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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #41  
Old 04-22-2013, 5:13 PM
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The Nazis in Germany, the Bolsheviks in Russia and the Communists in China a case studies of what makes tyranny successful. All of them made outlandish promises, and huge lies. Enough to get the support of the people. Gosh, that sounds familiar.
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  #42  
Old 04-22-2013, 5:14 PM
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What Makes Tyranny Successful ?
Good men and women doing nothing.
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  #43  
Old 04-22-2013, 6:25 PM
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What makes a Tyranny successful?

An educational system which the government controls.

A media which does the bidding of the government.

A ruling class which has no real fear of being removed from power.
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  #44  
Old 04-22-2013, 6:44 PM
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complacency
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  #45  
Old 04-22-2013, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone View Post
Tyranny is never ultimately permanently successful as it is man's nature to be free.
History disagrees.

America stands unique in civilized history as a long lasting civilization which inherently did NOT feature tyrannical government.

Rome, the Islamic Caliphates, the Feudal systems, and monarchies were classic examples of draconian, tyrannical, and prosperous governments.

The average Joe and Jane Citizen could give a rat's fart about freedom so long as their needs are met. When the government promises to meet those needs, the Citizen will agree to commit outright atrocity for those material benefits. The pattern's there for anyone to read.

Freedom , I submit, is an UNNATURAL state. One which requires intellectual understanding and appreciation, and therefore a state which is condemned to the fringes of any society-including ours as recent events demonstrate.
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  #46  
Old 04-22-2013, 7:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone View Post
Tyranny is never ultimately permanently successful as it is man's nature to be free. Rather, it is an evil with a regenerating head that must be decapitated from time to time so that inevitable freedom will prevail. This is not to say that tyranny has not and cannot generate mass destruction and enslavement, nor that vigilance is not required to keep tyranny squelched, but that ultimately those who stand for liberty of the individual will prevail.
This is incorrect.

Historically, liberty of the citizenry is an anomaly. The vast, vast majority of history throughout the world is covered by tyrants who wielded absolute power.

This is because people's natural instinct is to follow a leader. Independence of thought and deed is exceptional, not commonplace.
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The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

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  #47  
Old 04-22-2013, 7:12 PM
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What makes tyranny successful?

Simple: the ability of the tyrant to wield greater power than is available to the citizenry that would oppose him.

What combination of numbers of people he needs to follow him and what weaponry he makes available to those people and that remain unavailable to the citizenry that opposes him depends on what period of history you're talking about, as well as the specific country you're talking about. Throughout most of the history of the world, the balance of arms was relatively equal between the citizenry and the military, which meant that the military had to win on some combination of strength of numbers, better organization, better training, and better execution.

That has changed in the last 70 years, with the advantage in arms going increasingly towards the tyrant. Today, the tyrant needs fewer people to keep a given size population in check than he would have needed even 100 years ago.

This is why the Syrians have not won their armed rebellion, despite the fact that they now have a larger number of combatants. It is why an armed rebellion in the United States will almost certainly fail.
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The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

Last edited by kcbrown; 04-22-2013 at 7:17 PM..
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  #48  
Old 04-22-2013, 7:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kcbrown View Post
That has changed in the last 70 years, with the advantage in arms going increasingly towards the tyrant. Today, the tyrant needs fewer people to keep a given size population in check than he would have needed even 100 years ago.

This is why the Syrians have not won their armed rebellion, despite the fact that they now have a larger number of combatants.
Another change is the control of information.

In 1776, controlling the news of revolutionary war was beyond the ability of the British Crown.

Today, we could be in the midst of a civil war RIGHT NOW in America-and we'd not be the wiser. Our grandkids 60 years from now might read a de-classified book about a secret operation repressing a similar rebellion , assuming libraries aren't banned by that point.

If 1776 happened today in New England....

"Today terrorist Paul Revere was arrested by the FBI and held without charge for 'national security reasons'. After a firefight in the hills of Conneticutt tonight against an insurrectionist cult, the statewide lockdown was cancelled once the injured Revere was captured by Federal authorities. Police have still not released official casualty numbers."
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The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be.
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-Lao-Tzu, Tau Te Ching. 479 BCE

The 1911 may have been in wars for 100 years, but Masetro Bartolomeo Beretta was arming the world 400 years before John Browning was ever a wet dream.
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  #49  
Old 04-22-2013, 8:42 PM
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@SilverTauron and KCBrown

I agree that history has shown examples of the existence of tyranny even over long periods of time. My statement that "This is not to say that tyranny has not and cannot generate mass destruction and enslavement, nor that vigilance is not required to keep tyranny squelched" was meant to acknowledge this fact. However, I do stand by statement that it is man's nature to be free and that it is tyranny that is the abnormality. We are entering the argument of those who are adherents of individualism and believe freedom is the natural state of man and those who believe it is not the natural state and instead is only obtained and won.

For me, in our natural state, there are no formal governments, and man is generally free to do as he pleases but for another man's or groups ability to stop him. This forms the wisdom of what we now refer to as the golden rule. It was only of need and agreement to give up certain freedoms to live in ordered society that this free state was altered to one of being governed. I submit that this is an unnatural state. To be clear, I am not advocating anarchy and am a firm believer in limited government, but for purposes of this discussion, i do submit that being governed is the unnatural state.

John Locke in the State of Nature defines this natural state as "perfect freedom."

"To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.

A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty."

Blackstone similarly argues as did our forefathers that government were created to protect natural rights, those rights that exist separate and apart from government and which is generally defined as liberty.

"The principal aim of society is to protect individuals in the enjoyment of those absolute rights, which were vested in them by the immutable laws of nature, but which could not be preserved in peace without that mutual assistance and intercourse which is gained by the institution of friendly and social communities. Hence it follows, that the first and primary end of human laws is to maintain and regulate these absolute rights of individuals. Such rights as are social and relative result from, and are posterior to, the formation of states and societies: so that to maintain and regulate these is clearly a subsequent consideration. And, therefore, the principal view of human laws is, or ought always to be, to explain, protect, and enforce such rights as are absolute…"

Conversely, philosophers such as Hegel believe that history does not show freedom to be the natural state but an ideal. This seems similar to your arguments. In his Philosphy of History, he writes:

“The view [that man is free by nature but that in society and in the state, to which he necessarily belongs, he must limit this natural freedom] also introduces into the concept of man his immediate and natural way of existence. In this sense a state of nature is assumed in which man is imagined in the possession of his natural rights and the unlimited exercise and enjoyment of his freedom. This assumption is not presented as a historical fact; it would indeed be difficult, were the attempt seriously made, to detect any such condition anywhere, either in the present or the past. Primitive conditions can indeed be found, but they are marked by brute passions and acts of violence. Crude as they are, they are at the same time connected with social institutions which, to use the common expression, restrain freedom. The assumption (of the noble savage) is one of those nebulous images which theory produces, an idea which necessarily flows from that theory and to which it ascribes real existence without sufficient historical justification.”

“Such a state of nature is in theory exactly as we find it in practice. Freedom as the ideal of the original state of nature does not exist as original and natural. It must first be acquired and won; and that is possible only through an infinite process of the discipline of knowledge and will power.”

Sorry to digress so far. Bottom line, I am of the school of thought that our natural state is freedom and liberty and that we either give up to many freedoms to rulers which become despotic or those freedoms have been taken by tyrants, and that our fight for freedom is a fight for our natural state. I do not believe that our natural state is subjugation and that we fight for and maintain an unnatural state of freedom.

Peace my brothers. In end, I am pretty sure we are on the same side.
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  #50  
Old 04-22-2013, 8:56 PM
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Tyrone, I wish you were correct.

However, the trouble at hand with freedom as a natural state, is that most people are incapable of understanding or taking advantage of its benefits. Worse, some people are downright SCARED of the concept of individual liberty.

Look at the common tagline of the modern day statist.

"We need more regulations, because people are nuts".

What they're really saying is that people can't make good decisions-unless they're forced to at tax-point or in extremis, at gunpoint- by a government entity.

You can't choose healthy foods, so the government will ensure all you can eat are sardine crackers and gruel. No chocolate or 32oz sodas for you.

You can't own a gun. You're not capable of being responsible with one, unlike police and military members.

So on, and so forth. It all circles back to an innate distrust of oneself and others. People just can't be allowed to make their own decisions, because the POSSIBILITY exists that they'll chose wrong and someone MIGHT get hurt. That can't happen.

So unfortunately, we live in a human condition whereby the common idiot will happily live in a fascist dystopia so long as they believe their security is assured. Their thought process is Hey, I work 12 hours a day and live in a cinderblock of a public living unit, but at least I won't get shot or starve to death!.

Unfortunately, there are more of "them" then there are of "us". Perhaps that is why America used to be unique among the nations as a champion of liberty.
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The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be.
The more subsidies you have, the less self reliant people will be.
-Lao-Tzu, Tau Te Ching. 479 BCE

The 1911 may have been in wars for 100 years, but Masetro Bartolomeo Beretta was arming the world 400 years before John Browning was ever a wet dream.
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  #51  
Old 04-22-2013, 9:13 PM
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My dear Shadow me thinks you know this very well... what makes it successful is Sheeple.
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  #52  
Old 04-22-2013, 9:14 PM
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Agreed that people who are spooked by their own shadow exist and feel the need to control what others do in order to feel safer or more secure or good about themselves. However, I do not believe that this condition is the natural state of man. Rather, I view this as a negative byproduct of agreeing to be governed. For some, I think the power to effect change in how other people live their lives is too great a temptation to resist if they can convince themselves its for the greater good. For some, the more despotic, they view others that live differently than them as a threat that must be made to conform. For yet others, they do not feel the conflict sufficient enough to rebel against others who seek to control them. What all the "conformists" require in the end is complete compliance. Look at all tyrants over time. However, they have yet to gain complete compliance and never will because in my view it is an unnatural state. I tend to think of it this way. A lion may caged and a lion may be born into captivity, however, the natural state of lion is to roam free.
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  #53  
Old 04-22-2013, 9:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone View Post
@SilverTauron and KCBrown

I agree that history has shown examples of the existence of tyranny even over long periods of time.
That's not the point.

If liberty were the default state of man, then it would be temporally and spatially dominant. But history shows us the exact opposite: liberty is exceptional, an outlier, a rare and beautiful thing that is easily lost and difficult to win.


I fully agree that the purpose of government should be to protect liberty, precisely because liberty is such a precious thing. But in reality, the purpose of government is perverted towards removing liberty, because that is the natural state of things.

The fact of the matter is that when left to his own devices, a typical man will seek leadership as long as there are others with him. People form communities, and within those communities, they naturally gravitate towards servitude. How do we know this? Because it always happens.

That our representatives are now viewed as our "leaders" is not an accident. It is the natural course of events.


If liberty were the natural state, then the founders of the country would not have needed to put so many safeguards (which are failing us as we speak) into the foundational document of the country. But they did, because liberty is difficult to protect, precisely because it is not man's natural state (the sole exception to that being the situation in which a man is entirely on his own, but that is also an exceptional case. People naturally gravitate towards each other, not away).


This is why, in the end, liberty will die. It will be resurrected from time to time, but because man's instinctive tendency is to follow others, servitude will be the dominant state of man, just as it has always been, and only genetic engineering will change that. Needless to say, those who wield power will ensure that such engineering never happens.
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The Constitution is not "the Supreme Law of the Land, except in the face of contradicting law which has not yet been overturned by the courts". It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, PERIOD. Your oath to uphold the Constitution is a joke unless you refuse to enforce unadjudicated laws you believe are Unconstitutional.

The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

Last edited by kcbrown; 04-22-2013 at 9:24 PM..
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  #54  
Old 04-22-2013, 9:27 PM
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A good place to start in continuing this eternal conversation through the ages is this foreword discussion of "The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude" by Étienne de la Boétie.

I believe Silver Tauron and K C Brown has it nailed, that a society has to be culturally aware ie the social mores must include the economic awareness of The Scholastic schools, the ethical and moral sense to favor a long time hoizon, short term self-denial for long term benefits, the recognition of the power of the division of labor, a legal system and stability which favors these views, etc. Metaphorically the fall from this garden of eden is the ability for us as individuals to also recognize that we can short circuit this and make personal short term gains at less personal effort and inconvenience.

As the chances of all this coming together to allow the benefits to be seen is close to zero its true that the natural state as confirmed by history is lazy sheep following the strong man with limited progress and development. Miracles do not cluster...
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Old 04-22-2013, 9:33 PM
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“Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Hermann Goering (founder of the gestapo)
I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.
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  #56  
Old 04-22-2013, 9:35 PM
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I thought I was getting itn a thread asking:

What Makes a Tranny Successful?
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Old 04-22-2013, 9:38 PM
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Answered in Abraham Lincoln's Lyceum Speech
http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/...hes/lyceum.htm
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Old 04-22-2013, 9:38 PM
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What Makes a Tyranny Successful?


"…There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. … Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing." -

Daniel Webster, June 1, 1837
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I am humbled at the efforts of so many Patriots on this and other forums, CGN, CGF, SAF, NRA, CRPF, MDS etc. etc. I am lucky to be living in an era of a new awakening of the American Spirit; One that embraces it's Constitutional History, and it's Founding Fathers vision, especially in an age of such uncertainty that we are now in.
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Go cheap you will always have cheap and if you sell, it will sell for even cheaper. Buy the best you can every time.
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  #59  
Old 04-22-2013, 10:24 PM
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This is why, in the end, liberty will die.
I think we will just have to agree to disagree. Liberty has not died, will not die, and as far as I'm concerned, will never die. Although it is precious and fragile, it is inherent in who we are. It is those that seek to smoother liberty and control whole populations that act unnaturally and eventually lose control.

That communities and governments abuse consolidated power to restrict liberty does not mean that liberty is the unnatural state. That there are those who live among us that molest children, will drink or snort themselves to death, will commit pre-meditated murder, does not mean that our natural state is to commit these atrocities. Rather, it simply means that people will and can do things that harm others and harm themselves. That there is evil does not mean that we are inherently evil. Recognizing failures of man as did the founders especially with concentrated power, means that the good of limited government to achieve and protect individual natural liberty must be weighed against the evil that concentrated power can wield. The cure should not be more lethal than the disease is the common phrase.

You seem to argue that people naturally gravitate towards servitude and we know this because it always happens. However, I do not think it correct to equate formation of societies and governments with gravitating toward servitude. It was precisely because there were those who sought to destroy the liberty of the individual that men formed together to create communities and governments. That each attempted to play a role in that society similarly does not equate with servitude if such is voluntary. The fine line is where the community or government has become so large (as it is today) and so powerful (as it is today) that the individual needs for liberty are no longer being served and self-government becomes servitude of a minority or the individual to a particular majority. The founders sought to protect individual liberty in an ordered society with limited government and provided protections for individuals and minorities. In this regard it is important to remember as Ayn Rand said that there is no greater minority than the individual.

Again, this is an age old debate, but my belief is that liberty is the natural state of man. I do not believe that I was taught the inherent virtue of freedom. It was and has been something that is a visceral reaction whenever others have attempted to cross it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
A good place to start in continuing this eternal conversation through the ages is this foreword discussion of "The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude" by Étienne de la Boétie.
Thanks for the link. Interesting perusal. It does get at the heart of what may be part of the disagreement here and that is whether tyranny exists when there is consent of the governed. The other two forms of tyranny, that obtained by arms/takeover and that gained through inheritance have the implication that consent of the governed has not been obtained. It is the third that the author inquires about and suggests civil disobedience so that there is vocal and visual lack of consent. I'm not sure this latter situation, where the "governed" consent, necessarily equates with tyranny even though tyranny could exist in such situations.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:44 PM
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"it is man's nature to be free and that it is tyranny that is the abnormality."

Humans are social animals. Humans prefer to live in groups. In a group, someone or a select few have to be in control for a group to succeed. If
you don't like their decisions, it's tyranny. QED tyranny is automatic.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone View Post
I think we will just have to agree to disagree. Liberty has not died, will not die, and as far as I'm concerned, will never die. Although it is precious and fragile, it is inherent in who we are. It is those that seek to smoother liberty and control whole populations that act unnaturally and eventually lose control.
And yet, the vast bulk of history throughout the entire world is populated by authoritarian government after authoritarian government. The vast bulk of even modern society is composed of organizations that have leaders, who are people who tell other people what to do.

Liberty is antithetical to someone else telling you what to do.


Quote:
That communities and governments abuse consolidated power to restrict liberty does not mean that liberty is the unnatural state. That there are those who live among us that molest children, will drink or snort themselves to death, will commit pre-meditated murder, does not mean that our natural state is to commit these atrocities.
But the crucial difference you're failing to see is that those people do not comprise the majority of the population. But with respect to liberty, the opposite is true: the vast majority of people throughout the vast majority of history have lived under authoritarian rule.


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You seem to argue that people naturally gravitate towards servitude and we know this because it always happens. However, I do not think it correct to equate formation of societies and governments with gravitating toward servitude.
Really? I wasn't speaking solely of governments and societies, I was speaking of any group of people.

The number of organizations of any size that are not structured with a command hierarchy is minuscule. Think hard on that. It has significant implications.


Quote:
It was precisely because there were those who sought to destroy the liberty of the individual that men formed together to create communities and governments.
No, this is incorrect. The reason people form communities and governments is to make it possible for those people to effectively operate as a group in a coordinated fashion, because doing so confers an evolutionary advantage. It is an organizational purpose that drives this, which in turn is driven by the evolutionary imperative.


Quote:
Again, this is an age old debate, but my belief is that liberty is the natural state of man. I do not believe that I was taught the inherent virtue of freedom. It was and has been something that is a visceral reaction whenever others have attempted to cross it.
You mistake my position. I am not saying that liberty is not virtuous or desirous. It is quite the opposite: fragile and precious.

No, I am merely speaking reality here. The reality is that liberty is not the default state of man (at least when man gathers into groups), servitude is. That said servitude is entered into willingly makes it no less servile. That fact is why liberty is so fleeting and so difficult to reclaim.


I realize it's a bitter pill to swallow, so I understand your reluctance in this regard. Nevertheless, it's reality. You can choose to ignore it if you wish, but you'll be no better off by doing so.
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The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:04 PM
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look at North Korea if you want to know how, i.e. control media, movements, food, weapons, have everyone spy on each other, putting label on anti-government slaves, put them away in some dark place and throw away the key?

or does that looked like Boston last week???

it's sickening to hear the right and left wings nuts calling for further deprive of citizens constitution rights to suit their purposes.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:06 PM
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My personal experience is that many people are too asleep to do *anything* about what's going on unless it's *personal* to them! I am not a defeatist and I do my damn best to wake them people up and it's really tiring and I often ask myself what the f I am doing! Ok?! Whether I stay in CA or move out,I will continue to fight, but honestly I am getting tired and feeling beyond frustrated.
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Old 04-23-2013, 2:22 AM
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My personal experience is that many people are too asleep to do *anything* about what's going on unless it's *personal* to them! I am not a defeatist and I do my damn best to wake them people up and it's really tiring and I often ask myself what the f I am doing! Ok?! Whether I stay in CA or move out,I will continue to fight, but honestly I am getting tired and feeling beyond frustrated.
This is because people by and large would rather live as comfortable slaves, then hard working free people.

What has to be remembered about liberty is that one has to claim responsibility for it. The loss of individual responsibility as a cultural norm in America is a good part of why the Decline is happening to the degree it is.

Without diligent education in the importance of individual liberty, the human default reverts to collective servitude. That's one of the challenges we face as gun owners trying to preserve our rights; because in order to do so, we must teach people to take ownership of their rights. The usual retort is essentially "why?".

Why take ownership of your rights, and assume the responsibilities and challenges thereof, when your family, friends, job, scholastic background, and internal instincts say its morally superior to defer your rights to an appointed leader?

Why live a life as a free man when being a slave is easier? Why deal with the messy nature of making your own decisions and taking ownership of your life when the Government is more then willing to fund your existence , for the price of material and political loyalty?


We come back to the same philosophical problem faced in the Matrix trilogy: one can either live a cold, intellectually challenging life as a free individual, or hit cruise control and let someone else make your choices for you. Most people will gladly choose Option B, which is why Tyranny has been and remains the standard bearer of government.
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Old 04-23-2013, 2:49 AM
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Old 04-23-2013, 4:29 AM
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And yet, the vast bulk of history throughout the entire world is populated by authoritarian government after authoritarian government. The vast bulk of even modern society is composed of organizations that have leaders, who are people who tell other people what to do.

Liberty is antithetical to someone else telling you what to do.

Really? I wasn't speaking solely of governments and societies, I was speaking of any group of people.

The number of organizations of any size that are not structured with a command hierarchy is minuscule. Think hard on that. It has significant implications.
I could not disagree more with the premise that voluntary membership in groups or organizations or societies with leaders or living under rule of law is antithetical to liberty. That seems to equate liberty with anarchy and/or pure individualism including within family structure which would be too narrow and restrictive a definition. Liberty does not mean to me the freedom to do as you please whenever you want in any context you want. Rather, there also is responsibility to respect the liberty of other individuals and groups. That man chooses to disregard this responsibility also does not mean that liberty is not inherent in who we are.

Choice to participate in society groups or organizations that impose a hierarchy or order does not mean that you have given up all essential liberty and live under tyranny. That there are societal laws that prevent killing, stealing, or other things that impinge on the equal liberty of others to live also does not deprive liberty. These are the reasons that govts etc exist. It becomes a problem when the leadership or collective mindset becomes predominant and disregards the liberty inherent in the individual by essentially doing those things that individuals joined groups to prevent in the first place.

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I realize it's a bitter pill to swallow, so I understand your reluctance in this regard. Nevertheless, it's reality. You can choose to ignore it if you wish, but you'll be no better off by doing so.
Here again we disagree. That a negative connotation is possible does not make it so and does not make it reality. The reality is that both positive and negative outcomes exist and there really are no constants in this regard. If your paradigm is to consistently look for the worst outcome or expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised by sometimes being wrong, you have research or paradigm bias and that is what your data will show. Similarly if you only expect the best outcome or results you will have a different bias and be disappointed on occasion or even quite often because not everything is positive. Reality, however, is neither pessimism or optimism. In regards to liberty, the reality is that there is little that society or groups can do prevent you from exercising your will. You can carry concealed without a permit even if is against the law, but if you get caught you will pay a price. Nevertheless you can exercise your liberty to do it. You can disregard what another tells you do to and can similarly try telling another what to do. The refusal to follow that rule or order or the agreement to follow is the liberty. In almost every facet of our lives we make choices and there really is little that others truly force us to do without our consent. Try forcing your kids to do well in school or to keep their room clean. Similarly, try getting an entire society or group to follow your rules at all times and all circumstances. It just won't work. Why? Because the reality is that the natural state of man is liberty and free will. This is why the progressives and control freaks have and will always eventually lose. It is usually only the price (an individual or group depriving you of a greater liberty such a death or confinement) that works as a deterrent but not the deprivation of the exercise of liberty. That others will attempt to extract a price from you for exercise of certain liberty does not mean that liberty is only fleeting or is not the natural state. I submit the reality and bitter pill to swallow is that it is almost impossible to control (if one is so inclined) the actions or liberties of others including requiring that they respect the liberty of their fellow man. However, what is true and just is instituting governments or groups that reinforce the natural state by promoting individual liberty and creating disincentives for those who seek to restrict it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 7:37 AM
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Apathy, and the pus*sification of America.

Men get complacent and compliant, women's idealism takes over, women perpetuate the behaviour of "what should be" versus "what is", to continue giving it up to their men they demand that the men have to generally be weaker and civilized, men become compliant, their offspring becomes weak, and it becomes rude to stand up and fight, be counted or else.

Women are wonderful, beautiful, dangerous silly creatures we can seldom live without, who between showers belong in the bedroom with occasional working breaks in the kitchen and garden.




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Old 04-23-2013, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone View Post
I could not disagree more with the premise that voluntary membership in groups or organizations or societies with leaders or living under rule of law is antithetical to liberty. That seems to equate liberty with anarchy and/or pure individualism including within family structure which would be too narrow and restrictive a definition. Liberty does not mean to me the freedom to do as you please whenever you want in any context you want. Rather, there also is responsibility to respect the liberty of other individuals and groups. That man chooses to disregard this responsibility also does not mean that liberty is not inherent in who we are.
You are confusing responsibility with obedience. They are not the same thing at all.

An individual who makes decisions for himself as to what he will do and what he will not do can, even when there are no consequences imposed by others, be responsible for his actions and responsible for ensuring that those actions do not infringe upon others. But that is not what we're talking about.

What we're talking about is obeying the commands of others. That is not responsibility, it is obedience. Voluntarily becoming a slave makes you no less a slave for it, and yet that is precisely what you are attempting to argue here.


Quote:
Choice to participate in society groups or organizations that impose a hierarchy or order does not mean that you have given up all essential liberty and live under tyranny.
No, but that's because you are now making the distinction between liberty and essential liberty. Which are, again, two different things (more precisely, essential liberty is a subset of liberty).

One can retain essential liberty while living within a monarchy just as easily as one can be stripped of essential liberty while living within a republic.


Quote:
That there are societal laws that prevent killing, stealing, or other things that impinge on the equal liberty of others to live also does not deprive liberty. These are the reasons that govts etc exist.
Correct. But that is not what I'm talking about here.

What I'm talking about here is the fact that people, when they come together in groups, almost always form command structures which by definition remove liberty, because they impose the will of the leadership upon those within them.


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It becomes a problem when the leadership or collective mindset becomes predominant and disregards the liberty inherent in the individual by essentially doing those things that individuals joined groups to prevent in the first place.
And I would argue that such is inevitable whenever you have a command structure imposed upon the people.


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Here again we disagree. That a negative connotation is possible does not make it so and does not make it reality.
It is not merely that it is possible that makes it a reality, it is that it happens very nearly every single time.


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Reality, however, is neither pessimism or optimism.
That's correct, and I look at reality in precisely that way. I look for what is there, not what matches or does not match my worldview. Indeed, my worldview is shaped by the world itself, and I strive to ensure that such remains the case. I go where the evidence on hand leads.

It is not because of my worldview that I say that evil (in the form of chaos) is baked into the fabric of the universe, it is because that is precisely what the evidence says. Entropy is not an artifact of a worldview, it is a repeatable observation that is so repeatable and so consistent with other repeatable observations that it is regarded as a physical law.


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In regards to liberty, the reality is that there is little that society or groups can do prevent you from exercising your will. You can carry concealed without a permit even if is against the law, but if you get caught you will pay a price. Nevertheless you can exercise your liberty to do it. You can disregard what another tells you do to and can similarly try telling another what to do. The refusal to follow that rule or order or the agreement to follow is the liberty.
But by this argument, there is no such thing as tyranny at all, is there? For tyranny is merely the imposition of unjust consequences for particular exercises of liberty.

No, control of people happens through the imposition of consequences, and that is precisely what is meant when one is said to not have liberty. By your argument, slaves in the south were as free as their masters, with the only difference being the consequences of particular exercises of liberty. No, that argument carries no weight at all.

When one is free to do as he pleases without consequences imposed on him by others, so long as he does not infringe upon the liberties of others in the process, then there is liberty. When that is not the case, then liberty is infringed. It's that simple.

Because the default state of people in groups is to follow a leadership, to obey the commands of that leadership under penalties dictated by that leadership, the default state of people in groups is servitude, not liberty.
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The Constitution is not "the Supreme Law of the Land, except in the face of contradicting law which has not yet been overturned by the courts". It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, PERIOD. Your oath to uphold the Constitution is a joke unless you refuse to enforce unadjudicated laws you believe are Unconstitutional.

The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

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Old 04-23-2013, 3:35 PM
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One additional thing:

The purpose of government should be solely to protect the liberty of the people, i.e. the ability of individuals to do as they please as long as, in doing so, they are not constraining the liberties of others, and to act as a mediator whenever the liberties of individuals collide. Any constraints imposed upon the people that are not strictly necessary for that purpose takes the government squarely into the territory of tyranny.

There does not exist a government on this planet that does not engage in tyranny at some level.

A government which imposes upon all liberties except essential liberties is just as surely guilty of tyranny as one which imposes only upon essential liberties.
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The Constitution is not "the Supreme Law of the Land, except in the face of contradicting law which has not yet been overturned by the courts". It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, PERIOD. Your oath to uphold the Constitution is a joke unless you refuse to enforce unadjudicated laws you believe are Unconstitutional.

The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...
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Old 04-23-2013, 3:55 PM
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the people and masses make a tyranny successful.

once belief, thinking, and opinion goes down the slippery slope, it's very difficult to pull it back up.

the greatest and most effective leaders make their thoughts your own. the best slaves cannot know that they are enslaved. it has nothing to do with guns or any other tool of freedom that are but a means of extending your will.
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Old 04-23-2013, 5:33 PM
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Indulgence of the 7.
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Old 04-23-2013, 6:44 PM
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What we're talking about is obeying the commands of others. That is not responsibility, it is obedience. Voluntarily becoming a slave makes you no less a slave for it, and yet that is precisely what you are attempting to argue here.
No, I most certainly am not. Agreeing to abide by laws is not the equivalent of tyranny nor is it the equivalent of becoming a slave. What I am saying specifically is that agreement to abide by rules or laws does not rob oneself of liberty. The devil is in the details. Not all laws are oppressive. Not all laws equate to the imposition of tyranny. That is just arguing that anything less than anarchy or self-regulated chaos is tyranny. Again, that is much too narrow a definition and not reflective of reality. Tyranny is "oppressive" or "cruel" exercise of near complete power.

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That a negative connotation is possible does not make it so and does not make it reality.
It is not merely that it is possible that makes it a reality, it is that it happens very nearly every single time.
This is extreme skepticism and borders on nihlism. While valid points can be made in each theory, I simply do not subscribe to this mode of thought. Its not that I ignore reality or refuse to swallow a bitter pill, experience and history simply dictate otherwise. That there is evil in the world I do not deny. However, i also do not deny that there is good in this world as well. Good also is ultimately greater and more powerful than evil.

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Entropy is not an artifact of a worldview, it is a repeatable observation that is so repeatable and so consistent with other repeatable observations that it is regarded as a physical law.
Okay, I'll bite. Entropy is a "law" of thermodynamics that essentially has disordered particles increasing uniformity until there is ultimate uniformity in the universe and it ends in a heat-death. Some use this as a paradigm to view all things in the universe. If I am understanding you correctly, you are asserting that the same concept applies in human interaction, and specifically to liberty and tyranny, which I do not believe has been proven or accepted as a scientific "law." While an interesting concept, it tends to remove the human aspect in us the things that make each individual unique and the things that drive certain behaviors. What causes some to seek leadership and others remote individualism and yet other to be followers? Entropy does not explain this fact.

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Because the default state of people in groups is to follow a leadership, to obey the commands of that leadership under penalties dictated by that leadership, the default state of people in groups is servitude, not liberty.
This is not true if membership in the group is voluntary. My choice to join a group, for example, to protect my liberties simply does not equate with tyranny. I am a member of the calguns community. I voluntarily joined for edification, mutual enjoyment, and to join others that seek to protect the liberty of firearms ownership. There are "rules" in this community that can result in posts being removed or in members being banned from the community. We have unofficial leaders in this community such as Kestryl, Librarian, Hoffmang, etc... Having these rules does not make Calguns tyranical nor does having unofficial leaders such as those mentioned make them tyrants or the members slaves to such tyranny. Again, I submit your definition of tyranny is much too broad and your definition of liberty much too narrow. Our natural state is freedom and it is when that freedom is unjustly cruelly or oppressively restrained that we live in the unnatural state of tyranny.
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Old 04-23-2013, 7:20 PM
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No, I most certainly am not. Agreeing to abide by laws is not the equivalent of tyranny nor is it the equivalent of becoming a slave.
It is if that "agreement" is the result of the dictated consequences of not following those laws, as opposed to an agreement based on principle (i.e., that you would behave as the law prescribes anyway).

You are not accounting for the difference between free agreement and agreement under duress. Most laws are of the latter form.


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What I am saying specifically is that agreement to abide by rules or laws does not rob oneself of liberty. The devil is in the details. Not all laws are oppressive.
The vast majority of laws are, because the vast majority of laws proscribe actions that do not materially harm others.


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Not all laws equate to the imposition of tyranny. That is just arguing that anything less than anarchy or self-regulated chaos is tyranny. Again, that is much too narrow a definition and not reflective of reality. Tyranny is "oppressive" or "cruel" exercise of near complete power.
I would argue that there are degrees of tyranny, and that there is a distinction between the existence of tyranny and the amount of tyranny in play.


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This is extreme skepticism and borders on nihlism. While valid points can be made in each theory, I simply do not subscribe to this mode of thought.
That's your choice, of course. My statement is the result of observation and of knowledge of history. What is the basis of your opposition to that?


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Its not that I ignore reality or refuse to swallow a bitter pill, experience and history simply dictate otherwise.
Do they now? Then tell me: what societies have existed in the world at any point in history that did not command the citizenry to do that which at least some of its citizenry who would not intentionally infringe upon the liberties of others did not wish to do, or command them to refrain from doing that wish they wished to do even though it would not have infringed upon the liberties of others?

I wager you cannot name a single one.


Quote:
That there is evil in the world I do not deny. However, i also do not deny that there is good in this world as well. Good also is ultimately greater and more powerful than evil.
That may be. On that, I cannot say. What I can say is that evil has the backing of the universe itself, whilst good does not.


Quote:
Okay, I'll bite. Entropy is a "law" of thermodynamics that essentially has disordered particles increasing uniformity until there is ultimate uniformity in the universe and it ends in a heat-death. Some use this as a paradigm to view all things in the universe. If I am understanding you correctly, you are asserting that the same concept applies in human interaction, and specifically to liberty and tyranny, which I do not believe has been proven or accepted as a scientific "law."
No, I'm saying that entropy is the fundamental force behind the chaos that exists in the world, and that said chaos is generally regarded as bad, and that, therefore, the world is predisposed towards evil.

It is because of entropy that death, which is amongst the worst evils, is an inevitability, and is why pain and suffering happen so readily and are so difficult to avoid.


Quote:
While an interesting concept, it tends to remove the human aspect in us the things that make each individual unique and the things that drive certain behaviors. What causes some to seek leadership and others remote individualism and yet other to be followers? Entropy does not explain this fact.
No, but it does explain why it is far easier to destroy than to create. Because it is easier to destroy, and because value is placed on that which is created, those who are predisposed to destroy automatically have the upper hand. This is in part what gives tyrants power. It is not an accident that those who are predisposed to destroy are generally regarded as evil.


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This is not true if membership in the group is voluntary. My choice to join a group, for example, to protect my liberties simply does not equate with tyranny.
That's true if you are free to leave the group at no cost to yourself and to not participate in any other equivalent group. Such is generally not the case for individuals with respect to the societies they live in: no matter where you go, you are forced to become a member of some group that will impose its will upon you through force of law.


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We have unofficial leaders in this community such as Kestryl, Librarian, Hoffmang, etc... Having these rules does not make Calguns tyranical nor does having unofficial leaders such as those mentioned make them tyrants or the members slaves to such tyranny.
To the extent that you cannot speak what you wish to speak here, yes it does. But admittedly, it is very limited in degree. Between that and the fact that there are no significant consequences of opting out of participation, it makes that degree of tyranny essentially inconsequential.

But to say that it does not exist here at all? Well, those who have been banned for one reason or another, despite not bringing harm to others here, would disagree with you on that.


Quote:
Again, I submit your definition of tyranny is much too broad and your definition of liberty much too narrow. Our natural state is freedom and it is when that freedom is unjustly cruelly or oppressively restrained that we live in the unnatural state of tyranny.
Then even by your definition, the vast majority of the world, throughout the vast majority of history, has lived under tyranny, for there has been nary a government that has not unjustly restrained its citizenry in some fashion.
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The Constitution is not "the Supreme Law of the Land, except in the face of contradicting law which has not yet been overturned by the courts". It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, PERIOD. Your oath to uphold the Constitution is a joke unless you refuse to enforce unadjudicated laws you believe are Unconstitutional.

The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

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Old 04-23-2013, 8:27 PM
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We are going around in circles. Perhaps I can slow this entropy down and create a viable Maxwell's Demon. I see two principle differences here. I believe that the natural state of man is to be free and you believe the natural state is to succumb to tyranny through groups, hierarchies, and leaders. I believe that one can abide by laws imposed by groups voluntarily joined and still maintain the natural state of liberty and you believe that existence of such laws and commands by others equals tyranny.

That "examples" of tyranny have existed in virtually all societies does not mean that all societies are mostly or wholly ruled by tyranny. That logic almost always leads to the exception swallowing the rule or almost always throwing the baby out with the bath water. A Venn diagram would be useful here.

As previously stated you are free in your natural state to do as you please and there is little others can do to stop you. A law only prevents conduct if you exercise the choice to follow it. This does not mean tyranny doesn't or can't exist, it means only that it is much more difficult (because it is unnatural) to enforce your will on another than it is to let others do as they wish unless and until they adversely your liberty (the natural state).

In the end you have to ask yourself if it really is worth it to always view the worst outcome as the most likely outcome and strive to prove that the worst outcome is inevitable. Let's assume hypothetically that you are indeed correct. Unless you gain satisfaction from being correct and getting the worst outcome whenever possible, the paradigm is self-defeating as it prevents one from achieving satisfaction with one's existence most of the time. Here, I not only believe such a paradigm is not accurate nor a reflection of reality, but it also is not a wise choice precisely because it ignores the positive and good that does in fact exist.
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Old 04-23-2013, 8:31 PM
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@Glbtrottr post #69

To complete your post, I suggest "Put Another Log On The Fire".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4KJrvlMccw
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Old 04-23-2013, 8:47 PM
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As previously stated you are free in your natural state to do as you please and there is little others can do to stop you. A law only prevents conduct if you exercise the choice to follow it. This does not mean tyranny doesn't or can't exist, it means only that it is much more difficult (because it is unnatural) to enforce your will on another than it is to let others do as they wish unless and until they adversely your liberty (the natural state).
And in a one on one situation, you'd be correct. Tyranny occurs as a result of the tyrant having the backing of some of the population, and that happens because people are highly willing to cede their liberties to the command of others because they are naturally inclined to do so.

In evolutionary terms, this natural inclination of people to surrender their liberties to the command of others makes enormous amounts of sense. A group of people following a leader is generally more capable than a group of people who are all doing their own thing. Guess which group has the survival advantage?

Humans evolved in small groups, not large societies. In small groups, the natural tendency to follow a leader is quite sensible from a survival perspective. The problem is that it scales badly.


As to the law, it prevents conduct as a result of setting up artificial, but severe, consequences for failure to follow it. Were we to follow the logic you employ for that to its conclusion, we would be forced to conclude that slaves in the south were as free as their masters, something that those slaves would greatly dispute. No, as regards liberty, it is meaningless to discuss it without including the calculus of artificially-imposed consequences.


Quote:
In the end you have to ask yourself if it really is worth it to always view the worst outcome as the most likely outcome and strive to prove that the worst outcome is inevitable. Let's assume hypothetically that you are indeed correct. Unless you gain satisfaction from being correct and getting the worst outcome whenever possible, the paradigm is self-defeating as it prevents one from achieving satisfaction with one's existence most of the time. Here, I not only believe such a paradigm is not accurate nor a reflection of reality, but it also is not a wise choice precisely because it ignores the positive and good that does in fact exist.
While I do gain satisfaction from being correct in vacuo, when what is predicted is a dire outcome, that satisfaction is vastly outweighed by the predicted outcome itself. Which is to say, when my prediction is of something bad, I'd prefer to be wrong. But that preference will not hinder me from making the prediction, nor will that preference sway me towards making a different prediction.

The paradigm I follow is most certainly not self-defeating. The reason it's not self-defeating is that it allows me to make accurate predictions. To a realist such as myself, this is of primary import, as it is only through accurate predictions that one can properly anticipate events, and it is through such anticipation that such events are most efficiently dealt with. Being wrong about that which will happen is an excellent way to bring harm to oneself or inadvertently to others. Many have died as a result of being wrong about the world. I do my level best to not make that mistake.

If I have to choose between making accurate, but dire, predictions that might cause me to appear "down" about the world, and inaccurate, but happy, predictions that would cause me to appear "up" about the world, I choose the former, because the latter will inevitably result in my doom and possibly the doom of others as well.
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The Constitution is not "the Supreme Law of the Land, except in the face of contradicting law which has not yet been overturned by the courts". It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, PERIOD. Your oath to uphold the Constitution is a joke unless you refuse to enforce unadjudicated laws you believe are Unconstitutional.

The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

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Old 04-23-2013, 8:54 PM
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We are going around in circles. Perhaps I can slow this entropy down and create a viable Maxwell's Demon.



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I see two principle differences here. I believe that the natural state of man is to be free and you believe the natural state is to succumb to tyranny through groups, hierarchies, and leaders. I believe that one can abide by laws imposed by groups voluntarily joined and still maintain the natural state of liberty and you believe that existence of such laws and commands by others equals tyranny.
There is a nuance in my thinking that the above misses: it's tyranny when those laws and commands by others would not otherwise be followed by the person in question. Which is to say, it's tyranny when the laws and commands conflict with that which the individual would do were he left to his own devices, provided, of course, that what the individual would do would not infringe on the liberties of others.

Laws which protect the liberties of others are not tyrannical. Laws which do anything else are, because laws in general are artificial restraints on liberty.


Here's the thing: to me, the notion of a "natural state" is merely a statement about that which the subject in question naturally gravitates towards. This has predictive value. If the "natural state" of individuals in groups were what you say, then that would translate into groups in which most individuals greatly value their liberty and in which those individuals generally act according to their own will, often even when doing so conflicts with the will of the leadership. That, in turn, would yield societies in which laws are scarce, because individuals would be loathe to accept restrictions on their actions.

Conversely, if the "natural state" of individuals in groups is to tend towards giving up liberties and following others, then that would translate into groups in which most individuals value their liberty relatively little and in which those individuals generally act according to the will of those they follow, often even when doing so conflicts with what they would individually prefer. That, in turn, would yield societies in which laws are plentiful, because individuals would generally be willing to accept restrictions on their actions.

And which of those two do we actually see throughout history? The latter. And that's but one aspect of societies that is consistent with the model I'm using.


Again, I go where the evidence leads. The evidence here is quite clear and, sadly, is not consistent with your hypothesis. When one is faced with a hypothesis that yields predictions which are generally inconsistent with the data, the rational thing to do is to toss the hypothesis.

I'd prefer you to be right, because I greatly value liberty myself. But I must go where the evidence leads, regardless of where that might be, and it unfortunately leads directly away from your viewpoint.
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The Constitution is not "the Supreme Law of the Land, except in the face of contradicting law which has not yet been overturned by the courts". It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, PERIOD. Your oath to uphold the Constitution is a joke unless you refuse to enforce unadjudicated laws you believe are Unconstitutional.

The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

Last edited by kcbrown; 04-23-2013 at 10:10 PM..
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:41 PM
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This is how I view it and why I reach a different conclusion than you based on the same evidence. In our natural state, while we are now born into societies, we have no recognition of those societies without being taught/indoctrinated to conform to societal norms. In our natural state we are free to do as we please without regard to how that may affect ourselves or others. Restrictions in this regard are unnatural. This is supposed to be why societies form and laws are made. True "absolute" freedom without recognition of the responsibility of self-control to prevent abridging freedom/liberty held by others therefore by necessity must be constrained. The trick is to preserve essential liberty for all with the least intrusion possible, since in an absolute sense, any restriction on movement or action is a restriction on liberty (but does not necessarily equal tyranny). Self-interest is also human nature and what must be guarded against are those who would promote their own self interest through force or law etc at the expense of essential liberty of others. In this context I am using essential liberty to primarily mean that liberty which does not infringe upon the liberty of others but allows one to otherwise thrive to the heights he can reach or similarly fail. As with most things, the devil is in the details. Most anything one does can have some effect on others, and we are discussing this on the macro level so as not to get lost in the myriad of weeds or experience paralysis by analysis, I am not getting into specifics. Nevertheless, I do not see laws or regulations that preserve liberty of all as tyranny nor do I see willing participation in these laws as servitude to leaders. Protection of liberty protects my own self-interest. Similarly even laws that do not protect liberty are not necessarily tyranny. I view tyranny as those which are oppressive cruel and/or truly unjust.

As our framers and philosophers before them knew, however, human nature gravitates toward self-interest even at the expense of others. An example well known quote is power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. See also Federalist 10. It is because of the human nature to seek self-interest at the expense of others that power and especially concentrated power must be checked. I see this self-interest and abuse thereof as a natural state of absolute liberty that can wreck havoc when not checked. Because of this people are willing to join societies and make laws for preservation of essential liberty. Similarly, those with self interest will attempt to create laws offend essential liberty or outright seek to destroy it.

Quote:
If the "natural state" of individuals in groups were what you say, then that would translate into groups in which most individuals greatly value their liberty and in which those individuals generally act according to their own will, often even when doing so conflicts with the will of the leadership. That, in turn, would yield societies in which laws are scarce, because individuals would be loathe to accept restrictions on their actions.
Here, I think that the existence of laws is not the proper measurement. Rather, the proper measurement would be how many of the existing laws are followed. People doing as they please instead of following the law would lead to a conclusion that people gravitate towards liberty which, as you say, has predictive value. My view of this is that people are generally ignorant of the law and those who try to abide play by general rules of not trampling on others liberty (robbery, burglary, rape, murder, etc...). Notwithstanding the vast amount of people who do not follow even these general rules, there are others which are more of an interference with personal liberty that many do not abide by. For example, speed limits, permitting of home improvements/repairs, zoning, drug laws, alcohol age limits, smoking age limits, sodomy, etc... I submit that people don't follow many of these laws because they see them as an unjust restriction on their personal liberty and/or they just don't care if such a law is enacted they are going to do what they are going to do. On an issue such as gun control, I submit that many people in support of such regulation incorrectly do not see it as an infringement on liberty or even if they do, their own self-interest in perceived security or even just banning of firearms rights be damned, is based on the human nature of securing self-interest of themselves at the expense of others. This is not only wrong IMHO but an example where their liberty in action needs to restrained because they have gone too far. I see this not as natural adherence to groups and leaders or servitude but natural gravitation to control actions of others in one's own self interest.

Like you, I greatly value liberty and consider that value an essential part of who I am and how I try to live.
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Old 04-24-2013, 6:19 PM
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This is how I view it and why I reach a different conclusion than you based on the same evidence. In our natural state, while we are now born into societies, we have no recognition of those societies without being taught/indoctrinated to conform to societal norms.
What is your evidence of this?

Mine is multiple sources: the observation that almost all groups of people are arranged into a hierarchical command structure, the observation that people who are told what to do will generally do so if they view the person giving instructions as having a position of power, the Milgram Experiment, the Stanford Prison Experiment. My hypothesis correctly predicts that most societies will be oriented around something other than preservation of liberty, and that liberty will disappear in most societies, even those that are ostensibly set up to protect liberty.


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In our natural state we are free to do as we please without regard to how that may affect ourselves or others. Restrictions in this regard are unnatural.
I think part of the problem here is that you're speaking of the physical restraints on individuals that naturally exist, while I'm speaking of the natural tendency of the individuals themselves. If you do not account for the latter as I am, then your predictions will not be accurate.


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This is supposed to be why societies form and laws are made. True "absolute" freedom without recognition of the responsibility of self-control to prevent abridging freedom/liberty held by others therefore by necessity must be constrained.
And I agree that laws which serve only the purpose of ensuring that those who act are held responsible for those actions, or the purpose of maximizing liberty itself, are necessary in that way.

But the number of laws required for that is very small.


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Nevertheless, I do not see laws or regulations that preserve liberty of all as tyranny nor do I see willing participation in these laws as servitude to leaders. Protection of liberty protects my own self-interest. Similarly even laws that do not protect liberty are not necessarily tyranny. I view tyranny as those which are oppressive cruel and/or truly unjust.
I agree. The problem is that most laws are not about the protection of liberty, but are about control. They forbid actions which do not infringe upon the liberties of others. And every single society has a myriad of such laws, to the extent that such laws dominate the landscape. By your own definition, this makes those laws tyrannical.


Quote:
As our framers and philosophers before them knew, however, human nature gravitates toward self-interest even at the expense of others. An example well known quote is power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. See also Federalist 10. It is because of the human nature to seek self-interest at the expense of others that power and especially concentrated power must be checked. I see this self-interest and abuse thereof as a natural state of absolute liberty that can wreck havoc when not checked.
But you have been claiming elsewhere that everyone is free to do what he or she wishes to do regardless of the constraints of law. Now you're saying that people wield power over others as a result of their own self-interest, and that larger amounts of this power yield greater corruption of those who wield it.

Those are flatly contradictory. Only one can be correct. Which is it?


Quote:
Because of this people are willing to join societies and make laws for preservation of essential liberty. Similarly, those with self interest will attempt to create laws offend essential liberty or outright seek to destroy it.
But the problem with your hypothesis, that people naturally gravitate towards liberty, is that such people would not willingly accept the passage of laws that they do not view as being strictly necessary for the preservation of liberty.

And yet, they eagerly accept laws which infringe upon their liberty, in exchange for very nearly anything else that they perceive as being even potentially beneficial to them: security, convenience, stability, etc.

That means that in reality, people place their own liberty very nearly last in the hierarchy of needs, and place the liberty of others dead last.


Quote:
Here, I think that the existence of laws is not the proper measurement. Rather, the proper measurement would be how many of the existing laws are followed.
Well, that's easy to determine: look at how many people are convicted of breaking the law, as a fraction of the overall population.


Quote:
People doing as they please instead of following the law would lead to a conclusion that people gravitate towards liberty which, as you say, has predictive value. My view of this is that people are generally ignorant of the law and those who try to abide play by general rules of not trampling on others liberty (robbery, burglary, rape, murder, etc...).
The problem is that they tend to follow all laws which do not have a significantly negative impact on them, whether or not they would otherwise behave in that way of their own accord.


Quote:
Notwithstanding the vast amount of people who do not follow even these general rules, there are others which are more of an interference with personal liberty that many do not abide by. For example, speed limits, permitting of home improvements/repairs, zoning, drug laws, alcohol age limits, smoking age limits, sodomy, etc... I submit that people don't follow many of these laws because they see them as an unjust restriction on their personal liberty and/or they just don't care if such a law is enacted they are going to do what they are going to do.
There are other factors here as well, e.g. the penalty for disobeying the law in question.


Quote:
On an issue such as gun control, I submit that many people in support of such regulation incorrectly do not see it as an infringement on liberty or even if they do, their own self-interest in perceived security or even just banning of firearms rights be damned, is based on the human nature of securing self-interest of themselves at the expense of others.
But if they really valued liberty, then they would be opposed to any law which had even the potential of reducing their liberty or that of anyone they care about.

Instead, what we see is people supporting (or at least grudgingly accepting) all laws except those which they believe will be a significant hinderance to them, not because it would hinder their liberty, but because of their effects on other things they care about (e.g., convenience).



Quote:
This is not only wrong IMHO but an example where their liberty in action needs to restrained because they have gone too far. I see this not as natural adherence to groups and leaders or servitude but natural gravitation to control actions of others in one's own self interest.
I agree that there is an element of that, but it's not the complete picture.

Someone who values liberty as you claim will generally oppose laws on the chance that they might infringe on their liberties later. We do not actually see that, however. What we see is general support of most laws.

The problem with your thesis is that you're confusing valuation of liberty with valuation of survival (among many other things). They are not necessarily the same thing. People are concerned with the latter much more than the former. This is why they are willing to give up liberty to achieve safety: because they value the latter more.
__________________
The Constitution is not "the Supreme Law of the Land, except in the face of contradicting law which has not yet been overturned by the courts". It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, PERIOD. Your oath to uphold the Constitution is a joke unless you refuse to enforce unadjudicated laws you believe are Unconstitutional.

The real world laughs at optimism. And here's why.

I hope I end up having to donate another $1000 to CGF... However, this $500 is one I hope to not have to donate...

Last edited by kcbrown; 04-24-2013 at 6:21 PM..
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