[ExI] SpaceX launch succcessful

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Thu May 31 18:05:14 UTC 2012

On Thursday, May 31, 2012 9:57 AM BillK <pharos at gmail.com>  wrote:
> <big snip> 
>>  Not at all. Recall, I'm the one that started this thread and am overall quite optimistic
>>  about space transport. But that doesn't mean I redefine terms to suit whatever
>>  progress might be made. To wit, what is libertarian should be very clear --
>>  it has to involve no coercion, not merely choice or private provision or less coercion.
>>  And this is important because many people are confused about what should be a
>>  fairly clear concept that's not difficult to apply in this case.
> But you are redefining 'coercion' to suit your theory!

No. I was discussing coercion in the context of libertarianism. In that context -- after all, Kelly was stating that selling launch services to a government space agency was a "libertarian approach to space" -- the particular case seems quite clear. This is not to say libertarian views of coercion are without any gray areas or ambiguities, but the ambiguities are not in this particular case, where clearly NASA does not get funded non-coercively. (The libertarian view also gives a context for coercion, which allows for paradigmatic cases of coercion. This context is property rights or natural rights. Without this, you end up with cases like someone fending off a rapist or thief or murderer being called a coercer because she or he used force.)
> The human race and evolution 'red in tooth and claw' is coercion all the way.
> Everything is coercion of some kind.

That's an entirely different matter and debatable. That coercion exists in many activities does not mean one can't make a clear conceptual distinction. And also were it true that nothing human is non-coercive, then the concept would be meaningless and there'd be no point in saying that selling launch services to NASA is or is not non-coercive. It would be like meaningless.

Now, I do believe coercion and noncoercion are applicable concepts -- that they actually do point to real things or real relationships. (I could go into more detail. I'm sure given your previous criticisms of libertarianism, you should be aware of how libertarians generally use coercion and what they mean by it and how these is not too far from, though not exactly the same as, conventional usage.)

> See: <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/coercion/> 
> for a philosophical discussion about what coercion means.
> But they open their discussion by listing all the types of coercion
> that they are not going to discuss, because it gets too complicated.
> :)

Yes, but so what? There are different views on matter and energy, yet in terms of the debate between Kelley and me, we were not touching on these and the specific case in point is not one that really has nuances that would open it up to being outside coercion. Even one looser view that big player can coerce simply by being big should apply here: NASA is the big player in the space arena. So, even non-libertarians who think a big player is coercive simply because it has more financial clout should at least agree.

I'm happy you have posted here rather than contacted me directly.



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