Monday, February 20, 2012

A Pleasant Summer Conversation

My reply to feedbacker “Summer” at The Daily Bell thread here (quoted statements are Summer's quotes to which I reply):

" point was the absence of something can be an imposition of an undesirable state of affairs for some party or another..."

The absence of something that an individual has no right to is not an imposition at all. One does not have a "right" to a police department in the neighborhood. One may wish it. One may desire it. But how would this be a "right"?

One has a right to his body, therefore a right to the product of his body and the right to dispose of that product. One has a right to defend that which he produced and otherwise properly acquired.

Anything more inherently becomes an infringement in another's rights.

So, I do not have a "right" to police protection. I may form community with others to voluntarily establish means of producing and funding such services, but I have no right to demand other join me in this if they do not wish. THAT would be the imposition!

"This is the trouble, you cannot have a just society without principles. It would never be free, might would always be right."

I agree with this statement for the most part. On the one hand, I do not believe there can be a just society without generally accepted underlying principles (of course, the generally accepted principles matter, as I know you know, and I will come to later). However, this does not mean you will ever have a pure society. There will always be a subset for whom "might makes right" will be a preferred method of social interaction.

As to my wish for a generally accepted principle: my first choice would be for general understanding and acceptance of the non-aggression principle (NAP).

It is my understanding that most/all major religions have as a main building block some concept of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I think this is a good start, although I would also wish for "do NOT do unto others what you would NOT want done to you", as a defense against the do-gooders.

"Should we not attempt to engage with the world we have now?"

I believe there are some in the libertarian / anarchist camp who would offer a strong NO to this statement, as regards using political means to improve the social situation. They certainly have precedent on their side when it comes to the futility of using politics as the means. Other libertarians have a different view, for example being supportive of a Ron Paul.

I cannot say which is right either way. One of the staunchest anti-state libertarians, Lew Rockwell, is also a supporter of Dr. Paul. It would seem to me this is one indication that it is difficult to be black and white on this issue; although it seems to me one can be supportive of Ron Paul for the value he brings toward education while being less (or non-) supportive of the political power that comes with the office he is seeking.

However, I can separate my approach to standing firmly on non-aggression as a principle when it comes to explaining my view of the proper political relationship of man with his fellow man on the one hand, from the reality of life in this world on the other.

As I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread, from a real-world viewpoint I will gladly accept any moves toward substantial (and I emphasize substantial) decentralization of political structures. At the same time, when individuals propose some new-fangled solution for their dream of structuring society, I test it (often with strong words) for their desire to force their dream upon others against their wishes. Hence my comments about what you or others would do to implement your preferred no-interest world.

"....what do you think of secularism in its purer forms viz., minority rights and justice, especially regarding plural legal systems?"

I am not sure I fully understand your question, but I will try given my understanding. To start, I think no “ism” can exist in “purer forms” as man is an imperfect being.

I cannot envision society without individuals “believing” something. Common beliefs bring groups together, and most individuals will want to find reasons to interact with others, obviously especially others of like mind.

Call that thing they will “believe” a religion, and it seems difficult to be able to order society without any belief in any religion. This comes back to my earlier comments: there must be some generally accepted underlying principles for any society to exist. Once again, the one (and only possible) unifying principle I see is the NAP. Not because several religions say so – but perhaps the several religions say so because it is so true.

Please note: I AM NOT suggesting that a religious based law must be implemented (as that term is commonly used today), such as laws based on Christianity, Old Testament laws, Sharia laws. I am suggesting that there are principles that allow individuals to go their own way and live under any or none of these as they choose. I see NAP as this. If there is another, I am open to hear about it.

As to plural legal systems, I think this is quite possible in a given geographical region. One can choose the legal system under which they wish to be both protected and be obligated – or choose to go it alone, I imagine. (Same for plural political systems). There has been much written about this and how the different systems would resolve disputes between two individuals from two different legal systems. It happens today between two customers of two different insurance companies who happen to be jointly involved in a car accident. The same methods have much broader application.

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