I just wanted to know if any of you are Anarchists or Communists. If you are I would like to add you to my friends and ask you to join my Anarchist group. If you aren't either then talk to me anyway so I can make you one. ;)

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You are proposing that we should make away with all the stuff people fought and died for to achieve.

So if people fought and died for a society of baby-eating and beating old ladies with clubs, you would defend it? What about the many people who fought and died for Nazism, Leninism, and all the other totalitarian ideologies out there? Something is good just because people fought and died for it?

I'm guessing that it would be a wonderful paradise in your mind to go back to the 19th century when people were working 16 hour days in order to barely survive and if they got sick, well, too bad...

Believe it or not, our higher standard of living today came about precisely because of market forces, not government regulations and restrictions (which, by definition, get in the way of willing buyers and sellers, thus reducing the amount of wealth created by society). Life can be rough sometimes, but the solution is to unleash human creativity and potential, not impede it with government interference.

You socioeconomic beliefs couldn't sink any lower in my eyes. I knew right-libertarianism was inhumane but thanks for stating it so plainly.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm not sure what could possibly be inhumane about my refusal to condone the initiation of force against my fellow man.
So if people fought and died for a society of baby-eating and beating old ladies with clubs, you would defend it?

I defend these because this sacrifice made life better for everyone, unlike baby eating and granny beating.

Believe it or not, our higher standard of living today came about precisely because of market forces, not government regulations and restrictions

Untrue, our higher standard of living is because of socialization of these market forces. The more socialistic and libertarianistic a society, the better the standard of living. The more capitalistic and/or authoritarian a country, the lower the standard of living.

(which, by definition, get in the way of willing buyers and sellers, thus reducing the amount of wealth created by society).
No, this is not the definition. Indeed goverment regulation on minimum wages and the like helps create MORE wealth.

Life can be rough sometimes, but the solution is to unleash human creativity and potential, not impede it with government interference.

Life can be rough and occasionally deadly . which is why smart people/societies agree on a social net to catch the more unfortunate. When people are free from the fear of sudden obliteration is when they can unleash their creativity.

I'm not sure what could possibly be inhumane about my refusal to condone the initiation of force against my fellow man.

You refusal to understand the Tragedy of the Commons
Wow! Sorry, I just realized you've been joking this entire time. It didn't become obvious until you equated socialism with libertarianism and capitalism with authoritarianism, and claiming that minimum wage laws CREATE wealth (which even the supporters of minimum wages have long admitted is impossible, admitting that their goal is economic redistribution and not wealth creation). Wow, you really had me going! I honestly thought you believed the things you were saying. Well done.

Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to go create some wealth as best I can under the government rules that try to prevent it.
I didn't equate libertarianism with socialism or capitalism with authoritarianism. I said AND/OR. Learn to read.

Libertarianism is the opposite of Authoritarianism and Capitalism the opposite of Socialism. With these 4 option your can have four different combinations.

(which even the supporters of minimum wages have long admitted is impossible, admitting that their goal is economic redistribution and not wealth creation)

These vague people and statistics that you keep pulling out of your ass start to stink.
I was an anarchist for quite some time, working with groups like, "Anarchist Black Cross" and Food not Bombs. I was involved with one group that orchestrated resistance to the DNC in Boston during the 2004 election, as well. Oh yeah, and I was a member of the IWW, too. However, I've since kind of moved away from anarchism, as I feel that while the values are closest to my personal beliefs (Emma Goldman's, "Living my Life" is one of my favorite autobiographies of all time), many anarchists are such fundamentalists in their beliefs, it creates what I see as a shadow authoritarianism. Many so reject any form of possession to the point where it hinders their ability to help others. I now consider myself a, "Libertarian Socialist" (which kinda does mean anarchist) believing that people should be free to do whatever they wish so long as it isn't harmful to others. I think that laissez-faire capitalism is harmful to people's individual liberties, but that possession and property aren't necessarily. As an example, I believe all drugs should be decriminalized. However, I don't think driving on all drugs should be decriminalized, because it could result in harming or killing someone, even if it isn't the driver's intent. Like the intoxicated driver, the owner of a large corporation might not be trying to exploit or harm anyone, but even if they take steps to ensure they aren't, as the business "builds up speed," a level of control is lost. You only have to turn on the news and see how huge corporations are exploiting people. At the same time, as an anarchist, I learned a lot about the authoritarian nature of communism and socialism, even against radicals with different beliefs (See: The Kronstadt Rebellion).
At the end of the day, I guess I'm just skeptical of everyone and everything, which I suppose isn't a bad thing.
Just one note: Communism does not require authoritarianism. Stalinism, Leninism , Maoism and the like yes, but it is not part of the original ideology. Indeed I would argue that Communism without liberty is not Communism
Fascism is the only ideology that implicitly requires authoritarianism. In most other ideologies, it is merely a byproduct of such. I believe that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I also believe that Communism presents a bureaucracy that allows for the possibility of corruption. With that said, I agree that communism as presented by Marx, did not require authoritarianism, and anti-authoritarian communism is not dissimilar to my own beliefs.
Darren wrote on July 18:
“So I own myself (which I think we can all agree on), and my home and the land it sits on. I then build a factory to make widgets that other people buy. You're saying that there's some way to morally justify the confiscation of my factory by "the people?" It's morally just to put a gun to someone's head and make them hand over the fruits of their labor?”

On what ethical theory do you base your judgment that the confiscation of a factory is morally wrong? Since you are posting to an atheist board, I assume you do not consider this a god-declared rule. If you base your moral reasoning on consequences, then we have to look at the specific consequences of the individual case to form a conclusion. Are you just proposing a rule of thumb, like “if society is never permitted to confiscate private property, it will lead to favorable results most of the time?” Or do you conclude that it is immoral merely because you don’t like it?

I also wonder what you mean by “I own myself (which I think we can all agree on.)” Are you saying that you have the same legal rights to yourself that you have over commodities that you buy? You are assuming legal facts that are different in different societies. In this country, for example, while you can sell your car to another owner, you are not permitted to sell yourself into slavery. And if you could, then your statement that you own yourself would be refuted.
On what ethical theory do you base your judgment that the confiscation of a factory is morally wrong?

Well, that would be any number of standard libertarian ethical theories based on natural rights. Natural rights ethics are derived a priori using axiomatic-deductive reasoning--no need for the supernatural or for society-granted rights. I'm not going to re-derive natural rights theory for you, but I'll hit the basics. It's axiomatic that every human owns his own body because the alternatives (that he is owned by another person or owned commonly by society) are internally inconsistent and self-refuting. It's also axiomatic that each individual owns (or can potentially own) at least enough space to stand in and enough air to breathe--otherwise, life would not be possible. Finally, it can be shown that an individual owns anything that he brings into production from a previously unowned state of nature or that he justly acquires in a voluntary exchange with someone else. Were this not the case, it would mean that we could land on an unowned island, cut down some trees, work hard to build a boat or a house, and would not be justified in defending those things if someone else arrived and tried to take them.

I also wonder what you mean by “I own myself (which I think we can all agree on.)” Are you saying that you have the same legal rights to yourself that you have over commodities that you buy? You are assuming legal facts that are different in different societies.

Actually, no, my assumptions have nothing to do with any society's "legal facts." The whole point of a system of human ethics is that it's universal and independent of any artificial system of laws. Self-ownership is exactly what it says--complete control over one's body and the right to defend oneself. You could theoretically sell yourself into "slavery" but because you cannot alienate the ownership of your body, you could legitimately break such a contract at any time, and the slave owner could not use aggression against you unless you first initiated aggression against him.
Darren wrote on July 20, 2008
Natural rights ethics are derived a priori using axiomatic-deductive reasoning--no need for the supernatural or for society-granted rights…. It's axiomatic that every human owns his own body because the alternatives (that he is owned by another person or owned commonly by society) are internally inconsistent and self-refuting.

It is simply untrue that natural axioms of ethics are known a priori.. If that were the case, then it would lead to a logical contradiction. First off, you have to admit that there are societies in which human slaves were owned as chattel, so denial of self-ownership is not impossible, therefore the claim that it is a priori is false. More about this at the bottom, but you are not saving your argument by stating that a slave is justified to escape, because the owner uses guards, chains and both physical and psychological punishment to ensure that he does not. You say that alternatives are “internally inconsistent and self-refuting,” yet many people chose voluntarily to become bondsmen, selling themselves into slavery. Today, workers sell their labor power to employers. During his time at work, he must do the tasks that his employer wants, not the things that he wants to do. It is the employer who is in possession of his labor and time.

Daren continued:
Finally, it can be shown that an individual owns anything that he brings into production from a previously unowned state of nature or that he justly acquires in a voluntary exchange with someone else. Were this not the case, it would mean that we could land on an unowned island, cut down some trees, work hard to build a boat or a house, and would not be justified in defending those things if someone else arrived and tried to take them.

Ownership is a term that derives meaning only in a social context. To say that your Robinson Carusoe owns the house that he builds is meaningless, as there is no social context that would create property rights. Your contention that he would be justified to defend his home against later arrivals is a decision that cannot be made without concrete facts, specifically refuting your claim to a priori,, axiomatic ethics. If a ship is wrecked in a storm, and the survivors swim to shore, needing shelter to survive and permit them to nurse their injuries, it would be grievously immoral to keep them out, ensuring the death of many. Another scenario would be if a military party lands to capture Robinson to bring him home to justice for crimes he has committed. His moral obligation is to return with them. If he kills a few to defend his home, he has just committed further crimes.

Your natural rights theory fails because there is no justification for your false axioms. Ultimately, there is no justification for the claim that “a man owns his body” other than that you like it.

Darren concluded:
The whole point of a system of human ethics is that it's universal and independent of any artificial system of laws. Self-ownership is exactly what it says--complete control over one's body and the right to defend oneself. You could theoretically sell yourself into "slavery" but because you cannot alienate the ownership of your body, you could legitimately break such a contract at any time, and the slave owner could not use aggression against you unless you first initiated aggression against him.

Your argument is showing the blinders of looking at history from the limited perspective of today’s social institutions. You want to justify capitalism, therefore you claim that all prior labor systems are really stunted forms of the modern fire-or-quit-at-will employment contract. In fact your reasoning would be ludicrous to the slave owners of the ancient world or the landowner with serfs in the middle ages.

There was much more justification for your argument early in American history. If employees didn’t like their work, they could quit a
It is simply untrue that natural axioms of ethics are known a priori.

No, it's perfectly true. A principle becomes an axiom when the person arguing against it is shown to be using it himself. Thus, self-ownership is an axiom, because you yourself are asserting ownership of your body (your vocal cords, brain, etc) by engaging in argument. If you did not have ownership in your person, you would have to get permission from whoever does own you to use your body. Perhaps I'm wrong--perhaps you are owned by someone else (or by a group of people) and you've already gotten permission to speak, think, etc.

First off, you have to admit that there are societies in which human slaves were owned as chattel, so denial of self-ownership is not impossible, therefore the claim that it is a priori is false.

I never said that there had never been those who violated the right of self-ownership--I simply said that there exists in all humans such a right.

You say that alternatives are “internally inconsistent and self-refuting,” yet many people chose voluntarily to become bondsmen, selling themselves into slavery.

Same thing here--I'm not talking about all the rights abuses that we know have occurred throughout history. I'm simply laying out what is and isn't ethical under natural law. And being owned by someone else or a society of people commonly owning each other do not qualify as ethical since the first one is not universally applicable and the second one demands the absurd condition that you must get permission from the entire to society to take any action, including eating and breathing. If you claim to not need society's permission to eat, breathe, defend yourself from attack, etc, then you have just acknowledged the fact of self-ownership.

Today, workers sell their labor power to employers. During his time at work, he must do the tasks that his employer wants, not the things that he wants to do. It is the employer who is in possession of his labor and time.

Of course. Labor is alienable. The will is not. Selling some of your labor is qualitatively different from signing over your free will and becoming a slave.

Ownership is a term that derives meaning only in a social context. To say that your Robinson Carusoe owns the house that he builds is meaningless, as there is no social context that would create property rights.

Well, yeah--and last time I checked, men coexist with other men. We know for a fact that we live in a world of more than one person, so property rights immediately come into play.

Your contention that he would be justified to defend his home against later arrivals is a decision that cannot be made without concrete facts, specifically refuting your claim to a priori,, axiomatic ethics.

No, it was implied in my statement that he would defending himself against an initiation of force. There is no way to justify stealing the fruits of someone else's labor once you've shown that there is a universal right to self-ownership and consequent ownership of that which one has produced by mixing his labor with previously unowned or justly acquired resources. So yes, the right to property holds on an a priori basis.

You want to justify capitalism, therefore you claim that all prior labor systems are really stunted forms of the modern fire-or-quit-at-will employment contract.

Again, no, I'm attempting to show that there is such a thing as right and wrong and that it can be deduced logically from simple, irrefutable premises that stem from the nature of man. Thus, I find that the only ethical philosophy is one that includes self-ownership as a universal rule, whether you call it capitalism, libertarianism, or market anarchy.

In fact your reasoning would be ludicrous to the slave owners of the ancient world or the landowner with serfs in the middle ages.

Indeed. And they were all violating the fundamental right of self-ownership. I really don't know what you're getting at with all these examples of rights violations. Are you saying that slavery is legitimate because it has happened before?
A principle becomes an axiom when the person arguing against it is shown to be using it himself.

yeah, that's what you say.

If you did not have ownership in your person, you would have to get permission from whoever does own you to use your body

That is absurd. You're getting into Randian-type of arguments now which stop making much sense once you think them for more than two seconds.
Even if you did not have ownership of your person, then your normal bodily functions would still continue since you do not control them.
You're trying to use some kind of absolute pupper-like control of someone which is impossible (have permission to breathe?) to achieve and then claim that because this is impossible, this proves self-ownership.

No it does not.

Well, yeah--and last time I checked, men coexist with other men. We know for a fact that we live in a world of more than one person, so property rights immediately come into play.

Only as long as we define them. I can very well think of a world where property rights do not come into play.

There is no way to justify stealing the fruits of someone else's labor once you've shown that there is a universal right to self-ownership and consequent ownership of that which one has produced by mixing his labor with previously unowned or justly acquired resources.

And since there is no universal right of self-ownership, your argument collapses.
Also, those unowned resources, who said that just because one has not staked a claim on them you are in your rights to claim them? I deny that claim.

and that it can be deduced logically from simple, irrefutable premises that stem from the nature of man.

And what is the nature of man pray?

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