OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Von Fugal von at fugal.net
Sat Jun 28 01:03:50 MDT 2008

<quote name="Levi Pearson" date="Fri, 27 Jun 2008 at 23:55 -0600">
> Von Fugal <von at fugal.net> writes:
> > You seem to be confusing me with an anarchist. Such is not the case. My
> > rights end where yours begin, right? If you misconstrue where your
> > rights begin, how is that any different from me misconstrueing where
> > mine end?
> Did you not read the paragraph below?  I was just including the above
> to make my line of argument more complete, not because I thought you
> were an anarchist.

Yes, didn't you read my response?

> >> I'm sure you understand this, I just want to make
> >> it clear that liberty is necessarily limited by government even as it
> >> is protected, but that the government receives the right to restrict
> >> liberty by contract with the people.
> >
> > Sure, making a contract where necessary to protect rights in some cases
> > may restrict other rights. Such as my right to walk wherever I want is
> > superceded by other's rights to have private property. Not the best
> > example because walking isn't really a right in itself, but I'm tired.
> > The important part is "where necessary to protect rights." Thus the
> > litmus test: what rights am I protecting? Is it necessary?

Oh wait, here's your response...

> Again, you're confused about what rights are in a legal sense, but
> whatever.  You seem to think that there are only the natural rights,
> when in fact there are quite a few more that have been established
> through our legal system.  Laws are created by elected
> representatives, and they can establish rights.  Rights are
> enforced/protected by the government.  Clear?

So use my litmus test within your definition of rights. I didn't say you
had to agree with what I think are rights. At least try to justify your
ideas of what proper government is.

> > Here's where I take issue. I don't think a safety net is a bad idea. I
> > think this particular safety net has served a useful purpose. *I* don't
> > *want* this safety net. I would rather build my own thank you. Alas I am
> > *forced* to pay for this safety net against my wishes. Such is the
> > predicament of one in the social contract. 
> It's a cost of living in our society, and you're welcome to leave or
> attempt to change it if you don't agree.  You may cry 'compulsion!'
> all you want, but that doesn't make it so.

Yes, I said it was a predicament of living in the contract, which I do,
and I peacefully pay the cost.

> I happen to believe that providing a basic social safety net makes
> everyone better off, as it puts a lower floor to the poverty level.
> Because of the complexity of our society and its high cost, even
> well-prepared and hard-working people can be reduced to poverty by
> accident.  Many people simply don't know how to sufficiently prepare
> against accidents or bad fortune.  If all of them were reduced to
> poverty at the first accident, and nothing was provided to help them
> out, our society would quickly get sucked down into depression.

I think it also puts I higher cap on the poor level.

> You can believe you won't need it all you want, and maybe you won't,
> but many people in your community will, and your community will be a
> much healthier place because of it.

Maybe so. I guess you're invoking the right to security and warm
fuzzies. Fair nuff.

> > Such is also the danger of not following the above litmus test. *My*
> > right to property is being violated, money is taken from me.
> You are voluntarily giving your money to the government, just like you
> voluntarily pay rent to your landlord.  It's part of the contract.  If
> you don't like the terms, you'll have to look somewhere else or try to
> renegotiate, but they're pretty well established by now!

What do you think I'm doing? Waving a gun and demanding my social
security money back? No, that's for when I retire and there IS no social
security money. Nah, I'm just negotiating. I don't want to pay SS, so
I'm negotiating not to.

> > In some cases this is necessary and
> > prudent, such as to protect the right to life, and whether or not I want
> > my life protected, it is important enough and necessary enough that the
> > social contract is justified. In the case of social security, my
> > property rights are being violated for what? What right is being
> > protected?? The right to not save? The right to be poor? The right to
> > live? Ah that last one sounds good, and this may help people to live. So
> > may charities, voluntary charities. So perhaps it fails the necessary
> > test. Hmm. This is what I want to see done with ALL laws. Put it to the
> > test. Does it protect a right? Is it necessary? Maybe social security is
> > necessary, maybe people aren't charitable in this day and age. So argue
> > that. Don't say "government is compromise, so you have to like the laws
> > I'm proposing."
> Your 'litmus test' is ill-founded, as I explained above.  A right to
> receive Social Security checks was established when the relevant
> legislation was enacted.  Your right to the money that pays for it was
> contracted away in the same way that your right to move your fist ends
> at my face, so to speak, was contracted away; by voluntary
> participation in our society.

My litmus test is perfectly fine. It's certainly better than "we'll do
this with government because we'll all be happier for it." Maybe so, but
I dare say maybe not. And if you didn't carefully think through why it
was necessary and what proper purpose it serves and the unintended
consequences prove grave indeed, well, then all that hand waving was for

> Legislation doesn't need to be *necessary*, it only needs to be deemed
> beneficial by the polity.  And, by the way, I mean social security
> (when not capitlized) in a far broader sense than simply the Social
> Security fund.

The road to hell is built on good intentions. I think it is absolutely
important to have at least a modicum of necessity before crafting brave
new experimental laws 'for the good.'

> > I appluad the flexible nature of the constitution. There have been many
> > great amendments since it was conceived. I dare say all the ammendments
> > are great. What we have now is complete and utter disregard for the
> > constition entirely. Nobody even bothers to make an ammendment anymore.
> > The just throw it out the window and pass laws willy nilly that fly in
> > the face of the constitution.
> There's no more utter disregard than there's ever been.  That's why
> the courts exist, so that unconstitutional laws can be struck down.
> You just have an odd idea of what's constitutional.

How about no habeus corpus? How about unwarranted wiretaps? How about
ex post-facto laws? How about wars without declaration, that we
ourselves start?

> > Wonderful argument: government is corrupt, so we must let it be corrupt.
> > I love this country. I love our just laws and our constitution. I am
> > deeply grateful that it has been so incredibly resistant. All the more
> > reason I want to protect it so it is _still_ resilient and holding forth
> > for my grandchildren.
> I didn't say we had to let it be corrupt, I said that it *is* and *has
> been*.  Clearly we should discourage that, but it's never going to be
> completely eliminated.
> > Yes, government is corrupt. All the more reason to insist on said litmus
> > test before supporting ANY law, bill, or other government action.
> Again, your litmus test idea is based on a flawed concept of what a
> 'right' is and a narrow view of the role of government.

Then adapt it.

Von Fugal
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
Url : http://plug.org/pipermail/plug/attachments/20080628/d7c66e84/attachment.bin 

More information about the PLUG mailing list