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How Would X or Y Form of Social Organization Work?

Let's start with something libertarians, conservatives, anarchists, constitutionalists, and limited statists all agree.

Premise: Public schools indoctrinate.

In order to accept it is true kids can trained as obedient little state drones, this must also be true:

Premise: Human nature is malleable.

Just because there is agreement public schools indoctrinate doesn't really make that premise objectively true. Nor does it wholly represent what is meant by human nature is malleable. When I say human nature is malleable I do not mean I can create a new man from scratch with a human devised will. What is meant is for every action the reaction is influenced by ones environment. Humans are in control of action. Action effects environment.

Premise: Human nature is malleable by an environment including social institutions, hierarchies, and cultures.

What is the number one argument anarchists have heard from limited statists? Society will devolve into gang warfare. It is their entire case and the case is argued on the basis of human nature. Yet these same exact limited statists would acknowledge the malleability of human nature by public schools. A logical contradiction to be sure.

If libertarians establish an environment based on the Non-Aggression Principle how can it be said people will not react to that environment? In that environment initiation of aggression is illegitimate. It is just like being in a public school where non-compliance is illegitimate. It is just like being in the United States where not obeying a police officer is illegitimate.

How many people reading this post have a different view of police today than in 2007 after exposure to stories of police abuse? Who even said something like do not call 911 or call 911 at your own risk in 2007? In 2007 many people would have thought what a stupid and crazy idea to not call 911. Probably not as stupid or crazy of an idea today. Discretion using 911 would probably be considered wise in these parts of the internet. How come your opinion was different previously? It is due to an environment you grew up in.

Because of the environment in America, people in the United States react differently than say, indigenous people. Think of indigenous culture for a moment. Could it be said such an environment creates a more collective decision making atmosphere? Could you imagine your typical American showing up for Indian hunting?

Indian: We go hunt now.
American: Who is in charge?
Indian: What does it mean in charge? We go hunt now, hunt!

What would happen if this or that is how a typical American might think. The very idea of going hunting with no one in charge is foreign to Americans because of an authority environment. Indians would not even be thinking like that because of their culture and environment. This is the problem with limited statists claiming people would just devolve. It is an unrealistic argument to the malleability of human nature by an environment and culture of illegitimate aggression.

If you put a mouse, ape, or man in a cage can you discover their nature? No, you can only discover how they react to being in a cage. What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage of authority? Does such a man question the legitimacy of an authority he can not taste, touch, smell, hear, or see? It seems most don't but at a minimum INTx personality types sometimes do or none of use would likely be here at Daily Paul.

What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage aggression is illegitimate? This question right here is what limited statists need to address in the contradiction people will devolve into gang warfare because of human nature yet kids are indoctrinated in public schools because of human nature.

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Respect

I respect that you see the need to tackle the issue of human nature. Most anarchists wont go there and instead make comments like "well, if human nature is so bad then government would make it even worse." such comments do ZERO to address minarchist concerns about why people tend to choose government, historically.

As far as the merits, "re-education" as another poster put it may only go so far. For example, the soviet union was unable to re-educate the humanity out of its citizens. Never forget that the Marxist endgame was a period of reeducation via removing limiting beliefs, and then anarchism. Its more likely that nature and nurture are at play here than just nurture and blank-slate idealism.

Furthermore, we have for the most part a NAP culture right now. Simply go into any courtroom and watch the larceny and assault dockets. People know these things are wrong but do them anyway. I know you will say that government is aggression but most people dont recognize that and their PERSONAL and COLLECTIVE acts of aggression have nothing to do with politics.

Ventura 2012

Ok ...

RE: "I know you will say that government is aggression"

No I will stick to the facts democide and war verify government is the biggest murderer in human history. It is not pulling a fact out of thin air or fabricating data.

RE: "we have for the most part a NAP culture right now"

We do not for the most part or any part have a NAP culture right now. There might be some codes or statues that align with the NAP but if we actually did have an NAP culture perception of authority would be radically different.

RE: "... but most people don't recognize ... acts of aggression"

That is closer to any truth why there currently is no NAP culture or environment. We live in a culture of blind obedience to authority.

RE: "I respect that you see the need to tackle the issue of human nature."

I think minarchists need to tackle the issue of human nature. They are the ones claiming everything would go to hell in a hand basket without the state because of human nature. They provide no reason or explanation of human nature to draw such a conclusion but insist on raising an argument of gang or tribal warfare. Absence of the state in a stateless society does not also mean absence of libertarian social institutions, absence of teaching children the merits of non-aggression, or other environmental and cultural factors.

If a kid can be taught to be an obedient state drone why not a non aggressing freedom lover? If a people can be made to pay taxes without resistance why not another direction?

If human nature is malleable or to be malleable, I really do not care how it is phrased, then the minarchist has to pony up a valid premise. I question if they have one. They can not argue it is impossible to do good because people are known to do good works. For example, helping poor people is considered a good work. Nor can they argue evil is a source of good because if human nature is evil it would be impossible for anyone to do good.

For argument sake let's say an attribute of human nature is acting to pursue self satisfaction. Self satisfaction is not evil, it would be what people choose to believe in as an object of self satisfaction. For example, if the object of your self satisfaction is killing people its not the self satisfaction part, it is the killing people part.

Observation of children indicates truth is more along the lines of human nature is neutral by default when one is born and because of a malleable attribute there is capacity for will to take on a positive or negative charge at any given time. If human nature can be forged on an anvil of belief, it is the energy of the striking tool which determines if a positive or negative energy is transferred to the work piece.

RE: "well, if human nature is so bad then government would make it even worse." such comments do ZERO to address minarchist concerns about why people tend to choose government, historically.

Such comments are not usually intended as a historical argument. They are intended as an invitation to question one's conclusions about human nature and validity of any premises being relied on. A commenter in this thread below pointed out there are often conclusions being asserted with hidden premises.

RE: As far as the merits, "re-education" as another poster put it may only go so far

Sure, who would disagree. The state does not rely on public education alone. Public schools are not the sole reason people pay taxes. If we are talking about states we might identify things like information, money, public education, and social institutions. If we are talking about indigenous people we might identify different things. If there is any truth to malleability, I suspect one must analyze many cultures and environments to discern any patterns of its attributes.

I don't get it.

I enjoyed reading your post, and you bring up worthy points overall. However, I don't understand where your premise fits in. Is it rhetorical? Are you trying to prove it wrong [or right, or neither]. I don't see where the notion that "human nature is malleable" directly fits in to the other paragraphs. Perhaps you mean "human nature is to be malleable"? Yes, I'm groping here.

Does "chameleon nature" change as a chameleon is moved from sitting on brown bark to a green leaf?

I'm still groping to find the point of your presenting such a premise.

Oh, and please tweak this question to make it readable. It is presented as though it is important to you and the post in general. It remains unclear...
What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage aggression is illegitimate?

The closest I can come to guessing what you meant by that is something like...
"What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage? Is aggression then still illegitimate?"
...I'm just not confident though, that that is what you might have meant.

Perhaps a comment about

what I mean by "put a man's mind in an invisible cage." The invisible cage is what you choose to believe. If you believe something it is like a governor on an engine. What you choose believe is your speed limit.

RE: "What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage? Is aggression then still illegitimate?

If you convince a child to believe aggression is illegitimate and people are limited by what they choose to believe then will that grown child believe aggression is anything other than illegitimate?

With regards to this subject the point I made is like a tiny drop in an ocean. It is not just being limited by what one chooses to believe. These beliefs are reinforced by institutions in society. A kid is taught to pay taxes and that is reinforced by social institutions if they do not pay their taxes. Same would apply to illigetimate aggression in a voluntary society.

Then there is the intellectual class. It seems if a vast majority of the intellectual class becomes convinced of something it practically sets a course for the rest of society. For instance, not preserving the original intent of the constitution from one generation to the next has been greatly influenced by intellectuals.

Things like why does it appear moral or religious values decay? How can they be decaying if people still believe in Jesus 2000 years after the fact? Why do people still believe that?

Like a said, the subject matter is an ocean and my point is a tiny droplet. However I do think I make a very valid point for minarchists. The primary gripe is society will devolve into gang warfare. Without the state it would be hell in a hand basket. I am attacking the premises behind these conclusions.

If kids can be taught to be obedient state drones they can also be taught to be non aggessing freedom lovers. Clearly a contradiction to everything going to hell in a hand basket. If a bunch of anarchists stated a stateless society tomorrow they surely are not going to teach their kids to be obedient state drones. Nor are private competing institutions of justice going to reinforce statism. To argue everything would be hell in a hand basket is completely dishonest because there is so much more to how people react in a society than everything spontaneously devolving into mass gang or tribal warfare.

Yes, yes, clearly "the

Yes, yes, clearly "the subject matter is an ocean and your point is a tiny droplet", and your new comment above indirectly supports that notion, but before absorbing your new droplets I'm just trying to swallow your initial one.

1) What does "human nature is malleable" have to do with the rest of your thought stream?

2) I have no problem understanding your concept of a man's mind in an invisible cage, but does my correction of grammar...
RE: "What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage? Is aggression then still illegitimate?
...bear the meaning of your intended expression?

As directly unresponsive as you were to my two points, I am quite glad to read this in your comment...
However I do think I make a very valid point for minarchists. The primary gripe is society will devolve into gang warfare. Without the state it would be hell in a hand basket. I am attacking the premises behind these conclusions.
That bit places your post in context and explains why my initial read made me feel as though I had opened a book at its middle and commenced reading.

Ok ...

RE: "Does "chameleon nature" change as a chameleon is moved from sitting on brown bark to a green leaf?"

Does a chameleon choose color and if not how is that analogous to choosing a belief?

Second, does "chameleon nature" include a child chameleon's tendency to believe anything a parent chameleon tells them?

Third, would "chameleon nature" include a parent chameleon telling a child chameleon to be brown when sitting on brown bark and green when on a green leaf and that is how a child chameleon acts?

Fourth, what if a parent chameleon put a child chameleon's mind in an invisible brown when on brown bark, green when on a green leaf cage? Is aggression then still illegitimate?

RE: "but does my correction of grammar ... bear the meaning of your intended expression?"

I do not see how it possibly could. Does communication constitute initiating aggression?

RE: "I'm still groping to find the point of your presenting such a premise."

I elaborated on this point and you acknowledged you enjoyed reading it.

RE: "Oh, and please tweak this question to make it readable."

I was responsive:

"what I mean by "put a man's mind in an invisible cage." The invisible cage is what you choose to believe. If you believe something it is like a governor on an engine. What you choose believe is your speed limit."

RE: "As directly unresponsive as you were to my two points"

Please include a specific point(s) referred to for any point you feel I am unresponsive.

My somewhat rhetorical

My somewhat rhetorical question regarding chameleons was intended to prompt you to explain how or why you are using the term "human nature". A chameleon's nature doesn't change with its color, but clearly it is a chameleon's nature to change color. I have no clue about chameleon belief systems. I only assume that they believe in eating and reproducing, to what conscious degree I have no idea.

RE: "but does my correction of grammar ... bear the meaning of your intended expression?"

I do not see how it possibly could. Does communication constitute initiating aggression?

Then please provide your own correction of said sentence as it remains grammatically unsound and incomprehensible...
What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage aggression is illegitimate?

My personal paradigm allows for both aggressive and non-aggressive communication.

I elaborated on this point and you acknowledged you enjoyed reading it.
"This point" and "it" remain mutually exclusive. I enjoyed reading your post in general [it]. I failed to understand the point of your injecting "the premise" regarding human nature. I hoped to find insight from you by throwing a bone. I provided an alternative premise that perhaps it is human nature to be malleable. We have always adapted to changing environments. Our ability to do so has helped keep us at the top of the food chain for millennia. Another dimension of our malleable nature is that we are easily manipulated. You can work me like a puppet. All you have to do to get me to strip naked for you is crank up the thermostat. :D

I was responsive:

"what I mean by "put a man's mind in an invisible cage." The invisible cage is what you choose to believe. If you believe something it is like a governor on an engine. What you choose believe is your speed limit."

RE: "As directly unresponsive as you were to my two points"

Please include a specific point(s) referred to for any point you feel I am unresponsive.

Again... I have complete understanding of what you mean by "put a man's mind in an invisible cage". I also find these two phrases independently comprehensible...

"what if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage"

"aggression is illegitimate"

But stringing them together as such into one sentence is incomprehensible...

"What if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage aggression is illegitimate?"

-I don't really know what you are asking there. I'm simply asking you to rework that sentence into something legible.

...Oh, and to resolve your premise. ;)

Ok ...

RE: My somewhat rhetorical question regarding chameleons was intended to prompt you to explain how or why you are using the term "human nature".

I indicated my point was attacking a premise that it is human nature to devolve into mass gang and tribal warfare in the absence of a state. I can not say precisely how I am using human nature because no precise meaning of human nature has been provided by people who assert the conclusion.

Let us agree it is as you say. Human nature is to be malleable. People can be taught to be killers by a military, obedient state drones by public schools, or non aggressing freedom lovers. If human nature is malleable then people can be taught to be killers by a military, obedient state drones by public schools, or non aggressing freedom lovers.

I did not set out to prove any particular premise of human nature. I set out to illustrate a contradiction that is responsive to any definition of human nature as it could be used in a conclusion people will engage in gang and tribal warfare in if there was no state. They try to make a point about a power vacuum but a stateless society would have its own private social institutions, parents who teach kids about non-aggression, etc. Not what I would call a power vacuum. There would not even be a coercive power vacuum. Who thinks defensive force would not be used or coercive dealing with rape in any voluntary society. I mean c'mon here.

RE: "This point" and "it" remain mutually exclusive.

I do not see how they are mutually exclusive. If you say to me people will devolve into gang and tribal warfare in the absence of a state because of human nature and I say well, what is it about human nature which leads you to such a conclusion because I have a contradiction. That contradiction is if people can be trained in one direction why not another direction? This is the question I am asking in the OP.

Yes, I am using very colorful, descriptive over the top language when I write if you put a man's mind in an invisible cage.

RE: "I provided an alternative premise that perhaps it is human nature to be malleable"

As I did not set out to prove a particular definition of human nature I do not have much to say about your alternative premise regarding its truth value. Human nature is to be malleable sounds perfectly reasonable to me. As a second premise I might suggest something like malleability is proportional to _________ (not sure what term I would use here exactly but something like age, experience, etc.)

RE: "I also find these two phrases independently comprehensible ... But stringing them together as such into one sentence is incomprehensible ... Again... I have complete understanding of what you mean"

I am thinking to myself it can't be all that incomprehensible if you have complete understanding of what I mean. Is there a reason I should be thinking otherwise?

RE: "I don't really know what you are asking there. I'm simply asking you to rework that sentence into something legible. ...Oh, and to resolve your premise"

You have stated you understand my point. You have stated you understand my meaning. When you say rework it into something legible or resolve your premise do you mean define human nature or do you mean provide a solution how to teach a different direction than training to kill or be an obedient state drone?

I can not say precisely how I

I can not say precisely how I am using human nature because no precise meaning of human nature has been provided by people who assert the conclusion.

Then you shouldn't have introduced the term "human nature", at least without attempting to [re]define it yourself. As you don't know how those you are responding to are using it, it remains ambiguous and not fit to use as the crux of a premise. I'll tell you how "people who assert the conclusion" are using it. They are using it as a sort of figure of speech to indicate or imply that which is axiomatic regarding human behavior. I utterly agree with you that they are wrong.

Let us agree it is as you say. Human nature is to be malleable. People can be taught to be killers by a military, obedient state drones by public schools, or non aggressing freedom lovers. If human nature is malleable then people can be taught to be killers by a military, obedient state drones by public schools, or non aggressing freedom lovers.

Even though they may both be true in various contexts, these two phrases bear very different meaning...

"human nature is malleable"

"human nature is to be malleable"

I'm not saying that it's impossible, but I suggest you would have to write many more pages here to make sense of how "Human nature is malleable" might be pertinent here. Until you redefine it, as I mentioned above, the discussion regards "human nature" as a place card referring to something that is fixed. We don't need to transform the discussion from sociology to one of psychology to prove the bastards wrong. :D We simply need to provide evidence that
an environment of anarchy has never actually been the catalyzing factor responsible for what they may consider periods of human devolution. To do so it is unnecessary to reintroduce human nature as something other than fixed or showing that humans are anything other than predictable.

They try to make a point about a power vacuum but a stateless society would have its own private social institutions, parents who teach kids about non-aggression, etc.

This is quite clear, and I love it. It expresses a concise notion that reads as a summation of the life work of Robert Nisbet. On top of that, state institutions displace/destroy private social institutions. This is why the state institutions tend to grow exponentially, because it is actually the state creating the vacuum. Humans devolve in the environment of stateism. It is stateism that catalyzes societal decay.


http://youtu.be/6RDoYeXCoSE

Ok ...

RE: Then you shouldn't have introduced the term "human nature", at least without attempting to [re]define it yourself.

Fair enough. I can't say when I wrote the OP that thought crossed my mind as you have written it. My thinking was more along the lines of how am I going to paint the picture I am trying to paint and the best I could come up with at that moment was a comparison to something people agree on.

RE: "these two phrases bear very different meaning... "

Agreed. I hadn't given it any thought until you provided an alternative.

RE: "to prove the bastards wrong. :D "

You speak my language well in terms I am familiar with. ;) Evidential point noted.

RE: "the discussion regards "human nature" as a place card referring to something that is fixed"

Point understood.

RE: YouTube link

Brad Stone makes conservatism sound like something that isn't so bad and anti-state. However, I have never met any anti-state conservatives he would label as conservatives. I have only ever met the the pro state with artificial human devised limits variety or those he describes as taking up the label but aren't really conservatives.

Somewhere around @40-43ish there were a couple comments which flagged my intuition radar:

1. There was a statement "dubious claims" which led to a counter argument and statement "limits on social invention."

2. The second was somewhere but no far after the first, "social invention ungrounded in nature"

If you are able to illuminate or expand on those comments further, much appreciated.

I suspect ...

... that many of the minarchists who are the strongest anti-anarchists, are also strong theists, and in particular Christians.

Christianity has that whole "stained at birth" deal. According to such thought, man has free will, but only to a certain point. Still can't get past that staining, and therefore people will be bad no matter how good.

I don't agree with that, but I suspect this is the hidden premise of many minarchists.

Since I Identify

with Christianity I will respond. I do not identify with it in an organized institutional sense but I am a believer in JC. I do not feel it is not my job to glorify any son, a supreme father can do that just fine without my help. What could I do or what power could I possibly possess to glorify a son anyway? I focus on the message more than the messenger.

Rant aside ... What if that invisible cage was rebellion against God? That might have an effect on culture or environment. Let's take an absurdly simplistic literal analogy of Adam. Guess what Cain and Able, I had it made in the Garden of Eden but I screwed the pooch for all time. Be sure to let your posterity know.

I do question the "stained at birth" deal because what is the source of the stain exactly? Is it culture/environment or something else? Surely when the Lord formed man from dust and breathed life into him there wasn't any stain at that moment. The source of the stain can not logically be mere existence.

Could the source be a culture/environment of knowledge of good and evil? Let's just say it is for argument sake. Is a child to blame for any staining? I think not, yet a child is led to believe they are stained. Come here son, I want to stain you and give you a little knowledge of good and evil. For your own good of course. Shazam, now you are a sinner child, welcome to the club. But I did it for your own good!

I say let's not turn this whole staining deal around by confusing the shit out of kids making them believe there is something wrong with them by being born. Let's make sure we are assigning blame correctly. Forgive me of my sins child, I have given you knowledge of good and evil. All you can do now is decide what to do with this knowledge and determine if what I have told you is true, just, and right.

I have other thoughts on the whole is a thing good or evil in and of itself or does its use determine? Is a body good or evil in and of itself or is it how a body is used? Anyway, I just wanted to respond to your comment since you singled out Christians.

My point was ...

... regardless of what you or I think about stained at birth, there are people who buy into it, and that might be the reason for the seeming contradiction you pose in your OP.

This topic would likely never come up in a minarchist/anarchist debate because the people who think that people are inherently bad just accept it subconsciously without stating it as an explicit premise. Therefore, it remains a HIDDEN premise of theirs, which leads to what you perceive as their inconsistent conclusion. Their conclusion is not inconsistent when their hidden premise is revealed.

It is usually those hidden premises that are the true reasons we disagree on our conclusions.

Just find out how many pro-minarchy/anti-anarchy people (a) are theists and (b) believe in stained at birth.

Their answers will prove my hypothesis either right or wrong.

I do not disagree with your point,

I responded to illustrate hidden premises are not the case for all Christians. Nor do I think your hidden premise point is exclusive to religion. Although based on personal experience I would have to agree my own observation leads me to believe:

"Just find out how many pro-minarchy/anti-anarchy people (a) are theists and (b) believe in stained at birth."

equates to at least many.

Great post!

We live in a society where education and entertainment reinforce the acceptance and submission to authority.

Anarchy would only be possible with the reeducation of society, and chief among the new principles to be instilled would the NAP.