Libertarianism

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Pfhorrest
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:49 am UTC

Jose are you familiar with Rawls or did you just come up with the same concept on your own right now?
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:13 am UTC

I am not familiar with Rawls; I don't study philosophy. However, the idea it embodies (what if you were to become somebody else at random; what would you want?) is closely related to empathy. Neither the idea of empathy nor this particular statement of it is original to me. There are many variants and adaptations, for example "Be nice to people on the way up; you will meet them again on the way down", "one cuts and the other chooses", and it's a foundational principle of karma (though it's put differently).

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:38 am UTC

I just thought, if you were not making reference to it yourself, you might enjoy reading about Rawls' Original Position concept, which is a great formalization and elaboration of the idea.

FYI Rawls is the main contemporary opponent of Nozick who is the main contemporary advocate of libertarianism (broadly construed, including anarchism) in political philosophy. (I like a lot of what both of them have to say, FWIW).
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:39 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Thesh wrote:People do sell themselves into slavery today...
Let's just be clear on the meaning of the word "slavery". Do you mean it in the sense of actual slaves, such as the ones that were stolen from Africa to work the plantations in the (US) South prior to the Civil War? The ones that were legally treated as property - as chattel like a stove or a horse?

Or do you mean the word as an emotionally loaded metaphor for having to work for money because with no money they could not buy food, because food isn't free?

Working for a living is not slavery (despite the amusing references to it as such in popular culture).

I do understand that low end labor (Walmart employees, fast food employees, day laborers) is easy to exploit, and that this leads to bad outcomes if such employers are not held to some account (though I don't agree with your solution). But if you are calling such folk "slaves" it's important that we all be on the same page about it.

Otherwise, we'll just talk past each other.
You'll also talk past each other if you fail to acknowledge the immense range of coerced labor between literal chattel slavery and working for barely livable wages.

Tyndmyr wrote:some shit about healthcare
Even if we granted for the sake of argument that employment based health insurance counted as a safety net, it's a very different manner of safety net than any of the other things that get called that, and your insistence on discussing it alone is cherry picking.

If you want to argue that safety netS (plural) tend to do a thing, you've got to cite more than one example.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:03 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Thesh wrote:No, it's not obvious. If the government doesn't pay for it, you either don't get it at all, or you pay for it yourself. In neither case does that mean we are wealthier.

I think the theory is that the market is highly efficient, and that if the market isn't providing some service, it's because that service isn't optimal for growth.

Therefore, so the theory goes, taxing the wealthy in order to fund that service is taking money that would have been invested in something 'efficient' (like a better widget making factory) and instead investing it in something 'inefficient' (like palliative care for disabled kids).

And that's where the battle-lines are drawn really: Are there forms of growth other than simple raw economic growth that societies should be concerned with? "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" and all that.


Indeed. You end up with a fundamental disagreement between libertarians and other philosophies at this point. Libertarians take the approach that if society is more profitable and efficient, compounding gains will eventually make the cost trivial, so they generally take an economic approach rather than one motivated by attempting to mitigate the most suffering now.

Sure, everyone accepts that there is some balance, but they may not put the point at the same place.

ucim wrote:I do understand that low end labor (Walmart employees, fast food employees, day laborers) is easy to exploit, and that this leads to bad outcomes if such employers are not held to some account (though I don't agree with your solution).


A big part is, I think, enforcing existing rules. For instance, requiring people to work unpaid overtime, and not log their hours, is exploitive. The deal struck is to work at $x/hr. If the employer is suddenly changing that, it's obviously foul play. The default assumption for work is also that one has basic time available to say, go pee. If you expect a person to work a four hour shift doing something physical without even a bathroom break, I think one has an obligation to make that *very* clear up front. It's not a standard or reasonable expectation.


Tyndmyr wrote:So, as one effect of the current US safety net setup, some people may experience significantly less health care choice. Not changing jobs because it might threaten coverage. [...] In the US, I think we'd be better off if we decoupled insurance from [employment],...
This is a known issue; Obama addressed it by making health care portable. It's actually paid for by individuals - a (tax-advantaged) benefit in lieu of salary (or welfare payments). It's not a total fix; you can't get there from here in one swell foop.


Yeah. It's a patch, in some respects, but the system as a whole is still a bit leaky.

Insurance, as a concept, is self contradictory. It exists because of ignorance (of the future), and this incentivizes clients and insurers to acquire knowledge to be used against the other. Here insurers clearly have the advangage. But the more knowledge that exists, the less that insurance makes sense, because knowledge is a way to make sure that those who would benefit from insurance, don't.

This is the fundamental issue with health care, but it shows up in anything that is insurable. And addressing this is the fundamental reason for the (health insurance) mandate. Insurance is a contract which requires ignorance in order to make sense. Asymmetric knowledge, especially unaccessible asymmetric knowledge, is a problem, usually for the consumer.

Has libertarianism given this concept any deep thought? Because it's a trap.


The information is conveyed in the form of prices. An efficient market prices in information, even if that information is not known to all parties. In realistic terms, if the insurance company suddenly decides your health insurance prices need to rise(and everyone else's don't), that indicates that they know something about your health in predictive terms.

Real life information may not be all comprehensive in that way yet, but it certainly could be if we consider a future with more invasive and personal information gathering.

Non-insurance fixes also exist, though. A common one is to look at the cost of health care. A surprise need for a prescription is a problem relative to it's cost. A couple bucks for a bottle of generics is pretty affordable for most. However, at the top end of the range, prescriptions can be a significant budget problem for most people. If you have IP laws that are more friendly to generics, you can lower average costs.

Tyndmyr wrote:Much inequity is a result of coercion, but certainly not all of it is. Libertarianism is largely focused on fixing the coercive parts.
Much inequity is also mitigated by coercion; libertarianism (it seems to me) would fight that.


Libertarianism's view on power is a bit more cynical. They take Madison's view on power that it naturally tends to be self interested and expansive. Therefore, they view coercion as generally not desirable and trending greatly towards evil.

This is mostly mitigated, in theory, by balancing powers against one another, and keeping them limited. In the real world, this is often challenging.

Tyndmyr wrote:Libertarianism doesn't have anything against safety nets so long as people have a way to opt out.
Libertarians may well ask "Would you like a safety net? Sign here.", but that's kind of disingenouous: People who aren't at risk of falling don't need one. Perhaps if they were asked: "You are going to become somebody else - at random. Would you like that new person that you might (or might not) become to have a safety net? Sign here." I bet you'd get a different response.


You probably would get a different response. However, in the real world, one is unlikely to suddenly become someone else at random. It's an interesting hypothetical question to ask, but it's not a question that can be addressed by markets. I mean, sure, someone attempting to sell it could use either question, but the latter example is basically charity. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not exclusive to any libertarian system.

That said, some may desire a safety net even if they are personally doing well at the time. One's fortunes can change throughout one's life, and that's a practical reason to think about safety nets.

gmalivuk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:some shit about healthcare
Even if we granted for the sake of argument that employment based health insurance counted as a safety net, it's a very different manner of safety net than any of the other things that get called that, and your insistence on discussing it alone is cherry picking.

If you want to argue that safety netS (plural) tend to do a thing, you've got to cite more than one example.


Feel free to read back over any of my other examples then. If you disagree with the conclusion, feel free to cite a counter-example.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:47 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I just thought, if you were not making reference to it yourself, you might enjoy reading about Rawls' Original Position concept, which is a great formalization and elaboration of the idea.

FYI Rawls is the main contemporary opponent of Nozick who is the main contemporary advocate of libertarianism (broadly construed, including anarchism) in political philosophy. (I like a lot of what both of them have to say, FWIW).
Thanks. Interesting presentation.

gmalivuk wrote:You'll also talk past each other if you fail to acknowledge the immense range of coerced labor between literal chattel slavery and working for barely livable wages.
I do acknowledge that. But it's a different conversation; the essential part being that literal chattel slavery comes from a philosophical view (that it's ok), and working for barely livable wages is an implementation issue (that slavery is not ok, but disparate economic power has adverse effects). This is why calling one the other is mendacious.

Tyndmyr wrote:A big part is, I think, enforcing existing rules. For instance, requiring people to work unpaid overtime, and not log their hours, is exploitive.
Indeed it is. But wouldn't a libertarian say "well, that's what the contract says"? And what about the part here where it says "we can change the rules, and you can't"? That's a contract too, commonly used and legally enforcable in present day society.

Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah. [The Affordable Care Act is] a patch, in some respects, but the system as a whole is still a bit leaky.
Of course it is. It always will be - no system is perfect, and no perfect system will ever be reached because people disagree on what "perfect" is. But don't make perfect the enemy of the good.

Tyndmyr wrote:The information is conveyed in the form of prices. An efficient market prices in information...
An efficient market, by definition, includes perfect information. If there were perfect information, there would be no insurance. The goal of the insurance companies is to have all the info (so they can profit more efficiently allocate their resources), and is thus self-extinguishing (as big data grows).

That was my point.

Tyndmyr wrote:Non-insurance fixes also exist, though. A common one is to look at the cost of health care. A surprise need for a prescription is a problem relative to it's cost. A couple bucks for a bottle of generics is pretty affordable for most. However, at the top end of the range, prescriptions can be a significant budget problem for most people. If you have IP laws that are more friendly to generics, you can lower average costs.
I think there's some magical thinking here. If IP laws were more friendly to generics, they would be less friendly to research and development. And sure, profits would go down (saving consumers money) but if this were a big enough issue, one could get on the other side of it by buying pharma stocks, and participating in the bonanza.

Health care cost negotiation (and its cousin, obfuscation) is a big problem; perhaps a defining problem in health care. It certainly increases the cost of health care. But it's not the fundamental reason health care is expensive - that fundamental reason is that health care requires resources (people, research, chemicals, schooling, equipment... lawyers...) and those resources cost money. Somebody has to pay for it.

Tyndmyr wrote:However, in the real world, one is unlikely to suddenly become someone else at random. It's an interesting hypothetical [but]...
In other words, "I've got mine".

No, it's not exclusive to libertarianism. It's common. But it does seem (at first glance) to be a defining difference between liberalism and conservatism.

Jose
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:22 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:A big part is, I think, enforcing existing rules. For instance, requiring people to work unpaid overtime, and not log their hours, is exploitive.
Indeed it is. But wouldn't a libertarian say "well, that's what the contract says"? And what about the part here where it says "we can change the rules, and you can't"? That's a contract too, commonly used and legally enforcable in present day society.


Arbitrarily changing the contract later doesn't generally have a lot of validity. Actually important at present, because Moviepass is trying this exact thing, and it isn't flying. Their year long subscription included a "we can change the terms at any times and not give you a refund" clause, and then they greatly modified the terms without prior notice, and long story short, customers are getting their money back. Moviepass's gambit seems pretty ill advised. So, doing this isn't usually enforceable in present day society. Nor should it be!

The libertarian love affair with contracts is predicated on mutual acceptance. If you have very unusual needs, as is true for some professions(a doc can't take breaks willy nilly during surgery), then it's got to be made clear up front. Actually made clear, not merely hidden in the fine print of a seventy page document. There's nothing wrong with that, so long as everyone is clear on what they agree to, but the real world abuse seems to be implemented in other ways. Policy changes, enforcement changes, and lots of pressure to go along with it, with nobody actually bothering to sit down and reopen bargaining with the worker. It's just one party unilaterally altering the deal.

Tyndmyr wrote:The information is conveyed in the form of prices. An efficient market prices in information...
An efficient market, by definition, includes perfect information. If there were perfect information, there would be no insurance. The goal of the insurance companies is to have all the info (so they can profit more efficiently allocate their resources), and is thus self-extinguishing (as big data grows).

That was my point.


Sure. It still serves a useful purpose until we eventually reach that point, though.

And if we ever *can* perfectly predict future health costs, we'll be vastly better equipped to deal with them. A great many health costs are far more affordable when dealt with pre-emptively. Long term, we want this sort of information to be available. The fact that it kills health insurance companies as we know them today is unfortunate for them...but no industry is obligated to exist. The market changes.

Tyndmyr wrote:Non-insurance fixes also exist, though. A common one is to look at the cost of health care. A surprise need for a prescription is a problem relative to it's cost. A couple bucks for a bottle of generics is pretty affordable for most. However, at the top end of the range, prescriptions can be a significant budget problem for most people. If you have IP laws that are more friendly to generics, you can lower average costs.
I think there's some magical thinking here. If IP laws were more friendly to generics, they would be less friendly to research and development. And sure, profits would go down (saving consumers money) but if this were a big enough issue, one could get on the other side of it by buying pharma stocks, and participating in the bonanza.


There are some tradeoffs here. Also, biopharma as an industry does well, but it's not top of the pack. You'd be a great deal better off investing in computer sciences or trucking or something.

Costs do usually involve some tradeoffs, but in some cases, other countries are already exploiting them. In particular, India makes a lot of generics, and they're used in a great many countries. It's part of why US medical care is more costly. In effect, our research costs are subsidizing the rest of the world. IP laws have a lot of secondary/tertiary effects, and the ripples spread pretty far.

Health care cost negotiation (and its cousin, obfuscation) is a big problem; perhaps a defining problem in health care. It certainly increases the cost of health care. But it's not the fundamental reason health care is expensive - that fundamental reason is that health care requires resources (people, research, chemicals, schooling, equipment... lawyers...) and those resources cost money. Somebody has to pay for it.


To some extent. However, aspects of health care that have been pushed into the retail world and mass marketed have gotten a great deal cheaper. One probably can't do that with everything. Some conditions simply are too rare for that to be viable. However, if we can cut costs on the more common things, we can save money overall.

Vaccines are probably the single biggest investment there. Not only do they pretty directly save money, but they can actually eradicate a disease, leaving us better off henceforth. Stamping out smallpox and the like is a fantastic investment. Every such disease eradicated allows more efficiency in future health care resource expenditures.

Anyways, all of those things that health care uses are also things used by other industries. All of the above are used in creating say, a USB drive, but I can pick one of those up for a few dollars pretty much anywhere. They ought not make health care immune to cost reduction. This is particularly true for the US as our health care, while good, is quite expensive.

Tyndmyr wrote:However, in the real world, one is unlikely to suddenly become someone else at random. It's an interesting hypothetical [but]...
In other words, "I've got mine".

No, it's not exclusive to libertarianism. It's common. But it does seem (at first glance) to be a defining difference between liberalism and conservatism.

Jose


Not at all. It's simply an acknowledgement that while you can appeal to any of a person's desires, greed tends to be pretty effective. Libertarianism doesn't require any particular approach, but libertarians do expect that more people are going to buy things they need than they will donate to cover the needs of others. Both are useful, but if you're planning out a solution, you've got to keep expectations realistic.

One can look at charitable donations today for verification. Sure, people do donate a good deal to charity, but it's small relative to spending on one's self. Therefore, one can expect that while charity will exist in a libertarian world, and will cover some aspects that today are offloaded to safety nets, the general safety net will be smaller.

If you think you've got a way to make people act with more empathy, go for it.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:00 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Arbitrarily changing the contract later doesn't generally have a lot of validity. Actually important at present, because Moviepass is trying this exact thing, and it isn't flying. [...] So, doing this isn't usually enforceable in present day society. Nor should it be!
I agree it shouldn't be, and I'm gratified moviepass is being pushed back on. Are they being pushed back by law, or by public opinion? In any case these clauses (scare clauses, perhaps) are in pretty much every mass market contract. Look at your email, banking, CC, software, internet/ISP, and individual website contracts. I'd like to see them get successful pushback. Moviepass is small potatoes. I would need to see more before I'm convinced that somebody will prevail against MasterCard or Gmail.

Some terms need to be flexible; some don't. There's no border between them.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you think you've got a way to make people act with more empathy, go for it.
Awareness and discussion is a start. Without empathy, we end up with the present political situation, which I think holds the seeds for the end of democracy and freedom. It probably won't happen like that [/wishful thinking], but a 10% chance of meatballs is too much.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:28 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Arbitrarily changing the contract later doesn't generally have a lot of validity. Actually important at present, because Moviepass is trying this exact thing, and it isn't flying. [...] So, doing this isn't usually enforceable in present day society. Nor should it be!
I agree it shouldn't be, and I'm gratified moviepass is being pushed back on. Are they being pushed back by law, or by public opinion? In any case these clauses (scare clauses, perhaps) are in pretty much every mass market contract. Look at your email, banking, CC, software, internet/ISP, and individual website contracts. I'd like to see them get successful pushback. Moviepass is small potatoes. I would need to see more before I'm convinced that somebody will prevail against MasterCard or Gmail.

Some terms need to be flexible; some don't. There's no border between them.


Moviepass is currently getting screwed every which way from lawsuits to a hammered stock price, to public opinion problems, to corporate partners bailing on them. It was blatant enough and public enough that it's going extremely poorly for them as a company. It's certainly true that less overt dodgy examples slide by, though.

EULA's are generally not up to the standards of a proper contract. Even disregarding the mixed applicability of them in the real world, they often don't meet libertarian standards for a contract. Many, for instance, are accepted by "using the website" or even opening the box. However, in order to read the contract, you've had to perform those steps. You cannot meaningfully indicate your agreement with something without the opportunity to even read it.

The above is not a solely libertarian objection, but is raised by pretty much everyone save for those with a highly pro-corporate view. In this fashion, libertarian contracts would end up being somewhat stricter than today's standards. Libertarians tend to require individual explicit agreement.

Long as I'm bashing on EULAs, I also think there's an implicit requirement of folks being able to understand the contract. Reasonable language, reasonable length, rather than endless pages of legal boilerplate. The current situation is that nobody reads the things because it's a pile of tedium that doesn't get to the actual point. Hiding something on page 17 is an attempt to bypass a requirement for consent, not an attempt to actually receive consent. The android like pop-up of "this application is requesting permission to access your camera. Allow/deny" is far more useful than EULAs are.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you think you've got a way to make people act with more empathy, go for it.
Awareness and discussion is a start. Without empathy, we end up with the present political situation, which I think holds the seeds for the end of democracy and freedom. It probably won't happen like that [/wishful thinking], but a 10% chance of meatballs is too much.

Jose


I'm all for trying out ideas to try to better humanity, but I think our government should be based on the sort of humanity we have now, and allow the possibility for change, rather than being reliant upon it.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:44 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:some shit about healthcare
Even if we granted for the sake of argument that employment based health insurance counted as a safety net, it's a very different manner of safety net than any of the other things that get called that, and your insistence on discussing it alone is cherry picking.

If you want to argue that safety netS (plural) tend to do a thing, you've got to cite more than one example.

Feel free to read back over any of my other examples then. If you disagree with the conclusion, feel free to cite a counter-example.

Which of your examples included citations about overall wealth?

ucim wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:You'll also talk past each other if you fail to acknowledge the immense range of coerced labor between literal chattel slavery and working for barely livable wages.
I do acknowledge that. But it's a different conversation; the essential part being that literal chattel slavery comes from a philosophical view (that it's ok), and working for barely livable wages is an implementation issue (that slavery is not ok, but disparate economic power has adverse effects). This is why calling one the other is mendacious.
If you do acknowledge the range of things between the two, why do you persist in the false dichotomy, declaring any conversation that isn't about US-style chattel slavery to be a different conversation, on the basis that it must be about working for low minimum-or-above wages?

We can all agree that making a livable income and having options to do other work while still making enough to live is not slavery, and we can all agree that chattel slavery is slavery, yes? The disagreement is about where between those two extremes the line between "slavery" and "not slavery" should be drawn. All you've done is reject the idea of "wage slave", but that only cuts off a bit of one end of the continuum, it doesn't get you out of discussing the entire rest of it just because Thesh wasn't talking about the opposite extreme.

Does indentured servitude count? It was already explicitly mentioned in the post you took half a sentence from. Is prison labor slavery? What about the range of things the UN considers forms of human trafficking? There's a continuum of coerced labor, and "voluntary slavery" might to varying degrees of accuracy be used to describe entering into certain forms of it.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:00 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If you do acknowledge the range of things between the two, why do you persist in the false dichotomy, declaring any conversation that isn't about US-style chattel slavery to be a different conversation, on the basis that it must be about working for low minimum-or-above wages?
Because it's an appeal to emotionally charged thinking rather than an appeal to reason. Wage slavery is slavery like statutory rape is rape. All of them are bad, but they are different kinds of bad, for different reasons. And that matters.

There isn't a "line to be drawn" between them because it's not a continuum - neither in the case of wage slavery vs chattel slavery, or statutory rape vs violent rape. They are different things.

Using one word to talk about the other is a deliberate attempt to muddy the water.

Indentured servitude is (in theory) just a long term work contract tied to a debt. Essentially, the worker gets his salary in advance (like an author), and has to work it off. Now, any time there is a debt, there is potential for abuse, but it's the abuse that's the issue, not the contract itself.

Human trafficking is certainly a tool of (chattel) slavery. It needn't result in that, but often does.

As to "voluntary" slavery, calling a tail a leg doesn't help a horse to walk. But a kangaroo makes it work.

Jose
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:10 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Which of your examples included citations about overall wealth?


This seems obvious, but sure, federal Medicaid spending has tripled since 1990. The program has expanded greatly, and as a result, has become fairly expensive. Part of this is that since states like getting matching federal money, they have an incentive to push whatever they can under the Medicaid umbrella.* The GAO estimates that 10% of it goes to fraud, waste, etc, but other estimates are higher**. These result in a loss of wealth.

That the VA's lines literally killing people costs wastes seems obvious. People going untreated, but spending time and effort navigating bureaucracy is a significant cost. Oh look, here's a report about how some 300,000 veterans died while awaiting care, and their paperwork was still awaiting processing months or years later.

Knock yourself out if you want to uphold the US medical safety nets as being efficient.

*James C. Capretta, "Medicaid," American Enterprise Institute, February 2017
** Clifford J. Levy and Michael Luo, "New York Medicaid Fraud May Reach into Billions," New York Times, July 18, 2005
*** https://www.cnn.com/2015/09/02/politics/va-inspector-general-report/index.html

Does indentured servitude count? It was already explicitly mentioned in the post you took half a sentence from. Is prison labor slavery? What about the range of things the UN considers forms of human trafficking? There's a continuum of coerced labor, and "voluntary slavery" might to varying degrees of accuracy be used to describe entering into certain forms of it.


Human trafficking is slavery. It might be illegal, but it does not significantly differ in practice from slavery otherwise.

Prison labor may or may not be. This largely is determined by the amount of choice involved. If the prisoner is not punished for choosing otherwise, save for the loss of whatever income the work offers, it isn't slavery. It probably still is a market perturbation, though, and can result in harmful effects for other reasons.

The same criteria exists everywhere else. If you can say no and walk away without repercussion, it isn't slavery.

There's nothing particularly wrong with signing a contract agreeing to work in exchange for payment up front. Where indentured servitude went awry is in having the state compel service. It ought to be treated like any other debt. Risk of default is priced in, and the government doesn't need to run debtor's prisons or the like.

It isn't a line on a continuum. Either you have a person's consent or you don't.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:39 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:If you do acknowledge the range of things between the two, why do you persist in the false dichotomy, declaring any conversation that isn't about US-style chattel slavery to be a different conversation, on the basis that it must be about working for low minimum-or-above wages?
Because it's an appeal to emotionally charged thinking rather than an appeal to reason. Wage slavery is slavery like statutory rape is rape.
Why do you keep talking about wage slavery? No one else was talking about it before you brought it up, and I'm only talking about it now to argue that it isn't what anyone else is talking about.

The point is simply that "slavery" isn't only the chattel variety, or else most forms of slavery throughout history have suddenly been defined out of existence.

Tyndmyr wrote:more about healthcare
I asked about other examples. Bringing up other aspects of the fucked up healthcare system in the US doesn't count.

You didn't say the US health care system wastes a ton of money, you said safety nets reduce wealth. Now fucking put up or shut up.

It isn't a line on a continuum. Either you have a person's consent or you don't.
You and ucim both have pretty stupidly simplistic notions of consent seeing as you live in (and in your case continue to promote) a society where if you don't make money you and your family don't get to eat.

How is "do this or you starve" not on a continuum with "do this or you get beat" or "do this or you get shot"?
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:47 pm UTC

I've provided about five citations, but I'm bored with playing "now give me ANOTHER citation". If you want to advocate for a different safety net, you are welcome to do your own homework, or at least specify which safety net you wish to talk about.

gmalivuk wrote:How is "do this or you starve" not on a continuum with "do this or you get beat"?


The former is a natural principle of the world. You've got to work at something because you require food and shelter. Nobody is doing this to you, the situation would exist if you were the only person on earth.

The latter would not. It is a result of man's inhumanity to man.

So, while it's desirable that people not be in danger of starving, an individual choosing not to work is a different kind of problem than a person whipping slaves.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:59 pm UTC

You've provided a bunch of citations for US healthcare. If you want to amend your earlier claim to "the way the US runs its healthcare wastes money" then that's fine and you'll get no disagreement from me.

But if what you expect us to accept is any broader than that (e.g. "US safety nets in general reduce wealth" or "healthcare safety nets reduce wealth"), let alone the broadest version you actually claimed, then you have yet to back that up in any non-fallacious way.

See rule 11 if this subforum if you don't get why that's important.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:02 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The former is a natural principle of the world. You've got to work at something because you require food and shelter. Nobody is doing this to you, the situation would exist if you were the only person on earth.

By this principle, land rent more like the latter than like this, because the only reason I have to work at something to be allowed to exist on a piece of land is because someone will actively punish me for being there otherwise. If I were the only person on Earth, that wouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:08 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm not the only person on Earth, I'm part of a society in which access to food and to the means to produce food are controlled by other people.

And I didn't say "do some work or you starve", I said "do this or you starve". The specificity is essential to the point. If I have more choices of what to do to avoid starvation, I'm more free. If I have to do one particular thing (that you decide for me), I'm not free.

(In terms of consent, if I'm more free to choose other options, I have consented more to the thing I end up doing. If I don't have other options, then I haven't consented.)
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Also, in the "state of nature", there's no choice on the other side. You can't judge nature for not feeding me of its abundance, because nature didn't have any choice in the matter.

In a society that has more than enough food (and housing and medical care) to go around, it's a choice to withhold those things from someone. That choice carries moral weight, and I absolutely can and do judge assholes, who live in the wealthiest society that has ever existed, when they advocate letting people starve or freeze or die of preventable diseases on the basis that those people didn't do enough to make money for capitalists.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:23 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:You've provided a bunch of citations for US healthcare. If you want to amend your earlier claim to "the way the US runs its healthcare wastes money" then that's fine and you'll get no disagreement from me.

But if what you expect us to accept is any broader than that (e.g. "US safety nets in general reduce wealth" or "healthcare safety nets reduce wealth"), let alone the broadest version you actually claimed, then you have yet to back that up in any non-fallacious way.


Technically, I've also cited the Venezuelan health care system earlier. Also, rule 11 has an exception for pointing out the obvious. Also, nobody else is required to submit a wide range of citations for each statement in order to prove every tedious aspect of a statement. Thesh has made a ton of claims about how things work, and I notice a complete lack of enforcement there.

However, as a general citation that ought to cover this entirely, and all future related statements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-rider_problem If whoever consumes a good isn't who pays for it, you end up with overconsumtion/underprovision. This is a fundamental economic shortcoming of all safety nets, and hopefully we can skip over the obvious fact that they are economically costly in the future.

Pfhorrest wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The former is a natural principle of the world. You've got to work at something because you require food and shelter. Nobody is doing this to you, the situation would exist if you were the only person on earth.

By this principle, land rent more like the latter than like this, because the only reason I have to work at something to be allowed to exist on a piece of land is because someone will actively punish me for being there otherwise. If I were the only person on Earth, that wouldn't be a problem.


Exclusionary rights are a necessary result of multiple people being alive, sure. At least that aspect of ownership matters solely because of multiple people. Other aspects(right to use) would apply regardless.

gmalivuk wrote:And I didn't say "do some work or you starve", I said "do this or you starve". The specificity is essential to the point. If I have more choices of what to do to avoid starvation, I'm more free. If I have to do one particular thing (that you decide for me), I'm not free.


That is correct. If you are forcing people to ONLY work for you to avoid starvation, then obviously that's not freedom. Nobody's going to claim that's a free market. Specifically forcing a person to be starved is force, no different from a beating or what have you.

If no such force exists, and people can work for you, or someone else, but have to work for somebody, then sure, you're free.

Consent is binary. Either you give it or you don't. Things like "consented more" don't really matter from a libertarian perspective. It's not "partially rape" or "partially theft". It either is or isn't, based solely on consent. If you don't have it, you ought not do the thing.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:28 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Technically, I've also cited the Venezuelan health care system earlier.

Oh, well, citing an economic problem in a failed state is definitely convincing. Objection withdrawn.

Also, rule 11 has an exception for pointing out the obvious.
Yeah and if you'd pointed out that the US healthcare system wastes money I wouldn't have objected, because that's suitably obvious.

Also, nobody else is required to submit a wide range of citations for each statement in order to prove every tedious aspect of a statement.
When you make overly broad claims, you should expect to be challenged on a wider range of aspects.

However, as a general citation that ought to cover this entirely, and all future related statements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-rider_problem If whoever consumes a good isn't who pays for it, you end up with overconsumtion/underprovision. This is a fundamental economic shortcoming of all safety nets, and hopefully we can skip over the obvious fact that they are economically costly in the future.
You didn't say they cost money, you said they reduce overall wealth. Linking to a wikipedia description of a problem doesn't support your point any more than my linking to the tragedy of the commons article counts as the be-all-end-all citation that government regulation is the only way to reduce pollution.

Things like "consented more" don't really matter from a libertarian perspective.
Then it looks like that's yet another failing of the libertarian perspective.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:31 pm UTC

If one person owns all of the land, is everyone else not basically the same as a slave? They have nothing that they can't take without threat of violence. At what point do the people who own nothing not become the slaves to people who own everything? It seems that all levels of wealth inequality result in some people having more freedom than others - wealth is really a measure of freedom itself.

In nature, the limit to how much land you have control over is a matter of personal energy consumption. Private property ownership changes your control over land from being proportional to how much energy you are willing to consume to protect it to a matter of whether or not the government will protect it. That's a huge difference, which is why you can't compare civilization to nature.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:33 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Things like "consented more" don't really matter from a libertarian perspective.
Then it looks like that's yet another failing of the libertarian perspective.

Actually, I think that nice bright line between consent or not could be a great aspect of libertarianism, if we actually took the same standard we do with rape, since we're using that as an example. "Enthusiastic consent" is the only real consent. Begrudging, yeah-I-guess-I-don't-really-have-any-real-choice-given-the-alternatives consent is not consent. If someone "consents" to sex like that, we call it rape. Yet people are "consenting" to all kinds of shit in that way under capitalism, and so-called "libertarians" don't seem to actually care about that.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:37 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Things like "consented more" don't really matter from a libertarian perspective.
Then it looks like that's yet another failing of the libertarian perspective.

Actually, I think that nice bright line between consent or not could be a great aspect of libertarianism, if we actually took the same standard we do with rape, since we're using that as an example. "Enthusiastic consent" is the only real consent. Begrudging, yeah-I-guess-I-don't-really-have-any-real-choice-given-the-alternatives consent is not consent. If someone "consents" to sex like that, we call it rape. Yet people are "consenting" to all kinds of shit in that way under capitalism, and so-called "libertarians" don't seem to actually care about that.

Hm, yeah, when you put it that way it does make sense.

Of course, then we're back to wage slavery being a thing, so presumably Tyndmyr and ucim both want different standards for consenting to work than for consenting to sex. Which means we're back to consent not being a binary, all-or-nothing thing.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:48 pm UTC

We measure wealth in money. Do I need a citation for that as well?

The question of if the gains in terms of equality, etc are worth the cost, sure...that's a standard argument, and the answer will vary depending on your values and the specific safety net in question, but the fact that safety nets require a good deal of wealth, and contain an economic flaw that will increase that drain at least somewhat is pretty basic.

gmalivuk wrote:
Things like "consented more" don't really matter from a libertarian perspective.
Then it looks like that's yet another failing of the libertarian perspective.


Why is that a flaw?

Thesh wrote:If one person owns all of the land, is everyone else not basically the same as a slave? They have nothing that they can't take without threat of violence.


If one person owned literally all wealth, then yes, you would no longer have choice, and people would only be as free to choose as that individual is benevolent. Given the track record of one person having ultimate power, this seems to be a poor bet. Fortunately, this is not the case.

Pfhorrest wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Things like "consented more" don't really matter from a libertarian perspective.
Then it looks like that's yet another failing of the libertarian perspective.

Actually, I think that nice bright line between consent or not could be a great aspect of libertarianism, if we actually took the same standard we do with rape, since we're using that as an example. "Enthusiastic consent" is the only real consent. Begrudging, yeah-I-guess-I-don't-really-have-any-real-choice-given-the-alternatives consent is not consent. If someone "consents" to sex like that, we call it rape. Yet people are "consenting" to all kinds of shit in that way under capitalism, and so-called "libertarians" don't seem to actually care about that.


Consent is consent either way, and in either case, if consent is absent, you have a violation of rights. Coercion via theats of violence or what not count same as actual violence. Still abridges rights.

Libertarians typically don't describe it as enthusiastic, since that emphasizes emotional state rather than freedom, but what you're getting at is similar. Of particular note is that just because you don't like the options available to you doesn't entitle you to anything else. If nobody wants to date you, or give you a job, that doesn't mean the world owes you something. It means you maybe need to take a look in the mirror and figure out why.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:55 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If one person owned literally all wealth, then yes, you would no longer have choice, and people would only be as free to choose as that individual is benevolent. Given the track record of one person having ultimate power, this seems to be a poor bet. Fortunately, this is not the case.

If one fraction of the populace owns all the wealth, are not the remaining populace their slaves collectively? If your only choice is which slave master to serve, but you are required to serve one of them or another or else, is that really not slavery?
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:57 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:We measure wealth in money. Do I need a citation for that as well?


Your argument was it resulted in less wealth. Saying that we spent more money on something doesn't imply that we have less wealth.

Tyndmyr wrote:
Thesh wrote:If one person owns all of the land, is everyone else not basically the same as a slave? They have nothing that they can't take without threat of violence.


If one person owned literally all wealth, then yes, you would no longer have choice, and people would only be as free to choose as that individual is benevolent. Given the track record of one person having ultimate power, this seems to be a poor bet. Fortunately, this is not the case.


You ignored the rest of my question. At what point do we go from everyone except for the one person who owns wealth being a slave to no one being a slave?
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
We measure wealth in money. Do I need a citation for that as well?

The question of if the gains in terms of equality, etc are worth the cost, sure...that's a standard argument, and the answer will vary depending on your values and the specific safety net in question, but the fact that safety nets require a good deal of wealth, and contain an economic flaw that will increase that drain at least somewhat is pretty basic.
The fact that wealth is not zero-sum is also, I should think, pretty basic, and yet here you are pretending that returns on investment are only possible for corporations.

Every dollar spent on SNAP increases GDP by $1.79. You might (and probably will) try to argue that spending that money elsewhere could have a greater increase, but that argument would be irrelevant, because you didn't claim that safety nets aren't the absolute best way to spend money when measured solely from a total-wealth perspective. You claimed that they reduce wealth.

gmalivuk wrote:
Things like "consented more" don't really matter from a libertarian perspective.
Then it looks like that's yet another failing of the libertarian perspective.


Why is that a flaw?
Because it doesn't account for having more or fewer options to choose from when you choose to do something. I already went over that, like, pretty clearly and explicitly.

Thesh wrote:If one person owns all of the land, is everyone else not basically the same as a slave? They have nothing that they can't take without threat of violence.

If one person owned literally all wealth, then yes, you would no longer have choice, and people would only be as free to choose as that individual is benevolent. Given the track record of one person having ultimate power, this seems to be a poor bet. Fortunately, this is not the case.
If 0.1% of people owned all the land, rather than literally one person, how is the situation suddenly drastically different?

And like, if you're going to justify your position by appealing to a world with just one person anywhere, then your position should also stand up to a world where there are multiple people, but just one of them controls all the land.

Libertarians typically don't describe it as enthusiastic, since that emphasizes emotional state rather than freedom, but what you're getting at is similar.
You're going to have to define "freedom" again if it's apparently got nothing to do with what range of options you have available to a person.

Of particular note is that just because you don't like the options available to you doesn't entitle you to anything else.
If one of those options is "have sex with this person" and the other options that person has left available to you are worse, how have you not just described rape?
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:08 pm UTC

I was editing this into my previous post but I've been ninja'd meanwhile...

on the topic of enthusiastic consent vs coercion: you understand that coercion is not only on threat of violence, right? Like, a guy tells a girl he'll spread some horrible humor about her around their college if she doesn't sleep with him, and she believes him and is afraid of that consequence, so she does it, that's coercion. (That's basically blackmail, which we already brought up earlier). Or, a guy sees a homeless woman starving on the street and suggests that he can toss her some food money if she... y'know... [gestures].... That's coercion too.

I know you're going to say that the latter is actually sex work which is different from rape and that sex work isn't any different than any other work under libertarianism and shouldn't be illegal, and technically I (and many others) would agree with you in those words, but disagree in general because you're missing the broader picture. Any ordinary wage work really is more or less the same as prostitution, but that's an argument against wage work, not for prostitution. The point about prostitution isn't that it should be a punishable offense to trade money for sex, on either side; it's that the fact that people are in this hopeless position where they have no choice but to turn over their bodies for other people to do what they like to in order to survive is an unjust prior circumstance, so the justice of the individual transactions following from that circumstance is kind of irrelevant.

It's like truth and validity in arguments. You can have an unsound argument made with perfectly valid inferences every step of the way, if you start with completely false premises. Pointing out that every step of your argument was deductively sound and bulletproof doesn't help, because that's not the point: you put garbage into that rigorous process, and so you're getting garbage out of it.

The same is true of ethical situations. If you start with a shit unjust circumstance and then do a bunch of legit deontically valid activities, you can easily still get shit and injustice out of it. Because the problem isn't those steps in the middle, the problem is that you started with shit, and did nothing to fix it, so you've still got shit in the end.

Basically, agreements between vastly unequal parties are not really freely made. Freedom demands equality. You cannot actually be free without being equal enough not to be dependent on those who you're supposedly free from. Dependency is contrary to freedom.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:19 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
no choice but to turn over their bodies for other people to do what they like to in order to survive

If "clients" are literally doing whatever they like, that sounds like trafficking or slavery, not sex work.

Survival sex work is different from sex trafficking, though is still a result of unjust prior circumstance, and is still a different kind of thing than totally uncoerced sex work. (In this way, sex work is like any other kind of work. But the "do what they like" narrative isn't true for sex work any more than it is for other work.)
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:09 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Why do you keep talking about wage slavery? No one else was talking about it before you brought it up, and I'm only talking about it now to argue that it isn't what anyone else is talking about.
Because I suspect that this is what Thesh is talking about, and want to know explicitly from him whether or not this is the case.

He has not answered the question, but comments he has made since appear to support this view.

gmalivuk wrote:How is "do this or you starve" not on a continuum with "do this or you get beat" or "do this or you get shot"?
The latter two require somebody to shoot or beat you (presumably with the law either behind them or turning the other way). The former is the natural state of nature.

Of course, the "this" in question is important; see "your money or your life" as a valid choice to offer somebody. To the extent that the "this" is something artificially imposed by another person, it's less of a free choice. But in nature, a bear isn't going to give you the salmon they just caught just because you are hungry. Nobody blames the bear.

Tyndmyr wrote:Consent is binary. Either you give it or you don't.
Coersion isn't binary. It occurs by degree. Consent can be given freely, grudgingly, or helplessly. That is the continuum under which it occurs. See again "your money or your life".

Thesh wrote:If one person owns all of the land, is everyone else not basically the same as a slave?
No. That is not a sufficient condition (although in the real world it may easily engender sufficient conditions). It matters what (if anything) this "one person" demands, and how they demand it. It also matters whether the law will back any demand the person makes, or will oppose outrageous demands. Yes, property influences the law, but it isn't itself the law.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:44 am UTC

ucim wrote:Because I suspect that this is what Thesh is talking about
Given that Thesh explicitly mentioned indentured servitude in the very post you quoted, why do you suspect that what he must really mean is just wage slavery?

ucim wrote:ut in nature, a bear isn't going to give you the salmon they just caught just because you are hungry. Nobody blames the bear.
I already addressed this point. We don't live in a state of nature, we live in a society where other people control the food and the means to produce food, and where not providing excess food (and shelter and care) to those who need it is a *choice*.

We don't blame the bear, but we also don't blame the person if he got to the salmon first. But if the river and all the fish in it were the bear's "private property", the law would now punish the man for feeding himself and still wouldn't blame the bear if the man starved instead.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:51 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Thesh wrote:If one person owns all of the land, is everyone else not basically the same as a slave?
No. That is not a sufficient condition (although in the real world it may easily engender sufficient conditions). It matters what (if anything) this "one person" demands, and how they demand it. It also matters whether the law will back any demand the person makes, or will oppose outrageous demands. Yes, property influences the law, but it isn't itself the law.

The assumption is that everyone is seeking to maximize personal profits in a Libertarian capitalist system.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:21 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Given that Thesh explicitly mentioned indentured servitude in the very post you quoted, why do you suspect that what he must really mean is just wage slavery?
Because indentured servitude is just working for wages, where the wages are paid in advance. And because since "slavery" is an emotionally charged word that is often used (by him) in a manner that disingenuously takes advantage of this load, I wanted explicit clarification. This is serious business, is it not?

gmalivuk wrote:We don't live in a state of nature
...and we don't live in a state where one person controls all property. If one extreme for illustration is valid, so is the other. A bear's den is private property. Try to sleep there yourself and you won't wake up.

Anyway, you asked for the difference between {x and y} and the difference is that {y} is directly one person's violence against the other, and {x} is not. Even in the extreme, there is a difference between murder and lack of heroism.

This is not to say that "I've got mine" is a good societal bedrock. But it's not murder. Calling it that is disingenuous.

Tyndmyr wrote:I'm all for trying out ideas to try to better humanity, but I think our government should be based on the sort of humanity we have now, and allow the possibility for change, rather than being reliant upon it.
This is why I favor (restrained) capitalism over socialism. But in that case, greed (normally a vice) provides fuel for the economy that would otherwise be absent. It still needs steering, and I acknowledge that. But in the case of libertarianism, I don't see an equivalent benefit. It seems to me more like a codified version of heartlessness. It's touted to increase "freedom", but I don't think that it actually does this. There are a few good points about libertarianism, but as a social and legal framework, I think it misses something vital, and I'm not sure how to add that back in.

Thesh wrote:The assumption is that everyone is seeking to maximize personal profits in a Libertarian capitalist system.
Yes, under that assumption, this owner-of-all-the-land would probably become tyrannical in his demands. Under such a dictatorship, profits are kind of irrelevant though; it's the dictatorship that's the problem, and a dictatorship is hardly libertarian anyway. Fortunately, we are still quite far from that condition. There are many land owners, and they compete with each other for profits, and you can choose who to work for (and use your wages to acquire land yourself). That you have to do something to feed yourself isn't slavery.

Jose
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:38 pm UTC

So how much competition is necessary for there to be no slavery? In the case of one property owner, the laborers will accept barely enough to survive. What if half the people own property, and the other half don't? Are there not going to be some people in the same situation as above? If some people are going to be on top, and some people are going to be in the bottom, and statistically the people in the bottom make barely enough to survive, as is the case with a single land owner, does that society not have some level of slavery?
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:52 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:So how much competition is necessary for there to be no slavery?
Let's be explicit. Do you mean wage slavery (which is what it sounds like you are describing)?

Jose
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:56 pm UTC

Again, you are the only one talking exclusively about wage slavery (which conventionally doesn't include the closer-to-chattel-slavery arrangement of indentured servitude that actually was mentioned).
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:05 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Thesh wrote:So how much competition is necessary for there to be no slavery?
Let's be explicit. Do you mean wage slavery (which is what it sounds like you are describing)?

Jose

What matters is the lack of opportunity caused by imbalances of power. The nature of their employment agreement is going to depend on the laws, and if indentured servitude is legal then that will likely occur. If not, then an identical situation will occur, where their ability to choose their employer is limited.

Slavery: a system in which people in power limit opportunity for others for the sake of personal gain.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:14 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Again, you are the only one talking exclusively about wage slavery (which conventionally doesn't include the closer-to-chattel-slavery arrangement of indentured servitude that actually was mentioned).
Again, I am trying to clarify what Thesh means by the emotionally laden word "slavery". You seem to see something wrong with that. Why?

Thesh wrote:Slavery: a system in which people in power limit opportunity for others for the sake of personal gain.
Under this definition, everything is slavery, because "the ability to limit opportunity" is pretty much the definition of "power".

Now, what is your objection to indentured servitude (working for wages that have already been paid)? How is it fundamentally different from being responsible for a debt?

Jose
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:17 pm UTC

If you work for a bed and a meal, where you get kicked out on the streets and starve to death if you stop working, would you consider that wage slavery? No wages are involved.

The ability to limit opportunity is not the same as the act of limiting opportunity.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:37 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Again, you are the only one talking exclusively about wage slavery (which conventionally doesn't include the closer-to-chattel-slavery arrangement of indentured servitude that actually was mentioned).
Again, I am trying to clarify what Thesh means by the emotionally laden word "slavery". You seem to see something wrong with that. Why?
You didn't just want to clarify, at least at first. You declared that you wouldn't discuss it at all if Thesh was talking about anything other than the chattel variety.

Now, what is your objection to indentured servitude (working for wages that have already been paid)? How is it fundamentally different from being responsible for a debt?
Any job that pays me money can be used to pay off a normal debt. If one employer is a shithead I can in theory change jobs and work to pay off the debt in a better environment. I still have some freedom and choices, in other words, which don't exist in an indentured servant relationship.

And like holy fuck, are you really here defending indentured servitude right now?
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:06 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote: You didn't just want to clarify, at least at first. You declared that you wouldn't discuss it at all if Thesh was talking about anything other than the chattel variety.
[Citation needed]. And no, saying that "otherwise we'll just be talking past each other" is not refusing to discuss it.

gmalivuk wrote:Any job that pays me money can be used to pay off a normal debt. If one employer is a shithead I can in theory change jobs and work to pay off the debt in a better environment. I still have some freedom and choices, in other words, which don't exist in an indentured servant relationship.
Ok, this is a significant difference. It bundles a long-term work contract with a debt. Yes, that can become abusive. It however is not inherently abusive.

gmalivuk wrote:And like holy fuck, are you really here defending indentured servitude right now?
To a degree, yes. Clearly abuses exist in that realm; the question is whether the objection is to the concept or to the abuses. "Indentured" is not the same as "involuntary", and it's the latter that is an essential part of slavery. Thing is, it is one way to get something one could not otherwise afford. Any such situation can be abused - it's the abuses that need to be focused on. Lending money isn't evil, charging interest isn't evil, charging more interest for higher risk loans isn't evil, but using this situation to set and spring a trap is an abuse.

Thesh wrote:If you work for a bed and a meal, where you get kicked out on the streets and starve to death if you stop working, would you consider that wage slavery? No wages are involved.
Wage slavery (as I understand and use the term) means working (due to lack of better opportunity) for compensation (need not be wages) that are insufficient for survival and growth, creating a trap - to wit, you can't afford to quit, but working takes up all your time so you can't get ahead. Wage slavery is not actual slavery; rather, the term is a metaphor for this kind of trap. Wage slavery is an extreme edge case of the rat race.

So to your question, yes I would.

Yes, it can get very bad. Yes, it is an undesirable part of a social/governmental/economic structure. Yes, I think that it is something that should be systemically mitigated if it becomes a systemic problem, just like any other abuses of any other system. No system is immune to abuse.

But no, it is not actual slavery, and using the word "slave" to mean this, while colorful, is disingenuous in a serious discussion.

Jose
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