AnCaps
ANARCHO-CAPITALISTS
Bitch-Slapping Statists For Fun & Profit Based On The Non-Aggression Principle
 
HomePortalGalleryCalendarFAQRegisterLog in
 

 On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
RR Phantom

avatar

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

PostSubject: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sat May 03, 2014 9:53 pm

Posts selected from a Google Groups discussion. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.politics.correct/ALX0kG1z27w[326-350-false]


BILLY BECK:


Daniel Hugh Nexon wrote:

Thomas Steegmann wrote:
As usual, you refuse to understand, and attempt to use strawmen, demonization, ... and all the other modern propaganda techniques to sway the lurkers here. †Unfortunately for you, these techniques are not as powerful in a linear, complete-thought medium, where people actively apply standards of fact and logic in rebuttals, as they are in TV or radio.

I'd seriously doubt any lurkers are here to be educated. But nothing you've written, besides advocacy of the gold standard, contradicts the arguments he's made. His point is that you would devolve all responsibility over all decisions to individuals, effectively creating one DoE, etc. for each indvidual. In many sectors, this presents an HELL of a collective action problem. Historically, protection-rackets develop awfully quickly under those conditions. The advantage of a representative democracy is that it creates some sort of theoretical basis for consent.

Democracy is not necessary for a "basis for consent" unless it ( a "basis") is exclusively "theoretical" (Rationalist).†A factual basis for consent exists, prior, in metaphysics and epistemology. Democracy is a *political* concept, i.e. - it is subsequent and derivative in a philosophical hierarchy. †The idea that I would "devolve" responsibility for decisions ("any" or "all", the distinction is arbitrary) presumes that the metaphysical *fact* of human cognition is subject to such political manipulation. †It is not. Volition in human beings is a given of nature - it is simply the way things are arranged in reality, and these facts *preceed* complex abstractions such as democracy. †They are axiomatic and fundamental.

The "collective action problem" only exists in the politics of those who find persuasion inept to achieve their goals. They find it a "problem" to produce "goods" the value of which is rejected by their intended "co-op"erants.

The "protection rackets" argument is irrelevent to the principles under discussion here, because they exist in coercive political arrangement in any case. †Indeed they often flourish under them: the power of Tammany Hall was *marketed* to such "rackets", and the persistent and increasingly powerful existence of law enforcement dedicated to allegedly eradicating such rackets, today, attests to their futility. †Further, all the characteristic attributes of protection rackets (dismissal of dissent - the refusal to cooperate - for instance) are present in most systems of public politics, in any case, so there is no useful distinction to be drawn here.
_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , Molyneux Cult Watch Souvenir Mall , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy
Back to top Go down
RR Phantom

avatar

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sat May 03, 2014 10:06 pm

Daniel Nexon


Billy Beck wrote:
Democracy is not necessary for a "basis for consent" unless it (a "basis") is exclusively "theoretical" (Rationalist). †A factual basis for consent exists, prior, in metaphysics and epistemology. Democracy is a *political* concept, i.e. - it is subsequent and derivative in a philosophical hierarchy.

I'm not following you here. Please explain what the importance of this point is in regards to my complaint that representative democracy provides a basis for consent within collectivities.

Billy Beck wrote:
The idea that I would "devolve" responsibility for decisions ("any" or "all", the distinction is arbitrary) presumes that the metaphysical *fact* of human cognition is subject to such political manipulation.

Okay, now this is just sounding bizarre. I was simply pointing out that the argument you called a strawman was simply a restatement of your position. I see nothing here to contradict that.

You're also on dangerous ground. The existance of human cognition tells us very little about anything, in of itself. I simply don't follow how you think this is related.

Moreover, since the notion of consent is necessarially intersubjective, it cannot be analyzed except in the realm of social practice, and therefore is *not* prior to what I would broadly call "political" questions.

I also think you're in trouble if you start invoking a "metaphysical *fact*" which, IMHO, is a contradiction in terms.

Billy Beck wrote:
The "collective action problem" only exists in the politics of those who find persuasion inept to achieve their goals. They find it a "problem" to produce "goods" the value of which is rejected by their intended "co-op"erants.

This is blather. Collective action problems demonstrate that suboptimal outcomes are possible with rational self-interested actors. They exist *precisely* when the intended "co-op"erants *have* been persuaded that the cooperative outcome is superior but are still unable to achieve it.

The joys of people such as you are manifold. Your assumptions about human behavior make collective actions problems more likely, but your only response is to wish them away. I'll take either of the Friedmans over you any day, since they look for ways of, for example, making Coase's theorem correspond to reality.

Billy Beck wrote:
The "protection rackets" argument is irrelevent to the principles under discussion here, because they exist in coercive political arrangement in any case.

The argument being made here is perfectly true, which is why I made my original comments. We are likely to get them under any conditions, which is why the basis for consent in liberal theory provides a superior, if imperfect, solution than the alternatives -- go any further and we get anarchy, neo-feudalism, and the like. Every example you give, both those I think have an empirical basis and those I think are ludicrous, is an argument for greater institutional and public checks, not for an anarchist understanding of political consent.

Billy Beck wrote:
for instance) are present in most systems of public politics, in any case, so there is no useful distinction to be drawn here.

_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , Molyneux Cult Watch Souvenir Mall , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy


Last edited by Nemo on Sat May 03, 2014 10:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
RR Phantom

avatar

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sat May 03, 2014 10:34 pm

Billy Beck


Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Democracy is not necessary for a "basis for consent" unless it(a "basis") is exclusively "theoretical" (Rationalist). A factual basis for consent exists, prior, in metaphysics and epistemology. Democracy is a *political* concept, i.e. - it is subsequent and derivative in a philosophical hierarchy.

I'm not following you here. Please explain what the importance of this point is in regards to my complaint that representative democracy provides a basis for consent within collectivities.

The importance of this point is found in examples of *dissent*. Democracy is incompetent to assert "consent" in a case of explicit individual dissent. The fact that an individual (or numbers of them) can reject the decision (distinguished from the "outcome") of a democratic procedure, with his own rational faculty, renders democratic claims of "consent" invalid. The only way around this fact is for the democracy to discard such a singular decision (somehow, and resort to statistics is the most common method), at which point the whole concept of consent is without referents and meaningless.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
The idea that I would "devolve" responsibility for decisions ("any" or "all", the distinction is arbitrary) presumes that the metaphysical *fact* of human cognition is subject to such political manipulation.

Okay, now this is just sounding bizarre. I was simply pointing out that the argument you called a strawman was simply a restatement of your position.

Perhaps I misunderstand your use of the term "devolve". I prefer "identify the source of," for its precision.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
You're also on dangerous ground. The existance of human cognition tells us very little about anything, in of itself. I simply don't follow how you think this is related.

It is not only related, it is fundamental. It is the whole key to "consent" if the term has any meaning at all.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Moreover, since the notion of consent is necessarially intersubjective, it cannot be analyzed except in the realm of social practice, and therefore is *not* prior to what I would broadly call "political" questions.

I disagree. While it is certainly true that consent is only pertinent to social practice, it equally certainly can be analyzed at the epistemic level, and that is prior to politics by far. Even though we consider consent *politically* within a context including at least two human beings, the fact is that the reasoning process from which consent arises is exclusive to the individual human mind. This is a crucial isolation of the elements involved, from a social context, even though the *result* of that process is without meaning absent a social context.

It goes like this:

Metaphysics (the existence of the human being including all of it characteristics attributes is a *fact*) †=> Epistemology (perception/conception are natural and characteristic attributes) => Ethics (value identifications are derived from facts of reality with a process of reason) => Politics (rules of behavior which facilitate value acquisition in a social context).

My analysis of consent begins at the epistemic level, as it must. If it does not, then "democracy" needs to find a different term in order to connote what it needs to connote when using "consent".

Daniel Nexon wrote:
I also think you're in trouble if you start invoking a "metaphysical *fact*" which, IMHO, is a contradiction in terms.

Well, that is a completely different discussion, and you can question me on it, but I frankly regard any question of the matter manifestly absurd. Existence really does exist, and that's a fact.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
The "collective action problem" only exists in the politics of those who find persuasion inept to achieve their goals. They find it a "problem" to produce "goods" the value of which is rejected by their intended "co-op"erants.

This is blather.

Excuse me?

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Collective action problems demonstrate that suboptimal outcomes are possible with rational self-interested actors.

And the concept of "suboptimal" is completely without meaning unless it answers the question, "Suboptimal to whom?"...which democracy, in particular, and political economy in general, routinely fail to even address, much less answer. Advocates of democracy will sometimes pay lip service to this ethical question with reference to "the majority", but that answer in completely without foundation in my analysis outlined above.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
They exist *precisely* when the intended "co-op"erants *have* been persuaded that the cooperative outcome is superior but are still unable to achieve it.

I believe I misled you with my reference (which might be why you called it "blather").

They (the "persuaded") are not the co-operants to whom I refer. My reference was facetious. I refer to *dissenters*. If the "persuaded" are unable to produce the good which they believe is superior, without the cooperation of those who disagree and thus with-hold their effort, *that* is what is commonly known as a "collective action problem". I maintain that it is a euphemistic complaint of those who cannot achieve what they want if their fellows disagree with their conception of the proposed good. In plain language, they are pissed off because certain people (dissenters) don't want to play with them.

...which is *fine*; they get to be pissed off.

Rationalizations of a concept of "consent" by a democratic process, however, is out of bounds. If they assert "consent" in the case of explicit *dissent*, and assume action based on such "consent", then they have completely violated the rational hierarchy which I outlined above, and that sort of a violation is the *essence* of criminality.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
The joys of people such as you are manifold.

I agree, although this isn't relevent.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Your assumptions about human behavior...

Excuse me: they are not "assumptions". I have clearly outlined the natural foundations of human behavior in my hierarchy. What you call "assumptions" are premised in facts and logically integrated from the ground up. You would do better to refer to "errors", and then demonstrate them.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
...make collective actions problems more likely, but your only response is to wish them away. I'll take either of the Friedmans over you any day, since they look for ways of, for example, making Coase's theorem correspond to reality.

Yeah, well, I have my problems with the Friedmans (mostly David, because I get to chat with him often), and this is one of them.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
The "protection rackets" argument is irrelevent to the principles under discussion here, because they exist in coercive political arrangement in any case.

The argument being made here is perfectly true, which is why I made my original comments. We are likely to get them under any conditions, which is why the basis for consent in liberal theory provides superior, if imperfect, solution than the alternatives -- go any further and we get anarchy, neo-feudalism, and the like.

Is this the part where I am supposed to be afraid? I mean, we have these big bad implications here, and I guess they are present as a warning.

Uhm...you will have to point out to me the "superior[ity]" of your theory of consent over mine, and these kinds of references simply don't make the cut. I've seen them all before, and I am not afraid.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Every example you give, both those I think have an empirical basis and those I think are ludicrous, is an argument for greater institutional and public checks, not for an anarchist understanding of political consent.

Suggestion: Try humanites.philosophy.objectivism. Unlike some others around here to whom I have suggested this, you appear to have the cognitive goods to conduct a valuable discussion of these matters. I suggest it to you because this exchange with you has been the best on this subject that I have seen in these newsgroups in quite some time. You appear to have a serious interest in these issues, and discussion at HPO along these lines is always very lively and provocative. It could be enjoyable to you...right down your alley, as it were. You would not languish without thoughtful disagreement.
_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , Molyneux Cult Watch Souvenir Mall , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy
Back to top Go down
RR Phantom

avatar

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sat May 03, 2014 11:31 pm

Daniel Nexon


Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
I'm not following you here. Please explain what the importance of this point is in regards to my complaint that representative democracy provides a basis for consent within collectivities.

The importance of this point is found in examples of *dissent*. Democracy is incompetent to assert "consent" in a case of explicit individual dissent. The fact that an individual (or numbers of them) can reject the decision (distinguished from the "outcome") of a democratic procedure, with his own rational faculty, renders democratic claims of "consent" invalid. The only way around this fact is for the democracy to discard such a singular decision (somehow, and resort to statistics is the most common method), at which point the whole concept of consent is without referents and meaningless.

This reasoning is reductionist; it fails to account for distinctions between particularistic and general instances of consent, i.e. it is possible to consent to government without consenting to a particular decision of that government. In liberal theory, it is also possible to give tacit or implicit consent -- this is the only way to cope with the free-rider problem. Now, it is possible to reject the entire legitimacy of an institution, but that requires certain actualizations of that rejection which such dissenters (at least on usenet) usually fail to comply with.

You may disagree with this reasoning, but none of your analysis necessarily follows from your assumptions. It is entirely plausible to believe in human agency (all your argument seems to boil down to) and adopt a liberal theory of consent. Some would even argue that tacit consent logically follows from claims of human volition.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Okay, now this is just sounding bizarre. I was simply pointing out that the argument you called a strawman was simply a restatement of your position.

Perhaps I misunderstand your use of the term "devolve". I prefer "identify the source of," for its precision.

The term devolve is entirely consistent with ascendent theories of sovereignty. However, your relabeling still dodges the point: his description was *not* a strawman but the logical conclusion of claims of absolute personal sovereignty.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
You're also on dangerous ground. The existence of human cognition tells us very little about anything, in of itself. I simply don't follow how you think this is related

It is not only related, it is fundamental. It is the whole key to "consent" if the term has any meaning at all.

You're really not making this case. Perhaps I'm missing a step in your reasoning.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Moreover, since the notion of consent is necessarily intersubjective, it cannot be analyzed except in the realm of social practice, and therefore is *not* prior to what I would broadly call "political" questions.

I disagree. While it is certainly true that consent is only pertinent to social practice, it equally certainly can be analyzed at the epistemic level, and that is prior to politics by far. Even though we consider consent *politically* within a context including at least two human beings, the fact is that the reasoning process from which consent arises is exclusive to the individual human mind. This is a crucial isolation of the elements involved, †from a social context, even though the *result* of that process is without meaning absent a social context.

Again, I reject your reductionism. Simply because human beings have isolated cognitive functions does not imply that "the reasoning process from which consent arises is exclusive ot the individual human mind," or, if it does, only in a trivial sense. Absent an alter, no such reasoning *can* exist; consent, being a social practice, is necessarily "emergent" in that it cannot be reduced to any of its elements.

But, even if you are correct, this does not change the basic point that you still haven't demonstrated that liberal versions of consent do not equally follow from your reasoning; claiming that because democracy is a political concept it cannot alter consent does nothing to establish that the understandings of consent deployed to legitimate democratic rule are themselves flawed. On the contrary, the version of consent you present relies on a culturally contingent understanding of the subject predicated upon a liberal rights/equality framework.

Billy Beck wrote:
It goes like this:

Metaphysics (the existence of the human being including all of it characteristics attributes is a *fact*) => Epistemology (perception/conception are natural and characteristic attributes) => Ethics (value identifications are derived from facts of reality with a process of reason) => Politics (rules of behavior which facilitate value acquisition in a social context).

I think many people now recognize that this hierarchy is pedagogical in nature. But on it, consent in the manner we've been using it is clearly a political question, i.e. when is consent given or not given.

Billy Beck wrote:
My analysis of consent begins at the epistemic level, as it must. If it does not, then "democracy" needs to find a different term in order to connote what it needs to connote when using "consent".

You're still facing huge gaps in your reasoning *as presented* here. The ontological status of consent you (seem) to uphold is perfectly compatible with liberal theories of consent (operationalizations, if you like). The problem with your criticisms lies not with your classical hierarchy, per se, but with the term "theory."

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
I also think you're in trouble if you start invoking a "metaphysical *fact*" which, IMHO, is a contradiction in terms.

Well, that is a completely different discussion, and you can question me on it, but I frankly regard any question of the matter manifestly absurd. †Existence really does exist, and that's a fact.

The determination of what we mean by existance *is* a metaphysical question, AFAIK (and I'll freely admit this type of stuff isn't my strong suit). But I think it is relevant, since you are the one invoking the ontology of consent as somehow proving the necessity of your view of government.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
The "collective action problem" only exists in the politics of those who find persuasion inept to achieve their goals. They find it a "problem" to produce "goods" the value of which is rejected by their intended "co-op"erants.

This is blather.

Excuse me?

See below.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Collective action problems demonstrate that suboptimal outcomes are possible with rational self-interested actors.

And the concept of "suboptimal" is completely without meaning unless it answers the question, "Suboptimal to whom?" ...which democracy, in particular, and political economy in general, routinely fail to even address, much less answer. Advocates of democracy will sometimes pay lip service to this ethical question with reference to "the majority", but that answer in completely without foundation in my analysis outlined above.

All of your objections are answered by the game: the outcome is solely measured by the individual players' utlity functions -- which could be *anything*. In a collective action problem, the suboptimal (and, inefficient) outcome is purely with respect to each individual participant -- not to some collective. This is why I identified your comments as "blather" (which is insulting, I apologize) -- they have nothing to do with this point.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
They exist *precisely* when the intended "co-op"erants *have* been persuaded that the cooperative outcome is superior but are still unable to achieve it.

I believe I misled you with my reference (which might be why you called it "blather"). They (the "persuaded") are not the co-operants to whom I refer. My reference was facetious. I refer to *dissenters*.

You mean those who have different ordinal preferences? Than we're probably talking about a different issue altogether. Collective action problems are those in which everyone *wants* an outcome, but can't achieve it if everyone behaves rationally -- which is precisely why they are a problem.

Billy Beck wrote:
If the "persuaded" are unable to produce the good which they believe is superior, without the cooperation of those who disagree and thus with-hold their effort, *that* is what is commonly known as a "collective action problem".

No, it isn't. In a collective action problem, people free-ride because of the risk others will free-ride, even though everyone would be happiest if they all cooperated, and everyone knows it. Its a monitoring and enforcement problem, not a problem of salvageable by some sort of ideal-speech condition.

Billy Beck wrote:
I maintain that it is a euphemistic complaint of those who cannot achieve what they want if their fellows disagree with their conception of the proposed good.

And you're wrong. This might describe some situations when majoritarianism is invoked, but it has little to do with the specific objection made by the invocation of "collective action problems."

Billy Beck wrote:
Rationalizations of a concept of "consent" by a democratic process, however, is out of bounds. If they assert "consent" in the case of explicit *dissent*, and assume action based on such "consent", then they have completely violated the rational hierarchy which I outlined above, and that sort of a violation is the *essence* of criminality.

This is polemical rather than logical; it is only true, perhaps, if one conflates different kinds of consent. And, even if I buy your reductive concept of consent, I can think of a number of further objections. Perhaps this is really my fault -- I recognize the limitations of this forum for presenting ideas, hence, I'd really like you to flesh out your reasoning.

(a good example of the limitations I speak of is on the "abroad" question, where I simply misunderstood your use of the term, and my misunderstanding did not follow from what you had writte; however, I wonder whether you would only advocate the elimination of the State Department conditioned upon the globalization of your political system. It seems that absent these institutions businesses would be even more likely to be screwed by the practices of other states)

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Your assumptions about human behavior...

Excuse me: they are not "assumptions". I have clearly outlined the natural foundations of human behavior in my hierarchy. What you call "assumptions" are premised in facts and logically integrated from the ground up. You would do better to refer to "errors", and then demonstrate them.

Perhaps we're on different wavelengths here. I am presuming from your posts that you believe human beings are rational self-interested utility maximizers -- this presumption is based upon your advocacy of the self-regulating market/extreme minimalist or no state. If human beings are *not* this way than, ipso facto, you would not be able to advocate what I have understood so far to be your political project.

However, at the initial level, *if* you accept these assumptions than you *must* accept the existance of the collective action problem I refer to; and you undermine the way they are normally resolved (i.e. through norms of other-regarding behavior). Second, ample empirical work has demonstrated that this is *not* the way humans behave, and most practitioners argue they are making as-if assumptions with some predictive value.

Now, if I have presumed too much, I apologize. Although, one reason why your reasoning is escaping me may be that you have not actually outlined with any detail what those natural aspects of human beings are. Certainly, humans reason is a fairly indeterminate statement (and not identical with "human's are rational").

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
...make collective actions problems more likely, but your only response is to wish them away. I'll take either of the Friedmans over you any day, since they look for ways of, for example, making Coase's theorem correspond to reality.

Yeah, well, I have my problems with the Friedmans (mostly David, because I get to chat with him often), and this is one of them.

What, that he tries to find ways to lower transaction costs?

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
The argument being made here is perfectly true, which is why I made my original comments. We are likely to get them under any conditions, which is why the basis for consent in liberal theory provides a superior, if imperfect, solution than the alternatives -- go any further and we get anarchy, neo-feudalism, and the like.

Is this the part where I am supposed to be afraid? I mean, we have these big bad implications here, and I guess they are present as a warning.

Uhm...you will have to point out to me the "superior[ity]" of your theory of consent over mine, and these kinds of references simply don't make the cut. I've seen them all before, and I am not afraid.

Well, come up with some substansive answers to the fact that whenever we've experienced periods of profound decentralization we tend to get vast amounts of fatricidal bloodletting and a distinct lack of economic activity.

Your "fear" isn't what I care about, its your demonstration of your claims Wink.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Every example you give, both those I think have an empirical basis and those I think are ludicrous, is an argument for greater institutional and public checks, not for an anarchist understanding of political consent.

Suggestion: Try humanites.philosophy.objectivism. Unlike some others around here to whom I have suggested this, you appear to have the cognitive goods to conduct a valuable discussion of these matters. I suggest it to you because this exchange with you has been the best on this subject that I have seen in these newsgroups in quite some time. You appear to have a serious interest in these issues, and discussion at HPO along these lines is always very lively and provocative. It could be enjoyable to you...right down your alley, as it were. You would not languish without thoughtful disagreement.

But then I'd have to read those *endless* debates about Peikoff and who constitutes a "true" objectivist Wink. I lurk there sometimes, perhaps I'll post. But, basically, Randian metaphilosophy isn't something I know a lot about -- I stick to political theory; and since, to the extent that what I do think about those subjects is wattered-down Heidiggerian, I'm not sure how useful my input/clash would be.
_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , Molyneux Cult Watch Souvenir Mall , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy
Back to top Go down
RR Phantom

avatar

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sun May 04, 2014 3:51 am

Billy Beck



Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
I'm not following you here. Please explain what the importance of this point is in regards to my complain that representative democracy provides a basis for consent within collectivities.

The importance of this point is found in examples of *dissent*. †Democracy is incompetent to assert "consent" in a case of explicit individual dissent. The fact that an individual (or numbers of them) can reject the decision (distinguished from the "outcome") of a democratic procedure, with his own rational faculty, renders democratic claims of "consent" invalid. †The only way around this fact is for the democracy to discard such a singular decision (somehow, and resort to statistics is the most common method), at which point the whole concept of consent is without referents and meaningless.

This reasoning is reductionist;...

You know, I distinctly recall the first time I ever heard the
term "reductionist" employed as philosophical pejorative. †She was a
bright, but young, grad student at Emory University and, when I heard
it and understood what she meant, I was completely flabbergasted. †I
couldn't believe the implications. †On the spot, I determined that the
term was a deliberate dismissal of any attempt to reach for
*principles*. †That conclusion has never been shaken. †I can predict,
with a fair degree of success, when it will turn up, simply from the
context of the discussion alone. †Once things begin to head in a
certain direction, somebody is going to throw this "reductionist" flag
on me.

You surprised me, though, Daniel. †I really didn't expect it
from you, although I guess I should have. †I any case, my conclusion,
cited above, remains valid.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
...it fails to account for distinctions between particularistic and general instances of consent, i.e. it is possible to consent to government without consenting to a particular decision of that government.

No, sir: it does not "fail" at any such thing. †I scrupulously
account for those distinctions and dismiss them as invalid for the
reason that a rational politics does not extend any such blank-check
sanction to government. †There can be no "general instances of
consent". †I find them in the US constitution, and that is precisely
why I reject that document. †A "general instance of consent" which
endorsed it in 1843, would have also included a "particular instance
of consent" to *slavery*, and I could never abide that. †It is what
caused William Lloyd Garrison to step onto a public square and set
fire to the constitution: he explicitly denied his "consent" to that
"particular[ity]" and it was an eminently rational move.

A "general consent" rendered in politics is a distinct threat
to peace. †It is an open invitation to tyranny. †Further, its
attractiveness as a point of philosophy (for what ever reason it may
be attractive) is invalidated by a "reduction" to (i.e. - explication
of) epistemic principles. †The fact is that the human mind is quite
capable of such precise discriminations (we do it all the time in
other affairs - for instance: a wife's "general consent" to marriage
does not include a "particular consent" to forced sex). †The political
import of this fact is found in the fact that human beings must
*choose* values in order to live, and they must be free to do so.
That includes and implies "reductions", as in the case of the wife,
above.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
In liberal theory, it is also possible to give tacit or implicit consent -- this is the only way to cope with the free-rider problem.

I maintain that there is no such thing as a "free-rider
problem." †I outlined my objection to that in the earlier post. †This
is not to say that I reject the possibility of implied consent.
However, that doctrine is not the political license which advocates of
democracy assert.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Now, it is possible to reject the entire legitimacy of an institution, but that requires certain actualizations of that rejection which such dissenters (at least on usenet) usually fail to comply with.

Name them. †(not the "users", the "actualizations")

Daniel Nexon wrote:
You may disagree with this reasoning, but none of your analysis necessarially follows from your assumptions. It is entirely plausible to believe in human agency (all your argument seems to boild down to) and adopt a liberal theory of consent.

It may be "plausible", but it is logically invalid.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Okay, now this is just sounding bizarre. I was simply pointing out that the argument you called a strawman was simply a restatement of your position.

Perhaps I misunderstand your use of the term "devolve". †I prefer "identify the source of," for its precision.

The term devolve is entirely consistent with ascendent theories of sovereignty. However, your relabelling still dodges the point: his description was *not* a strawman but the logical conclusion of claims of absolute personal sovereignty.

Hey, Daniel: I never said it was a "strawman". †In fact, I did
not reply to that post at all. †Further, I'll grant your term, now
that we understand each other, and I agree: Steegman's logical
conclusion was correct. †The difference between him and me is that the
conclusion holds no terror for me.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
You're also on danegrous ground. The existance of human cognition tells us very little about anything, in of itself. I simply don't follow how you think this is related.

It is not only related, it is fundamental. †It is the whole key to "consent" if the term has any meaning at all.

You're really not making this case. Perhaps I'm missing a step in your reasoning.

Below. †I went on...

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Moreover, since the notion of consent is necessarially intersubjective, it cannot be analyzed except in the realm of social practice, and therefore is *not* prior to what I would broadly call "political" questions.

I disagree. †While it is certainly true that consent is only pertinent to social practice, it equally certainly can be analyzed at the epistemic level, and that is prior to politics by far. Even though we consider consent *politically* within a context including at least two human beings, the fact is that the reasoning process from which consent arises is exclusive to the individual human mind. †This is a crucial isolation of the elements involved, †from a social context, even though the *result* of that process is without meaning absent a social context.

Again, I reject your reductionism.

And, with equal repetition: I emphasize that your
"reductionism" is my grasp of principles.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Simply because human beings have isolated cognitive functions does not imply that "the reasoning process from which consent arises is exclusive ot the individual human mind," or, if it does, only in a trivial sense.

*What*?

Look, this is shocking. †Do you really mean to imply that a
woman's reservation of "consent" to sex, and the process by which she
makes her decision, is *trivial*? †That is the necessary implication
of what you are saying. †I realize that we had not discussed this
example, prior, but the *principle* of rational conduct applies
perfectly in the example. †I'm not sure that I made myself clear: the
"crucial isolation" refers to the fact that the process of thought
occurs solely in individual minds. †Surely you won't object to that?
Further clarity: I am not saying that human minds function in a vacuum
absent the experience of life with other human beings (that would be
invalid Rationalism), so please don't run any "desert island" retorts
at me. †What is true is that whatever material is useful to thought,
and where-ever it comes from, it is nonetheless processed by the
individual.

Do you really have an objection to this?

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Absent an alter, no such reasoning *can* exist; consent, being a social practice, is necessarially "emergent" in that it cannot be reduced to any of its elements.

I emphatically disagree, for all the preceeding reasons.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
But, even if you are correct, this does not change the basic point that you still haven't demonstrated that liberal versions of consent do not equally follow from your reasoning; claiming that because democracy is a political concept it cannot alter consent does nothing to establish that the understandings of consent deployed to legitimate democractic rule are themselves flawed. On the contrary, the version of consent you present relies on a culturally contingent understanding of the subject predicated upon a liberal rights/equality framework.

No it doesn't, Daniel. †It relies on principles of *thought*
having nothing to do with cultural contingen[cy]. †"Culture" be
damned: get rid of it for the moment. †I am not talking about culture.
I am talking about epistemology: how we know what we know and what
processes we use to arrive at those determinations. †Now, *your*
epistemic principles might be "culturally contingent", but mine are
not, and more: you will find mine at work *anywhere in the world*
where, for example, a woman is being raped. †What *might* be
contingent is the degree to which she is able to *act* on her outrage.
That, however, is distinct from the outrage *itself*, borne of the
fact that she does not *consent* in her *mind*, even if she can do
nothing to prevent it. †The evident *fact*, nonetheless, is that she
is able to make up her own mind on the matter of consent, and she
denies it, which is what constitutes the *crime*.

"Liberal versions of consent" implicitly deny this epistemic
foundation of the concept.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
It goes like this:

Metaphysics (the existence of the human being including all of it characteristics attributes is a *fact*) => Epistemology (perception/conception are natural and characteristic attributes) => Ethics (value identifications are derived from facts of reality with a process of reason) => Politics (rules of behavior which facilitate value acquisition in a social context).

I think many people now recognize that this hierarchy is pedagogical in nature.

(head spin) †Actually, its nature is logical. †Excuse me, but
"pedagogical" is rather a curious word to use here, and I don't see
the point.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
But on it, consent in the manner we've been using it is clearly a political question, i.e. when is consent given or not given.

Of course, and I said so. †Its, however, *roots* are in
epistemology. †Consent is the *result* of an epistemic process. †A
consequence. †A product.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
My analysis of consent begins at the epistemic level, as it must. †If it does not, then "democracy" needs to find a different term in order to connote what it needs to connote when using "consent".

You're still facing huge gaps in your reasoning *as presented* here.

They're not that "huge", I've said that this is an outline,
and I don't think it is too much to imagine that anyone capable of
conducting the discussion to this point should be able to start
penciling them in.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
The ontological status of consent you (seem) to uphold is perfectly compatible with liberal theories of consent (operationalizations, if you like).

"Perfectly"? †I could quibble, but I won't. †It's close
enough. †This strikes me as a blandishment that the liberal theory's
heart is in the right place and, sweetheart that I am, I'll stipulate.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
The problem with your criticisms lies not with your classical hierarchy, per se, †but with the term "theory."

Okay, then spell it out for me.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
I also think you're in trouble if you start invoking a "metaphysical *fact*" which, IMHO, is a contradition in terms.

Well, that is a completely different discussion, and you can question me on it, but I frankly regard any question of the matter manifestly absurd. †Existence really does exist, and that's a fact.

The determination of what we mean by existence *is* a metaphysical question, AFAIK (and I'll freely admit this type of stuff isn't my strong suit). But I think it is relevant, since you are the one invoking the ontology of consent as somehow proving the necessity of your view of government.

Well, until you're stronger in the suit, you can either take
my word for the fact that existence exists, check that into my
hierarchy and sort through it, or go get a new deck of cards. †You're
right: it is quite relevent and, if I'm "in trouble" this ain't the
spot.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Bily Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
The "collective action problem" only exists in the politics of those who find persuasion inept to achieve their goals. They find it a "problem" to produce "goods" the value of which is rejected by their intended "co-op"erants.

This is blather.

Excuse me?

See below.

Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Collective action problems demonstrate that suboptimal outcomes are possible with rational self-interested actors.

And the concept of "suboptimal" is completely without meaning unless it answers the question, "Suboptimal to whom?" ...which democracy, in particular, and political economy in general, routinely fail to even address, much less answer. †Advocates of democracy will sometimes pay lip service to this ethical question with reference to "the majority", but that answer in completely without foundation in my analysis outlined above.

All of your objections are answered by the game: the outcome is solely measured by the individual players' utlity functions -- which could be *anything*. In a collective action problem, the suboptimal (and, inefficient) outcome is purely with respect to each individual participant -- not to some collective.

...except that the "collective action problem" is invoked at
*precisely* the point at which an individual's dissenting decision
(his determination of his best "utility function") conflicts with the
democratic determination, i.e. - the "collective".

From your post in reply to Lew:

"His point is that you would devolve all responsibility over
all decisions to individuals, effectively creating one DoE, etc. for
each indvidual. In many sectors, this presents an HELL of a collective
action problem."


Clearly, you what you just said about "the game" is not true.
We can identify examples in which "the individual players' utility
functions" are *not* "*anything*", but specific examples of ethical
conflict: one individual's (or a number of individuals') values which,
as you said to Lew, "presents an HELL of a collective action problem".
Well, "the game" isn't quite so adept at answering my objections after
all.

You know, I don't know, in detail, what you've studied, but I
can glimpse elements of certain trends in modern philosophy, and I
will state this right out loud: I think the guy who first applied
"game theory" to politics, and who began teaching it in college, ought
to spend *eternity* at taking a poll of every indivdual human being on
the planet, as well as the values that each one of them holds, in
order to compose the mother of all "decision matrices". †That
motherfucker would come to understand the folly of "game theory" as a
device for prescribing political action sometime prior to logging his
one-billionth subject. †I can tell you that for a dead certainty.

Onward:

Daniel Nexon wrote:
This is why I identified your comments as "blather" (which is insulting, I apologize)...

Thank you, and don't sweat it. †There is a time and a place
for that sort of thing, and you simply and naturally confused this for
one of them. †It happens.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
They exist *precisely* when the intended "co-op"erants *have* been persuaded that the cooperative outcome is superior but are still unable to achieve it.

I believe I misled you with my reference (which might be why you called it "blather").

They (the "persuaded") are not the co-operants to whom I refer. †My reference was facetious. †I refer to *dissenters*.

You mean those who have different ordinal preferences? Than we're probably talking about a different issue altogether. Collective action problems are those in which everyone *wants* an outcome, but can't achieve it if everyone behaves rationally -- which is precisely why they are a problem.

Oh, dear. †The P.D. †...which I reject out of hand.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
If the "persuaded" are unable to produce the good which they believe is superior, without the cooperation of those who disagree and thus with-hold their effort, *that* is what is commonly known as a "collective action problem".

No, it isn't. In a collective action problem, people free-ride because of the risk others will free-ride...

That is simply another effect of what I said, and I say that
this "free rider problem" is a load of hooey,

Sorry to be so brisk, but there is no other way to say it. †If
you disagree, then I'll be happy to listen to your case. †I cannot
imagine that you will present anything I've never thought about
before, but feel free.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
I maintain that it is a euphemistic complaint of those who cannot achieve what they want if their fellows disagree with their conception of the proposed good.

And you're wrong. This might describe some situations when majoritarianism is invoked, but it has little to do with the specific objection made by the invocation of "collective action problems."

Then why did you bring up the "collective action problem" in
the context of my assertion of "260 million principalities"?

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Rationalizations of a concept of "consent" by a democratic process, however, is out of bounds. †If they assert "consent" in the case of explicit *dissent*, and assume action based on such "consent", then they have completely violated the rational hierarchy which I outlined above, and that sort of a violation is the *essence* of criminality.

This is polemical rather than logical; it is only true, perhaps, if one conflates different kinds of consent. And, even if I buy your reductive concept of consent, I can think of a number of further objections. Perhaps this is really my fault -- I recognize the limitations of this forum for presenting ideas, hence, I'd really like you to flesh out your reasoning.

(a good example of the limitations I speak of is on the "abroad" question, where I simply misunderstood your use of the term, and my misunderstanding did not follow from what you had writte; however, I wonder whether you would only advocate the elimination of the State Department conditioned upon the globalization of your political system.

Goddamned good question, Daniel, and I wondered if you would
see that. †I'm going to let it hang for a moment, though, and see if
you can abstract my answer.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
It seems that absent these institutions businesses would be even more likely to be screwed by the practices of other states)

I disagree, and I see no reason whatsoever to assume such a
thing. †However (and this is a clue to my answer, above), the *State*
Department is not a serious remedy to the problem that you imply.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Daniel Nexon wrote:
Your assumptions about human behavior...

Excuse me: they are not "assumptions". †I have clearly outlined the natural foundations of human behavior in my hierarchy. What you call "assumptions" are premised in facts and logically integrated from the ground up. †You would do better to refer to "errors", and then demonstrate them.


Perhaps we're on different wavelengths here. †I am presuming from your posts that you believe human beings are rational self-interested utility maximizers -- this presumption is based upon your advocacy of the self-regulating market/extreme minimalist or no state. If human beings are *not* this way than, ipso facto, you would not be able to advocate what I have understood so far to be your political project.

You are correct. †You have been paying attention to me.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
However, at the initial level, *if* you accept these assumptions than you *must* accept the existence of the collective action problem I refer to; and you undermine the way they are normally resolved (i.e. through norms of other-regarding behavior).

I need you to explicate this for to me. †I don't see how that
follows at all.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Second, ample empirical work has demonstrated that this is *not* the way humans behave, and most practitioners argue they are making as-if assumptions with some predictive value.

If I understand this correctly, I emphatically disagree, and I
would like to see the data. †Certainly, nothing like this has ever
been proven to me. †If this correct, then the whole mission of ethics
is reduced to checking the prevailing cultural winds, instead of a
positive determination and acquisition of those values which foster
human life.

And you know what? †That is pretty much what American culture
looks like these days, to me, anyway. †And, I am not enamored of what
I see.

Now, steer me, Daniel. †Did I get it? †Or, should you try this
again?

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Now, if I have presumed too much, I apologize. Although, one reason why your reasoning is escaping me may be that you have not actually outlined with any detail what those natural aspects of human beings are. Certainly, humans reason is a fairly indeterminate statement (and not identical with "human's are rational").

Wow. †This, I think, is beyond the scope of this exchange thus
far. †You're looking for a detailed outline of my epistemology.

At this point, I am constrained to point out something at
which I *always* pause, and you'll know why as soon as you see it.

In fact, there is not much of my epistemology which I can call
"mine". †Further, I cannot imagine such a thing in common currency
among men of my station in life: I am not a professional philosopher,
I have made no original contribution to the field, and it is extremely
unlikely that I ever will. †This should be fairly easy to understand:
what I know is what I have learned. †And what I have learned is the
product of rational discrimination among as many truly notable
thinkers in the history of philospohy as I have yet studied in a mere
forty years of life. †I have managed to get around a bit, though,
because I have worked hard at it, as a result of understanding a long
time ago that the ability to answer the question, "How do you know
what you know?" is *vital* to asserting a libertarian politics.

Straight up: †I have never seen a more cogent view of human
thought than the epistemology developed by Ayn Rand.

Don't flinch, man. †This is serious. †If you are not familiar
with her theory of concept formation, then run, don't walk, and get
yourself a copy of "Ayn Rand - The Russian Radical" by Dr. Chris
Sciabarra of NYU. †That will get you oriented in the direction of
understanding how she resolves any number of errors, false
assumptions, dichotomies, and outright rubbish in the history of
epistemology. †If you do that, then you might be ready for the real
thing, "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology", by Ayn Rand, with
an appendix, "The Analytic/Synthetic Dichotomy" by Leonard Peikoff.

I very often hesitate to make this sort of recommendation,
especially in a newsgroup, for the reason that the place is full of
all manner of creeps and muggers who simply *live* to slam her over
stuff that they have not the most random clue about. †Perhaps you can
understand.

But, I'm telling you: that woman has it wired up.

If you have been over this material, and you disagree, then we
have something else altogther to discuss.

If not, then taking the effort, when you can, to study
Objectivist epistemology is the best way to understand many of my
premises. †The only alternative is a longer-range project of
explication than I can manage in a post like this, and I don't really
know when I could do it justice for you. †I have some stuff that I've
written in archives which would be a bit of a pain to dig up, and it
would be strictly off-the-rack for you.

Try to bear in mind that, while I am aware of many of the
assertions of "cultism" associated with her name, and in some cases
*agree* with them, I am no typical Objectivist. †In fact, I stopped
referring to myself with that term shortly after first logging to the
net, when I observed premises held by those who used it in reference
to *themselves*, which were perfectly anti-thetical to my politics. †I
am a heretic: anarchists are not welcome among Objectivists, no matter
how rational.

All this is by way of telling you: if you want to know what I
think about how we think, read Rand. †I agree with nobody else as I do
with her: not Locke, or anyone after him. †(John Locke wrote the first
comprehensive treatment of epistemology, and he may fairly be regarded
as the father of that branch of philosophy, certainly in its modern
form.) †Many have a lot on the ball, but none of them are as good as
she is in her epistemology. †It is her premier achievement and, I
maintain, the single most important contribution to philosophy in this
century.

I'm not the only one who believes that. †I have read
professionals who have stated similar views.

Onward:

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
I have my problems with the Friedmans (mostly David, because I get to chat with him often), and this is one of them.

What, that he tries to find ways to lower transaction costs?

They're deeper than that. †In essence, I find his approach to
ethics strictly utilitarian and, in effect, un-principled.

I wish economists would stay out of ethics. †I have been
disappointed too often by one whose grasp of markets is spot-on, but
whose ethics is deficient of principles. †Unfortunately, the two
studies are inextricably related, and they can rarely resist the
temptation to cross boundaries.

It has been my experience that they generally fuck it up when
they do.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Uhm...you will have to point out to me the "superior[ity]" of your theory of consent over mine, and these kinds of references simply don't make the cut. †I've seen them all before, and I am not afraid.

Well, come up with some substansive answers to the fact that whenever we've experienced periods of profound decentralization we tend to get vast amounts of fatricidal bloodletting and a distinct lack of economic activity.

Show me yer data. †I don't buy it. †C'mon, man: the 19th
century in America is one gleaming example to the contrary of the
"lack" assertion.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Your "fear" isn't what I care about, its your demonstration of your claims Wink.

Well, jeez, Daniel...I'm typin' as fast as I can!

Daniel Nexon wrote:
Billy Beck wrote:
Suggestion: †Try humanites.philosophy.objectivism.

But then I'd have to read those *endless* debates about Peikoff and who constitutes a "true" objectivist Wink.

Oh, *fuck* that shit. †I do. †I blow right past that rubbish.

I know what you mean, but the s/n ratio is fairly typical of
all of Usenet now, and I don't see any good way around that.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
I lurk there sometimes, perhaps I'll post.

I wish you would, and this is why: I'm reading and writing
this in the Whitewater group, which is one of only three groups that I
pay regular attention to, for reasons time economy. †This post will
probably run to about 500 lines, and I hate to lay that kind of thing
on this group when the siege of the Lying Bastard's regime is starting
to warm up again after the post-election doldrums.

I've appreciated this: it's been a conditioning work-out for
me of a sort I've not had much of lately, and it would be cool to
carry on, but I really don't want to do it here. †If you could drag
yourself to HPO, I would do my best to make it worth your while.

Daniel Nexon wrote:
But, basically, Randian metaphilosophy isn't something I know a lot about -- I stick to political theory; and since, to the extent that what I do think about those subjects is wattered-down Heidiggerian, I'm not sure how useful my input/clash would be.

*Friction*, babe. †Let's strike some sparks. †You could learn
about what That Woman had to say, and you might find it interesting.
Besides, if you think HPO is some sort of enclave of Keepers of the
Holy Writ, you're mistaken. †A bunch of us have taken positive steps
to crash that program. †Believe me: there are much more...exotic...
specimens than *you* over there.

And: Objectivism has been an important entre' to politics for
many libertarians. †Political theory is my main bag. †(Could you
tell?) †It's just that I had to dig for fundamentals, and that's when
I went as hard as I could at philosophy.

I'm telling you: it could be good for you.
_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , Molyneux Cult Watch Souvenir Mall , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy
Back to top Go down
CovOps

avatar

Female Location : Ether-Sphere
Job/hobbies : Irrationality Exterminator
Humor : ‹ber Serious

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sun May 04, 2014 4:48 am

Quote :
I am a heretic: anarchists are not welcome among Objectivists, no matter
how rational.

LOL.

And what's HPO anyway?
_________________
Anarcho-Capitalist, AnCaps Forum, Ancapolis, The Dark Side, Post-Apocalypse, OZschwitz Contraband
Back to top Go down
RR Phantom

avatar

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sun May 04, 2014 5:05 am

HPO is a google group. Humanities/Philosophy/Objectivism.
_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , Molyneux Cult Watch Souvenir Mall , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy
Back to top Go down
CovOps

avatar

Female Location : Ether-Sphere
Job/hobbies : Irrationality Exterminator
Humor : ‹ber Serious

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Sun May 04, 2014 5:12 am

Thanx.
_________________
Anarcho-Capitalist, AnCaps Forum, Ancapolis, The Dark Side, Post-Apocalypse, OZschwitz Contraband
Back to top Go down
RR Phantom

avatar

Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary

PostSubject: Re: On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon    Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:43 pm

Daniel Nexon


Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
This reasoning is reductionist;...

You know, I distinctly recall the first time I ever heard the term "reductionist" employed as philosophical pejorative. †She was a bright, but young, grad student at Emory University and, when I heard it and understood what she meant, I was completely flabbergasted. I couldn't believe the implications. On the spot, I determined that the term was a deliberate dismissal of any attempt to reach for *principles*. That conclusion has never been shaken.

We need to distinguish between different uses of the term reductionist; I have deployed it twice to mean different things. The use I'm making here is not a "you're wrong, roll over and die" deployment -- IMO, it is reductionist to reduce all forms of consent to particularistic and express consent; you obviously disagree, and believe that is the only *form* of consent. This is something we'll have to argue about. I'll get to my other use of the term "reductionist" below -- I think this complaint is much more serious at a methodological level.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
...it fails to account for distinctions between particularistic and general instances of consent, i.e. it is possible to consent to government without consenting to a particular decision of that government.

No, sir: it does not "fail" at any such thing. †I scrupulously account for those distinctions and dismiss them as invalid for the reason that a rational politics does not extend any such blank-check sanction to government.

Affirming a notion of "general" consent does not require a "blank-check" sanction of government. All forms of liberalism (with the exception of Hobbes -- who, for practical purposes, we'll exclude from the category) recognize a right of revolution and a right of resistance. In other words, there are limits to what one can legitimately consent *to*. But a government which is internally legitimate by the theory subscribed to does not require express consent for every action -- the alternative is that *no* government is legitimate. Now, you might spin this argument out to constitute a defense of anarchism; which is fine, but it vitiates your use of "19th century" America as an empirical case for the success of your views of government.

Beck wrote:
There can be no "general instances of consent". †I find them in the US constitution, and that is precisely why I reject that document.

That's fine, but, again, don't use 19th century America to defend your views of government (I'll get to some more specific issues in our discussion of rational-choice theory).

Beck wrote:
A "general instance of consent" which endorsed it in 1843, would have also included a "particular instance of consent" to *slavery*, and I could never abide that.

Not necessarially. Most liberal theories (Locke's contortions aside) reject slavery as illegitimate on face because it constitutes alienation of inalienable rights or liberties, ergo, legitimate consent is not possible to a government which holds slavery to be legitimate.

Beck wrote:
A "general consent" rendered in politics is a distinct threat to peace.

I'm not sure this follows.

Beck wrote:
It is an open invitation to tyranny.

See above; general instances of consent are invitations to tyranny *only* if they do not include limits on type of government which can be consented to.

Beck wrote:
Further, its attractiveness as a point of philosophy (for what ever reason it may be attractive) is invalidated by a "reduction" to (i.e. - explication of) epistemic principles. †The fact is that the human mind is quite capable of such precise discriminations (we do it all the time in other affairs - for instance: a wife's "general consent" to marriage does not include a "particular consent" to forced sex).

Which proves my point -- there are in all liberal theories limits placed upon the principle of general consent which avoid these pitfalls.

Beck wrote:
This is not to say that I reject the possibility of implied consent. However, that doctrine is not the political license which advocates of democracy assert.

I don't disagree with you here; however, I'm sure I disagree with you dramatically on the degree of legitimate political license. Remember, liberal theories are predicated upon a rejection of an (historically inaccurate) understanding of freedom to mean simply right to participate in governmental decision making. Simple rule by the demos is not legitimate in liberal theory, although majoritarianism as mediated by representitive government does represent an imperfect decision-rule *within* the confines of legitimate government activity. The critical question becomes what *can be* consented to.

Beck wrote:
Name them. †(not the "users", the "actualizations")

Well, proceeding from the assumption that most government activities we see now are legitimate (which you would certainly contest -- and I could name examples of what *I* think are illegitimate laws and policies in place now), one would argue, I suppose, that to withdraw tacit consent one must:

(1) not participate in the process (i.e. no voting)
(2) cease to pay taxes
(3) avoid benefits -- this one is tricky; arguably, its impossible to remain in the country and not benefit from the public provision of national defense, policing, etc. The best response is probably to vote with ones feet. I haven't worked out clear examples of how to operationalize this in modern society, that constitutes an interesting discussion in of itself.

(You should remember, also, that while I'm wearing a liberal "hat" for this discussion, I have my problems with liberal theory -- but from a rather distinct direction than you do)

Beck wrote:
It may be "plausible", but it is logically invalid.

I'm still not following you. Your argument for why it is logically invalid seems to stem from the questions we've been arguing about above -- once one recognizes the existance of a right to resist under "X" conditions those objections disappear, IMO.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
Beck wrote:
which consent arises is exclusive to the individual human mind. †This is a crucial isolation of the elements involved, †from a social context, even though the *result* of that process is without meaning cbsent a social context.

Again, I reject your reductionism.

And, with equal repetition: I emphasize that your "reductionism" is my grasp of principles.

Not in this case. Since, at an ontological level, consent is an intersubjective rather than subjective phenomenon, what consent *is* cannot be reduced to an agent-level concept; your argument only demonstrates that individual decisions to consent or not to consent are made at the agent level, but this is a subsidiary issue.
Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
Simply because human beings have isolated cognitave functions does not imply that "the reasoning process from which consent arises is exclusive ot the individual human mind," or, if it does, only in a trivial sense.

*What*?

Look, this is shocking. †Do you really mean to imply that a woman's reservation of "consent" to sex, and the process by which she makes her decision, is *trivial*? †That is the necessary implication of what you are saying.

No, what I'm arguing is that while we might conclude that the reasoning process which gives rise to decisions to consent or not to consent is an individual phenomenon, the concept of what constitutes consent is only comprehensible at the level of social practice.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
Absent an alter, no such reasoning *can* exist; consent, being a social practice, is necessarially "emergent" in that it cannot be reduced to any of its elements.

I emphatically disagree, for all the preceeding reasons.

The reasons you give only lead one to conclude that individuals make decisions about when to give or withdraw consent. What consent is remains an emergent.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
But, even if you are correct, this does not change the basic point that you still haven't demonstrated that liberal versions of consent do not equally follow from your reasoning; claiming that because democracy is a political concept it cannot alter consent does nothing to establish that the understandings of consent deployed to legitimate democractic rule are themselves flawed. On the contrary, the version of consent you present relies on a culturally contingent understanding of the subject predicated upon a liberal rights/equality framework.

No it doesn't, Daniel. †It relies on principles of *thought* having nothing to do with cultural contingen[cy]. †"Culture" be damned: get rid of it for the moment. †I am not talking about culture. I am talking about epistemology: how we know what we know and what processes we use to arrive at those determinations.

Heh. I'm making the claim that agency *is* culturally contingent; heck, social epistemes shift all the time.

Beck wrote:
Now, *your* epistemic principles might be "culturally contingent", but mine are not,

Why not?

[redescription of rape deleted]

Beck wrote:
"Liberal versions of consent" implicitly deny this epistemic foundation of the concept.

No, not really. I'm making decidely illiberal arguments here :).

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
I think many people now recognize that this hierarchy is pedagogical in
>>nature.

(head spin) †Actually, its nature is logical. †Excuse me, but "pedagogical" is rather a curious word to use here, and I don't see the point.

The claim that the hierarchy is pedagogical is based on the (debateable) recognition that, for example, epistemological questions actually implicate ontological questions, and not just the other way around. This is an aside, however.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
The ontological status of consent you (seem) to uphold is perfectly compatible with liberal theories of consent (operationalizations, if you like).

"Perfectly"? †I could quibble, but I won't. †It's close enough. †This strikes me as a blandishment that the liberal theory's heart is in the right place and, sweetheart that I am, I'll stipulate.

Well, a compelling case can be made that Rand is a 'liberal', i.e. these are family squabbles.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
The problem with your criticisms lies not with your classical hierarchy, per se, †but with the term "theory."

Okay, then spell it out for me.

Well, you got upset when I invoked "democratic theories of consent." But a theory is a subsidiary question derived from ontological (and epistemological) assumptions. A democratic theory of consent does not *change* the status of consent, but is derivative of a determination of what is, and how we know, consent; it does not *shift* the nature of consent, only operationalizes it within a given framework.

Beck wrote:
Well, until you're stronger in the suit, you can either take my word for the fact that existence exists, check that into my hierarchy and sort through it, or go get a new deck of cards. You're right: it is quite relevent and, if I'm "in trouble" this ain't the spot.

I still want to know what you mean by "exists" and "existance."

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
All of your objections are answered by the game: the outcome is solely measured by the individual players' utlity functions -- which could be *anything*. In a collective action problem, the suboptimal (and, inefficient) outcome is purely with respect to each individual participant -- not to some collective.

...except that the "collective action problem" is invoked at *precisely* the point at which an individual's dissenting decision (his determination of his best "utility function") conflicts with the democratic determination, i.e. - the "collective".

I'm not following you here. The collective action problem is invoked in this context to demonstrate that given objectivist assumptions about human behavior operationalized under objectivist political "institutions" the results will not be in the self-interest of individuals *given* their individual preferences. In short, objectivist conceptions of government (arguably) do not satisfy their own criteria.

Beck wrote:
From your post in reply to Lew:

"His point is that you would devolve all responsibility over all decisions to individuals, effectively creating one DoE, etc. for each indvidual. In many sectors, this presents an HELL of a collective action problem."

Clearly, you what you just said about "the game" is not true. We can identify examples in which "the individual players' utility functions" are *not* "*anything*", but specific examples of ethical conflict: one individual's (or a number of individuals') values which, as you said to Lew, "presents an HELL of a collective action problem". Well, "the game" isn't quite so adept at answering my objections after all.

I don't follow you. I simply said that operationalizing your precepts would create numerous collective action problems -- all your objections have answered, AFAIK, since the methods I'm deploying do not require any concept of social utility -- which is where your objections stem from.

Beck wrote:
You know, I don't know, in detail, what you've studied, but I can glimpse elements of certain trends in modern philosophy, and I will state this right out loud: I think the guy who first applied "game theory" to politics, and who began teaching it in college, ought to spend *eternity* at taking a poll of every indivdual human being on the planet, as well as the values that each one of them holds, in order to compose the mother of all "decision matrices". †That motherfucker would come to understand the folly of "game theory" as a device for prescribing political action sometime prior to logging his one-billionth subject. †I can tell you that for a dead certainty.

Well, I don't actually use rational-choice methodology in my own work -- frankly, I'm in the camp which opposes it. *But* I do think that when we can invoke rational-choice theory as a useful heuristic is precisely when we analyze philosophies which argue its assumptions about human nature and behavior are correct.

Moreover, there's no reason to construct a matrix where n=world population in order to refute the internal assumptions of the philosophical argument being made: the existance of the PD game as a possible outcome is enough to demonstrate what I want to here.

Besides, if you wish to argue that preferences have tremendous variability, more power to you -- but this is precisely the *strength* of game theoretic approaches, not their defect, since they reject substantive rationality claims. As far as I can tell, the more you argue *against* them, the more you undercut your own arguments -- which is precisely why they're so relevant to these debates.

Re: our last exchange: I wrote...

"Perhaps we're on different wavelengths here. †I am presuming from your posts that you believe human beings are rational self-interested utility maximizers -- this presumption is based upon your advocacy of the self-regulating market/extreme minimalist or no state. If human beings are *not* this way than, ipso facto, you would not be able to advocate what I have understood so far to be your political project."

then you wrote...

Beck wrote:
You are correct. †You have been paying attention to me.

Nexon wrote:
You mean those who have different ordinal preferences? Than we're probably talking about a different issue altogether. Collective action problems are those in which everyone *wants* an outcome, but can't achieve it if everyone behaves rationally -- which is precisely why they are a problem.

Oh, dear. †The P.D. †...which I reject out of hand.

Based upon what, exactly? Noncomfority with your desired world?

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
No, it isn't. In a collective action problem, people free-ride because of the risk others will free-ride...

That is simply another effect of what I said, and I say that this "free rider problem" is a load of hooey

The free-rider problem is an empirically verified phenomenon. Moreover, you simply *cannot* dismiss it if you believe human beings are rational self-interested utility maximizers -- it is a deductive outcome of such assumptions.

Beck wrote:
Sorry to be so brisk, but there is no other way to say it. †If you disagree, then I'll be happy to listen to your case. †I cannot imagine that you will present anything I've never thought about before, but feel free.

Great. If you've thought about it a lot, I'd like to see some compelling reasons why these concerns are "hooey."

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
And you're wrong. This might describe some situations when majoritarianism is invoked, but it has little to do with the specific objection made by the invocation of "collective action problems."

Then why did you bring up the "collective action problem" in the context of my assertion of "260 million principalities"?

Because its relevant -- it demonstrates that such conditions will not be in the self-interest of its participants under a variety of conditions.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
However, at the initial level, *if* you accept these assumptions than you *must* accept the existance of the collective action problem I refer to; and you undermine the way they are normally resolved (i.e. through norms of other-regarding behavior).

I need you to explicate this for to me. †I don't see how that follows at all.

Its deductively sound. *If* human beings are rational self-interested utility maximizers, then under conditions where they strategically interact and the ordinal preferences for both (or more) parties are DC>CC>DD>CD than DD is the equilibrium outcome even though it is not optimal given each participants' preferences.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
Second, ample empirical work has demonstrated that this is *not* the way humans behave, and most practitioners argue they are making as-if assumptions with some predictive value.

If I understand this correctly, I emphatically disagree, and I would like to see the data.

You don't need to look any further than March's work in the 1950s on "Bounded Rationality." But, you can also take a look at the entire "Moral Economy" debate, or at good social histories of the Middle Ages.

Beck wrote:
Straight up:†I have never seen a more cogent view of human thought than the epistemology developed by Ayn Rand.

Straight up: I disagree :). I've actually read a good percentage of her work, but I don't dwell on it (which is why I plead lack of in-depth familiarity).

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
What, that he tries to find ways to lower transaction costs?

They're deeper than that. †In essence, I find his approach to ethics strictly utilitarian and, in effect, un-principled.

Actually, utilitarianism (which I do not advocate) is deeply "principled" in that it has a fixed conception of the good.

Beck wrote:
Nexon wrote:
Well, come up with some substansive answers to the fact that whenever we've experienced periods of profound decentralization we tend to get vast amounts of fatricidal bloodletting and a distinct lack of economic activity.

Show me yer data. I don't buy it. C'mon, man: the 19th century in America is one gleaming example to the contrary of the "lack" assertion.

Well, if that's what you're advocating as a political system, I hope you don't consider yourself a follower of Rand.
_________________
Anarcho Capitalists Retail , Molyneux Cult Watch Souvenir Mall , OZschwitz Downunder BoutiqueAnarcho-Capitalists,AnCaps Forum,Anti-State,Anti-Statist,Inalienable Rights Defenders,Non-Aggression Principle,Non-Initiation of Force Principle,Rothbardians,Anarchist,Capitalist,objectivism,Ayn Rand,Anarcho-Capitalism,Anarcho-Capitalist,politics,libertarianism,Ancap Forum,Anarchist Forum,Vulgar Libertarians,Hippies of The Right,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalist,Forum for Anarcho-Capitalists,Forum for AnCap,Forum for AnCaps,Libertarian,Anarcho-Objectivist,Freedom, Laissez Faire, Free Trade, Black Market, Randroid, Randroids, Rothbardian, AynArchist, Anarcho-Capitalist Forum, Anarchism, Anarchy, Free Market Anarchism, Free Market Anarchy, Market Anarchy
Back to top Go down
 

On consent: Billy Beck vs Daniel Nexon

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Anarcho-Capitalist Intelekchewal Cage-Match :: AnCaps: High Octane One on One Debate-