[FoRK] A couple of thoughts on self-ownership, libertarianism, and government

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Mon Sep 20 07:06:29 PDT 2010


On Sep 19, 2010, at 20:41 , Russell Turpin wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 6:57 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>>  The problem is, in practice they are only post hoc patch-ups of systems
>> that originated earlier in other theories of rights, necessary to justify the
>> contradictions engendered by the complications of evolving self-amending
>> states working at odds, eventually and inevitably, with the poorly-justified
>> principles on which said state was at least ostensibly founded. ....
> 
> There is no escape from the past. Revolutions that aren't too
> revolutionary inherit more than their beneficiaries want to credit.
> American traditions from jury trial to a written bill of rights,
> including the right to bear arms (at least, for protestants), are
> taken directly from Britain, even down to specific phrasing:
> "excessive bail," "cruel and unusual punishment," "redress of
> grievances."
> 
> Revolutions that work too hard to severe from tradition are scary things.

Granted, however I think you're missing my point:  post hoc ergo propter hoc.  My original complaint was about your griping about "civil rights" under the present system.  When you start with a system of axiomatic rights, and then you self-amend yourself away from that system, you cannot later substitute some other theory of rights to restore integrity to the system and retroactively justify things.  Moving to a post hoc consensual-rights interpretation gains you nothing except a false sense of security;  once your axiomatic system has been compromised you *have* no real rights in any significant sense.  As mentioned in the response to Ken, you're into the realm of e.g. Eli and "Friendly AI."  It's recursion and sophistry, nonsense and illusion, in this case laudanum for the masses, pure Spectacle.  Whatever "rights" you incorrectly believe you have are fashion, fluff, the memetic effluvium of evolving culture.

In the draft version of the Declaration of Independence Jefferson apparently used the term "subjects" rather than citizens, but later (fairly quickly, apparently) changed it.  But make no mistake:  today you are a *subject.*  (Of *what* you are a subject is a different, and interesting, question in itself.)


jb





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