I have found a lot of people on here do not address the conversation and just blather on about what they have either read or heard. You and I agree on the larger picture and then there is a deviation as we go down the line.
Larger picture in which we agree…..there are two competing forces in the world…..One being Natural Law and one of Statism……you may not call it Statism…..but you recognize it as some force trying to control other men and protect their place in the world. Albert J Nock describes it in this manner. Man is endowed by his Creator with Rights (assigned by the Declaration of Independence as Life, Liberty and initially Property). But man is also a social being and in this we tend to congregate in communities. In these communities we assemble to make sure the needs of other are achievable while protecting our own Right of Liberty. Therefore we allow the communities to assign leaders to make decisions for the community and the best interest of all. What we give of our Liberty to the community is now a little less Liberty for ourselves…..a tradeoff is occurring. What so often happens is the Leaders then began to believe that there are endowed to a greater portion of the community. As power begins to amass, others are draw to the path of least resistance and government interference begins to infringe on all peoples Liberty (I always capitalize Liberty, because the word means that much to me) for the benefit of the few.
The fact that you know James Otis gives me hope that you are open to the ideas espoused by Nock. James Otis has a significant role in the amending the U. S. Constitution to includes the Bill Of Rights. James Otis was a mentor to Thomas Jefferson and was mentored by, at least by his writing, John Locke.
Some philosophers before Locke had suggested that it would be good to find the limits of the Understanding, but what Locke does is to carry out this project in detail. In the four books of the Essay Locke considers the sources and nature of human knowledge. Book I argues that we have no innate knowledge. (In this he resembles Berkeley and Hume, and differs from Descartes and Leibniz.) So, at birth, the human mind is a sort of blank slate on which experience writes. In Book II Locke claims that ideas are the materials of knowledge and all ideas come from experience. The term‘idea,’ Locke tells us “…stands for whatsoever is the Object of the Understanding, when a man thinks” (Essay I, 1, 8, p. 47). Experience is of two kinds, sensation and reflection. One of these — sensation — tells us about things and processes in the external world. The other —reflection — tells us about the operations of our own minds. Reflection is a sort of internal sense that makes us conscious of the mental processes we are engaged in. Some ideas we get only from sensation, some only from reflection and some from both.
Locke has an atomic or perhaps more accurately a corpuscular theory of ideas. There is, that is to say, an analogy between the way atoms or corpuscles combine into complexes to form physical objects and the way ideas combine. Ideas are either simple or complex. We cannot create simple ideas, we can only get them from experience. In this respect the mind is passive. Once the mind has a store of simple ideas, it can combine them into complex ideas of a variety of kinds. In this respect the mind is active. Thus, Locke subscribes to a version of the empiricist axiom that there is nothing in the intellect that was not previously in the senses — where the senses are broadened to include reflection. Book III deals with the nature of language, its connections with ideas and its role in knowledge. Book IV, the culmination of the previous reflections, explains the nature and limits of knowledge, probability, and the relation of reason and faith. Let us now consider the Essay in some detail.
In the fourth book of An Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingLocke tells us what knowledge is and what humans can know and what they cannot (not simply what they do and do not happen to know). Locke defines knowledge as “the perception of the connexion and agreement or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our Ideas”(IV. I. 1. p. 525). This definition of knowledge contrasts with the Cartesian definition of knowledge as any ideas that are clear and distinct. Locke's account of knowledge allows him to say that we can know substances in spite of the fact that our ideas of them always include the obscure and relative idea of substance in general. Still, Locke's definition of knowledge raises in this domain a problem analogous to those we have seen with perception and language. If knowledge is the “perception of … the agreement or disagreement … of any of our Ideas” — are we not trapped in the circle of our own ideas? What about knowing the real existence of things? Locke is plainly aware of this problem, and very likely holds that the implausibility of skeptical hypotheses, such as Descartes' Dream hypothesis (he doesn't even bother to mention Descartes' malin genie or Evil Demon hypothesis), along with the causal connections between qualities and ideas in his own system is enough to solve the problem. It is also worth noting that there are significant differences between Locke's brand of empiricism and that of Berkeley that would make it easier for Locke to solve the veil of perception problem than Berkeley. Locke, for example, makes transdictive inferences about atoms where Berkeley is unwilling to allow that such inferences are legitimate. This implies that Locke has a semantics that allows him to talk about the unexperienced causes of experience (such as atoms) where Berkeley cannot. (See Mackie's perceptive discussion of the veil of perception problem, in Problems from Locke.
What then can we know and with what degree of certainty? We can know that God exists with the second highest degree of assurance, that of demonstration. We also know that we exist with the highest degree of certainty. The truths of morality and mathematics we can know with certainty as well, because these are modal ideas whose adequacy is guaranteed by the fact that we make such ideas as ideal models which other things must fit, rather than trying to copy some external archetype which we can only grasp inadequately. On the other hand, our efforts to grasp the nature of external objects is limited largely to the connection between their apparent qualities. The real essence of elephants and gold is hidden from us: though in general we suppose them to be some distinct combination of atoms which cause the grouping of apparent qualities which leads us to see elephants and violets, gold and lead as distinct kinds. Our knowledge of material things is probabilistic and thus opinion rather than knowledge. Thus our “knowledge” of external objects is inferior to our knowledge of mathematics and morality, of ourselves, and of God. While Locke holds that we only have knowledge of a limited number of things, he thinks we can judge the truth or falsity of many propositions in addition to those we can legitimately claim to know. This brings us to a discussion of probability.
So to paraphrase and include in the conversation at hand, your experience of the way of the world is what you have read or heard of the conflict between good and evil. This is demonstrated by your suggested reading materials and links. Although you claim no association or declaration, your actions expose the truth of your thoughts.
Having never been exposed to the “true” nature of the struggle between your perceived good and evil you find yourself searching for a better understanding and therefore any new information you categorize into your duopoly, without any understanding of the philosophy. Without an understanding of the philosophy there is no hope of understanding the people that don’t believe the same way you do and therefore no understanding of the problem and how to fix it.
Allow me to elaborate. In Rothbard’s book Economic Thought before Adam Smith he point out the philosophy of Natural Law by Socrates who taught it to Plato who taught it to Aristotle. Plato was more of an elitist and through his work developed the Statist philosophy. Aristotle although also an elitist not as much as Plato work more on Natural Law and is best described in this way.
Western civilization is in many ways Greek; and the two great philosophic traditions of ancient Greece which have been shaping the Western mind ever since have been those of Aristotle and his great teacher and antagonist Plato (428-347 BC). It has been said that every man, deep down, is either a Platonist or an Aristotelian, and the divisions run throughout their thought. Plato pioneered the natural law approach which Aristotle developed and systematized; but the basic thrust was quite different. For Aristotle and his followers, man's existence, like that of all other creatures, is 'contingent', i.e. it is not necessary and eternal. Only God's existence is necessary and transcends time. The contingency of man's existence is simply an unalterable part of the natural order, and must be accepted as such.
To the Platonists, however, especially as elaborated by Plato's follower, the Egyptian Plotinus (204-270 AD), these inevitable limitations of man's natural state were intolerable and must be transcended. To the Platonists, the actual, concrete, temporal factual existence of man was too limited. Instead, this existence (which is all that any of us has ever seen) is a fall from grace, a fall from the original non-existent, ideal, perfect, eternal being of man, a godlike being perfect and therefore without limits. In a bizarre twist of language, this perfect and never-existent being was held up by the Platonists as the truly existent, the true essence of man, from which we have all been alienated or cut off. The nature of man (and of all other entities) in the world is to be something and to exist in time; but in the semantic twist of the Platonists, the truly existent man is to be eternal, to live outside of time, and to have no limits. Man's condition on earth is therefore supposed to be a state of degradation and alienation, and his purpose is supposed to be to work his way back to the 'true' limitless and perfect self-alleged to be his original state. Alleged, of course, on the basis of no evidence whatever - indeed, evidence itself identifies, limits, and therefore, to the Platonic mind, corrupts.
Plato's and Plotinus's views of man's allegedly alienated state were highly influential, as we shall see, in the writings of Karl Marx and his followers.
Because you live in the duopoly of good and evil and not aware of the differences of the philosophy, you thoughts cannot be reconciled into a path of cognitive thought. If you approach a newbie or sheeple and start spouting all the conspiracy crap all you are going to do is drive them away……If you approach them with a few simple questions you have a chance to bring them into the fold. Depending on their station in life…ie dependent on the State for the livelihood.
1. Do you think we should have sound money?
2. Do you think we should have more or less government?
This brings me to some of your post and quotes and let me exhibit some confusion. While you espouse the virtues of natural law in some of the information you discredit yourself with statist rhetoric in the next. For instances, James Otis, the Declaration of Independence, The Magna Carte ( BTW the significance of the MC was the first document forced onto a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. Really natural law was only implied in the MC, the Bill of Right was an attempt to make them more explicit).
So your sense of Natural Law and therefore Natural Rights is sound….but then go down this path of Statism with your links to straight up Marxism…….are you doing this intentionally or on accidently?
Example this link.
The Labor Dollar……seriously?
Where to began…..ok …..how about the Labor Theory of Value….Marx. Do you understand this? The labor theory of value is that if you take all the imputed cost of a product, this is the price in the market place. For a while this was the way prices were set, because the competition was sparse. But once markets began to open up and more entrepreneurs entered the market place, price became subjective to the value of the buyer. But only with Richard Cantillion's ground breaking theory of the opportunity cost of capital did market price and value converge into a complete thought.
But for socialism the theory of value is the only way to make a non-competitive market place function….which cause shortages. But the labor dollar is so flawed I can’t believe you trot this out here. To paraphrase (people can read it for themselves) the thought is this….you have all these measurable quantities in the world…..that are not subjective…..A foot pound measures a unit of force, Horse power a measure of power exerted, man power 1/8th of horse power, OHM measures a unit of resistance…. these all are scientific measurement that are not subjective. What could be more measurable than an ounce? But the theory of the labor dollar wants people to believe that they (being someone has to be in charge) can develop a currency based of someone labor…......not to mention force it on the people through legal tender laws. I mean c’mon…….are a Marxist ……because you are certainly are not a Capitalist.
Here is what is says….did you think I would not read it?
The day’s work is to be made the standard and to serve as the Labor Dollar or the instrument by which all other work may be measured or estimated, must , therefore, be itself defined in all these three particulars.
1. Length of day
2. Severity of work
3. And I can even find the third and the writer admits the fallacy in the plan.
You espoused this as a Radical Idea…….why don’t we just go with the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard in my life……you want me to trust some…..what would have to be government body with the value of my labor……yeah right!
The writer goes on to find species as a system to be manipulated by nefarious people in the market….yeah but the market has a way of dealing with these people pretty effectively ….it’s only when those people payoff the government do they not get their just rewards. Speaking of the market…..do you know how species became the money? …….by thousands, hundreds of thousands of people voting each and every day to make it so….by the choice in the free market place and Liberty…..and you want to replace that with government control…..why not just stay with what we have now. Once again we have a philosophy problem not a corruption problem……would it be better to have a government that is forbidden from entering the market place for the benefit of the few…….to do away with mercantilism.
So the market place chose the medium of exchange as species….the truly beneficial effect of the choice is that when the gold was stored in a warehouse ( known as a bank) the species acted has a check on the amount of bank notes that could be issued…..it was only when the government stepped in and allowed the banks to break their contractional agreement that a problem occurred. Are you starting to see a pattern with this whole government interference thing? Beside….if you have a Labor Dollar….how would you check the control of over issuance….you going to carry a couple labor hours down to the bank to make sure there are not over issuing labor dollars……no “someone” would have to be in charge of it…..more government.
This brings me to your lack of knowledge of banking and banking history. If you knew banking history you would understand that loan banking and deposit banking are not the same and did not merge together until the 13th or 14th century and in England there were no deposit banks until the mid-17th century.
As far the dude that wrote the Parasite City and your link to Mutual Banking …..W.B Greene….just from the headlines of the chapters I would guess he was a Greenbacker….which if you don’t know was in favor of the government issuing the currency…..bad idea, but I will admit I did not read it all. He might have some things I agree with but in order to take him seriously he would have to overcome this mindset.
Society established gold and silver as a circulating medium, in order that exchanges of commodities might be facilitated; but society made a mistake in so doing; for by this very act it gave to a certain class of men the power of saying what exchanges shall, and what exchanges shall not, be facilitated by means of this very circulating medium. The monopolizers of the precious metals have an undue power over the community; they can say whether money shall, or shall not, be permitted to exercise its legitimate functions. These men have a veto on the action of money, and therefore on exchanges of commodity; and they will not take off their, veto until they have received usury, or, as it is more politely termed, interest on their money. Here is the great objection to the present currency. Behold the manner in which the absurdity inherent in a specie currency - or, what is still worse, in a currency of paper based upon specie - manifests itself in actual operation! The mediating value which society hoped would facilitate exchanges becomes an absolute marketable commodity, itself transcending all reach of mediation. The great natural difficulty which originally stood, in the way of exchanges is now the private property of a class, and this class cultivates this difficulty, and make money out of it, even as a farmer cultivates his farm and makes money by his labor. But there is a difference between the farmer and the usurer; for the farmer benefits the community as well as himself, while every dollar made by the usurer is a dollar taken from the pocket of some other individual, since the usurer cultivates nothing but an actual obstruction.
Here is an opposing view from Rothbard.
What determines the price of money? The same forces that determine all prices on the market—that venerable but eternally true law: “supply and demand.” We all know that if the supply of eggs increases, the price will tend to fall; if the buyers’ demand for eggs increases, the price will tend to rise. The same is true for money. An increase in the supply of money will tend to lower its “price;” an increase in the demand for money will raise it. But what is the demand for money?
In the case of eggs, we know what “demand” means; it is the amount of money consumers are willing to spend on eggs, plus eggs retained and not sold by suppliers. Similarly, in the case of money, “demand” means the various goods offered in exchange for money, plus the money retained in cash and not spent over a certain time period. In both cases, “supply” may refer to the total stock of the good on the market. What happens, then, if the supply of gold increases, demand for money remaining the same? The “price of money” falls, i.e., the purchasing power of the money unit will fall all along the line. An ounce of gold will now be worth less than 100 loaves of bread, 1⁄3 of a television set, etc. Conversely, if the supply of gold falls, the purchasing power of the gold-ounce rises.
So Rothbard completely demolishes Greene fear of price of money and therefore refutes this point of his thesis. I would say that Greene is acting on his emotions of what he sees in the market place as inequitable and exposes his true nature which is Egalitarianism. Egalitarianism in politics can be of at least two forms. One form is equality of persons in rights, sometimes referred to as natural rights; John Locke is sometimes considered the founder of this form.
Another form is economic egalitarianism, which emphasizes equality in ownership and control of the means of production. Karl Marx is considered a proponent of this form of egalitarianism, expressed in the slogan "from each according to their ability; to each according to their need". Marx's position is often confused or conflated with distributive egalitarianism, in which only the goods and services resulting from production are distributed according to a notional equality.
Which once again points out the confusion of your positions…..you can’t be both. So which are a Locke Natural Rights or a Marx’s Statist?
So what do you think of my painting now?
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