Which side makes a better case?
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  • 2 years ago

    Hey man thanks for the discussion. Would like to continue some time.

    • 2 years ago

      @bronsonkaahui Thanks for the discussion- very interesting!

      • 2 years ago

        Here is my basic argument against political authority.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSuTt_WzbPg

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui Really, cause that guy seems like he has never even studied the basics of theory of government.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried who Mike?

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui The fellow they were interviewing.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried Mike is incredibly intelligent and has written extensively on this subject. In fact I don't know how any rational person could come to the conclusion that Mike is NOT familiar with the basics of theory of government given that they discuss it at length within the interview in question.

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui I think Noah here could run circles around him on the subject. My impression was that Mike was incredibly simple-minded on the subject and the show hosts didn't take any great effort to challenge his views. I feel a little bad saying so because he can't come defend himself (unless you know him in which case I'd be happy to debate with him).

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried what, specifically, do you dispute? Is there an actual factual dispute about something that he said or...?

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried again, he's written extensively on the subject. You can't even identify what, specifically, you're disputing about anything he *actually* said.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JYL5VUe5NQ

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui I have a more general disagreement than a specific disagreement.

          On one hand, he is arguing that we should use this "obviousness" standard for looking at moral questions. Which is a lot like saying, don't think to hard about this to come up with an answer. Now, look, you don't have an answer. OK. so here is a simple obvious answer. And his response is, well that is too simple, you need to look deeper than that.

          It's like what he is really saying is, what I'm saying makes lots of sense if you don't over analyze it and don't under analyze it. Basically, if you only look at what I tell you, you will agree with what I say.

          If he really is of any merit, he can examine the current understandings of government theory and establish a reason why they fail other than "they are not obvious enough to everyone." The reason for that is, most people don't really dig in and try to think these things through. But there are plenty of people who have. and if you are not going to address it, you aren't being serious about the topic.

          Either he is A. stupid B. ignorant or C. intentionally deceptive

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried "If he really is of any merit, he can examine the current understandings of government theory and establish a reason why they fail other than "they are not obvious enough to everyone.""

          He did, in fact, do that. He wrote on a book on it.

          https://www.amazon.com/Problem-Political-Authority-Examination-Coerce/dp/1137281650

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui Well if what I heard on the podcast is any indication, I would not be impressed by his book.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried but you still can't articulate what, specifically, you disagreed with about his podcast. The thing you cited ended up not being true because he did in fact discuss that (and also wrote a book on it).

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui I can, but it is too long winded to do here, I'd have to write an essay. We could do a debate about it, but it wouldn't be much different than the one you just had.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried Im down.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried I came to many of these same conclusions independently but I think he articulated the case much better. I like how he said to imagine explaining what a "POTUS" is and the process by which one "becomes" the president.

          The ritual is actually pretty elaborate and highly comparable to tribal rituals in illiterate societies. The only difference is that in the tribal rituals they actually believe some "force" is physically transferring the "power" or "authority" from one person to another. In our society, we've largely compartmentalized this information by fabricating another "plane" known as "law" and saying the power somehow derives from this other plane of existence. But if you were explaining this to an alien who did not subscribe to the statist religion, it would be the same as the tribesmen explaining where the "power" comes from. Some mysterious ether/nether that can does not occupy physical reality but can nonetheless affect it somehow.

          The alien would probably respond that this is all made up, and in reality people have authority because others believe that they do.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried the Chinese really pioneered this concept but it's not as though literally every government that has ever existed did not come up with a similar scheme. You can call it whatever you want. "Mandate of Heaven." "Will of the Gods." "Divine Right." "Social Contract." All of these things are describing the same thing. It is a rationalization of the existing power structure, legitimizing it in the minds of those who might think to rebel.

          The Zhou dynasty faced a problem when they came to power. Namely, they had to come up with a rationale for why their power was legitimate and why the Shang were not legitimate rulers (the truth, as is always the case, is that they simply seized power by force, just as the previous rulers did). They had to come up with a reason for people not to rebel aside from "we will kill you if you try." So they invented the "Mandate of Heaven" to explain why it is that they were in power, and why everyone should accept their authority as being legitimate.

          The truth is that power is neither "legitimate" nor "illegitimate." These terms are completely arbitrary and based on self-referential assertions ("this is true because this arbitrary scheme I've come up with says so, and based on the definitions I invented, it's logically consistent"). The truth about power is that whoever has the power to exists, does, and those that do not, don't. Everything else is an invention.

          We know for sure that governments don't actually require a "Mandate of Heaven" or "Divine Right" or "social contract" to exist, there merely require the power to exist and nothing else. That's why the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea exists -- because it has the power to exist, and no other reason.

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui I partly agree. But look, it's one thing to say "there is no objective right to rule" and it is another to say "there is no right to rule"

          Rights are determined by us lowly human beings. And yes it is done by virtue of our power. When we get together and make an agreement on how we determine leadership, then that determination has that power.

          You may disagree, and that is fine, but if you are just naysaying because we don't have god on our side, then it really doesn't mean that much. you either have to make it happen or be content with complaining about not being in charge.

          There are a great many theories of government authority. My problem with this guy is he just ignores them rather than challenges them head-on. It's the equivalent of that Christian guy I debated who basically has no argument other than "so what" to any kind of moral claim other than "God says".

          I'm not going to be able to show you a golden tablet that says representative democracy is ordained by the universe as the legitimate right to rule. All I can do is show you a nation of people in which that is the prevailing moral philosophy. And I'll point out that if you want a different one, you have to fight for it, otherwise it's not going to change just because you don't think it is objective truth, because honestly, there isn't one, it's just whatever we find works best.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried "When we get together and make an agreement on how we determine leadership, then that determination has that power."

          Sometimes that's the case, but usually not. Usually it's the case that you simply conform to the existing power structure and then rationalize that using both the rationalizations given to you by the government and sometimes with novel rationalizations. In any case, you accept the existing power structure.

          So you could SAY that you independently came to this conclusion, but someone in North Korea could say the same, as well as women living in Saudi Arabia. The only thing we know for sure is that for whatever reason, they have, in fact, accepted it.

          So how do these power structures arise in the first place? Well that we know for sure -- it's based on the outcome of a physical struggle -- usually war but sometimes the coup is bloodless. So you can rationalize and say "we" fought the British to gain "our" independence and then wrote a Constitution legitimizing all of this, but from a rational perspective we see that it's just the outcome of a war. If they had lost that war then the Constitution would be completely irrelevant, much like the office of President of the Confederate States of America.

          I prefer descriptive language when discussing politics because it avoids arbitrary and subjective concepts like "legitimate" or "right." The scientific nature of politics is that it's based on physical force. That is the source of all political reality. Even if you go through some elaborate procedure (law, democracy, etc.) you're still describing a process by which you intend to seize power and then enforce your will on others. And it's important to note that the only reason you even bother with this process is because the existing power structure said that is the way you have to do it and no other reason.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried "You may disagree, and that is fine, but if you are just naysaying because we don't have god on our side, then it really doesn't mean that much. you either have to make it happen or be content with complaining about not being in charge."

          Political atheism doesn't actually require anything you just said. It's simply looking at the world *as it exists* rather than how we imagine it to. This does not impose any kind of obligation on the person with this knowledge. For example, I vote, I pay taxes, etc. Learning that political authority is more or less just a mental trick doesn't require me to take any position at all. For example, you could say it's a useful mental trick, or that it doesn't matter, or that it does but not that much. Anarchism is not a requirement for political atheism because one could plausibly reason that "although this is all bullshit, it serves a useful function in society." That's kinda what Jordan Peterson did with Christianity. Christian atheist. Whether or not God exists (and I don't think he believes in God at all), the belief is useful. That's his argument.

          So that's the kind of approach I take with political atheism (probably not the best term as I imagine this same term describes people who have no interest in politics -- which is not how I'm using it). I say "based on the best available data, I conclude that nationalist mythology is mostly bullshit." But just because I know other peoples beliefs are bullshit doesn't somehow prevent me from acting within an environment in which that is the dominant view.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried "My problem with this guy is he just ignores them rather than challenges them head-on."

          Based on this statement, I must conclude that you did not actually listen to the podcast. Is this accurate? Be honest. You're too smart for me to conclude that you listened to the whole thing and still believe he did not directly confront all of the standard arguments for political authority (which forms the entire basis of his book).

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui I listened to the first half of it. If he gets around to it, he takes too long for me. ;P I'll admit that might not be entirely fair of me. But I found his reasoning lacking from the get-go and could only take so much of it without being able to respond to him.

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui "I prefer descriptive language when discussing politics because it avoids arbitrary and subjective concepts like "legitimate" or "right." The scientific nature of politics is that it's based on physical force."

          That is correct. But that is not the rationale on which it is built. Those are two separate things. Most political systems exist by "right" of might but their form is determined by some rationale or principle. Of course, the principles aren't even always followed but they are supposed to be guiding.

          Force is intrinsic to human society. You can't really escape it unless all human beings abandon it, and good luck with that! Force is an inescapable aspect of human social dynamics and so an inescapable aspect of government.

          Sure, we all rationalize, but that doesn't make that a bad thing. And we all make decisions about what we accept in society and what we don't, and that isn't necessarily bad either. Society involves compromises, always.

        • 2 years ago

          @bronsonkaahui "Nationalist mythology is mostly bullshit."

          Well, it depends on who you are talking to. What you say is probably true for people not well founded in the theory of government. They accept authority because they accept authority. Some people loooove authority.

          I come at it from a pragmatic perspective. We have government because we need it, and we need it because some people are raging assholes, and because we need it we do our best to make it useful and fucntional, and that is where government theory comes into play. Principles by which to make the best of a problematic situation.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried search him up on my friend list and state your case. He's pretty responsive to rational arguments.

      • 2 years ago

        Thoughts
        Definition: Governments don't need a monopoly of force, but they do if they want to have sovereignty. AKA you can have a Government that is not actually in control of a state. Though mostly we don't care about such governments, only those that maintain some kind of sovereignty. And for that, they need a monopoly of force.

        What I'm seeing here, is Bronson ask questions, Noah offers explanations. I have a clear idea what Noah is thinking and arguing. I have almost no clue what Bronson thinks other than... he has questions and doesn't like paying taxes very much. Now it may well be he doesn't intend to make arguments here and is just interested in getting answers.

        And that's fine... but it's kind of unsatisfying as an audience. :)

        Bronson my man, you just are not a good listener. You say "explain this" someone explains it, then you say "but you haven't explained it." Your school teacher must have deeply loved you. :P

        Anyway, voting for Noah here for doing a lot of good work making detailed explinations of many different ideas.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried "AKA you can have a Government that is not actually in control of a state. Though mostly we don't care about such governments, only those that maintain some kind of sovereignty. And for that, they need a monopoly of force."

          My conception of "government" is synonymous with "the state." Libertarians see no meaningful distinction in general. For example, here in Hawaii we have several competing different groups all claiming the throne of "King of Hawaii." Of course we know that the United States government is in control Hawaii, and that the State of Hawaii is the real government here, but these people believe themselves to be the "real" government.

          Because "legitimate" and "government" are social constructs, I tend to view the entity as most consistent with physical reality to be the "true" government. That government which has the power to exist, shall rule over those that do not. All others are "potential" governments. Government is ultimately backed by force (otherwise it is not a true government, it is simply an agreement).