[ExI] Call To Libertarians

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Feb 27 08:21:57 UTC 2011

On Feb 25, 2011, at 4:31 PM, Jeff Davis wrote:

> 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.

What?  Libertarianism is the very opposite of dictatorial imposition of anything.  Are you sure you know what the heck you are talking about here?

>  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
> place".
> 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

No, you haven't at all.   What you have described that the AP does have are not principles at all but out of context, ungrounded planks designed only to be appealing to many with no real bother to say what they mean or clarify their grounding in reality.  That I find quite disappointing.  At first I thought you must be joking.  

>>  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.

Huh?  It is not a prediction but a simple illustration of one option that satisfies plank #2 but that I hope you would not find at all palatable.  The point being that that plank by itself without grounding invites many quite ugly results in keeping with what you insist is sufficient basis for a party.  It is meant to wake you up to the need for much more than this in any viable party likely to do more good than harm.

> 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.

Fine.  Now on what non-existent principles or standards to you decide which are in fact the just laws?

>>> 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.

How about not guessing what I am saying or why and instead responding to what I actually did say.  That would be most refreshing.

>> 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.

Are you saying that envy does not exist and would not enter into this?  If so, why do you think so?  Shame on me for what, pointing out the obvious?    I said nothing at all about any get out of jail free cards.  

>> 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?

I am confused.  I thought you said your party has no libertarian principles or any others except these two planks that you chose to call "principles" although they aren't really.    I thought you said above that you thought libertarian principles were an imposition?     And why would you and I get to say exactly how others decided these things in your hypothetical party anyway?   If workable principles are not built in the actual results can vary quite widely from anything you or I would wish on our conscience or to live in.

>> [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.
> ME:
> 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.

That requires strong standards of what is Just and Proportionate - standards that you have said you don't need and aren't part of your proposed party.  

>>>>> 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?).

Actually, far far less than you might think as we are massively, at nearly all levels, in debt.   We have very little actual manufacturing capability compared to our consumption.    

> 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.)

 Without an economic miracle we are most certainly in for very high inflation (over 30%) and most likely, the collapse of the US dollar, before the end of this decade.   Care to make a wager?  In gold?

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

The Great Depression is nothing compared to what is coming.  

> 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.

How?  This is not remotely answering any of my objections but simply reiterating what you have already asserted.

> 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.

After you have told everyone they are *entitled* to a paycheck at someone else's expense regardless of the wishes of those others and regardless of whether they are giving any value equal to the size of this entitlement?  Once you have baked that into the cake do you really thing you can just take it back?   

>> 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.

Wait.  You are going to make not even offer an argument?  You don't have time to discuss any of this seriously?  Then why am I wasting time on this  as if you are interested in actually understanding or resolving anything?  Good day.

- samantha

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