Violence? - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By Mercenary
#14742875
Drlee wrote:The non-aggression principle is an unnecessary distinction. To those with well developed principles, no matter how they are attained, it should be greeted with, "Right. Soooo?


I have my own principles on non-aggression. If you study adherents of the NAP, you should recognize that my views are distinct from that of Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard.

I am frankly surprised that more libertarians and anarchists do not follow the teachings of Jesus whose message was right in their wheelhouse.


Anarchists do not believe in masters, which is why we have a high proportion of atheists and agnostics. There is a sizable christian community within anarchism, which bases their arguments on Christian theology.

My experience is that these libertards as some call them, are simply unwilling to limit their selfishness.


On the contrary...

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By recurnal
#14742879
Drlee wrote:I am frankly surprised that more libertarians and anarchists do not follow the teachings of Jesus whose message was right in their wheelhouse.

It's because many libertarians are stuck in the idea that nonaggression deserves a basis in rationality, not in faith. That's why I'm not a libertarian: these attempts to remove God from the picture and erect Reason in His place, while still retaining all the moral goodies, are doomed to failure.

Atheism is risky, in essence.
User avatar
By Drlee
#14742939
It's because many libertarians are stuck in the idea that nonaggression deserves a basis in rationality, not in faith. That's why I'm not a libertarian: these attempts to remove God from the picture and erect Reason in His place, while still retaining all the moral goodies, are doomed to failure.


Yes it is. You are absolutely correct that nonaggression "deserves a basis in rationality". I appreciate your turn of phrase here. I like it.

The rational person would have to sooner or later conclude that the nonaggression principle, in actual practice, only has a chance of succeeding as long as it does not confront a foe powerful enough to subjugate its adherents. So rationally, it is just another garden variety system of government reliant on the ability to control its populace and keep others who do not believe as they do out.

Of course the same can't be said of morality based upon religious belief. Even in defeat the religious person may still hold to his/her system of personal morality religiously derived. And I might add, look forward, though faith, to ultimate vindication.

“The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.” ((Bastait))


This is an oversimplification and not to be taken seriously. Bastiat was "being cute". Taken literally this saying does not make any sense. We all have our zingers with which to begin conversation. This would be a good one. Of course we have no examples in all of human history where large groups of people lived together and did not create some form of governance. And in none of the ones in which we have reliable information examples that did not require compromise and accommodation for any semblance of order.

"Since I do not live in a weightless vacuum and probably never will, I will continue to fear dropping a bowling ball on my foot more than I do dropping a feather."

Someday I will write a book attacking anarchism and libertarianism called, "Living Nowhere and Knowing No One".
User avatar
By Stegerwald
#14743457
@ Mercenary
Mercenary wrote:Do you believe violence is morally justified? If so, under what circumstances, if any?

I believe in a strict adherence to non-aggression. I believe that imprisonment, execution, conscription, torture, and institutional intimidation are all acts of aggression. I believe in common defense - Violence is warranted in defense of members of my community, when they are being subjected to acts of aggression.

A society can only survive, as long as some order exists. Since some citizens will reject (parts of) the ruling order, enforcement is unavoidable. The ultimate instrument of enforcement is violence. So yes, violence can be morally justified and is even existential.
User avatar
By Mercenary
#14743459
The ruling order is chaotic. More lives have been taken by rulers than by serial killers or bandits. The ratio does not even come close.

Society is not dependent on rule. In fact, rule creates almost all of the negative social conditions in society. Civilization certainly cannot exist with rule, evidenced by how every society with an established order has been materalisic and savage
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By JohnRawls
#14743467
NAP has been discussed in our religious teachings and many ideologies many times over the ages. Even communists hold a form of NAP in their ideology. Point is all those systems fail to provide a reasoning for it because each individual has his personal reasoning for it. One mans violence is another mans self defence as mentioned before. Religion usually is better at explaining NAP because its premise is not reasoning but faith or word of god.

Removing God from NAP seems to fail most of the time so if you don't accept 'Faith' or 'Word of God' basis then discussing it is rather pointless because actual rational explanation of NAP will differ from person to person due to their perspective, position in society etc.

NAP is a form of justice or at least basis of justice in most cases in my opinion. LIbertarians use it one way, The communist the other and so on and forth.... Reality shows that each system still has it justices and injustices be you Communist, Capitalist, Libertarian, Monarchist etc. There is no universal rational reasoning behind NAP or Justice and there can only be personal reasoning behind it.
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By Mercenary
#14743469
That is such a stupid argument. Non-aggression is immoral because there is currently no popular consensus on the moral usage of violence? Kind of exhausted with that lame fallacy.

Your point about personal reasoning makes no sense. Ever consider that the foremost moral obligation of an individual is to himself? Furthermore, non-aggression does have a collective reasoning. No aggression results in a peaceful society, and therefore net utility for all of its members.
User avatar
By One Degree
#14743532
    Ever consider that the foremost moral obligation of an individual is to himself?
This statement is only accepted by those with a liberal ideology. It is one of the basic differences between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives tend to place the group above the individual.
User avatar
By Ben_No3
#14743535
Violence is only and exclusively justified when used to protect the life of a entity that can be considered a person. However, it is justified when used to protect any life, there is not one life that does not deserve itself.
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By JohnRawls
#14743613
Mercenary wrote:That is such a stupid argument. Non-aggression is immoral because there is currently no popular consensus on the moral usage of violence? Kind of exhausted with that lame fallacy.

Your point about personal reasoning makes no sense. Ever consider that the foremost moral obligation of an individual is to himself? Furthermore, non-aggression does have a collective reasoning. No aggression results in a peaceful society, and therefore net utility for all of its members.


Not exactly but more or less correct. Violence is one part of NAP and justice is the other. Basically NAP tries to define what justice is assuming that everybody will follow the NAP because this is one condition under which it can trully exist. This is idealistic.

There are 2 ideological constructs in the modern world that can have NAP then:
1) Is christian understanding of heaven. (Because everybody there are in an equal bliss of sorts)
2) Is fully created communism. (Because communism tries to achieve 100% equality in status, income etc)

Since most of the people in the world have subjective opinions on morality then NAP simply can't exist in the way you envision. You consider taxes to be extortion for example. A true communist will consider taxes as a contribution to society. You will consider nationalisation as theft while a true communist will consider it as justified workers intervention.

Here is the key problem. NAP works only if everybody are willing to follow it but again this is not only the case.
So logically if A requires all to follow A for it to work but all do not follow A then A simply doesn't work.
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By The Immortal Goon
#14743615
Trotsky wrote:A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified. From the Marxist point of view, which expresses the historical interests of the proletariat, the end is justified if it leads to increasing the power of man over nature and to the abolition of the power of man over man.

“We are to understand then that in achieving this end anything is permissible?” sarcastically demands the Philistine, demonstrating that he understood nothing. That is permissible, we answer, which really leads to the liberation of mankind. Since this end can be achieved only through revolution, the liberating morality of the proletariat of necessity is endowed with a revolutionary character. It irreconcilably counteracts not only religious dogma but every kind of idealistic fetish, these philosophic gendarmes of the ruling class. It deduces a rule for conduct from the laws of the development of society, thus primarily from the class struggle, this law of all laws.

“Just the same,” the moralist continues to insist, “does it mean that in the class struggle against capitalists all means are permissible: lying, frame-up, betrayal, murder, and so on?” Permissible and obligatory are those and only those means, we answer, which unite the revolutionary proletariat, fill their hearts with irreconcilable hostility to oppression, teach them contempt for official morality and its democratic echoers, imbue them with consciousness of their own historic mission, raise their courage and spirit of self-sacrifice in the struggle. Precisely from this it flows that not all means are permissible. When we say that the end justifies the means, then for us the conclusion follows that the great revolutionary end spurns those base means and ways which set one part of the working class against other parts, or attempt to make the masses happy without their participation; or lower the faith of the masses in themselves and their organization, replacing it by worship for the “leaders”. Primarily and irreconcilably, revolutionary morality rejects servility in relation to the bourgeoisie and haughtiness in relation to the toilers, that is, those characteristics in which petty bourgeois pedants and moralists are thoroughly steeped.

These criteria do not, of course, give a ready answer to the question as to what is permissible and what is not permissible in each separate case. There can be no such automatic answers. Problems of revolutionary morality are fused with the problems of revolutionary strategy and tactics. The living experience of the movement under the clarification of theory provides the correct answer to these problems.

Dialectic materialism does not know dualism between means and end. The end flows naturally from the historical movement. Organically the means are subordinated to the end. The immediate end becomes the means for a further end.
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By JohnRawls
#14745026
Will you perhaps address my argument or are you going to continue name calling and attacking me personally? If it is an amateurish spin then post why it is an amateurish spin. We can have our own opinions and it doesn't necessarily mean that those opinions are wrong or correct. I presented mine, now if you want to say i am wrong then can you please provide examples and arguments why it is wrong/amateurish.

We have discussed this topic quite a lot over the years. The conclusion is that most ideologies(Communism, Capitalism, Theocratical monarchy etc) have a form of NAP in them. The key difference between them and NAP in libertarian/anarcho-capitalist sense is that NAP needs to be enforced while in Libertarian/Anarcho-capitalist view it is voluntary. (Because enforcing the NAP is a form of violence)

So most ideologies have an answer to a simple question: What do you do when you meat somebody not from your ideological view and who are not willing to follow your understanding of NAP? We can enforce our NAP over theirs. (Proletariat vs Bourgeoisie, Paganism vs Christianity, etc ) Note that this enforcement doesn't necessarily mean war or fighting but perhaps a different form of enforcement be it violent or non-violent.

Your NAP has no answer to this question: What do you do if you meat a person of another ideology who is not willing to follow your NAP? You can't really enforce it because it will be a violation of your NAP. So hence, everybody need to voluntarily follow your NAP which is not the case in the real world.
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By Drlee
#14745335
Your NAP has no answer to this question: What do you do if you meat a person of another ideology who is not willing to follow your NAP? You can't really enforce it because it will be a violation of your NAP. So hence, everybody need to voluntarily follow your NAP which is not the case in the real world.


I can't think of any ideology that doesn't have at least one Achilles heal. The NAP is it in spades for libertarians and their like.

Certainly it must be aspirational rather than absolute. Any attempt to follow it absolutely leads to laughable results. It is not aggression for my child to allow his bicycle bell sound waves to enter my neighbor's property but it most certainly is for me to aim a sonic canon at it.

The notion that private property is absolute leads to equally preposterous mind games as does any attempt to eliminate private property altogether.

I am not a libertarian but I attempt to weave the fabric of the nonaggression pact into my daily life. Any good Christian would, I believe. But it is not the ruling factor in my life. It is something to which I aspire and perhaps even more, wish others would aspire.

I am a retired soldier. I served during a couple of wars. I am well acquainted with the application of and defense from violence. I dislike violence intensely. I am certainly not naïve enough to completely rule it out. Oddly, it may seem to some, I find those who most stringently eschew violence, dangerous. Their attitude leads to carelessness and victimization. This leads to a permissiveness in the face of wrongdoing that encourages more wrongdoing. When does passivity end and enabling begin? What duty have I to protect my fellow humans even if it means that I must resort to the violence I abhor?

I am persuaded that John Rawls, with whom I have engaged several times over the years, has this about right. We could argue about the level of dogmatism we might insist upon/accept but that is just politics after all. We might argue until one of us hits the other with a stick but what can you do?

Note to Mercenary. John Rawls is one of the most respected posters here. If you can't learn from him (as most of the rest of us have done) at least you could try being just a bit polite.



User avatar
By One Degree
#14745341
I find those who most stringently eschew violence, dangerous. Their attitude leads to carelessness and victimization.

I fully agree. The most difficult thing about raising 5 children was trying to bring them up non-violent, but yet willing to defend themselves. It is a very narrow line to walk, because people who are not aggressive are already at an extreme disadvantage in conflict.
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By vinnydell
#14857943
In my view, non violence against aggressors can be morally as bad as taking their side and carrying out mass murder with them. In that context, I believe we were absolutely right to declare war on Nazi Germany.

We were wrong however, to betray Poland at the end of the war and leave it under the rule of Stalin.
By Atlantis
#14858148
vinnydell wrote:In my view, non violence against aggressors can be morally as bad as taking their side and carrying out mass murder with them. In that context, I believe we were absolutely right to declare war on Nazi Germany.

We were wrong however, to betray Poland at the end of the war and leave it under the rule of Stalin.

So, at the end of the day, what was the objective? To help Poland or to betray Poland? How can a regime reconcile such contradictory objectives?

The bottom line is that you didn't give a fuck about Poland but needed a narrative to justify the use of violence. That brings us to the crux of the matter, which is that there is a difference between "the use of violence under certain specific conditions" and "advocating the use of violence." The former may or may not be justified depending on circumstances, the second is the deliberate use of violence to further your own objectives.

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