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Thread: New book. Against Democracy, by Jason Brennan. Argues for epistocracy

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    New book. Against Democracy, by Jason Brennan. Argues for epistocracy

    In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results--and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse--more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government--epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable--may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out.

    A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines.


    https://www.amazon.com/Against-Democ...dp/0691162603/
    A tip o' the hat to Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy, who, in small part writes:
    Brennan begins his analysis by showing that most citizens do a very poor job of considering political issues. He divides citizens into three categories, which he creatively labels hobbits, hooligans, and vulcans. Hobbits have little or no interest in politics, and have very low levels of political knowledge. Hooligans[]tend to know more than hobbits do. But they are highly biased in their evaluation of information, tending to dismiss opposing arguments out of hand. They also lack any kind of social scientific sophistication. Vulcans, by contrast, combine extensive knowledge and analytical sophistication with open-mindedness. They also don’t let emotion and bias cloud their judgment. But very few of us even come close to being Vulcans.

    Sadly, the vast majority of voters are some combination of hobbit and hooligan. They often lack even basic political knowledge; and what they do know, they analyze in a highly biased way. Instead of acting as truth-seekers, they function as “political fans” cheering on Team Red or Team Blue. The root of the problem is rational ignorance: because there is so little chance that an individual vote will make a difference, voters have little incentive to either acquire relevant knowledge or keep their biases under control. Voters’ ignorance and bias leave them easy pray for unscrupulous politicians, ideologues, and interest groups – rarely more so than during the current election. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...vs-epistacracy
    Hooligan, hobbit, or Vulcan?
    The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it. Gee Zeus, get a grip on 'yourself'!

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    The problem is the US was never intended to be a democracy. It was supposed to be a democratic republic with a strict set of rules(constitution) to be followed. Our problem comes in the fact that the rules are not followed. Government has used power to twist, and ignore the rules, and the farce of democracy to get away with it. The US started to fail almost immediately after the constitution was signed, it is amazing that it took this many years for it to fall apart.

    The POTUS election should have never been changed to popular voting to control the Electoral College. Political parties should have never been allowed, and SCOTUS should never have been allowed to deviate from the strict rules.

    I see no way to fix the mess without a reset. Even if we keep the witch out of the white house it is only eventual before another one gets in. And even without her we still have the basic problems.
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    I never referred to you or anyone else as a shoeshine boy... I simply told you to "go get your shine box'. Not a racial statement whatsoever..-snip-
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    -snip- My offer still stands, if you want to do an honest days work, I will send you my antique shine box..

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The problem is the US was never intended to be a democracy. It was supposed to be a democratic republic with a strict set of rules(constitution) to be followed. Our problem comes in the fact that the rules are not followed. Government has used power to twist, and ignore the rules, and the farce of democracy to get away with it. The US started to fail almost immediately after the constitution was signed, it is amazing that it took this many years for it to fall apart.

    The POTUS election should have never been changed to popular voting to control the Electoral College. Political parties should have never been allowed, and SCOTUS should never have been allowed to deviate from the strict rules.

    I see no way to fix the mess without a reset. Even if we keep the witch out of the white house it is only eventual before another one gets in. And even without her we still have the basic problems.
    "RESET" the new descriptive term defining whatever you what it to mean....

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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    "RESET" the new descriptive term defining whatever you what it to mean....
    Read about Dagon, his temples, and Samson, perhaps starting from Judges 16:23.

    Samson, pull down this Dagon Temple.

    The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it. Gee Zeus, get a grip on 'yourself'!

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    We simply need more Patriots.
    The duty of a Patriot is to protect his country from from its Government. . ( Thomas Paine)

    Givernment , even in its best state, is but a necessary evil, in its worst state, an intolerable one.
    (Thomas Paine).

    We still live in the greatest country on the planet other wise there would not be so many people living here.

    CCJ
    " What is done unto anyone may be done unto everyone" John Lilburne

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Jason Brennan is the typical elitist who is ticked off that his vote does not count for more than mine.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Jason Brennan is the typical elitist who is ticked off that his vote does not count for more than mine.
    Jason Brennan may be ticked off that your vote has the same effect as the vote of Muhammad Izizzi ibn Suud, hypothetical undocumented immigrant.

    The Constitution of the United States of America was established and ordained to secure the Blessings of Liberty to the Founders and their Posterity, not to the worlds' poor, hungry and tired.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 09-06-2016 at 07:41 AM.
    The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it. Gee Zeus, get a grip on 'yourself'!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The problem is the US was never intended to be a democracy. It was supposed to be a democratic republic with a strict set of rules(constitution) to be followed. Our problem comes in the fact that the rules are not followed. Government has used power to twist, and ignore the rules, and the farce of democracy to get away with it. The US started to fail almost immediately after the constitution was signed, it is amazing that it took this many years for it to fall apart.

    The POTUS election should have never been changed to popular voting to control the Electoral College. Political parties should have never been allowed, and SCOTUS should never have been allowed to deviate from the strict rules.

    I see no way to fix the mess without a reset. Even if we keep the witch out of the white house it is only eventual before another one gets in. And even without her we still have the basic problems.
    +1

    The rest of this post is not directed particularly at you, WW.

    Kenneth Royce, in his book Hologram of Liberty, asks a startling question. I am paraphrasing. If you play a game over and over, and keep losing time after time, at some point you have to wonder whether the rules are rigged against you. Are you really losing because you're a bad player? Or, is it maybe because the rules are rigged for you to lose. In the book, Royce takes an unblinking look at the constitution. No patriotism. No jingoism. And, proceeds to largely disassemble it. And, a couple of the key players.

    In his essay, No Treason, 1870, Lysander Spooner makes a startling comment. I'll paraphrase: Either the constitution gave us the government we have, or was powerless to prevent it.

    Separately, I ask you, reader, to consider: government--as practiced today in this country--does not need your personal agreement to rule you. Well, if they can rule you without your agreement, why would anybody expect them to follow any rules (constitution)? Your ideas about the rules and how they should be applied can have no genuine weight with these people. They're willing to rule you regardless of your ideas. That much is too easily demonstrated. Thus, your ideas about the rules mean little or nothing to them. Their ideas about the rules are what matter to them.

    Last thought. Please consider. I'll make it declaration. Reader, the day you decided it was OK/necessary/legitimate for you to rule others without their agreement (think "the vote"), in that very same moment, perhaps without realizing it, you validated the other fellow ruling you. If it is OK for you to rule him without consulting his agreement, then fair is fair: it is necessarily OK for him to rule you. This goes deeper. If you can inflict on him your ideas about how government should run things, then fair is fair: he can inflict on you his ideas about how government should run the country.
    Last edited by Citizen; 09-06-2016 at 07:52 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    ... Last thought. Please consider. I'll make it declaration. Reader, the day you decided it was OK/necessary/legitimate for you to rule others without their agreement (think "the vote"), in that very same moment, perhaps without realizing it, you validated the other fellow ruling you. If it is OK for you to rule him without consulting his agreement, then fair is fair: it is necessarily OK for him to rule you. This goes deeper. If you can inflict on him your ideas about how government should run things, then fair is fair: he can inflict on you his ideas about how government should run the country.
    If my fellow citizen does not choose to exercise his right to vote for the government of his/our liking then your premise dictates that I must not vote else I would be inflicting my choice upon him w/o his agreement.

    We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate. - Thomas Jefferson
    ...just sayin...
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    If my fellow citizen does not choose to exercise his right to vote for the government of his/our liking then your premise dictates that I must not vote else I would be inflicting my choice upon him w/o his agreement.

    ...just sayin...
    Not exactly. (And, nothing personal.)

    I hold there is an uninspected premise in the bolded words. I hold there is no right to vote--not as perpetrated against others today.* Voting is a power. If someone can inflict government on another regardless of the other's agreement or disagreement, then voting must necessarily be a power.

    And, if we carefully examine your comment, we quickly see the implication that you would vote to inflict government on someone even if he disbelieved he had a right to vote government onto someone else. Your comment assigns to him a right to vote without consulting him on whether he is willing to receive that assignation.

    Now, this in no way says you cannot get together with a bunch of like-minded people and agree to use a voting system to govern yourselves. But, that is not what's happening in this country. In this country, people intend to inflict their ideas of how government should or shouldn't run things on everybody, not just the voters, and not just the voters who decide to sit out this or that election.

    Keep in mind the writer quoted in the OP is recommending rule by the knowledgeable.


    *I've made an amateur study of English history from the Neolithic (late) Stone Age up through the early 1700's. I am convinced that voting was called a right because the viewpoint of those demanding a vote was something along the lines of, "Hey! You jerks!! If we're gonna be ruled, then we get to at least have some say in who is ruling us!! You either concede a little bit, or by God there's gonna be some pitchforks and torches around here!" Which of course, is really just saying, "Either you give us the power to help decide who is gonna do the ruling around here, or we're gonna use our power of legitimate defensive violence to get you off our backs!" Voting was always a power; it was just called a right.
    Last edited by Citizen; 09-07-2016 at 10:57 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    +1
    The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it. Gee Zeus, get a grip on 'yourself'!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Jason Brennan may be ticked off that your vote has the same effect as the vote of Muhammad Izizzi ibn Suud, hypothetical undocumented immigrant.

    The Constitution of the United States of America was established and ordained to secure the Blessings of Liberty to the Founders and their Posterity, not to the worlds' poor, hungry and tired.

    So you Mr.word salad would simply have all the old, all the handicapped, all the uneducated, all the very poor of our nation, you would deprive them of life, hence you would rather they be put to death,, Mr Word Salad, I may be inclined to change your moniker to Mr.Hitler..

    Governments are create to help its citizens achieve life, liberty and property.. We as a society an creatures of God help ensure that the less fortunate among us have some assembles of achieving life, liberty and property, we as a civilized nation do not need the blessing's of a constitution to assist our fellow man..

    Seriously Nightmare, you need to distance yourself from the evils of the alt-right... If caring for my fellow older citizens along with handicapped citizens and citizens with less zeros in their net worth than myself makes me a liberal in your deluded thinking, then so-be it...

    I gather you are a well read person, if you care to debate the founders and our Constitution, please feel free to start another thread, let the debating begin...
    " What is done unto anyone may be done unto everyone" John Lilburne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Not exactly. (And, nothing personal.)

    I hold there is an uninspected premise in the bolded words. I hold there is no right to vote--not as perpetrated against others today.* Voting is a power. If someone can inflict government on another regardless of the other's agreement or disagreement, then voting must necessarily be a power.

    And, if we carefully examine your comment, we quickly see the implication that you would vote to inflict government on someone even if he disbelieved he had a right to vote government onto someone else. Your comment assigns to him a right to vote without consulting him on whether he is willing to receive that assignation.

    Now, this in no way says you cannot get together with a bunch of like-minded people and agree to use a voting system to govern yourselves. But, that is not what's happening in this country. In this country, people intend to inflict their ideas of how government should or shouldn't run things on everybody, not just the voters, and not just the voters who decide to sit out this or that election.

    Keep in mind the writer quoted in the OP is recommending rule by the knowledgeable.











    *I've made an amateur study of English history from the Neolithic (late) Stone Age up through the early 1700's. I am convinced that voting was called a right because the viewpoint of those demanding a vote was something along the lines of, "Hey! You jerks!! If we're gonna be ruled, then we get to at least have some say in who is ruling us!! You either concede a little bit, or by God there's gonna be some pitchforks and torches around here!" Which of course, is really just saying, "Either you give us the power to help decide who is gonna do the ruling around here, or we're gonna use our power of legitimate defensive violence to get you off our backs!" Voting was always a power; it was just called a right.

    Read what Spooner opines about voting an associating or lack thereof with Government. Why are polling booths enclosed, why are our votes so secretive?
    Why can a 33 year old imbecile with a 99 IQ vote, however a 16 year old genius CANNOT vote... See the problem?

    The main concern is why the secrecy with individual voting, We as citizens want our government representatives to have some level of transparency, however all our individual votes occur behind closed doors. Another query to consider is, if you exercise your right to vote do you then in fact agreed to be governed by a government in which YOU did not cast your vote in their favor? Just something to ponder..

    Citizen, always a pleasure.

    Regards
    CCJ
    " What is done unto anyone may be done unto everyone" John Lilburne

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Not exactly. (And, nothing personal.)
    Yes, exactly. (Ditto)

    You set the boundaries of the discussion.
    Reader, the day you decided it was OK/necessary/legitimate for you to rule others without their agreement (think "the vote"), in that very same moment, perhaps without realizing it, you validated the other fellow ruling you. If it is OK for you to rule him without consulting his agreement, then fair is fair: it is necessarily OK for him to rule you. This goes deeper. If you can inflict on him your ideas about how government should run things, then fair is fair: he can inflict on you his ideas about how government should run the country.
    Until I obtain your agreement beforehand, I must not vote. If you do not provide your agreement I must not vote...it is the only fair thing to do.

    Then again, you do not have the right to grant me your agreement in the first place...and I have no right to accept your agreement.
    No man can delegate, or give to another, any right of arbitrary dominion over himself; for that would be giving himself away as a slave. And this no one can do. Any contract to do so is necessarily an absurd one, and has no validity. To call such a contract a "constitution," or by any other high-sounding name, does not alter its character as an absurd and void contract. - Lysander Spooner, letter to Thomas F. Bayard, 1882

    http://static1.squarespace.com/stati...MAS+Bayard.pdf
    I disagree with his premise because a free men is certainly free to give that which serves his own best interests to another free man of his choosing. The problem is that those who take are not always honest and honorable men.

    A little more of Spooner for those interested:

    http://www.lysanderspooner.org/works/

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Yes, exactly. (Ditto)

    You set the boundaries of the discussion.Until I obtain your agreement beforehand, I must not vote. If you do not provide your agreement I must not vote...it is the only fair thing to do.

    Then again, you do not have the right to grant me your agreement in the first place...and I have no right to accept your agreement.
    I disagree with his premise because a free men is certainly free to give that which serves his own best interests to another free man of his choosing. The problem is that those who take are not always honest and honorable men.

    A little more of Spooner for those interested:

    http://www.lysanderspooner.org/works/
    No! Not exactly. (I was being nice by phrasing it "not exactly", but lets take the gloves off.)

    You set the boundaries with your invocation of a false premise. My comments about fair-is-fair were too easily understood to be not a categorical statement creating a new condition, but an admonition against against agreeing to something without considering the other side of the coin: once a person agrees it is valid to vote to inflict government on another peaceful individual without his express, individual agreement, then it is necessarily fair--within the confines of the argument--for that individual to inflict government on the former without his agreement.

    Your argument, attributing to me the implication that you cannot vote if another declines to exercise his "right" (your word, not mine) to vote, only holds together on a false premise, and an inference derived therefrom:


    1. That you assign to another a "right" to vote without consulting whether he actually agrees he has a "right" to vote to inflict government and all its evils on another peaceful human being.

    2. False premise: voting is a right. It is too easily recognized as a power upon even a superficial inspection. If I can inflict government--meaning use coercive threats of force, or even actual force...if I can vote to inflict force or threats of force on another peaceful person, then voting is a power.

    3. You don't intend to inflict government on only those who agree to win or lose the vote--you intend to inflict government on everybody. As I clearly said, there is nothing stopping you from getting together with other like-minded people who agree to be ruled by the outcome of an election. But, don't even try to gloss over the point that you are not limiting yourself to inflicting government on those who agreed to be governed by the results of the vote. You intend to inflict your ideas--right or wrong--on everybody!, not just those who agreed to be ruled by the outcome of the vote.

    So, lets have a look at this "right" to vote you claim to have.

    Where did you get this "right?" This power to inflict government on other peaceful equals regardless of their agreement or disagreement?

    Don't say the constitution. The constitution is just a piece of parchment in a nitrogen filled case in the Hall of Archives. It does not emanate "rights waves" or "power waves" imbuing one and all with rights and powers.

    Don't say the writers or ratifiers of the Bill of Rights. They're long gone. They were just men. How exactly could they confer on you or anybody else any right or power?

    Don't say "well, you voted in years past, so, there! ha! you agreed!" Nobody in this country ever got an official notice that voting even once locked them into a lifetime contract from which they could never withdraw. Moreover, the fact that a person is not allowed to unagree is proof positive the rulers have no intention of inflicting themselves only on voters. That is to say, the victim of government in this country need not have ever agreed--you intend to claim a right to vote to inflict government on him nonetheless. Even if he later changes his mind and recognizes he has no right to inflict government on other peaceful people, you still intend to vote to inflict your version of government on him. Agree and later withdraw that agreement, or never agree, you still intend to claim a "right" to inflict government on him.

    Bearing in mind--keeping perspective--that the author in the OP intends to make all of us subservient to "rule of the knowledgeable". Of course, we all know what that means. Who gets to decide who is knowledgeable enough? Who gets to decide that the attitudes (conclusions) of the nominated knowledgeable persons are the "correct" conclusions? Etc., etc. That is just another verssion of "you're not good enough, therefore, you should be ruled by somebody better." Nobles vs serfs. Whites vs black slaves. Affluent vs welfare recipients. It all comes down to the argument, "I am better than you, so I get to decide how you are ruled." Or, "You're not qualified to decide." Or, "We're more civilized than you, so we are qualified to rule you." Or, (insert hundreds of failed arguments across centuries that resulted in misery and despair.) For perspective, keep in mind the author quoted in the OP.
    Last edited by Citizen; 09-08-2016 at 10:49 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    If my fellow citizen does not choose to exercise his right to vote for the government of his/our liking then your premise dictates that I must not vote else I would be inflicting my choice upon him w/o his agreement.

    ...just sayin...
    +1
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    No! Not exactly. (I was being nice by phrasing it "not exactly", but lets take the gloves off.)

    You set the boundaries with your invocation of a false premise. My comments about fair-is-fair were too easily understood to be not a categorical statement creating a new condition, but an admonition against against agreeing to something without considering the other side of your coin: once a person agrees it is valid to vote to inflict government on another peaceful individual without his express, individual agreement, then it is necessarily fair--within the confines of the argument--for that individual to inflict government on the former without his agreement. ...
    I agree with your position. If I vote to inflict government upon you I will not be surprised, and will accept the results, when/if you do the same to me. Obtaining agreement before hand is the condition you set to make a vote binding on the two of us. So, if I don't get your agreement before hand, I can not vote and thus infringe upon your natural rights. I'm not sure what is false about this premise.

    Incidentally, according to Spooner, neither you nor I can give to another dominion over us. As I stated, this concept deprives me of my natural right to choose what is in my best interest.

    Anyway, voting is a term for a process and in no way is the end result. Voting is how civilized societies tabulate the desires of societies participants on various issues of the day. Voting is a "right" that cannot be infringed by the state.

    If I wield power over you by voting and my vote removes a government burden/infliction I agree I should expect you to wield that same power over me.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post

    In his essay, No Treason, 1870, Lysander Spooner makes a startling comment. I'll paraphrase: Either the constitution gave us the government we have, or was powerless to prevent it.
    Spooner has chosen a convenient starting point to suit his purposes. Let's back up a bit and I'll paraphrase him again: Either anarchy gave us the government we have, or was powerless to prevent it.

    What do I mean? Look at the words of Jefferson in the DoI, the very document they quoted anarchist looks to for his misguided view about governments needing personal, individual consent in order to be legit.



    The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, ...
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, ...

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly... whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within....

    Look at that closely. Among the many crimes of which the Continental Congress accused King George was the crime of imposing anarchy on the colonists, thus leaving them "exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within."

    This land had anarchy imposed on it. And from that anarchy came revolution, and from that revolution came, ultimately, our current form of government.

    Thus, if anarchy did not give us our current form of government, it was, at least unable to prevent it.

    Yet those who dislike our current form of government think a return to anarchy is the right path? That now all too familiar saw about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results comes to mind.

    Of course, it isn't really fair to blame anarchy for our current form of government. Such a form of government seems to be an unusual, almost unheard of high point in the wake of anarchy.

    The far more usual course for anarchy to take is downward toward death, destruction, and totalitarianism of one form or another. In France it was the Reign of Terror, Maximilien Robespierre, and Napoleon. In Russia, China, North Korea, Los, Vietnam and others it was Communism with killing fields, re-education camps, gulags, etc. In Germany it was Nazism with concentration camps and the Holocaust. And so on and so forth around the world.

    Anarchy is clearly incapable of maintain a stable society. Society is left "exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within" which most often leads to a charismatic leader seizing totalitarian power and engaging in ruthless oppression.

    Counter-examples are, of course welcome. Bonus points for any such examples post Industrial Revolution. I won't hold my breath.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post

    Where did you get this "right?"
    The right clearly derives from the right to self-defense.

    We vote to determine the limits of conduct within society, to give fair notice of what conduct is accepted and which will be punished in some way. We vote as the least violent way to determine what behavior really doesn't affect others vs what behavior does affect others.

    We have a right to use the public space without undue risk of harm. From that right, we vote and determine that in this nation we will drive on the right side of the road rather than the left; That red lights mean stop not merely yield; and that driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or texting is a crime we will punish. I don't care how strongly you feel about driving on the left side, or how safe you think it is to run through the red light. I don't care about your consent or lack thereof.

    We have the right to life. From that right we vote and determine that home invaders may be shot, but that those engaging in simple, non-violent trespass across your empty field may not be shot. We vote and determine that even a helpless newborn may not be killed or abandoned or neglected without legal consequences to the guilty party. I don't care how much someone thinks he should be able to shoot trespassers or sight or how much he opposes private gun ownership or what logical sounding arguments he makes about not being a slave to another person.

    We have a right to be free from sexual assault. From that right we vote and determine that 18 year olds get to consent to sex with anyone 18 or older, but 10 year olds do not get to consent to sex, and thus any adult having sex with a 10 year old is guilty of statutory rape and will be punished. I don't care what arguments NAMBLA makes or how mature any 14 year old seems to be. I don't care about personal consent.

    Now, being a Constitutional Democratic Republic rather than a pure Democracy, we don't directly vote on every issue. Instead, we elect representatives who are supposed to study the issues carefully and then vote. This helps temper short term passions of the mob while also overcoming some of the problems of less educated, informed, or intelligent persons in society. We also have certain, fundamental rights agreed to and codified in the several Constitutions that are supposed to be beyond popular vote or even legislative power. The system is far from perfect. Indeed, to paraphrase Churchill, It is the worst possible system....until you actually compare it to all the others.

    A rational sounding argument can be made for almost anything. And lots of downright silly or dangerous things can be made to sound rather appealing in theory. To wit: Communism, Socialized Medicine, Anarchy, and voting for a candidate simply because s/he will be first black/woman/whatever.

    When you start with a false premise--that government is only legit if it has individual, on-going consent from every person within its jurisdiction--bolster it with additional sophistry such as no right to vote, and then pile on nice sounding theories that simply don't work in practice, it is no surprise you end up with something that isn't sustainable. Of course, the anarchist is not really starting with any foundation. Like the religionist, he starts with his conclusion and then goes digging for every evidence, theory, and argument he can find to support it. The difference is that the honest church goer freely admits he is practicing faith, rather than dealing with hard facts or anything that can be proven.

    It really isn't all that hard. We vote and have our government--rather than anarchist/communist Utopias--because the former actually works and the latter doesn't.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    SNIP I agree with your position. If I vote to inflict government upon you I will not be surprised, and will accept the results, when/if you do the same to me. Obtaining agreement before hand is the condition you set to make a vote binding on the two of us. So, if I don't get your agreement before hand, I can not vote and thus infringe upon your natural rights. I'm not sure what is false about this premise.
    Oh! Then I misunderstood. Sorry. <facepalm> Of course, I misunderstood. I should have realized that from the outset, now that I think about it. I've read enough of your posts, I should've known better.

    My apologies.
    Last edited by Citizen; 09-11-2016 at 08:27 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    SNIP The right clearly derives from the right to self-defense.
    Oh! I didn't realize his right to self-defense included:

    • drone strikes killing over 1300 innocents (government's own stats)
    • a federal debt so high that when the interest cannot be paid (not the principal--the interest) the global economic wreckage will be epic
    • civil forfeiture--cops get to seize your property and/or money if they merely declare it was involved in the drug business
    • right after right after right infringed, infringed, infringed
    • regulation after federal regulation
    • Supreme Court case after Supreme Court case
    • etc, etc, etc.


    That is his argument: my right to inflict all these things on others derives from my right to self-defense. Yeah. Suuuuuure. No, no.

    No, no. He doesn't get to claim he didn't agree to all the negative stuff. That is part-and-parcel of the package. He doesn't get to say, "I have a right to elect a deputy, but only to do the things I want." We all know pretty much every politician since the beginning of time lied with his campaign promises. Bagger doesn't get to artificially divide the argument and say he has a right to this, but the other aspects are against his choice. He had every opportunity to realize he could not actually, in a meaningful way, control his deputy after electing him and inflicting him on others.

    Not once did he actually address why his idea--all encompassing coercive government inflicted on everybody--is the only possible solution that can work. He merely dismissed every single other possible solution by saying "because the former actually works and the latter doesn't." Oh, boy, what an exhaustive inquiry that was.

    With all that said, the fact remains that his arguments are air. Here is the crucial point: he treats his ideas as fact. No, no. I'm not saying he actually believes the things he writes. I am saying he treats them as though they were facts. The key point of which is just this: "I believe it is so, therefore I am justified in inflicting government on you." See that? Just because he believes it is necessary, that is enough for him to inflict Hillary on you. Oh, yes. I said it. I meant it. He might disclaim Hillary. That doesn't change the fact the he has consistently argued for the very underlying premises that brought her and her ilk to power. He believes coercive government is necessary and therefore legitimate. In that same breath he legitimized all of Hillary's supporters inflicting their version of government on you. He didn't need your agreement or mine to inflict coercive government on us. Therefore, Hillary and their ilk don't need our agreement to inflict their version of government on us. He said so. Don't think for one minute that he didn't.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Oh! Then I misunderstood. Sorry. <facepalm> Of course, I misunderstood. I should have realized that from the outset, now that I think about it. I've read enough of your posts, I should've known better.

    My apologies.
    NP
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Oh! I didn't realize his right to self-defense included:
    And "he" continues to use the dishonest tactic of looking only at the problems of our form of government, while considering only the claimed, theoretical benefits of anarchy. "He" continues to completely ignore they myriad problems of anarchy including its inability sustain itself and thus the almost universal descent from anarchy into one form of tyranny or another including communism, fascism, nation socialism (Nazism), or even Islamic theocracy.

    This is the same, small-minded, deceitful tactic used by the gun grabbers who amplify every social ill they can possibly attach to private firearms ownership while touting the supposed, theoretical, promised benefits of disarming the populace. All while ignoring the proven historic problems that come from a defenseless population including loss of human rights up to and including genocide.

    In both instances, an honest, mature, credible approach requires weighing both the good and the bad on both sides of the issue. The good and bad of anarchy must be weighed against the good and bad of various forms of government, including our own. The good and bad of private gun ownership must be weighed against the good and bad of allowing government and criminals to share a duopoly on power. The gun grabbers lose credibility when they refuse to consider the good of gun ownership or the downside of victim disarmament. The anarchist, likewise loses credibility when he refuses to acknowledge and discuss the obvious problems with lack of government, or to give credit for the benefits of our form of government.

    As far as treating fanciful ideas as facts, look at how our resident anarchist treats his beliefs. Despite the overwhelming, historic evidence that anarchy almost always leads to totalitarianism (and one of the very few times it didn't, it lead to our current form of government that he seems to hate even more than all other forms), he continues to prattle on about how wonderful anarchy is, or how terrible government is. The only alternative to his much maligned and pejorative "coercive government" is anarchy...which virtually always leads to totalitarianism. But he won't even deign to address that at all.

    Neither, has he ever provided any answer as to how libertarian anarchy can resolve differences between individuals or groups who have incompatible views of what is or isn't a right, in a self-consistent manner when those opposing groups refuse to retreat from their position or otherwise voluntarily compromise. Indeed, no such answer exists and our anarchist knows it. For all the problems of our form of government in properly resolving differences, anarchy is even worse.

    Rather than frankly admitting this, he has taken to engaging in what he views as a fairly significant insult--but that passes muster of our forumn rules--refusing to address me except in the third person "he" or "the quoted poster". In such puerile conduct we see the typical maturity level of the anarchist whose total political philosophy really boils down to "I can do whatever I want, whenever I want so long as I don't think it affects anyone else."

    You've become so very predictable, Citizen. Sad. But predictable.

    Charles
    Last edited by utbagpiper; 09-13-2016 at 03:48 PM.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  24. #24
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    Is voting truly a Right? I think NOT, I think it is a Privilege... Just ask the 600,000 folks residing in the District of Columbia.

    See Alexander v Mineta- Supra (circa 2000).

    Why does a 33 year old imbecile have the right to vote, when a 17 year old genius does not? Hence my opinion that voting is a privilege disguised as a Right so as to make government appear as if they are abiding by the Constitution.

    CCJ
    " What is done unto anyone may be done unto everyone" John Lilburne

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    Is voting truly a Right? I think NOT, I think it is a Privilege... Just ask the 600,000 folks residing in the District of Columbia.

    See Alexander v Mineta- Supra (circa 2000).

    Why does a 33 year old imbecile have the right to vote, when a 17 year old genius does not? Hence my opinion that voting is a privilege disguised as a Right so as to make government appear as if they are abiding by the Constitution.
    Residents of DC have every right to vote and cast votes for local government officials, school board, and electors for the POTUS and VP.

    They do not vote for federal Senators nor federal Representatives because those are allocated to States and DC is not a State. It is most deliberately outside of all State boundaries so that no State can exercise undue control of the national government. Which shows how truly out of whack the current balance of power between the feds and States is.

    Rather than turn DC into a very (geographically) small semi-State, the best solution would be to retrocede the residential areas of DC back to Maryland (all of DC that came from Virginia was retroceded prior to the War Between the States). The residents of DC could then vote for Senators and Reps in Maryland. 600k residents would likely get Maryland an additional seat in the House. Of course, Maryland doesn't want the cesspit of crime and welfare dependency that is DC. And Democrats would really like to ride this issue to creating two new Democrat-safe Senate seats.

    As for age limits, why is it that a 17 year old genius with high moral standards can't hold office in Congress or as President while a morally and financially bankrupt idiot of 35 can hold all such seats if he has the people skills to convince voters to elect him? Because the framers of our government saw fit to impose such age limits and we the people haven't seen fit to change them. Frankly, there is pretty strong evidence that lowering the voting age to 18 was a mistake. "Old enough to die for your country, old enough to vote," has a powerful political appeal. But it turns out that being old enough to take orders from older officers is not necessarily old enough to have a firm stake (financial, children, etc) in a community such that one is likely to make good decisions in voting.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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