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Originally Posted by Greger
Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
Originally Posted by issodhos
Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
Issodhos, at the bedrock, where I think your system is falsely based is your claim that government should exist only to secure individual rights. On what is that based, other than your assumption? Why not common rights as well?

I think the only rights that can be "common" to all are those unalienable individual rights held by each and every person. Beyond that, I think the term "common rights" has the tincture of group 'rights' which is also a fiction.
Yours,
Issodhos

Well, of course, issodhos, how could I ever forget that you alone determine such matters? Maybe you have some other support for that claim, which by the way, completely negates the Constitution.

Phil I'm not sure what hat you pulled this statement out of and perhaps you could explain how his reply to you "negates the Constitution". until then let's discuss "common rights". If, by common rights, you mean rights that we all share(in common) then we also share these same rights as "individual rights" Right? Either we all have the right to bear arms or none of us do, we all "have the right to remain silent" or none do. All rights are common and all rights are individual.
When Issodhos mentions "group rights" I think he is speaking of rights granted to tall people but not short people, Black vs white, young or old, male vs female, gay vs straight.
No such rights exist or, if there are, perhaps you could point out where those are listed or alluded to in the constitution....

Earlier, when you mentioned "common rights", I thought it meant things like Social Programs. Programs like Social Security and yes, even Welfare, that assure the aged, afflicted, and unfortunate individuals, who slip through the cracks for one reason or another, a chance to live with dignity. I understand that this means the government must take from one group to give to another, the very antithesis of Libertarianism, but I also feel that, while Americans are more than willing to give to a worthy cause, there must be a bit of coercion in place to spur them into given enough.

Maybe I've gotten this all mixed up somehow, I'm not the sharpest thorn on the rose after all, If I have forgive me and please clarify the above.

Well, the "hat" I pulled this out of is the language of the Constitution itself. There are a number of provisions therein which amount to common rights -- the one I mentioned earlier being the right of we the people to condemn/take property of an individual with full compensation. The people have the right to govern commerce, etc. Every one of these is a exercise of common will over individuals.

The Constitution is, in fact, an attempt to blend individual rights with common rights and responsibilities, isn't it? So to just focus on the protection of individual rights simply ignores or negates the bulk of the Constitution.

Just because our friend issodhos likes to conflate "common" with "collectivist" doesn't mean you have to fall for that false paradigm, does it?

Now as for the history of man, from what I read the progression was from clan to chiefdom to tribe to state. At no time along that progression was the effort designed to protect individual rights but rather to provide for the common good. That is the primary goal of organizations of all kinds.

Individual rights absolutely need protection, but that has been a development long in the making and refined within the last 1,000 years or so.


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Originally Posted by Greger
And so we have a primitive tribe, division of labor is introduced, some hunt for meat and hides, some gather berries and eggs, cure the hides and cook the meat. They have no concept of land ownership, Noble Savages so to speak. The first piece of property is a sharpened stick. "Savage A" found and sharpened the stick, thinking himself very clever and able to kill animals easier. "Savage B" wants it and tries to take it. "Savage A" pokes him and shows him who is boss. Government is created to assure property rights.

Absolutely wrong. First, government as you speak of it came many thousands of years after hunter-gatherers, but aside from that, why would there be any need to protect property? For most of human history there was simply no notion of "private" property but rather everything was held in common. You have it all backwards.

Try reading Guns, Germs and Steel by Diamond Jared and you will get a better idea of human development.


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Originally Posted by issodhos
I think the only rights that can be "common" to all are those unalienable individual rights held by each and every person. Beyond that, I think the term "common rights" has the tincture of group 'rights' which is also a fiction.

How are "inalienable individual rights" any less of a fiction than "common rights"?

If one looks at the human condition through the lenses of history, anthropology and biology, the claim that we have any natural rights, individual or collective, appears to be preposterous.

I hold to the distinctly unappealing view that we have no rights whatever --- only duties! wink

More seriously, it is obvious that any rights which we may be said to possess, individual or group, are fragile constructs which arise through difficult, sustained collective effort --- and not a little historical accident!

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Quote
Absolutely wrong. First, government as you speak of it came many thousands of years after hunter-gatherers, but aside from that, why would there be any need to protect property? For most of human history there was simply no notion of "private" property but rather everything was held in common. You have it all backwards.
I can accept that correction and the one before it, thanks for clearing it up for me. No straw men there at all. My monkeyman with a stick though does represent the first primitive forms of government, the Patriarchal rule by the strongest monkeyman in the tribe. His property was counted mostly in females and the weaker males better leave em alone or they will get poked with that sharp stick. All that was really tongue in cheekish though. Did you ever see "The Gods Must Be Crazy"? the introduction of a new tool(a coke bottle) became an object of envy and trouble within a primitive tribe. As you say, there was no concept of "private property" until this unique item came among them.


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I highly recommend Marvin Harris' Cannibals and Kings (or, indeed, any of his other books) for the real low-down on the story of the human race.

Certainly, the idea of the alpha-male monkey-man with a big stick, fighting and controlling access to females, has its place in the story of the rise of chiefs in tribal societies; but it is a much too American, competitive and aggressive, slant on human culture. The carrot was at least as big as the stick! wink

From Bigman to Chiefs

Quote
Nothing is more symptomatic of the difference between reciprocity and redistribution than the acceptance of boastfulness as an attribute of leadership. In flagrant violation of prescriptions for modesty in reciprocal exchanges, redistributive exchange involves public proclamations that the redistributor is a generous person and a great provider.

[SNIP]

The slide (or ascent?) toward social stratification gained momentum wherever extra food, produced by the inspired diligence of redistributors, could be stored while awaiting Bigman feasts, potlatches, and other occasions of redistribution. The more concentrated and abundant, and the less perishable, the crop, the greater its potential for endowing Bigmen with power over people. While others would possess some stored-up foods of their own, the redistributors' stores would be the largest. In times of scarcity, people would come to him, expecting to be fed, and, in return, he would call upon those who had special skills to make cloth, pots, canoes, or a fine house for his own use. Eventually, the redistributor no longer needed to work in the fields to gain and surpass Bigman status. Management of the harvest surpluses, a portion of which continued to be given to him for use in communal feasts and other communal projects such as trading expeditions and warfare, was sufficient to validate his status. And increasingly, people viewed this status as an office, a sacred trust, passed on from one generation to the next according to rules of hereditary succession. The Bigman had become a chief; his dominion was no longer a single small, autonomous village, but a large political community, a chiefdom.

The early chiefs were, at least, as much Tammany Hall as Mississippi River alligator-man!

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I was about to start another thread on the concept of "Commonwealth" - and probably still will - but it is relevant here because the concept is central to the creation of the United States itself (indeed, four states still refer to themselves as "Commonwealths.") Commonwealth (United States). Indeed, the Constitution itself is clearly based upon the concept of "Res publica," the "common weal."
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We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The authority of the State thus draws its power from the will of the governed to "establish justice"; "insure domestic tranquility"; "provide for the common defense"; "promote the general welfare"; and secure the blessings of liberty "for ourselves and our posterity." The structure then follows from that principle "e pluribus unum" - from the many, one. Libertarianism is, quite directly, very "un"-constitutional, as it places the interests of individuals over that of the collective whole. Ooops... there's that "collective" word again....


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich
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By the way, Logan, I couldn't disagree with your statement that "socialism is the most anti-libertarian socio-political system of the major isms." I know that libertarianists hate to acknowledge it, but they grow from the same root ball - but have followed different branches. The socialist construct is an outgrowth of the common weal concept, where all members of the society are voluntarily associated, by virtue of the social contract, to create a government for the benefit of all. Libertarians give lip service to the concept of such voluntary joinings all the the time - they just object to the scale that socialism represents.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich
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Originally Posted by NW Ponderer
Originally Posted by issodhos
I disagree with both you and your brother, NWP.
Wow, Iss, that makes you pretty disagreeable... wink

But, to carry on that tradition, I think you missed the point entirely. Not all interference with other interests are "actionable." Again, I am afraid, you have created a strawman with all your "examples." There is a huge body of laws that address the "interference with interests" that does not address criminality - it's called "civil law." It started with the common law of torts, but also addresses contracts, and now a whole body of other issues: nuisance laws, equal protection laws, etc., etc., etc. They have been known for hundreds of years in our legal tradition as "courts of equity."

You are engaging in the fallacy of irrelevance, NWP, by trying to argue a point not presented. I did not write that civil law would not be recognized in a libertarian-oriented system. The claim you made, the one I responded to, was �Where he and I have always agreed is that the primary role of government is to prevent individuals from interfering with the interests of other individuals...� (emphasis added by me). No government that I know of has ever been established to serve that primary role. Almost all governments have been imposed on the weak by the powerful for their own purposes without a moments concern for such a primary role of judiciary beneficence.

However, in an era of enlightenment, and at the time of the American Revolution, it was recognized by some that the only valid government is one that is instituted to secure and protect man�s rights. That was the point being used to contest your claim that ��the primary role of government is to prevent individuals from interfering with the interests of other individuals��.

And no, my examples were not strawmen. They related directly to your erroneous claim that ��the primary role of government is to prevent individuals from interfering with the interests of other individuals��. ;-)
Yours in patience,
Issodhos


"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos
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Originally Posted by Greger
And so we have a primitive tribe, division of labor is introduced, some hunt for meat and hides, some gather berries and eggs, cure the hides and cook the meat. They have no concept of land ownership, Noble Savages so to speak. The first piece of property is a sharpened stick. "Savage A" found and sharpened the stick, thinking himself very clever and able to kill animals easier. "Savage B" wants it and tries to take it. "Savage A" pokes him and shows him who is boss. Government is created to assure property rights.

Actually, that is pretty good, Greger. It beats the heck out of the fairytales about ancient folk communing in a now lost social Eden as they debate how to best form a government that will sort out their competing "interests". :-)
Yours,
Issodhos


"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos
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Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
Well, the "hat" I pulled this out of is the language of the Constitution itself. There are a number of provisions therein which amount to common rights -- the one I mentioned earlier being the right of we the people to condemn/take property of an individual with full compensation. The people have the right to govern commerce, etc. Every one of these is a exercise of common will over individuals.

I am not sure when this thread became a discussion of the Constitution, Phil, but there is nothing in the Constitution that references "common rights", nor is their any mention of group rights (which is what "common rights" would be), and nothing in the Constitution can be construed as even alluding to such "rights". While the government may be granted various "authorities and "powers", only individuals have and can exercise rights. Attempting to equate the two diminishes the very concept of the rights of man and the subordination of the state to the citizenry.

And indeed, much of the subversion and circumvention of the Constition has resulted from such false conflation.
Yours,
Issodhos


"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos
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