price for of a Mars bar is what it is. The fact that the rich can spend more on Mars bars for the poor does not mean that they are willing to, because if they were, well then the price would just rise. So, likewise, if a firm raised its prices above the market price on the basis that the rich can afford to spend more on protection than the poor, they will still lose money, because the market price is already established by what everybody, rich and poor alike, are willing to spend on protection.

    They still maintain profits, for their rates are high, and their customers can pay. Other agencies will be forced to either:

    a) offer increased protection against the 'mob' agency, meaning higher rates for their customers.

    b) not provide protection (unfeasible?)

    c) form some kind of unification with other non-mob agencies, to create a general (just) protection agency, while maintaining low rates.

    The only viable option, as I see it, is c. In order to stop 'mob' agencies acting on behalf of the rich, there needs to be an agency or collaboration thereof that has the power to prevent 'mob' agencies forming and acting on behalf of their clients.

    If this is the case, then what happens to the argument concerning the relativity of certain agencies (i.e. the scarcity of water, etc.)? Does this agency constitute a ultra-minimal state (I realise it still offers only protection to those who pay) since it seems to hold a monopoly?
    It does not hold a monopoly if it does not prevent other firms from competing with it.

    (I ask these questions out of general interest, I apologise if I have inadvertently offered a straw man).
    Under historical examples of private law enforcement, such as in Medieval Iceland, where all crimes were civil and punished by fines to victims/their families, and judgements were privately enforced, a claim against a wrongdoer for that fine was consdidered private property. As such a person too weak to enforce his own claim against a wrongdoer, possibly because he was not physically powerful, or because he was poor or poorly connected, could sell or gift his claim against that wrongdoer to somebody that wasn't so weak, poor, or poorly connected.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Under historical examples of private law enforcement, such as in Medieval Iceland, where all crimes were civil and punished by fines to victims/their families, and judgements were privately enforced, a claim against a wrongdoer for that fine was consdidered private property. As such a person too weak to enforce his own claim against a wrongdoer, possibly because he was not physically powerful, or because he was poor or poorly connected, could sell or gift his claim against that wrongdoer to somebody that wasn't so weak, poor, or poorly connected.
    This is interesting.

    Suppose someone commits a crime against me, and I'm entitled to £100 as compensation/punishment/whatever. If I'm so weak I can't enforce it (and so have to sell my claim to this £100) it follows fairly simply that I will have to sell it for less than £100, because whomever I sell it to will have costs (they will have to extract the £100 from the miscreant, and will want to make a profit).

    So, the following counterfactuals are true.

    a) If Jones is rich and is wronged, he gets £100
    b) If Jones is poor and is wronged, he gets <£100

    This does not seem like all are equal before the law to me. De facto, the poor person will not get the compensation that they are entitled to. This is a bad system.

    (of course, there's always the possibility that a charity or whatever will go round enforcing the poor's claims, I guess)
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    This is interesting.

    Suppose someone commits a crime against me, and I'm entitled to £100 as compensation/punishment/whatever. If I'm so weak I can't enforce it (and so have to sell my claim to this £100) it follows fairly simply that I will have to sell it for less than £100, because whomever I sell it to will have costs (they will have to extract the £100 from the miscreant, and will want to make a profit).

    So, the following counterfactuals are true.

    a) If Jones is rich and is wronged, he gets £100
    b) If Jones is poor and is wronged, he gets <£100

    This does not seem like all are equal before the law to me. De facto, the poor person will not get the compensation that they are entitled to. This is a bad system.
    Well, the only interesting way of saying "this is a bad system" is if that phrase is followed by "compared to this realistic alternative." You are correct that a poor person that sells his claim to, say, £100 gets less than £100 to "compensate" the wrong done to him. However, he does get something valuable, namely a certain guarantee that even rich or powerful people that do wrong to him will not be able to get away with their crimes.

    On the other hand, it is easy to assume that just because, in theory, anybody who wants the police can call them out, irrespective of price, because they are paid for by taxes, poor and non-poor are equally able to get the police protection that they want. But I doubt things really work that way.
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    Compared to any plausible patterned theory of justice (incl. social minimum theories).
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    This is interesting.

    Suppose someone commits a crime against me, and I'm entitled to £100 as compensation/punishment/whatever. If I'm so weak I can't enforce it (and so have to sell my claim to this £100) it follows fairly simply that I will have to sell it for less than £100, because whomever I sell it to will have costs (they will have to extract the £100 from the miscreant, and will want to make a profit).

    So, the following counterfactuals are true.

    a) If Jones is rich and is wronged, he gets £100
    b) If Jones is poor and is wronged, he gets <£100

    This does not seem like all are equal before the law to me. De facto, the poor person will not get the compensation that they are entitled to. This is a bad system.

    (of course, there's always the possibility that a charity or whatever will go round enforcing the poor's claims, I guess)
    I don't see how they are true, in particular the first one - surely rich people have to pay people to pursue their claims too? In a reasonably competitive market for the pursuance of claims, there will be no room for price discrimination: you'd expect to see firms purchasing claims at a uniform price.

    Also, since when did equality before the law translate into equal outcomes?
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    Compared to any plausible patterned theory of justice (incl. social minimum theories).
    I'm not sure what you mean. I am basically saying that in a world where supply of policing, and different types of policing, can be targetted to respond to changes for demand in policing and types of policing, as revealed by price changes, where competition will tend to drive down costs and prices of policing and drive quality up, and where victims of crime unable to afford enforcement of their rights or judicial rulings in their favour can sell their claims against wrongdoers, everybody, including the poor, will benefit in terms of access to good policing compared to how they would under some other method of providing police protection.
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    So, the following counterfactuals are true.

    a) If Jones is rich and is wronged, he gets £100
    b) If Jones is poor and is wronged, he gets <£100

    This does not seem like all are equal before the law to me. De facto, the poor person will not get the compensation that they are entitled to. This is a bad system.
    Hang on, don't you spend most of your time on this board defending progressive taxation? If you think that it is ipso facto bad that a system results in 'inequality before the law', where this is defined as nominal (not even %) money transfers being different, surely you should advocate a poll tax?
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    Please, you post in every single libertarian thread and even said yourself that you can't refute the libertarian idea of self-ownership on a philosophical level (paraphrasing).

    I give you 6 months before you are reversing the names in your sig :woo: :yes: :p:
    Probably, Nozick was a genius. What happened to all the hardcore socialists on this forum? Chomsky would destroy every libertarian on this forum without even trying.
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    Funny how everyone attacks private companies for solely focusing on profit-maximizing in every part of their business, but as soon as it comes to the idea of an obscenely unprofitable private war, they suddenly go completely against their previous overriding motive. When people come out with this stuff I've found it is almost always based in an emotional distrust of business (or emotional attachment to government) rather than any actual logic or reasoning.
    Good point, I have an inbuilt hatred for any company bigger than a corner shop.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Probably, Nozick was a genius. What happened to all the hardcore socialists on this forum? Chomsky would destroy every libertarian on this forum without even trying.
    Really? An 80 year old professional academic who has written scores of books could easily defeat a bunch of University students in a debate about politics? Shocking. That's like saying Hayek/von Mises/Rothbard would destroy every non-libertarian in this forum without even trying. It's true, it just doesn't really mean anything.

    But yeah, the hardcore socialists on this forum need to become more active. There are too many libertarians on this forum right now, it was much more interesting when more lefties were posting.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Good point, I have an inbuilt hatred for any company bigger than a corner shop.
    I'm not sure whether you are being sarcastic or whether you are being serious here (the internet sucks for conveying tone). If it is true, could you explain why you feel this way? I am interested in discovering the roots and causes of peoples dislike of capitalism and business.
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    I'm not sure whether you are being sarcastic or whether you are being serious here (the internet sucks for conveying tone). If it is true, could you explain why you feel this way? I am interested in discovering the roots and causes of peoples dislike of capitalism and business.
    It's not that I'm necessarily opposed to capitalism it is all the big corporations that come along with it. Even when these big corporations exist in an anarcho-capitalist framework they would still exist (and not just because they were given state help, which libertarians seem unwilling to rectify). In theory, people trading between themselves consensually seems fine but I think many libertarians fail to realise the practical situations in which they occur. If I sold you my car then we might be both happy with our car but the pollution caused will affect many who have not been consulted, that is why community planning is needed. As for corporations, I hate the corporate culture where everything has a value. What happened to love,solidarity and people helping each other (I know this sounds naive)? Corporations have no respect for ethics and will do anything to make a profit. I'm just an incredibly cynical person who sees what corporations really are.
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    Really? An 80 year old professional academic who has written scores of books could easily defeat a bunch of University students in a debate about politics? Shocking. That's like saying Hayek/von Mises/Rothbard would destroy every non-libertarian in this forum without even trying. It's true, it just doesn't really mean anything.

    But yeah, the hardcore socialists on this forum need to become more active. There are too many libertarians on this forum right now, it was much more interesting when more lefties were posting.
    What I wouldn't give to see a debate between Chomsky and Rothbard (shame the latter is dead)...

    I don't know where Oswy has been lately, he was a hardcore Marxist.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    It's not that I'm necessarily opposed to capitalism it is all the big corporations that come along with it. Even when these big corporations exist in an anarcho-capitalist framework they would still exist (and not just because they were given state help, which libertarians seem unwilling to rectify). In theory, people trading between themselves consensually seems fine but I think many libertarians fail to realise the practical situations in which they occur. If I sold you my car then we might be both happy with our car but the pollution caused will affect many who have not been consulted, that is why community planning is needed. As for corporations, I hate the corporate culture where everything has a value. What happened to love,solidarity and people helping each other (I know this sounds naive)? Corporations have no respect for ethics and will do anything to make a profit. I'm just an incredibly cynical person who sees what corporations really are.
    Politicians are different how? Corporations do anything to make a profit, but politicians are different how? They won't do anything to make money (yes, they are economic actors too)? They won't do anything to win an election? They won't do anything to give themselves more power?
 
 
 
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