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Author Topic: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"  (Read 10173 times)

Elias Alias

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2008, 12:00:19 am »


I might rephrase the essay's question to appear less like an elitist advocate of despotism: "Why do not all humans behave like genuine self-owners?" That leaves room for speculation without the Nazi feeling one might get by evaluating other peoples' humanity.

Spharion, I'm enjoying reading your posts. Nice. Thanks!

Salute!
Elias
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Sphairon

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2008, 11:04:01 am »

MamaLiberty,

it would most certainly be a foolish endeavor to promote one variation of life, one path in the world's great forest as natural or desirable. I do, however, think we can reach a good consensus on what constitutes a behavior of genuine self-ownership:

A realization of ultimate personal responsibility in all of one's own deeds, deduced from that the recognition of all aggressive acts as being inherently illegitimate. Even more generally, a pledge to rely only on means of voluntary agreement to achieve one's goals.

A thief, for example, doesn't behave like a genuine self-owner, at least in the given situation. Neither does a rapist. But why do these people resort to force instead of persuasion? If everyone employed force to achieve their goals, society would fall apart. The opposite happens when persuasion replaces force. So why the "free rider" mentality?


Elias Alias,

as I've always considered your contributions to be especially intriguing, this honors me even more. Thanks a lot. :)

Edit: Elias' post has disappeared from the thread, but is still listed in the topic summary. I'm confused.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 11:12:49 am by Sphairon »
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MamaLiberty

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2008, 01:13:18 pm »

Quote
A thief, for example, doesn't behave like a genuine self-owner, at least in the given situation. Neither does a rapist. But why do these people resort to force instead of persuasion? If everyone employed force to achieve their goals, society would fall apart. The opposite happens when persuasion replaces force. So why the "free rider" mentality?

Why? In my experience those who resort to force do so from two main motives: fear and/or lack of conscience. Those without conscience have no moral compass at all, and everything is done as a matter of expedience to the immediate goal or protection of  themselves alone. Nobody else matters. At the extreme, these are the sociopaths.

Neither one has any conscious understanding of the benefits of cooperation and non-violence. Almost without exception, they consciously believe that someone must lose in order for them to win, whatever the object at the moment. They cannot conceive of a win/win situation. The sociopath will use a simulation of cooperation quite easily in order to further his own goals, but there is simply no real consideration of anything but their own desires. They cannot be reached or reasoned with.

The person motivated completely or mostly from fear - usually due to seriously harmful experience, therefore being in a defensive mode all the time - are usually reachable, teachable and can become productive members of a voluntary society. But it's not easy.

Those who seek power over others usually fall into one class or the other as far as I can see.
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Sphairon

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2008, 03:09:38 pm »

Why? In my experience those who resort to force do so from two main motives: fear and/or lack of conscience. Those without conscience have no moral compass at all, and everything is done as a matter of expedience to the immediate goal or protection of  themselves alone. Nobody else matters. At the extreme, these are the sociopaths.

How do you think can such a lack of conscience occur? This is once again touching the "nature vs nurture" debate, but in case we cannot directly attribute sociopathic behavior to bad experience or mistreatment, we have to take a second look at the origins of human nature and behavior, and need to ask whether all humans really belong to the same psychological "kind of being" - since obviously, cooperative, mutually agreeable behavior is the polar opposite of predatory aggression.

To cite a somewhat controversial proponent of this "theory", radio talk show host Alex Jones frequently mentions his belief that those shadowy members of the global power elite, the NWO, have been developing over time into a different kind of being; while still resembling a human from the outside, they've altered their mindsets from a tribally oriented, generally "human" attitude to a reckless and remorseless "parasite setting". I don't know if you subscribe to the core points of Jones' world view, but it would well exemplify the question whether there are different kinds of psychological homo sapiens.


Quote
The person motivated completely or mostly from fear - usually due to seriously harmful experience, therefore being in a defensive mode all the time - are usually reachable, teachable and can become productive members of a voluntary society. But it's not easy.

Those, I would say, are definitely barred from behaving like self-owners by unfortunate accidents or circumstances, maybe also by wrongheaded indoctrination. As you say, they have the potential to become admirable, self-reliant individuals, and we should not become tired to reach out for them.


By the way, if you allow the question: would you consider yourself a Christian, and do you adhere to Biblical moral principles?
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MamaLiberty

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2008, 03:34:47 pm »

Quote
By the way, if you allow the question: would you consider yourself a Christian, and do you adhere to Biblical moral principles?

At the risk of taking this thread even farther from the original topic, I'll answer briefly here and suggest we continue by PM if you would like to discuss it further... or we can open a new thread. :)

Yes, I consider myself a Christian, though most of those I know would disagree because I do not see the bible as anything but a good book that was written by and for Godly people, not God himself. Much in it is contradictory to itself, and certainly to the Spirit of the Living God.

God/Christ/Holy Spirit is living and present in each particle of the universe and has no need for a book to speak for him. We can speak with him in the here and now directly. Worship of the book blocks most Christians from doing so, unfortunately.

I've looked for a very long time for others to talk to about this. So far I have not found any. 
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Sphairon

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2008, 04:00:31 pm »


At the risk of taking this thread even farther from the original topic, I'll answer briefly here and suggest we continue by PM if you would like to discuss it further... or we can open a new thread. :)


I'd say we should make use of the PM function, as we've been having a conversation pretty much for ourselves for about a page or so, except for laudable inputs from jamie and vonu.

I'll try to sum up my thoughts on the issue and send you the results, ML.
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2008, 12:04:36 pm »

Quote
A thief, for example, doesn't behave like a genuine self-owner, at least in the given situation. Neither does a rapist. But why do these people resort to force instead of persuasion? If everyone employed force to achieve their goals, society would fall apart. The opposite happens when persuasion replaces force. So why the "free rider" mentality?

Why? In my experience those who resort to force do so from two main motives: fear and/or lack of conscience. Those without conscience have no moral compass at all, and everything is done as a matter of expedience to the immediate goal or protection of  themselves alone. Nobody else matters. At the extreme, these are the sociopaths.

Neither one has any conscious understanding of the benefits of cooperation and non-violence. Almost without exception, they consciously believe that someone must lose in order for them to win, whatever the object at the moment. They cannot conceive of a win/win situation. The sociopath will use a simulation of cooperation quite easily in order to further his own goals, but there is simply no real consideration of anything but their own desires. They cannot be reached or reasoned with.

The person motivated completely or mostly from fear - usually due to seriously harmful experience, therefore being in a defensive mode all the time - are usually reachable, teachable and can become productive members of a voluntary society. But it's not easy.

Those who seek power over others usually fall into one class or the other as far as I can see.

That first categorization seems to accurately desribe some that I've noticed over time.  The single phrase summing it up would I guess be that they figure that life is a zero-sum game,  and they sure do seem to be convinced of that.  I don't happen to believe that to be the case,  and I'm sure that a great many people also feel that way.  Whether it's possible to change a parasite's mind with regard to that I don't know offhand...


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MamaLiberty

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2008, 12:48:07 pm »

Quote
Whether it's possible to change a parasite's mind with regard to that I don't know offhand...

It depends on the person's life view. If the "parasite" is any sort of sociopath, with the zero-sum mind set, probably not. Nothing you can say or do will change his view of life as a contest with him winning and YOU losing as the only possible choice.

The person who has simply been brainwashed, conditioned, and fearful - but who understands at some level that he doesn't have to beat (or harm) everyone in the world in order to gain what he needs... that person just might be able to see the win/win beauty of liberty.

The one question I ask people is how they understand the non-aggression principle. However you phrase that, it's the core question. If a person understands even a little that there is no good excuse for aggression, you can probably reach them with the rest. If they can't see any reason why they should not attack others when it suits them, they're probably hopeless.

Some are just too damaged to reach. Start young, and be consistent. Not much else you can do.
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Apple

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Re: A REAL Cowboy - not GWB "All Hat and No Cattle"
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2008, 04:13:28 pm »

Well, I've read the articles through, (both of em) and my thoughts have coalesced into something vaguely resembling coherence, so here goes:

I don't think the author quite got the thrust of the earlier essay which he refers to, and where Mr. Cram says:

    “We do not behave like human beings because most of us do not fall within that classification as we have determined it for ourselves, since we do not measure up to standard. And thus:

    “With our invincible—and most honourable but perilous—optimism we gauge humanity by the best it has to show. From the bloody riot of cruelty, greed and lust we cull the bright figures of real men and women.”
    [/list]

    Well, there's a DUH moment for you. We don't classify other animals that way, so why should we make an exception for ourselves?

    This is the logic error in our thinking. We like to think of ourselves as non-animals. We very much would like that to be true. Especially in our western society, we used to idealize humanity and considered ourselves to be in a totally different class from animals. We claimed that the intersection of human and animal is the empty set. But that isn't so, and identifying ourselves with the disjunction of human and animal, rather than the whole human being, leads to all sorts of trouble. (If you know anything about set theory, you should now see the appropriate Venn-diagrams flashing in front of your eyes.)

    We have been trying to deny our animal nature for a long time, and to a certain extent we still try. Heck, it's considered an insult ('cept in the bedroom). This must be some kind of irrational fear, probably of falling short of the standard. The less one lives up to this standard of human beings, the louder the screams of denial and renounciation. It certainly explains a lot of our weird hang-ups, especially regarding nudity, sexual organs and sex, and poo and pee. “We are humans, not animals, and we just don't do those things.” (And when reality rudely interrupts our attempts at denial, we evacuate to a small secluded room so that at least no other can see, hear or smell it. If nobody can see it it didn't happen.)

    Quote from: MamaLiberty
    So, might makes right?

    I am not yet able to say if this statement is true as such, but I see a great truth in it. Certainly, if you do not have the willingness to back up your rights—by force if necessary—then your rights disappear. Aside from that, (there's that pesky question again—and this is precisely why I seek its answer) what gives us the right to take any animal that's just minding its own business, and force it to serve us, instead of itself? I have not found any honest, non-contradictory answer to that question, other than, "because we can." In other words, might makes right.

    Now, did you say you reject the notion that "might makes right"? In that case you must at once drop all activities related to animal husbandry, and cease using animal products of any kind—or supply an alternative moral principle allowing it. Do you see my problem?

    Quote from: MamaLiberty
    And no, they are not getting away with it.

    I really hope you're right MamaLiberty.

    Quote from: MamaLiberty
    I don't know. Do we even have a solid definition of self ownership? One on which everyone can agree? That very lack of absolute definition would seem to prove the very existence of unilateral individual sovereignty because (as easily demonstrated) we don't have to agree 100% in order to interact peacefully and productively.

    Well, TOLFA has this to say on the matter:

      “...it is (literally) reasonable to enquire
    whether we have the power (as well as this ability) to make reasoned, action decisions for ourselves; that is, whether human beings are self-owners.” (Emphasis in original.)[/list]

    They then go and muddle around confusing property law with their own redefinition of self-ownership.

    Personally, I like to take the term literally, that is to say, one literally owns oneself as per property rights. That's the only way it makes sense to me. But then again, I might be called a semantics nazi by some. (I'd say I prefer honest and accurate communication—arbitrarily redefining terms leads to confusion.) What they call self-ownership I call self-direction.

    Anyway, from my definition, I conclude that I am not a self-owner. If one is ownable, then one is property, subject to the property system. I do not consider myself property, therefore I am not ownable, and therefore I am not a self-owner. Note that I make no claim to irrefutable axiomatic underpinnings. I choose to view myself this way. I like it because it's a clean solution. I don't have to say "I am a self-owner, but it's a special kind of ownership that's inalienable and can't be transferred." Blah blah blah.

    In reality, of course, I can be owned. Rights are a matter of concensus*. If I live in a society which believes in pure slavery, then there is little chance to escape for me. If I manage to escape from my plantation, people will return me to the one who is my master according to their rules. They can even prevent me from killing myself, if they suspect that I would.

    * Please take note of the fact that my definition of rights is reality-based. I can't go about claiming this or that right, speaking of positive, negative or natural rights or whatever, ignoring reality. I have the right to x even if 99% of society disagrees with me? Nuh-uh, not in my dictionary. Not for any x. While concensus may be fuzzy, we can always look at reality and find some kind of answer.

    When is something considered concensus, and when isn't it? Certainly one dissenter on the scale of a nation does not break the concensus. Then at what percentage do we call something concensus? It doesn't really matter. I'm sure you can agree with me that there are ranges where it's very clear that there is either concensus, no concensus at all, or even negative concensus. (When we're sure that x is not a right.) And even if we are in the fuzzy range, that is still some kind of reality-based answer, namely that the right is currently in dispute. The RTKBA is a good example of this.

      “It's a right silly, not a priviledge!” —Nonsense, rights and priviledges can be directly understood in terms of each other. A right is a universal priviledge—and a priviledge is a limited right.

      Victim: "You can't do this to me! I've got rights!"
      JBT: "Ha ha ha ha ha!" ZZZAPPPPP!!! KZZZZT!!!
      [Victim convulses on the ground][/list]

      Now, why did the JBT laugh, other than for the reason that he's a sadistic SOB? It is because he understands something that I understand, and which the victim does not. The victim's world view is out of date, and whatever right he claims to possess, he does not. Nothing will happen to the JBT, unless he gets lucky and gets a paid vacation pending investigation. He will not be convicted. He will not be shunned. Nobody will send rocks through his windows or puncture his tires. There will definitely be no sightseeing from the tops of lamp posts, flagpoles or trees. Society allows it. Therefore, we can conclude that the JBT has the right to torture people by taser, and the people have no right to protection from said JBT.

      Read the wise words of Anonymous on rights here: Freedom on a Leash. (From TOLFA, of all places. You'd think they'd understand the stuff they have on their own site.)

      Now, if you want to talk about what rights we should have in our ideal society, that's where we can talk about positive rights, negative rights, natural rights, up rights, down rights, top rights, bottom rights, strange rights, charmed rights, and any other kind of rights you would care to name.

      Quote from: MamaLiberty
      And here is the crux of it. NO, that's not the question - or should not be. There will always be some who CHOOSE to be slaves, and CHOOSE to be irresponsible. Therefore, there will always be someone glad to enslave them and take advantage of their stupidity.

      The trouble is, that said someone will then form his slaves into an army and trample all over me—unless I too become a slave owner with comparable power and influence. The answer must lie in the dissipation of power, down to the individual level.
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