[ExI] Call To Libertarians

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 26 00:31:33 UTC 2011

On Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 6:12 PM, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
> On 02/23/2011 09:27 PM, Jeff Davis wrote:

>> Not committing the party a priori to a menu of positions hardly means having no principles.
> "No other issue is relevant" doesn't leave a lot of room for bringing up principles this may fly in the face of.

Let me clarify.  My hypothetical Accountability Party (AP) is composed
of principled members who subscribe to a broad spectrum of specific,
varying, and yes, sometimes conflicting principles.  This spectrum of
principles will be brought to bear in the POST-ELECTION discussions
that accompany the legislative and executive decision-making
processes.  Libertarian principles will be represented in those
discussions to the degree that libertarians have assisted in the AP
electoral effort.

The dictatorial imposition of Libertarian principles won't happen, but
the libertarians will get to make their pitch, and if persuasive their
principles will be enabled/implemented.  But be forewarned, compromise
accompanied by disappointment will almost certainly be the order of
the day.  (Democracy just sucks!  Aaaargh!)

I'm trying to explain that it's not that the AP doesn't have other
principles.  But that there are three elements to successful "rule",:
(1)winning campaigns, (2)governing -- these two enable the final
element --and (3) having the vision to lead society to "a better

The AP campaigns -- element (1) above -- on just two "principles" --
accountability and jobs -- because almost EVERYONE supports these
principles.  Almost EVERYONE is the essence of "broad-based", which
means a lot of voters, which wins campaigns. " Accountability and
Jobs" serves first duty as a campaign-winning tactic, then after the
win, they become the top two principles, but by no means the only
principles, of the AP.

> Free floating wish list items with no grounding in any principles whatsoever are a BS basis for any party and cannot last because there is no grounding.

I think I've explained away this objection above

>  I mean you can satisfy everyone has a job by simply enslaving the entire  country and putting any excess workers (newly employed) to work digging  holes and then filling them back up. Nothing in the party planks precludes  this implementation.

ME: True, but that implementation is not my plan but rather your
dystopian prediction.  Bear with me. Despite your fears, we're not
going dystopian.

>>>> accountability: no one is above the law.
Everyone, but in particular  persons in high position who have
traditionally 'enjoyed' immunity from prosecution, will now have their
"get out of jail free "cards voided.

I would start with war crimes.

> By what? Geneva convention?

My personal preference is the UN Charter.  When the US signed on to
it, it became US law.  It proscribes both war and threats of war,
except according to Charter criteria.

But that would be only a start.  There are other laws which are
applicable as well.

I understand your objections, as a libertarian, to certain laws -- the
victimless crime laws for example.  I hold the same libertarian
objections.   The AP party -- to whatever degree you , I, and others
of like mind can assert our principles -- would apply the principle of
Accountability based on "just" law, while setting out to eliminate
"unjust" law.

>> By "accountability", I essentially mean to subject the ruling class in general and the power elite in particular to a strong dose of "ethic cleansing", so the entire society could start over with a clean slate.  Start over, but with the former upper reaches of society on notice that the law now applies to them.  No, really.

> This seems like blaming the powerful politically and or the rich-er as a class.  This has been so busted so many times when it has been tried before.

ME: Now I KNOW you're not saying the richer are above the law!  And I
know,... you surely wouldn't say that,... on account of some little
bias you might hold,... arising say, from your love of the richer,
admiration of the richer, or aspiration to be one of the richer.

So I'm sure you would agree that if a rich or powerful person
committed a big ass crime, enabled by and proportionate to their big
ass richness or big ass powerfulness, that they should be held
accountable and, if found culpable, punished proportionately to the
big ass-ness of the crime.

>Simple envy would make it very popular as it has been before.

ME: This is a class-based argument, Samantha.  "The poor envy the
rich, and  want to kill them and steal their money."   And you
disappoint me by deploying it.  Shame on you.  Neither the
pre-conviction envy, nor the post-conviction schadenfreude of the
poor, is a "get out of jail free" card for the rich.

>The results would be unlikely to be much better without considerable more refinement and statement of and adherence to some of those pesky principles.

Tell you what I'll do.  We'll put our heads together and restrict
prosecutions to murder, felony murder, mass murder, and conspiracy to,
or facilitation of, the commission of any of these.  Then we'll
discuss which other offenses qualify as actionable offenses according
to  libertarian principles.  Deal?

> [The equal application of the law] is a firm part of what we are already supposed to be about.  Fixing instances where it is not the case is a fine thing.     I would press  criminal charges if not treason on many a past and present politician as many violate their oath of office wholesale.

ME:  Okay, it seems we're coming into agreement.  Good.  Regarding the
charges of  treason, and violations of oaths of office, show me the
particulars, and I'll be happy to work with you on this

>> This doesn't imply draconian penalties.  It isn't about revenge.  It's about starting over with a clean slate and a "rule of law" that actually does its job.

> If you are picking on the powerful for being more powerful than you or I and the richer for having more money than you or I and you are also speaking of and to the sentiments of the "average person" then you are in revenge territory.


I commend you for your vigilance and insistence on fairness in dealing
with the powerful and richer.  That said, it is not unlawful, though
some -- the once rich and powerful in particular -- may find it
unseemly, when the poor dance in the street to celebrate  the richer
and powerful finally joining the rest of us in being subject to the
JUST AND PROPORTIONATE penalty for their misdeeds.

>>>> And jobs: everyone who wants a paycheck gets a paycheck. EV-REE-ONE.

> Economics, while maybe not all, is not served by pretending their are limitless means to satisfy limitless wants.
That is a denial of economic reality.  You can't spend your way out of
bankruptcy.  Ask Zimbabwe whether  you can print enough money to get
out of bankruptcy.

ME: Look, I deserve your little lecture, Okay?  I'll take the blame.
I was too lazy, too pressed for time, to explain the reality-based
details of my "Jobs" proposal.  So I substituted: "The govt has
machines that print money, so It's a done deal.  Get over it."

I still don't have the time for much more.  But I have time for a
little bit more.

The US is a rich, massively-productive giant, with the worlds largest
economy.  As a nation it has sizable assets, liquid and illiquid,
public and private, and also sizable debts (liabilities?).

Scare talk aside, no economic catastrophe is going to cause the Earth
to open up and swallow the US, leaving behind a seawater filled
crater.  Life goes on.  Life will go on.  (Barring an asteroid
collision or Gamma Ray Burst.)

Even during the great depression, with its 30% unemployment, there
must correspondingly have been, if numbers mean anything, 70%
employment.  Life goes on.

The economy goes on.  It has its ups and downs.  Human suffering as
related to these ups and downs correlate with employment.  During the
"ups" ,things are good, and everyone can find work.  During the
"downs", not so much.  The Accountabilty Party says to the voters,
"We're going to end the cycle of misery, by seeing to it that everyone
who needs a paycheck can find work.

This position, while principled (I know, I know, you hate it ,and
consider it entirely unprincipled), is also TACTICAL.  In that role,
it is the first step in implementing change in an electoral system:
getting one's hands on power by winning elections.  The best I can do
for you is promise that when the libertarian system replaces the
current system of manipulated casino predation, I'll join you in
shutting down the guaranteed paycheck program.

> People are not in the least entitled to a slice of the economic pie just by virtue of being born.  Not when the pie is finite and produced by the work of others.   This would be a denial of justice and reality.

We disagree.  My argument will not persuade you, however, so I will
limit my response to a simple counter assertion:

 Au contraire, it is the very essence of justice and realism.

>>... it is **your** question presumes no value.  I do not
>> propose a "no value" exchange.)
> Yes, you do.

NO I DO NOT.  You interpret it that way because you are
ideologically-blinded, compassion-challenged, reality-alienated. and

> You propose to give everyone a paycheck regardless
> of whether  their skills and/or labor have any real value
> in a free market or not.

(There ain't no kind of free market around nowhere.  And you know it.
But that's a subject for another time.)

>>> How is this just
>> It reconfigures the economic system, eliminating the
>> "war of all against all".  High level political and economic
>> crime will be deterred.  There will be a societal shift
>> away from parasitism and
>> toward greater productivity.   Economic activity will then
>> equilibrate, and life will go on.  But better.
> That is not remotely a meaningful answer.

I've been very polite, and deliberately agreeable, but only your
ideological rigidity could explain how you miss the depth of meaning
inherent in my proposed reduction of human misery.

> Why would their be greater productivity when you print and borrow money like mad

Your words not mine

>to make sure everyone has a paycheck thus destroying the financial basis of the economy

Your conclusions, not reality's

>and producing (sooner or later) rampant inflation?

You have the future all mapped out, ehhh?  Is that Ms. God or ms. god?

> Why would their be greater productivity

Business cycles stabilized, labor prices stabilized, and other
bullshit economic prognostications.  But my ideologically-biased
bullshit is just as good as your ideologically-biased bullshit

> when everyone knows they have a roof over their head, food on the table and other essential things as a matter of entitlement even if they play games all day or spend everyday in a stupor?

The entitlement is to a job, not a paycheck, they still have to work
for the paycheck.    Oh, and by the way, you can eliminate
unemployment benefits, a genuine 'no value' payment.

 > Why would the productive remain productive and become more so when
they have to pay more and more in taxes or the money they make is
worth less and less and they have to support many more parasites on
the system?

Because if "the productive" -- whose shit, by the way, still stinks,
even in a libertarian utopia -- want to maintain their standard of
living, they're GOING TO HAVE TO PRODUCE MORE.  Perhaps they can do
this by hiring more people who will then be taken of the govt paycheck

> There is nothing above but empty claims that disintegrate under even rudimentary analysis.

You are blocked from "even rudimentary analysis" by ideological
blindness.  You've seen the light, and now you cover your eyes.

> Please explain and show your work.

Show me yours and I'll show you mine.  You're not Swedish, are you?

>>> Progressive tax is regressive to actually growing an
>>> economy.
>> No it isn't.
> Whatever.  If you aren't interested in any real dialogue I am wasting my time.

And I mine.  But I'm retired, financially secure, and have my cryonics
contract in place, so I'm golden.

>> Nothing could be more moral and just than to confirm, and apply, the principle that every person is ENTITLED to a living wage from the economic pie.

> By what standard of morality validated how?

The standard of morality that says human suffering is bad, validated
by the subjectively undeniable -- if ineffable -- good feeling you get
from seeing that suffering lifted and replaced by rampant displays of
human foolishness.

> The above is simply a claim with
> no argument whatsoever for its validity.

You spoke to soon,  Here's my parsimonious snark at validation.
>> By the way, I base my challenge to your assertions about the economic consequences of taxation, on the claim that it's just ruling class propaganda.

> Which is another empty assertion.

History slash empiricism constitutes an unbroken confirmation of my assertion.

>>   No doubt you will counter with some conservative or
 "Austrian" economist  as authority.  It's the same old story from the
dim recesses of time.  The intellectual class provides "scholarly"
justifications for the predation of the wealthy.

> Oh, so now you are going to pull a classist argument claiming all counter-arguments are bourgeois conditioning and rationalisation.

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

>  I see.
>  Glad we cleared that up.  The Communist did a more convincing job of that.
>> And one other thing: we're on the same side , seek the same end.  Hard to believe, but true.  Libertarian principles-wise.
> No, we are not remotely on the same side judging from what you have said above.

No, we're on the same side all right.  You're just a little confused.
And magnificently stubborn.  I do love you so.

The proof of my love is that I spent a whole flippin day on this
silliness.  I need to check into some clinic somewhere.

Best, Jeff Davis

 "Everything you see I owe to spaghetti."
                   Sophia Loren

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list