:if I stopped paying for my gym membership, they can stop providing their services to me. So, let's do that.
Great! Those services include being in the gym at all!I'll stop paying my taxes and the government will stop providing its services to me.
Then you don't get to use money. Then you don't get to travel on roads. Then you don't get to complain to the police when someone with a bigger gun and better martial arts training than you goes after you. Then maybe you don't even get to make use of the internet. (Yay, less distractive clutter in online discussions! :-) ) No wonder the principled
libertarians live in mountain cabins by themselves, planting animals and hunting vegetables for sustenance. They at least recognize what "I'm not dependent on or obligated to any other people!" would really mean.
You choose not to acknowledge your interdependence on the social framework, or the notion of republican democracy where a majority elects people who make decisions that you are bound by. Great. The fact remains, that if you don't like those decisions in this society you work to elect others the next time around, but you abide by the law in the meantime. You don't get all silly and childish and call it "theft". That just lends credence to the argument that the libertarian position is just babyish whining.Or are you suggesting gyms can give out their services, even against the will of the recipient, and force their 'customers' to pay up?
If someone chooses to "live" at that gym, yeah. Pretty much. Duh. They could certainly choose to live elsewhere. Perhaps in their own self-made "mountain cabin gym" built with their bare hands. (This is what libertarians say about the poor and disadvantaged - "if they don't like it where they live they can just hire a moving van or pack their stuff and go to the UPS store or put all their stuff in their SUV and drive to live somewhere else, right?" If it applies to such people, it also applies to the libertarians themselves, no?)I meant exactly what I said about theft.
Well, then you should strive to be clearer next time. You made vague references to "whenever an entity takes from another entity" that made no sense from an English-speaking point of view. In a republican democracy, people elect legislators who make decisions you are bound by. Saying "it's theft because I didn't vote for it and I don't agree with it" is, simply, the rantings of a child who doesn't like the rules and wants to throw a tantrum. It's not theft. Not at all. So let's move on and get real.
Let's be clear about history: over the course of 30 years, greedy corporate interests that did not like the notion of paying taxes and being regulated and playing by rules lobbied to minimize those taxes and laxify the enforcement of those rules - the very things libertarians seek. And what did we get? Sloppy, shortsighted stupid people driving our economy into the ground. In other words, you libertarians GOT what you wanted, and the childish "I can do what I want" behaviors of the "free-marketeers" led us into a hole. And as even a stubborn mule like Alan Greenspan noted, he was WRONG about his assumptions about how the free market worked where humans were involved. Do you
have that kind of honesty that you could acknowledge this, that the theoretical principles you deify when applied in practice don't quite work out as you imagine they would? Or will you stubbornly pretend, in the most fundamentally religious way, that these principles still stand despite how they manifest themselves in reality?Libertarianism is about freedom, both social and fiscal. It stems from the notion of property rights and ownership, including ownership of oneself such that one may make one's own choice as to whom to marry.
All proud, bold words spoken like a true high school student who read them in a book and took them to heart with no practical experience or historical perspective. OK. Great. Let's move on.I just wanted to be sure we know each others' definition of eugenics. A Google search for the definition turns mine up as the first hit. But that's neither here nor there. Again, I, and no other libertarian, would never advocate the practice I described no matter how pragmatic, practical, or beneficial to society since it goes against individual freedoms.
Does anyone really care about your deflection about eugenics? Man, this whole subthread is a deflection and distraction from Tim's original point about an online merchant charging sales tax, but even within that there must be a FURTHER distraction? Since you don't seem to be a fan of studying history, let's examine it together: you brought up the notion that "well, if you're a liberal who believes in doing what's best for society as a whole, then you should be for eugenically-motivated (though you chose not to use that word) sterilization of the poor, etc." And then you had the nerve to declare "_I haven't insinuated anything_" after attempting a deflective smear like that! LOL!I haven't insinuated anything. I'm asking the question based upon the rationale (ie pragmatic, beneficial to society) given by some for the government to undertake some projects. No non-libertarian has yet answered why they wouldn't advocate the practice. Would you like to have a go at it?
See what I mean? "You believe in X, therefore you must believe in Y, which is a horrible thing that most people associate with the word 'eugenics' but I don't. Nyah-nyah nah-nyah-nyah!" It is not a logical progression you make, it is a deliberate attempt to smear those who disagree with you that employs most of the basic fallacies to be avoided in making an argument. It is a "tactic", not a logical point. "You believe in doing what's best for society as a whole, so why not sterilize the poor?" And you claim no non-libertarian has answered this. Ooh, ooh, let me! Because we place our priority on people and their health and well-being first, as individuals AND as a group, over and above the health and well-being of a system, economic or social or otherwise, or of abstract principles. This is the opposite of what economic conservatives and libertarians believe: which is that PRINCIPLES about a supposedly free market are more important than people. I did answer your question. I'll answer again.
Well, no, you didn't. But it sounds like you're about to now. So thank you. Go ahead. Answer... "again"...I don't want there to be more abuses.
As I said, you had not answered this before. You never said that you do not want for there to be more abuses. But now you have. Good.I think there'll be fewer abuses -- corporations would have less, not more, power since they would have to rely on voluntary transactions, rather than political favors, in order to make money.
You clearly cannot "think" this based on history, based on what has demonstrably happened due to increased deregulation and lowered levels of supervision over the financial world. What we have learned is that, left to their own devices, these people will act like children. (The irony is, "conservatism" has long been associated with the old man on his porch shouting at the wild misbehaving kids to get off his lawn and follow the rules, but today... the conservatives ARE the wild misbehaving kids who refuse to follow the rules!) And the sad truth about libertarianism (within the economic sphere) is that it embodies the spirit not of an honest quest for freedom but of an adolescent approaching majority shouting "I'm an adult, I can do what I want!"
So, in short, no, there will not be fewer abuses. We know this from recent history. So you can stick to your principles, as contraindicated by reality as they might be. That's your choice.
But if you say you don't want for there to be more abuses, as an adult, you would acknowledge that regulation is not tyranny, that taxation is not theft, and that responsibility goes hand in hand with freedom. Of course, a child would say the opposite. Which one are you?I think I've addressed every point you've made.
No, not really. I had to literally beat out of you an answer to my fundamental question, and even that was somewhat diluted. But I will accept this as the best you choose to do.How about actually addressing the points I've made and questions I've asked
These would be, specifically?
(Note that this is another juvenile smear tactic - insinuating that the other person hasn't addressed points without delineating which points were left unaddressed... usually because there aren't any.)rather than trying to parry, dismiss, and/or go by some definition of libertarianism that libertarians don't hold?
Hmmm, this coming from the guy who tells progressives and liberals what they MUST believe based on THEIR principles as HE defines them... hmmmm, interesting...
(Wasn't there a real discussion going on here? Sorry for the detour...)