Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist' Watch

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simontinsley
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#3801
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#3801
(Original post by Aeolus)
Any assertion about justification is entirely worthless when you start half-way in.

I could say to you, what justification is there for a group of people to enforce a distribution of land and property that was established with force, coercion and theft?

After all, the current system was in no way whatsoever distributed fairly and justly. This undermines completely any rightous rehtoric about property rights and theft.
Actually, it doesn't. That only leads you to the conclusion that you may take a portion of the land into effective public ownership? Which portion? The bit that would have existed regardless of man. If someone works for a wage, the enforcement of supposedly unjust property rights does not make it right to take a portion of those wages. If someone buys a good, the enforcement of supposedly unjust property rights does not make it right to take a portion of the agreed price...and so on.

Indeed, the only justifiable tax, even taking your assertion that property rights are unjustly distributed, is that of unimproved land - something I'm entirely happy with.
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Aeolus
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#3802
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#3802
(Original post by simontinsley)
Actually, it doesn't. That only leads you to the conclusion that you may take a portion of the land into effective public ownership? Which portion? The bit that would have existed regardless of man. If someone works for a wage, the enforcement of supposedly unjust property rights does not make it right to take a portion of those wages. If someone buys a good, the enforcement of supposedly unjust property rights does not make it right to take a portion of the agreed price...and so on.

No, you miss my point entirely. I am saying that this situation undermines entirely any accusation of theft or right etc..etc.. I didn't make any value judgement in my reply to the user. I merely stated that this situation removes the substance from his argument.

So, in effect, theft itself becomes entierly subjective.
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simontinsley
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#3803
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#3803
(Original post by Aeolus)
No, you miss my point entirely. I am saying that this situation undermines entirely any accusation of theft or right etc..etc.. I didn't make any value judgement in my reply to the user. I merely stated that this situation removes the substance from his argument.

So, what is theft becomes entierly subjective.
It doesn't. It does not dismiss or undermine the claim that the government taking a portion of your wages is theft, for example. You make the objection that property rights (of natural land, I presume, unless you think man-made improvements are common property) are theft, which is why only a tax to correct that cannot be considered theft.
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Aeolus
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#3804
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#3804
(Original post by simontinsley)
It doesn't. It does not dismiss or undermine the claim that the government taking a portion of your wages is theft, for example. You make the objection that property rights (of natural land, I presume, unless you think man-made improvements are common property) are theft, which is why only a tax to correct that cannot be considered theft.

But there are entire myriad of reasons for inequality in our society due to past, present and abstract events which make the entire thing subjective. You have obviously compromised and do not consider tax to be theft.

You have contradicted yourself also. You say that the Government taking a portion of your wages is theft... Yet you go on to say that the government taking a portion of your wages for a reason you agree with is not.

The government cannot take anything if you are not working so it will always be a portion of your wage. Evidently you also believe it to be subjective?

Is taxation theft or not? Why am I not correct in saying that property is theft? After all wherever I go I am coercively prevented from stepping on certain parts of the Earth's surface. There are no absolutes in this.
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Doubledog
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#3805
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#3805
Do socialists believe that animals such as horses should be paid for the work they do? What minimum wage is recommended for a cart horse and should all horses get the same wage? Should a basic bank account for animals being a statutory requirement?
Should animals be allowed to own their own piece of land/shelter and being given an allowance for food and heating?
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Aeolus
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#3806
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#3806
(Original post by Doubledog)
Do socialists believe that animals such as horses should be paid for the work they do? What minimum wage is recommended for a cart horse and should all horses get the same wage? Should a basic bank account for animals being a statutory requirement?
Should animals be allowed to own their own piece of land/shelter and being given an allowance for food and heating?

On what basis do you feel animals should be afforded the same status as human beings?
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Doubledog
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#3807
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#3807
Their dna is in many cases almost the same as human beings' dna. they feel pain and emotions just as humans do, they communicate with each other and in the case of dogs, understand human language and gestures. Animals do useful work for other animals and for human beings, contributing to the economy and gdp.
In many cases, human beings who own propery are less intelligent than many animals.
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Aeolus
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#3808
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#3808
(Original post by Doubledog)
Their dna is in many cases almost the same as human beings' dna. they feel pain and emotions just as humans do, they communicate with each other and in the case of dogs, understand human language and gestures. Animals do useful work for other animals and for human beings, contributing to the economy and gdp.
So what? How do you make the leap from this being the case to human society granting animals human status?


In many cases, human beings who own propery are less intelligent than many animals.
Wow, you obviously know what you are talking about.
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Hy~
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#3809
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#3809
(Original post by Doubledog)
In many cases, human beings who own propery are less intelligent than many animals.
I had long suspected this, thank you for the confirmation.

EDIT: You're the same dude who tried to spin inflation as a bad thing for borrowers. My quip is now (depressingly) true.
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Lord Hysteria
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#3810
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#3810
(Original post by Aeolus)
On what basis do you feel animals should be afforded the same status as human beings?
Why shouldn't they? We what makes us so special? All we have is the evolutionary advantage of being more powerful. I'm currently trying to formulate my views on "animal rights," but not in the conventional sense that people speak of rights. Hmm, just a few thoughts I have on this ...
Aeolus
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#3811
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#3811
(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
Why shouldn't they? We what makes us so special? All we have is the evolutionary advantage of being more powerful. I'm currently trying to formulate my views on "animal rights," but not in the conventional sense that people speak of rights. Hmm, just a few thoughts I have on this ...
Why should they is as equally valid a question. It is entirely subjective, I personally believe in a responsibility of care with regards to the animal kingdom and I suppose the enviroment at large.

But talk of equal rights for animals is all very wishy-washy and utopian. As far as the Lib interpretation goes; responsibility is intrinsic to any conception of rights. Animals currently cannot even begin to comprehend that concept and so it falls dramtically.
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Doubledog
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#3812
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#3812
(Original post by Aeolus)
Why should they is as equally valid a question. It is entirely subjective, I personally believe in a responsibility of care with regards to the animal kingdom and I suppose the enviroment at large.

But talk of equal rights for animals is all very wishy-washy and utopian. As far as the Lib interpretation goes; responsibility is intrinsic to any conception of rights. Animals currently cannot even begin to comprehend that concept and so it falls dramtically.
A person who is in a deep coma can legally own property while a fully conscious dog cannot. That is patently unfair. I would be happier for a dog to own LloydsTSB than the government and shareholders. I don't think an intelligent dog such as a border collie would have given so many 100% percent mortgages to people who couldn't afford them.
You say that an animal cannot comprehend certain concepts but with regard to property ownership I would disagree : a dog knows its own bone or kennel and will fight to prevent it from being taken away.
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Aeolus
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#3813
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#3813
(Original post by Doubledog)
That is patently unfair. I would be happier for a dog to own LloydsTSB than the government and shareholders. I don't think an intelligent dog such as a border collie would have given so many 100% percent mortgages to people who couldn't afford them.
You say that an animal cannot comprehend certain concepts but with regard to property ownership I would disagree : a dog knows its own bone or kennel and will fight to prevent it from being taken away.

Of course it can *pats on the head*
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D.R.E
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#3814
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#3814
(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
Why shouldn't they? We what makes us so special? All we have is the evolutionary advantage of being more powerful. I'm currently trying to formulate my views on "animal rights," but not in the conventional sense that people speak of rights. Hmm, just a few thoughts I have on this ...
This is an excellent post however, according animals 'rights' in a legal sense would be very problematic in human society. Rights are a very human idea and animals have no way of conceiving what they are. It's not like there is a way of enforcing rights between the animals themselves. We can't prosecute a snake for taking away the 'right to life' of a rat for example.

And even within human society, people still view animals like a necessary part of their diets - something they have done for thousands of years. While you and I might hold a differing view, but as liberals, it's not exactly consistent to desire enforcement of our views on other people simply because we think it's right - but I can certainly understand the temptation!
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Doubledog
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#3815
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#3815
While I tend to agree that animals cannot understand the legal concept of rights that humans have developed, it doesn't mean that they don't understand the concept of possession. We don't restrict rights to only those human beings who are able to pass a test that shows they understand the rights they have; I think that if we did that many people would fail, even though they are fully conscious.
There are many human beings who. although conscious, don't understand the legal concept of ownership, sometimes because of gross stupidity and sometimes because they are mentally ill, in a coma or suffering from senility.I think that if someone choses to leave their estate to their cat , dog, snake or canary, that animal should have its own bank account and should be able to access the wealth in the account to obtain the food it prefers or the accommodation it finds more preferable. Of course, this would require the services of a person to buy and present the food etc to the animal but the animal could indicate its preferences by barking etc and making gestural indications when alternative foods or places to live are supplied to it.
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Lord Hysteria
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#3816
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#3816
(Original post by D.R.E)
This is an excellent post however, according animals 'rights' in a legal sense would be very problematic in human society. Rights are a very human idea and animals have no way of conceiving what they are. It's not like there is a way of enforcing rights between the animals themselves. We can't prosecute a snake for taking away the 'right to life' of a rat for example.

And even within human society, people still view animals like a necessary part of their diets - something they have done for thousands of years. While you and I might hold a differing view, but as liberals, it's not exactly consistent to desire enforcement of our views on other people simply because we think it's right - but I can certainly understand the temptation!
I don't think it is a question of animals understanding their rights, but rather, that they act as if they have rights.

If you try and take a lioness cubs, then she'll act as if she has a higher right to the cubs than you. Prides of lions seem to divide the land, as their hunting grounds. This is clearly private property at work.

But there is something distasteful about rights being unique to homosapiens, or anything that has the "status as human beings", in my view ...

It's only recently that I have been thinking about animal rights, and I often wonder what claim do I have to eat another animal - other than the evolutionary upper-hand ... I still enjoy meat though, so merh ...
D.R.E
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#3817
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#3817
(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
I don't think it is a question of animals understanding their rights, but rather, that they act as if they have rights.

If you try and take a lioness cubs, then she'll act as if she has a higher right to the cubs than you. Prides of lions seem to divide the land, as their hunting grounds. This is clearly private property at work.

But there is something distasteful about rights being unique to homosapiens, or anything that has the "status as human beings", in my view ...

It's only recently that I have been thinking about animal rights, and I often wonder what claim do I have to eat another animal - other than the evolutionary upper-hand ... I still enjoy meat though, so merh ...
Haha, I can understand the last point; even though I'm a vegetarian, I often have some... 'accidents'

But the thing is, while that lioness recognises her own 'private property', it certainly does not recognise the 'private property' of other animals which have less of an evolutionary advantage. Thinking about it now, you can see many examples of private property systems among animals; but this mostly 'intra-species'; there is little to no 'inter-species' recognition of property rights.

It is extremely distasteful, I certainly agree, but it's the only possible way things can be done. Unless we learn how to communicate with dolphins and whales (which are the only animals with brains developed enough to do so IIRC), this is how it's going to stay.
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Lord Hysteria
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#3818
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#3818
(Original post by D.R.E)
Haha, I can understand the last point; even though I'm a vegetarian, I often have some... 'accidents'

But the thing is, while that lioness recognises her own 'private property', it certainly does not recognise the 'private property' of other animals which have less of an evolutionary advantage. Thinking about it now, you can see many examples of private property systems among animals; but this mostly 'intra-species'; there is little to no 'inter-species' recognition of property rights.

It is extremely distasteful, I certainly agree, but it's the only possible way things can be done. Unless we learn how to communicate with dolphins and whales (which are the only animals with brains developed enough to do so IIRC), this is how it's going to stay.
Yes, I think the justification would come from the concept of "power". That trouble is that this discussion involves evolution ...

Put short, there is an equal power when both sides can retaliate to an equal amount. When that happens, I think property rights are respected. When there is a disequilibrium, then property rights are not respected. I am not sure if animals (and plants etc ...) are supposed to respect property rights. That seems to defeat the object of evolution.
D.R.E
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#3819
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#3819
(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
Yes, I think the justification would come from the concept of "power". That trouble is that this discussion involves evolution ...

Put short, there is an equal power when both sides can retaliate to an equal amount. When that happens, I think property rights are respected. When there is a disequilibrium, then property rights are not respected. I am not sure if animals (and plants etc ...) are supposed to respect property rights. That seems to defeat the object of evolution.
Indeed; it's a pretty complicated issue really, so I think seeing as we can't observe any kind of inter-species recognition of property rights (or any rights for that matter), no one can make any blanket assertions as to the legal status of other animals in human society. It should be left up to the individual how they are to interact with animals. This why I personally do not support laws that force companies to treat animals in a certain way; market forces would be better for this than government anyway.

There's no particularly good reason why, in a modern industrialist society - with our mass agriculture systems - to eat meat. We have access to much better sources of nutrients than meat, so from an evolutionary perspective, humans no longer need to eat meat. The only reason people still do so is, as you said, they like the taste - which is something I can't blame them for really, it is very nice.
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Bourgeois
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#3820
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#3820
It's not clear to me why the libertarian conception of rights excludes animals. Can anyone elaborate on this? And I think we're on the wrong part of the forum. Perhaps we ought to take this to PT&P.
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