Monday, November 25, 2019

Black and white or shades of gray?

Yes, some things-- perhaps most things-- are "shades of gray" rather than "black and white".

However, there are things which are "black and white". The "shades of gray" vs "black and white" distraction is just that: a distraction. It's not either/or. Even most "shades of gray" scales include black and white at the opposite ends.

Those who want to get away with or excuse evil will be desperate to fool you into thinking there's no "black and white"; that's it's all gray. This is dishonest. There are grays, but there is also black and white.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.


  1. reality: An individual cannot defeat cartels.
    Some form of voluntary cooperation is required to live.
    Mechanisms for significant voluntary effort- involve compromises (shades of gray) by some or by all, to accommodate a group large enough to succeed in the particular task.
    Mechanisms for excluding freeloaders from the benefits of significant effort- involves compromises (shades of gray).
    An individual is required to compromise to some extent when it is necessary to work with others.
    Any philosophy which requires purity, but is repugnant of reality- needs work.

    I am desperate to use reason to find a rationale philosophical mechanism that extends beyond pure individuals, and applies to voluntary groups.

    The "big L" v "little l" discussions demonstrate the need to -extend the philosophy- to accommodate cooperation amongst like minded groups, imho. Hence the question: "What is missing"? What would the elements of a solution look like?

    Everywhere on every board, everyone so far just burrows into their own personal individual flavor of voluntarism and non-aggression; without accommodating actual cooperation involving similar yet subtle differences of individual opinions.

    If people in a very similar place cannot discuss differences to reason toward a more encompassing philosophy- then the philosophy might only apply individuals and not groups.
    I'd like to see rational thought extended to include "group voluntarism w/nap"

    is there anywhere where such a discussion takes place?

    1. i sense the philosophy evolves along lines similar to: "Killing is bad." which is fine, but misses some important real-world application. So it evolves several cycles, into "Archation is bad; and vigorous self defense is good."

      current "voluntarism w/nap" works for individuals, but needs to evolve to apply for groups big enough to handle some important real world challenges.

    2. does "actual capitalism" provide the mechanism for voluntary cooperation of larger groups?

      any other notions actually ever work?

    3. proposed "strawman for discussion" philosophy necessary for rational cooperative groups: All items are needed:
      i) "capitalism w/pure price discovery" for groups
      ii) "voluntarism w/nap" for individuals
      iii) "vigorous defense" against archators/thieves- for manipulating(stealing) with price or property or labor
      iv) "private charity" as individuals volunteer

      Maybe, "price discovery" in an un-manipulated market place is the "missing link" that allows libertarianism to "scale up" from individuals to groups.... (?)
      As long as govt's distort "price discovery", they actively steal. Thereby taking Liberty.

      Might be the slogan for the restoration: "Price Discovery, not Slavery".
      OR "Do not Tread on my Price Discovery"
      OR "Price Discovery is Liberty"

      just a thought.
      we'll need a new flag.


    5. "...a rationale philosophical mechanism that extends beyond pure individuals, and applies to voluntary groups."

      Libertarianism/ abolitionism/ Voluntaryism/ anarchism is perfect for that. Voluntary cooperation is what it's all about. Compromise is perfectly compatible with voluntary groups-- but you can't really compromise between consensual sex and rape, and it seems like that's the requirement you impose.

      "Killing is bad."

      Not necessarily. Murder is bad, killing is sometimes necessary and occasionally even good.

      "...groups big enough to handle some important real world challenges"

      What challenges? "Cartels"? Why the obsession over cartels? It bewilders me completely. Are cartels (other than political government) a credible threat where you live?

      I'll have a post soon where I ask you specific questions about this (and other things) and hope you can give me the answers I seek in order to understand.

      "does 'actual capitalism' provide the mechanism for voluntary cooperation of larger groups?"

      It sure seems like it would. Probably several competing mechanisms.

      "I'd like to see rational thought extended to include 'group voluntarism w/nap'"

      What about the Covenant of Unanimous Consent-- either as-is or modified in some way to address your concerns?

    6. re: "Why the obsession over cartels?"

      that's a type of problem that groups can address, while individuals have no chance.
      and yes, govt is a cartel: "syndicate, combine, or trust formed especially to regulate prices and output in some field of business."

    7. re: "the Covenant of Unanimous Consent"

      is about individuals, without conventions for groups.
      limited, because it does not provide for the group environment that individuals depend on to survive, let alone thrive.

      it describes good individual bricks, but not the mortar and the foundation and the rebar needed to make a solid structure that can last, and hold up for generations against storms.

      in this analogy- maybe the mortar is "pure price discovery" that connects individual connections, and maybe rebar is "the certainty of vigorous defense against archation", as a hard anchor. The foundation maybe "volunteerism /w NAP".

      point being, a pile of individual bricks does do much, and is easy pickings for passers by to do with as they choose. Whereas a well built wall is much more than individual bricks; they have agreed to mechanisms for interface and exchanges, they can form into interesting shapes and functions. Groups of individuals are both enabled and also limited by the "expressly agreed to philosophical mechanisms". Those are the philosophical mechanisms that give individuals and groups stability and growth, and allow them to flourish (rather than just being a pile of individual bricks).

      now other philosophies start by defining the basic building block (their brick) as "a slave", and the mortar as "coercion", and the rebar as "the state". Their ugly bricks make for hideous structures/groups.

      We've chosen a better 'brick': "volunteerism /w NAP". And I propose that is not enough: That we need to defining the mortar and rebar (it's an analogy)- so we are not stuck at being a pile of bricks, and so we can build beautiful and bold structures out of a variety of bricks, interleaved in wonderful patterns, and explore ever evolving structures across many different environments. But the community is stuck at defining bricks and arguing about bricks.

      Von Mises maybe the only folks defining group mechanisms based on "volunteerism /w NAP", our 'brick'.

    8. [apologies for obvious typos and grammar issues- typing fast in the tiny comments box...]

    9. beyond the simple analogy: Connection mechanisms vary for time and place. I am the same "valunteerism w/NAP" brick, but the connection mechanisms vary at home, school, work, chruch, softball team, volunteer fire dept, etc. Each place has different varied mechnisms- but all are based on the same principles. It's the core principles and mechanisms that seem important to understand. WHat do healthy forms look like, and what are the symptoms that reveal sick and twisted unhealthy forms.

    10. If you come up with a solution that fits what you think is needed, as long as it includes no archation, I'll help promote it to the best of my ability. Even though I don't see it as necessary to any situation I've ever experienced-- because if it's a stumbling block to you, it's a stumbling block to others. Let's get it dealt with.

      (I'll remind you, though, that I believe it's likely there are problems which have no solution. And to me, archation for the sake of fighting archation isn't a solution.)

    11. "no archation" as the core philosphy guiding individual interactions.
      "price discovery" as the core philosphy guiding group internal/external inetractions.

      "archation" distorts group and individual behaviors.
      manipulating "price discovery" is "archation" to individuals throughout the group.
      Propose that BOTH TOGETHER are the "minimum set" required for libertine society.

      that's the proposition du jour, for consideration.
      (probably wrong or incomplete, but hopefully serves to advance understanding)

      re-stated: without both, there is neither.

      if prices are fixed- then badfolks are attempting archation upon individuals.
      if archation happens, then badfolks are distorting prices/cost.

      with BOTH: rational interactions among individuals and groups- are enabled.

  2. von Mises libertarianism

  3. Also, remember that NAP/vigorous defense usually needs discussion/clarification, due to those darn "shades of gray"...

    1. I've never seen anyone really "need" clarification who wasn't looking for some justification to archate. Just like in the picture. Just consider the dueling restitution debts-- restitution for a few drops of sweat falling on your property and causing no measurable harm vs restitution for a life. Not worth the cost for the killer. If that's what you consider a "shades of gray" situation, hopefully I just clarified it for you.

    2. sorry, annoying 'philosophical seeker' here, searching for insights.

      one gray area is "measurable harm vs restitution".
      Measuring "philisophical liberty" vs simply "enumerated damage" ($100)
      When is it time to just kill the bastards?

    3. for example. in several states, deadly force is "conventional" to stop an attempted felony in progress. (lotsa statist issues in there, but the "restitution" is understood as usual and customary (or it used to be).) SO stopping rape, murder, theft of over $2500 are felonies- so there's a fairly clear distinction of "measurable harm vs restitution".

      But what is usual and customary for attempted slavery, or denial of religious freedom, or creating a military in our midst? Repeatedly begging after the fact to the party that was the aggressor - - - that seems not to work. So when is it time to 'end the threat'?

      If it was clear, it would help society get past rough times. just sayin'.

    4. I've written a post with several questions I'd like to see your answers to, just so I might understand where you're coming from.